Hamilton edges Verstappen to claim the first pole since 2021

Hamilton edges Verstappen to claim the first pole since 2021

Lewis Hamilton secured his first pole position since 2021 by edging Max Verstappen by barely 0.0003 of a second at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton overcame his negative evaluation of Friday’s practice to put in a stunning last run and claim pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix, edging out Max Verstappen of Red Bull by a margin of three thousandths of a second.

Lando Norris expressed disappointment at finishing “only” third. As a result, he and his McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri will share the second row of the starting grid for tomorrow’s race, which will feature Zhou Guanyu of Alfa Romeo who finished strongly in fifth.

Verstappen held the provisional pole position approaching the end of the qualifying event, but Hamilton was able to nab it with his last-ditch attempt to win his 104th pole position and first since the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in 2021.

Qualifying at the Hungaroring took on a new aspect this weekend with the Alternative Tyre Allocation approach taking place, most noticeably in the opening stages of the session. For the first part of qualifying, all 20 drivers had to use just hard compound tyres and many of them had not even completed a single lap on the white-walled tyre during practice.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly were the first to record timed laps during the session, but Sergio Perez in the Red Bull quickly outpaced their high 1’19s with a time of 1’19.292. Valtteri Bottas made Alfa Romeo the fastest of all surpassing Max Verstappen who was second fastest.

Five drivers had laps deleted for breaching track limits in the opening half of the session and the issue quickly evolved into a worry for drivers. Oscar Piastri, Zhou Guanyu, Kevin Magnussen and Williams duo Alexander Albon and Sargeant each forfeited a lap for exceeding the white lines out of the track at four different locations throughout the lap.

Verstappen surged to edge out Bottas for the top spot in the times while his Red Bull teammate Perez pitted for a second set of hard tyres in an effort to gain ground.

Ferrari had cause for concern with five minutes left since Charles Leclerc was sitting in the drop zone in 16th place alone with Lance Stroll, Nico Hulkenberg, Sargeant, and Magnussen. Leclerc put on a fresh pair of hard tires and surged into third place, while Stroll moved into the top 10.

Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz Jr. were now in danger of elimination as a result, but the Ferrari driver outran his teammate by a mere fraction of a second to avoid failure.

After leaving the pits in the wake of teammate George Russell, Hamilton passed the sister W14 approaching after race engineer Peter Bonnington notified him they were free to “invert.”

The fact that Hamilton managed to avoid the drop zone despite hitting a traffic jam at the conclusion of the lap suggests that he was likely glad he made the move.

Russell, however, was not as lucky. As he came to the last turn before starting his final run, he was overtaken by a number of cars. He failed miserably on his previous effort, finishing in 18th place.

With his final run, Leclerc climbed into fourth up until Piastri overtook the Ferrari. Norris also improved his time, but he was unable to match Verstappen’s gain over his previous laptime due to his inability to discover additional economies.

Then, to the joy of the spectators in the Hungaroring grandstands, Hamilton outran the pair winning pole position by 0.003 seconds over Verstappen. Red Bull didn’t finish first in qualifying for the second time this season.

After earning his record-breaking tenth career pole position, Hamilton will line up alongside Verstappen on the front row for the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday. Norris and Piastri will make the second row all-McLaren.

Zhou’s stunning fifth place on the starting line put him next to Leclerc, and Bottas’ seventh place cemented a great day for Alfa placing him next to Alonso. For once, Perez may have advanced to the final round of qualifying but his finish on P9 just ahead of Hulkenberg would still have fallen short of Christian Horner’s targets for the weekend.


1Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m19.027s1m17.427s1m16.609s
2Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing1m18.318s1m17.427s1m16.612s
3Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1m18.695s1m17.328s1m16.694s
4Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren F1 Team1m18.464s1m17.563s1m16.905s
5Zhou GuanyuCHNAlfa Romeo F1 Team Stake1m18.143s1m17.675s1m16.971s
6Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1m18.440s1m17.571s1m16.992s
7Valtteri BottasFINAlfa Romeo F1 Team Stake1m18.743s1m17.547s1m17.034s
8Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team1m18.577s1m17.700s1m17.035s
9Sergio PerezMEXOracle Bull Racing1m18.360s1m17.652s1m17.045s
10Nico HulkenbergGERMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m18.580s1m17.580s1m17.186s
11Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari1m18.393s1m17.703s 
12Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m18.782s1m17.841s 
13Daniel RicciardoAUSScuderia AlphaTauri1m18.854s1m18.002s 
14Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team1m18.775s1m18.114s 
15Pierre GaslyFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m18.697s1m18.217s 
16Alex AlbonTHAWilliams Racing1m18.906s  
17Yuki TsunodaJPNScuderia AlphaTauri 1m18.917s  
18George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m18.919s  
19Kevin MagnussenDENMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m19.206s  
20Logan SargeantUSAWilliams Racing1m19.248s

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