Hamilton takes stunning win after crash with Max Verstappen
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Sergio Perez’s engineer has accused Lewis Hamilton of “gamesmanship” after he held up the field during the final qualifying session at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Hamilton had already set the fastest lap of Q3 with just two minutes left on the clock.
When returning to the track for one final out lap, the Brit drove agonisingly slow out of the pits.
The seven-time world champion then stopped at the entrance to the track, leaving the pair of Red Bulls behind him itching to get going.
Hamilton’s antics meant that Perez did not have enough time to start another fastest lap and he was forced to settle for sixth place.
Verstappen did cross the start line before the chequered flag but he struggled and was four-tenths off Hamilton’s earlier lap time.
It means Mercedes lock out the front row for Sunday’s race, with Valtteri Bottas qualifying ahead of Verstappen.
Lewis Hamilton held up the field with just minutes left of the final qualifying session (Image: Sky Sports F1)
Lewis Hamilton secured pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix (Image: GETTY)
Red Bull chief Christian Horner said afterwards: “Not really, it is a bit of gamesmanship. He (Hamilton) is just backing it up because he doesn’t want to give our cars a clear run. We have not got a major issue with that.
“He was clearly more interested in what was going on behind but that is just part of the game.”
After securing pole, Hamilton said: “It was an amazing qualifying lap that last one. It has been amazing team work from everyone this weekend, Valtteri included. Trying to push the car forwards and developing constantly.
“It has been amazing to see everyone come together, rallying up and pushing forward.
“It’s definitely great having a lockout for our team.
“I appreciate the great support I have here. Honestly, I’ve never actually felt so great with the booing, if anything it just fuels me. So I don’t really mind it.”
And Verstappen explained: “Clearly the whole weekend so far we have been a bit behind and it showed again in qualifying.
“Of course not what we wanted but nevertheless we’re still there in P3 and we’ll see what we can do. But so far not what I want.
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“It’s going to be different [starting on the soft tyre to Merc’s mediums]. The grip was quite a bit higher on these tyres, we will find out tomorrow. It’s going to be really hot so naturally a softer tyre will not last as long as a medium, but nevertheless it will give us a good opportunity off the line.
“My lap time on the medium would have really been on the edge for the top 10 so that’s why we decided to finish the lap [on the soft in Q2].”
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