It’s pole position for Lewis Hamilton as F1 took to the Hungaroring for Qualifying ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix tomorrow, his ninth at the circuit.
Joining the seven-time World Champion on the front row is the reigning World Champion Max Verstappen, with it being an all-McLaren second row, Norris ahead of Piastri.
Qualifying had a new process this weekend with set tyres being available for each session and it made for an interesting watch for viewers as all teams took to the track on the same tyre compound. Hard tyres in Q1, medium tyres in Q2 and for the ten fastest on the grid, soft tyres in Q3.
Free practice 3 had left fans hopeful of seeing a Verstappen vs Hamilton battle which we have seen many times over the last few years and we got this in Q3 with under two-tenths splitting the World Champions.
It was a sunny day as the drivers took to the track for Q1 with the hard compound tyres. Track limits were in force in this session, with lap times deleted for any violations. Haas’ Kevin Magnussen was the first victim of the session and he wouldn’t make it into Q2.
The big story from Q1 was the elimination of George Russell, who struggled to get a clear lap in his Mercedes. He took pole here last year and will be disappointed with his P18 finish. Joining him going out in the first part of qualifying were Alex Albon, Yuki Tsunoda, Magnussen and Logan Sargeant.
In Q2, it was Ferrari stealing the headlines as they struggled to get both their drivers high enough on the leaderboard to safely make in into the top ten shootout.
Max Verstappen had his lap time deleted and then ran out of sync in comparison to the rest of the grid to ensure he got a clear lap in. He went second fastest behind Lando Norris by two-tenths. Hamilton would then move into second as both Verstappen and Norris remained in their garages, appearing to be safely through to Q3.
Sainz was the headline act eliminated from Q2, with Ocon, Ricciardo, Stroll and Gasly also being eliminated in the second part of the session, which medium tyres were used for.
As Q3 drew in, the battle between Verstappen, Hamilton and Norris had everyone wondering who would claim pole position. Verstappen was top but didn’t improve on his second run, this meant all eyes were on the British drivers following behind him.
With Norris only able to take second, the attention switched to Lewis Hamilton behind who went 0.003 seconds faster than Verstappen to take his first pole since Saudi Arabia in 2021.
Verstappen, Norris and Piastri make up the rest of the first two rows, with Zhou Guanyu ahead of Charles Leclerc, Valtteri Bottas and Fernando Alonso. Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top ten.