By putting his Mercedes on pole for the Hungarian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton blasted the Formula One title door wide open.
Verstappen could only manage third place, with Valtteri Bottas joining teammate Hamilton on the top row to complete an all-Mercedes front row.
Following his controversial British Grand Prix victory a fortnight ago, Hamilton will head into the final round before the summer break with a chance to take the title lead after qualifying for the first time in almost three months.
Hamilton has eight pole positions in Hungary and will attempt to become the first driver to win at the same track nine times – and hence collect his 100th victory – on Sunday.
“Way to go, boys,” Hamilton said over the radio. “You did an amazing job.”
“It was a terrific qualifying lap,” Hamilton said after being booed by Verstappen’s ‘Orange Army.’
“Back at the factory, the guys haven’t left any stone unturned.” I’m grateful for all of the help we’ve received. I’ve never been so thankful for booing. It doesn’t bother me. It only serves to energise me.”
During the qualifying session for the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring racetrack in Mogyorod, Hungary, on Saturday, July 31, 2021, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of the United Kingdom steers his car ahead of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands. On Sunday, the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix will take place.
On the pair’s last runs, Hamilton tried his hardest to keep up with Verstappen. Darko Bandic/AP/Darko Bandic/Darko Bandic/Darko Bandic/Dark
Verstappen just had no answer for the sluggish and tricky 2.72-mile Hungaroring’s 14 bends, finishing four tenths behind his competitor.
Sergio Perez, Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate, finished fourth ahead of Pierre Gasly of Alpha Tauri.
Lando Norris is third in the championship, behind only Verstappen and Hamilton, and the young Briton put in another strong effort tonight.
Norris finished sixth, half a second faster than Daniel Ricciardo, who was knocked out of Q2 and qualified in 11th in the other McLaren.
After Carlos Sainz’s afternoon ended in the barriers, Q2 was red-flagged for eight minutes.
On the approach to the final bend, the Spaniard went too fast and collided with the wall in a puff of tyre smoke.
After crashing out of final practice, Mick Schumacher was unable to compete in qualifying.
Through the right-hander Turn 11, the German, 22, lost control of his Haas and smashed into the tyre wall.
Schumacher was knocked out and sent to the hospital for precautionary checkups after the high-speed collision, which clocked at over 30G.
Despite receiving the all-clear, Schumacher was forced to qualify as a bystander because to the considerable damage to his machine. On Sunday, he’ll be the last one to take the field.
George Russell, a British driver, will start 17th after failing to advance from Q1 for the first race this season.
Hungarian Grand Prix, qualifying times
- Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1min 15.419secs
- Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 1:15.734
- Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:15.840
- Sergio Perez (Mex) Red Bull 1:16.421
- Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:16.483
- Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:16.489
- Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:16.496
- Esteban Ocon (Fra) Alpine 1:16.653
- Fernando Alonso (Spa) Alpine 1:16.715
- Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Aston Martin 1:16.750
- Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) McLaren 1:16.871
- Lance Stroll (Can) Aston Martin 1:16.893
- Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:17.564
- Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:17.583
- Carlos Sainz Jr (Spa) Ferrari. 1:16.649
- Yuki Tsunoda (Jpn) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:17.919
- George Russell (Gbr) Williams 1:17.944
- Nicholas Latifi (Can) Williams 1:18.036
- Nikita Mazepin (Raf) Haas F1 1:18.922
- Mick Schumacher (Ger) Haas F1 No Time Set