George Russell, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2022

Russell grabs first F1 pole from Ferraris as car trouble leaves Verstappen tenth

2022 Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying

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George Russell secured his maiden career pole position in Formula 1 to deny a Ferrari one-two at the Hungaroring, while Max Verstappen fell to tenth on the grid.

Carlos Sainz Jnr had been on provisional pole position and had improved on his final lap at the chequered flag ahead of team mate Charles Leclerc, but Russell’s final effort was good enough to beat both Ferraris and take pole position by just four hundredths of a second, with Lando Norris taking fourth place on the grid.

A mistake on Verstappen’s first flying lap left him under pressure, but a loss of power on his final run left him unable to improve, leaving him stranded in tenth place.


After the third and final practice session was run in wet conditions for its entirety, the track was more than dry enough for slick tyres when the drivers headed out onto the Hungaroring for the first phase of qualifying. The front running teams did not rush out onto the circuit at first, allowing those in the midfield a clearer track to set some early times.

Eventually, Max Verstappen took to the track and set the fastest time of the session with a 1’19.020, ahead of Lando Norris in the McLaren. By the time the Ferraris set their first flying laps, Carlos Sainz Jnr could only manage fourth behind George Russell’s Mercedes.

Verstappen continued to improve his own fastest time, getting as low as a 1’18.509. Sainz improved to sit within half a tenth of the Red Bull in second, while Charles Leclerc moved into third place, a quarter of a second slower than Verstappen’s best.

In the final minutes of the session, the drivers in the drop zone had all returned to the pits after their earlier runs, rather than stay on track. Alexander Albon, Valtteri Bottas, Esteban Ocon, Daniel Ricciardo were all at risk of elimination along with last-placed Yuki Tsunoda whose best time was deleted for exceeding track limits at turn five.

Bottas, Ocon and Ricciardo all managed to improve by enough to go safe, dropping Sebastian Vettel, Pierre Gasly and Nicholas Latifi into danger. Gasly exceeded the track limits on the exit of turn five and had his final time deleted, meaning he fell back into the drop zone and at risk of elimination in 19th. Vettel failed to improve by enough and was also out in 18th, much to his disappointment after he helped his Aston Martin mechanics repair his car after his final practice crash.

By the time all drivers had completed their final laps, those knocked out were Tsunoda, Albon, Vettel, Gasly and Latifi. The latter lost a chance of progressing into Q2 with a mistake at the final corner, ruining what would have been a major improvement.

Q1 result

144Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’18.37410
263George RussellMercedesW131’18.4070.03310
355Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’18.4340.0608
41Max VerstappenRed BullRB181’18.5090.13510
54Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’18.6530.2798
614Fernando AlonsoAlpine-RenaultA5221’18.7160.3428
73Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’18.7750.4017
816Charles LeclercFerrariF1-751’18.8060.4328
931Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5221’18.8660.4928
1077Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’18.9350.5618
1124Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’18.9730.59910
1220Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-221’18.9930.61910
1311Sergio PerezRed BullRB181’19.1180.74410
1447Mick SchumacherHaas-FerrariVF-221’19.1640.7908
1518Lance StrollAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’19.2050.83110
1622Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’19.2400.8669
1723Alexander AlbonWilliams-MercedesFW441’19.2560.88210
185Sebastian VettelAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’19.2730.89910
1910Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’19.5271.1539
206Nicholas LatifiWilliams-MercedesFW441’19.5701.19610

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Haas pair Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher, plus the two Mercedes of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, were the first cars out onto the circuit as the second stage of qualifying began. Red Bull and Ferrari also wasted little time in joining them, keen to set some early laps.

On used soft tyres, Hamilton crossed the line to set a 1’19.063, which was immediately beaten by team mate Russell and the two Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz. Norris then jumped ahead of everyone with a 1’18.121, before Verstappen went even quicker and broke into the 1’17s for the first time with a 1’17.703 to go quickest by four tenths.

Sergio Perez initially took third, but had his first time was deleted when the stewards ruled he had breached track limits on the exit of turn five. But replays showed the Red Bull’s inside wheels had clearly remained in contact with the white line, and the stewards eventually reinstated Perez’s time and therefore position.

With five minutes remaining, both Ferraris needed to improve to avoid the threat of elimination. Lance Stroll and the two Haas drivers also sat at the bottom of the times, with Magnussen only improving to move up to 13th, still in danger. Ocon and Bottas fell into the drop zone as the Ferraris improved.

Despite his time being reinstated, Perez nonetheless still failed to make the cut. He briefly encountered Magnussen at the apex of turn two on his final lap, kept going, yet missed the cut by less than a tenth of a second. Afterwards the unhappy Red Bull driver blamed Magnussen for costing him a place in Q3.

Zhou Guanyu was now on the bubble in tenth. He was knocked out for good when both Ocon and Bottas improved, putting the Alfa Romeo down to 12th. Joining Perez and Zhou were Haas pair Magnussen and Schumacher, who were split by Stroll’s Aston Martin in 14th place.

Q2 result

11Max VerstappenRed BullRB181’17.70316
216Charles LeclercFerrariF1-751’17.7680.06516
314Fernando AlonsoAlpine-RenaultA5221’17.9040.20111
455Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’17.9460.24316
544Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’18.0350.33216
64Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’18.1210.41813
763George RussellMercedesW131’18.1540.45117
83Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’18.1980.49513
931Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5221’18.2160.51314
1077Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’18.4450.74214
1111Sergio PerezRed BullRB181’18.5160.81316
1224Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’18.5730.87016
1320Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-221’18.8251.12218
1418Lance StrollAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’19.1371.43416
1547Mick SchumacherHaas-FerrariVF-221’19.2021.49916

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The track was at its driest as the final phase of qualifying began. The Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz were the first of the pole position contenders out on the track, with Leclerc setting the initial benchmark with a 1’17.985.

That was comfortably beaten his team mate Sainz by almost half a second, setting the fastest lap of the weekend with a 1’17.505 in the process. Norris could not trouble the Ferraris with his first effort, ending up a second slower than Sainz, while Russell put his Mercedes into a provisional second place, a blink of an eye ahead of Leclerc, with Mercedes team mate Hamilton moving into fourth.

Verstappen could only manage seventh after his first effort, largely caused by a lock-up into turn two that caused him to run very wide into the long left-hander. He returned to the pit lane complaining of poor grip in his Red Bull.

Drivers headed back out with around three minutes of time remaining for their final runs in qualifying. On his out-lap, Verstappen reported a loss of power on his Red Bull power unit. His team offered multiple settings to change to try and fix the problem, but nothing would give him his full power and he eventually abandoned his final lap, dropping down to tenth place.

Leclerc improved but only by enough to move ahead of Russell into second behind his team mate. Then Sainz went even quicker on his final lap to push his provisional pole position time lower by almost a tenth of a second. Norris improved on all three sectors to jump into third place behind the two Ferraris.

The only driver left who could affect disrupt the top three was Russell in the Mercedes. Russell was improving in each sector but not going fastest. However, when he crossed the line, his 1’17.377 was still good enough for him to snatch pole position ahead of the Ferraris by just 0.044s.

Russell therefore secured his career first pole and will line up ahead of the two Ferraris of Sainz and Leclerc for tomorrow’s race. Norris will start on the second row in fourth, ahead of the two Alpines of Ocon and Alonso.

Hamilton will start seventh ahead of former team mate Valtteri Bottas in the Alfa Romeo. Daniel Ricciardo qualified in ninth place, with Verstappen falling to tenth place after his error on his first lap and his power unit problems on his final run

Q3 result

163George RussellMercedesW131’17.37723
255Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’17.4210.04422
316Charles LeclercFerrariF1-751’17.5670.19022
44Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’17.7690.39219
531Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5221’18.0180.64120
614Fernando AlonsoAlpine-RenaultA5221’18.0780.70117
744Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’18.1420.76521
877Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’18.1570.78020
93Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’18.3791.00219
101Max VerstappenRed BullRB181’18.8231.44621

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2022 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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39 comments on “Russell grabs first F1 pole from Ferraris as car trouble leaves Verstappen tenth”

  1. What makes Russell’s achievement even better is not setting a single purple sector time.
    AT’s slump keeps on continuing, although Alfa’s pace was decent.
    Perez has been nowhere this weekend.

  2. Impressive by george and very surprising.
    The errors by lec, ver and Hamilton in the first set associated with wind in that corner.
    Ferrari disappointed during all q, ‘s.
    Lewis on place 7…
    Ocon passong Alonso at last.
    Powerproblem at Red bull.
    Interesting quali.

  3. This shows how important it is to get a clean lap. I was surprised to see Sainz lost 2 tenths in the middle sector to his own time. But his mistake at turn 5 likely cost him there. Russell’s lap was really clean. Teams need to understand on how to operate the tyres. Can’t operate the tyres? Need to do more work.

  4. Where did that come from…

    1. Same place their success has come from all year: consistently solid.

      Red Bull and Ferrari both dropped quite a few balls in today’s qualifying.

  5. My opinion, Red Bull takes a new engine for a banker.

  6. Great lap by Russell, no purple sectors but just an all round consistent lap.

    Shame for Ham, he would most likely been on pole as he was always 1-2 tenths faster than George in Quali. How much is the DRS worth on that straight? Surely ham should have continued the lap to get into top 5.

    Actually hope Merc win as Ferrari are falling apart. Binotto thought it was in the bag .

    1. It’s track evolution too. I’d imagine he lost the least 2-3 tenths without DRS. But on the entire lap alone, probably 0.5-1.0 at maximum given Russell’s improvement.

      1. Yep unlucky he was on the new tyre and no drs for the two zones, so understandable to abort.

        Think Ham would have done a 17 flat to get pole and VES a 1.169 if no issues.

        1. Hamilton wasn’t that much faster than Russell. Give the newcomer some props. He is the real deal. It wasn’t an accident.

          1. First message started with Great Lap by George.

            Yep he is fast, consistent but does not have the pace of Ham if all being equal.

            Same bracket has Leclerc, Sainz, Norris.

          2. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
            30th July 2022, 17:14

            It is a problem for so many that they just have to hate Lewis.

            The stupid comments when George is faster or in front of Lewis is mind boggling.

            It is great news for MB that George is as fast as he is; it bodes very well for the future of the team.

            With the times as close as they are it is so easy to lose 3, 4 or even 5 places with the tiniest of mistakes in qualifying that at any other time would hardly be considered a mistake.

            George did a fantastic lap today. I really hope he can convert that to a win in the GP.

          3. Edvaldo why are you derailing the comments section turning this into a RUS vs HAM war?
            HAM WAS faster in Practice and q1/q2 but had a DRS failure and lost time overtaking MAX which cost a second to RUS, cherry picking facts to suit your own bias and narrative doesn’t change the reality of what happened.

          4. @ccpbioweapon

            what the hell are you talking about?

    2. Ben “Surely ham should have continued the lap to get into top 5”

      If it was possible to improve, I have no doubt he would, but it wasn’t him deciding to give up. The pit wall would have told him to abort if it wasn’t already obvious to the driver. The timing systems and pit computers are precise enough for them to know it is simply not going to happen, and there is no point putting another lap on a set of tyres which might well be needed in the race, or to risk any accident to the car on a pointless last corner push.

      1. Ben, you might find it interesting to listen to the team radio for that segment

        As well as clarifying that it was an order from the pit, it is also interesting to hear the calmness of the conversation in the face of a mechanical failure, compared with Max’s radio:

        But also note that Max’s conversation sounds much better when heard in full, rather than in soundbites cherry-picked by the TV producer.

  7. Impressive stuff by Russell but i think the Ferrari guys underperformed a bit.
    They’re likely to win but that 1-2 isn’t a given anymore.

  8. Disappointing display from both Ferrari drivers. Watching the race on sky sports tomorrow will be painful to the ears

  9. 2.49 meters — less than half a car length. That’s how much ahead Russell was of Sainz.

    1. @x1znet, that’s a brilliant piece of info, really puts the difference in performance into perspective. I think the distance between slots on the starting grid is five meters, so Russell will be further ahead on the starting grid than they were when they crossed the line. I’ve just done a similar calculation and in Q1, Latifi would have been 43.8 meters behind the leader (Hamilton) but will be starting 100 meters behind the leader on the grid.

  10. Excellent – mad things happen at this track, plenty of first-time Grand Prix winners, and ten of the last 16 winners here have been British…
    So, Christian, would you like to stick your oar in about qualifying 10th and 11th?
    (Deathly silence)

  11. Bad luck for Hamilton but fantastic for George Russell getting his first poll, absolutely buzzing. Hopefully the start of many more to come. Ferrari, poor performance from their drivers, Red Bull, what?! Perez looks crazily out of his depth sometimes. Verstappen hardly to blame but looked unlikely to trouble the front row either. Excellent qualifying session.

    1. Hardly to blame? I like verstappen, but he made a mistake on his first lap, without which he’d have been much further ahead.

      1. @esploratore1 Well, the same for Lewis too in that case.

        1. Lewis was on used softs, but fair enough.

  12. Great lap by Russell, realy put it together.
    Still, I doubt Mercedes caught up with Ferrari’s and RB’s race pace, s barring rain I think a podium is probable, but it will be hard to keep the Ferraris behind.
    Tomorrow will be all about tire management, we’l see what happens.
    Perez was nowhere today, but he is bettar on sundays, so it will be interesting to see where he can end up. Same goes for Verstappen, it’s difficult to overtake here, but the RB is fast on the straight, and faster overall than any cars around them. I’m sure Verstappens agressivenes will give us some good racing while he comes up the field.
    This is the best chance Ferrari has to make a dent in the championships, so we’ll see in what way they mess it up tomorrow. So many options; driver error, poor strategic call, malfunctions… Neither would be their first of the season.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      30th July 2022, 18:20

      Perez was also nowhere last week and couldn’t compete with Lewis.

  13. No purples by George but still pole. This lap is a microcosm of the George’s season who has been Mr. Consistent of the first half.

    Let’s hope he keeps the first half of the race interesting tomorrow.

    Ferrari find newer and newer ways to make their own life difficult, don’t they? Just hate being a Ferrari fan.

    1. As an italian I consider it quite ironic that the strongest team of our country keeps finding ways to lose races! I think sainz lost pole because he got a yellow middle sector in the last lap, I thought he would be fine anyway, but good to see russell on pole, well deserved.

  14. Great achievement for Russell can he see it through to Sunday? Ferrari somehow… there are no words but they should have the pace tomorrow, should really be a 1-2 for them tomorrow but this is Ferrari…

    1. Yeah, this is Ferrari.. Vettel won 4 titles, tried his luck at Ferrari, and retired from third team, before Ferrari are winning any titles.

      Only Mercedes and Red Bull have shown to get the job done last 13 years? Ferrari was always decent, even now have the best car..

      But some of their decissions just lack racing logic.

  15. Shame that Lewis was robbed of a final lap and potential pole because he was held up by a slow supermax and had drs failure.

    at least RUS in 1st will be less likely to have a Silverstone or Austria start..

    no brainer for RB to take a PU penalty and go on a long strat is clean air and hope for a likely vsc or full sc. Not worth starting in the mid pack risking first corner carnage and losing time in a trademark alonso DRS train holding up the pack allowing the front runners to gap.

    1. Don’t think its as much a no brainer. Hungaroring is very difficult to overtake. They are better off taking the penalty at Spa.

    2. I’m not sure why verstappen even started another lap knowing by pit entry and way before he had a problem. Seemed totally unnecessary. I had assumed he would basically go super slow down the right side of the pit straight and let everyone by there. but instead he continued on getting in the way through the first turns.

      1. DaveW, all I can think of is that the pit told him to stay out because they needed to diagnose the problem, see if it was a software issue or a problem with the engine hardware etc. Remember after the race they go into parc ferme conditions so probably wanted to get as much info as they could in order to make engine decisions. I was a bit disappointed with the way Max was swearing at the team and expecting them to miraculousy fix it, when instead he should have switched his mindset to helping the engineers. Complaining “nothing works” is not useful, whereas saying something like “select F2 1, done, now feels like loss of power in 3rd gear upwards” would be feeding back info that would be helpful.

  16. Before the weekend Mercedes claimed Hungary will expose their quali weakness..

    It was at that moment I knew.. They will be good. But I dit not know this good.

    Congrats George.

  17. A few weekends like this (I’m aware it’s not over) and the constructors championship, maybe even the drivers, might not be as forgone as it’s been looking.

  18. Hearty congratulations to George Russell on achieving his first pole position. All on merit too, as it should be!
    I might even stay up rather late tonight to read about the start of the Grand Prix.

  19. Hamilton had almost an identical car to get his maiden pole this season and giving himself a chance to continue his streak to win in every season but he was a lowly seventh

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