Hamilton stops Ferrari's dominance with pole

By on Saturday, July 28, 2018

Lewis Hamilton scored an unexpected pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday after an intense qualifying session at the Hungaroring. His fast lap of 1:35.658 in the final round of knockout was .26 of a second better than runner-up and teammate, Valtteri Bottas. It was Hamilton’s 77th career Formula One pole, his fifth this season and his sixth at the Hungaroring. Despite looking strong the entire weekend, Ferrari drivers handed the front row to Mercedes but secured the second one with Kimi Raikkonen on third and Sebastian Vettel on fourth.

"It’s a great feeling to lock out the front row, particularly with the tough weekend we’ve been having," says Hamilton.

"In the dry, I thought I would be lucky to get third, fourth or maybe even fifth, as Ferrari have been quicker than us and Red Bull were fast too. But then the heavens opened and I knew we were in the game. The rain levelled the playing field and gave us that opportunity to make the difference. I’m really proud of my team, they did a great job today and brought their A game.

This has been a good track for me for years, but for some reason the last couple haven’t had that extra sauce that helps me get ahead. If it’s dry tomorrow, it’s all about positioning, as it’s so difficult to overtake here. It’s a long run down to Turn 1 so we have got to try and make sure there’s no space to get by."

Qualifying took place under treacherous conditions, with a wet racetrack forcing drivers to start on the intermediate tire. However, the track dried enough to allow a switch to slicks, with drivers utilizing the ultrasoft tire for a brief window in Q1 before rain returned and eventually inundated the track. Drivers went back to intermediates in Q2 before switching to full wet tires for the remainder of qualifying.

Qualifying results:

1.  L. Hamilton Mercedes 01:17.419    01:31.242    01:35.658
2.  V. Bottas Mercedes 01:17.123    01:32.081    01:35.918
3.  K. Räikkönen Ferrari 01:17.526    01:32.762    01:36.186
4.  S. Vettel Ferrari 01:16.666    01:28.636    01:36.210
5.  C. Sainz Jr. Renault 01:17.829    01:30.771    01:36.743
6.  P. Gasly Toro Rosso 01:18.577    01:31.286    01:37.591
7.  M. Verstappen Red Bull 01:16.940    01:31.178    01:38.032
8.  B. Hartley Toro Rosso 01:18.429    01:32.590    01:38.128
9.  K. Magnussen Haas 01:18.314    01:32.968    01:39.858
10.  R. Grosjean Haas 01:17.901    01:33.650    01:40.593
11.  F. Alonso McLaren 01:18.208    01:35.214
12.  D. Ricciardo Red Bull 01:18.540    01:36.442
13.  N. Hulkenberg Renault 01:17.905    01:36.506
14.  M. Ericsson Sauber 01:18.641    01:37.075
15.  L. Stroll Williams 01:18.560
16.  S. Vandoorne McLaren 01:18.782
17.  C. Leclerc Sauber 01:18.817
18.  E. Ocon Force India 01:19.142
19.  S. Pérez Force India 01:19.200
20.  S. Sirotkin Williams 01:19.301

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