<
>

Story of qualifying: Can it rain every race weekend, please?

play
Hamilton claims pole in a rain-hit qualifier (1:35)

Ride on-board with Lewis Hamilton as he takes pole position for the 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix. (1:35)

After another dramatic F1 contest in the rain, a round-up of the main talking points after Lewis Hamilton mastered the wet conditions to claim pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix as Red Bull and Ferrari faltered.

Shock: No-one had Lewis Hamilton or Mercedes down for pole position this weekend -- this was a circuit meant to swing the pendulum back toward Ferrari and Red Bull. But the rain changed everything and some beautiful laps late in the session helped Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas beat Ferrari to the front row of the grid. Even if it stays dry tomorrow, Mercedes is in a great position to stay ahead on a circuit notorious for its limited overtaking opportunities.

Shocker: Red Bull had an awful session. Daniel Ricciardo joked on Thursday that he wanted to avoid the third row of the grid, but he probably didn't quite mean like that -- the Australian was caught out by the worsening conditions in Q2 and an ill-timed yellow flag to be eliminated. He will line up in 12th.

As for Max Verstappen, he could manage only seventh despite being considered, like Hamilton, a master in the rain. A lot can change on a Sunday afternoon but it could be a frustrating race ahead for Red Bull, which came to Hungary expecting to compete for its fourth win of the season.

Rain = drama: A rain shower caused chaos in the closing stages of the German Grand Prix last weekend and it had a similar impact throughout qualifying. Q1 and Q2 were as entertaining as Q3, with conditions changing throughout both, giving everyone something of a strategic headache on which tires to pick.

Ironically, before Germany many in the paddock were joking at how this season seemed destined to pass without a wet qualifying or race -- until Hockenheim it had always seemed to rain the moment after one (or both) finished every weekend. We've now been treated to two brilliant spectacles.

A thrilling race in store: There's always a fascinating race in store when a car with slower race pace qualifies ahead. Mercedes did not expect to compete with Ferrari on raw performance here but will now start ahead of Ferrari. The Italian team has had lighting starts this season and there's a long run down to Turn 1, meaning the start alone is going to be brilliant.

Midfield shake-up: Renault's Carlos Sainz was one of the star performers of the session, qualifying in fifth position behind the lead pair. With his future still uncertain beyond 2018, it was a well-timed demonstration of his talent.

Making matters worse for Red Bull will probably be the cars starting either side of seventh-placed Verstappen. Junior team Toro Rosso excelled in the wet, with Pierre Gasly snatching the other spot on the third row alongside Sainz.

The undisputed rain master? Hamilton has always been pretty special in the rain. He has now had two performances in the space of six days that serve as a good reminder of why he is considered one of the all-time greats in those conditions. Love him or hate him, the four-time world champion is a joy to watch in those conditions.