The Ferrari drivers, who went into qualifying in Hungary as the top favorites, surprisingly had to admit defeat to George Russell from Mercedes in the fight for the Formula 1 pole position.
After Friday went like clockwork, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc have to come to terms with starting positions two and three for the race on Sunday.
“It wasn’t a good day,” said Leclerc. “I’ve had a lot of trouble with the tires, getting them consistently in the right window in these conditions, so I’ve struggled to get a lap together.”
In addition to the rain on Saturday morning in Budapest, which washed all the grip off the track from Friday, the temperatures in qualifying were also significantly cooler than the day before. The air temperature fell from 31 to 22 degrees Celsius from second practice to qualifying, while the track temperature dropped from 49 to 33 degrees Celsius.
Sainz: Lost pole in the last sector
Leclerc’s teammate Sainz is also surprised at the lost Ferrari pace, but blames himself for the fact that the Scuderia is not on pole: “I had the feeling that I had the pace for pole position. With a few crosses I lost it in the last sector.”
A look at the data confirms the statement of the Spaniard. If all drivers had brought together their best three sectors in the third qualifying segment, Sainz would have been on pole position ahead of Russell and Leclerc. The Spaniard set a lap time of 1:17.421, but theoretically a 1:17.209 would have been possible.
“The track conditions don’t seem to have suited us anyway,” Sainz analyses. “Yesterday we had a performance advantage that wasn’t there today, so already in Q1 and Q2 we didn’t have the advantage we had in previous races. So the midfield was closer to us than it was yesterday. “
After all, the positive upward trend in his form seems to be maintained, as Sainz himself says: “I feel better and better with every session. I felt like I had qualifying under control. We are taking steps in the right direction, which I give more confidence in the car.”