Hamilton heads Mercedes 1-2 in Hungarian GP qualifying - The Race
Formula 1

Hamilton heads Mercedes 1-2 in Hungarian GP qualifying

Jul 31 2021
By Valentin Khorounzhiy

Reigning Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes 1-2 in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Hamilton claimed pole by three tenths, ending points leader Verstappen’s pole streak in the process – although he’d already outqualified Verstappen at Silverstone, only to drop behind in the sprint race that determined the official pole.

Notably, only the two Mercedes drivers recorded their fastest Q2 times on the medium tyres, with every other car in the top 10 – including Verstappen – set to start on the softer tyre.

The opening runs in Q3 had established a Mercedes 1-2, with Hamilton 0.565s clear of Verstappen, who complained of “a massive lack of grip on this set”.

Verstappen then ran behind a leisure-paced Hamilton on his out-lap on the second set and only just managed to get a flying lap in time, which was an improvement – but still left him a tenth off Bottas and four tenths off poleman Hamilton, despite neither Mercedes improving on their final attempts.

Perez, behind Verstappen on his final run, didn’t get to start his flyer at all, but still remained fourth, narrowly seeing off AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and McLaren’s Lando Norris – with Red Bull describing what transpired to Perez as “gamesmanship”, presumably from Mercedes.

Charles Leclerc was the sole Ferrari in Q3 after Carlos Sainz crashed out, and took seventh, ahead of the two Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso.

Sebastian Vettel did just a single run in Q3 and ended up completing the order in the final segment.

Sainz spun and hit the barriers at the final corner of his first flying lap in Q2, resigning himself to a 15th-place start at best, pending any potential penalties.

The Spaniard tried to drive back to the pits after the left-side impact, but the front wing broke off and got caught under his SF21, stopping it in its tracks.

Daniel Ricciardo was in the top 10 when Sainz’s shunt brought out the red flag, but team-mate Norris ultimately booked a Q3 place at his expense.

Ricciardo will instead share row six with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, the pair both around a tenth off Vettel in the final Q3 transfer spot.

Both Alfa Romeos had made the second segment, and Kimi Raikkonen ultimately ended a four-race run of being outqualified by team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi, beating the Italian to 13th place by 0.019s.

Yuki Tsunoda’s difficult Hungarian GP weekend continued, with the AlphaTauri rookie adding a Q1 exit – translating to a provisional 16th place on the grid – to his Friday crash.

Williams driver George Russell suffered his first Q1 elimination of the season, but still maintained his perfect qualifying record over team-mate Latifi.

The Canadian had a tenth in a half in hand over the Briton after the first sector, but ended up a tenth short in 18th and complained of “cutting” on the radio.

Nikita Mazepin was the sole Haas representative on track and placed 19th, with team-mate Mick Schumacher’s VF-20 not repaired in time – meaning he was forced to miss qualifying after a practice shunt for the second time this season.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m16.424s 1m16.553s 1m15.419s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m16.569s 1m16.702s 1m15.734s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1m16.214s 1m15.65s 1m15.84s
4 Sergio Pérez Red Bull-Honda 1m17.233s 1m16.443s 1m16.421s
5 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 1m16.874s 1m16.394s 1m16.483s
6 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1m17.081s 1m16.385s 1m16.489s
7 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m17.084s 1m16.574s 1m16.496s
8 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1m17.367s 1m16.766s 1m16.653s
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault 1m17.123s 1m16.541s 1m16.715s
10 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m17.105s 1m16.794s 1m16.75s
11 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes 1m17.664s 1m16.871s
12 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m17.038s 1m16.893s
13 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m17.553s 1m17.564s
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m17.776s 1m17.583s
15 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1m16.649s
16 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda 1m17.919s
17 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1m17.944s
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1m18.036s
19 Nikita Mazepin Haas-Ferrari 1m18.922s
20 Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari

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