REPORT: Silver Arrows Settle for the Second Row

REPORT: Silver Arrows Settle for the Second Row

The Silver Arrows had to settle for the second row in Budapest, as Ferrari set the pace in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Valtteri: 'I had to give it everything today'

Valtteri Bottas was third fastest, as Ferrari claimed their first pole and front row lockout since May's Monaco Grand Prix. The Finn ran the red cars close in Q3, but poleman Sebastian Vettel was 0.254s out of reach around the tight, twisty Hungaroring. 

"I had to give it everything today," said Valtteri. "In my first run, the lap was already quite good. Then on the second run in Q3, I was fast in sector one and two but then the tyres overheated and I lost time in sector three.

"Overall I don't think there was much more in it for us today. I was surprised by the pace of Ferrari. Yesterday we were hoping that it going to be a really tight fight for the pole. It was but they had the advantage.

"Now we need to focus on tomorrow. It will be really close on race pace between the top three teams. Starting from third is not too bad. I need a good start and hopefully we can nail the strategy tomorrow."

Lewis: 'We will be giving it everything we can'

Lewis Hamilton had to settle for fourth in Budapest, after a tough qualifying session. The Brit aborted his first lap in Q3 after running wide at Turn 4 and was his second effort was 0.431s shy of Vettel's pole time.

"This hasn't been the easiest weekend for us," said Lewis. "The car didn't feel completely underneath me during practice but we made some changes into qualifying and the feeling started to improve.

"We knew Ferrari would be quick after seeing their pace this morning, so considering that fact I think we did pretty well to lock out row two.

"My laps in qualifying were generally good but I made a mistake in Turn 4 on the first run in Q3, so after that it was all about getting in a banker lap to make sure I set a time.

"Looking to the race, maybe strategy or the tyres will come into play in a bigger way. Ferrari seems to have the upper hand this weekend and this race is usually a procession on a circuit where it is hard to follow, so there aren't many opportunities to gain positions. But we will be giving it everything we can."

Toto: 'Valtteri only missed out on a place on the front row by a small fraction of a second'

Toto Wolff conceded that the Silver Arrows simply didn't have the pace to handle the pace of the Ferraris on Saturday, but is hopeful the team can turn it around on track come race day.

"The biggest positive point we can take from today was the step forward we made with the car between FP3 and qualifying," said Toto. "After a difficult morning, this put us back in the hunt for pole, but in the end we didn't have enough at this circuit against Ferrari.

"Valtteri only missed out on a place on the front row by a small fraction of a second - but this also means he will start from the clean side of the grid.

Toto: 'The strategy options look pretty straightforward'

"For Lewis, the car has been on a bit of a knife edge all weekend and, after he ran wide on his first lap in Q3, that put him on the back foot for the final run.

"When you only have one lap that counts, it's hard to pull everything out of the car - and we knew we needed to squeeze every last drop of performance today if we were to get close to pole.

"Of course, starting behind two red cars doesn't make life any easier but it's a long run to Turn 1 - and this is a circuit where the unexpected can happen.

"The strategy options look pretty straightforward, so we will need to do our racing out on track not in the pits. It will be an exciting but tough afternoon tomorrow."

James: 'We made some good steps forward with the car'

After a tricky morning, Mercedes Technical Director James Allison was encouraged by the team's turnaround for qualifying, even if the Silver Arrows didn't quite have the pace to edge Ferrari.

"We made some good steps forward with the car after third practice but they were not sufficient to beat a fast pair of Ferraris today," said James.

"We can be happy that we are now extracting consistent performance from the SuperSoft compound, which was a concern for us earlier in the weekend, but now all our focus shifts to the Grand Prix - and we had pretty solid pace during the runs in race trim on Friday."

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