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Hamilton Hums To Hungarian Grand Prix Pole

Photo Credit: Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.


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While a 1-2 qualifying lock out by the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team was a common occurrence during previous Formula 1 seasons, this team accomplishment is a rarer sight in this current year of racing. Qualifying at the Hungaroring for the 36th Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix race weekend has resulted in just the second instance where Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were able to place their machine on the front row together in 2021.


On a very hot 4.381-kilometer (2.722-mile) course where track temperatures were recorded as high as 54 degrees Celsius (129.2 degrees Fahrenheit) on Saturday prior to the session, latest battle between Mercedes-AMG and Red Bull Racing transpired for the prime starting position. On this weekend, Lewis Hamilton charged in the early stage of Q3 to take his 101st career Formula 1 pole for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Lapping the Hungaroring in 1 minute and 15.419 seconds, Hamilton best effort was 0.315 seconds quicker than teammate Valtteri Bottas. After a stint between late May and early July where the Mercedes-AMG team being one-upped by competitions in time trials as well as race day, the tides for the traditionally dominant organizations appears to be re-aligning in their favour once again in the last round at Silverstone.


After a frustrating British Grand Prix weekend, the Red Bull Racing team will be settling into position directly behind the Mercedes-AMG team cars for the start of the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix. Leading Q1 and Q2 sessions, Max Verstappen ended in third after the final session 0.421 seconds slower than the pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton. The final run by Verstappen was perhaps hindered by some gamesmanship from the driver of the #44 Mercedes-AMG car. With a little more than two minutes remaining, the #33 Red Bull race car roared out of the pit garage but Hamilton came out seconds ahead. After a slow out-lap by Hamilton, both the Mercedes-AMG driver as well as Verstappen barely made it to the start/finish line before time expired in Q3. Neither drivers improved on their best lap times. The second Red Bull Racing machine driven by Sergio Perez failed ran out of time for a final run in the Q3 session. Perez settled for a fourth fastest time allowing the Mexican to start alongside his Dutch teammate on the second row for Sunday’s race in Hungary.

 


Photo Credit: Unnamed Photographer/Pirelli



Potentially making the start of the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix will be the starting tire compounds selection by the front-running teams. Front row starters for Mercedes-AMG advanced through Q2 using medium compound Pirelli tires. Red Bull Racing as well as balance of cars positioned in the top 10 for Sunday’s 70-lap race at the Hungaroring are equipped with soft compound rubber. Red Bull Racing’s team principal Christain Horner admitted in a post-qualifying release on the team website, “We know Silverstone and Budapest are very much Mercedes strongholds”. However, he quickly added, “If you look at their performances last year we were a second off at Silverstone and more than that here so we take encouragement that we are as close as we are.”


Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly mounted an impressive effort in qualifying that ultimately resulted in a strong fifth for the Frenchman. After a productive run at the British Grand Prix two weeks ago, his home race, Lando Norris will start sixth on the Hungaroring. Losing the lead for what would have been a 2021 grand prix victory with two laps remaining at Silverstone, Charles Leclerc has the seventh place grid spot on the Hungarian race course. The second Scuderia Ferrari car piloted by Carlos Sainz Jr. had a more difficult Saturday qualifying outing. During Q2, the driver of the #55 Ferrari SF21 lost control at the final corner on the track and crashed into the track's retaining barrier. Though Sainz admitted the incident was a mistake, a strong gust of wind was recorded existing as a possible contributing factor.

Joining Leclerc on the fourth row is Alpine driver Esteban Ocon. Ocon’s more veteran teammate Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin Racing’s Sebastian Vettel share the fifth row on the Hungarian Grand Prix grid.


The 70-lap Hungarian Grand Prix is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. local time (9 a.m. Eastern time).


2021 Formula 1 Season
Hungarian Grand Prix
Starting Grid
Pos # Car # Driver Team Engine
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
2 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
3 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda
4 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing Honda
5 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
6 4 Lando Norris McLaren F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
7 16 Charles Leclerc Scuderia Misson Winnow Ferrari Ferrari
8 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine F1 Team Renault
9 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine F1 Team Renault
10 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
11 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
12 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
13 7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari
14 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari
15 55 Carlos Sainz Jr Scuderia Misson Winnow Ferrari Ferrari
16 22 Yuki Tsunoda Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
17 63 George Russell Williams Racing Mercedes-Benz
18 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams Racing Mercedes-Benz
19 9 Nikita Mazepin Uralkali Haas F1 Team Ferrari
20 47 Mick Schumacher Uralkali Haas F1 Team Ferrari

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