Monday , September 26 2022

Max Verstapen holds the first career position in Hungary


The race on Sunday is live on the BBC Sport website at 14:10 BST, with updates from 12:30

Red Bull Max Verstapen took his first position in Formula One in an exciting qualifying session at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Dutchman beat Walter Botas' Mercedes by 0.018 seconds, the third was Louis Hamilton and the next was Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari.

Verstapenpen was 0.9 seconds faster than his team-mate Pierre Gusley in sixth place.

And there were exceptional performances from British rookies Lando Norris and George Russell in the seventh and 16th.

How did it go so long?

Verstappen is the first Dutch driver to secure a pole position

Verstappen's pole has long come in its fifth season, but it came with style.

The 21-year-old, who has won two of the last three races, was the fastest in both runs in the final qualifying and improved by 0.4s in her final run to push Botas away.

Verstappen said: "It feels good, but throughout the weekend the car was very competitive. It's always a question of how it will get in the qualification, where we know that Mercedes (Mercedes) can increase a little more power. But the car was amazing, it was really nice. to drive.

"It's very nice to take your first pillar, but what happens on Sunday is what counts. I knew it was a matter of time. I made mistakes and missed a shot. We finally achieved it today. "

Bottas improved even more in his last lap – clocking more than 0.5 sec at his previous best to get so close to the pole.

Worth the wait: Orange army celebrates Verstapen's maiden pole in the stands

The result was amused by the thousands of Dutch fans wearing orange t-shirts who seem to follow Verstapen for every European race.

Hamilton was 0.197sec. Tempo in third, but optimistic for a strong race, especially since there is a long run to the first corner and the even side of the net where Bottas will start, is traditionally more slippery.

"This is a bit short of me in the qualifiers, but we are in a good position to fight for the win and we will be pushing hard," Hamilton said.

Another mistake from Leclerc

Ferraris have not been on the move in Hungary, a tight and twisted chain is not in favor of their car, which lacks power compared to Mercedes and Red Bull.

Leclair avoided a crash in the first qualifying session, which left him with slight damage in the back of his car to outstrip Vettel by 0.028 seconds.

Not for the first time: Leclerc took the qualifying round, but still beat teammate Vettel to start fourth in the grid

The 21-year-old is 0.471sec.

Leclair lost control in the last corner in the middle of the first session, damaging the rear wing.

It seemed for a while that his session might be over, but Ferrari was able to replace the rear wing in time to take it out in the second session.

There was some damage to the structure of the crash in the back of the car, at least, so it was a strong performance by Leclerc – as well as some relief after the latter in a series of mistakes that threatened to hit his day.

Norris and Russell get even better

Russell said after his Q1 presentation: "It shows everything the team has done in the last year, it's worth it."

Norris was superb at McLaren, consistently the fastest midfielder, although the big difference between the other rivals was closed to only 0.052 seconds. Teammate Carlos Sainz, after all.

But Norris' performance was overshadowed by Russell, who came so close that he removed Williams from his first qualification for the first time this year.

He missed 0.05 seconds, but it was still a major step forward for the team to beat cars from other teams for the first time.

Russell won both the points of Sergio Perez and Lance Strohl, as well as Daniel Richard's Renault, and the Briton was a massive 1,293 seconds faster than teammate Robert Kubica.

Russell said the aerodynamic upgrades that Williams presented at the last race in Germany helped them work tires more efficiently. This led to a complex effect and a much needed boost for the team, which spent much of the year at the end of the backcourt.

Richard paid the penalty for getting into a mess with Racing Point at Perez in the last corner as they both sought the best starting position for the laps.

Surprisingly, Hamilton was the only one of the four British drivers who did not qualify as a teammate in Hungary.
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