Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 26th 2015 Contents A44
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt July 26, 2015
BUDAPEST, Hungary---Formula One
champion Lewis Hamilton is collecting
pole positions at such a rate that he is
dreaming of emulating his childhood
idol Ayrton Senna.
Hamilton clinched pole position yes-
terday for the Hungarian Grand Prix,
where he will start at the front for the
ninth time in 10 races this season, and
47th overall in his career.
Senna s total of 65 poles might seem
a long way off now, but at this rate
Hamilton could be closing in next sea-
"As a kid, I always wanted to emulate
him, so to say that I m on par to emulate
that is definitely quite neat," Hamilton
He was .575 seconds ahead of his Mer-
cedes teammate Nico Rosberg and .719
clear of Ferrari s Sebastian Vettel, who
has 45 career poles. Michael Schumacher
leads all-time with 68.
Hamilton, who can equal Senna s total
of three F1 titles if he wins again this
year, has been utterly dominant this week,
including topping every practice.
Hamilton, starting from pole for the
fifth time here, looks well set to win his
fifth race at the Hungaroring.
"I love the track, it feels like an old
go-kart circuit we used to race on years
ago," said Hamilton, who has 38 career
race wins. "Can t remember having a
better weekend so far than this."
Last season, it was Rosberg on top in
qualifying, beating Hamilton 11-7 in pole
"That was a goal this year, to think
how can I improve?" Hamilton said. "It s
hard to improve when you re at the top
of your game."
Rosberg, who has never secured a podi-
um finish in Hungary, is still searching
for reasons why he has been slower.
"Part of it is that I worked on my rac-
ing, to improve that," the German driver
said. "But that s slightly compromised
(my) qualifying. I don t understand why
it s such a big difference from last year."
In an encouraging performance for Red
Bull, Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo,
the winner here last year, sneaked into
fourth place ahead of Ferrari s Kimi
Raikkonen. "I m confident we can battle
it out with Ferrari," Ricciardo said.
After Raikkonen was his Williams
teammate Valtteri Bottas, Red Bull s Daniil
Kvyat, then Felipe Massa in eighth.
Rosberg complained about his car s
balance during Friday s second practice,
and the problem with understeering
resurfaced in Q1. "Definitely not happy
with what happened today," he said.
Two-time F1 champion Fernando
Alonso sneaked into Q2 on his last lap,
but McLaren teammate Jenson Button
just missed out, placing 16th.
Then, McLaren s persistent engine
problems resurfaced as Alonso s car
stopped suddenly early into Q2, forcing
a red flag and brief halt. Alonso started
to push the car uphill on his own before
track marshals helped him.
Chasing down Hamilton s leading time
in Q3, Rosberg was fastest at the first
time split, then drifted back.
To underline his superiority, Hamilton
went out on one final lap and extended
his leading margin.
There was a late worry for Rosberg in
final practice as his car ground to a halt
coming out of pit lane because the car s
anti-stall failed to engage.
A minute s silence will be held before
Sunday s race in tribute to Jules Bianchi.
Hamilton takes pole
ahead of Rosberg
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, left and Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany celebrate after the qualifying at the
Hungaroring circuit outside Budapest, Hungary, yesterday. The Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix will be held today. AP PHOTO
misery as Alonso
fails to make Q2
BUDAPEST, Hungary---The sight of two-time
Formula One champion Fernando Alonso push-
ing his car uphill after it stalled during Hun-
garian Grand Prix qualifying yesterday summed
up McLaren s chronic lack of reliability this
The much-heralded switch back to Honda
engines has proved far more difficult than antic-
ipated, with both Alonso and 2009 F1 champion
Jenson Button struggling in qualifying and on
As the season reaches its halfway point, Button,
who failed to make Q2, has completed only four
of nine races so far, with a best finish of eighth
at the Monaco GP.
Alonso, who missed the season-opening race
in Australia to recover from a concussion sus-
tained in preseason testing, has retired from five
of eight races with a best of 10th place.
Alonso, who starts Sunday s race from 15th
place on the grid, sounds almost resigned to his
"It s not frustrating anymore, because we
know what we re doing, and the phase we have
to go through together this year," the Spaniard
"There will probably be worse races coming
with circuits that will not suit our car.
We try to learn from the problems that we re
facing now and try not to repeat them."
McLaren s pace has been improving in recent
races, but both drivers are very much at the
mercy of the car s temperamental reliability.
Button qualified in 16th place after losing
power near the end of Q1, while racing director
Eric Boullier said "a harness connection coming
loose" led to Alonso s problem.
Alonso, ever the competitor despite not win-
ning a race for more than two years, quickly
jumped out and started to push the vehicle uphill
on his own.
The car moved agonizingly slowly as Alonso
toiled in the Hungaroring heat before being
helped in his quest to get back to the garage by
four race marshals.
"This shows how much I love my sport," said
Alonso, who won the last of his 32 races with
Ferrari at the Spanish GP in May 2013.
"It doesn t matter if you re last, if you re 15,
or you re in pole position, you want to drive
your car and enjoy it out there."
Reuniting McLaren and Honda rekindled
memories of one of the most successful and
powerful partnerships in F1 history from 1988-
92.In 1988 alone, the team won a staggering 15
of 16 races that season, with Ayrton Senna and
Alain Prost behind the wheel.
But the team s problems were clear early on
this year, as it registered the fewest laps of any
team this preseason with just 210.
A summer break follows this race, and McLaren
will have a new engine and power unit ready in
time for the Belgium GP in Spa in three weeks
"We have a pain these days.
It s not where we want to be and where we
should be," Boullier said.
"I don t know how long it s going to be possible
to keep everybody happy, but we re as honest
and transparent as we can." (AP)
HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX
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