Hungarian Grand Prix: Qualifying RecapJuly 31, 2021
Wrap-up from Saturday's action as qualifying took place for tomorrow's Hungarian Grand Prix.
Uralkali Haas F1 Team drivers Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher will start from 19th and 20th, respectively, for Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix, Round 11 of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship at the Hungaroring.
A heavy crash at Turn 11 in final practice on Saturday meant Mick Schumacher was forced to sit out the afternoon’s qualifying session – despite the heroic effort of the crew in the garage to replace the gearbox on the VF-21 and attempt to get the German’s car involved in Q1.
Nikita Mazepin was left to lead the way for the team and the Russian utilized three new sets of Pirelli P Zero Red soft tires for his qualifying attempt. The Formula 2 graduate posted a 1:18.924 on his first set before clocking his best time in Q1 on his second set – a 1:18.922. Mazepin failed to improve on his third and final charge on fresh rubber, duly exiting qualifying 19th overall.
Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes claimed pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix – his first pole since the Spanish Grand Prix in May and the 101st of his Formula 1 career. Hamilton’s quick lap of 1:15.419 beat teammate Valtteri Bottas by .315 of a second.
Nikita Mazepin, Driver No. 9, Uralkali Haas F1 Team
“It was a hot qualifying, one of the hottest of the year. That’s not doing any favors to the tires – they’re just melting. Apart from that, three very consistent laps so I’ve had a clean weekend. I got to a point where it got difficult to extract more from the car - it was pretty difficult as we’re lacking downforce so you’re consistently sliding around the track. For a racing driver, there’s a few opportunities like T1 and T2 but from that point onwards it will be a managing race. The track temps are expected to be hot and they’re not going to be kind to a 70-lap race.”
Mick Schumacher, Driver No. 47, Uralkali Haas F1 Team
“The feel in the car was amazing, especially in FP2 and FP3. The way we hit the wall was very unfortunate because that meant the whole side was broken and we had to repair and replace it and it’s just something that takes more time. If we had five or 10 minutes more, we would’ve been able to do a lap - the team did a mega job. If we manage to be clean and save our tires, we might be able to gain a few positions.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Uralkali Haas F1 Team
“It was a pretty exciting Saturday for us. Everything was going well in FP3 until Mick had his off and the car was badly damaged. The team tried to get it together and they were very close to it, it was almost there, but they did a great job. I have to take my hat off to those who tried to make it happen. In the end, we were a few minutes short of time to get Mick out again so qualifying was only with Nikita and he did the best he can and then the Saturday was over. We had no lack of excitement this weekend – not for the right reasons – but so it is.”