Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, secured his 101st career pole position at the Hungaroring as, teammate, Valtteri Bottas denies Red Bull’s Max Verstappen a front row start.
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, brought out the red flags halfway through Q2 as the Spanaird suffered oversteer before he slid into the barrier at turn 14.
George Russell, Williams, suffered a poor qualifying performance as the Briton was knocked out of Q1 for the first time in 2021.
Yuki Tsunoda, Alpha Tauri, was the first driver to venture out onto the Hungaroring and the Japanese driver topped the timing boards with the first set lap time of qualifying. However, he was soon beat by both Alfa Romeo drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, with the former at the top.
While Verstappen topped the timing board throughout Q1, followed by the Mercedes duo: Lewis Hamilton & Valtteri Bottas, Sergio Perez was only able to secure P9 as his highest position before he dropped down to P11 by the chequered flag.
Russell made a last ditch effort to get out of the elimination zone in the dying minutes of Q1. However, the Williams driver was 0.168 seconds slower than Giovinazzi – who occupied the final spot to make it into Q2.
The top runners, Red Bull and Mercedes, were the first on the track with Hamilton, Verstappen, Bottas and Perez all out on the medium compounds tyres. After completing their first timed laps, Hamilton was sat at the top with a 1:16.553 with Verstappen and Bottas occupying the remaining top three places, respectively.
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, crashed out in Q2 to red flag the session, with over six minutes left on the clock. As the Spaniard turned into the final corner, to set his first timed lap of Q2, the SF21’s rear tyres lost grip and sent the rear end sideways. As Sainz tried to regain control of his Ferrari, the car slid into the barrier.
Despite setting their first laps on the medium compound tyres, Verstappen and Perez switched to the Soft compounds – while both Mercedes drivers remained on the mediums.
Verstappen set the benchmark at the beginning of Q3, with a quick 1:15.984 lap. However, his place on provisional pole was knocked down as Hamilton put in a blistering 1:15.419 lap, half a second quicker than his championship rival.
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, went out of sync of the rest of the remaining nine drivers. Vettel was the only driver out on the track as he set his first fastest lap, but he wasn’t able to secure any higher than P10.
On the final runs, Hamilton & Verstappen were two of the last drivers to venture out on track. While building up a gap between himself and Bottas, Hamilton just made it over the line to start his final flying lap with only seconds to go. Perez, who was behind his teammate, Verstappen, wasn’t able to complete his final lap as the chequered flag was waved.
While Verstappen was able to improve his final timed lap, he qualified third, behind Bottas, as both Mercedes drivers locked out the front row.