Published: Sun, July 30, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Ricciardo tops practice for Hungarian GP

Ricciardo tops practice for Hungarian GP

Vettel has won pole for the Hungarian GP 2017, and with the help of Raikkonen who qualified second, Ferrari has secured a front row lockout for tomorrow's race. In fact Vettel was so happy after claiming pole position, he declared that his Ferrari SF70H was "incredible".

Ferrari looked to have the race under control in the opening stint, but a steering problem on Vettel's vehicle put Raikkonen under pressure as the lead Ferrari backed his teammate into the Mercedes drivers. Vettel made the most of it and the result bodes well for today's race.

He clung on to the very end, and he takes a 14-point championship lead into the summer break.

Ferrari knew they were previously off the Mercedes pace and had looked to address it since Silverstone.

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As it stands for the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers so far in 2017.

"The vehicle was fantastic today, it was really a pleasure to just go around", said Vettel after taking his 48th career pole on a hot afternoon at the Hungaroring.

"The vehicle felt pretty good, we made some improvements in qualifying and the laps were generally good apart from Q3". I think it is a great track, although, like Monaco, it is very narrow with lots of corners and not so many straights. We start at the front, they couldn't be any better but tomorrow is a long day.

"I think we were surprised to see Red Bull didn't have the pace that we thought they'd have".

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Vettel's pole time was a staggering 3.711 seconds faster than Rosberg's mark with Raikkonen just under two tenths slower in second place. He had been quickest in Q1 and although Hamilton was top of the timing in Q2, when it mattered in the final session Vettel put in a flawless lap, exploiting a auto with which he was absolutely in tune.

But he complained of lacking tyre balance on his first lap in the top 10 shootout and then ran wide at the fast Turn Four, forcing him to abort that run.

Jolyon Palmer ended Q2 in P11 again in his Renault, just 0.104secs adrift of a place in the top-ten shootout, but disappointingly 0.760secs off Hulkenberg's best lap in that second session. The Spaniard celebrated his 36th birthday on Saturday and has moderate reason to celebrate after finishing in eighth place. Fernando Alonso was seventh, fractionally faster than teammate Stoffel Vandoorne.

Brazilian driver Felipe Massa spun his Williams auto coming out on Turn 5 during P2.

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"Following this decision, the team's Reserve Driver Paul di Resta will drive alongside Lance Stroll for the remainder of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend". Haas driver Romain Grosjean had a similar blip on Turn 11.

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