Hamilton takes pole for Hungarian GP

2023 Hungarian Grand Prix, Friday - LAT Images

Qualifying for the FIA Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix was a new format that saw Q1 forced to use the Hard compound, Q2 the Medium compound and Q3 the soft compound. The reason is to potentially save shipping an additional 3k tires around the world next year (11 sets vs 13 sets of tires per car).

While I understand the format, I’m not sure why F1 couldn’t just bring fewer tires to a weekend and let the teams use them how they will. The mandating of tire usage per session removed much of the strategy that typically accompanies qualifying.

In one sense, you could argue that it provided a mixed up grid but I’m not entirely sure that the track characteristics and upgrades some teams have made didn’t do the brunt of shaking up the grid.

Once the session got to Q3 on Soft compounds, things returned to a more normal cadence. Max Verstappen’s inability to improve on his provisional pole left the door open for Lewis Hamilton who took a fantastic pole for the 9th time in Hungary.

The other notable performance was the legitimate pace both McLaren’s had with Lando Norris in P3. After a terrific outing at the British Grand Prix, the hunch is that the Hungarian track is completely different and yet the McLaren was equally quick so is this pace here to stay? Time will tell but Hungary would suggest it is.

Another great performance by Zho Guanyu with his best qualifying result in P5 with his teammate, Valtteri Bottas in P7.

In all, not a fan of the new mandated compound usage format.

Qualifying Results:

1LEWIS HAMILTON Mercedes44MercedesMercedes
2MAX VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing1Red BullRed Bull
3LANDO NORRIS McLaren4McLarenMercedes
4OSCAR PIASTRI McLaren81McLarenMercedes
5ZHOU GUANYU Alfa Romeo24Alfa RomeoFerrari
6CHARLES LECLERC Ferrari16FerrariFerrari
7VALTTERI BOTTAS Alfa Romeo77Alfa RomeoFerrari
8FERNANDO ALONSO Aston Martin Racing14Aston MartinMercedes
9SERGIO PEREZ Red Bull Racing11Red BullRed Bull
10NICO HULKENBERG Haas F1 Team27HaasFerrari
11CARLOS SAINZ Ferrari55FerrariFerrari
12ESTEBAN OCON Alpine31AlpineRenault
13DANIEL RICCIARDO AlphaTauri3AlphaTauriRed Bull
14LANCE STROLL Aston Martin Racing18Aston MartinMercedes
15PIERRE GASLY Alpine10AlpineRenault
16ALEX ALBON Williams23WilliamsMercedes
17YUKI TSUNODA AlphaTauri22AlphaTauriRed Bull
18GEORGE RUSSELL Mercedes63MercedesMercedes
19KEVIN MAGNUSSEN Haas F1 Team20HaasFerrari
20LOGAN SARGEANT Williams2WilliamsMercedes
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I usually root for the underdog, so in a odd way I’m glad Hamilton is on pole, or is it that Verstappen isn’t? It will make for an interesting race none the less.