F1 2020: Starting grid and race preview for Hungarian Grand Prix

By Sports Desk July 18, 2020

Lewis Hamilton did all he could in qualifying to put himself in position to make Formula One history at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The six-time world champion took pole in Saturday's session at the Hungaroring, edging out Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

It was his seventh pole at a track where he has previously won on seven occasions, including in three of the last four years.

Should Hamilton win Sunday's race, he will not only overtake Bottas in the drivers' standings, but also equal Michael Schumacher's record for the most victories at a single F1 circuit.
 

WHAT HAPPENED IN QUALIFYING

Hamilton set a lap record to hold off a determined Bottas by 0.107 seconds and take a 90th career pole, with Mercedes streets ahead of the other 18 drivers.

Racing Point impressed as Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez came third and fourth respectively, though even they were a second off Mercedes' pace, as Ferarri improved to lock out row three, with Sebastian Vettel pipping Charles Leclerc.

Red Bull struggled with Max Verstappen down in seventh and a frustrated Alex Albon - who criticised his team on radio - missing out on Q3. He starts 13th, a spot behind Williams' George Russell.


THE STARTING GRID 

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 
3. Lance Stroll (Racing Point)  4. Sergio Perez (Racing Point)
5. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)  6. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
7. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 8. Lando Norris (McLaren)
9. Carlos Sainz (McLaren) 10. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri)
11. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) 12. George Russell (Williams) 
13. Alex Albon (Red Bull) 14.  Esteban Ocon (Renault)
15. Nicholas Latifi (Williams) 16. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) 
17. Daniil Kvyat (Alpha Tauri) 18. Romain Grosjean (Haas)
19. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) 20. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)

 

HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX TALKING POINTS

Schumacher won eight times in France, an F1 record Hamilton will hope to match at one of his favourite tracks in Hungary, especially with Bottas sitting six points clear of him in the championship.

Both Mercedes drivers referenced the crucial run up to turn one in their post-qualifying remarks and it seems a collision between them or a mechanical issue is the only hope the rest of the field have of finishing ahead of the leaders, who have a huge pace advantage.

Racing Point are primed to push for a podium finish as they start on the second row with the more durable medium tyres after a qualifying strategy gamble paid off, while this track appears to suit Ferrari better even if they are still well short of Mercedes.

Red Bull will hope better race pace can lift them after a frustrating start to the season continued in qualifying - a stark contrast to Verstappen's first career pole here last year. The Dutchman cited issues with the top speed and balance of the car after qualifying, saying the team were still unsure over the reason for their shortcomings.


WHAT THE DRIVERS SAID

Lewis Hamilton (pole): "I definitely wasn't expecting [Red Bull] to be as off as they have been this weekend. You saw the pace of them last year and that [1.4s to Verstappen] is a really big gap. This is not a power circuit, this is more about the car, the mechanical grip and aero package. I thought they had a better package than the result showed."

Valtteri Bottas (2nd): "It is going to be a bit of a drag race into turn one between us [Bottas and Hamilton] so I look forward to that – the first lap will definitely be interesting. I'm the championship leader at the moment, but I need to win races to maintain that, so that is the only goal I have Sunday and I'm fully focused on making it happen."

Lance Stroll (3rd): "Everybody's entitled to race out there, so I hope we [me and Sergio Perez] get to race hard. He starts fourth and is going to fight for the podium, I'm going to fight for the podium. I’m hoping we can have a good start and a good race as it would be nice to stand on the podium again, it has been two or three years since I last did that."

Sergio Perez (4th): "I didnt feel 100% physically during qualifying, I was getting dizzy and that is not great. I need to check with my physio what is going on but I should be okay for Sunday. I managed to get away with a good result, it was very messy, my qualifying - still, P4 is a good race start and it was a great result for the team. We will target a lot of points."

Sebastian Vettel (5th): "I think it's much better than the previous weekends. The first time both cars are in Q3. Austria didn't really suit us, we lost a lot of time in the straights, and here I think there's a lot more corners to make up for it. The car felt better balanced as well so I think we're much closer to the people, let’s say around us, like the Racing Point, the Red Bull, even McLaren."

Alex Albon (13th): "It was a bit of everything. Obviously I didn't do a great lap as well [as issues with the car and being put out in traffic], but we had another lap to fix it. It is a few things to be honest, so we need to sit with the team, discuss it and just be better prepared for the next time. I was [happier with the car] in FP3, not so much in qualifying. So we need to figure it out a bit better."
 

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 43
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 37
3. Lando Norris (McLaren) – 26
4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) –18
5. Sergio Perez (Racing Point) – 16

Constructors 

1. Mercedes – 80
2. McLaren – 39
3. Red Bull – 27
4. Racing Point – 22
5. Ferrari – 19

Related items

  • MotoGP 2020: Starting grid and preview for the Emilia Romagna and Rimini's Coast Grand Prix MotoGP 2020: Starting grid and preview for the Emilia Romagna and Rimini's Coast Grand Prix

    Maverick Vinales has another golden opportunity to put himself firmly in the MotoGP title picture when he starts on pole at Misano on Sunday. 

    Vinales was on pole for the San Marino Grand Prix last time out but was unable to convert that position into a victory, finishing down in sixth. 

    The Spaniard is 18 points adrift of Andrea Dovizioso in a wide-open fight to replace the injured Marc Marquez as world champion. 

    However, he is in the prime spot to vault up the standings after an error by Francesco Bagnaia gave him pole for the Emilia Romagna and Rimini's Coast Grand Prix. 

    Yet the owner of the lap record at Misano cannot afford to take anything for granted ahead of what looks set to be a fascinating fight for the chequered flag.

    WHAT HAPPENED IN QUALIFYING

    Bagnaia should have been celebrating a maiden MotoGP pole - and another Misano lap record - having smashed the previous mark in FP3. 

    He crossed the line on his final flying lap in one minute and 30.973 seconds, a time that would have seen him top the timesheets. 

    However, he crucially exceeded the track limits on the final turn, an infraction that saw his lap struck off and both pole position and the record handed to Vinales.

    Vinales will have Jack Miller and Fabio Quartararo for company on the front row, with Bagnaia dropping to fifth as a result of his error. 

    Championship leader Dovizioso heads the fourth row, with Franco Morbidelli - winner of the San Marino Grand Prix - sandwiched between Valentino Rossi and Danilo Petrucci on the third row. 

    THE STARTING GRID

    1. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha), 2. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), 3. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha)
    4. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), 5. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing), 6. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)
    7. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha), 8. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha), 9. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati)
    10. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati), 11. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar), 12. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda)
    13. Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech 3), 14. Johann Zarco (Avintia), 15. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)
    16. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia), 17. Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda), 18. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar)
    19. Bradley Smith (Aprilia), 20. Tito Rabat (Avintia)

    EMILIA ROMAGNA GRAND PRIX TALKING POINTS

    The searing pace displayed by Bagnaia will be a topic of discussion despite his phenomenal last flying lap counting for nothing. 

    He and team-mate Miller will surely pose a significant threat to Vinales, though Quartararo is concerned about some of his title rivals positioned further back on the starting grid. 

    Joan Mir of Suzuki trails Dovizioso by 16 points, but he produced a disappointing display in Q2 and starts 11th. However, with Quartararo branding the Suzuki "a perfect bike", a charge through the field from Mir is not out of the question.

    "Yes, I'm worried because they are fast in the straight, they are fast in acceleration to overtake people, they are so fast," Quartararo said on Thursday.

    WHAT THE RIDERS SAID

    Maverick Vinales (pole): "This weekend I tried to work always with a race setting. We make an improvement. Last weekend the bike always feels good without fuel but with fuel on the race I struggle a lot. This weekend we work a lot and it seems that we make an improvement. We wish it will work for the race."

    Jack Miller (2nd): "When we got to Q2 I only had one tyre, so it was kind of a one-shot wonder. Anyway, we made it, not a bad qualifying, I was lucky to get the two off Pecco [Bagnaia]."

    Fabio Quartararo (3rd): "Feeling great to be on the front row, that is really important. Our race pace is looking good. I'm happy because we have a good base for tomorrow."

    CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

    Riders

    1. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 76
    2. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) 70
    3. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) 64
    4. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) 60
    5. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) 58

    Teams

    1. Petronas Yamaha 127
    2. Monster Energy Yamaha 116
    3. Ducati 101
    4. Suzuki Ecstar 100
    5. Pramac Racing 97

  • Bagnaia hands second successive Misano pole to Vinales with costly late error Bagnaia hands second successive Misano pole to Vinales with costly late error

    Maverick Vinales claimed his second successive pole position at Misano as an error from Francesco Bagnaia saw him miss out on the front row in a dramatic qualifying session for the Emilia Romagna and Rimini's Coast Grand Prix.

    Bagnaia, who smashed the Misano lap record in third practice, found searing pace as the Pramac Racing rider attempted to deny Vinales.

    He crossed the line in one minute and 30.973 seconds, which would have seen him take a first career pole and set the first 1:30 lap at the Marco Simoncelli circuit.

    However, his lap was immediately expunged as Bagnaia exceeded the track limits on the final turn, handing pole to Vinales after his lap record of 1:31.077.

    Bagnaia dropped to fifth, with Jack Miller and Fabio Quartararo completing the front row behind Vinales.

    The KTMs of Pol Espargaro and Brad Binder were fourth and sixth respectively, while championship leader Andrea Dovizioso will have work to do to hold on to his six-point lead over Quartararo.

    Dovizioso was 10th behind Ducati team-mate Danilo Petrucci, the fourth row completed by Joan Mir and Takaaki Nakagami.

    LCR Honda's Nakagami went off at turn 15 in FP4 and repeated that error in Q2, wrecking his second bike of the race week and leaving him to settle for 12th on the grid.

    Provisional classification

    1. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) 1:31.077s
    2. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) +0.076s
    3. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) +0.145s
    4. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +0.231s
    5. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) +0.236s
    6. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +0.312s
    7. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.359s
    8. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha) +0.489s
    9. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) +0.497s
    10. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) +0.504s
    11. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.540s
    12. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) +1.207s

     

     

  • MotoGP 2020: Marquez stand-in Bradl to sit out Emilia-Romagna GP MotoGP 2020: Marquez stand-in Bradl to sit out Emilia-Romagna GP

    Repsol Honda rider Stefan Bradl will miss the Emilia Romagna and Rimini's Coast Grand Prix because of an arm injury.

    Bradl has filled in for Marc Marquez - the six-time world champion who broke an arm in the MotoGP season opener at Jerez - but is battling ongoing issues in his own right arm.

    The German competed in the first practice session at Misano but was 1.3 seconds adrift of Fabio Quartararo, who set the pace with a time of one minute and 31.271 seconds.

    Following discussions with Honda, Bradl will sit out the rest of the race weekend.

    "Unfortunately, I am still having problems with my right arm and I am unable to ride in a safe and consistent way," Bradl said.

    "I spoke with my doctor and we performed a small operation to clean the nerve before this weekend, but when they opened the arm they saw the situation was more complicated than they first thought.

    "I came to Misano with the intention of racing because my doctor told me it would be okay to race. But in this situation, I do not feel I can ride safely over a whole race, together with HRC [Honda Racing Corporation] we have decided to take the rest of the week to recover before Barcelona."

    FP2 saw Brad Binder of KTM lead the way with a lap of 1:31.628.

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