Vettel was just a fraction of a second off the pace, posting a 1:19.426 in the same session. The third quickest was Lotus’ Romain Grosjean, whose best time was a 1:19.595.
Hamilton’s Mercedes AMG team mate Nico Rosberg qualified fourth but was hampered by his brake balance quick adjuster becoming stuck during his final lap. He still managed a 1:19.720. Rounding out the top five was Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, whose best time was a 1:19.791.
As predicted, temperatures today were high. At one point, the track temperature hit 122 degrees F (50 degrees C) and the drivers in the final top ten shoot-out produced a very exciting session, with the grid positions being decided in the final seconds.
Rounding out the top ten positions were Lotus’ other driver Kimi Räikkönen qualifying sixth, Ferrari man Felipe Massa seventh, Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo at eighth, McLaren’s Sergio Perez at ninth and Mark Webber of Red Bull Racing at tenth.
The good news is that Pirelli’s new tires look to be holding up well, despite the heat and the abrasive surface of the Hungaroring. The tires feature the same construction used in 2012’s season but with the softer 2013 compound.
Going into tomorrow’s race, Sebastian Vettel leads the Drivers’ Championship. The triple world championship has a total of 157 points and is followed by Fernando Alonso in second with 123 points and Kimi Räikkönen in third with 116 points.
In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing sits on 250 points versus the 183 of Mercedes AMG and 180 of Ferrari.