The qualifiers started off in conditions similar to that of the third free practice run, with several events in store, as well as the two previous ones from Friday and the one from the morning of today.
The main question of Q1 was whether the sky would give in and fall or not. This was what worried the majority of the competitors, but there were those who weren’t bothered by this at all. In the ever-improving conditions, Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll took the lead, however, they were not the highlight of the event: thanks to George Russel and Nicolas Latifi, Williams got into the Q2 for the first time in a long time. The Brit especially put out a lap which can be called amazing at the least.
The Q2 had no major surprises, except maybe Alexander Albon’s farewell ahead of time. In the meantime, Lewis Hamilton and Vallteri Bottas finished with great leads on medium tyres, followed by Sebastian Vettel on softs, then came Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen, both at a promising pace. Similarly to Mercedes, Racing Point also managed to get itself a tactical advantage, using medium tyres on both its cars to get into the Q3. In addition to the ones listed, the top10 saw two McLarens, as well as Pierre Gasly from Alpha Tauri.
With the allowance of a small exaggeration, the Q3 wasn’t about who would get the pole positions, it was rather about who would get into the still open second row. Hamilton set a new track record, being followed by his teammate in second place. The third and fourth places were being hunted by Verstappen, as well as the two Racing Point drivers, the Ferraris also trying to make their voices heard in the competition. They couldn’t manage it in the end though, because Hamilton and Bottas were followed by Stroll and perez, then Vettel and Leclerc, who will set off from the first six places on Sunday, during the 35th Hungarian Grand Prix.
With his 90th qualifying success, Lewis Hamilton set another record, and the rise of Racing Point may well mean that we are witnessing the complete reorganisation of the power rankings. That is, if Renault’s protest is not accepted in the meantime…
Photo: Sky Sports
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