Max Verstappen has finally scored the first pole position of his Formula 1 career, narrowly holding off the Mercedes threat at the Hungaroring.
Verstappen leads Valtteri Bottas on the grid for tomorrow’s race, the pair split by just 18 thousandths of a second.
Lewis Hamilton claimed third place ahead of Charles Leclerc, who bounced back after hitting a barrier in Q3.
Q1Charles Leclerc easily set a time quick enough to reach Q3 with his first run. But Max Verstappen banged in a lap which was half a second quicker, and Leclerc wanted to see where else he could find time.
He found some in the middle sector of the lap, where he was fastest of all, but coming out of the final corner he got sideways and the Ferrari smacked the barrier on the exit. The rear wing was clearly damaged and Leclerc was summoned back into the pits.
While Ferrari worked on Stroll’s car, George Russell was wielding the much-improved Williams to excellent effect. He lay 14th after his second run, but fell to 15th when Romain Grosjean improved his time.
Russell’s final effort temporarily lifted his Williams to the rare heights of ninth. But then his rivals began to improve, and almost to a man they demoted him back towards the drop zone.
Kevin Magnussen’s lap time was finally enough to eliminate him, by a mere five-hundredths of a second, but this was still a huge improvement for a team which has struggled to lift itself off the back row of the grid. Russell also out-paced his team mate Robert Kubica by 1.2 seconds.
The pair bookended the two Racing Points and Daniel Ricciardo. The latter had tried to go around the outside of Sergio Perez at the final corner as he began his lap, spoiling his final run in the process.
Drivers eliminated in Q1
|17||Sergio Perez||Racing Point-Mercedes||1’17.109|
|19||Lance Stroll||Racing Point-Mercedes||1’17.542|
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The six drivers from the ‘big three’ teams all left the pits on medium compound tyres at the start of Q2. That included Leclerc, who proceeded to demonstrate there was little wrong with his repaired Ferrari by out-pacing his team mate on the harder tyres.
Both, however, were beaten by the Mercedes pair and Verstappen, who split them. The Red Bull driver was just 25 thousandths of a second slower than Hamilton.
That cast a shadow over his team mate’s performance. Pierre Gasly, who’s struggled to get through Q2 on the harder tyres previously this year, was eight tenths of a second slower than Verstappen after his first attempt.
“I lost the rear completely out of turn eight,” he said after his first run. “There is much more. I can find five tenths.” He stuck to his guns and went for another run on the mediums. Although he didn’t find his missing time, he was still quick enough to reach Q3, albeit in ninth place.
Nico Hulkenberg missed out on the last place in Q3 by four-hundredths of a second. The two Toro Rosso drivers also dropped out, while Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean left their team mates behind.
Drivers eliminated in Q2
|12||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso-Honda||1’16.687|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso-Honda||1’16.692|
|14||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1’16.804|
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The first runs in Q3 produced fireworks. Hamilton put up the quickest time to begin with, but looked slightly scruffy through the chicane. Bottas took provisional pole position off him, but only by a hundredth of a second.
Leclerc began his first lap well but Vettel was even quicker. The pair fell short of the Mercedes at the line, however. Verstappen was the real threat: He flew through the middle sector and at the line became the first driver to stop the clocks in less than 75 seconds: 1’14.958.
But there was still one run left, and still the lap times continued to fall. Again the Ferrari drivers opened their laps strongly, but this time Leclerc held the upper hand, and briefly moved into second place.
He was pegged back by the Mercedes drivers who both broke into the 1’14s. But while Verstappen lowered the best time to a 1’14.572, Bottas narrowly fell short: There was just 18 thousandths of a second in it.
Gasly stayed sixth and the McLaren drivers beat Grosjean’s best last effort to claim the fourth row of the grid. Grosjean slipped to ninth ahead of Raikkonen.
Top ten in Q3
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull-Honda||1’14.572|
|6||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull-Honda||1’15.450|
|8||Carlos Sainz Jnr||McLaren-Renault||1’15.852|
|10||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1’16.041|
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2019 Hungarian Grand Prix
- Top ten pictures from the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix
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- Mercedes will give Bottas a “soft landing” if he loses drive
- Haas pace target was “just not possible” – Grosjean
- McLaren very encouraged by performance on “weakest” track
111 comments on “Verstappen pips Mercedes drivers to claim first pole position”
3rd August 2019, 15:10
Verstappen is the fastest man in F1
Change my view
3rd August 2019, 15:19
Verstappen is not the fastest man in F1
3rd August 2019, 15:28
He’s such since at least season as far as I’m concerned.
Jury is still out on whether he’s the best driver (and I think he is)
3rd August 2019, 15:30
Your view is your own view and has no “authority” over reality.
Believe whatever you wish to believe.
We couldn’t care less.
3rd August 2019, 15:33
@kingshark I care. Please elaborate as to what made you state this.
3rd August 2019, 15:36
Verstappen is fast everywhere, unlike Hamilton. His speed is relentless and consistent.
3rd August 2019, 15:44
Max is on pole by .018 and nothing else that came before matters, it seems, is your argument.
3rd August 2019, 15:55
I agree, Verstappen was unknown before this pole.
4th August 2019, 10:59
He was and is still known to be trailing RIC 0 to 3 in the same car when it comes to poles. And is known to have clinched his first pole in his 93rd GP only.
3rd August 2019, 15:35
Not the most convincing argument.
Meanwhile Hamilton got out qualified yet again by Bottas.
Verstappen is consistently fast everywhere.
3rd August 2019, 15:50
Max is still less consistent than Lewis though buddy.
3rd August 2019, 16:17
His car is less consistent, dude! The only consistent cars are Mercedes (fighting for 1st) and Williams (dead last)!
3rd August 2019, 16:43
You can cross Williams off that list now.
3rd August 2019, 21:33
Max less consistant than Lewis…? In which was way… another one throwing something against the wall to see if it sticks.
Max is THE most consistant driver in F1.
Apart from Magnussen ruining one quali session Verstappen has beaten his team mates for 31 sessions, ever since Monaco 2018 he’s unbeaten.
Apart from Vettel bargin into him Verstappen has never finished lower than started in 31 races… since Australia 2018.
Lewis has been beaten in quali quite regularly, beaten and been overtaken in races regularly and crashed twice out in the last race. Lewis is in a better car, but does perform less consistant and on a lower level than Verstappen.
3rd August 2019, 16:15
@kingshark I won’t argue with your theory. I think even if in the second half RBR struggles relatively at some tracks and Max looks less on fire (he’ll have a component penalty unless I’m mistaken), he and RBR and Honda have shown what they could do if they had a WCC car/Pu suited to Max as well as LH’s Merc has been to him all these years. I cannot imagine anyone stopping Max with a WCC car, let alone one he’s had for years.
3rd August 2019, 16:45
With the current teammate i doubt he will have a WCC car even if he gets WDC ;)
3rd August 2019, 22:09
4th August 2019, 11:05
Not that hard to imagine at all. Not if you don’t WANT to imagine.
16-18 he was beaten every single year by his teammate. Some people still have a hard time accepting things how they are.
3rd August 2019, 16:45
@dallein Honestly, immensely curious what you’re doing on a Formula One/other racing website with active comments sections if not to hear other people’s opinions.
3rd August 2019, 18:52
@hahostolze: Not everybody wants to hear other people’s opinion. Some people just want to give theirs.
4th August 2019, 10:54
Got his first pole and they’re all like “wow, owww, wowwwww”, hahahahah. He went 0-3 in terms of poles, so where they got their “he’s the fastest driver” is a mystery really. Oh wait, it’s because they ‘follow’ media.
3rd August 2019, 16:09
Its easy to jump to quick conclusions while a driver is in form. Last year, I seem to remember everyone at the beginning of the season was saying he was never going to be “great” because he was crashing every single race.
Quite a few years ago (early 2010s), pundits and fans alike were all saying Vettel was undoubtedly the greatest of the generation and a matter of time before he beats his idol Schumacher’s title record and becomes the GOAT… that opinion has soured over the last few years.
We’re talking about a driver who is clearly is unbelievably fast, but has yet to be in a proper title fight and deal with the added pressure that brings. It’s easy to look at a half-season / season snapshot and say “yes, he’s the fastest” but in reality we can only really judge drivers when they reach the end of their careers.
In 10 years time, we might look back and the answer is yes, but there are a number of incredibly talented drivers who would argue with that
3rd August 2019, 16:27
The thing with last year was as stupid as the thing with 2017, when somehow he was “overdriving his car”, causing all his DNF’s. It was based on nothing but anecdotal evidence, great for the press, but far from the truth.
Last year he had a string of separate and unrelated incidents, a few mechanical and a few personal, that, to the uninformed, made it look like he lost it , and the press was eager to jump the bandwagon, like they did in 2017.
3rd August 2019, 16:42
Absolutely agree with 2017, Similar stupid things were said in the past with other drivers (Hamilton 2012? definitely Webber during the RB years), it all comes down to luck really. 2018 was more to make the point that driver’s form can go up and down
3rd August 2019, 18:54
@keithcollantine: Please ban this guy immediately. He has provided an unbiased and reasoned point of view. Unacceptable!
3rd August 2019, 16:29
Calm down people.
Why isnt he this fast before Honda PU finally delivered.
3rd August 2019, 16:42
Because its the car. But the car never matters when its Max. Max could pilot a honda powered lawnmower to P1.
3rd August 2019, 16:44
I dunno, I heard lando Norris is faster. And Bottas is no slouch either. When is this 100m dash?
3rd August 2019, 17:01
Charity F1 olympics? That needs to be organised tbh.
3rd August 2019, 16:51
@kingshark well, it’s his first first pole position, so perhaps it’s a bit early to get carried away. He’s certainly fast, and he and Red Bull are on a roll, but to use Max’s own words: he’s not being pushed by his team mate.
Last year against Ricciardo it was Daniel who bagged the pole positions when they were there for the taking, so for me there is still a tiny question mark about his talents as a qualifier. Maybe he’s more of an Alonso than a Senna, then. But yeah, with Hamilton not in finest Saturday form this year it’s difficult to name a quicker Saturday driver. Who knows, maybe Russell is actually the fastest out there.
3rd August 2019, 20:47
That’s because he destroyed Ricci?
4th August 2019, 11:10
RIC 3 max 0. Who got destroyed you say?
3rd August 2019, 21:39
You needed to pick that one missed quali in Mexico due to issues with engine braking to make a point about Max maybe being average in quali… ehm…?
Dan beat Max 3 times on pace last season
1. Baku, thanks to a great tow…by 0.083 sec
2. Mexico, by 0.026 sec… engine issues, the same that cause Dan to stall at the start
3. Abu Dhabi… Max messed up
3rd August 2019, 23:27
@adrianmorse I don’t think Max needs to be pushed by a teammate to excel, as he will be plenty self-motivated, motivated by beating the drivers still ahead of him. I think his reference to LH not being pressured was meaning while he has been in dominant cars winning WDC(s). I think when Max is in that position he will not be pressured much either, however the new regs for 2021 might have something to say about that. If we and Liberty get our way WDCs/WCCs will be harder fought things to achieve.
3rd August 2019, 17:28
@kingshark Needs to use Ves now well done you maybe finally right after all these years. Huh you now becoming a Ves fan? Dude you have championed Alonso before then Vettel and Now Ves, anyone but Hamilton. Season was boring all year according to you Hamilton was going to walk it wah wah wah all season. And now this… Give me a break i would hope someone is faster would be embarassing to be known as a top driver for years because Vettel as certainly never been better than Hamilton.
3rd August 2019, 21:14
Lol change my view part.
But nothing funny in the way how fast Max is right now. Two Victories and now pole position.
Certainly track favours RedBull and Hamilton placed his two tenths in reverse, but driver form like this is hard to come by.
Even more impressive, he does this seemingly every weekend, very stable.
4th August 2019, 9:11
3rd August 2019, 15:11
Wow!! Verstappen is the only factor keeping this season interesting
3rd August 2019, 15:13
A shame we don’t have a team principals press conference today or tomorrow, it’d have been priceless to have Horner up alongside Cyril.
Well done, RBR. I never expected a pole from them this season (well, maybe on a pure street circuit like Monaco/Singapore, with a bit of luck).
3rd August 2019, 15:14
Well done, RBR, and well done Max! Gasly must be feeling the heat.
3rd August 2019, 15:47
@phylyp feeling the heat? Gasly’s been in the oven for months now, he’s roasted.
But he’s lucky in a way, because there’s no one else coming strong from behind in the RedBull academy. Kvyat and Albon are both decent but I’m not sure they would fair any better against VER. And bringing an experienced driver from outside their academy (like is speculated with the Hulk) is also not great because it’s hard to settle into a new team half-way down the season. I hope for a crazy move to grab Pascal Werhlein, as I really think he was dropped too soon from F1, but that is such a long shot.
3rd August 2019, 19:33
3rd August 2019, 15:16
Hungaroring is a bit like Monaco, with less walls. It’s definitely a track that suits their car.
3rd August 2019, 16:01
I’ve heard it described that way – that’s its closer to a street circuit. Which always confused me a bit, seeing as its a purpose-build track, isn’t it? What characteristics make it behave like a street circuit? Track width? Twisties?
3rd August 2019, 16:26
I think it’s that: the track is narrow and only one long straight. The cars drive with a lot of down-force, like in Monaco. Only less walls. Monaco is really unforgiving when drivers make a mistake, this track is a bit more forgiving.
3rd August 2019, 16:40
Thank you, that’s helpful.
3rd August 2019, 19:35
Hungary is less bumpy than a Monaco or Singapore as well. But yeah, narrow and twisty.
3rd August 2019, 15:17
Gasly should be at least demoted to Toro Rosso. Being 0.9 seconds off of your Pole taking team mate is really bad. I think half a season should be enough to evaluate and realized that he is not good enough for RBR.
3rd August 2019, 15:29
I got the pole wrong, I thought Lewis had .2 over Bottas, other than that I’m having a good predictions weekend. Lewis mind games back fired or mercedes have very little full oower laps on their current spec PU.
3rd August 2019, 15:34
Problem is: how many drivers will look good alongside Verstappen. Even Ricciardo, who looked better than 4wdc Vettel, suffered during last year against the Dutch. So, as Hamilton, Leclerc, Vettel and Bottas will not leave their car, Ricciardo and Sainz will not come back, Ocon and Russell are Mercedes drivers and Norris is a McLaren one… who can drive the other RBR at this level?
Kvyat is fast but fragile and Albon needs time, Perez and Hulkeberg are good enough? Not sure. Better to stick to Gasly until the end and then see…
3rd August 2019, 15:47
Where have you seen Kvyat be fragile this year. Kvyat got chewed up and spat out by Red Bull and came back stronger, at a team that showed him the door.
4th August 2019, 1:58
I guess we just wont mention Ricciardo’s 8 mechanical retirements – EIGHT!!
4th August 2019, 10:19
Eight, which he always got driving BEHIND Verstappen….same goes for the 2017 season. Ricci was being slaughtered by Verstappen
4th August 2019, 12:57
8 retirements of RIC, just last year, and his and max position at the moment:
BAH – 4th VS 11th
AZE – 4th and 5th, while RIC was executing the overtake on max, before max took RIC out.
AUT – 4th VS 1st (after RIC had to start 7th after giving max a tow in quali and max didn’t return the favour, and after max took RAI out of contention but wasn’t penalised)
GER – 6th VS 2nd, well before halfway the race, after RIC had to start 19th bc of an engine penalty. Also max was effectively running 3rd, not 2nd, bc VET, the leader, had just pitted and he hadn’t. Furthermore, he only managed a lucky 4th bc of a SC after he was horrible in the rain.
BEL – 8th VS 7th, RIC was taken out right at the start.
ITA – 10th (or 9th) VS 2nd, again well before halfway the race after RIC had to start 19th after an engine pen
USA – 4th VS 5th, with over 6s difference, battery issues for RIC and with max had to push his tyres bc of him being outqualified 5th to 15th (and after penalties applied 4th to 18th).
MEX – 2nd to 1st, after RIC had to deal with a faulty clutch from the very start after taking pole.
So the only times RIC was truly behind (without back-to-the-grid-penalties), were AUT and MEX. And both of these even have a pre-history of WHY he was behind max.
IN BAH and USA he was WAY ahead of max.
GER and ITA he was behind but only bc of back-to-the-grid-penalties and he DNFd well before halfway through.
BEL was a start crash out of his control, while being on the 4th row next to max.
AZE he was way faster than max, but bc of a botched pit stop by his team he got behind max, and within one la he was about to overtake him once more, only thwarted by illegal moves of max who couldn’t take it, getting beaten by RIC for at least the 5th race in a row.
You also got the races in which RIC did have tech problems, and why his race pace was compromised, but still managed to get the car to the finish: Monaco, France, Hungary, Russia
Or in qualis, which also affected his races ofc: (China, won it regardless) France, Britain, Germany, Japan
Lower spec engine than max in both quali and race: Hungary, Belgium
Strategy in quali and/or race: (France,) Austria, Britain, Japan(, Brazil), Abu Dhabi
As always, max fans try to deceive you by picturing things that never happened.
Also, the relative postions at the time of max’ dnfs:
BAH – His own fault in the first place, damaging his car. Like already stated above, he was running 11th while RIC was way ahead in 4th.
AZE – Again his own fault, costing his team points and RIC, who was about to overtake him after the team had put max ahead of RIC, a possible podium and points ofc.
BRI – A tech dnf, but might not have to be if managed better, as proven by RIC in Monaco, who had the same problem. He was running 4th and RIC 5th, half a sec behind. Chances are RIC would’ve overtaken max anyway, as he was way faster and all over him and RAI had just overtaken max too. Regardless, at the time of max’ dnf, RIC was in front as max continued after spinning and retired a lap later.
HUN – 5th VS 14th, after RIC was eliminated in Q2 bc of a crash of STR and it rained afterwards.
So none of the times, was max truly ahead. And RIC was once outright ahead and AZE was too, as the only way max could stop RIC from overtaking him, were illegal moves.
Britain would’ve been interesting (BTW, RIC was yet another time put on a worse strategy by the pit crew).
It’s not even debatable:
RIC >> max
3rd August 2019, 15:53
It doesn’t look great, but only RBR know how far off he really is. I’d be extremely surprised if the two cars are identical now as if Red Bull have any sense all the updates are going on Max’s car. But yep, he is very much on borrowed time at the moment
3rd August 2019, 16:00
Ofc. the updates go to Maxs car first but im pretty sure Red Bull can afford running two cars.
3rd August 2019, 16:16
@rethla yeah of course Red Bull can afford to run two cars and the parts will end up on both cars, but the constraint is usually the time in developing the 2 sets of parts
3rd August 2019, 15:18
Great lap for Max, Bottas and even Charles with that car.
Now RedBull (and Max probably) need to take a good look at their start system as they don’t afford a race start like in Austria or Germany.
3rd August 2019, 15:47
@gechichan – just don’t ask Alfa for help! ;)
3rd August 2019, 15:18
60 Red Bull Renault pole positions vs 1 Red Bull Honda pole position.
Verstappen is currently the best, but Honda still have loads to prove. The insult against Alonso last week shows they’re fighting with a retired driver when they should be fighting Merc and Ferrari. Put one of those engines in the Red Bull and Max would be leading the world championship easy. Honda is holding him back but tag on to his glory. Surely they’re bigger than that?
3rd August 2019, 15:22
Long overdue! What a nailbiter, and what a race this sets up for tomorrow.
3rd August 2019, 15:26
Why were Ferrari working on Stroll’s car?
3rd August 2019, 16:06
One of the quickest sites but lots of inaccurate info will not making it better.