Chilton snatches last minute pole in Hungary

A happy Max Chilton

Max Chilton claimed his and Carlin’s first ever GP2 pole position in the closing seconds of a dramatic wet/dry qualifying at the Hungaroring, stealing the top spot as the flag dropped to end the session just ahead of James Calado, Davide Valsecchi and Jolyon Palmer.

Chilton's lap of 1:28.980 snatched the top spot from his countryman by just 0.023 in a session that officially started on a wet track due to running water on turn 11 following a heavy storm ahead of this afternoon's session, with many of the top runners waiting until the sun came out and the track dried enough for them to run on the super soft tire compound.

Rio Haryanto was the first man on the compound to top the timesheets, with title rivals Valsecchi and Luiz Razia soon pushing the times below 1.30. Calado, who will lose two places for impeding Felipe Nasr in free practice, was not waiting around, and looked to have locked off the top spot in the session at the 17 minute mark just as most of the field was coming back for a second set of tires.

With time running out, most of the field was pushing to improve their times in the closing minutes: Jolyon Palmer went P2 to his countryman just before Valsecchi stole the spot from immediately behind him on track, but with all the extra effort a number of drivers went wide or spun, throwing up brief yellows around the circuit.

With a minute to go, Chilton was in P22 and looked to be out of the running: he crossed the line with 10 seconds remaining to move up to P6 and hide his blushes, before going even faster next time round, setting personal (but not overall) bests in each sector to claim a popular pole position.

Just behind the top three were Palmer, Razia, Giedo van der Garde, Esteban Gutiérrez, Fabio Leimer, Marcus Ericsson and Johnny Cecotto, in a session that saw 20 drivers within a second of the top spot. The pace promises to be faster still in tomorrow's feature race.

Budapest – Qualifying Session

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Max Chilton Carlin 1:28.980 13
2. James Calado Lotus GP 1:29.003 11
3. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1:29.034 13
4. Jolyon Palmer iSport International 1:29.093 11
5. Luiz Razia Arden International 1:29.177 13
6. Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing 1:29.202 13
7. Esteban Gutiérrez Lotus GP 1:29.248 11
8. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:29.334 11
9. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:29.345 11
10. Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team 1:29.367 14
11. Josef Kral Barwa Addax Team 1:29.472 14
12. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 1:29.496 14
13. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1:29.574 13
14. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni 1:29.637 10
15. Sergio Canamasas Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:29.666 15
16. Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Technology 1:29.717 11
17. Rio Haryanto Carlin 1:29.786 14
18. Victor Guerin Ocean Racing Technology 1:29.786 14
19 Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 1:29.906 11
20. Stéphane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:30.027 11
21. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing 1:30.201 12
22. Julian Leal Trident Racing 1:30.202 16
23. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax 1:30.475 14
24. Simon Trummer Arden International 1:30.655 14
25. Daniel De Jong Rapax 1:30.930 12
26. Giancarlo Serenelli Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:33.093 14

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