Verstappen storms to first career pole in Hungary

Getty Images

Max Verstappen stormed to his first career pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix, with Valtteri Bottas joining him on the front row.

The Red Bull driver has won two of the last three races and continued his fine form with a stunning display on Saturday, becoming the 100th Formula One driver to claim pole in the sport's history.

Verstappen pipped Bottas by just 0.018seconds, with Lewis Hamilton having to settle for third place in a dramatic session.

"It is incredible," the Dutchman said after qualifying. "The car felt good all weekend, we knew it was going to be hard but the car was flying."

Charles Leclerc was fourth, narrowly ahead of Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel, with Pierre Gasly 0.878secs off the pace in sixth.

Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz make up an all-McLaren fourth row, with Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen rounding out the top 10.

Verstappen led after the first runs in Q3 but had to improve significantly in his second effort to hold off Bottas and keep hold of pole, and he did just that with a magnificent track-record time of 1:14.572.

He had earlier topped a Q1 session that saw Leclerc spin off at the final corner and damage his front wing, though the Monegasque was able to continue, while Renault's Daniel Ricciardo failed to progress in 18th.

Hamilton topped Q2, where Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat dropped out having earned a stunning podium in Germany.

But Verstappen was back on top when it mattered at the end as Red Bull kept the momentum they seized at the wet race in Hockenheim, though Mercedes remain in striking distance as they bid to bounce back from their dreadful outing last time out.


PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1:14.572
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +0.018s
3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +0.197s
4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +0.471s
5. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +0.499s
6. Pierre Gasly (Red Bull) +0.878s
7. Lando Norris (McLaren) +1.228s
8. Carlos Sainz (McLaren) +1.280s
9. Romain Grosjean (Haas) +1.441
10. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) +1.469s