Lewis Hamilton dominated Saturday’s action to claim pole position for 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix from Valtteri Bottas in a front-row lockout for Mercedes.
Hamilton topped FP3 from Max Verstappen by just 0.088 seconds before the Dutchman struck back in the first two sessions of Qualifying, yet it was the Brit who emerged victorious where it mattered to take pole position.
Sergio Perez meanwhile bounced back from a tough FP3 to qualify fourth ahead of Pierre Gasly, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc who were split by just 0.013s in a thrilling climax to Qualifying.
Now here is a full roundup of Saturday’s action around the Hungaroring.
A quiet start to FP3 saw very few drivers venture out on the track in the opening 20 minutes as Hamilton set the pace with 1m 18.587 before a flurry of drivers headed out for their opening runs, which ultimately placed Bottas top from Verstappen and Hamilton with a 1m 17.428 once everyone finished their first fliers.
Bottas further improved his time in his qualifying simulation to 1m 17.055 just one minute before Mick Schumacher lost the rear of his Haas at Turn 11, causing the German to slide heavily sideways into the outside barriers and cause an eight minute red flag stoppage.
Antonio Giovinazzi however found himself caught up in two incidents in the closing stages upon the restart, as he was unsafely released into the path of Lance Stroll before impeding Pierre Gasly at Turn 13 just minutes later.
Up front, Hamilton emerged quickest with a 1m 16.826 ahead of Verstappen by 0.088s as Bottas settled for third, ahead of Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, Perez, Daniel Ricciardo, Fernando Alonso and Stroll who rounded out the top ten.
|1||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||1m 16.826|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+ 0.088|
|3||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||+ 0.229|
|4||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||+ 0.671|
|5||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+ 0.694|
|6||Lando Norris||McLaren||+ 0.946|
|7||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+ 1.091|
|8||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||+ 1.116|
|9||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||+ 1.166|
|10||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+ 1.224|
|11||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||+ 1.289|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Alpine||+ 1.348|
|13||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||+ 1.409|
|14||Yuki Tsunoda||Alfa Romeo||+ 1.635|
|15||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+ 1.857|
|16||George Russell||Williams||+ 1.968|
|17||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+ 1.995|
|18||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+ 2.287|
|19||Mick Schumacher||Haas||+ 2.580|
|20||Nikita Mazepin||Haas||+ 3.107|
Yuki Tsunoda was first on track and quickly set the early benchmark of 1m 18.163 but his time was swiftly usurped as Max Verstappen topped Q1 with 1m 16.214.
Down in the drop zone, Tsunoda, George Russell, Nicholas Latifi, Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher occupied the elimination spots, although Schumacher failed to get out due to too much damage from his FP3 crash plus a five place grid penalty following a gearbox change.
Tsunoda, Russell and Latifi meanwhile found improvement on their final runs unlike Mazepin, yet couldn’t escape as the bottom five stayed in their exact positions which marked the first time this season that Russell failed to escape Q1.
Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen and Perez all opted for medium tyres in their opening Q2 runs with Hamilton going quickest on 1m 16.553 ahead of Verstappen, although Charles Leclerc on soft tyres would split the pair at conclusion of first fliers.
Sainz meanwhile failed to set a time after the rear-end of his Ferrari got struck by a gust of wind which sent the Spaniard sliding off on entry into the final corner, causing an eight minute red flag.
Upon resumption of the session, Verstappen proceeded to top Q2 with 1m 15.650 on soft tyres as only Hamilton and Bottas failed to improve, meaning that both Mercedes drivers will start the race on medium tyres unlike the rest of top ten who all qualified on the soft tyre.
After an initial lull at start of Q3, everyone soon ventured out with Hamilton setting the benchmark of 1m 15.419 ahead of Bottas by 0.315s and Verstappen found himself third 0.565s adrift at conclusion of their first fliers.
Bottas was first out for the very final fliers of this Qualifying session with Hamilton following behind in hope of a tow, as Verstappen followed the Brit out with all three marginally reaching the checkered flag in time at expense of Perez.
Track temperatures however had evolved to prevent much improvement although Gasly and Norris found time to knock Leclerc down to seventh, whilst Verstappen could only find 0.144s as he qualified third behind Hamilton and Bottas in a Mercedes front row lockout.
Perez meanwhile clung onto fourth ahead of Gasly with the gap between the fifth-placed Frenchman, Norris and Leclerc was only 0.013s at the flag.
|1||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||1m 15.419|
|2||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||+ 0.315|
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+ 0.421|
|4||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+ 1.002|
|5||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||+ 1.064|
|6||Lando Norris||McLaren||+ 1.070|
|7||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+ 1.077|
|8||Esteban Ocon||Alpine||+ 1.234|
|9||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||+ 1.296|
|10||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||+ 1.331|
|11||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||1m 16.871|
|12||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+ 0.022|
|13||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+ 0.693|
|14||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+ 0.712|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||No Time Set|
|16||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||1m 17.919|
|17||George Russell||Williams||+ 0.025|
|18||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+ 0.117|
|19||Nikita Mazepin||Haas||+ 1.003|
|DNQ||Mick Schumacher||Haas||No Time Set|