Hamilton: Pole a "shock" after trailing Ferrari in practice

Hamilton: Pole a
Valentin Khorounzhiy
By: Valentin Khorounzhiy
Co-author: Scott Mitchell
Jul 28, 2018, 3:31 PM

Lewis Hamilton says his Hungarian Grand Prix pole position came as a “shock” after his Mercedes team was outpaced by Ferrari in practice.

Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 celebrates in parc ferme
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09 celebrates pole position
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09
Second place Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1, Third place Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W09 and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09 celebrate in Parc Ferme

Sebastian Vettel, who had led the way for the Scuderia during the weekend, was quicker than the highest-placed Mercedes car in all three of the practice sessions in the dry, and headed into qualifying as favourite for pole position.

But the skies opened up ahead of the pole shootout, and Hamilton took advantage, outpacing his rivals with a last-gasp effort on full wets to claim pole.

His teammate Valtteri Bottas wrapped up a Mercedes 1-2, while Ferrari had to be content with a second-row lockout.

"It's quite a shock, really," Hamilton admitted. "I was not expecting to be here [on pole], so very grateful for today.

"To get a 1-2, particularly when we knew that we were not going to be getting pole here in the dry conditions - the Ferraris were just too fast.

"But we all just focused on trying to do the best job we could, and maybe lock out the second row.

"So for the heavens to open and for us to be in this position, it's such a blessing for us."


Speaking to Sky Sports after the session, team boss Toto Wolff echoed Hamilton's sentiments.

He said: "This is one [where] we haven't expected to be in the hunt for the win."

Ferrari was on provisional pole, courtesy of Kimi Raikkonen, when the chequered flag flew, before Bottas and then Hamilton lowered the benchmark with their final efforts.

"As I went into the last lap, I knew I had to put together each sector and really pull something special out for us to overtake the Ferraris," Hamilton said.

"Collectively I think it was a very good lap, particularly I would say the last sector. I don't know how it is on the sector times, but that's where I felt I really made the difference."

Bottas, who was 0.260s slower than his teammate, said he came up short of grip in the final corners of his decisive effort.

The Finn added: "Felt a very good lap for me, especially sector one, two, felt pretty nice.

"I think in these kind of conditions, when you go out, you have one lap, that track condition from each lap is different to another. So for sure if you can do the lap again, you can find some things.

"So, I must say I left something on the table, and obviously Lewis was on pole with a similar car - so I look forward to investigating from the data what I could've done better."

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