F1 Hungarian Grand Prix 2020, qualifying at Hungaroring — Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Hungarian GP by edging out Valtteri Bottas as Mercedes streaked clear of their rivals, with Racing Point locking out the second row and Daniel Ricciardo failing to make it past Q2.
Mercedes, who have been the class of the field throughout the Budapest weekend, were even more dominant in Saturday’s shootout and, with Red Bull fading completely out of the fight, Q3 turned out to be a head-to-head battle between Hamilton and Bottas for pole.
While Bottas improved on his final lap, it wasn’t enough to beat an in-form Hamilton – who took an incredible 90th F1 pole by acing his last effort with a 1:13.4, a tenth of a second ahead of his title rival and team-mate.
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“Valtteri doesn’t make it easy for me at all so it requires absolute perfection when doing laps and qualifying like that is one of the things I enjoy most,” said Hamilton, who won last weekend’s Styrian GP.
Sky F1’s Martin Brundle remarked: “What a car that must be to drive.”
Brundle also said Mercedes were in a “league of their own”, a statement backed up by their huge advantage on Saturday – almost a second ahead of their closest challenger.
That turned out to be Lance Stroll in the fast Racing Point, with Sergio Perez just behind as the Silverstone-based outfit, whose car has been protested by Renault due to its alleged similarities to last year’s Mercedes, took the scalps of their more-fancied rivals.
“We assume that the brake ducts of the Racing Point and some other parts are a design from another team, and that is not legal in the regulations,” Renault executive director Marcin Budkowski told Sky Sports F1.
Budkowski described the brake duct, which is a listed part in F1 2020 and so cannot be shared with other teams, but wasn’t in 2019, as an “important aerodynamic performance element”, and said it would be “difficult to copy”.
“We actually believe that they have received drawings, they have received parts which they used to build their car this year,” he explained. “We believe this is not right.
“We will see the investigation from the FIA and we will see what the stewards think about it.”
Ferrari sealed their best qualifying result of the season with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc locking out the third row, while Red Bull – fancied coming into the weekend as pole contenders – endured a painful Saturday.
Max Verstappen, on pole last year, will only be seventh on the starting grid at the Hungaroring in 2020, and team-mate Alex Albon was knocked out in Q2, only 13th in a particularly twitchy RB16.
He was even out-qualified by George Russell, with the young Englishman – who has recently confirmed he will stay with the Grove team for 2021 – starring. Both Williams cars made it through to Q2, for the first time since 2018’s Italian GP.
Hungarian GP Qualifying, Top-10
1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
3. Lance Stroll, Racing Point
4. Sergio Perez, Racing Point
5. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
6. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
7. Max Verstappen, Red Bull
8. Lando Norris, McLaren
9. Carlos Sainz, McLaren
10. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
This article originally appeared on Sky Sports