Mercedes’ George Russell took a shock pole during Saturday’s (July 30) qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix in Formula 1, leading the Ferrari duo of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc to the checkered flag.
The first pole of Russell’s career came after Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was eliminated from Q2, only qualifying 11th. Perez’s teammate and current championship leader Max Verstappen suffered power issues during Q3, leaving Russell only having to deal with the Ferrari’s en route to an upset result.
“Over the moon, absolutely buzzing!” Russell exclaimed to SkySports’ Naomi Schiff.
“We generally have good race pace … but we’re going to be absolutely going for it.”
Russell put in a monster of a lap in Q3, setting a time of 1:17.377, nearly half a tenth up on Sainz and two tenths up over Leclerc.
The Mercedes pace had been evident when the Silver Arrows topped the charts in Q1, with Hamilton leading the charge. Verstappen then lead Leclerc to the end of Q2.
Russell’s Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton was relegated to a start in seventh after DRS issues meant the seven-time champ was unable to open his rear wing on his flying lap.
Meanwhile, Verstappen reported to his team that “nothing works” with just three minutes to go in Q3. Verstappen will start in 10th for Sunday’s race.
Perez was hampered in Q2, initially for a track limits violation. While his lap time was reinstated after a review of video evidence, the Mexican’s next flying lap was interrupted by Kevin Magnussen’s Haas being slow on the entrance to turn 3, sending Perez wide and compromising his next two sectors.
On the bright side, Lando Norris qualified fourth, while the Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso will share the second row of the grid.
Zhou Guanyu was the final highlight of the day, taking a relieving 12th-place grid spot.
The 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix will take place on Sunday, July 31, at 9 a.m. ET, with coverage on ESPN.
The full starting grid for the Hungarian Grand Prix is:
- George Russell
- Carlos Sainz
- Charles Leclerc
- Lando Norris
- Esteban Ocon
- Fernando Alonso
- Lewis Hamilton
- Valtteri Bottas
- Daniel Ricciardo
- Max Verstappen
- Sergio Perez
- Zhou Guanyu
- Kevin Magnussen
- Lance Stroll
- Mick Schumacher
- Yuki Tsunoda
- Alex Albon
- Sebastian Vettel
- Pierre Gasly
- Nicholas Latifi
About the author
Alex is the IndyCar Editor at Frontstretch, having initially joined as an entry-level contributor in 2021. He also leads the Center for Asia-Pacific Policy at the BIED Society, an international think tank in Washington, D.C. With previous experience in China, Japan and Poland, Alex is particularly passionate about the international realm of motorsport and the politics that make the wheels turn - literally - behind the scenes.