Verstappen was fractions of a second behind Rosberg in final practice, and in the wet qualifying conditions, it looked as though Red Bull might have the pace to grab pole. Verstappen's final run was poorly timed however, meaning he did not get a final flying lap with the track at its quickest, whilst Ricciardo was forced to lift off under yellow flags. Nonetheless, a second row lock-out is still a good result and promises much for the race.
Daniel Ricciardo, 3rd, 1:20.280
"When I saw Fernando had spun in Turn 9, I was furious as I was up on my lap by quite a bit and when I heard Nico's pole time, then the time was definitely there. How affected him or Lewis were (by the yellow flag), I don't know, but I think we had better than a 19.9 in us. We don't get many opportunities to get a pole from Mercedes, but I thought today there was definitely a chance. But, the positives are that we were quick, we had good pace and I was happy with the car.
"I was happy with it yesterday and I think we found even more speed for today, so hopefully that means good things for tomorrow. It was fun with the changing conditions, I really enjoyed it; let's say I embraced the conditions from the start. It was crazy, there was aquaplaning, spray, it was really hairy and the adrenalin was flowing. It was drying very fast and we had to adapt and be on it, it was cool."
Max Verstappen, 4th, 1:20.557
"It was a bit of a shame in Q3 because everyone was backing off so I also had to back off to get a free lap. If you are within two or three seconds of the car in front you will lose lap time, in qualifying especially you don't want that. I was very unfortunate to miss the line by 0.8 seconds, but there was a yellow flag anyway so I couldn't improve. We can be very happy with 4th after a very tricky qualifying.
"It's always a bit of a gamble when conditions are like that so you can't really show everything you've got. We had the speed to qualify higher, I feel, but today it wasn't to be. During the race I hope we can go a few steps further and be close to Mercedes, the pace is there for sure and think it will be very exciting. If they have some issues with degradation then there will be opportunities. In FP3 the car was very comfortable, if we can keep the same set up in the race tomorrow I can hopefully fight hard."
Christian Horner, Team Principal
"It's great to have locked out the second row of the grid after a reasonably tense and extended qualifying with mixed conditions. Daniel and Max both demonstrated good pace throughout the three sessions and it was unfortunate that the incident at the end of Q3 and the subsequent yellow flag prevented a final last minute show down.
"The Hungaroring has offered us good opportunities in the past and we hope tomorrow to be able to again take advantage of the strong pace we have showed so far."
When the first red flags came out, Perez and Hulkenberg were sitting pretty at the top of the standings. When running resumed, Hulkenberg found the pace to make Q3 on a track which historically hasn't suited the Force India team. Perez by contrast could only manage 13th after making a mistake on his flying lap.
Nico Hülkenberg, 9th, 1:21.823
“Being in the top ten is always good, especially in a session with tricky conditions. As a team I think we coped well with so many red flags because it’s important to stay calm and maintain your rhythm. When the rain stopped, the track dried so quickly and by the end of Q2 the sun was shining and the track was almost completely dry. Q3 was a bit difficult: I just didn’t have the balance and I struggled with understeer on my final lap. So from that perspective maybe it would have been better if the track had stayed wet for longer. Ninth place is still a good place to start and I’m sure we can have a strong race from there.”
Sergio Perez, 13th, 1:25.416
“Qualifying in P13 is a very disappointing result. Today we had everything we needed to be in Q3, especially in these conditions. We were among the first to switch to dry tyres, but when it came to the end of the session I wasn’t able to put together a good enough lap to finish in the top ten. I made a mistake in turn five and that cost me more than a second. It’s a shame as I think we had great potential, but it goes to show how difficult it is to get the right lap at the right time. Starting where we are is going to make the race very challenging. A good start will be crucial and we need to choose the right strategy because overtaking here is not easy. Our pace in the dry is good and my target is to bring home some points.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“We come away from today’s qualifying session feeling disappointed. The car has performed well all weekend and we certainly had the speed to get both cars through to Q3. Sergio’s mistake towards the end of Q2 means he will start out of position down in P13 on a track where it’s not very easy to overtake. Nico had a very strong session overall, but struggled with the car when the track had completely dried out. He didn’t have a clean lap and that probably cost him a position or two on the grid. Looking ahead to the race, we were competitive during the long runs in the dry yesterday so our race pace should be good. Strategy options are quite limited, but this place tends to throw up surprises when you least expect them so let’s see what happens tomorrow.”
Massa lost control tiptoeing round the damp track on intermediate tyres, ending his qualifying and bringing the red flags out. Bottas did make Q3, but struggled for pace and had to lift off on his final flying lap due to Alonso's spin.
Valtteri Bottas, 10th, 1:22.182
"It was a really tricky qualifying session today because of the weather conditions. I think as a team we made the right strategy calls. It’s a shame that we are out of position because of the yellow flags on my final run. I was improving my laptime a lot, but obviously I had to slow down which cost us, so that’s slightly unlucky. I think tomorrow we will have a good fight with Force India and my mission is to beat them."
Felipe Massa, 18th, 1:43.999
"I’m very disappointed about what happened. We risked going to the intermediates tyres in that moment and unfortunately it didn’t work for me, so it’s a real shame. I’m sorry to the guys in the garage because I was just trying to do the best I could but in conditions like that these things can happen. We now just need to concentrate on the race tomorrow. We know it’s not the perfect position for qualifying at this track but we need to be ready for anything tomorrow, because everything could change in the race."
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering
"We had very changeable conditions today. The main aim of Q1 was to get through the really heavy rain and the water-logged track which unfortunately we failed to do with Felipe. With Valtteri we expected a bit more in Q3, but he lost quite a lot in the double yellow flags at Turns 8 and 9. We have to look at the data and figure out what prevented us from getting better laptimes today. Our starting positions are far from ideal, but we’re buoyed by the long run pace of the car yesterday. We had two good practice sessions on Friday, so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to carry that pace through into tomorrow. We have an open strategy with Felipe which we’ll try to capitalise on. With Valtteri, we have to start on the qualifying tyre but we will need to be clever with his strategy as well. Our target tomorrow is to bring both cars home in the points and score more than our closest rivals."
Ericsson was the cause of the second red flag in Q1, sliding into the barriers at Turn 10. Nasr fared better and briefly topped the standings, but as others improved, he slipped down the rankings. Nonetheless, an encouraging performance from the Brazilian will give him confidence heading into the race.
Marcus Ericsson, 20th, 1:46.984
“It was a very disappointing qualifying for me. The conditions were quite tricky with lots of standing water, but that was the same for everyone. I lost the car, so in the end it was my mistake and the session was quickly over for me. I should have done better. I apologise to the team for the work load I have caused them. I will fight back tomorrow.”
Felipe Nasr, 16th, 1:27.063
“That was an eventful qualifying. We were all surprised that the rain arrived before the session started. I think I extracted the most out of the car today. To be honest, I was happy to see us temporarily in P1 at the end of Q1 in the wet conditions. Unfortunately when the track started to dry and we changed to supersoft tyres, I could not improve my last lap as this run was a bit compromised by traffic. Nevertheless, it was a good qualifying for me, one that I will remember.”
Neither Grosjean nor Gutierrez could hook up the perfect lap, both locking up and running wide on occasion. Grosjean, in 11th, will be the best placed driver to have free tyre choice for the race, which should be to his advantage with the forecast for tomorrow looking dry.
Romain Grosjean, 11th, 1:24.941
“It was close. We were only one-tenth off of Lewis’ P10 time. All things considered, to be that close, it’s a good thing. We successfully made all the right decisions at the right time in qualifying, including tyre choices. It was a very difficult qualifying session, but we showed how much we’ve improved as a team from day one through today. We were perfect today in our execution. We were fast on both the extreme wet and intermediate tyres. We weren’t too bad on slicks. I know that tenth-of-a-second that denied us today is somewhere in there. I’m pretty happy with everything. If it doesn’t rain tomorrow it’s going to be boiling hot, and that always makes for a good race.”
Esteban Gutierrez, 15th, 1:26.189
“That was one of the trickiest qualifying sessions of the season, with a lot of interruptions. In Q1, we were quite unlucky. I basically only had one clean lap, so it wasn’t an easy one for us. In Q2, I was struggling to find the temperature on the tyres. The conditions out there were difficult. With only one line to take, you’ve no margin for any mistakes. I’m not happy with 15th, but tomorrow I hope to overtake and make my way up the grid. It’s going to make for a very interesting and exciting race, and I’m going to give it my all to try to advance as much as I can.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal
“It was quite an exciting qualifying session with a lot of action out there. To keep cool in this situation is very difficult, but I think the team did a good job. We managed everything very well, so we’ve no regrets. We ended up 11th and 15th. Being 11th is starting to get old, but at least by being there Romain can start on new tyres, so that will be an advantage. Esteban can make his way up. He’s in good company, with Kimi (Raikkonen) just ahead. We’re almost there, but still not in Q3, which is where we want to be. But 11th is a good starting position. Tomorrow we’re confident we can move up. We’ll be trying hard to get points.”
A front row lock-out for Mercedes but there will be contrasting emotions on the two sides of the garage this evening. Hamilton was on provisional pole, and had to lift off on his final flying lap due to Alonso's stricken Mclaren. By the time Rosberg entered that part of the circuit, the way was clear and he duly delivered his fourth pole of the season.
Nico Rosberg, 1st, 1:19.965
"That was a pretty exciting qualifying session. It was crazy conditions in the beginning with all the rain and the big puddles and a lot of cars went off. My car felt very good in the wet - but when it dried out that was the best situation for us as we know the Red Bulls are strong in the wet. I gave it everything at the end of my last lap and it worked out. A big thanks to the team, as it was a great team effort to make sure I always had good track position. It's a great feeling to be on pole here in Hungary. Tomorrow it will be a big battle against Lewis and the Red Bulls, so I look forward to that."
Lewis Hamilton, 2nd, 1:20.108
"I would never have expected to come around that corner and see Fernando facing me! I was four tenths up at that point and feeling really happy with the balance of the car, so pole was there for the taking. But this is racing and I'll do my best from second. A great start would help - it's about time I had one! In practice I felt like I was getting the procedure right, so I'm really hoping to finally get a good one off the line tomorrow. It's a long run to turn one so there's opportunity there and that could make all the difference. My long run pace this morning was pretty good, so hopefully it's going to be a good race."
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"That was one of those upside-down qualifying sessions where you can do more wrong than right and we nearly got caught out a couple of times along the way in Q1 and Q2. But in the end, it came down to the final run in Q3 which decided the final order, in conditions very close to a fully dry track. Lewis was on provisional pole and doing a really strong lap when he just got unlucky with the yellow flag for Alonso's spin - and he had to back out of his lap. Nico was running later on the road and lifted in the yellow zone that was still showing, as we can see from the data, but he was nevertheless able to improve and snatch pole position right at the end. Overall, a topsy-turvy session but a great result and the perfect starting places for tomorrow's race. But this is Hungary and we always see action on Sunday afternoons, so we know there is still a very long way to go. We need to prepare well tonight and run through all the scenarios if we want to achieve our potential tomorrow."
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
"I thought that session would never end! A huge relief to seal the front row and have the opportunity to show the pace of the car in dry conditions after what was an unpredictable afternoon. Some quite incredible variations in the conditions combined with multiple incidents on track made it extremely tricky to get it right today, so well done to the team and the drivers for delivering the best possible result. It was far from plain sailing, with several close calls along the way. The lockup for Lewis on his final Q2 lap gave us all a few extra grey hairs - but fortunately he did just enough to make the cut in P10. Q3 was much more straightforward, with a regular run plan back on the table. Nico put in a great lap to take a strong pole position, so our congratulations to him. Lewis was unfortunate to be hindered by the yellow flags on his final flying lap, so he could not defend his provisional pole time. But overall we can be very pleased to have the front row, with both drivers doing a great job and looking strong for what will hopefully be a slightly more straightforward day tomorrow!"
Kvyat never looked as comfortable as his team mate in the changeable conditions. He was also unfortunate to get caught in traffic on his last run and exited in Q2. Sainz had a few wobbles early on in the session but saved his best for Q3, qualifying in sixth. He will start alongside the Ferrari of Vettel.
Carlos Sainz, 6th, 1:21.131
“Wow, what a qualifying session, and what a result… I feel so good! If I say the truth, this morning we thought we wouldn’t even make it into Q3 after seeing our pace in FP3 but suddenly in Quali everything turned around. I felt much more comfortable in the car and surely the rain and cooler conditions helped. It was probably the toughest qualifying session of my career – to judge each time what tyre to choose, which line to take, see where it was dry and where it was still wet, to cool the tyres, then heat them… It was very, very tricky! But we were in the right place at the right moment every time, we got through every Quali session and we ended up in a great position for tomorrow! I just hope that in the race we can maintain the good feeling we found today in Quali.”
Daniil Kvyat, 12th, 1:25.301
“I think we did a very poor job in managing the things when it really counted, especially my track position. We were slow putting the slicks on – the tyres were not ready when I came in to the pits and I had to wait too long. I was then caught-up in traffic and I did my last lap, the one that most counted, behind Button… I always raise my hand when I do a bad job, but I think today it was a bit the other way around. It’s a pity that we don’t start further ahead, but in these circumstances a P12 is the most I could do… I really wanted to be in Q3, so we need to analyse what happened and learn from our mistakes. We will try our best tomorrow to recover and move forward, it can still be a good race!”
James Key, Technical Director
“Overall today’s is a pleasing result because we’ve had a tricky weekend for reasons that we only began to understand after this morning’s FP3. We were miles off the pace we expected to be, but we covered quite a bit having analysed the situation between FP3 and Qualifying… But then it was wet, so the whole situation reset. It was a very exciting qualifying in that respect, because at one point Carlos was out in Q1, whilst Daniil was fourth; we were going up and down all the time in very tricky conditions. It then dried very quickly, so I think Q1 in the end was okay. Q2 worked pretty well for Carlos – I think he dealt really well with the conditions. It was clearly drying very quickly and he put a good lap in. He was the first of the queue, so there was a risk there because the track was getting quicker and quicker and a lot of the guys behind him were finding lap time, but he did enough to get him into Q3. Unfortunately with Daniil, we need to look at this in a little bit more detail, but he was in some traffic after we released him. His timing was ideal, as he was the last car of the queue to cross the line, but we need to understand weather we needed to manage the traffic slightly differently for him on his first lap. The lap he did in the end didn’t get him through – he’s standing just behind the top ten, but he has the advantage of the tyres. In Q3 I think we took a gamble with our approach and we did three laps in our final run, which is a bit of a different approach. It is difficult to judge what would have happened as Carlos first lap of the final run was good with the second lap slower, but with yellow flags at the end that affected others it is difficult to say where we would have ended up. His lap in the middle of that session was enough to keep him in P6, which is a great job from him. To start tomorrow’s race from sixth after a tricky weekend is great news. Now we just need to try and hold it together for tomorrow and make best use of the opportunity.”
A disappointing day as Raikkonen lost out to a quickly improving track in Q2, meaning he will start 14th. Vettel did make Q3 but never looked likely to threaten either Mercedes or Red Bull, qualifying nearly a second off the pace of Rosberg.
Kimi Raikkonen, 14th, 1:25.435
"I'm disappointed by the result of this qualifying, it's really a shame because our car has been working well all weekend and even in wet conditions the handling was very good. For sure we are far from where we should be. At the end of Q2 I went out for my last attempt and I did a decent lap, at least for that moment, but the conditions were improving every lap, the track was getting faster and unfortunately we did not make it through Q3. Whatever the reason, when the conditions are like today it's not easy. We tried to do the right things, unfortunately we will pay a price tomorrow, it will be difficult to overtake starting from the back but we won't give up. We'll do our best, the speed is there and I'm sure we can make something out."
Sebastian Vettel, 5th, 1:20.874
"I am not happy with P5, because it could have been better. It was quite a mess at the beginning to get through, then at the end I think we had a good performance in the car. We improved for this afternoon, but unfortunately the result doesn't show it. The pace was there, but we were not able to get the lap. It's a shame because in the end it was very good, I think it was already half a second down, then there was a yellow flag which caught us out, but we kept going. Then there was a bit of traffic, sometimes it is just like that. I think we have the pace to compete for the podium tomorrow, hopefully we'll have a good start then we'll go from there. It's a long race, anything can happen here. Other than that, I think that in the race pace usually we are quicker. Usually all the people decide to do the fastest strategy possible, but there's always something you can do. If the occasion comes up to do something smart I know we have the people on board to do it, so I trust them."
Haryanto had a heavy crash into the barriers in the wet conditions, ending his qualifying. Wehrlein was another driver to continually be thwarted by red flags, and will line up at the back of the grid.
Pascal Wehrlein, 21st, 1:47.343
“Yes, I think it took everyone by surprise – particularly how much rain came down in such a short space of time. The Q1 session had four red flags, which is very unusual and made it difficult for anyone to get into a good rhythm. It also showed how tricky it was out there.
“My time on my final run was a 1:38, same as Kimi in 8th, so I would have been P9 I think. Unfortunately the red flag came out again just 0.8s before I crossed the line, so my time was cancelled. We hadn’t been able to set a timed lap before that, so it’s very frustrating to know we came so close to Q2 today. This track doesn’t seem to suit me very well, so that would have been a great result from such a challenging Q1.”
Rio Haryanto, 22nd, 1:50.189
“I went to the medical centre for the usual precautionary check, because it was quite a big hit of 22g. I’m okay though; I feel fine. I’m just frustrated because it was a tricky Q1 session and I was improving a lot on my final run before I spun off.
“Well the three red flags prior to that had made for a very challenging Q1; stopping and starting, with the track conditions getting better, then worse again. At the third restart we had a little over 5 minutes remaining, so we had to push hard but the track was still quite damp and I just lost the rear in Turn 10. It’s a shame and there’s quite a lot of damage to the car, so the boys will have a busy night unfortunately.”
Dave Ryan, Racing Director
“The rain, and certainly the extent of it, took everyone by surprise and that kept us on our toes throughout the whole of the Q1 session. That really shook up the order and Pascal in particular was on a very strong lap in the drying conditions, which ended just 0.8s after the red flag came out for Rio’s crash. He would have been P9 but crossed the line just that fraction too late, so missing out on a place in Q2 was a bit of an own goal really. Rio was also improving on that final run but he hit a patch of standing water, which spun him out at Turn 10. There is quite a bit of damage to the car, so a lot of work for the guys before they can leave the track this evening. So, a frustrating end to a day which could have turned out very differently.”
A positive day for McLaren, who got both cars into Q3 for the first time since Brazil in 2014. Alonso looked seriously pacy in the wet-dry conditions, twice topping the timesheets in Q2 and at one point leading the Mercedes duo by half a second. He will start seventh, after spinning on his final flying lap, just ahead of Button in eighth.
Fernando Alonso, 7th, 1:21.211
“Both McLarens are in the top 10 in qualifying for the first time in a long time, so it’s definitely a step forward for us again this weekend and I’m happy with the direction and progression the team is heading in. I especially enjoyed the tricky conditions in Q2, when we were very fast. Today we were quick in dry conditions, quick in the wet and even quicker in mixed conditions. On the dry tyres in mixed conditions we took some risks and I really enjoyed it.
“It’s looking good this weekend, this circuit suits our car a little bit better, and I’ve been P7 in every single session so far, so we’re pretty competitive, and hopefully we can improve on that tomorrow.
“On my final lap I braked very late into Turn Six, cut the chicane and lost some time there, so I wanted to recover the lost time. I probably overdrove and at Turn Nine I spun. It’s a bit frustrating because I think we could have gained a couple of tenths which I lost instead because of my mistake, but anyway P7 for tomorrow is okay, and I’ll be starting on the clean side of the track.
“We now need to finish the job tomorrow, hopefully with some points.”
Jenson Button, 8th, 1:21.597
“The car was working well today in the mixed conditions. You always enjoy it when you’ve got to think on your feet and it’s different every lap - I think Fernando and I are both very good at that. I was definitely up on my last lap by a few tenths but I don’t know if it would’ve made any difference at the end anyway; obviously the yellow flags meant we couldn’t complete it and sometimes that happens in these conditions.
“It’s pretty good to have both cars in the top 10 but as soon as you do that, that’s not enough and you want more. I’ll be starting on the dirty side of the track tomorrow, which will be tough, but we’ll make the best of it. There’s new asphalt here though, and with the rain today it might actually make it a bit better than we think. We’re in front of all the cars we should be racing which is good, but the others in front are too fast for us.
“In the wet it was really difficult to get the tyres working; I particularly struggled with fronts. We had a small front wing problem, where something came loose, but we fixed that and then it was fine. We still struggled with the front end in the wet conditions but we got there in the end, and in the drying conditions it was a lot of fun and we got the best out of it.
“We’ll start P7 and P8, which isn’t too bad. In these conditions we always do a good job, so I’m happy for the team. I really don’t know what to expect tomorrow – but I’m looking forward to it anyway!”
Eric Boullier, McLaren-Honda Racing Director
“For the first time since the 2014 Brazilian Grand Prix we got both our cars through to Q3 – and, although that isn’t the kind of result on which McLaren built its illustrious reputation, it’s heartening nonetheless.
“Moreover, undeniably, it showcases the relentless progress we’re making, race by race, week by week.
“Both our drivers handled the pressure of a topsy-turvy two-hour quali session with commendable aplomb, and they fully deserved the eventual starting positions they earned themselves: P7 and P8.
“From those grid slots, they’re well placed to attack tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix with the disciplined determination on which they’ve built their reputations as two of the grittiest drivers in modern-day Formula 1.
“We tend to try not to over-promise ahead of any Grand Prix, but undoubtedly our ambition is to score points with both cars tomorrow.”
Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda R&D Co Ltd Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer
“It’s fantastic to see both cars inside the top ten today, with Fernando finishing in P7 and Jenson in P8. The conditions throughout qualifying were extremely tricky, with torrential rain followed by sunshine, and both the drivers and the team managed the situation extremely well.
“This is also the first time McLaren-Honda has got both cars into Q3, so it’s a positive result for us, especially in the drying conditions of Q3 where we would normally lose ground. However, we were able to bring together our chassis and power unit performance, while managing the changing strategy with ease. We now hope that we can have a strong race tomorrow and hopefully score some championship points.”
Palmer set the tenth best time in free practice in the morning, with Magnussen not far behind in 12th. That bode well going into qualifying but Palmer was unfortunate with timing, and was in the wrong place at the wrong time when the red flags came out. Magnussen was the only driver to stay on full wets on a drying track and by the time he came in to the pits to change them, his chance to make Q2 had passed.
Kevin Magnussen, 19th, 1:44.543
“It was disappointing not getting more out of today as we are looking a little bit stronger this weekend. It was so difficult to see out there because there was so much spray and we weren’t able to be at the front of the queue. It is still a positive weekend in terms of the progress we’ve made and how strong we looked this morning. Tomorrow we have the race and for sure we’ll be aiming to make the very most of it.”
Jolyon Palmer, 17th, 1:43.965
“P10 was great ; unfortunately that came in FP3 not qualifying ! Today has actually been really good with the tenth fastest time this morning in a normal dry session which was a real boost. In the wet, we were at least as good, however unfortunately we weren’t on track at the right time in Q1. I set one lap at the beginning of the session and didn’t have a chance to set another as the red flags came out at the wrong times for us. Slowly but surely our rivals had the luck to get the laps they needed, but the red flags meant I was never able to improve. Whatever the weather tomorrow, I think we will be moving forward which is what we want. It could be a great race.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director
"We had great potential and the pace of the car looks good as we saw in FP3 this morning. Unfortunately we saw a very unusual Q1 which was delayed and then interrupted numerous times by red flags so it took 74 instead of the usual 18 minutes. The red flags came exactly when we didn’t want them and this really hurt our session.
"We are looking at every means to move our cars forwards. We know we’ve shown better pace here than we’ve seen recently but we also know that the Hungaroring is not an easy circuit to overtake on. We’ll be watching the weather closely too as today’s downpours were not as expected at all."
Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director
“In a sport that’s thrown up some crazy situations in the past, this was one of the most mixed-up days that we’ve witnessed – but the end result was still a Mercedes one-two. The teams certainly got to try a wide range of our tyres today, and the mixed conditions means that they have a good allocation of unused slicks to choose from tomorrow, which will probably be a two-stop race.”