By Robert Haile
Todays, July 31, qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix provided plenty of action as Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for tomorrow’s race.
After striking back at his home Grand Prix at Silverstone Lewis Hamilton currently sits seven points behind title rival Max Verstappen.
With his high speed crash and precautionary trip to hospital Verstappen was looking to take the first step to get back to winning ways.
In the first qualifying session Mick Schumacher was unable to put a time down having crashed in free practice three earlier in the day.
Joining the Haas driver was George Russell for Williams, who was unable to get out of the first session for the first time this season, Nicholas Latifi for Williams, Haas driver Nikita Mazepin and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda.
Going out in the second session was Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz who went sideways into the tire wall and started to drive away but the front wing dropped under the car.
McLarens Daniel Ricciardo missed out by the finest of margins to Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel as Aston Martin teammate Lance Stroll joined both Alfa Romeo driver’s Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi in the elimination zone.
The top ten battled it out after Verstappen had been fastest in both of the previous session he set the third fastest time behind both Mercedes drivers as Valtteri Bottas then Hamilton went faster in the early exchanges.
With time running out Hamilton took them round the track slowly with both Red Bull drivers behind him as time ran out Sergio Perez missed out unable to improve on fourth.
AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was first round taking fifth, Lando Norris was sixth for McLaren, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will start seventh.
Alpine will be eighth and ninth with Esteban Ocon bouncing back to beat Fernando Alonso as Vettel settled for tenth.
At the front it stayed the same as Verstappen improved but not enough to dislodge the Mercedes front row.
Speaking after the race Hamilton said: “It was an amazing qualifying lap, that last one. There’s been amazing teamwork from everyone this weekend, Valtteri included. We’re just trying to push the car forwards, developing constantly and the guys back at the factory have been working flat out, leaving no stone unturned. It’s been amazing to see everyone coming together, rallying each other and pushing forwards, and I appreciate the great support I have here.
“The Soft tyre is worth something like five metres down into turn one and it’s a long way down to the first corner so it’ll be exciting tomorrow – it’s surprising to see all the guys behind us on the Soft tyre. It’s definitely great having a front row lockout for our Team, it’s the first one in a long time and I just feel so grateful to everyone back at the factory.”
Pole Position – Lewis Hamilton Mercedes – 1:15.419
Q1 – Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), Max Verstappen (Red Bull), Sergio Perez (Red Bull), Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), Lando Norris (McLaren), Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Esteban Ocon (Alpine), Fernando Alonso (Alpine), Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
Q2 – Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren), Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
Q3 – Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), George Russell (Williams), Nicholas Latifi (Williams), Nikita Mazepin (Haas), Mick Schumacher (Haas)