F1 2010 rookie Vitaly Petrov did an excellent job in qualifying for the Hungarian GP today and for the first time this season he will start in front of his team-mate, Robert Kubica.
Petrov went into qualifying having shown good pace in practice, finishing Friday fifth overall and then concluding FP3 this morning in seventh. The Russian then maintained that form this afternoon, easily progressing through Q1 and Q2 – when he was tenth and fourth quickest. In the end his best lap in Q3 was a 1 minute 21.229 seconds, which put seventh overall, almost a tenth up on the sister car.
"I think we did a good job today and I'm very happy to reach Q3 and to be starting seventh ahead of Robert because you first goal is always to be ahead of your teammate," said Petrov, who is in need of a good run in order to ensure he keeps his seat with the Regie
"We knew that the car would be quite good here and I have been very happy with the balance during the whole weekend. But the guys in front are still very strong so we know that we need to keep pushing to catch them.
"For the race tomorrow, overtaking will be very difficult, and the only real chance is at the start, but I will do my best to try and pass some guys and score some points."
Kubica meanwhile was disappointed not to be further up the grid, especially after he had split the Ferrari's in final practice: "We were hoping to be closer to the front today," Kubica confirmed. "It was looking better this morning during practice, but in Q3 I just didn't have enough grip and had a lot of bottoming with the car, which was quite strange.
"My lap in Q3 was very slow – half a second slower than my Q2 run, but I just didn't have the grip. For the race, everything will be about the first lap and the start of the race, so we hope to get a good start and make up some positions tomorrow."
Renault boss, Eric Boullier added: "Today's qualifying result confirms the strong pace that we have seen from both cars since the beginning of the weekend and especially during practice this morning. It's good to see Vitaly in P7 and both cars are well placed to score points tomorrow.
"However, we struggled a bit with the option tyres in Q3 and we probably didn't extract the maximum performance from them, so we could have been even higher up the grid. But, as I say, it's still a good result and we know that we can be quick in the race."