Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton achieved his 90th career pole position in Formula 1 with a dominant display at the Hungaroring.
The Mercedes driver, the winner of the previous race in Austria, set a new lap record with a time of one minute, 13.446 seconds to beat his teammate Valtteri Bottas by over a tenth of a second.
Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez secured third and fourth on the grid in the Racing Points, but they were nearly a second off the pace set by Hamilton.
The Mercedes-powered cars will start the Hungarian Grand Prix in 1-2-3-4 positions. As for the rest, over a full second adrift from the flying Black Arrows.
Sebastian Vettel was the fastest Ferrari driver in fifth, ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc, as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen had to settle for a disappointing seventh position.
It is the first time in 2020 that both Scuderia have made it through to Q3.
Verstappen ended up seventh, almost 1.5 seconds down on Hamilton’s best time, after complaining about the handling of his RB16 in the medium-speed corners.
McLaren duo Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz took eighth and ninth, with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly rounding out the top ten.
Gasly, who missed all of FP1 with an engine issue, complained of power problems in both of the opening segments, but did not set a time in Q3 after suggesting his power unit would not be able to go further in qualifying as he completed his final run in Q2.
Daniel Ricciardo qualified P11, unable to beat his first run in Q2 set on the mediums after he switched to the softs, but the Renault driver will nevertheless have free choice of starting Pirelli for the race.
George Russell was delighted to make it in Q2 for the second race in a row and he equalled his best qualifying result with P12 – the same place he qualified at last weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix – ahead of Alex Albon’s Red Bull.
After complaining about the balance of his car throughout practice and qualifying, Albon ended up in P13, 0.207 seconds behind Gasly’s cutoff time in the second segment, and criticising his team after encountering traffic on his final Q2 lap.
Like Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon tried the mediums early on Q2 and although he improved his personal best after switching to the softs he will start P14 and ahead of Nicholas Latifi.
In Q1, Latifi had made it through to make it two Williams cars into the second stage of qualifying for the first time since the 2018 Italian Grand Prix, as Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat could not improve enough in the final laps, which were characterised by significant track evolution and tumbling times that meant all drivers went for a final effort.
Haas driver Magnussen ended up P16, with the AlphaTauri just behind, while Romain Grosjean qualified P18 in the other Haas car.
The Alfa Romeo drivers will start last – with all four Ferrari customer cars knocked out in Q1 – with Antonio Giovinazzi ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen.
Giovinazzi lost a time early in Q1 – which was topped by Perez and Stroll – for a track limits infraction at Turn 4, the fast left-hand kink at the start of the second sector.
So congratulations to Lewis Hamilton with his seventh pole position at the Hungaroring and his 90th in the sport. Impressive qualifying performance. The Mercedes-powered cars are looking strong and it will be interesting to see how well the rivals can fight back.
Qualifying positions, Hungarian Grand Prix:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:13.447
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:13.554
3 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1:14.377
4 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 1:14.545
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:14.774
6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:14.817
7 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1:14.849
8 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1:14.966
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 1:15.027
10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda –
11 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:15.661
12 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1:15.698
13 Alex Albon Red Bull-Honda 1:15.715
14 Esteban Ocon Renault 1:15.742
15 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1:16.544
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1:16.152
17 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Honda 1:16.204
18 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1:16.407
19 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1:16.506
20 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1:16.614