Verstappen wins thrilling battle for Hungaroring pole

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In a close fight for the crucial pole position for the 34th Hungarian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen emerged fastest, delivering a classy performance at the dying seconds of the session. Mercedes duo Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton secured the second and third place respectively.

Hamilton with incredible pace– Q1

After the cloudy final practice session, the sun returned for the all-important qualifying. As usual, the Williams drivers were the first to go out for the first runs. Geroge Russell led the first minutes of the session, but the top drivers were also quick to join the action. Max Verstappen’s first effort was a 1m15.817 which he set a new track record with.

On his second hot lap, Charles Leclerc lost control over his Ferrari SF90, crashing the back end of the car into the barriers. He was able to rejoin the track and crawled back to the Ferrari garage.

At the end of the session, it was George Russell who delivered the most impressive lap with a 1m17.031 which was enough for the ninth place at that moment. However, with others also finding pace on the improving track, he was the first drivers to be knocked out. Behind the Briton, Perez, Ricciardo, Stroll and Kubica lined up for the last positions.

Hamilton once again – Q1

Ferrari made an incredible job to fix Leclerc’s car for the beginning of Q2. Already thinking of the race strategy, Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull started the second qualifying segment on Pirelli’s medium compound. Producing an incredible lap time of 1m15.548, Hamilton led the session on the C3 compound, albeit Verstappen could keep up with the thrilling pace, only going fractionally slower than the Briton.

The top drivers took it on to the track for a second time. Verstappen, Hamilton and Bottas headed out on the soft compound to get a feel for the C4 compound before Q3. Vettel, Leclerc and Gasly once again chose the yellow-banded Pirelli rubber for a further practice lap.

The fight in the midfield was incredible with only margins separating the drivers. In the end, Hülkenberg, Albon, Kvyat, Giovianazzi and Magnussen were eliminated in the second qualifying session. Both McLarens fought their way through into the last segment of the session.

Close battle for the pole position

On the first lap, it was Max Verstappen who recorded the fastest lap with a time of 1m14.958, lowering the bar and recording a new track record. Bottas was second followed by Hamilton, Vettel and Leclerc.

In the closing stages, drivers headed out for the final stint on another fresh set of soft Pirelli tyres. Verstappen set a time of 1m14.572 to beat Bottas by just 0.018 seconds, however the third-placed driver Hamilton was two tenths adrift. Ferrari drivers only secured the fourth and fifth place with Lecelrc beating Vettel by 0.028 seconds.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarQ1Q2Q3Laps
133Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA1:15.8171:15.5731:14.57216
277Valtteri BottasMERCEDES1:16.0781:15.6691:14.59019
344Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:16.0681:15.5481:14.76922
416Charles LeclercFERRARI1:16.3371:15.7921:15.04317
55Sebastian VettelFERRARI1:16.4521:15.8851:15.07118
610Pierre GaslyRED BULL RACING HONDA1:16.7161:16.3931:15.45019
74Lando NorrisMCLAREN RENAULT1:16.6971:16.0601:15.80018
855Carlos SainzMCLAREN RENAULT1:16.4931:16.3081:15.85220
98Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI1:16.9781:16.3191:16.01321
107Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:16.5061:16.5181:16.04120
1127Nico HulkenbergRENAULT1:16.7901:16.56512
1223Alexander AlbonSCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA1:16.9121:16.68714
1326Daniil KvyatSCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA1:16.7501:16.69214
1499Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:16.8941:16.80414
1520Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:16.1221:17.08113
1663George RussellWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:17.0319
1711Sergio PerezRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:17.1096
183Daniel RicciardoRENAULT1:17.2576
1918Lance StrollRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:17.5429
2088Robert KubicaWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:18.3249