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Formula 1

Hamilton beats Verstappen to Hungarian GP F1 pole by 0.003s

by Matt Beer
3 min read

Lewis Hamilton claimed his and Mercedes’ first pole position of the 2023 Formula 1 season in Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying, beating Max Verstappen and Lando Norris.

The debut of F1’s Alternative Tyre Allocation system – being trialled at the Hungaroring this weekend and at Monza in September – caused plenty of intrigue and surprises in the order.

Drivers had to use hard tyres in Q1, mediums in Q2 and softs in Q3, and the reduced tyre allocation meant they’d had relatively little practice running on the softs in particular.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Hungarian Grand Prix Qualifying Day Budapest, Hungary

Last year’s Hungary front row duo George Russell and Carlos Sainz both suffered. Russell didn’t even get beyond Q1, ending up 18th on the grid in the second Mercedes after his final lap was compromised in a final-corner traffic jam on his build-up lap. Sainz just missed Q3 and will start 11th for Ferrari.

There were positive shocks for others: Alfa Romeo backed up its practice pace by leading Q1 with Zhou Guanyu, before Norris topped Q2 for McLaren.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Hungarian Grand Prix Qualifying Day Budapest, Hungary

Norris was then a genuine pole contender, but missed out by just 0.085s and starts behind Hamilton and Verstappen in third, joined on row two by team-mate Oscar Piastri.

Just 0.003s separated the old rivals, with Verstappen’s failure to improve on his last lap giving Hamilton the opportunity to nip ahead of the Red Bull and take his first pole since late-2021.

Zhou and team-mate Valtteri Bottas carried Alfa Romeo’s form through to Q3, where they claimed fifth and seventh, either side of Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari.

Sergio Perez only qualified ninth in the second Red Bull, between Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin and Nico Hulkenberg’s Haas.

Daniel Ricciardo made Q2 in the first qualifying session of his F1 return, unlike AlphaTauri team-mate Yuki Tsunoda. Ricciardo starts 13th to Tsunoda’s 17th.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m19.027s 1m17.427s 1m16.609s
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m18.318s 1m17.427s 1m16.612s
3 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1m18.695s 1m17.328s 1m16.694s
4 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes 1m18.464s 1m17.563s 1m16.905s
5 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m18.143s 1m17.675s 1m16.971s
6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m18.44s 1m17.571s 1m16.992s
7 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m18.743s 1m17.547s 1m17.034s
8 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m18.577s 1m17.7s 1m17.035s
9 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1m18.36s 1m17.652s 1m17.045s
10 Nico Hülkenberg Haas-Ferrari 1m18.58s 1m17.58s 1m17.186s
11 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1m18.393s 1m17.703s
12 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1m18.782s 1m17.841s
13 Daniel Ricciardo AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT 1m18.854s 1m18.002s
14 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m18.775s 1m18.114s
15 Pierre Gasly Alpine-Renault 1m18.697s 1m18.217s
16 Alex Albon Williams-Mercedes 1m18.906s
17 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT 1m18.917s
18 George Russell Mercedes 1m18.919s
19 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m19.206s
20 Logan Sargeant Williams-Mercedes 1m19.248s
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