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Qualifying report
Formula 1 Hungarian GP

F1 Hungarian GP: Hamilton snatches pole from Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton snatched pole from Max Verstappen by just 0.003s for the Hungarian Grand Prix in a thrilling and closely contested Formula 1 qualifying session.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

The Mercedes driver was the last driver to cross the line in Q3 at the Hungaroring, and overturned Max Verstappen's benchmark lap to claim his first pole position of the season.

The qualifying format was tweaked as part of an 'alternative tyre allocation' trial, where only hard tyres could be used in Q1, medium tyres in Q2, and softs in Q3, which yielded a competitive qualifying session.

Lando Norris broke into the 1m16s with his opening gambit, a 1m16.904s to sit atop the order, but the McLaren driver had his hopes dashed when Verstappen threw down the gauntlet to set a 1m16.612s.

Hamilton then separated the pair that had locked out the front row at Silverstone with a 1m16.738s, showcasing the potential that Mercedes had shown in glimmers over the course of the weekend.

When it came to the second and final series of runs, Verstappen's first sector had been less impressive than his first. Despite improvement in the second part of the lap, he fell short of his earlier time and left him vulnerable to an attack from the drivers behind.

Norris got close, just falling short after setting a 1m16.694s, but Hamilton was up on Verstappen's delta by the close of the second sector. Although the Mercedes appeared to step out of line in the final couple of corners, the seven-time champion held on to claim a first pole since 2021.

The McLarens locked out the second row as Oscar Piastri set the best middle sector of the session, as Zhou Guanyu was another driver to star in qualifying as the Alfa Romeo driver put his car onto fifth on Sunday's grid.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60

Photo by: Michael Potts / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc was sixth fastest ahead of Valtteri Bottas, who was just over half a tenth away from his Chinese team-mate, as Fernando Alonso was just 0.001s behind the Finn to take eighth.

Sergio Perez claimed ninth on the grid having broken a streak of five races without a Q3 appearance, as Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10 having once again dragged his Haas into the top-10 shootout.

Carlos Sainz was dumped out of the second part of qualifying by Ferrari team-mate Leclerc at the death of the session, as the Spanish driver trailed countryman Alonso by a scant 0.002s.

Verstappen suffered a scare when his initial Q2 table-topping effort was deleted for surpassing track limits at Turn 5, which strong-armed him into going for a second effort on a new set of the mandated medium tyre.

He broke into the top 10 with apparent ease despite taking margin with the white lines, dumping Esteban Ocon into the bottom five to set up a thrilling battle to get into the final part of qualifying.

Bottas demonstrated the pace of the Alfa Romeo and rocketed up to fourth to secure safety, precipitating the duel between the Ferraris to break through.

Sainz was the one to miss out when Leclerc crept through to the final part of qualifying, but was over a tenth clear of Ocon - who lines up 12th for Sunday's grand prix.

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C43

Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C43

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Daniel Ricciardo grabbed 13th for his return after replacing Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri, as Lance Stroll was promoted to 14th after Pierre Gasly's final lap was deleted for track limits. The final times all fell within a second of each other.

George Russell was the biggest scalp in a wild Q1 session having been unable to better his time in the dying stages of the session, as Zhou headed the order on the hard tyres.

Russell was heard complaining about the high levels of traffic ahead of his final lap, and the Briton was overtaken by Lando Norris, Bottas and Pierre Gasly ahead of the final corner as they jostled for track position. This left Russell on the back foot, and crossed the line stranded in 18th.

Alex Albon had seemingly made good his escape from the drop zone, but fell down the order as Ricciardo burst through to outqualify Yuki Tsunoda at the first attempt. Albon was less than 0.8s short of Zhou's benchmark, with Tsunoda just 0.002s shy of the Anglo-Thai driver.

Russell qualified ahead of Kevin Magnussen and Logan Sargeant, the American losing a lap due to track limits at the top of the session and then rattled across the Turn 6/7 chicane on another effort to break out of the bottom five.

F1 Hungarian GP qualifying results

Driver Info
Cla Driver # Chassis Engine Time km/h
1 United Kingdom L. Hamilton Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 44 Mercedes Mercedes 1'16.609 205.871
2 Netherlands M. Verstappen Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1 Red Bull Red Bull +0.003 205.863
3 United Kingdom L. Norris Lando Norris McLaren 4 McLaren Mercedes +0.085 205.643
4 Australia O. Piastri Oscar Piastri McLaren 81 McLaren Mercedes +0.296 205.078
5 China Z. Guanyu Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 24 Alfa Romeo Ferrari +0.362 204.903
6 Monaco C. Leclerc Charles Leclerc Ferrari 16 Ferrari Ferrari +0.383 204.847
7 Finland V. Bottas Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 77 Alfa Romeo Ferrari +0.425 204.735
8 Spain F. Alonso Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Racing 14 Aston Martin Mercedes +0.426 204.732
9 Mexico S. Perez Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing 11 Red Bull Red Bull +0.436 204.706
10 Germany N. Hulkenberg Nico Hulkenberg Haas F1 Team 27 Haas Ferrari +0.577 204.332
11 Spain C. Sainz Carlos Sainz Ferrari 55 Ferrari Ferrari +1.094 202.972
12 France E. Ocon Esteban Ocon Alpine 31 Alpine Renault +1.232 202.613
13 Australia D. Ricciardo Daniel Ricciardo AlphaTauri 3 AlphaTauri Red Bull +1.393 202.194
14 Canada L. Stroll Lance Stroll Aston Martin Racing 18 Aston Martin Mercedes +1.535 201.827
15 France P. Gasly Pierre Gasly Alpine 10 Alpine Renault +1.608 201.639
16 Thailand A. Albon Alex Albon Williams 23 Williams Mercedes +2.308 199.850
17 Japan Y. Tsunoda Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 22 AlphaTauri Red Bull +2.310 199.845
18 United Kingdom G. Russell George Russell Mercedes 63 Mercedes Mercedes +2.418 199.572
19 Denmark K. Magnussen Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team 20 Haas Ferrari +2.597 199.121
20 United States L. Sargeant Logan Sargeant Williams 2 Williams Mercedes +2.639 199.015

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