Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Qualifying analysis - Alonso & Renault go aggressive 25 Jul 2009

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R29.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 25 July 2009 (L to R): Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing with pole sitter Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 25 July 2009 Ferrari press release about the condition of their driver Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari after his qualifying crash.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 25 July 2009 Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Force India F1 VJM02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 25 July 2009 Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR4 stops during qualifying.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 25 July 2009

Felipe Massa’s unpleasant accident, and a delayed confirmation of the final lap times, made Saturday’s Hungaroring qualifying a particularly tense affair. As ever, the fuel figures told an interesting tale. Alonso was easily the lightest top 10 runner at 637.5 kg as part of Renault’s aggressive strategy. Vettel had 655, Webber 652. Hamilton had 650.5, Kovalainen 655.5, Rosberg 654 and Raikkonen 651.5. As suspected, Button was heavy at 664.5…

Renault
Fernando Alonso, 1m 21.569s, P1
Nelson Piquet, 1m 21.389s, P15, will start P14

Alonso was delighted to take the 18th pole position of his career and his first this season, applauding the revision to his Renault’s aerodynamics first seen in Germany. Piquet blamed traffic for his failure to make it through from Q2.

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 21.607s, P2
Mark Webber, 1m 21.741s, P3

The Red Bull drivers were both happy to be so far up the grid. Vettel said his car was much better than it was yesterday after some solid overnight set-up work which proved a good step forward. Webber admitted to making a mistake in Turn Two that affected his lap time and cost him a front-row starting position.

McLaren
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 21.839s, P4
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 22.095s, P6

Hamilton was very happy to be back in the fight and believed he could have done better than fourth as his last lap wasn’t great. He’ll be banking on his KERS to help him jump up the order at the start. Kovalainen said his car was sliding around a lot, though it was slightly better on the heavier fuel load in Q3.

Williams
Nico Rosberg, 1m 21.890s, P5
Kazuki Nakajima, 1m 22.835s, P9

Rosberg said he believes his target of a podium finish is realistic after a good qualifying session, and that the FW31 had shown real promise. Nakajima said he didn’t feel he had made the best of Q3 as he struggled to warm his tyres.

Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 22.468, P7
Felipe Massa, P10, no time, will not start

Ferrari’s focus was naturally on Massa’s welfare after the incident in which he was concussed after being stunned as the spring from the central rear damper on Barrichello’s car fell off and struck him on the helmet. The Brazilian was operated on overnight and will not race. Raikkonen did his best, but could not better seventh place.

Brawn
Jenson Button, 1m 22.511s, P8
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 21.222s, P13, will start P12

Barrichello’s chances of getting through Q2 ended with the rear suspension failure that triggered the Massa accident. The spring from the central damper detached itself, and bounced down the road. Button did not get out for the first six minutes of Q3 as his car was checked out and worked on, so he only got two flying laps on a 654.5 kg fuel load. That left him eighth, and starting from the dirty side of the grid. Right now, Brawn look like a team losing their grip on the world titles.

Toro Rosso
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 21.002s, P11, will start P10
Jaime Alguersuari, 1m 22.359s, P20, will start P19

Buemi was pleased with the progress Toro Rosso have made with their revised aerodynamic package, but admitted that he was also frustrated not to make it into Q3. Alguersuari looked good again until stymied in Q1 by a problem with his STR4’s throttle control system, which left him stranded out on the track.

Toyota
Jarno Trulli, 1m 21.082s, P12, will start P11
Timo Glock, 1m 21.242s, P14, will start P13

Trulli said qualifying was no better than the rest of his weekend and was disappointed not to get through Q2 as his Toyota lacked ultimate pace. Glock echoed his sentiments while also blaming traffic at the end of his best lap.

BMW Sauber
Nick Heidfeld, 1m 21.738s, P16, will start P15
Robert Kubica, 1m 21.901s, P19, will start P18

Heidfeld was bitterly disappointed not to progress at least into Q2, especially after being so quick this morning. He was sixth after his first run, but it all went wrong on the second with traffic. Nakajima was ahead, but he couldn’t back off because Barrichello was right behind him. Then he ran wide in Turn 11, and that was that. Kubica encountered yellow flags on his second attempt, and then also had traffic on his final try.

Force India
Giancarlo Fisichella, 1m 21.807s, P17, will start P16
Adrian Sutil, 1m 21.868s, P18, will start P17

There was joy when Fisichella set the 11th fastest lap in Q1, but instantly others improved and he dropped to 17th in the blink of an eye. He said his only problem was lack of grip. Sutil was late out as his car was still being repaired after his morning crash, but was almost as fast despite only doing two flying laps.