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As it happened: Qualifying
By Geoff Creighton and Emlyn Hughes
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
11:45 Hello everyone and welcome back to AUTOSPORT Live for continuing coverage of the tenth round in the 2009 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

The three practice sessions have been completed, and now it is time to qualify for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

A close battle is in prospect this afternoon, with McLaren set to challenge the supremacy of Brawn and Red Bull. We also have the possibility of Fernando Alonso mixing it with the top six and Ferrari expected to join the party in what should be a great battle for the top places on the grid.

Lewis Hamilton11:47 Earlier this morning, the drivers had their final chance to find a good set-up ahead of this vital knockout session.

McLaren once again proved that they are a force to be reckoned with this weekend as Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets with a lap of 1m21.009s. Nick Heidfeld charged through to second place on his final lap, displacing Nico Rosberg to third on what has been a strong weekend for Williams so far.

Heikki Kovalainen made it two McLarens in the top four, with Sebastien Buemi fifth and Timo Glock sixth, recovering well after spending a long time sitting on the sidelines with a hydraulics issue.

Another force to be reckoned with was the tyre barrier at Turn 8 - just ask Adrian Sutil. The tall German lost control of his Force India entering the corner after getting his line wrong. There was a sizable amount of front end damage and the mechanics have been working hard in the last couple of hours to repair the car and be ready for the session.

11:49 Overnight rain led to a green racetrack this morning for practice, but since then conditions have steadily improved, and we have a few clouds and plenty of sunny spells above the circuit.

A dry weekend is in prospect from now on, and today the temperature will reach a maximum of 24 degrees Celsius, thanks to a cooler air source than recently, and a stiff north-westerly breeze.

Fans11:51 Motor racing enthusiasts love to debate and discuss the action on track, and the live forum at the bottom of the screen is your chance to let everyone know your thoughts on events as they unfold at the circuit.

• Can Lewis Hamilton claim his first pole position of the season?

• Will the Brawns get swamped by the chasing pack?

• How Will Jaime Alguersuari fare in his first taste of Formula 1 qualifying? Surely any position other than 20th is a remarkable result this afternoon.

Tell the world what you think.

Click the SHOW LIVE FORUM link in the red bar at the bottom of your browser window if you'd like to join the debate.

Fuel11:53 Final practice provided a clear picture on the tyre choice for this afternoon with the super-soft tyre providing by far the best grip and therefore laptime. Interestingly, the softer option delivered even quicker times after the first flying lap, meaning the strategy for this afternoon will again include multiple-lap flying runs.

Some of the quicker cars may try to squeeze through the first segment on a set of harder tyres, but an extremely tight field means any mistake will be quickly punished and could result in a shock early elimination.

Of the ten that make it to the final segment, the question then becomes how low dare you go on fuel load to give the best shot at the pole time, with the lead grid spot being extremely coveted due to the difficulty of overtaking.

With many drivers showing practice pace, along with the significant threat of a KERS-powered launch from the McLarens and Ferraris, it is a complex choice for the teams to decide on their fuel strategy as we go in to Q3.

Title contenders Brawn and Red Bull will be particularly concerned by the KERS cars compromising their race-day strategy may be forced into fulling aggressively to get as far up the grid as possible.

11:55 The battle for vital grid position at the Hungaroring is now just five minutes away.

11:55 There is a strong breeze blowing this afternoon, which could be a factor in disturbing the cars out on the circuit.

11:57 The Porsche Supercup cars have been out on circuit since then end of Formula 1 practice. Allied to the much warmer temperatures - 41 Celsius on track - this afternoon, the grip levels may have changed for the start of the session.

11:57 Jaime Alguersuari, his eyes wide open and fully concentrated, is ready for his first qualifying session. He is sitting in the Toro Rosso and focused on the job that lies ahead.

11:59 Lewis Hamilton climbs aboard his McLaren. After a strong showing in practice, what can the world champion do today?

11:59 There are a small number of fans in the main grandstand opposite the pits, but around the circuit the spectator banks are filled with lots of fans.

0 min: The 20-minute scrap for a place in the final 15 is underway.

0 min: Giancarlo Fisichella is the first driver out onto the track this afternoon.

0 min: Jaime Alguersuari joins the Italian on the circuit.

1 min: Sebastien Buemi brings the second Toro Rosso out onto the track, as we see Alguersuari running with super-soft tyres for this first run.

1 min: Giancarlo Fisichella blasts across the line to begin the first lap of qualifying.

3 min: Kimi Raikkonen and Nelson Piquet join the early runners.

3 min: Fisichella posts the first time on the board - a 1m24.691s and that is instantly beaten by Alguersuari with 1m23.951s.

3 min: Sebastien Buemi takes the time away from his team-mate with a 1m22.380s.

4 min: The Williams and Toyota cars are now out there, as well as Button and Barrichello in the Brawn BGP 001s. They are about to start their first flying lap.

5 min: Kimi Raikkonen is using the softer tyres for his first attempt.

5 min: Buemi, Alguersuari and Fisichella have all gone round for a second timed lap, and they remain one-two-three as the bigger teams have their drivers now completing their first timed attempt.

5 min: Raikkonen is slower than all the times set so far after a couple of wobbles on his first timed lap.

6 min: Felipe Massa is trying the harder tyre for his first timed run.

6 min: At Force India, repairs are still being carried out on the car of Adrian Sutil. The unfortunate German nosed his car into the tyre barriers at Turn 8 earlier this morning, and faces a race against time to get out there.

6 min: Massa slots in third with a 1m22.647s on that run.

7 min: Lewis Hamilton is now on circuit for his first lap of the session.

7 min: Kimi Raikkonen improves to second quickest as he puts in a series of laps on the softer tyres.

7 min: Nico Rosberg completes his first timed lap and goes into third place behind Buemi and Raikkonen. Sebastian Vettel comes over the line for fourth at the end of his first flyer in the Red Bull.

8 min: Raikkonen now tops the order with a 1m21.602s with his third flyer on the super softs.

8 min: Lewis Hamilton takes second quickest with his first effort.

9 min: Brawn need to up the ante now, and Barrichelo goes fifth with a 1m22.323s but he starts sliding down the list as Vettel goes fastest with a 1m21.590s and displaces Raikkonen.

10 min: Heikki Kovalainen is down in 11th at this early stage, with Felipe Massa 12th. Both are using the harder tyres but will surely be forced to pit for softs.

10 min: Jarno Trulli and Nelson Piquet have posted poor times on their first run. Both drivers are back in the pits for a change of tyres.

11 min: The BMW pair of Heidfeld and Kubica are heading around for a late start to their runs.

11 min: Mark Webber makes it two Red Bulls in the top three as he posts a 1m21.590s - exactly the same time as team-mate Vettel.

11 min: Lewis Hamilton continues to challenge on the harder tyres and moves up to sixth with the fastest first sector.

11 min: Fernando Alonso takes tenth with his latest lap.

12 min: Nico Rosberg is fourth and spent his first run on the harder tyre. He was going on for a third timed lap when he lost control of the car at the Turns 6 and 7 chicane, and so pitted at the end of the lap.

13 min: Kimi Raikkonen's 1m21.500s on super soft tyres remains the time to beat with seven minutes remaining.

13 min: With seven minutes to go, Adrian Sutil has yet to make it out onto the circuit as his Force India team continue to try and fix his car.

14 min: Nelson Piquet is trying a set of the softer tyres but his latest lap was only good enough for 18th and he remains in danger.

15 min: The 19 drivers that are in the session so far have all set a time.

Adrian Sutil is clearly 20th, having failed to set a time so far. Timo Glock, Jaime Alguersuari, Nelson Piquet and Jarno Trulli are also in the dropzone, and need to improve dramatically in the remaining five minutes or face elimination.

15 min: Robert Kubica is up to ninth using the super-softs on the BMW, despite an off at the chicane on one of his laps.

15 min: Adrian Sutil makes it out of the garage and his car is repaired.

15 min: The German will get only a couple of laps to try and set the quickest time possible.

16 min: Most cars are heading out for another run as the track continues to improve.

16 min: Nelson Piquet improves to 14th in the Renault and bumps Heikki Kovalainen into the dropzone.

The Finn is on a lap now on super-soft tyres and should progress quite easily.

16 min: Adrian Sutil comes back into the pits after one checking lap in the Force India.

17 min: The attempt to make it through on hard tyres does not seem to have work as the softer rubber is the choice for this final scramble.

17 min: Kovalainen crosses the line and moves up from 16th to seventh place with a 1m21.750s.

18 min: There will be a rash of improvements on this round of laps as the grip levels increase at the Hungaroring.

18 min: Jenson Button improves to ninth with his latest tour.

18 min: Sutil is back out onto the track with under three minutes remaining.

Nakajima jumps up to ninth and now it's Fisichella, Piquet, Glock, Alguersuari and Sutil in the dropzone.

18 min: Sebastian Vettel puts his Red Bull on top of the session with a 1m21.478.

18 min: Jaime Alguersuari pulls off to the side of the track and he is eliminated.

19 min: Nico Rosberg takes away the top time with a 1m20.793s in the Williams.

19 min: These yellow flags are very bad news for those trying to improve.

19 min: The Toro Rosso is stranded at the penultimate corner of the lap and the yellow flags are out, preventing other drivers from setting a time.

19 min: Jenson Button has lept up to second quickest, but is now beaten by Vettel's latest lap.

20 min: Nrelson Piquet improves during the chaos to 12th place - interesting.

20 min: The flag is out. Who takes an early shower?

12:20 Fisichella zooms up the list to 11th place in the Force India! Alonso is now in the dropzone and on his last lap ...

12:21 Mark Webber takes second, Nakjima fourth and Trulli fifth in the run of late improvements.

12:21 Kubica can only make 16th place, and he is eliminated, but the eyes are all on Alonso ...

12:21 Fernando moves up to sixth place on his final effort and is safely through.

12:21 Lewis Hamilton springs up to second quickest with a 1m20.824s in the McLaren.

12:22 The first phase of qualifying for tomorrow's race has been completed. The following five drivers have been eliminated:

16) Heidfeld
17) Fisichella
18) Sutil
19) Kubica
20) Alguersuari.

12:22 Just nine tenths of a second cover the top 15 at the end of a frantic session.

12:23 Rosberg, Hamilton, Webber, Vettel, Piquet and Alonso ended up as the top six in Q1.

12:23 In a frantic scramble at the end of the session after the flag Fisichella jumped up to 11th and back down straight away to a disappointing 17th.

Both BMW Saubers are out again, despite a revised package that they were hoping would see them turn the corner.

12:24 Nelson Piquet took away any doubts about a quick lap he posted when Alguersuari pulled off, as he then improved further to a solid fifth place when the track was clear.

12:26 Jaime Alguersuari is now officially the youngest ever qualifier for a Formula 1 Grand Prix. A great effort by the 19-year-old.

He ended up 20th, but that was only 1.5 seconds away from the fastest time set by Nico Rosberg.

12:27 Alguersuari's final effort to moved up the board was thwarted when he slowed with a technical problem.

0 min: A tight scramble for the top ten has started.

0 min: The 15 drivers who have progressed will have 15 minutes to set the best time they can and make it through to the final shootout.

0 min: No drivers have taken to the track in the first minute.

1 min: Kimi Raikkonen is now on track for a run in the Ferrari.

1 min: Both Toyotas and Mark Webber join Raikkonen on track.

2 min: Another tight scramble is in prospect here, with the track improving all the time. We should see a lot of laps in this session as the drivers try to find the best grip from the super-soft tyres.

3 min: The Brawn pairing of Button and Barrichello are also out there, as Trulli and Webber cross the line to start their first effort in this second phase of qualifying.

3 min: These early runs will be to bank a time on the tyres used in Q1, saving new sets for later in the hour.

4 min: All but the Renault pair are now on circuit as Raikkonen sets the first time at 1m24.552s.

4 min: Webber is the standout driver in the opening exchanges. The big Australian is using the super-soft tyres and yes ... he goes fastest with a solid 1m21.067s.

5 min: Timo Glock is now second with Kovalainen third and Button fourth, but here come both Red Bulls ...

5 min: Heikki Kovalainen is third and Massa fourth in these early stages.

6 min: Vettel goes quickest with a 1m20.964s and Webber can't beat that. 1m20.982s for Mark but it's Red Bulls one and two for the moment.

6 min: Lewis Hamilton set the fastest first sector but lost out heavily in the middle portion of the lap to go third at the moment.

6 min: Kimi Raikkonen has been off onto the grass exiting the chicane at Turn 7 but he continues.

6 min: Nico Rosberg takes the fastest time with a great 1m20.895s in the Williams. Vettel second, Webber third, Hamilton fourth and Button fifth.

7 min: The Renault pair are now on track, perhaps timing their runs late for a lack of traffic and the best grip levels.

8 min: Nelson Piquet goes 12th with his time but team-mate Alonso goes all the way to the top in 1m20.885 on super-soft rubber.

9 min: Al 15 drivers have set a time in the second period of qualifying. Sebastien Buemi, Timo Glock, Nelson Piquet, Kimi Raikkonen and Jarno Trulli are all in the dropzone and need to find some time in the remaining five minutes.

9 min: Fernando continues for a second lap on his soft option tyres and trims another fraction off the best time.

10 min: Nelson Piquet improves with a 1m21.649s but is 11th and still in the knock-out zone.

10 min: Kimi Raikkonen is now on track in the Ferrari. He'll easily get two or maybe three attempts to move up the order.

10 min: Vettel, Massa and Kovalainen are already back out to try again.

11 min: Nelson Piquet pits the Renault with exactly four minutes remaining.

12 min: Trulli goes sixth with a decent lap in the Toyota.

12 min: Kimi Raikkonen moves up to sixth place in the Ferrari, and he bumps fellow-Finn Kovalainen into the dropzone!

13 min: Sebastian Vettel tops the order with a 1m20.604s in the Red Bull.

13 min: Massa is now 12th and needs to improve quickly.

He does and moves up to a precarious eighth place.

13 min: Lewis Hamilton is the fastest man through the first sector on this run, with Webber quickest in the second sector.

14 min: Mark Webber takes the quickest time out to 1m20.358s.

14 min: Button and Barrichello are ninth and tenth. One minute to go and now Kovalainen is on a good lap. He should move up at the end of this lap.

14 min: Lewis Hamilton slots in second quickest in the McLaren.

14 min: Felipe Massa has improved to fifth.

15 min: Massa moves up to fifth place and looks to be safe.

15 min: The segment is over. Who can make the top ten?

12:42 Barrichello is now in the dropzone!

12:42 Barrichello is slow in sector one and is out of qualifying.

12:42 Felipe Massa has crashed heavily in the Ferrari.

12:43 Sebastien Buemi puts in a heroic effort and ended up 11th, but concern quickly moves to the condition of Felipe Massa, who is still in the crashed Ferrari.

12:44 Massa had made it through to the top ten but has gone off at speed into the tyre barrier.

12:44 Massa's car is partially buried in the tyres at the end of the asphalt run-off zone at Turn four. The medical crew is on the scene and they are attending to the Brazilian.

12:46 The second phase of qualifying for tomorrow's race has been completed. The following five drivers have been eliminated:

11) Buemi
12) Trulli
13) Barrichello
14) Glock
15) Piquet.

12:47 Desperately disappointing for Rubens Barrichello, who is eliminated during qualifying for the first time this season.

12:48 Massa has clearly hit the deep tyre wall in Turn 4 at some speed. Medical teams and track workers continue to attend the scene.

12:50 The final segment of qualifying will be delayed due to Massa's accident.

12:51 The ten drivers who have made it through to the final shootout are:

Lewis Hamilton
Heikki Kovalainen
Felipe Massa
Kimi Raikkonen
Fernando Alonso
Mark Webber
Sebastian Vettel
Nico Rosberg
Kazuki Nakajima
Jenson Button.

Clearly, Felipe Massa will take no further part in the session, and will qualify in tenth position for tomorrow's race.

12:51 Massa's car is now being removed, with heavy front end damage to the Ferrari. Felipe is now in the care of the medical teams.

12:56 Replays appear to show Massa's car being stuck by debris as he approached Turn 4. Felipe has been taken to the medical centre for treatment.

"We had used tyres for the first part of the qualifying and it went quite ok. Something broke on the back of the car because it felt strange. We need to check if it is a rear bar or a rear spring ... something broke."
Rubens Barrichello, 13th speaking to British broadcaster BBC

13:00 Massa's car is now being returned to the pitlane as track workers check the circuit for debris.

13:03 At the Turn four crash scene, there is a circuit car checking the condition of the tyre barrier, and also a tractor unit still down there.

Meantime, Ferrari are wheeling Massa's Ferrari back into the garage and they will now begin a thorough examination.

13:06 The session is expected to resume in about five minutes.

13:07 It appears likely at this stage that the missing piece from the rear of Rubens Barrichello's car was the debris that struck Felipe Massa as he was approaching Turn 4.

13:07 Replays show that Felipe was moving as he was transported into the medical centre for treatment and checks.

13:10 The Ferrari team has confirmed that Massa is conscious but he is being taken by helicopter to a local hospital for further evaluation.

0 min: The battle for pole is now underway.

1 min: Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima have come out onto the track and are about to start their first flying lap of the final period.

1 min: Rosberg is using the super-soft tyres and is on his first effort now.

1 min: Massa is obviously unable to take part in this segment, so there are nine cars now in the fight for the front of the grid.

2 min: Rosberg posts a 1m23.620s and that is the first time to go on the board.

3 min: Fernando Alonso clocks a 1m22.717s to top the times.

3 min: Heikki Kovalainen is second after these early runs.

3 min: Nakajima goes fourth behind Rosberg.

4 min: Kimi Raikkonen now slots in behind Alonso in third.

4 min: Rosberg goes on for a second timed lap on those softer tyres and retakes the top spot away from Alonso with a 1m22.386s.

4 min: Fernando Alonso comes around again and he's quickest.

4 min: Lewis Hamilton tops them with a lap on the softer tyres.

5 min: Sebastian Vettel pops up to third place behind Hamilton and Alonso, and Mark Webber ensures that Vettel drops to fourth, as the Australian goes quickest with 1m22.021s.

5 min: These tyres deliver very good speed on the second tour but Hamilton has run wide at Turn 4 on his next attempt.

5 min: Jenson Button is the only driver out of the nine in the shootout to have not left the pits yet.

6 min: Button leaves the Brawn garage now with a set of super-soft tyres bolted on.

6 min: Hamilton failed to improve after that earlier moment and will head around for fresh tyres.

6 min: Under three minutes to go and Webber is at the front, ahead of Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Rosberg and Kovalainen.

7 min: Webber and Vettel are both into the pits for a change of tyres and straight back out for the final shot at a spot on the front row.

7 min: Hamilton is now back into the pits for brand new soft tyres ahead of his final attempt.

8 min: Kimi Raikkonen has a wide moment out of Turn 7, after setting the fastest first sector.

8 min: Nico Rosberg is on a brilliant lap and he moves up from fifth to provisional pole in the Williams with a 1m21.890s!

9 min: Fernando Alonso tops the times as a glitch in the timing system strikes the pitlane.

10 min: Chequred flag, but the laps continue ...

10 min: The order is Alonso, Vettel, Rosberg, Webber ... as the timing system throws the paddock into confusion.

13:22 We await confirmation, but Ferando Alonso was shown on pole when the timing system was last working.

13:22 Vettel pipped Rosberg in the final stages, but it was the canny Spaniard who appears to have given Renault their first pole position of the season.

13:24 Confusion continues as the timing system failure means the grid order is still to be confirmed.

13:24 Fernando Alonso apparently emerges from total chaos as the polesitter for tomorrow's Hungarian Grand Prix. It would appear that Sebastian Vettel will start alongside Alonso on the front row.

13:26 The FOM timing system failed with just a couple of minutes remaining in the session, therefore we await final confirmation of the grid order.

13:28 Fernando Alonso is confirmed as the polesitter in Hungary.

13:29 Sebastian Vettel will start second, from team-mate Webber. Lewis Hamilton lines up a menacing fourth in the KERS-equipped McLaren.

13:29 Nico Rosberg slipped to fifth in the late scramble, from Kovalainen, Raikkonen, Button and Nakajima.

13:37 The report is now available to round out an eventful qualifying session:

Alonso takes pole in chaotic session

13:37 So a day of tension and confusion ends with Fernando Alonso giving Renault their first pole of the season. Sebastian Vettel is second, and that is good for his championship challenge - with Button way down the grid in eighth.

The attack against the Brawns continues tomorrow as Red Bull look to make further inroads into the points lead that Button and his Brawn team have.

We are set for a tough 70-lap race around one of the tightest circuits on the calendar. Join us for the fun here on AUTOSPORT Live, from 10:30 GMT, as we build towards the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Stick with AUTOSPORT for all the reaction to today's events.

Session length: 60 minutes
Mainly sunny High Temp: 24°C / 75°F
Track: Dry
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Monday 20 Jul Start GMT
 Hungarian Grand Prix Weather 15:00
Friday 24 Jul
 Friday Morning Practice 07:45
 Friday Afternoon Practice 11:45
Saturday 25 Jul
 Saturday Morning Practice 08:45
 Qualifying 11:45
Sunday 26 Jul
 Race day at the Hungaroring 10:30
Emlyn Hughes and Geoff Creighton are's live commentary team. The dynamic duo have developed an inimitable style and a reputation for fast, accurate and insightful commentary. With unrivaled access to events unfolding at the circuit, they bring you the very latest, as it happens.

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