George Russell celebrates first pole of his F1 career at Hungarian Grand Prix

Cambridgeshire Formula One star George Russell. Credit: PA

George Russell claimed the first pole position of his Formula One career ahead of Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix. The 24-year-old edged out Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz by just 0.044 seconds, with Charles Leclerc placing third. Russell’s Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton qualified seventh, with reigning world champion Max Verstappen placing 10th on the grid after he suffered mechanical problems. “Come on, whoooo, come on, yes, you beauty, you beauty,” said Russell over the radio, in celebration of his first pole and Mercedes’ first of the season. “Amazing. We needed that.”

Mercedes struggled for pace in practice but Russell pulled out one of the laps of his career to take the front spot for Sunday’s 70-lap race.

After a first pole, the British driver is eyeing a first win.

“I am over the moon,” said Russell. “That last lap was mega. I came across the line and saw P1 and it was an incredible feeling. “There are no points for qualifying but we are going to be absolutely going for it. It has been a special day.”

Lando Norris took fourth for McLaren, one place ahead of last year's winner, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon. On a poor afternoon for Red Bull, Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez - who placed 11th - remarked that it had been "a bad day".

Russell's career milestone follows four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel announcing he will bow out of Formula One at the season’s final race in Abu Dhabi on November 20.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know