Vettel tops final practice for Hungary GP

Lewis Hamilton will start from the front of the grid tomorrow
Lewis Hamilton will start from the front of the grid tomorrowLASZLO BALOGH

29 July, 2018

Sebastian Vettel lit up the time sheets in second practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton could manage only a distant fifth.

As a heavy rain downpour brought chaos and wiped out the advantage Ferrari had held in dry conditions, Hamilton endorsed his reputation as a master of the wet by taking pole by three tenths from Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton is 17 points clear of Vettel in the standings after 11 races, with Sunday's round the last before the sport's August break.

He chose to go for his final flying lap in the dying seconds of the session and grabbed pole with a lap that produced his team's fourth lockout of the season.

"Ferrari have been quickest all weekend and we were doing our best to catch up, but then the heavens opened and it was fair game".

Daniel Ricciardo says Lance Stroll's crash in Q2 was the main reason for his early exit from qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

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Typically, Hamilton, who had a set-up overhaul during the session, summed up his and others' feelings when he said: "These tyres are bad, man" on his team radio. "Tomorrow I will have a fight on my hands", said Ricciardo. "First lap had to count and we had the guy in front so we were just unlucky".

Dutch team mate Max Verstappen qualified only seventh, with Renault's Carlos Sainz and Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly fifth and sixth respectively.

Mercedes might have track position at this stage after locking out the front row, but Ferrari have a record of making good starts and now boast what many believe is the strongest power unit on the grid, so it remains all to play for on the opening lap at least.

The Briton, who has won five times in Hungary but never in a championship year, suffered a big slide into the chicane on the dusty asphalt in the morning.

New Zealander Brendon Hartley, whose future at Toro Rosso remains uncertain, qualified eighth with the Haas pairing of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean ninth and 10th.

"Even if we had a rocket ship, we would be 11th".

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