Sports Desk, Jul 22 (EFE).- Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) took pole position Saturday in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, a race he has won eight times.
The 38-year-old Briton beat out reigning two-time champion Max Verstappen (Red Bull) by just 0.003 seconds to claim a record-extending 104th pole and his ninth at the Hungaroring, the most by any driver at a single track.
The last race Hamilton started from pole was the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
It will be an all-McLaren second row for Sunday’s race, as British driver Lando Norris – who finished second two weeks ago in his home Grand Prix – and Australian rookie Oscar Piastri were the fastest after Hamilton and the Dutchman.
China’s Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) turned in his best-ever qualifying to secure P5, while Monaco’s Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) will start from sixth on the grid.
Sharing the fourth row will be Finland’s Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) and Spanish two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin).
Verstappen’s teammate, Sergio “Checo” Perez of Mexico, reached Q3 for the first time since the Miami Grand Prix in early May and finished ninth, ahead of Germany’s Nico Hülkenberg (Haas).
With victories in eight of the season’s first 10 races, Verstappen leads the driver standings with 255 points, 99 better than Perez, the only other driver to see the checkered flag in 2023.
Alonso is third with 137 points, followed by Hamilton with 121.