The tricky conditions in the 2018 Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix played out well for the Mercedes drivers in the end as Lewis Hamilton took pole from teammate Valtteri Bottas with Ferrari only third and fourth.


The first part of qualifying at Hungaroring started with a damp track as drivers headed out for their first runs on the intermediate tyres. But soon enough, the teams started to dive to change to slick tyres.

The last ones to do so were Ferrari’s Vettel and Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo with the latter strangely opting for the soft compound instead of the ultrasoft tyres. In the end, Vettel topped the session from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Bottas.

Riccirado also made it through just in 12th as the day went from bad to worse for Force India drivers – both knocked out in Q1 despite the lottery session. Esteban Ocon (1m19.142s) finished 18th ahead of Sergio Perez (1m19.200s).

Along with the Force India drivers, McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne (1m18.782s) in 16th, Sauber’s Charles Leclerc (1m18.817s) in 17th and Williams’ Sergey Sirotkin (1m19.301s) were also knocked out.


It was a masterstroke in the end from Ferrari and Vettel to start the session on intermediate tyres when all the other drivers opted for the ultrasofts as rain continued to fall in the final sector.

The German had the track all to himself to top the session after it started to pour down midway allowing no one to better his time. Renault’s Carlos Sainz and Red bull’s Verstappen came closest to him.

Meanwhile, with the continuous rain, it was a first come first serve basis for a place inside the Top 10 with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso (1m35.214s) the first to lose out doing that along with a big scalp of Ricciardo (1m.36.921s).

The Australian was caught out in traffic to end up 13th behind Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg (1m36.506s) – when both their teammates finished second and third respectively. Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson (1m37.075s) finished 14th.

Williams’ Lance Stroll was 15th but he couldn’t set a lap time after his spin where he made contact with the barrier and lost his front wing. Also, spinning in the session was Ferrari’s Raikkonen but the Finn managed to get through to Q3.


The final part at Hungaroring started with all the 10 drivers on the wet compound as the conditions remained treacherous at least in the last part of the circuit. But Mercedes did well with Hamilton and Bottas going 1-2 initially.

The British driver kept improving on his time, but it was Raikkonen who took provisional pole midway in the session. A late tyre change for a fresh set of wets worked for Mercedes and not the Ferraris.

Raikkonen didn’t improve on his previous time of 1m36.186s as Bottas displaced him from the top spot with a 1m35.918s. However, the Finn was demoted to second as well after Hamilton took it on the final lap with a 1m35.658s.

The British driver improved in S1 and S3 which was enough to give him pole by 0.260s margin over Bottas. Raikkonen’s teammate Vettel (1m36.210s) improved on his last lap but he could only manage fourth in the end.

The usual Red Bulls were nowhere to be seen as Sainz (1m36.743s) did his all to be fifth ahead of Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly (1m37.591s). Verstappen (1m38.032s) was only seventh.

In his first Q3 appearance Brendon Hartley (1m38.128s) managed to out-qualify the Haas drivers. After showing good pace all weekend, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen (1m1m39.858s) was only ninth with Romain Grosjean (1m40.593s) in 10th.