Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen scored his first career pole in F1 Hungarian GP, beating Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton.
The first part of F1 Hungarian GP qualifying at a dry and sunny Hungaroring had some dramas as Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen led Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc crashing in the final corner but making it through.
The Monegasque lost the rear to hit the tyre barrier which required a rear wing change. In the lower half, it was a double disaster for Racing Point with Sergio Perez (1m17.109s) in 17th and Lance Stroll (1m17.542s) in 19th – both having troubles.
Perez had a run-in on his final lap with Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo (1m17.257s), who was also knocked out in Q1 in 18th. The Australian tried to jump the line to start his quick lap as he went past Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and also Perez but the Mexican came back.
It limited both their laps which helped Williams’ George Russell (1m17.031s) to be 16th to register his best qualifying result with Robert Kubica (1m18.324s) only 20th. Stroll, meanwhile, was impeded by Alfa Romeo Racing’s Antonio Giovinazzi as stewards put him under investigation.
The second session started with all the Top 3 teams opting for the medium compound to set their quickest time to start the F1 Hungarian GP on Sunday. It was Mercedes’ Hamilton in front with Red Bull’s Verstappen in second from Bottas.
The day for Renault didn’t go well with Nico Hulkenberg (1m16.565s) missing out to be 11th by just the 0.047s as Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon (1m16.687s) ended up 12th ahead of teammate Daniil Kvyat (1m16.692s).
Behind them, Alfa Romeo’s Giovinazzi (1m16.804s) was 14th ahead of Haas’ Magnussen (1m17.081s), as the Italian looks set to be penalised after replays showed a clear impeding of Stroll at Turn 5 in Q1.
The fight for pole intensified in the final part of qualifying as Red Bull’s Verstappen took provisional pole with a anew lap record of 1m14.958s to be ahead of the Mercedes duo of Bottas and Hamilton, with the two Ferrari drivers behind.
Everyone improved on their finals but it was Red Bull and Verstappen to do the job with a record lap of 1m14.572s to register his first F1 career pole in Hungarian GP and become the 100th driver to do so. Honda had their first pole in the V6 era as well.
It was close though with Bottas (1m14.590s) only 0.018s behind in second but he crucially beat Hamilton (1m14.769s), with Ferrari’s Leclerc (1m15.043s) and Vettel (1m15.071s) finishing fourth and fifth – the Top 5 separated by 0.449s.
Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly (1m15.450s) was looking good early on but lost time in the first sector on his quick lap to be sixth ahead of the two McLaren drivers as Lando Norris (1m15.800s) beat teammate Carlos Sainz (1m15.852s).
The Top 10 was then completed by Haas’ Romain Grosjean (1m16.013s) and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen (1m16.041s).
UPDATE: As expected, the stewards handed a three-place grid penalty to Giovinazzi for impeding Stroll in Q1. The Italian thereby drops to 17th, while the Canadian stays 19th. It helps Magnussen to be 14th, Russell 15th and Perez 16th.
— #MsportXtra (@MsportXtra) August 3, 2019