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Lewis Hamilton: Briton says Hungarian Grand Prix pole ‘feels like my first’ after drought ends in Budapest

Lewis Hamilton ended his long wait for a Formula 1 pole position by securing the top spot on the grid at the Hungarian Grand Prix; watch the Hungarian GP live on Sky Sports F1 on Sunday from 12.30pm, lights out is at 2pm; F1 Juniors will be live on Sky Showcase and Sky Sports Mix from 1.30pm

Last Updated: 22/07/23 6:15pm


Watch Lewis Hamilton's pole lap in full as he makes it a record ninth at the Hungaroring.

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Watch Lewis Hamilton’s pole lap in full as he makes it a record ninth at the Hungaroring.

Watch Lewis Hamilton’s pole lap in full as he makes it a record ninth at the Hungaroring.

After a 33-race drought, Lewis Hamilton expressed his elation at securing pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix. In a thrilling qualifying session, Hamilton edged out Max Verstappen by a margin of just 0.003 seconds.

With this result, Hamilton became the first Formula 1 driver to achieve nine pole positions at a single circuit. This particular pole position holds significant meaning for Hamilton, as it marks the end of his long wait for top spot in qualifying.

The British driver’s last pole position came in December 2021 at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Throughout the 2022 season, Hamilton failed to secure pole position or win a race, making this achievement even more special for him.

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“It feels like my first pole. I know there’s been a lot, and it feels strange to say that. I don’t remember the last time I had a pole,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.

“Coming into the weekend, we weren’t expecting this. We didn’t have any upgrades; we just made small tweaks to the rear and front wing.

“The car felt terrible yesterday, and we did some really great work overnight. We were relieved that it felt good this morning, but we still weren’t quite in shooting range compared to the other guys – they were just a bit too far ahead of us.

The F1 Juniors give their views on qualifying, where Zac got to present Lewis Hamilton with his pole trophy.

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The F1 Juniors give their views on qualifying, where Zac got to present Lewis Hamilton with his pole trophy.

The F1 Juniors give their views on qualifying, where Zac got to present Lewis Hamilton with his pole trophy.

“I almost didn’t get through Q1, but things got better and better. What I’ve been searching for with this car is the confidence to really send it. I know how to do the fastest lap almost everywhere, but there are some circuits where it comes more naturally and it’s easier to connect corner by corner, sector by sector.

“On that last run, I knew I needed to find about a tenth of a second to get ahead of these guys. I just sent it and was like ‘nothing to lose.’ I threw it into the high-speed corners, trying to match their speed. Hopefully, I wasn’t too far off. It was a great, great lap.”

Hamilton: I was almost four tenths up going into the last corner

Lewis Hamilton says he almost lost his voice after shouting so much when finding out he was on pole position for Sunday's Hungarian GP

Lewis Hamilton says he almost lost his voice after shouting so much when finding out he was on pole position for Sunday’s Hungarian GP

Hamilton was the fastest in final practice, which was the only representative session going into qualifying due to the new tyre format for the weekend. This led to hope for Mercedes heading into qualifying.

The seven-time world champion appeared to go a little wide at the last corner in Q3 on his final run and thought it might have cost him pole position.

He said, “I was actually four tenths up going into the last corner – but I don’t know if it was due to a cross-wind, but I experienced a big snap, and I lost almost two tenths, so it was incredibly close. I would have been very frustrated if I had lost pole position.

“Since I knew I was one of the last drivers to finish the lap, I wasn’t sure where I would end up. But when I heard Bono on the radio, I had a huge grin on my face. It’s an uplifting feeling for everyone on the team.”

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says his pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix feels as good as the first time he qualified at the front of the grid.

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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says his pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix feels as good as the first time he qualified at the front of the grid.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton says his pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix feels as good as the first time he qualified at the front of the grid.

Rosberg: Only Lewis Hamilton can do that

Nico Rosberg, a former teammate of Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes for four seasons, praised the British driver for his incredible lap.

“He gave it everything he had. I witnessed these special moments and these days he used to have. Today was one of those,” Rosberg said.

“That lap there is like perfection, it’s art. Only Lewis Hamilton can do that on such days. No one else could have gone even a hundredth quicker. How awesome, truly amazing.

“Credit must also be given to the engineers at Mercedes. They have constantly been improving the car throughout this season. Although there have been ups and downs recently, this weekend, ever since we got to FP3, the Mercedes has been rapid. They did a brilliant job, and this result will surely sting for Red Bull.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner reflects on a challenging qualifying session at the Hungaroring and praises both Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo for their performances.

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner reflects on a challenging qualifying session at the Hungaroring and praises both Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo for their performances.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner reflects on a challenging qualifying session at the Hungaroring and praises both Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo for their performances.

Sky Sports F1’s live Hungarian GP schedule

Sunday July 23
7:20am: F3 Feature Race
9am: F2 Feature Race
11am: Porsche Supercup
12:30pm: Grand Prix Sunday – Hungarian GP build-up
1:30pm: F1 Juniors: Hungarian Grand Prix (Sky Sports Mix and Sky Showcase)
2pm: The HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX
4pm: Chequered Flag: British GP reaction
5pm: Ted’s Notebook

Daniel Ricciardo’s return and first F1 Juniors broadcast headline the Hungarian Grand Prix! Watch all the action live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. Stream the Hungarian GP and more with NOW for £21 a month.

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