Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s Lewis Hamilton took a controversial pole position for Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix as the Brackley-based outfit locked out the front row. Hamilton, who is aiming to score his 100th career victory tomorrow set a 1:15.419s however, on his final run in Q3, Hamilton slowed to hamper Max Verstappen’s run for pole and in doing so, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was unable to start a final flying lap.
Max Verstappen starts the race from third place just ahead of Sergio Perez and speaking following the race he said:
“The whole weekend so far we have been a bit behind and qualifying was the same. I went a bit backwards on my Q3 lap compared to Q2 and I just didn’t have the same grip for some reason. I don’t know if it was track or tyre related but the balance was a bit off to push everywhere and around here the corners all follow really quickly so if you don’t feel good in one corner, the next one won’t be great either. I lost a bit of lap time on the final run but even with a faster out lap and a slightly better balance I don’t think we would have been on pole. P3 isn’t where we want to be and we cannot be happy with that but nevertheless, we are still up there with Checo next to me so we will see what we can do in the race. We will also find out if starting on the soft is a good strategy as it’s going to be really hot. The softer tyre won’t last as long as the medium but maybe it will help us off the line. The start around here is very important so we will give it a good go and fight to get the best out of the race.”
Sergio Perez commented saying:
I certainly felt that I was making good progress throughout qualifying with the car. It was a real shame to lose that final lap because I felt that it had good potential. At the time we thought we had plenty of margin to work with, unfortunately that wasn’t the case and it meant that I basically lost my final attempt. We knew Mercedes were going to be very strong today but I really hope tomorrow we are able to put a lot of pressure onto them. We have a different strategy and are looking forward to the start, this is a place where if you get one or two corners right there is plenty of lap time to be found. In an ideal scenario we will get ahead of them and hold position but the race is very long and anything can happen.”
Pierre Gasly starts the race from fourth place for Alpha Tauri with a time of 1:16.483s and speaking following the action he said:
“I’m extremely happy with today, it’s a pretty good feeling to be the first car behind Mercedes and Red Bull. We were quite surprised to be ahead of Ferrari, who have been looking really strong, so I’m really pleased with our performance today. It’s not going to be an easy race for us, we know that in terms of race pace some of the cars around us are stronger, but we knew grid positioning would be really important and we’ve put ourselves in the best possible place to fight tomorrow. I’m really excited for the battle with Charles and Lando, we know it’s hard to overtake here so we’re going to keep our elbows out and try and hold on to fifth position.”
McLaren Racing’s Lando Norris starts the race from sixth with a time of 1m16.489s and speaking following the action he said:
“A decent day. I felt it would be very tight to get into Q3, so I’m very happy with the pace. There was a small chance we could’ve been fourth if we’d done everything perfectly, so we need to analyse what we could’ve done better so we can maximise our potential next time. But still, I’m very happy with sixth and I think we can score some good points from there tomorrow.”
Charles LeClerc starts the race from seventh just ahead of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso while Sebastian Vettel rounds out the top ten, speaking following the action, Vettel said:
“We struggled a little bit to get the tyres in the right place for that final lap. I think we could possibly have been ninth – but, realistically, P10 was about what we deserved. I actually think it will be an advantage to start the race on the Soft tyre – we just need to see how long it will last. It worked pretty well yesterday, but we still have to see if we can make a one-stop strategy work starting on the Soft.”
Daniel Ricciardo starts the race from eleventh place and speaking following the action the Australian commented saying:
“That was really close to Q3, but on the positive side, I’ll have free tyre choice tomorrow. A lot of the time this year, when I’m trying to get those last few tenths out of it, it proves to be quite difficult and it’s still not quite there. I thought the lap was decent but it’s still quite a long way off. So, we’ll try to learn from it and make up some places tomorrow. Hopefully everyone who starts on used tyres suffers and we can benefit from the free choice.”
Lance Stroll starts the race from 12th place with a time of 1.16.893s and speaking following the action he commented saying:
“We were so close to making Q3, so it is a bit of a shame to only secure P12 on the grid. There are some mixed feelings because we were competitive in Q1 and finished P6 at that stage, but Q2 was a little trickier. Still, the positive is that we have a free tyre choice for tomorrow’s race, and we will be able to consider a different strategy from the drivers in the top 10. It was tricky out there in such hot conditions and the tyre drop-off in the final sector today shows that degradation could be a factor tomorrow. Anything can happen in the race, so points are still achievable – and that is our goal.”
Kimi Raikkonen starts the race from 13th equalling his best result this season and speaking following a time of 1:17.564s and speaking following the action he said:
“The team worked really hard to improve the balance of the car ahead of qualifying and that was enough to make a step forward. It’s still not where we want to be, but we did our best and P13 is a good position to start the race. We’ll see what is possible to achieve tomorrow: the race is never easy here but we will do all we can to bring home a good result.”
Antonio Giovinazzi starts the race from 14th place with a time of 1:17.583s and speaking following the action he commented saying:
“It was definitely the best session of the weekend so far for us, after struggling yesterday and this morning in FP3. The team did a great job and we made a big step forward from this morning: we put two cars in Q2 and we need to be happy with this result. P13 and P14 was probably the maximum we could, especially on a hot and windy day that made conditions quite tricky out there. Starting where we are, everything can happen in the race: the track is not an easy one on which to overtake but a good start and the strategy can put us in a good position. We expect tyre degradation to play a big role in the race, especially with this heat, so to make the right calls there will be key to have a good result.”
Carlos Sainz starts the race from 15th place just ahead of Yuki Tsunoda who commented saying:
“This whole weekend I’ve struggled with the balance of the car, so it’s been quite difficult. We maximised track time in FP3, to make up for the time that I lost yesterday. I felt that I built up the pace well and was able to put together a good lap. I went into Qualifying with confidence and I think my lap was also good, even if I felt I was still lacking grip. I don’t quite understand how I lost that much time to my teammate, so I will need to sit with my engineers tonight and look at the data ahead of the race. I really like this circuit, having driven here the last few years, so it’s frustrating to not be starting further up the grid tomorrow.”
George Russell and Nicholas Latifi start the race from 17th and 18th place respectively and speaking following the action, Russell commented saying:
It’s the first time all season we haven’t progressed to Q2 but we can’t get it right every time. I didn’t have the confidence in the car today for whatever reason and the lap just didn’t come together for me. We’ve done an amazing job to be in Q2 in the first 10 races of the season and this time, we did a fine job when we normally do an excellent job. For us, fine is not enough. That is how it is sometimes but we’re looking forward to tomorrow. It is going to be a difficult race as it is so hot here and the tyres are going to be really tricky to manage. Hopefully we can do a better job than the others and capitalise on any opportunities.
Nicholas Latifi commented saying:
We were hoping to be more competitive than we were today, but ultimately it was a very close margin to Q2. The car was feeling ok, not perfectly balanced, but not far off and I was relatively happy. The lap felt OK from my side, but we need to investigate a power unit issue that we experience on both laps. Throughout my last lap I had four or five engine cuts which from the data cost me quite a bit of lap time. Without that maybe Q2 was possible, as we don’t know the exact time lost, but it was definitely hurting.
The Haas F1 Team’s Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher rounded out the grid.