Formula One

F1 Hungarian GP Qualyfing Result: Shock Pole for Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton produced a late flying lap to score his first pole position in 33 Grand Prix weekends, beating out Max Verstappen by 0.003s with a 1:16.609s.

F1 Hungarian GP Qualifying results Lewis Hamilton pole position
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14. 22.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 12, Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest, Hungary, Qualifying Day. –, EMail: [email protected] © Copyright: Moy / XPB Images – Photo by Icon sport

F1 Hungarian GP Qualifying: Who Will be on Pole?

Lewis Hamilton will be on pole for the Hungarian Grand Prix. The seven-time champion, who had just topped FP3 earlier in the day, made it back-to-back poles for Mercedes at the Hungaroring. Hamilton narrowly edged out Max Verstappen by a mere three thousandths with a late flyer, securing his 104th career pole.

Q1: Zhou Leads the Way, Russell Out

Running under the experimental qualifying rules, drivers had to do Q1 on the hard compound. Valtteri Bottas surprised and led the way early on with a solid 1:18.775. Verstappen then went top with a 1:18.658, with Pierre Gasly slotting into second place, less than a tenth down on the Red Bull driver.

The hard tyres did mix up the order a little bit, and some names found themselves in an unfamiliar position towards the end of the session. Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc were among them, as the Ferrari pair needed late flyers to secure their spot in Q2.

That was also the case of Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, who found themselves stuck in the middle of a long train of cars. While the seven-time champion was able to salvage a seventh place, Russell wasn’t as fortunate. The young Brit not improve his time and finished down in 18th. Daniel Ricciardo narrowly beat Yuki Tsunoda to win the first round of the highly-anticipated AlphaTauri intra-team fight. The retuning Australian secured the final transfer spot in 16th place, just 0.013s ahead of his teammate.

Joining Russell in the drop zone were Alexander Albon, Tsunoda, Kevin Magnussen and Logan Sargeant. With a late flyer, Zhou Guanyu led the first part of qualifying, narrowly beating out Verstappen and Perez.

Q2: Norris Leads, Perez Advances, Sainz Out by 0.002s

Perez was the first driver to set a lap. Verstappen comfortably beat his teammate, but had his first attempt deleted for a track limits infraction on turn 5.

Lando Norris went top with a 1:17.328, while Verstappen was able to slot into second place with his second attempt. Further down the order, Leclerc and Sainz once again found themselves fighting over a transfer spot.

While Leclerc was able to secure fifth place, Sainz could only manage 10th in his final flying lap attempt. That became 11th once Bottas moved into fourth place, dropping the Ferrari driver out in Q2 by a mere 0.002s. Hamilton jumped ahead of Verstappen to slot into second place as time expired.

Joining Sainz in the bottom five of Q2 were Esteban Ocon, Ricciardo, Lance Stroll and Gasly. Perez, meanwhile, finally managed to advance to Q3, bringing his negative streak of five weekends to an end.

Q3: Hamilton Narrowly Edges Verstappen for First Pole Since 2021

Perez was again the first driver out on track, setting a 1:17.142. His time was quickly beaten by Norris, who set the fastest time of the weekend on a 1:16.904, with Alonso also jumping Perez. But it was Verstappen who ended the first run on top, as the Dutchman set a 1:16.612. Hamilton slotted into second, just over a tenth behind the reigning world champion.

Verstappen failed to improve on his final attempt. Norris came close to securing his second career pole position, but a slow third sector put him just under a tenth behind Verstappen. As the session winded down, Hamilton set a 1:16.609 to pip Verstappen by 0.003s for his first pole since Jeddah 2021. It marked Mercedes’ second straight pole in Hungary, as Russell had also done the same in 2022.

Zhou was an impressive fifth for Alfa Romeo, behind the two McLarens, and secured his best grid spot in F1. Leclerc, Bottas, Alonso, a fairly anonymous Perez and Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10.

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