Russell’s takes a surprising pole position

George Russell achieved his first pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix by beating both Ferraris while championship leader Max Verstappen was taken out of contention by a power issue.

The Mercedes driver was an unlikely contender to top qualifying after the struggles in the W13 all season, not least during both dry and wet running at the Hungaroring so far this weekend.

But despite not taking a fastest sector on his critical lap, his combined runs sailed George to the top over Carlos Sainz, who had the advantage on his teammate Charles Leclerc.

But it was a session to forget for Red Bull, with Verstappen only poised to line up P10 as Sergio Perez was eliminated in Q2.

The day-long downpour that was widely predicted held off to allow qualifying to take place as scheduled on Saturday afternoon in Budapest.

It was Sainz who ended the first part of the 12-minute Q3 run on top, his first flying lap placing him half a second clear of Russell after Leclerc had messed up straight away with a snap in his F1-75 at Turn 1 as he struggled with the tyres.

With Verstappen combatting understeer to run off track at Turn 2, he ended the first run-out only seventh fastest.

The ten fastest cars then emerged with three minutes, 40 seconds to run, but Verstappen was soon complaining of no power aboard his RB18 – cycling through sensor modes not enough to remedy the problem.

With the defending champion, who leads Leclerc in the standings by 63 points, out of the picture, Sainz cycled to the top with the fastest first sector of anyone (pipping Nicholas Latifi).

That gave the British Grand Prix polesitter the bragging rights initially as Leclerc slotted in 0.15 seconds adrift, but then three personal best sectors at the death for Russell gave him an unlikely pole.

His one minute, 17.377 seconds effort pipping Sainz’s one minute, 17.421 seconds best, while Leclerc managed to keep ahead of the McLaren of Lando Norris – the MCL36 impressing in dry qualifying and race simulations during FP2 on Friday.

Esteban Ocon managed to reverse the recent run of form to pip Fernando Alonso in the intra-team Alpine scrap, while Lewis Hamilton’s DRS failed to activate on his final lap to knock him to seventh.

Valtteri Bottas claimed eighth ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, as Verstappen had to make do with a one minute, 18.823 seconds that left him 10ths and 1.5s adrift of the Mercedes benchmark.

Perez was the major casualty from Q2 in a strange session for the driver, his Red Bull being knocked out by a slender 0.05 seconds courtesy of the late improvements from Ocon and Bottas.

Checo complained that Kevin Magnussen’s line through the Turn 3 left-hander had ultimately cost him a place inside the top ten.

Perez had his first lap in Q2 scrubbed off for exceeding track limits at Turn 5, but it seemed a marginal call as replays showed not all four wheels crossed fully over the white lines.

Seven minutes after the fact, the lap was therefore reinstated to put him eighth. The reports of spots of rain plus a dip in track temperatures might have kept him safe enough.

But as the showers held off, the late climbs from the Alfa Romeo and Alpine dropped Perez to 11th ahead of Zhou Guanyu and Magnussen.

K-Mag aborted his final lap after missing his personal bests in sectors ones and two.

Lance Stroll, meanwhile, will start P14 ahead of the second Haas of Mick Schumacher.

Perez had already been at risk in P14 in Q1 as the chequered flag came out, but he was given respite when Pierre Gasly had his improved lap time deleted for exceeding track limits at Turn 5.

That dropped the AlphaTauri to P19, with his teammate Yuki Tsunoda also eliminated in the first part of qualifying – the Japanese driver similarly crossing the white lines earlier in the session at the same protracted right-hand bend to have to start all over again.

With Tsunoda’s final, compliant effort not enough to progress as he landed 16th, Stroll had secured his slot in Q2 by 0.35 seconds. Meanwhile, Alex Albon ran for P17 ahead of the hastily repaired Aston Martin of Sebastian Vettel.

In the two-hour break between sessions, Seb had helped his crew repair the AMR22 machine following his shunt into the barriers late in FP3 that resulted in a brief red flag.

The retiring four-time champion, who appeared to struggle for balance through the final corner, ultimately landed only P18.

Latifi, the unlikely pacesetter in a slippery final practice, might have progressed into the Q2 fight when yet again he mastered the first sector to set a purple run late on.

He combined this with a personal best sector two only to suffer a spike of oversteer in the final right-hander to cost him 0.7 seconds and leave him last in qualifying – much to his frustration over team radio.

So congratulations to George Russell in scoring his first Formula 1 pole position. Carlos Sainz’s lap was great and yet Mr Saturday’s performance was just epic. What a result for Mercedes after struggling all season. This pole is much needed to boost morale.

Hungarian Grand Prix, qualifying results:
1 George Russell Mercedes 1:17.377
2 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:17.421
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:17.567
4 Lando Norris McLaren 1:17.769
5 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:18.018
6 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1:18.078
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:18.142
8 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1:18.157
9 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1:18.379
10 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:18.823
11 Sergio Perez Red Bull 1:18.516
12 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 1:18.573
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:18.825
14 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:19.137
15 Mick Schumacher Haas 1:19.202
16 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTaur 1:19.240
17 Alex Albon Williams 1:19.256
18 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1:19.273
19 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1:19.527
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1:19.570

3 thoughts to “Russell’s takes a surprising pole position”

  1. Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying review as reported by

    George Russell took his maiden F1 pole position at the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix to keep the Ferraris of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc at bay, while Max Verstappen will start a provisional 10th having suffered a loss of power in Q3.

    After a wet final practice session that was led by Nicholas Latifi, qualifying took place in dry conditions. Q1 was topped by Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton taking advantage of track evolution to lead team mate George Russell. Drivers continued to pick up the pace in Q2, where Verstappen led Leclerc.

    In Q3, Verstappen was left in despair by a loss of power, and with the Ferraris in provisional pole he could only watch his hopes of pole fade away. Russell however caused a huge shock to the Scuderia with a lap of 1m 17.377s that kept Carlos Sainz at bay by 0.044s, and Charles Leclerc third by almost two-tenths.

    Lando Norris qualified on the second row while Esteban Ocon will share row three with his Alpine team mate Fernando Alonso.

    Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton was seventh and former team mate Valtteri Bottas qualified eighth, to leave Daniel Ricciardo ninth and Verstappen an unfortunate P10.

    Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was a shock elimination from Q2 in P11 – Perez frustrated to hit traffic on his final effort. Zhou Guanyu was pleased with his P12 performance for Alfa Romeo, while Kevin Magnussen took P13 in the upgraded Haas – though he was the driver who drew Perez’s ire.

    Lance Stroll settled for 14th, and Mick Schumacher was last in Q2 as he is set to start the Hungarian GP a provisional 15th.

    Yuki Tsunoda missed out on Q2 by 0.035s as he qualified 16th, ahead of Williams’ Alex Albon and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel in P18. Pierre Gasly lost out due to track limits and qualified 19th to make it a double-Q1 elimination for AlphaTauri and FP3 star Nicholas Latifi rounded out the standings thanks to a mistake at the final corner.

    After a painful showing in France, Ferrari have made their first steps towards redemption – while Mercedes are back at the top. At least, for the time being…

    Q1 – Hamilton and Russell start on the front foot

    After a soaked FP3 session – in which Nicholas Latifi took top spot – qualifying got under way in dry conditions – with swathes of ashen clouds painting a foreboding background.

    Max Verstappen went top early on with a lap of 1m 19.020s while the Ferraris stayed in the garage for the first few minutes of Q1. With more and more rubber laid down, times duly tumbled, and Verstappen improved to lead the brunt of Q1.

    Late runs from Mercedes saw Lewis Hamilton crash the party with a time of 1m 18.374s, his team mate George Russell just 0.033s off with his effort. Carlos Sainz improved to P3, 0.060s off the pace, while Verstappen was bumped down to P4 by a margin of 0.135s to leave Lando Norris to round out the top five for McLaren.

    Fernando Alonso was under a tenth off Norris in P6, Ricciardo just behind the two-time champion in seventh, while Charles Leclerc struggled to P8.

    Esteban Ocon finished ninth and Valtteri Bottas rounded out a top 10 split by 0.561s. Zhou Guanyu was just behind his team mate, keeping Kevin Magnussen at bay in P12. Sergio Perez was anonymous in P13, with 14th-place Mick Schumacher and then Lance Stroll the last two drivers making it to safety.

    Yuki Tsunoda lost out on a Q2 place by 0.035s, Alex Albon next on the board in P17, while Sebastian Vettel – whose FP3 crash damage was fixed by the hard-working Aston Martin crew, along with Vettel himself – was dejected to finish 18th.

    Track limits at Turn 5 cost Pierre Gasly, who finished 19th, and FP3 leader Latifi finished last with a mistake at the final corner, despite setting a purple first sector on his final run.

    Knocked out: Tsunoda, Albon, Vettel, Gasly, Latifi

    Q2 – Perez loses out while Verstappen and Leclerc set the pace

    Times in Q2 were threatening to drop below the 1m 18s mark, given rapid track evolution, and Verstappen was the first to break that barrier with a time of 1m 17.703s, keeping Alonso at bay by 0.201s. A lock-up on his first effort cost Q1 leader Hamilton; Perez’s time was chalked off for track limits.

    Verstappen didn’t improve on his first effort, but Leclerc jumped to P2 by 0.065s to bump Alonso down to P3. Sainz was 0.038s behind his compatriot in P4 with Hamilton rounding out the top five.

    Ricciardo improved with his final effort to find safety in P8, Ocon just off the McLaren in P9, and Bottas the last driver to make the top-10 shootout.

    Although Perez’s lap was reinstated, he lost out on Q3 by 0.071s, and the Red Bull driver raged at traffic in the form of Magnussen (P13) in Sector 1 on his final run. Between the Red Bull and the Haas was Zhou in P12, the rookie pleased with his showing.

    Stroll was almost seven-tenths away from safety in 14th – leaving Schumacher last and almost eight-tenths off safety.

    Knocked out: Perez, Zhou, Magnussen, Stroll, Schumacher

    Q3 – Ferrari have pole snatched away by magic Russell lap

    The clouds declined to unleash but Q3 was anything but dry action-wise, with at least three drivers in the race for pole position. Sainz set the early benchmark of 1m 17.505s, Russell going second – nearly half a second off – while a mistake in Sector 3 saw Leclerc go a provisional third ahead of Hamilton.

    As for Verstappen, his first run put him seventh, 1.318s off the pace. He soon reported a loss of power, which triggered a furious flicking of switches and dials in the RB18 cockpit. “Nothing works,” Verstappen barked as his hopes of pole began to fade.

    Sainz knew he left time on the table and shot to the top on his final run with a time of 1m 17.421s. But Russell’s breathtaking effort trumped all, the Briton delivering his first career pole position and Mercedes’ first of the season with a blistering time of 1m 17.377s.

    Leclerc therefore settled for third, with Norris to share the second row with P4 – just under four-tenths off Russell’s pace.

    Ocon rounded out the top five and Alonso ensured Alpine will occupy the third row as he qualified sixth. Meanwhile Hamilton wasn’t happy as he settled for seventh, former team mate Bottas going eighth.

    Ricciardo qualified ninth while a beleaguered Verstappen will start a provisional 10th on Sunday, after Red Bull could not diagnose his costly power unit glitch.

  2. Mercedes driver George Russell is feeling overjoyed and yet needs to understand shock Hungary Formula 1 pole. has the news story.

    A “buzzing” George Russell admits he and Mercedes “need to understand” where his shock maiden Formula 1 pole “came from” at the Hungarian Grand Prix after “worst Friday” of 2022.

    The Briton was almost a second off the pace of the Ferraris down in eighth after Friday’s running, with teammate Lewis Hamilton expressing shock at how inconsistent the 2022 Mercedes was from track to track.

    A wet FP3 did nothing to boost Mercedes morale with Russell constantly complaining of a lack of grip on both the intermediate and wet tyres.

    But Russell stunned with his final lap in a dry qualifying on Saturday afternoon when he produced a 1m17.377s to beat Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz by 0.044 seconds.

    Russell says this pole came after “probably our worst Friday of the season”, but admits the team has to analyse further to understand just where his qualifying pace came from.

    “Over the moon. Absolutely buzzing,” he said after scoring his first F1 pole.

    “I mean, yesterday was probably our worst Friday of the season. And everybody last night was working so hard.

    “We didn’t really know what direction to go in. And then that last lap, got round Turn 1, mega Turn 1, went round Turn 2, Turn 2 was mega.

    “And the laptime just kept on coming and kept on coming. And I came across the line, looked at the screen and saw we went P1. And that was an incredible feeling.”

    Asked if Mercedes is now back after a difficult first half of 2022 with its W13, Russell added: “I don’t know, to be honest.

    “We need to look into it and understand where that came from today. There are a few ideas we have. At the end of the day there’s no points for qualifying.

    “But we generally have good race pace, but the Ferraris looked very fast on Friday.

    “But we’re going to be absolutely going for it. But either way that was a pretty special day no doubt.”

    Prior to Hungary, Russell’s best qualifying result of the season was a fourth – which he managed twice in Austria and Spain.

    Russell’s teammate Hamilton will start Sunday’s Hungarian GP from seventh after a DRS issue forced him to abort his final run.

  3. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc commented that he was struggled “massively” with tyres in Hungary Formula 1 qualifying. has the details.

    Charles Leclerc blamed Ferrari struggling “massively” on its tyres in qualifying for Formula 1’s Hungarian Grand Prix for failing to secure a front row spot.

    The Monegasque driver, who is bidding for a victory at the Hungaroring to try to keep his title hopes alive, was unable to fully capitalise on engine problems for rival Max Verstappen as he ended up third on the grid.

    Reflecting on the afternoon, where the ability to switch the tyres on for a single lap proved key to the pace at the front, Leclerc said that things had not been easy for him.

    “Today, it’s not been a great day,” he said. “I’ve been struggling massively with the tyres and just had a lot of inconsistency to put the tyres in the right window with those conditions.

    “I struggled to put a lap together, but we’ll look into it. I’m pretty sure we’ve got the pace in the car to come back a bit more [towards] the front tomorrow.

    “So we’ll focus on that. And hopefully we have a better Sunday.”

    Ferrari’s long run pace on Friday had been impressive in the hotter conditions, and that form has left Leclerc a bit more optimistic about how things will pan out, as long as the team finds answers as to what went wrong today.

    “The pace is there,” he said. “So we just need to understand what went on with the tyres today. And I’m pretty sure that we can come back tomorrow.”

    Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz, who was pipped by Russell at the very end, blamed a few snaps of oversteer in the final sector for losing out on the top spot.

    “I felt like I had the pace to do a pole position,” said the Spaniard.

    “It went away from us there in the last sector with a few snaps through the lap. But congratulations to George because he must have done a pretty good lap there at the end. And yeah, we will race from P2 tomorrow.”

    Sainz shared Leclerc’s optimism that Ferrari could turn things around and move forward to go for the win on Sunday.

    “I think we have the pace,” he added. “Obviously the start and the tyre management will play a key role like always.

    “The Mercedes pace is a bit of an unknown and we will have to see how the race plays out tomorrow. And if we can get them at the start then better, but I think it will be an exciting race.”

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