Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hamilton defies boos to take pole with 100th win in sight

Hamilton defies boos to take pole with 100th win in sight

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton waves from his car as he celebrates winning the pole position after the qualifying session at the Hungaroring race track in Mogyorod near Budapest on Saturday, ahead of the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix. AFP

Hamilton defies boos to take pole with 100th win in sight

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton shrugged off boos and accusations of gamesmanship to secure the 101st pole position of his career on Saturday as he defied the heat and championship rival Max Verstappen to set the quickest lap in qualifying for Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Hamilton, who is aiming for his 100th Grand Prix victory and his ninth in Hungary, will be joined on the front row by Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas with Verstappen starting third alongside his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.

Hamilton brushed off the boos that came from a section of Verstappen supporters during the post-qualifying interviews.

“I have never felt so great with the booing,” Hamilton said. “If anything it just fuels me, so I don’t really mind it.

He also rejected suggestions of gamesmanship when his slow out lap at the end of the session prevented Perez from getting in a second fast lap.

“I was not playing any tactics, I don’t need to, I know what I’m doing in the car and am fast enough,” he said at a testy press conference.

“Those making the comments do not know about the job that we’re doing, which is why they are not driving.”

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris of McLaren took the third row of the grid with the Ferrari of Charles LeClerc, the Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso, and Sebastian Vettel in the Aston Martin rounding out the top 10.

Hamilton, who began the weekend eight points behind Verstappen in the championship, was quickest during the final practice session on Saturday morning.

However, the Briton bided his time in the afternoon and, unlike his rivals, stuck to the longer-wearing medium tyres in P2 which saw him land just the sixth-quickest time.

Switching to the softs for P3 he produced a blistering lap of 1min 15.419sec, over three-tenths of a second faster than Bottas, who had also used the mediums.

“It was an amazing qualifying lap and it has been amazing teamwork from everyone, Valtteri included, trying to push the car forward,” said Hamilton.

“The guys at the factory have left no stone unturned.

“The soft tyre is worth something like five metres into turn one. It was surprising to see everyone in the top 10 on the softs apart from us.”

Verstappen, who crashed out of the last race at Silverstone after a first lap collision with Hamilton, had to make do with third, 0.106secs behind Bottas.

“The whole weekend we’ve been a bit behind and it showed in qualifying,” said the Dutchman who has now made a remarkable 20 consecutive top three qualifications.

“It’s not what we want but we’re still there in P3 and will see what we can do.

“It’s going to be really hot so a soft tyre will not last as long as the mediums but we should be good off the line.”

The Hungarian GP is the last before the summer break with racing resuming at Spa for the Belgian GP on August 29.


  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • Four-pillar approach in reopening of tourism: PM

    Cambodia is drawing up a four-strategy approach to promptly restore domestic and international tourism activity and put the industry on a transition pathway to a sustainable and inclusive model that is resistant to future crises, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. The prime minister made

  • Airline says ready for green light to reopen international tourism

    Sky Angkor Airline Co Ltd on September 21 said it is ready to transport South Korean and Chinese tourists to the Kingdom once the Cambodian government makes good on plans to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers. The Siem Reap-based airline made the remark during a

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Cambodian bride ‘badly treated, held captive’ by Chinese man seeks help

    A Cambodian woman who travelled to China to marry a Chinese man there was “badly treated” by her husband’s family and then had to be rescued and will be returned to Cambodia to ensure her safety. The rescue operation came about after the 25-year-old