Hungarian Grand Prix – Max Verstappen has taken his very first pole position in Formula 1 by setting a new lap record in qualifying at the Hungaroring.
Max Verstappen has taken his maiden pole position and the 100th different pole sitter in Formula 1 by going fastest in qualifying at the Hungaroring. The Dutch driver thrilled the fans by putting in a 1:14.5 with his final flying lap at the end of Q3, improving on his initial flying lap by almost 0.4 seconds to put pole position out of reach of the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.
Verstappen had claimed provisional pole position early in Q3 with his first flying lap of 1:14.958, just over a tenth clear of the Mercedes duo of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. This looked impressive enough by itself but Verstappen improved by 0.386 with the final dash across the line to set a new record time of 1:14.572. This proved crucial, as Bottas improved massively on the final run to do a 1:14.590 to miss out on pole position by just 0.018 seconds.
Verstappen and Bottas thus make up the front row of the grid, with Lewis Hamilton forced to settle for P3 and almost 0.2 seconds behind the Red Bull’s pole time.
Charles Leclerc finished P4, having been fortunate to survive getting through Q1. The Ferrari driver lost the rear of his SF90 through the final corner halfway through Q1 and crashed heavily into the barriers. Suffering relatively major rear damage, he retreated to the pits for a new rear wing. Luckily for him, he’d already gone quick enough with his first run in Q1 to get through, buying his mechanics enough time to get it repaired for Q2. Leclerc went on to go 0.028 seconds clear of Sebastian Vettel; the Ferraris lining up in P4 and P5 for the race.
Pierre Gasly finished P6 for Red Bull, qualifying just under a second off the pole position time set by his teammate in the same car. The top six drivers all made it through Q2 on the Medium tyre, meaning they will start the race on this compound.
The McLarens led the battle of the midfield with P7 & P8, Lando Norris getting the better of Carlos Sainz on this occasion. Norris did a 1:15.800 and was just half a tenth clear of Sainz. Romain Grosjean was P9 in his old-spec Haas, just two tenths behind Sainz, and 0.028 clear of Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn put his Alfa into Q3 again but couldn’t go beyond P10. Norris, Sainz, Grosjean and Raikkonen will start the race on the Soft tyres they used in Q2.
Nico Hulkenberg finished P11 for Renault in qualifying, just ahead of the Toro Rosso of Alex Albon. Daniil Kvyat, hero of last weekend’s German Grand Prix, placed P13 and a mere 0.005 behind Albon, while Antonio Giovinazzi put his Alfa in P14. The Italian driver is under investigation for blocking the Racing Point of Lance Stroll during Q1, and video footage of the incident at Turn 5 suggests that a penalty may be in store for Giovinazzi. Kevin Magnussen, running the updated Haas, was P15.
Capping off a great qualifying session for Williams was George Russell, who finished at the head of the Q1 elimination zone in P16, outqualifying Sergio Perez’ Racing Point. The Mexican driver was caught up in a weird moment with Daniel Ricciardo at the end of Q1, with him and the Renault driver fighting over track space to start their flying lap. In the end, both suffered. Perez was P17, and Ricciardo P18 with both blaming each other for ruining their laps. Lance Stroll finished P19 in the other Racing Point, while Robert Kubica was P20 in the second Williams and 1.3 seconds behind Russell in the same car.