Hamilton secures pole position for Hungarian GP

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, Friday – Steve Etherington Credits: Daimler

Mercedes come back to dominate qualifying as Lewis Hamilton secures pole in a Mercedes front-row lockout ahead of the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez

Qualifying saw the top teams come off later than usual, owing to rain last night, leading to less than ideal track conditions at the Hungaroring. Slight wind was reported, especially in Sector 3, slowing down drivers as they put in their lap times.

Q1 saw drivers set laps around the 1:16 mark early on, with the exception of Haas’ Mick Schumacher, who had a hard crash in FP3 which brought out the red flags in that session and forcing him to stay out of qualifying.

In a first for the 2021 season, Williams driver George Russell was eliminated in Q1 after a last-minute effort to get out of the elimination zone failed as the Briton struggled with understeer.

At the end of Q1, Tsunoda, alongside the Williams and Haas duos were eliminated in Q1, in a sixth Q1 elimination for the AlphaTauri rookie this season.

Q2 saw blisteringly hot track temperatures, with drivers visibly struggling with their machinery during their hot laps at the Hungaroring, a circuit that is one of the slowest on the calendar.

Carlos Sainz spun off into the barrier at the final corner in Q2, bringing out the red flag and ruining his lap. At first sight, there was extensive damage to the front wing, a worrying problem for Ferrari. The incident was a massive blow to the Maranello outfit, as the gearbox became at risk for irreparable damage.

The session was resumed after the debris were cleared, offering drivers 5 minutes to set new lap times and try to improve their chances of getting into Q3.

A surprise elimination came in the form of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, who was eliminated in Q2 after outperforming his team-mate throughout the weekend until then. Joining him in disappointment is Daniel Ricciardo who missed out from Q3 by mere milliseconds, with Vettel narrowly snatching P10.

Q3 saw the finalization of the starting grid for tomorrow’s race as drivers kept setting the fastest laps, claiming provisional pole one after the other, leading to an exciting Q3.

Despite narrowly missing the chequered flag for a last-ditch attempt for pole, Verstappen did not improve his lap time as Mercedes lock out the front row with Hamilton in pole.

The top 10 qualifying classification for the Hungarian Grand Prix:

1HamiltonMercedes-AMG Petronas1:15.419
2BottasMercedes-AMG Petronas+0.315
3VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda+0.421
4PerezRed Bull Racing Honda+1.002
5GaslyAlphaTauri Honda+1.064
6NorrisMcLaren Mercedes+1.070
7LeclercScuderia Ferrari+1.077
8OconAlpine Renault+1.234
9AlonsoAlpine Renault+1.296
10VettelAston Martin Mercedes+1.331
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