Red Bull team principal Christian Horner affirms his team is not disgruntled over Lewis Hamilton’s driving during qualifying in Hungary.
As the drivers made their way out onto the circuit for their final hot laps in Q3, Hamilton slowly progressed down the pit lane, ensuring Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez remained behind him.
Hamilton also appeared to drive slowly throughout his out lap, and along with Verstappen, crossed the line to start their final laps with seconds to spare.
Perez, however, did not make it around in time and took the chequered flag, which denied him the opportunity to set another lap time.
Hamilton went on to secure pole position, the 101st of his career.
“I mean it’s a bit of gamesmanship,” Horner told Sky F1 after the session.
“Lewis had a hell of a lap in the bank and he’s just backing things up as he doesn’t want to give our cars a clean run but it’s his right to do that, he’s got the track position. We’ve not got a major issue, it’s all about tomorrow.”
The result marked Mercedes’ first pole position since May’s Spanish Grand Prix, as it goes in search of taking another Hungaroring victory on Sunday.
With the gap at the end of the qualifying session reading four-tenths between Hamilton and Verstappen, Horner states Mercedes’ pace is of no surprise.
“I think we knew Silverstone and Budapest are very much Mercedes strongholds,” Horner said.
“If you look at their performances last year, we were a second off at Silverstone and more than that here last year.
“I think we take encouragement that we are as close as we are and we’ve just got to make sure we take the fight to them in the race tomorrow. It’s a long second half in this championship.”