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Hungarian Grand Prix 2021

Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2 in Hungary as Verstappen settles for third

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix, ahead of Valtteri Bottas. Red Bull's Max Verstappen finished in third place.

Hamilton Hungary 2021
To news overview © Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton will start the Hungarian Grand Prix from pole position as Mercedes locked out the front row with their first flying laps in Q3.

Red Bull's Verstappen initially went fastest on the first runs, setting a 1:15.9 on a lap that looked somewhat scruffy. This was borne out seconds later, as Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas went two tenths quicker, while Hamilton stormed around in a 1:15.419 to go fastest overall with quite a comfortable advantage.

Coming out for the second runs with two minutes remaining, the two Mercedes came out on track in front of the two Red Bulls and set about making sure the outlaps were very slow. The pace was so slow, that Sergio Perez wasn't able to start his final flying lap as he met the chequered flag. Verstappen did manage to start his final lap, but wasn't able to improve upon his time.

However, there is another strategic element to the battle. While Hamilton and Bottas start on the medium tyre, the two Red Bulls will start on the soft compound after using the red marked tyres in Q2.

With Perez resigned to fourth after missing out on his final run, it was AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly who was best of the rest with fifth place, with McLaren's Lando Norris slotting into sixth place.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc finished in seventh, ahead of Alpine's Esteban Ocon. Fernando Alonso was ninth in the second Alpine, with Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel slotting into 10th place.

Result Qualification - Hungarian

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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Q2 began with everyone, apart from the two Mercedes and two Red Bull drivers, coming out on the softs, with the top runners electing to try getting through the session on the medium compound and start the race on that compound.

Hamilton set the pace on the medium compound ahead of Verstappen by 0.2 seconds, while Leclerc then popped into second ahead of the Dutch driver on the soft tyre.

The session had to be red-flagged with just under eight minutes remaining. Ferrari's Carlos Sainz, coming around to complete his first flying lap of Q2, lost the rear of his car coming through the last corner. Sliding off sideways, he hit the barriers. Unhurt, he initially drove the car a little bit out of the barriers. Realising the extent of the damage, he stopped the car again, having decided against trying to drive it around and back to the pits.

The session resumed about ten minutes later, although the circuit remained empty until just three minutes remained in the session. The two Red Bulls, as well as Hamilton, swapped over to the soft tyre for their final runs. There appeared to be huge track evolution, as Verstappen clocked a fastest time a full second quicker than Hamilton.

Verstappen's 1:15.650 was 0.7 quicker than anyone else, with Norris popping up into second ahead of Gasly, Perez and Alonso.

The change of approach from Red Bull for the final minutes, made as they appeared to be nervous about making it through on the medium tyre, means they will now start on the soft tyre, with Mercedes on the medium as the outliers in the top ten.


Verstappen topped the times in the first part of qualifying, going purple in the first two sectors to beat the times set by Hamilton and Bottas. His best of 1:16.2 was 0.2 clear of Hamilton.

Haas went into the session under pressure, due to Mick Schumacher crashing his car at the end of third practice. With a few minutes remaining in Q1, the team confirmed the German driver's car would not be taking part in qualifying due to the extent of the repair job. With one definite elimination, that reduced the dropzone to four cars.

At the end of the session, it was the two Williams and two Haas drivers knocked out at the very back. AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda was also knocked out, missing out on Q2 by two tenths of a second.

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