Max will start the Hungarian Grand Prix from the front of the grid after the Dutch ace put in a superb qualifying performance to take the first pole position of his career at the Hungaroring. Pierre will start the race from sixth place on the grid.
Lightning-quick throughout the hour-long session, Max made it through the first segment at the top of the timesheet and then shadowed Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, progressing to the top-10 shootout in P2 just two hundredths of a second behind the championship leader.
When it counted, though, Max powered ahead of the chasing pack. He grabbed provisional pole with a brilliant first-run time of 1:14.958 to sit just under two tenths ahead of the second Mercedes of Valterri Bottas and then, in the final run, found a remarkable 0.386s to claim his first pole position, just 0.018s ahead of Bottas and two tenths of a seconds ahead of Hamilton.
1 – Max’s first pole position is also the first for a Dutch driver in F1.
61 – Today’s was the Team’s 61stpole position and our first since last year’s Mexican Grand Prix.
6 –Pierre matched his best qualifying here, scored last year with Toro Rosso.
The opening segment saw Max lay down a strong marker. The Dutchman’s first flying lap saw him leap to the top of the timesheet with a time of 1:15.917. It was a time none of his rivals could match, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton getting closest with a lap of 1:16.068.
Behind Hamilton, third place went to his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen fourth.
Fifth and sixth places went to Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel. There was trouble for Leclerc though. The Monegasque driver opted for a second attempt and at the end of the lap lost control on entry to the final turn. He spun and went backwards into the barriers. Although he was able to limp back to the pits where his crew began repairs ahead of Q2.
Pierre, meanwhile, opened with a time of 1:16.716 and quickly retreated to the garage. It proved good enough to send the Frenchman through in P10 after the final-run times came through.
At the lower end of the order George Russell was the first man eliminated in P16. The Williams driver exited ahead of Racing Point’s Sergio Pérez, Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, the second Racing Point of Lance Stroll and P20 man Robert Kubica of Williams.
For the top three teams the yellow-banded medium tyre was the compound of choice for the first runs of Q2. Hamilton took top spot with a time of 1:15.548, but Max ended his first run just 0.025s behind the Mercedes driver in P2. Bottas was a tenth further back in third place ahead of the Ferraris of Leclerc and Vettel, and Pierre slotted into P7 with an opening time of 1:16.421, four tenths of a second behind McLaren’s Lando Norris who had set his time on soft tyres.
In the final runs Pierre went out again, but instead of making certain of his Q3 berth and choosing softs, the Frenchman went out on mediums. And the gamble worked, with Pierre posting a time of 1:16.393 to ensure passage through to the top-10 shootout in P9 ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen.
At the top of the order the top three went out again on soft tyres, but after posting purple times in the first two sectors Max backed out his lap and both he and Pierre will start the race on medium rubber.
Mercedes and Ferrari will also start on mediums, with Hamilton and Bottas backing out of soft-tyre final runs and Leclerc and Vettel both running on mediums in the final stages of Q2.
Eliminated at the end of the second segment were 11th-placed Nico Hulkenberg of Renault followed by the Toro Rossos of Alex Albon and Daniil Kvyat, Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen.
The final segment saw Max become the first man to dip below 1m15s and the Dutchman claimed provisional pole with a super lap of 1:14.958. That left him 0.178s ahead of Bottas and a hundredth further ahead of Hamilton. Pierre, meanwhile, slotted into P6 with a time of 1:15.538.
And there was no denying Max in the final run. Bottas pushed the Dutchman hard, but with a smattering of purple micro-sectors across his lap Max pulled clear of the Finn to beat him to the front of the grid by just under two hundredths of a second.
Hamilton too found a substantial improvement on his final lap but it wasn’t enough to lift him higher than third place, almost two tenths of a second off pole. Fourth place on the grid went to Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, almost half a second behind Max, with Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel fifth.
Pierre held onto sixth place at the end of qualifying, finishing just over three tenths of a second behind Vettel and improving to a time of 1:15.450.
Seventh place went to McLaren’s Lando Norris, with teammate Carlos Sainz eighth. The final two top-10 places went to Haas’ Romain Grosjean and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen.
Hungarian Grand Prix - Qualifying Top 10:
1. MAX VERSTAPPEN
2. Valtteri Bottas
3. Lewis Hamilton
4. Charles Leclerc
5. Sebastian Vettel
6. PIERRE GASLY
7. Lando Norris
8. Carlos Sainz
9. Romain Grosjean
10. Kimi Räikkönen