In the critical last moments of Q3, the Red Bull F1 driver, Verstappen, completed his circuit 0.02s slower than his earlier effort, crossing the line with just seven seconds remaining. This gave Lewis Hamilton, the last driver on the track, an opportunity to surge ahead, clocking a time of 1m16.609s. Thus, Hamilton seized his 104th pole position, breaking Verstappen’s five-win streak. The Mercedes driver successfully maneuvered the W14 around the 2.72-mile Budapest lap 0.023s quicker than Verstappen’s final lap, and 0.003s faster than his rival’s best time.
Hamilton’s Edge Over Verstappen
Verstappen was left disappointed by the Alternative Tyre Allocation experiment post-Friday practice. He claimed that the mileage-limiting, tire-saving incentive hindered Red Bull’s ability to understand the extensive upgrade to the RB19, which now boasted revised sidepod inlets, engine cover, floor edge, and front and rear brake ducts. His ability to find the balance sweet spot was further disrupted by wet weather in FP1.
Verstappen’s best lap in Q3 was 1m16.612s, giving him a slight lead over Hamilton entering Turn 1. However, Hamilton quickly regained ground, running 2.5mph faster at the apex and even managed to overtake Verstappen by the time they reached Turn 2. Although Verstappen made efforts to recover, it was Hamilton who stayed ahead.
By the time they reached the medium-speed right at the bottom of the circuit, or Turn 5, Verstappen’s performance began to decline. Despite no major errors evident in the onboard footage, Verstappen lost significant time through the chicane. GPS data also showed Hamilton was nearly 9mph faster on entry into the chicane, which led to Verstappen falling behind for the rest of the lap.
Hamilton’s aggressive approach matched Toto Wolff’s (Mercedes motorsport boss) claim that his driver gained newfound confidence in the car entering Q3. Even though Verstappen managed to narrow the gap slightly, he lost crucial speed under power, leading to a final time difference of 0.003s favoring Hamilton.
Verstappen’s Failure to Improve in Q3
Verstappen’s first attempt in Q3 was marred by a messy exit from Turn 1. Despite a stronger second attempt, his sector one was still 0.042s slower due to a slower apex at Turn 2. Verstappen was able to correct this and improve through Turn 5. But ultimately, slower entries into the final two corners meant he finished the lap 0.217s slower than his previous best.
Potential Lap Time for Verstappen
Interestingly, neither Verstappen nor Hamilton achieved their theoretical fastest lap in Q3. This feat was accomplished by McLaren’s Lando Norris. However, Verstappen could have stopped the clock at 1m16.373s if he had replicated his earlier times through the first and final sectors during his second flying lap. This means Verstappen could have outperformed a perfect lap from Hamilton by 0.197s and potentially exceeded Hamilton’s actual time by 0.236s.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Hamilton’s Triumph Over Verstappen F1 Hungary Pole
Who won the pole position for the F1 Hungary Grand Prix 2023?
Lewis Hamilton won the pole position for the F1 Hungary Grand Prix 2023, securing his 104th pole position.
What car was Lewis Hamilton driving for the F1 Hungary Grand Prix 2023?
Lewis Hamilton was driving the Mercedes W14 for the F1 Hungary Grand Prix 2023.
Who was Hamilton’s primary competitor in the F1 Hungary Grand Prix 2023?
Max Verstappen, driving for Red Bull, was Hamilton’s main competitor in the F1 Hungary Grand Prix 2023.
Why did Verstappen fail to improve in Q3 during the F1 Hungary Grand Prix 2023?
Verstappen failed to improve in Q3 due to a series of minor errors. He had a slower exit from Turn 1 in his first attempt, and despite a stronger second attempt, slower entries into the final two corners resulted in a slower lap overall.
How did Hamilton manage to win the pole position in the F1 Hungary Grand Prix 2023?
Hamilton managed to win the pole position by leveraging track evolution and taking advantage of Verstappen’s slower lap times. Hamilton was the last driver on the track, which allowed him to secure a time of 1m16.609s, putting him ahead of Verstappen.
How did GPS data assist in understanding the performances of Hamilton and Verstappen?
GPS data provided detailed insights into each driver’s performance, from their speeds at specific turns to their overall lap times. It helped identify areas where Hamilton had an advantage and where Verstappen struggled, thereby offering a granular view of the race dynamics.