2020 Hungarian Grand Prix – Qualifying: Lewis Hamilton smashes track record to gain pole

Lewis Hamilton gained his second consecutive pole position in the relatively-fresh Formula One season, as he broke the track record twice in the process.

Q1

Verstappen was at the head of the queue at the start of Q1 when the light turned green. 18 drivers were straight out at the start of the qualifying session while teammates Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon, Renault, were the last drivers to get onto the track.

Despite having clean air, Verstappen was dropped down into seventh after setting the first timed lap of the session. However, Mercedes driver’s, Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton and Racing Point’s duo, Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll occupied the top four places respectively.

Furthermore, Hamilton and Bottas fought closely in the top position by the finest of margins as the Fin pipped the British world champion by 0.097 seconds. Shortly after, the six-time world champion beat his teammates time by 0.064 seconds as he briefly took the fastest lap.

Williams Racing have continued to improve since the start of the F1 season with their driving duo, George Russel and Nicholas Latifi, who managed to get into Q2 as Russell gained a higher qualifying position over his Canadian teammate.

“That’s a lap, that’s a lap”

Russell to Williams pit wall after he produced a 1:15.585 lap

Eliminations:

16. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

17. Daniil Kvyat (Alpha Tauri)

18. Romain Grosjean (Haas)

19. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)

20. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)

Q2

In an attempt to continue his momentum, Russell was one of the first drivers back on the track at the start of Q2. However, there was a mix of tyre compounds being used in the second third where; Perez, Stroll, Hamilton, Bottas, Ocon and Ricciardo used the medium tyres while the remaining drivers used opted for the softs.

Hamilton held onto the fastest lap during Q2 as we went into the last five minutes with an impressive 1:14.261 lap which was 0.269 seconds faster than his teammate and championship leader, Bottas, who was sat in P2 as they drove out for their final flying lap.

Despite this, Perez and Stroll were the only drivers to remain on the medium tyres while the remaining 13 drivers changed to the soft compound.

Albon failed to make it into the final third, while his teammate progressed, as the Thai driver complained about being released into the qualifying traffic which affected his ability to secure a place in Q3. It was also noted: Hamilton slowed down on the last corner, at the end of Q2, as he opted for a medium tyre start for tomorrow’s race.

Eliminations:

11. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)

12. George Russell (Williams)

13. Alexander Albon (Red Bull)

14. Esteban Ocon (Renault)

15. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)

Q3

On Hamilton’s first flying lap, the British, six-time world champion, gained provisional pole and managed to break the track record with a lap time of: 1:13.613. Whereas, Bottas claimed P2 as he was just behind his teammate by 0.311 seconds (1:13.924) early on in the final third.

Sebastian Vettel jumped up into fourth, just behind Stroll in third with a 1:14.774 which was 1.161 seconds off the pace of the black Mercedes. However, it wasn’t long before Perez locked out the second row for Racing Point, behind Stroll, which dropped the German into fifth where he completed a Ferrari third row with his Monegasque teammate.

Hamilton finished the session with another pole position and another track record with a 1:13.447 lap around the Hungaroring. This provided Mercedes’ with their fourth consecutive pole since Abu Dhabi in 2019. In addition, Racing Point managed to lock out the second row behind the silver arrows for tomorrow’s race as Stroll out-qualified his teammate Perez by 0.168 seconds.

Top 10:

  1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

3. Lance Stroll (Racing Point)

4. Sergio Perez (Racing Point)

5. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

6. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

7. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

8. Lando Norris (McLaren)

9. Carlos Sainz (McLaren)

10. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri)

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