BUDAPEST – Max Verstappen finally claimed the first pole position of his career with a course record lap at the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix, relegating world champion Lewis Hamilton to third.
Verstappen posted a best 1 minute 14.572 seconds around the 4.381-kilometre Hungaroring in his Red Bull, edging the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas by just 0.018 seconds.
Hamilton, who has won a record six times in Hungary and was looking to match Michael Schumacher's record of seven poles, had to settle for third at 0.197 seconds as he tries to bounce back from a disastrous German GP, won by Verstappen, last weekend.
Charles Leclerc survived a Q1 crash to take fourth ahead of Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel while Pierre Gasly was sixth in the other Red Bull.
"It's incredible. This was still missing, the car felt good all weekend and it was incredible," said a delighted Verstappen after securing first on the grid for Sunday's race.
The 21-year-old is the 100th driver to hold pole position and it comes after already winning seven times.
"I'm very happy about today, there's still a race to do and that's the most important. Today was also important - a very nice one and great for the team."
Bottas admitted "we were kind of chasing it a little bit this weekend," after engine trouble limited his running in Friday practice. "Obviously very close with Max, they've been very quick but as always, there's still a race to come."
The Finn is looking to secure his Mercedes seat for next season and currently sits second in the standings, 41 points behind Hamilton going into the last race before the mid-season break.
Britain's Hamilton seems to be cruising to a sixth world title but despite being quickest in second qualifying was beaten when it mattered.
"Naturally we're always targeting first place," he said. "Max did a great job, and Valtteri too, we will be pushing on tomorrow.
"It's a long way down to Turn One so it will be interesting. It's not the easiest place to overtake here but I hope we can give them a run for their money."
Leclerc spun into the wall at the final corner during Q1 but escaped with only minor damage to his car and a fresh rear wing. His mechanics worked quickly enough on repairs and he beat team-mate Vettel, who was looking to build on his superb second place last time out, by 2 hundredths of a second.
Vettel has not won since Belgium nearly 12 months ago and may struggle to end that drought from fifth.
After Gasly the top 10 was completed by Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz (both McLaren) and Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo).
Second qualifying eliminated Nico Huelkenberg (Renault), Alexander Albon, Daniil Kvyat (both Toro Rosso), Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) and Kevin Magnussen (Haas).
George Russell narrowly failed to take Williams into Q2 for the first time this season, finishing 16th by 5 hundredths of a second. He could yet move up the grid with stewards investigating if Giovinazzi hampered the Racing Point of Lance Stroll.
Sergio Perez (Racing Point), Daniel Ricciardo (Renault), Stroll and Robert Kubica (Williams) also exited in Q1.dpa