Vettel hoped for more in Hungary qualifying

Henry Valantine
Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso

Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso

Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll both thought a higher grid position was possible for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The midfield battle was as tight as ever when the cars qualified in the extreme heat of the Hungaroring, driving in difficult conditions caused by track temperatures above 60°C – with Vettel eventually ending up P10 on the grid.

Finding another tenth of a second would have promoted him above both Alpine cars on the grid and with qualifying being an important factor in Budapest, the four-time former World Champion hoped to extract more pace from the AMR21 after a promising start to the weekend.

“It’s still P10, I thought there was still a bit more [in the car],” Vettel said to “I had a really clean lap in the end, I just got passed by Fernando [Alonso] at the end.

“I think we were struggling a little bit to feel the tyres for the first lap, so we weren’t as strong as maybe we would have liked.

“Yesterday was quite good. I don’t know what other people did, but we’ll see what tomorrow brings.”

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On the other side of the garage, Lance Stroll did not manage to make it into Q3 on Saturday and felt he had also left lap time on the table in the heat of the Hungaroring.

After a strong showing in Q1, the Canadian could not find the same performance level in the following session and found himself on the sidelines afterwards.

Despite that, he would not rule out anything in the race and hopes to make headway in the field by being able to choose his starting tyres and have a more flexible strategy.

While he has not yet finished above P8 in a race this season, the 22-year-old has been consistent in his performances so far – and will aim for the same again once the lights go out.

“[The top 10] was [in reach],” Stroll admitted. “We had a good Q1, we were sixth in Q1 but then it was tricky after that, so we’ll have to look into it.

“It’s hot for everyone so it’s definitely tricky [with grip] in the last sector with the tyres overheating.

“Tomorrow, I think we have a good start position with the free tyre choice – we’ll see what we can do.”