Heading into the final practice and qualifying sessions of the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, the weather took a complete turn! The sunny skies and scorching tarmac of yesterday were gone, and in their place were gloomy skies and a damp circuit.
With this being one of the harder tracks to overtake on, qualifying will decide the fate of the race for most drivers. Stick with us to find out who was triumphant around the Hungaroring this Saturday.
The runner-up in the championship, Charles Leclerc was the first driver to get out on track in FP3. As the track was pretty flooded in rainwater, it is no wonder his F1-75 was donned in wet tires. The other drivers soon followed the Ferrari man.
However, given the track conditions, it was just a matter of time before he started having incidents.
Drivers struggled to keep their cars on the slippery surface. Gasly and Leclerc both spun, with the latter pulling off a spectacular 360-degree turn to recover. Late in the session, Sebastian Vettel lost control at turn10 and ended up in a tire barrier. It was a disappointing end to FP3 for the veteran driver who announced his retirement earlier this week.
However, the biggest surprise of the session was when Williams driver Nicholas Latifi outperformed everyone to top the timing charts after shifting to intermediate tires. He was a massive 0.661 seconds in front of Leclerc, who was followed by Albon in the other Williams at third.
With that result, you will surely find some hilarious Latifi memes on social media today.
It was a memorable qualifying session in Hungary, as George Russell scored his maiden pole position. The 24-year-old became the 105th driver to get pole position in the illustrious history of Formula 1.
In contrast, Redbull recorded one of their worst qualifying performances in recent memory. Sergio Perez didn’t even make it out of Q2, as his lap time got deleted for exceeding track limits. Although this decision got revoked, the Mexican did not have the pace to enter the top 10. His teammate, reigning World Champion Max Verstappen encountered some powertrain issues. His best time was only good enough for P10 on the grid.
The Ferraris looked quick all weekend, and it seemed like a scarlet front-row lockout was imminent. Sainz was faster than his Monegasque teammate throughout the session. It looked like the Spaniard was set to score his second pole position. However, the late charge by Russell spoiled those ambitions. The Ferrari pair have some work to do if they want to keep their constructor’s title hopes alive.
The majority of past winners have come from the first two rows. So, Verstappen has his work cut out to extend his championship lead. With changeable weather conditions on the horizon, keep your eye out for an exciting Hungarian Grand Prix.
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