Despite a late escape attempt by Jenson Button, neither Honda driver made it through the opening portion of qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, making a repeat of the Briton's 2006 even less likely than it had been before the weekend.

The RA107, despite revisions, continued to be a handful for both Button and Rubens Barrichello, with too little downforce to give the tyres a chance to get to grips with the twisting Hungaroring before graining. Both drivers were in the bottom half of the field with time for one flying run remaining on the clock and, even though Button improved to 16th - bumping his team-mate into the drop zone as a result - a later improvement from Tonio Liuzzi condemned both 'world cars' to an early exit.

Liuzzi's last-gasp effort was enough to take one Toro Rosso into phase two, but new team-mate Sebastian Vettel was not so fortunate, wrestling his STR2 to a high of 20th. Unsurprisingly, the German was joined in the bottom three by both Spykers, on the F8-VII's last appearance in current guise, with Takuma Sato joining the early leavers, having blown his last-ditch lap with a wild ride across the grass at the final corner.

Lewis Hamilton set the pace with a 1min 19.570secs - the fastest lap of the weekend to date - with Heikki Kovalainen posting a late improvement to claim second ahead of Robert Kubica, Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso.



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