Hungarian GP: What is the Starting Grid for Sunday’s F1 Race & Who is on Pole?

Published 07/31/2021, 11:40 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 31, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates after qualifying in pole position Pool via REUTERS/David W Cerny


Saturday turned out to be Lewis Hamilton’s day during the qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, as the Briton secured P1 in F1 qualifying, hours after leading the pack in FP3.

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His title rival, Max Verstappen, found himself stuck behind a slow-pacing seven-time world champion during the final Q3 run, which ultimately sabotaged the Dutchman’s lap, letting Valtteri Bottas secure P2 instead.

Of course, the drivers are only halfway there, considering the main race is still a day away. And Verstappen will be seeking to cherish a brilliant getaway at lights out, in a bid to keep his race-winning hopes alive.

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But, before that, let’s take a look at how the grid lines up for Sunday’s main event.

The top 10 on the starting grid

Hamilton will slot his Mercedes on the front spot, with Bottas lining up alongside in P2. This will play well into Mercedes’ hand, who will be keen on keeping the Briton safe from any kind of threats. Behind the two Silver Arrows are the two Red Bull drivers.

Max will be starting from P3 ahead of Sergio Perez, who failed to start his final Q3 run after getting caught up in the Hamilton-Verstappen chaos ahead.

Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 31, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen after qualifying in third place Pool via REUTERS/David W Cerny

Pierre Gasly fished out a strong P5 for AlphaTauri ahead of the flying McLaren driver, Lando Norris. Charles Leclerc seemed fast enough to manage a start within the top 5 but failed to post an impressive lap time during the final Q3 run.

Hence, the Monegasque had to settle for P7, with the Alpine duo, Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso, securing a strong P8 and P9 on the grid. Sebastian Vettel, citing lack of extra tires, only ran once in Q3, but failed to achieve any better than P10.

Rest of the F1 grid for the Hungarian Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo and Lance Stroll will start from a rather unimpressive yet highly crucial P11 and P12 for the race.

Why, you might ask?

Well, with most of the Q3 runners starting on soft tires, both Stroll and Ricciardo, with the help of free-tire choice, hold a strategical advantage over the drivers ahead.

Behind the two are Alfa Romeo drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, who will slot themselves into the seventh row of the grid. Then comes Carlos Sainz in P15, whose starting position still looks uncertain following his crash during Q2.

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Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Qualifying – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 31, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during qualifiying REUTERS/Florion Goga

Yuki Tsunoda suffered yet another disappointing qualifying session, as the Japanese had to settle for P16. Behind him is Mr. Saturday, George Russell, who missed out on Q2 for the first time this season. His teammate, Nicholas Latifi, will start from P18.

Finally, Nikita Mazepin will start ahead of his teammate, Mick Schumacher, from P19. The latter failed to take part in qualifying as Haas failed to get his car working after the high-speed shunt during FP3.

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And that sets the grid for Sunday’s race, with certain drivers undeniably looking out of position. So, will this factor up the excitement for the F1 fans, who are yearning for more intense races?

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Rohit Kumar

1137 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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