Max Verstappen takes first career pole position in Hungary

August 6 2019 , 11:24 am

Max Verstappen takes first career pole position in Hungary

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took his first Formula 1 pole position in a thrilling qualifying session at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Dutchman beat Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes by 0.018 seconds, with Lewis Hamilton third and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel next.

Verstappen was 0.9secs quicker than team-mate Pierre Gasly in sixth.

And there were outstanding performances from British rookies Lando Norris and George Russell in seventh and 16th.

Verstappen’s pole has been a long time coming in his fifth season, but it came in style.

The 21-year-old, who has won two of the past three races, was quickest on both runs in final qualifying and improved by 0.4secs on his last run to fend off a great effort by Bottas.

Verstappen said: “It feels good but the whole weekend the car was very competitive. It’s always a question how it will work out in qualifying where we know (Mercedes) can turn up a bit more power. But the car was incredible, it was really enjoyable to drive.

“To get your first pole is very nice but what happens on Sunday is what counts. I knew it was a matter of time. I made mistakes as well to miss a pole shot. Today we finally got it.”

Bottas improved by even more on his final lap – knocking more than 0.5secs off his previous best to come so close to pole.

The result was cheered mightily by the thousands of Dutch fans wearing orange T-shirts who now seem to follow Verstappen to every European race.

Hamilton was 0.197secs off the pace in third, but is optimistic of a strong race, especially as there is a long run down to the first corner and the even-numbered side of the grid, where Bottas will start, is traditionally more slippery.

“It kind of got away from me a little bit in qualifying but we are in a good position to fight for the win and we will be pushing hard,” Hamilton said.

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