Hamilton takes pole as Mercedes smashes rivals with track-record

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Lewis Hamilton has come out on top of the qualifying session for the Hungarian Grand Prix ahead of his teammate Valtteri Bottas. Racing Point drivers Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez locked out the second row with their Mercedes-inspired RP20.

Russell with surprising pace – Q1

Drivers were keen on getting out to the track as dark clouds began to gather together a few minutes ahead of the qualifying session. Lining up at the exit of the pit lane, driver eagerly waited for the green lights.

Max Verstappen was the first driver to set a time with a 1m16.136, but that was quickly beaten by the Mercedes duo with Hamilton having the upper hand over his teammate Valtteri Bottas.

After the first run, drivers at the foot of the time sheets went for another run on fresh tyres, improving their times significantly. That urged the majority of the field to mount fresh rubber on the cars and go for another push lap.

Kevin Magnussen, Daniil Kvyat, Romain Grosjean, Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Räikkönen were knocked out when the first qualifying segment concluded.

Leclerc in the end! - Q2

As the clouds started the leave the Hungaroring, drivers were no more in rush to hit the track as the second qualifying session kicked off. George Russell opened the action in Q2.

Alexander Albon’s performance meant a big disappointment for Red Bull as the London-born Thai driver failed to qualify better than 13th. The Q2 segment also saw the elimination of both Renault cars with Riccardo grabbing the 11th and Esteban Ocon the 14th place.

After having been in the danger zone for long minutes, Leclerc managed to set a meaningful lap time in the dying stages of Q2, securing his place in the all-important last qualifying segment.

Demonstrating their incredible pace, Racing Point drivers Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez made it into the last qualifying session on Pirelli’s medium compound, giving them a possible advantage in terms of race strategy.

At the end of Q2, Daniel Ricciardo, George Russell, Alexander Albon, Esteban Ocon and Nicholas Latifi were eliminated.

Track record - Q3

The last qualifying segment began with some rain drops falling on to the 4.3 km Hungaroring. Except Ferrari, drivers headed to the track with fresh soft tyres to set a timed lap in the best conditions. Leclerc and Vettel opted for used tyres to set a banker lap. Pierre Gasly was unable to leave his garage due to technical problems with his power unit.

After the first runs, the Ferrari duo was the first to hit the track again. Both managed to improve their times with Vettel having the upper hand over his Monegasque teammate.

For the second run, Verstappen, Norris and Sainz did not have a fresh set of softs and failed, therefore, to find any improvement on their previous lap times. Meanwhile, Hamilton set a new track record with a time of 1m13.447 just a tenth of a second ahead of his teammate Bottas. Using the mighty performance of their Mercedes-inspired RP20, Racing Point locked out the second row with Stroll beating his teammate Perez for the third place.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarQ1Q2Q3Laps
144Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:14.9071:14.2611:13.44722
277Valtteri BottasMERCEDES1:15.4741:14.5301:13.55420
318Lance StrollRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:14.8951:15.1761:14.37722
411Sergio PerezRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:14.6811:15.3941:14.54522
55Sebastian VettelFERRARI1:15.4551:15.1311:14.77420
616Charles LeclercFERRARI1:15.7931:15.0061:14.81720
733Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA1:15.4951:14.9761:14.84921
84Lando NorrisMCLAREN RENAULT1:15.4441:15.0851:14.96620
955Carlos SainzMCLAREN RENAULT1:15.2811:15.2671:15.02721
1010Pierre GaslyALPHATAURI HONDA1:15.7671:15.508-14
113Daniel RicciardoRENAULT1:15.8481:15.661-14
1263George RussellWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:15.5851:15.698-14
1323Alexander AlbonRED BULL RACING HONDA1:15.7221:15.715-16
1431Esteban OconRENAULT1:15.7191:15.742-14
156Nicholas LatifiWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:16.1051:16.544-14
1620Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:16.152--9
1726Daniil KvyatALPHATAURI HONDA1:16.204--9
188Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI1:16.407--8
1999Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:16.506--12
207Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:16.614--12