Record Lap Gives Verstappen Pole In Hungary

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Record Lap Gives
Max Verstappen celebrates his first Formula One pole on Saturday at the Hungaroring. (Red Bull photo)

MOGYOROD, Hungary – Max Verstappen finally secured his maiden Formula One pole position during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday at the Hungaroring.

Verstappen posted a track-record time of 1:14.572 during the third knockout round to secure the top spot on the grid in his 93rd Grand Prix start.

The Dutchman becomes the 100th pole winner in F-1 history and the first Honda-powered polesitter since 2006 at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

“It has been a great day and the car was hooked up straight away in qualifying. To come out on top is incredible and my first pole position will always be a special one,” Verstappen said. “It’s also nice to get the pole on a great track like this … as a qualifying lap on low fuel is so enjoyable. You can really feel the grip of the car with the full downforce and it’s a lot of fun out there.

“We are closing in on the front-runners all the time and Honda keeps pushing hard to optimize everything. Today was another great day for everyone within the team, but that team also includes Honda, so a big thank you (to them) as the car has been flying,” Verstappen added. “Their hard work is paying off and it’s great to see. I haven’t done a long run this weekend, but lately our car has been even better in the race, so I don’t feel too worried. We just need to try and get a clean start and get the job done.

“Everyone is very close, so tomorrow should be another exciting race.”

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas will join Verstappen on the front row, just .018 seconds off of the pole benchmark, with championship leader Lewis Hamilton rolling off third in the sister Silver Arrow.

Charles Leclerc rallied to fourth in the final round after breaking his rear wing due to contact with the barriers in Q1, while Sebastian Vettel completed the top five in the second Ferrari entry.

Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Pierre Gasly, the McLaren duo of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz, Haas F1’s Romain Grosjean and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen were the balance of the top 10 in qualifying.