Teams’ reactions following the Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying

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Although the scene was set for another close battle between Ferrari and Red Bull, the Scuderia had another team to fight against in the qualifying session of the Hungarian Grand Prix. F1Technical’s Balázs Szabó reports from the artificially lit Hungaroring paddock.

Red Bull had its fair share of problems today with Sergio Perez having a lap time deleted in Q2 and then unable to set a good enough lap to get himself through into the last qualifying segment. His team mate Max Verstappen did not have any problems when it came to pure pace as he set the benchmark in the middle part of qualifying.

However, the Dutchman made a crucial mistake on his first flying lap that saw him lose over a second in the opening sector. When he attempted a second hot lap, the Dutchman reported his Red Bull had lost power which saw him fall to 10th as others improved on their second run.

That left the two Ferrari drivers fight for the pole position with the Scuderia being on course to lock out the front row. However, George Russell made a mammoth effort to secure a surprising pole position with a sensational lap. Carlos Sainz will line up second on the grid tomorrow with his team mate Charles Leclerc grabbing third place for tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix.


Lewis Hamilton, 7th, 1:18.142

"My DRS stopped working, which was frustrating after all the struggle we had to finally have the chance to fight for front row but then not being able to, because of the issues with the DRS. We did a lot of work overnight at track and back at the factory. The car didn't feel good in FP3, but was strong in Qualifying.

"We didn't know how strong our pace was and where it came from so it's a very positive day for us. I will do what I can tomorrow to support and contribute to us in winning from P7 and I will try and work my way up. I don't know where our race pace is going to be tomorrow, but hopefully we will be in a position to attack. Huge congratulations to George, it's an amazing feeling to get your first pole position and it's also huge for us as a team."

George Russell, 1st, 1:17.377

"I'm over the moon and absolutely buzzing. Yesterday was disastrous for us and probably the worst Friday of the season. The team was working so hard last night and we were able to make a big step forward. In Formula 1 there are so many fine margins and when you get in that perfect window, your car will just fly, which we managed to do in today's conditions.

"We didn't know what direction to go in but on the last lap I came across the line, looked at the screen and saw we went P1, which was such an incredible feeling. We need to look into our performance from today and understand where it came from. We have a few ideas, but don't fully understand it yet. Getting this result today is really huge for all of us. I'm so happy for the whole team and we will do our best to have a great day tomorrow and give it our all."


Charles Leclerc, 3rd, 1:17.567

"It wasn’t a great session. The tyres were very tricky in these conditions and I struggled to get them in the right window, especially in Q3. The pace is there and we know we have some work to do. I’m confident we can come back stronger tomorrow. Congratulations to George for his first pole position, it’s a special one!"

Carlos Sainz, 2nd, 1:17.421

"I’m not very happy with the final result as I feel I could have done a better lap on the final attempt. However, I prefer to focus on the positives: we are in a good position for tomorrow, I’ve been comfortable in the car all weekend and we keep making steps in the right direction. I’m confident we can carry the good pace of Friday into the race, so we’ll definitely go for it. Congrats to George on his first pole. He did a very good lap today and I look forward to the battle tomorrow."

Red Bull

Max Verstappen, 10th, 1:18.823

“I don’t know exactly what happened, I drove out of the pits and there was no release and no power in the car, we couldn’t fix it. We tried everything we could whilst out on the track, I‘ll have a chat with the Team and I hope that everything is fixable. It’s frustrating to start in P10 tomorrow after such a positive qualifying, we looked competitive and we had good pace. Although we have a slight point advantage, you always want to start at the front, it’s difficult to overtake here and get through the traffic so we’ll have to be patient. Tomorrow is definitely going to be an interesting one.”

Sergio Perez, 11th, 1:18.516

“Qualification did not go as expected. I had to use a second set of tyres in Q2 because my first lap got deleted for track limits, then I got my time back but this already impacted our session. It was a bit of a strange situation. When I got going again Kevin (Magnussen) got in my way at turn 2, so I lost a few tenths as I had to go very big through the corner and couldn’t recover for the rest of the lap. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do much more. It wasn’t a great qualifying for me. I don’t have a great feeling in the car at the moment but tomorrow should be better, we should have better pace and hopefully we are able to recover to score some solid points.”


Lando Norris, 4th, 1:17.769

“A very good position, I wouldn’t have said we expected to be P4 but I’ll take it! Very good job by the team, ahead of the guys we want to be ahead of. It was a good lap, so I’m happy with it. I don’t think it could have been much better, position-wise, so happy with today and we’ll try to keep it up for tomorrow.”

Daniel Ricciardo, 9th, 1:18.379

“I think we’ve been pretty quick this weekend, and that was confirmed by getting both cars into Q3. I went slower in Q3 though, so I’m not happy about that. I honestly felt a bit better in Q1 than I did towards the end of the session. I just picked up a bit more understeer on that last run and it got away from us. I knew the lap wasn’t great, so I knew we weren’t going to be that high up in the top 10. We’ll look into it overnight and then focus on the race. Our pace on Friday looked encouraging so we’ll see what we can do and be pushing hard tomorrow.”


Esteban Ocon, 5th, 1:18.018

“I’m pleased with today’s Qualifying as it’s a very solid result, so thanks to the team for their hard work in making some really good improvements over the course of the weekend. We’ve equalled our best Qualifying result of the year, so we’re definitely satisfied with our performance.

"We still have Lando [Norris] ahead who seemed marginally quicker than us today and we’ll see how we fare against the McLarens tomorrow. It’s all to play for in the race, the day where points are scored, as anything can happen as we experienced last year! It’s a difficult track to overtake so if we can look after the tyres and manage our strategy well, we should be in a good position to head into the summer with more deserved points.”

Fernando Alonso, 6th, 1:18.078

“We have to be quite pleased with finishing inside the top six in Qualifying. I was competitive in the wet and dry conditions and I felt very strong in Q1 and Q2. Because of this, I was thinking I could have qualified a little higher, but a few others edged us on their final laps in Q3. We know it’s difficult to overtake here and we will be lining up on the dirty side of the grid which doesn’t help, but let’s see tomorrow! With both cars qualifying in the top six it’s a good result for the team. We will do our best to score as many points as we can tomorrow.”

Alfa Romeo

Valtteri Bottas, 8th, 1:18.157

“It is positive to be back in Q3, we finally got everything together and the results show for it. It has been a while since we have been there and it’s good to be where we feel we belong. We were closer to Alpine than we thought, which is a positive, and it seems we made a bit of progress since the last race.

"In terms of race pace, I believe there is not really a big difference between the teams at the top of the midfield, which should make for a good battle tomorrow. Still, this is a difficult track on which to overtake, so it is good to start from the Top 10 and be able to fight for the points right from the start. Tomorrow will be all about having a good start off the line and choosing the right strategy: I’m looking forward to it.”

Zhou Guanyu, 12th, 1:18.573

“I am quite happy with how qualifying went today, especially taking into account the difficult conditions we faced this morning. We finally got back to Q2 with both cars, and it’s been very intense as once again it was so close in the midfield. I was quite impressed with our pace today, as we seemed to be back on our levels after a couple of difficult weekends.

"Q3 wasn’t too far from my reach, but I encountered some traffic on my out-lap and the tyres weren’t ready, nevertheless I pulled together a good lap in the end and I’m happy about it. It looks like tomorrow won’t be any hotter than today, so hopefully that puts us in a good position for the race, to try and fight for places and bring home some points.”


Kevin Magnussen, 13th, 1:18.825

“You always want to make Q3 and it wasn’t one of our best qualifying sessions but it seems this weekend we’ve been a little bit less competitive. There’s a lot of work going into it but it’s one of those things that will take time to extract the most out of it. From P13, I think you can fight for points. The pace looked alright on the long run, certainly the car felt good in FP2 with high-fuel, if anything a little bit better than low-fuel. We’ll take what we can tomorrow and go and have some fun.”

Mick Schumacher, 15th, 1:19.202

“It was tougher than what I would’ve hoped for. It was quite a chaotic sequence of laps but on the other hand it’s qualifying, and you’ve got to try some stuff, and with the upgrade package the gap was a bit bigger than what we wanted it to be. Our car isn’t bad, we still have the opportunity to go forwards and how far forwards is the question. If there’s a race from start to finish with no Safety Car, maybe it will be a bit difficult to overtake, but we’ll give it a shot.”

Aston Martin

Sebastian Vettel, 18th, 1:19.273

“The off this morning in FP3 was a shame – obviously, it was my mistake, but I wasn’t pushing too hard when it happened. The track improved quite a bit throughout Q1. I thought my first lap was good, but then I could only do one cool-lap, so the tyres were still a bit too hot for my final lap. It doesn’t leave us in a good place for tomorrow. Getting the car repaired for qualifying with just minutes to spare makes failing to get out of Q1 hurt that bit more. There is very little possibility to overtake around here, so we will need to see what we can do with the strategy in tomorrow’s race.”

Lance Stroll, 14th, 1:19.137

“To qualify 14th was not what we really wanted today. Yesterday we looked more competitive, but the conditions were very different today and we just generally struggled for grip. We will have to look at the data to analyse why things panned out the way they did today. We have been performing better on race day, but it is tricky to overtake here – so it will be tough to make progress in the race, but there might be some interesting weather tomorrow which can go in our favour.”


Pierre Gasly, 19th, 1:19.527

“On one hand, it is extremely frustrating not to be part of Q2, but on the other hand we have made a small step forward since Friday. We managed to put a good lap together and were running in P13, set to get through to Q2, but unfortunately had our lap time deleted. It looked like we weren’t too far off the times of the cars in the top 10, so it’s all to play for during the race. There is definitely potential, it is up to us to make the right step forward to try and unlock the pace for tomorrow.”

Yuki Tsunoda, 16th, 1:19.240

“It’s been a difficult weekend so far, we’re struggling for grip in general and especially today in sector one I’ve had absolutely none, so overall the car has been really hard to drive. We knew it wouldn’t be an easy day, but we didn’t expect it to be as much of a struggle as it has been. We thought maybe we’d be able to get through to Q2, but that was even harder than we imagined. We’ve still got one more day to go, so we’ve got to try and fight back, it’s not easy to overtake here but I’ll do my best to try and finish this first half of the season on a more positive note.”


Nicholas Latifi, 20th, 1:19.570

“After a positive FP3 in the wet, we had to reset the expectations for qualifying with it being dry. I was looking to be on the cusp of Q2, but I missed the last corner quite bad. It’s frustrating to make a mistake in the final corner with snap of oversteer on entry after a big tailwind. I was surprised to hear I had a purple sector one. However, we’re still missing downforce from the package, so we know where we need to improve. It’s difficult to overtake here but we’ll be looking to capitalise on any opportunities that may come in the race tomorrow.”

Alex Albon, 17th, 1:19.256

“I was really happy with my qualifying lap. It was tricky going from the wet FP3 to a dry qualifying, the wind changed and we were missing a little bit of downforce. We’re very fast down the straights, but that is not the most helpful round this track. But we’ll do a rain dance ahead of tomorrow and we’ll see what we can do strategy wise.”