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Hamilton claims an emotional pole in Hungary


Ahead of today's qualifying session the air temperature is 26 degrees C and the track temperature is 42 degrees.

Thankfully it is bright and sunny with no threat of rain.

We say that simply because, whit with the new format they are trying today, things are complicated enough, consequently we can do without the weather Gods creating havoc.

The new format whereby drivers can only use the hards in Q1, the mediums in Q2 and softs in Q3 is pretty straightforward, however it is how the teams have been preparing for this that has complicated the situation with all manner of strategies and run programmes.

Adding to the fun, as we saw earlier, some cars/drivers are quicker on mediums than they are on softs, which will certainly spice up the latter phases as we switch from the yellow-banded rubber to the red.

Many of the drivers and team bosses are against the move, which is supposedly in the name of sustainability, with the added hope of shaking up the order.

Time will tell.

At least after yesterday's oh so confusing second session we have a better idea of the pecking order, however, other than the usual surprises we're sure that Red Bull has more up its sleeve, as do McLaren and Ferrari.

Hungary being a notorious circuit when it comes to overtaking, a good grid position is going to be vital.

The lights go green and Gasly leads the way, followed by Ocon, Perez, Tsunoda and Ricciardo. Last out are the Mercedes and Williams drivers.

All are on fresh softs bar the AlphaTauris. Ricciardo is warned of a tailwind in Turn 2.

Gasly posts a benchmark 19.827, however Perez responds with a 19.292. Norris goes second, ahead of Zhou.

An 18.818 sees Bottas go top and his teammate fourth on 19.366.

Verstappen goes second with an 18.892, as Piastri goes third.

As Hulkenberg goes ninth (19.570), teammate Magnussen has his time (20.063) deleted.

Hamilton goes third but is instantly demoted by his Mercedes teammate who crosses the line at 19.029.

Gasly improves to ninth but is demoted when Albon goes eighth with a 19.358.

Perez goes second with an 18.844 while Stroll can only manage 12th.

Alonso goes fifth (19.138) as Bottas consolidates his top spot with an 18.775.

Piastri, Albon, Sargeant and Zhou all have their times deleted.

An 18.990 sees Norris go fourth just ahead of his McLaren teammate.

"Let's stay calm, but come on," says Leclerc who is currently 12th.

Albon goes eighth with a 19.148.

Ricciardo goes seventh with a 19.037, while teammate Tsunoda goes fourth with an 18.919. both are on fresh hards.

An 18.658 sees Verstappen go top.

Gasly goes quickest in the first sector, and as teammate Ocon goes fourth with an 18.854, the Frenchman crosses the line at 18.743 to go second.

Leclerc goes quickest in S1, while Zhou goes purple in S2.

Perez goes quickest (18.360), but is leapfrogged by Zhou (18.413), while Leclerc goes third (18.440).

Norris improves to second (18.209) as the Mercedes pair head out on fresh rubber.

Norris has his time deleted dropping him to 13th.

An 18.393 sees Sainz go third.

With less than two minutes remaining, all 20 drivers are on track. Which means a traffic jam at the final corner.

Verstappen goes quickest in S1, while Russell and Hamilton posts PBS.

Ricciardo goes twelfth, Verstappen second and Hulkenberg eighth.

Hamilton goes seventh and Norris tenth, while Russell fails to improve and fails to make it out of Q1.

Zhou is quickest, ahead of Verstappen, Perez, Sainz, Leclerc, Piastri, Hamilton, Alonso, Hulkenberg and Norris.

We lose Albon, Tsunoda, Russell, Magnussen and Sargeant.

There are a lot of very unhappy drivers, Sargeant with himself for running wide, and Russell with the traffic. In the Mercedes garage Toto is far from happy, banging his desk in frustration.

The stewards have noted an impeding incident involving Bottas and Stroll, though there could be others.

Perez leads the way as Q2 gets underway. He is followed by Ocon and Stroll.

As more drivers head out, Perez posts a 17.675. Ocon responds with an 18.075 and Stroll a 17.861.

Despite traffic, Verstappen crosses the line at 17.296, which is quicker than last year's pole time.

Sainz goes fourth, 0.609s off the pace, but is demoted when Norris bangs in a 17.328 to go second... make that first, as Verstappen has his time deleted, as does Stroll.

Alonso goes fourth and Hamilton fifth, ahead of Zhou, Leclerc and Sainz.

Piastri goes second with a 17.571, to make it a McLaren 1-2.

Yet to post a time, Verstappen heads out on fresh rubber, the Dutchman enjoying a totally clear track.

As Verstappen goes purple in S1, Stroll, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Zhou and Hamilton head out.

Verstappen crosses the line at 17.547, to go second, 0.219s down on Norris.

All are on track bar pace-setter Norris, who opts to take his chances.

Stroll can only manage 13th, while Hulkenberg goes fourth, and Zhou sixth.

Ricciardo goes eleventh, Hamilton second, Bottas fourth and Gasly 13th.

A late improvement sees Leclerc go sixth (17.580), which drops his teammate into the danger zone.

Perez goes eighth.

"**** traffic," sighs Stroll.

Quickest is Norris, ahead of Hamilton, Verstappen, Bottas, Piastri, Leclerc, Hulkenberg, Perez, Zhou and Alonso.

We lose Sainz, Ocon, Ricciardo, Stroll and Gasly.

"We were fast, car felt great," Russell tells Sky Sports. "But for the whole session we were out of sync with everyone. I got overtaken by four cars starting my last lap, my tyres were nowhere and I'm really disappointed as we didn't need to take so many risks. Car was quick enough for Q2, Q3. You deserve if you don't do things right."

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1. Posted by Spindoctor, 23/07/2023 7:03

"Not sure that the new format works that well. While it sort of "equalises" the field, it also removes yet another option for teams to exploit, or compensate for the performance and\or foibles of their car.
Formula One needs fewer, not more prescriptive edicts."

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2. Posted by habentsen, 23/07/2023 6:39

"I enjoyed the new qualifying format. Fun to see all the drivers on the same tyre at the same time."

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3. Posted by Ricardo_sanchez, 22/07/2023 23:25

"@editor - I was referring to comments made by fellow subscribers. I have not seen any bias in Pitpass reports or editorial content. Apologies if that was not clear.

As far as the comments section is concerned, I have no desire to see anyone censored. I think people should be free to express their views - obviously within the constraints of the applicable laws.

I have not been impolite in drawing attention to those views, as far as I can see.

I made no reference to any particular trait. People have given a variety of reasons for their assessment of Hamilton’s character and/or talents. Each example I have given below has appeared in this forum during the past few years. "

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4. Posted by Editor, 22/07/2023 21:59

"@ Ricardo_sanchez

For what it's worth, I've put 22 years of my life into this site.

From the outset I have tried my very hardest not to show bias of any kind, nonetheless from time to time I am accused of favouring one driver or team over another, some of the accusations actually making me smile since they are so far off the mark.

With that in mind I long ago learned that John Lydgate was correct when he wrote: "You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time."

Yes, there are people that use the comments section to knock Hamilton, and one individual in particular appears to have an almost pathological dislike of the man and his team.

But to suggest that this is a common trait of "Pitpassers" is wrong and to quite frankly an insult.

Not subscribing to the increasingly powerful ESG lobby I prefer to allow readers to voice their opinions - assuming they do not cross the line - in the hope that those who disagree will politely argue their case."

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5. Posted by Ricardo_sanchez, 22/07/2023 21:46

"@woking_chap - obviously not ALL Pitpassers. Just the “It’s all been down to the car, not a worthy champion, too woke to win, Russell will blow him into the weeds, complains too much, too veggie, never going to eradicate racism” crew. "

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6. Posted by Chester, 22/07/2023 21:26

"Been a long while, gentlemen. Happy for you. "

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7. Posted by Wokingchap, 22/07/2023 19:53

"@Ricardo_sanchez.....not for me , I'm so pleased, Lewis deserves it."

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8. Posted by Ricardo_sanchez, 22/07/2023 17:16

"Oh dear. What an upset for so many Pitpassers."

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