Formula 1

“I’m over the moon and absolutely buzzing” – Russell on his Maiden Pole Position

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

George Russell admitted he was feeling ‘over the moon’ after securing his maiden FIA Formula 1 World Championship pole position at the end of a gripping Qualifying session at the Hungaroring on Saturday.

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver had not looked a contender for top spot after relatively difficult practice sessions on Friday and Saturday, but he found the pace in his W13 when it mattered as he snatched pole away from Carlos Sainz Jr.

Russell admitted he does not fully understand how Mercedes were able to turn around their fortunes in Qualifying, but he will have the honour of leading the field away off the grid on Sunday afternoon for the first time.

“I’m over the moon and absolutely buzzing,” said Russell.  “Yesterday was disastrous for us and probably the worst Friday of the season.

“The team was working so hard last night and we were able to make a big step forward. In Formula 1 there are so many fine margins and when you get in that perfect window, your car will just fly, which we managed to do in today’s conditions.

“We didn’t know what direction to go in but on the last lap I came across the line, looked at the screen and saw we went P1, which was such an incredible feeling. We need to look into our performance from today and understand where it came from.

“We have a few ideas, but don’t fully understand it yet. Getting this result today is really huge for all of us. I’m so happy for the whole team and we will do our best to have a great day tomorrow and give it our all.”

“We didn’t know how strong our pace was and where it came from” – Lewis Hamilton

Team-mate Lewis Hamilton felt he could have also challenged for a place on the front row, but his Drag Reduction System (DRS) failed on him on his final flying lap.

Hamilton was forced to abort his lap and ended up only seventh fastest, but he felt the W13 was hugely improved in Qualifying compared to where it had been in any of the free practice sessions.

He admitted he did not know where the pace had come from, but he knows he will have hard work to do to move forward on Sunday from the fourth row of the grid.

“My DRS stopped working, which was frustrating after all the struggle we had to finally have the chance to fight for front row but then not being able to, because of the issues with the DRS,” said Hamilton.

“We did a lot of work overnight at track and back at the factory. The car didn’t feel good in FP3, but was strong in Qualifying. We didn’t know how strong our pace was and where it came from so it’s a very positive day for us.

“I will do what I can tomorrow to support and contribute to us in winning from P7 and I will try and work my way up. I don’t know where our race pace is going to be tomorrow, but hopefully we will be in a position to attack.”

Hamilton congratulated team-mate Russell to taking pole position, saying it was a huge result for the team who have struggled for pace compared to Oracle Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Ferrari throughout 2022 to date.

“Huge congratulations to George, it’s an amazing feeling to get your first pole position and it’s also huge for us as a team,” he said.

Lewis Hamilton lost the use of his DRS when it mattered in Q3 – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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