Hungarian GP: Verstappen beats Bottas by 0.018s to first F1 pole

Max Verstappen claimed his first Formula 1 pole position at the 93rd attempt in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix

Hungarian GP: Verstappen beats Bottas by 0.018s to first F1 pole

The Red Bull driver took control on the first runs in Q3 with a lap of 1m14.958s, which put him 0.178 seconds ahead of the lead Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.

While Bottas was able to eclipse Verstappen's original benchmark time at the second attempt, Verstappen had already banged in a 1m14.572s to clinch pole position by just 0.018s thanks to his pace in the final sector.

Lewis Hamilton was two tenths off the pace in third place ahead of the lead Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, who survived spinning backwards into the barrier at the last corner during Q1 to earn fourth.

Sebastian Vettel was half-a-second off the pace in fifth place ahead of the second Red Bull of Pierre Gasly, who was almost nine-tenths off Verstappen's pace.

All of the top six will start Sunday's race using medium Pirellis having used that tyre to set their times in Q2.

McLaren led the way in the battle for midfield supremacy, with Lando Norris shading Carlos Sainz Jr by 0.052s.

Romain Grosjean took ninth in the Australian Grand Prix-specification Haas, 0.028s faster than the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen.

Renault's Nico Hulkenberg was bumped to 11th place and quickest of those eliminated in Q2 by Raikkonen's late lap - missing out by less than half a tenth.

Although Hulkenberg failed to improve on his second run, that was still enough to keep him ahead of fellow non-improvers, Toro Rosso pairing Alex Albon and Daniil Kvyat.

Antonio Giovinazzi was 14th for Alfa Romeo having also failed to find time at the second attempt, putting him ahead of Kevin Magnussen in the latest-specification Haas, who was unable to repeat his strong Q1 pace in Q2.

Giovinazzi also faces the threat of a grid penalty for impeding Lance Stroll's Racing Point at Turn 5, with stewards investigating the incident after the session.

George Russell missed out on a first appearance in Q2 by just 0.053s having been in the top 15 until the last moment in the first segment of qualifying.

Russell had made sure of clear track for his final run by making his attempt just before the rest started their laps, temporarily climbing as high as eighth.

But he was shuffled down the order as others completed their final laps, with Hulkenberg the final driver to get ahead and push him into the Q1 dropzone.

Racing Point's Sergio Perez did enough on his final run to jump ahead of the second Renault of Daniel Ricciardo, who had to back out of his final lap.

Ricciardo was caught in a gaggle of traffic at the last corner ahead of the start of his lap and attempted to find clear air by going around Perez before having to back out of it when the Racing Point driver was unwilling to let him go.

Stroll was 19th in the second Racing Point, eight tenths faster than Williams driver Robert Kubica.

Provisional starting grid

Pos Driver Car Gap
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1m14.572s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 0.018s
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 0.197s
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 0.471s
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.499s
6 Pierre Gasly Red Bull/Honda 0.878s
7 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1.228s
8 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren/Renault 1.280s
9 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1.441s
10 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1.469s
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1.993s
12 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso/Honda 2.115s
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Honda 2.120s
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 2.509s
15 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 2.459s
16 Sergio Perez Racing Point/Mercedes 2.537s
17 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 2.232s
18 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 2.970s
19 Robert Kubica Williams/Mercedes 3.752s
20 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 2.685s

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