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RUSSELL TAKES MAIDEN F1 POLE IN HUNGARY


Published at 7/31/2022

George Russell has taken his maiden F1 pole position at the Hungaroring ahead of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.

With a track time of 1:17:377, Russell beat Sainz by 0.044s, followed closely by Leclerc by almost two-tenths of a second.

After a wet final practice that was led by Williams driver Nicholas Latifi, the three qualifying rounds took place in dry conditions.

Q1 was taken out by Lewis Hamilton after Max Verstappen set the early pace, and fending off teammate Russell by 0.333s, and after the Ferrari’s stayed in the garage whilst some rubber got laid down on the wet track, Sainz came in P3.

Tsunoda, Albon, Vettel, Gasly, and Latifi were all knocked out from Q1, with Tsunoda missing out by just 0.035s, and Latifi, the surprise FP3 leader, will start from the back of the grid after making a costly error into the last corner.

Q2 saw an increase in speed as the track dried rapidly to see Max Verstappen as the first to break the one minute 18 mark, whilst Alonso posted strong times to pinch P3 behind Charles Leclerc.

Perez would be the surprise knockout, raging over the traffic in the form of Magnussen, after his early times were chalked off for exceeding track limits. Even though his time was reinstated, he would miss out by just 0.071’s.

Ricciardo got into the top ten with an impressive late effort to finish Q2 in P8 in front of Econ and Bettas, joining his teammate Norris in the Q3 stage.

Perez, Zhou, Magnussen, Stroll, and Schumacher were the Q2 knockouts.

Q3 saw some intense action, with pole position a seemingly open prospect for a handful of drivers, but Verstappen, who was off the pace early, suffered a loss of power to rule him out of Q3 in P10.

Verstappen could be seen flicking switches furiously in the cockpit and bemoaning that nothing was working.

Sainz, Russell and Leclerc all set the bench marks with Sainz posting a time of 1m 17.421s. It would seem that that would be enough to take pole, but Russell put in an incredible last ditch effort to snatch pole away from Sainz with a blistering 1m 17.377s.

Leclerc will start P3 ahead of Norris and Ocon, with Alonso and Hamilton in P6 and 7, and Bottas and Ricciardo ahead of the beleaguered Verstappen.

It will be the first Mercedes pole of the season, and a first in the career of the Briton Russell, who has had a consistent year so far, ahead of Hamilton in the drivers standings.

“I’m over the moon, absolutely buzzing. Yesterday was probably our worst Friday of the season, and everybody last night was working so hard,“said Russell.

“We didn’t really know what direction to go in and then that last lap, we got round Turn 1, mega Turn 1, went round Turn 2, Turn 2 was mega, and the lap time just kept on coming, kept on coming. I came across the line, looked across at the screen and saw we went P1. That was an incredible feeling!”

Both Ferrari’s will feel confident of their pace, and will be eager to make amends for the events of Le Castellet.

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