Verstappen starts from 10th in Hungary after qualifying issues; Fans told to be more respectful
Max Verstappen did not advance beyond tenth place during the qualifying round for the Hungarian Grand Prix due to technical problems with his Red Bull car. The Dutch Formula 1 driver reported on the on-board radio during the decisive part of the last qualifying session that he had no power.
"Nothing works", grumbled Verstappen, who therefore failed to drive his fastest lap possible.
George Russell surprised at the Hungaroring by taking pole position for the first time in his career. The 24-year-old British Mercedes driver pipped Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc. The Ferrari drivers finished in second and third, respectively. Sainz was 0.044 seconds behind, and Leclerc was 0.190 behind.
Sergio Pérez, Verstappen's Mexican teammate, found himself in trouble during the second qualifying session. He will start from eleventh place on Sunday at 3 p.m., with Verstappen just in front of him.
"I just had no power when I pulled out of the pits," Verstappen told Viaplay. Before that, his first attempt at a fast lap in Q3 had failed as he braked in a corner. It was not possible to make a second attempt because of technical problems. "It's very frustrating, especially because we actually found quite a bit of speed this weekend. This is really disappointing. I think I could have taken pole here. In Q2 everything looked a lot better, the speed was good." Verstappen had clocked the best time in the second qualifying session.
Both Red Bull drivers will be preparing to play catch-up during the race on Sunday at the winding Hungaroring, where overtaking is usually difficult. "I can only hope that I don't lose too much time in the beginning. We will have to fight with the guys in front of us. We'll see," said Verstappen, who won the French GP last week.
The Dutch driver already has a 63 point lead ahead of Leclerc in the World Cup standings.
F1 fans told to shelve offensive behavior
Earlier in the day, Formula 1 released a joint statement as part of a campaign called, “Drive It Out,” calling for more respectful behavior. The message was supported by all drivers, as well as director Stefano Domenicali, and Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the president of the motorsport federation FIA.
"We are united in our desire to prevent all kinds of abuse within the sport we love, and we are calling on the entire Formula 1 family to join us," Formula 1 wrote.
In a video message, all drivers collectively called for the unification of the F1 community. "The video message that has been published recognizes that - while passion and competition are very important parts of our sport - this can also go too far, offending fans, journalists, presenters and drivers both verbally and online."
Three weeks ago, race fans exhibited disturbing behavior in Austria, with some fans saying they were the victims of sexist, racist and homophobic insults at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. "We have been made aware of reports that some fans have received totally unacceptable comments from others at this event. We are taking this very seriously," Formula 1 said in a statement at the time.
Reporting by ANP