SIROTKIN FLIES TO SPRINT RACE WIN
The groundwork for the win was set up at the start: poleman King made a good escape when the lights went out but Nato was slow away from second and was soon fighting with Nobuharu Matsushita, but Sirotkin was faster than them both to slide inside the squabble and into P2 at Turn one, with his teammate coming together with Antonio Giovinazzi behind him and Raffaele Marciello running wide to avoid the collision.
Arthur Pic spun on his own at Turn two and triggered mayhem: Gustav Malja ran over Alex Lynn’s rear wheel, with the Swede continuing but the Briton out on the spot, while Matsushita and Luca Ghiotto found the outside barriers for early retirement, spurring a safety car period to remove the four cars. The race was to go live on lap 4, but at the front King ran wide at Turn 13 and Sirotkin was all over him: the pair ran side by side all the way to Turn 4 when the Russian broke through into the lead, and within seconds he was gone.
Sirotkin set a string of fastest laps to set up a lead that was never to be challenged, putting on a driving masterclass to win by almost five seconds from King, who thereafter had a lonely race for a solid second place. Teammate Nato held on for a podium despite constant pressure from Artem Markelov, who overtook former teammate Mitch Evans for 4th just 8 laps in but was unable to repeat the move on the Frenchman, while Oliver Rowland stared at the New Zealander’s exhaust pipe for much of the race but just couldn’t get by. Pierre Gasly moved up to P7 and claimed points for the fastest lap, while Marciello grabbed the last point of the race in 8th place.
Gasly leaves Budapest in the lead of the drivers’ standings ahead of teammate Giovinazzi on 107 points to 96, with Marciello third on 85 points ahead of Rowland on 83, Nato on 81, King on 80, Evans on 77 and Sirotkin joining his rivals on 70 points, while in the teams’ fight PREMA Racing extend their lead over Racing Engineering by 203 points to 161, ahead of RUSSIAN TIME on 150 and ART Grand Prix on 126 points as the grid looks toward the next round of the championship in Hockenheim next week.
NICO ROSBERG grabs pole position for Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix ahead of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in a prolonged qualifying session punctuated by rainstorms and red flags.
The championship-leading 31-year-old German produced a fastest lap of one minute and 19.965 seconds at the end of a session stretched to nearly two hours by heavy rain and crashes in the hazardous conditions on the twisting Hungaroring circuit on Saturday.
Defending three-time champion Hamilton, who is just one point behind Rosberg after 10 of this year’s 21 races, was 0.143 seconds behind his rival as the pair secured their team’s sixth front-row lockout of the season.
“It was a really challenging qualifying with the changing conditions all the time,” said Rosberg.
Hamilton looked to be on course to take pole when on an improved best lap he came across Spaniard Fernando Alonso’s McLaren spinning off the track in front of him.
The Briton had to take evasive action, which cost him time, before Rosberg came round and was able to continue without easing off.
“It was unfortunate with Fernando, but these things happen,” said Hamilton, who has been gnawing away at Rosberg’s lead in the standings and is chasing a third win in succession.
“I did the best I could do and it’s a long race tomorrow so I’ll give it everything I’ve got.”
“I’ve been feeling really good out there the whole weekend in all conditions. I’m looking forward to the race and the great opportunity tomorrow.”
DE VRIES SOARS TO MAIDEN POLE IN BUDAPEST
PARRY LEADS THE WAY IN BUDAPEST FREE PRACTICE
GASLY BURNS TO POLE IN BUDAPEST
The Red Bull tester’s best time of 1:25.612 was more than half a second faster than anyone, with the Frenchman setting the two fastest laps of the session as his rivals floundered while they tried to find any improvement. The session opened with a cooler track but higher air temperatures than this morning’s Free Practice, and everyone except the PREMA Racing pairing were immediately out to take advantage of the F1 rubber.
The times were tumbling almost every time someone crossed the line, with Oliver Rowland then Alex Lynn then Nobuharu Matsushita and finally Sirotkin grabbing the top spot, leaving most of the field on their in-laps just as Gasly and Giovinazzi emerged on-track, handing the pair a largely clean circuit with which to work: they put it to good use, lining up P1 and P3 respectively, just as the DAMS teammates re-emerged to see what they could do with it.
Lynn looked like he had a good lap in the bag but ran wide at Turn 11, with Nicholas Latifi similarly wayward: the rest of the field came out and their gamble hadn’t paid out. ART Grand Prix were leading the way, with Sirotkin improving his time a little but still unable to challenge Gasly, who also returned to the circuit and beat his own time, rubbing salt into his rivals’ wounds: an even better lap was missed when the Frenchman ran a slightly wide at Turn 12 on his final tour, with the chequered flag bringing an end to their torture.
Behind the top three Matsushita leads Norman Nato, Luca Ghiotto, Arthur Pic, Raffaele Marciello, Jordan King and Marvin Kirchhöfer, all of whom will be burning the midnight oil to make sure that their race pace is better than their qualifying, so that they can look towards a podium in tomorrow’s Feature Race.