Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 6 August 2020

Lewis Hamilton creates more history after claiming pole for Hungarian Grand Prix

Reigning F1 champion led teammate Valtteri Bottas by 0.107 seconds at the Hungaroring

Lewis Hamilton celebrates after qualifying in pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Reuters
Lewis Hamilton celebrates after qualifying in pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Reuters

Lewis Hamilton broke the circuit lap record and drew level with Michael Schumacher for another feat on Saturday as he claimed a record-increasing 90th pole position for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

The six-time and reigning world champion clocked a stunning time of one minute and 13.447 seconds on his second run in final qualifying to finish ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas as Mercedes claimed their 65th front-row lockout.

It was Hamilton's second successive pole of the coronavirus delayed season and a Schumacher-equalling seventh pole at the Hungaroring, where he seeks his eighth victory to draw level with another Schumacher achievement for wins on the same track.

Schumacher won eight times at the French Grand Prix.

"I have to pinch myself," Hamilton said. "It doesn't register. It's quite humbling because I work with an incredible bunch of people who do an amazing job here and back home.

"And Valtteri doesn't make it easy for me. It takes perfection to do laps like that so this is one of the things I enjoy most."

Behind the two 'black arrows', the controversial 'pink Mercedes' of Racing Point were third and fourth with Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez ahead of a much-improved showing by four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc for Ferrari.

"I am very happy at the moment," said Stroll. "Was strong all the way through qualifying, the whole weekend, really."

Max Verstappen was a disappointed seventh for Red Bull, Lando Norris eighth ahead of his McLaren teammate Carlos Sainz with Pierre Gasly, in his 50th Grand Prix, 10th for Alpha Tauri.

On a cool, damp afternoon at the Hungaroring, the Q1 action produced drama and suspense, the track evolution - as the temperature fell - creating faster times right to the final seconds.

This resulted in the two Racing Points snatching first and second places ahead of Hamilton's Mercedes, with Perez leading Stroll in the 'pink panthers' private duel.

In Q2, Hamilton was soon on top with 1:14.261, pursued by Bottas, two-tenths adrift, both running on medium compound tyres while behind them, on softs, Vettel and Verstappen led the chase.

Leclerc jumped to third in the final seconds as Daniel Ricciardo of Renault failed to make the top-10 shootout along with the two Williams of George Russell and rookie Nicholas Latifi, Esteban Ocon in the second Renault and Red Bull's Alexander Albon.

In Q3, Mercedes again set the pace with Hamilton breaking the track lap record and the 1:14 barrier with a lap in 1:13.613 and Bottas three-tenths adrift on their opening runs.

Stroll was third quickest ahead of Verstappen and Norris before the ultimate laps saw Vettel and Leclerc move up to fourth and fifth for Ferrari ahead of the final dramas.

Stroll and his Racing Point team-mate Perez managed to jump the Ferraris, but Hamilton and Bottas reasserted Mercedes' supremacy.

Updated: July 18, 2020 07:16 PM

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