Hamilton and Mercedes experienced a challenging phase after transitioning to ground-effect cars in the previous year. The seven-time world champion has not achieved a victory since 2021 and had to endure a span of 33 races before securing pole position once more.
Hamilton finished Friday’s practice session with his car performing poorly. However, he managed to improve in FP3 on Saturday morning and ultimately secured his 104th career pole position by defeating Max Verstappen by a mere 0.003 seconds in the final lap of Q3.
During the post-qualifying interview in parc ferme, Hamilton acknowledged that he was surprised to be in the running for pole position and mentioned that he had given his all during the final lap.
Hamilton started by saying, “The past year and a half has been quite eventful.”
“I have become voiceless due to excessive shouting in the car. It is an incredible sensation. I am immensely thankful to be in this position as the team has put in tremendous effort.”
We have exerted immense effort during this period to ultimately achieve a significant milestone, and it feels as exhilarating as the initial experience.
“And a big, big thanks to the crowd here. We have such an amazing crowd every year here in Budapest.
I was not anticipating that today we would be competing for the top position. Therefore, when I embarked on my final attempt, I exerted maximum effort. I left nothing behind.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14
Photo by: Michael Potts / Motorsport Images
Hamilton stated that the team has faced significant challenges over the past year and a half, affecting every individual involved. He acknowledges that these difficult circumstances will persist even after the Hungarian event.
“He mentioned that there have been both positive and negative experiences, describing it as a significant and unpredictable journey.”
None of us have lost our belief. We have all come together as a united front, directing our efforts towards guiding the car in that specific direction.
Today, we encountered delays in Turn four and 11 in comparison to the rest. Therefore, I took a risk and proceeded, hoping to remain on course.
“It has been challenging, and the challenges will persist as we move forward.”
I believe this demonstrates that we are making progress in the right direction. With determination, we can achieve our goal by persevering.
Despite the pole, Hamilton has remained grounded in his hopes of ending his victory drought on Sunday, noting: “I think tomorrow we’ll just study as hard as we can.
Tomorrow, as a team, we will bring our best effort. It will be challenging to compete against Verstappen and Lando Norris, who are currently in the top positions.
“Lando has been performing exceptionally well, it’s been wonderful to witness McLaren actively competing, and Max, he consistently remains at the forefront, consistently showcasing his abilities.”