Qualifying

Welcome back to ESPNF1's live coverage of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend. Qualifying is up next and we should be in for a fantastic session with Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari all looking as though they are within striking distance of pole position.

Vettel was fastest in the morning practice session with a 1:21.168, but we didn't see what Hamilton was capable of as he ran wide in turn one on his supersoft tyre run. Webber got stuck in a little bit of traffic on his hot lap and Massa had a bit of a moment that ruined his lap. Put simply it's very difficult to predict the ultimate pace of the front running cars.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery on the difference in lap time between the soft and supersoft tyres this weekend: "Interesting differences between the teams on performance gain when using Supersoft 0.8 to 1.2 sec. Looks like RBR improved overnight too."

Force India is getting ready for the start of the session: "Garage is busy turning around the cars, replacing parts to get them set for parc ferme conditions."

Force India is also preparing itself for a tough battle this afternoon. It's very close from ninth position back to 18th and lots of drivers will have to watch their back in Q1 to make sure they don't get knocked out.

It's a little bit cloudy at the moment and track temperature has dropped a few degrees to 28C. That could play into McLaren's hands as their car seems to work its tyres better in cold temperatures.

The wind is still blowing pretty hard around the back of the circuit at turns six and seven so there are plenty of opportunities to make mistakes.

The pit lane is open and Ricciardo is the first man out on track.

Lotus is in a bullish mood after some promising practice performances so far this weekend: "Qualifying. Still the real test of true driver talent. Let's see what tyre choices we can influence further up the field...."

Liuzzi and d'Ambrosio are both out on track with Ricciardo.

Liuzzi is currently quicker than his HRT team-mate by 0.205, but Ricciardo has looked like the faster man in practice.

Lots of cars on track now, just Massa, Alonso and Trulli still in the pits.

Vettel has gone quickest with a 1:22.387 on soft tyres. Webber is second with a 1:23.237 also on softs.

Hamilton goes very quickly on his first flying lap on the soft tyres with a 1:21.636. Remember the drivers also have supersoft tyres available to them and that's what we'll see some of the midfield runners use in this session to saty out of the drop zone.

Hamilton returns to the pits and shouldn't have to go out again in this session with that lap under his belt.

Alonso is backing off at the end of one lap to get a clean run on the next. He's currently 18th but has just set a fastest first sector.

Alonso posp up in third at the end of that lap. He's about 0.5s off hamiltono over the whole lap.

At the moment Buemi would go out with the bottom six drivers but will no doubt have another crack at a fast lap before the end of Q1.

Everyone up to Massa will probably have to run again to make sure they don't get knocked out, although we've seen at recent races that is often an advantage just to save tyres and take the hit with the grid position.

Of course the Hungaroring is not an easy track to overtake on so higher grid positions carry a premium.

Alonso has now gone fastest with a 1:21.578 on the soft tyres.

Heidfeld is now on a fastest first sector having bolted on teh supersoft tyres.

Heidfeld slots into tenth place with that lap. Buemi remains in the drop zone but is out on track at the moment.

The top six have not bothered to set another lap as predicted.

Maldonado has now dropped into the bottom seven after Buemi improved.

The chequered flag is out and Maldonado improves, dropping Buemi out at the last minute. There was little more than 0.1s in it.

Buemi also has a five-place grid penalty because of his collision with Heidfeld in Germany. That means he will start from 23rd.

All of the bottom cars were within 107% of Alonso's time so we will have a full grid tomorrow.

Kovalainen just pipped Trulli at the end of that session in the battle between the Lotus team-mates. He also got quite close to Buemi ahead of him. Mike Gascoyne adds: "Ran options [supersofts] on the last run, was close but not enough."

Q2 is underway...

But no cars on track yet.

It's also worth mentioning that Buemi didn't use a set of supersofts at the end of Q1 so he's still got three fresh sets of the faster tyres to play with tomorrow.

Vettel and di Resta have broken the silence by heading out on track.

Hamilton has gone out on the slower soft tyre while Button has gone out on the supersofts. The convention so far this year is that the big teams use supersofts to get a place in Q3, but if Hamilton can hold off the likes of the Renaults, Saubers and Force Indias without using the softer rubber he will have an advantage on Sunday.

Vettel sets a 1:21.095 on the supersofts.

And Hamilton is very quick on the softs, just 0.010 off Vettel on the supersofts!

Webber goes fastest of all with a 1:20.890 but is beaten by Button's McLaren which sets a 1:20.578.

Clearly McLaren have a decent single-lap pace here.

As do Ferrari as Alonso sets a 1:20.262 to beat Button. He was also on the supersofts.

Hamilton has dropped to sixth but is still ahead of Rosberg's supersoft lap time and could be safe without another run.

At the moment the two Mercedes and two Renaults are occupying the last four places in Q3 with Perez a couple of tenths outside in 11th. Alguersuari and Kobayashi are also within striking distance.

Maldonado hasn't set a time yet and is biding his time in the garage before one flying lap to try to make Q3.

Perez is back out on track to try and find those extra couple of tenths.

And Perez pops up in eighth with a good lap which will force the hands of Petrov, Schumacher and Heidfeld who will all have to improve to gurantee themselves a place in Q3.

Still no sign of Madonado.

Sutil is on a better lap as his team-mate di Resta.

Barrichello goes 11th but it will be a push to get that Williams into Q3.

Sutil goes up to eighth with his lap and di Resta just slips into the top ten.

Heidfled doesn't improve so he is out of qualifying.

Schumacher gets himself back into the top eight.

All the hot laps are done so Sutil and Perez get themselves through to Q3 with the two Renaults missing out.

Big news from that session was that Hamilton did not use a set of supersofts in that session while all his rivals in the top six did.

Maldonado did not set a time in that session, which is strange because Williams (via Twitter) said he would do one run in that session. He will start 17th as a result.

Renault says: "P14 Nick, P12 Vitaly. Not what the doctor ordered"

We can expect a very close battle in Q3 now with Hamilton, Alonso, Button, Webber and Vettel all in with a decent shot at pole position. Massa is an outsider but cannot be ruled out completely given the pace of the Ferrari in Alonso's hands.

Alonso heads out on track first. He's followed by Hamilton on a set of supersofts.

Button, Sutil, Massa and Vettel are also leaving the pits for their outlaps.

Sutil has gone straight back to the pits without setting a time. Schumacher, Rosberg and Perez all look likely to set one time as they are still in the pits.

Alonso clocks a 1:20.365 but just came across Webber in the final sector which would have cost him.

Hamilton sets a blistering final sector right on the ragged edge to set a 1:19.978 to go fastest.

Vettel just falls short of Hamilton's time in second by 0.067s.

Webber struggles in the final sector and is only sixth fastest. He'll want another crack at that.

We will surely see them go for another lao as it is so close bvetween the top two and Alonso will want to deliver a traffic-free lap.

Webber told "KERS has come to life" and he can use it on his "flying lap only". That might explain his tardy first attempt.

All of the top ten are now out on track for a shot at pole, Massa is the last to leave the pits.

Alonso will be the first of the front runners to set a second time in this session.

He's 0.209 faster than Hamilton in his first sector but Vettel is going even faster behind him. And Hamilton faster still!

Alonso stays third with a slower lap.

Vettel nips pole from Hamilton after the McLaren made a mistake in the final sector.

Button improves to third with Massa taking fourth ahead of Alonso and Webber.

So after a brilliant battle we have the familiar sight of a Red Bull on pole position. But Hamilton is definitely close and Button isn't too far off either.

Webber was 0.6s off Vettel so may have had some KERS issues as we heard his team talking about it earlier in the session.

Massa outqualified Alonso for the first time this year. It wasn't by much - just 0.015s but that will seem like a victory for him.

Vettel found most of his time in the middle sector, but Hamilton was still faster in the final sector.

It's also worth noting that Hamilton has one set of fresh supersoft tyres for tomorrow's race while Vettel only has used ones. It should make for a thrilling race.

Thanks for joining us today for qualifying. Make sure you check the site this afternoon for all the reaction from teams and drivers. Then we will be back tomorrow for full race coverage and analysis.