Mercedes’ George Russell to the first pole position of his F1 career in qualifying for the 2022 FIA Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix, beating the Ferrari duo of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, as world championship leader Max Verstappen suffered a power loss on his final run and qualified in 10th place just ahead of Red Bull team-mate Sergio Pérez who was eliminated at the end of Q2
In Q1, Verstappen headed out on track early and the World Championship leader immediately jumped to the top of the timesheet with a time of 1:19.020. with the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Russell taking second and third places ahead of Pérez.
McLaren’s Lando Norris then took P2 with a lap of 1:19.534, though Pérez soon powered ahead of the Briton with a second flyer of 1:19.118.
The Ferrari pair of Leclerc and Sainz then joined the action and Sainz took fourth place behind Russell as Leclerc’s 1:19.979 only took him to P10. Verstappen then lowered the benchmark to 1:18.792 before Norris again moved ahead of Pérez, just two tenths behind Verstappen. Hamilton then demoted both by stealing P2 with his next lap of 1:18.916.
The Ferrari drivers, meanwhile, had completed another prep lap and on his second flyer Sainz took P2 behind Verstappen who again improved, this time to 1:18.509.
In the final runs of Q1 it was Hamilton who put in the best final flyer and he progressed to Q2 in P1 with a lap of 1:18.374, ahead of team-mate Russell and Sainz and Verstappen whose final time of 1:18.668 was deleted for a track limits violation in Turn 11. He progressed in P4, ahead of Norris and Alonso. Pérez, meanwhile, struggled on his final flyer but made it through in P13.
Further down, AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda was eliminated in 16th place ahead of Williams’ Alex Albon and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel. In the final moments Pierre Gasly’s lap of 1:19.116, which would have put him ahead of Pérez, was deleted for going over track limits in Turn 5 and he was ruled out of Q2 in P19 ahead of the second Williams of Nicholas Latifi.
In the opening runs of Q2, Verstappen took top spot thanks to a lap of 1:17.703. Pérez took second place, but the Mexican’s time of 1:18.516 was then deleted for going over track limits at Turn 5 and he dropped to P15. However, after reviewing the footage, the stewards then reinstated the Mexican’s time and he jumped back up the order, but only to ninth place.
Leclerc then jumped to second place with a lap of 1:17.768 on new tyres and Sainz moved to fourth but Pérez’s second run netted a time a tenth of a second slower than his opening run and when both Valtteri Bottas and Ocon improved to ninth and tenth in the dying moments of the segment , the Red Bull driver was ruled out of Q3 in P11.
Also eliminated at the end of Q2 were Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu in 12th place, followed by Magnussen, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and the second Haas of Mick Schumacher.
In the first runs of Q3, Sainz went quickest with a lap of 1:17.805 ahead of Russell whose 1:17.968 on used tyres put him almost three hundredths of a second ahead of Leclerc, with Hamilton fourth ahead of Alonso and Norris.
Verstappen, though, locked up badly in Turn 2 on his opening flyer and after complaining that his “front-end grip had gone” the Dutchman crossed the line in 1:18.823, 1.3s adrift of Sainz’s provisional pole time and in P7.
And a difficult final segment for the Red Bull driver went from bad to worse in the final run. As he rounded Turn 2 on his out lap Verstappen reported a loss of power and despite being given potential solutions to try on the steering wheel the problem could not be rectified and he failed to make it across the line before the chequered flag. He qualified in 10th place.
That left the was open for Ferrari but Leclerc could only put in a lap of 1:17.567. That handed him top spot but Sainz then crossed the line two tenths ahead of his team-mate. It looked like the Spaniard had done enough to claim his second pole position but behind him Russell was flying and the Mercedes driver claimed the first pole of his F1 career, four hundredths of a second ahead of the Ferrari driver. Behind the top three, Norris qualified fourth ahead of Ocon, with Alonso in sixth place. Hamilton is set to line up in seventh ahead of Bottas, Ricciardo and Verstappen.
2022 FIA Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix – Qualifying
1 George Russell Mercedes 1:17.377
2 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:17.421 0.044
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:17.567 0.190
4 Lando Norris McLaren 1:17.769 0.392
5 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:18.018 0.641
6 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1:18.078 0.701
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:18.142 0.765
8 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1:18.157 0.780
9 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1:18.379 1.002
10 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:18.823 1.446
11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing 1:18.516 1.139
12 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 1:18.573 1.196
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:18.825 1.448
14 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:19.137 1.760
15 Mick Schumacher Haas 1:19.202 1.825
16 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1:19.240 1.863
17 Alex Albon Williams 1:19.256 1.879
18 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1:19.273 1.896
19 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1:19.527 2.150
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1:19.570 2.193