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Page last updated at 13:52 GMT, Saturday, 25 July 2009 14:52 UK

Hungary GP qualifying as it happened


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By Caroline Cheese

1449: Righto, I'm off for a cup of tea and a sit-down. I'd be genuinely delighted if you returned here tomorrow at about 1130 BST for race day. Bye.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "So funny to hear the drivers asking each other what times they had after qualifying to decide the grid. A bit like school sports day."

1446: And I don't think I've mentioned Lewis Hamilton yet, who qualified in a season's best fourth. He'll have his Kers power boost off the line, although he'll also have to cope with the dirty side of the track. I mean, why don't they just clean it? Eh?!

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at the Hungaroring: "Vettel says he is not worried about starting second on the dirty side of the grid - he reckons it is not much of a problem. That is a betrayal of his inexperience. It is notoriously dusty and slippery on the inside of the track here, and drivers starting on even-numbered grid slots often lose out off the grid. Vettel is likely to lose at least a place at the start unless he gets an absolute scorcher."

Fernando Alonso: "Any place it would be nice to start on pole. But here it is particularly good. It will be interesting tomorrow. We made a step forward and we are more competitive. Not as quick as the Red Bulls, but we are looking to score some good points tomorrow. We will try to win, but being honest and realistic our target is to get some good points. If we started heavy, we would go round in eighth and lose our chance. We were aggressive this time and got what we wanted - or even better than we wanted. we need some points for the constructors' championship."

1439: Jenson Button was desperate to re-assert his dominance this weekend - but he'll have to do it from back in eighth on the grid. Brawn spent the first part of Q3 looking over his car after Rubens Barrichello earlier lost part of his rear suspension and that meant the championship leader could only put in two flying laps.

Pole-sitter Fernando Alonso: "It was quite a stressful qualifying to be honest. In Q1, we had a yellow flag because of the Toro Rosso off the track and were P15 and had to do a lap to get into Q1. Then in Q3 the times were not working and we were in parc ferme, we were chatting between ourselves to ask what times we did to see who was on pole position. We did a step forward, it's not enough, we need to keep working but finally we found a good direction."

1437: Just to confirm, we understand Felipe Massa is "OK".

From anon via text on 81111: "This is a fantastic idea for qualifying! Don't tell them the results until race day!"

1431: Fernando Alonso thanks his Renault team for all their efforts. Apparently, he predicted before qualifying he would take pole - and he was true to his word. Seb Vettel seems delighted to have out-qualified Mark Webber, who says he made a mistake in turn two which ruined his hot lap.

1429: Here we go. The rest of the top 10: Hamilton, Rosberg, Kovalainen, Raikkonen, Button, Nakajima, Massa.

1425: OK, I can now reveal the top three is: Fernando Alonso, Seb Vettel and Mark Webber. They come out and give the fans a happy wave.

1424: Such is his desperation to find out who's on pole, Alonso even goes up to former McLaren rival Lewis Hamilton to ask what his time was. We're still waiting for any confirmation of the final placings. Bernie Ecclestone is chatting amiably to the drivers. "Do they have the times somewhere?" asks a bemused Sebastian Vettel. Bernie shrugs his shoulders. This is chaos - and I love it.

1422: Ha ha ha. They should do this more often. Brilliant. Fernando Alonso has parked up and is asking all the other drivers what their times were. The Spaniard doesn't know he's on pole.

1421: FERNANDO ALONSO ON POLE FOR THE HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX

1420: Chequered flag is out - AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHO'S ON POLE! The timing system at the Hungaroring has gone blank... No, hang on, it's Fernando Alonso...

1419: Nico Rosberg, looking for his first ever pole, is now top - but the Red Bulls are on the charge.

BBC pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie: "Rubens has been to see fellow Brazilian Felipe Massa in the medical centre and he is talking. Rubens thinks his rear suspension was to blame for the crash, so that's obviously why he went to see him."

Martin Brundle on BBC1: "Button looks like he'll go for one run, saving a set of tyres for tomorrow."

1415: Webber now top ahead of Hamilton and Alonso.

1413: This could be a big 10 minutes for Brawn - well, six minutes now. Alonso, Kovalainen, Rosberg the one-two-three at the moment.

1410: Green light is on for Q3... and we're now seeing a replay of the Massa incident. The Brazilian was indeed hit on the side of his helmet by a tube-shaped piece of debris. He was still conscious enough to brake as he went straight into the tyre wall, but it's some impact. Massa is on a stretcher being taken to hospital.

1406: OK, Eddie Jordan believes Massa received a "a heavy bang to the chin and was temporarily concussed but is OK now". EJ, the devil, refuses to reveal his source but promises it is reliable.

1404: Brawn have confirmed to the BBC's Ted Kravitz that Rubens Barrichello's car had a "piece of rear suspension missing" when it returned to the pits. That's presumably what the marshals are looking for. Q3 will begin at 1410 BST.

1403: Massa is being attended to at the medical centre. I will bring you news as soon as I hear it.

1359: Marshals are out on the track, checking for debris following the Massa crash. All very troubling this. Massa's Ferrari is carted back to the pits. The nose is intact, but the front wheels are wrecked.

Rubens Barrichello on qualifying 13th: "Something broke on the back of the car and I lost completely the control of the rear end of the car. We need to check it."

1353: Ted Kravitz reports that Felipe Massa is being "stabilised" by the medical team. BBC presenter Jake Humphrey reports the very worrying rumour that Massa may have been hit on the head by some debris which caused the crash.

Nelson Piquet Jr after qualifying in 15th: "I knew it was going to be difficult. I've been struggling with set-up."

1350: Q3 will be delayed because of Felipe Massa's accident, which appears to have been caused by brake failure.

BBC pundit Eddie Jordan: "I think it's emerging that the team at the top end now is Red Bull. As far as I'm concerned, they're going to continue in that vein."

1345: The medical car has arrived at the scene of Felipe Massa's accident at turn four. Not sure what happened. He is still in the car.

1343: Session over... and Brawn's Rubens Barrichello is the big-name casualty, the first time Brawn have failed to get both cars into the top-10 shoot-out. He is joined in the bottom five by Sebastien Buemi, Jarno Trulli, Timo Glock and Nelson Piquet Jr.

1341: Fernando Alonso reckons he's done enough and is back in the pits. He's sixth... Barrichello, Nakajima, Glock, Piquet and Buemi are in trouble. Button only ninth. FELIPE MASSA HAS HIS NOSE IN A TYRE WALL.

1339: Two and a half minutes remaining and both Ferraris are in the bottom five... but not anymore, Kimi Raikkonen pops up in sixth and that means Heikki Kovalainen is pushed into the drop zone.

1336: Fernando Alonso goes from second bottom to top. Sizzling. "Renault are the dark horses this weekend," says Martin Brundle. "They're confident they've got a good car."

1335: Nico Rosberg now top and beats last year's pole time, and the Brawns have finally come to the party in fifth and sixth. Glock, Raikkonen, Trulli, Alonso and Piquet the bottom five. Seven minutes remaining.

1332: Vettel goes top with a 1:20.964, and it's a Red Bull one-two. Lewis Hamilton's first quickie puts him third.

1331: Mark Webber posts the first decent time of the session with a 1:21.067. Now Seb Vettel on the charge. The Red Bulls are coming...

1328: Here we go again. Q2 under way.

1324: You'll be wanting to know who went quickest I guess. It's that man Nico Rosberg, ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber. Just 0.866 of a second split the top 15 cars.

1322: Yet more agony in the Force India garage. With just seconds of the session remaining, Giancarlo Fisichella pops up in 11th and one of the Force India mechanics is spotted telling his colleagues to "wait" before they celebrate. He's right. Fisi is overhauled and joins Adrian Sutil on the scrap heap.

1321: Frantic finish. Fernando Alonso sweeps past the finish line just seconds before the chequered flag comes out - and with his last lap, he climbs from 17th to sixth. The five we lose are: Nick Heidfeld, Giancarlo Fisichella, Adrian Sutil, Robert Kubica and Jaime Alguersuari.

1318: One minute left and it's Fisi, Piquet, Glock, Alguersuari and Sutil in trouble... Alguersuari has a problem in fact and he's parked up at turn 13.

1317: Last year's winner Heikki Kovalainen climbs put of the drop zone and into seventh. Jaime Alguersuari is in danger of dropping out.

1315: With five minutes remaining, Nico Rosberg goes out again - despite sitting fourth at the moment. He's got super-soft tyres on his Williams.

1313: Nelson Piquet Jr is in all sorts of bother, languishing in 18th. With rumours that Renault are about to swing the axe, that is not good news for the Brazilian.

1310: Both Red Bulls really struggling for grip at the moment, but they are still second and third. With eight minutes remaining, Trulli, Piquet, Kubica, Heidfeld and Sutil in trouble. Sutil still in the pits - but is expected out shortly.

1308: Times popping up on the board, and it's Kimi Raikkonen at the top ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Buemi. Sebastian Vettel gets a bit ugly in the last corner - but still beats Raikkonen's time.

1305: Sebastien Buemi, Jaime Alguersuari and Giancarlo Fisichella are the first to post quick laps. Adrian Sutil's car is still up on the jacks after that collision in FP3 earlier today.

BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "Toro Rosso say they are very satisfied with Jaime Alguersuari. They say he's doing everything they could have expected of him."

1300: Off we go and Jaime Alguersuari isn't hanging about. He's straight out of the pits in his first ever F1 qualifying session.

Text in your views on 81111
From Luke in Cardiff via text on 81111: "I had this dream last night that Alguersuari was on a flying lap, about to take pole when someone stood on the side waving an Action Man. He suddenly pulled over, jumped out of the car and started playing with it. Hamilton then came flying through to take pole with Jenson second."

1252: David Coulthard bumps into Niki Lauda as he roves around the Red Bull garage. "I think McLaren will be on the front two rows," says Lauda. "But I think Red Bull will be first."

Get involved on 606
From LordProsperity on 606: "I think Red Bull and Brawn are not that bad as P3 suggests. Even Kimi and Fernando could pull it off into top 10. So Lewis topping the sheets, I'm little sceptical about McLaren's true performance. He probably has a very good chance into top five perhaps."

1243: My colleague is force-feeding me chips. I tried to resist, but it was futile. Meanwhile, Heikki Kovalainen is a nice chap isn't he? He's going back to Finland on his holidays.

Text in your views on 81111
From Benn from Birmingham via text on 81111: "Hamilton in the top three I think. Webber too. Brawns to be out of top 10."

1237: Sobering stuff from Jarno Trulli, who was born in the Abruzzo region in Italy which was devastated by an earthquake earlier this year. The Italian has been doing his bit by fund-raising among his F1 colleagues, and says he will spend his upcoming holiday back in Abruzzo doing his bit. Top man.

Toyota's Jarno Trulli: "I'm feeling pretty well. I was struggling this morning but things can change pretty rapidly here. I'm feeling optimistic."

From Evs from Grays, via text on 81111: "As I predicted yesterday I'm going for a McLaren front row lock-out."

Sarah Holt
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt is rarely seen without a BBC Sport T-shirt
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt at the Hungaroring: "Hello Caroline, I thought you'd like to see Andrew and I's holiday snaps from Hungary... Just joking, of course. Most of the F1 paddocks look the same and here's the view of the Hungaroring paddock from the top floor of Red Bull's motorhome. I found Andrew there eating black spaghetti with clams and chatting to some of F1's top journalists. As they munched their lunch, they mused that the Red Bulls still look quickest ahead of qualifying although Sebastian Vettel seems to be out of sorts with his balance."

Get involved on 606
From LucianoMessio on 606: "I'll be brave and say Hamilton will be pole. Gosh, I hope I'm right."

1224: Fascinating insight into the life of an F1 driver from Barry Chello there. They, just like us, eat lunch.

Brawn driver Rubens Barrichello on Twitter: "having lunch... soon I am in the car."

1219: I'm backing Mark Webber for pole today - hardly going out on a limb, I know - while BBC commentator Jonathan Legard is tipping the Aussie for a second straight win at the Hungaroring.

Rubens Barrichello on making up with his Brawn team: "I just sent a message to the whole team with all my heart. I just said I had no problems with the team, which I never had."

1213: Come on then, who's stolen DC's shades? The great man is still without his sunnies, which were surgically attached to his head for the first few races. And the sun is actually out at the Hungaroring.

1210: BBC1's coverage is up and running... and opens with some lovely shots of Budapest, and a short history lesson from Jake Humphrey.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "Asked Adrian Sutil how the mechanics are doing on his car after his prang. He said - yeah, we'll be fine - and popped off for lunch."

1200: And we're back. Hope you had a productive 50 minutes. Foolishly, I have decided to hold off until after qualy for lunch. Already starving...

1108: Qualifying begins at 1300 BST, but I shall return at 1200 BST. You'll be here too won't you? Thought so.

1103: Ted Kravitz explains that Jenson Button was practicing for Q3 in that session, hence the lowly position, but the BBC pit-lane reporter adds that it's not very impressive even for a Q3 time.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "Hamilton tops final practice but he reckons if he takes pole it will be because someone else gets it wrong not because McLaren are fastest."

1100: Time's up - and Brawn's championship leader Jenson Button is down in 17th. Odd. Lewis Hamilton still top of the pops, ahead of Quick Nick Heidfeld, Nico Rosberg, Heikki Kovalainen, Sebastien Buemi and Tiny Timo Glock.

1058: Toyota have managed to get Timo Glock back up and running, and the German is going well in fifth. Button, Webber and Raikkonen currently 16th, 17th and 18th.

1056: Lewis Hamilton still out there, racking up the fastest laps. He's down to a 1:21.207. Nico Rosberg sticks his Williams up in second.

1053: Lewis Hamilton hits back with a 1:21.502. Rubens Barrichello now up to third, with Brawn team-mate Jenson Button down in eighth.

1050: Felipe Massa takes us into the 1:21s, knocking Lewis Hamilton off top spot. Hamilton's pole time last year was 1:20.899.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at the Hungaroring: "There's been a lot of talk about McLaren's pace this weekend, but very little about Renault. I'm told they're pretty confident of a strong showing, though."

Johnny Herbert on 5 Live Sports Extra: "Jaime Alguersuari is a very smooth driver. He's got a Jenson Button style of driving. That will be very beneficial for him once he gets up to speed."

BBC pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie on Twitter: "Sutil into the barriers. Wing under car, plenty of damage. Hope Force India boys had big brekkie as no lunch today!"

1043: Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button lying fifth and sixth at the moment... What's this? A Force India in the tyre wall, and it's Adrian Sutil. Curses. The German ran off into the dirt at turns eight and nine and went straight into the wall. Busy few hours for Force India. Sutil trudging back to the pits.

BBC Sport pit-lane reporter Holly Samos: "Brawn are saying this temperature is alright for them at the moment. They'd like it a few degrees hotter - and with qualifying more than two hours away, they're pretty confident it will get warmer. They seem quite happy anyway."

1036: Hello... who's that in second? It's only 19-year-old rookie Jaime Alguersuari! He's on the super-softs.

1032: Timo Glock has now managed to get out of the car, and should he wish to catch up with Saturday Kitchen, he probably can now, because his Toyota's hydraulic problem seems to be quite serious. Lewis Hamilton, Bob Kubica, Heikki Kovalainen the one-two-three at the moment.

1029: Among the many things I have learned via Twitter this morning is this: Philip Schofield is a big F1 fan and has entered a fantasy F1 competition. He also has a hangover today.

BBC Sport's pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie: "The first thing to say as we count down to qualifying is that this cooler weather is not favourable for the Brawns. After Friday practice, which was played out under hot skies, Sebastian Vettel was complaining that his tyres could not cope with the extreme temperatures - that won't be much of a problem today. I watched practice from the in-field with DC and I was particularly impressed with Heikki Kovalainen. It's a track that he absolutely loves and he won here last year but I think he might have to play a supporting role to McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton this weekend."

1026: As Lewis Hamilton radios his McLaren team to report some "bottoming", he registers the quickest time so far with a 1:22.280. Not too much of a problem then.

1021: Nico Rosberg is toppled by Heikki Kovalainen, the Finn posting a 1:23.343. Lewis Hamilton's first quick one is good enough only for 11th. Ted Kravitz reports that Toyota put Timo Glock's car up on the jacks with the German still in it. It's going to take at least 20 minutes to fix the hydraulics problem and Glock is stuck there. They've put a TV in front of him now - although presumably he won't be watching Saturday Kitchen.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at the Hungaroring: "More on the 'McLaren problem' - their Kers power-boost system is worth 16m, slightly more than two grid positions, off the start. So, as Mark Webber put it on Friday: 'If they're one row behind you, they'll have you.' The problem for the likes of Brawn and Red Bull is that they can't control what strategy McLaren will use. So if they go too light to try to get ahead of them on the grid, they could end up ruining their own race because the McLarens might get them off the start anyway, and then the faster cars wouldn't have the fuel load they needed to run longer to the first stop and leapfrog the McLarens that way."

1017: Timo Glock comes into the pits complaining of a hydraulics problem with his Toyota. No surprises: Nico Rosberg tops the times ahead of Sebastien Buemi, Fernando Alonso and ADRIAN SUTIL!

More from Red Bull team boss Christian Horner: "McLaren are not our title rivals. But they've got an ability to spoil things a bit. If they qualify in the first three rows, [with the Kers button] they could be in the lead at first corner. Then you spend the next few laps looking at a McLaren exhaust pipe. That can be frustrating and you have to negotiate your way around them with strategy. We're hoping they don't qualify higher than eighth."

1013: Jarno Trulli breaks the silence by emerging from the pits. Hopefully, we'll start seeing some times soon.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner: "I was quite surprised this morning, it was very English weather out there. It's about 10C cooler today, and that suits our car slightly better. Qualifying is going to be very tight. McLaren have made a bit of a jump and with that Kers system, they're a bit of a pain in our necks."

1007: A lot of the teams have been pondering the 'McLaren problem', according to BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz. That is, that the McLarens can gain several places off the start, so do teams like Brawn and Red Bull take the fuel out and qualify at the front or load it in and let the McLarens go to the front, hoping their superiority counts later in the race?

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at the Hungaroring: "Jonathan Legard has been told by someone at McLaren that the team dreamt up some new parts on Wednesday, and they have been designed and built and will be on the cars this morning. Impressive."

1000: Green light is on and the cars stream out onto the track.

0957: Anthony Davidson is competing in the Spa 24 Hours race this weekend, so into his BBC 5 Live Sports Extra seat steps Jonny Herbert, who is notable for being the first person I ever interviewed - and also for being a former F1 driver.

0954: They've cracked open the beers nice and early in the stands at the Hungaroring. If they're not careful, they'll soon be asking: Elnezest, hol van a vece? Learn more handy Hungarian phrases with the BBC's language guide.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at the Hungaroring: "There were rumours here in Hungary on Friday that Ross Brawn had asked Rubens Barrichello to abandon his own title hopes and support Jenson Button, but the team has categorically denied it. Button said: 'Jeez, I don't think Rubens would do that, do you? No, it's definitely not the case. We're free to race, as every team in F1 should be. There are two drivers in the team, and you shouldn't be working for each other. We've both got a chance of winning the championship, or fighting for it, so why should one driver help the other?'"

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "Bernie arrived in style as his chauffeur driven car was given a police escort. The siren woke up sleepy heads - me included - in the paddock."

Text in your views on 81111
From Alex in Canada via text on 81111"High winds? Overcast? Guessing it's a bad time to say Vancouver has had weeks of sunshine. Hamilton to put the cat amongst the pigeons this weekend."

0946: This cool weather chat is not good news for Brawn, you have to think, although yesterday Jenson Button was feeling quite optimistic. "Our pace is good, but I don't know how good. There's a lot of work we still need to do, we won't know until qualifying. I'm happy to be here, and in a position to drive this car. It's a good car to drive here. I don't know if it's the same as Turkey (where he had his last win), but it's nice, and I haven't felt that for the last two races."

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at the Hungaroring: "It's one of those days when no-one quite knows what to wear. Some people in the paddock have got coats on - which seems a bit excessive considering it's at least 20C - while BMW driver Nick Heidfeld was in shorts and flip-flops half an hour before practice. But then he does have his beard to keep him warm. One thing's for sure, though - they've turned off the water-spray fans at the cool-off area in the paddock."

Force India on Twitter: "Overcast and high winds now. Rain overnight and roads were wet coming to the track. It's drying up now and blue skies coming through."


0940: If you want to check out that first corner and indeed the rest of the Hungaroring, why not allow Red Bull's Mark Webber to talk you through it?

Jenson Button on Twitter: "Good morning. Just about to jump on the couch for my pre practice massage. Not as enjoyable as u might think!"

0933: Some very exciting Twitter activity this morning, which means I might not have time to tell you what's going on in the final practice session at 1000 BST... tsk, I'm joking of course. At 1300 BST, it's qualifying. And if I tell you there's only really one overtaking corner at the Hungaroring - and that's the first one - you'll understand just how crucial that session is going to be.

0930: Udvozlet! Or welcome. Trust we find you in fine fettle this morning. Or fine Vettel should I say. Ahem. Sorry. Some people like a cup of tea, I like to start the day with a terrible pun. There'll be no more of that... oh, who am I kidding?



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see also
Alonso grabs shock Hungary pole
25 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Massa set to fly home to Brazil
31 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Hungarian GP qualifying photos
25 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Hungarian Grand Prix practice results
07 Jul 09 |  Results
Hamilton top as McLaren set pace
24 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Hungarian GP practice photos
24 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Piquet Jr dropped by Renault team
04 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
There can be no excuses - Button
23 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Alguersuari joins Toro Rosso team
20 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Button eager to stop Red Bull run
12 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
F1 on the BBC
01 Dec 11 |  Formula 1


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