In a sport where efficiencies are measured to the highest possible calculation and where even a scant millimeter defines performances, Sir Lewis Hamilton ensured supremacy in qualifying over his closest pursuants by the barest of margins.
There was a sense of gripping tension, there was gladly no drama but pure thrills, of the kinds that a great Formula 1 qualifying battle unfolds just hours back here at the Hungaroring.
Not many have managed to usurp someone like Max Verstappen from the pole position battle this year. But then not everyone is a certain Lewis Hamilton, the man who came from Stevenage and became a globally revered sporting icon of F1.
Emerging one thousandths of a second faster than second-placed Max Verstappen and would you believe it, eighty five thousandths of a second clear over McLaren’s Lando Norris, the Mercedes ace aced the qualifying at the Hungaroring.
But then you have to argue that such a flying performance, one that eventually resulted in a belter of a lap given 1:16:609 was somewhere on the cards.
How could it not have been when it was none other than Lewis Hamilton who managed to top the final time sheets of FP3?
While the man with no fewer than seven world titles to his name and not to forget, impeccable car control is on the front row to win tomorrow’s Hungarian GP, he also has a lordly record at this very venue that can boost the confidence of even the most critical mind out there.
No other driver from the present grid has as many poles and even race wins at the Hungaroring other than Lewis Hamilton.
With 8 overall wins, which includes three on the bounce and a recent ninth career pole at the Hungarian venue, Hamilton’s smashed biases, united fans that may support whichever team in Motorsport’s top annals and become a subject of envy.
He will, redoubtly, begin the 70-lap twisty, spine bending challenge of the Hungaroring as the driver who not only has the winning formula but also the mighty experience.
Hamilton’s first ride at the Hungaroring was way back in time, a period where Norris, Verstappen and Albon and their likes were kids with no idea whether they’d even make it as far as Formula 1.
Now that they belong here, Hamilton, it ought to be considered, would feel he finally belongs at the top step of the podium.
So far off acing the qualifying time charts has Lewis been that his last pole position, lest it is forgotten, came at Jeddah, the home of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix back in 2021.
What’s followed in the period hence have been certain disappointments such as falling off the pace, finding a certain difficulty in finding that little bit of extra oomph in his Mercedes and not to mention, a period of prolonged porpoising is evident early on in 2022.
But the greats don’t succumb to difficulties; they glitter amid gloom.
Hamilton, who captured a podium each at Australia, Canada, Great Britain and Spain, has bounced back in 2023 in fine fashion.
While he still chases that elusive win that’s been eschewing his grasp for a while now, Hungaroring may change the course of events making it all the more better for the man.
Meanwhile, someone like Max Verstappen, who was left visibly disappointed at the end of the Q3 (where all drivers ran on softs), will leave no challenge unattempted in pouncing back on a familiar rival.
The Dutchman would note that the venue where he first bagged a career pole back in 2019 ought to deliver something special for him. A P2, after all, isn’t a terrible spot from which to start a race.
Can he gain a record seventh successive win in a row now?
Or will the man out in front, one who’s suddenly doused F1 with a verve of excitement contain the Mad Max storm?
It’s all to play for at the Hungaroring.