Red Bull’s Max Verstappen claims his first F1 Pole Position after a tight qualifying session beating Mercedes Valterri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton as Williams George Russell stars, qualifying in a season best of 16th.
After starting on the front-row 7 times before today having never been on Pole Position, Max Verstappen has missed out on the coveted starting position a number of times, notably last year in Mexico when he lost out to team-mate Daniel Ricciardo but that wasn’t the case today as the Dutchman became the 100th driver to claim a Pole Position.
After his first run in Q3, he was over one and a half tenths ahead of Valterri Bottas to the delight of the Dutch fans. Amazingly, Verstappen improved to a 1:14:572 but had Bottas nipping at his heals only 18 milliseconds behind. In tandem, the Verstappen fans and the Red Bull garage leapt to their feet, cheering on the Austrian and German GP winner.
- 1st Honda Pole Position since the 2006 Australian GP where Jenson Button took Pole Position.
- Verstappen becomes the 100th driver to take a Pole Position.
- He also becomes the first Dutchman to take Pole Position in the history of F1.
It was a much-needed 2nd place for Bottas who crashed out of the German GP in the latter stages. The Finn had been behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton for most of the weekend but it was a real confidence booster for the former Williams driver to beat Hamilton at one of his most successful tracks. Hamilton settled for 3rd but was in better form than last weekend when he nearly pulled out of racing due to him not feeling 100%.
Although being rapid in the first sector of the Hungaroring, Ferrari, were a distant 4th and 5th. Their advantage in the 1st sector had been wiped out come the 3rd sector of the lap where Red Bull and Mercedes had been quicker in the slow to medium speed corners. Charles Leclerc headed Sebastian Vettel but Leclerc’s session could have ended earlier as the Monegasque lost the rear of his SF90 and hit the barriers at turn 14 in Q1 damaging hit rear wing and diffuser. However a speedy fix by his Ferrari mechanics got him out of danger.
Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly struggled in 6th and was more than 3 and a half tenths behind Vettel in 5th. Behind the top 3 team, McLaren once again were very impressive with Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr in 7th and 8th with the Haas of Romain Grosjean and the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen rounding-out the top 10.
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg narrowly missed out on a spot in Q3 and will line-up in 11th while team-mate Daniel Ricciardo had a much more tougher time. The Australian was held up by Racing Point’s Sergio Perez on his final run in Q1 and that hampered the “Honey Badger” and he will line-up in 18th.
George Russell starred in Q1. The struggling Williams team seem to have turned a corner in development and understanding of the FW42 with Russell making the most of the updates that the team brought to the German GP last time out to line-up in 16th. This was ahead of Perez, Ricciardo, Lance Stroll and his team-mate, Robert Kubica.
Hungarian Qualifying Result
1.Verstappen 2.Bottas 3.Hamilton 4.Leclerc 5.Vettel 6.Gasly 7.Norris 8.Sainz Jr 9.Grosjean 10.Raikkonen 11.Hulkenberg 12.Albon 13.Kvyat 14.Giovinazzi 15.Magnussen 16.Russell 17.Perez 18.Ricciardo 19.Stroll 20.Kubica