BUDAPEST, Hungary—It might have been the new tyre regulations or maybe the determination finally paid off, but it certainly ended Saturday afternoon well for Lewis Hamilton, who recorded his ninth pole at the Hungaroring, a record for any one driver at one track, as the Briton put a 1:16:609 fastest time, ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and a rejuvenated Lando Norris in his McLaren, who took third.

"It's been a crazy year and a half. I've lost my voice from shouting in the car.” Hamilton emotionally stated afterwards.

I'm so grateful for that feeling because the team have worked so hard, pushing so hard, to finally get the pole, it feels like the first time. Big, big thanks to the crowd. We have amazing crowds every year here in Budapest. I didn't expect coming here today we would be fighting for pole. When I went into the last run I gave it absolutely everything. There was nothing left in it."

The new tyre regulations might have played a part in making Hamilton achieved his pole by being one of the last finishers to cross the line, but throughout the entire afternoon at this hot, dry, circuit, other popular drivers fell by the waist side, with hard tyres required in the first session, mediums for the seconds, and finally, softs for the last.

Lewis Hamilton becaomes the first driver to win more than eight poles at a single circuit. Getty Images Photo

George Russell in the second Mercedes was the first victim, being knocked out in the opening session along with the Williams pair of Alex Albon and Logan Sargant, Alpha Tauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, and Haas F1’s Kevin Magnussen.

The upsets continued to happen in the second session, as the Alpine pair of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, and the second Alpha Tauri of Daniel Ricciardo, back after being Red Bull’s test driver for the last few months also were out of contention.

After Norris, who took the second session’s fastest time, McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri took fourth, with Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu finishing first in the opening session and ending up in fifth, his best result so far in his career. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was sixth, and the second Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas continued the team’s good fortune by finishing in seventh. Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso was disappointing in eighth, as well as Sergio Perez in the Red Bull who finished ninth, continuing his bad fortune of placings this season. Haas F1’s Nico Hulkenberg rounded up the top ten.

But for tomorrow, can Hamilton return to form and get revenge on Verstappen for Abu Dhabi? Hamilton is keeping an open mind always.

"We'll bring our A game as a team.” Continued Hamilton speaking surprisingly.  “It's going to be difficult to fight these guys tomorrow. Lando has been doing a mega job; it's great to see McLaren up there battling. And Max, you know Max. He's always up there, doing his thing."

By Mark Gero

For the first time this season, Max Verstappen did not have things go his way, but will start Sunday's race on the front row. Getty Images Photo