New regulations, new picture: World Record Champion Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain) snatched the lead at the Hungarian Grand Prix (Sunday, 3pm/Sky) from defending champion Max Verstappen (Netherlands) in a thrilling qualifying session. The Mercedes star prevailed in Hungary by a narrow three-hundredths of a second over Verstappen, and third was the recently powerful Lando Norris (Great Britain) in his McLaren.
“It’s been a crazy year and a half,” said Hamilton, “I almost lost my voice screaming in the car. It feels like the first time.” Verstappen felt that “we have to be up front with this car, but it just didn’t quite work out”.
For Hamilton, it was his first start since December 5, 2021 and the 104th of his career. Nico Hulkenberg (Emmerich) again showed a strong qualifying performance at Haas and started the race 10th.
After the last six victories in a row, Verstappen leads the world championship by 99 points, the closest “chaser” is his teammate Perez. With 255 points, Verstappen alone led the team’s classification.
Red Bull with a chance to set a record
Red Bull could set a new record of 12 consecutive wins in Hungary on Sunday. The shower racing stable currently shares the record of 11 consecutive wins with McLaren, who achieved the feat in 1988 with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.
Verstappen and Co. did not have any. Freedom to choose tires for the first time in qualifying. Formula 1 has tested a rule change called “Alternative Tire Allocation” in Hungary to improve the sport’s sustainability.
The drivers had to use a hard tire compound in the first run, medium tires in the second, and then alternate faster with the soft tires in the third run. The format will be tested for a second time at Monza in early September.
“General writer. Twitter fanatic. Award-winning alcohol practitioner. Pop culture guru.”