Max starting from pole in Budapest: 'It's incredible'

Published on 03 August 2019 by Mike Motilall

Max Verstappen will start the Hungarian from pole position. On the 4,381 meter long Hungaroring, the fast Dutchman outpaced Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes in a nerve wrecking qualifying. With that the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing-driver took his first ever career pole. Pierre Gasly took the second Red Bull to P6.

“It is incredible. I am very happy about today, you know it’s going to be hard in qualifying but we managed to do it,” says Max during the interview on track after qualifying. Max continues: “A big thank you to the team. The car was flying out there in qualifying, it was incredible. But there is still a race to do and at the end of the day that’s the most important.”

Looking ahead at the race on Sunday, in front of Ziggo’s microphone Max had the following to say: “We need to make sure we have a good start and from then on you can control the race. Just look at Hockenheim and just look at Mexico, once you are running at the front, it’s a complete different ball game.”

There is an overcast and it’s 23 degrees. When Q1 gets underway there is a slight chance of rain during qualifying. Lance Stroll and both Williams-drivers are the first three to head out on track. When all the drivers have done a first lap, we find Max at the front of the pack and with a track record in his pocket while Robert Kubica, Stroll, Daniil Kvyat, Antonio Giovinazzi and Romain Grosjean are on the wrong side of the divide.

Moments later, Leclerc spins as he gets on to the start/finish line and is forced to make it back to the pits. The Monegasque rear sides his car into the tyre wall. Luckily for him, he had already done a very good time with which he survives Q1. However, it remains to be seen if he will still be around for the two remaining qualifying sessions. When the fog has cleared in Q1, Kubica, Stroll, Daniel Ricciardo, Sergio Perez and Russell are sent packing as they are on the wrong side of the line. Giovinazzi has been put under investigation for impeding Stroll.

At the start of Q2, both Mercedes immediately head out on a set of the medium tyres. Max, Pierre Gasly and also both Ferraris head out on the yellow striped tyres as well. After the first few skirmishes in Q2, Max is behind of Hamilton. Bottas is third, ahead of both Ferraris and Gasly’s Red Bull. At the back of the field, both Alfa’s, both Toro Rosso’s and Kevin Magnussen’s Haas are in the knockout zone. Despite the strong time they set during their first run, the drivers from the top teams still head out once more for a second run. However, the fail to improve on their time. Nico Hulkenberg, both Toro Rosso’s, Giovinazzi and Magnussen are left stranded in Q2.

A big question mark for everyone is if Max will be able to secure his first ever career pole in Q3. If there ever was an optimal chance and occasion it would be here and now. Hamilton, Raikkonen and Bottas get things going in Q3 as they are the first ones out on track. Max follows suit not much later and his first run puts him first, ahead of both Mercedes, of which Bottas is the quickest of both.

During the final and all deciding run, Leclerc heads out ahead of Max. In the wake of the fast Dutchman, both Mercedes and Vettel’s Ferrari follow. Max manages to better his time in the first sector and goes purple in the second one. He betters his time to a 1:14.572 as the rest falters trying to match or beat the 21-year-old Dutchman’s. “Better late than never mate, congratulations!”, is what we hear Max’ engineer tell him on the radio and with that Max’ first pole position is a fact.

Hungarian GP contest: Win an orange RBR 33 T-shirt and Verstappen beach towel

Results qualifying Hungary:

1Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:15.8171:15.5731:14.572
2Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:16.0781:15.6691:14.590
3Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:16.0681:15.5481:14.769
4Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:16.3371:15.7921:15.043
5Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:16.4521:15.8851:15.071
6Pierre GaslyGASRed Bull Racing Honda1:16.7161:16.3931:15.450
7Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:16.6971:16.0601:15.800
8Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault1:16.4931:16.3081:15.852
9Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:16.9781:16.3191:16.013
10Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:16.5061:16.5181:16.041
11Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:16.7901:16.565
12Alexander AlbonALBScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:16.9121:16.687
13Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:16.7501:16.692
14Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:16.8941:16.804
15Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:16.1221:17.081
16George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:17.031
17Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:17.109
18Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:17.257
19Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:17.542
20Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes1:18.324