MAX DENIES BOTTAS AND TAKES HIS FIRST POLE POSITION OF HIS CAREER!
The Red Bull driver took control on the first runs in Q3 with a lap of 1m14.958s, which put him 0.178s ahead of the lead Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.
While Bottas was able to eclipse Verstappen’s time at the second attempt, Verstappen then banged in a 1m14.572s to clinch pole position by just 0.018s thanks to his pace in the final sector.
Lewis Hamilton was two tenths off the pace in third place ahead of the lead Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, who survived spinning backwards into the barrier at the last corner during Q1 to earn fourth.
Sebastian Vettel was half-a-second off the pace in fifth place ahead of the second Red Bull of Pierre Gasly, who was almost nine tenths off Verstappen’s pace.
All of the top six will start Sunday’s race using medium Pirellis having used that tyre to set their time in Q2.
McLaren led the way in the battle for midfield supremacy, with Lando Norris shading Carlos Sainz by 0.052s.
Romain Grosjean took eighth in the Australian Grand Prix-specification Haas, 0.028s faster than the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen.
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg was bumped to 11th place and quickest of those eliminated in Q2 by Raikkonen’s late lap – missing out by less than half-a-tenth.
Although Hulkenberg failed to improve on his second run, that was still enough to keep him ahead of fellow non-improvers Toro Rosso pairing Alex Albon and Daniil Kvyat.
Antonio Giovinazzi was 14th for Alfa Romeo having also failed to find time at the second attempt, putting him ahead of Kevin Magnussen in the latest-specification Haas, who was unable to repeat his strong Q1 pace in Q2.
LATIFI BACK TO HIS BRILLIANT BEST IN BUDAPEST
DAMS driver secures first win since Round 3, ahead of De Vries and Aitken
Nicholas Latifi won for the first time since Barcelona with a masterclass on the tight turns of the Hungaroring, bombing ahead of Nyck De Vries at the start and never wavering. Amazingly, it is the first time this season that the Championships’ top two have shared a podium, with the duo finishing ahead of Campos Racing’s Jack Aitken.
Despite the downpour in Friday’s Qualifying session, the rain held off on Saturday morning in Hungary and De Vries made the most of the dry surface to get away cleanly off the line, battling off a move down his right from Luca Ghiotto. Or, so he thought! Nicholas Latifi surged past them both on the left and nipped by at the end of the first turn, with De Vries’ locking up.
There were plenty of places gained further back at Turn 1 as Aitken jumped three to 5th, while Hubert hopped five to 13th. There was heartbreak for Louis Delétraz, whose slow start when the lights went out saw him drop to 8th, before his Carlin slowed down to a stop.
Aitken began hounding Mick Schumacher in 4th, who had fallen off the tail of Ghiotto. The German defended his position well, but lost out in the pits as Campos delivered a perfect stop, which saw the Brit nip ahead of both the PREMA man and Ghiotto.
By the time Latifi pitted a lap later, he’d built a strong gap over De Vries and returned in 6th place, directly in-front of the ART Grand Prix man who had already stopped. The race lead was handed to Jordan King who was on the alternate strategy.
Latifi briefly put space between himself and De Vries when he passed Ralph Boschung, but he got caught in traffic and the Dutchman began to catch him. There was a brief Virtual Safety Car as Arjun Maini pulled over onto the gravel and became the morning’s second casualty.
Nobuharu Matsushita passed Schumacher down the pit-straight when racing resumed, while Latifi zipped by Hubert for second, who was also yet to stop. By the time King pitted from first and handed Latifi back the lead, the Canadian had built up a 6s gap between himself and his title rival.
The front three spots were back into the hands of Latifi, De Vries and Aitken, with Ghiotto in 4th and unable to match the Brit’s speed. This sent the Italian into the clutches of Matsushita and sparked a mass brawl for fourth.
Ghiotto was able to fend off the Carlin driver, which sent him into the lurches of Sérgio Sette Câmara who had risen magnificently from 12th. The duo went two wide ahead of Turn 3, which put King into the mix. Narrowly avoiding a kiss of tyres, the Brazilian and the Briton edged passed Matsushita.
The battles were brought to a swift conclusion when Boschung’s Trident went up in smoke and forced him to pull over onto the gravel. The race finished under the subsequent Safety Car, although Ghiotto and King were handed penalties after the chequered flag for a SC infringement and fell down the order. Latifi safely crossed the line ahead of De Vries and Aitken. Sette Câmara claimed fourth, ahead of Matsushita, Ghiotto, King, Schumacher, Guanyu Zhou and Callum Ilott.
The Canadian’s victory sees him gain ground on De Vries at the top of the Drivers’ Championship, with De Vries now on 192 points and Latifi 28 behind him. Sette Câmara moves up to third on 133, ahead of Ghiotto on 130. Aitken completes the top five with 128. In the Teams’ Championship, DAMS have increased their lead and now have 297 points, ahead of UNI-Virtuosi on 237. ART Grand Prix sit third on 198, with Campos Racing behind on 158 and Carlin on 135.