Lewis Hamilton snatched pole from Max Verstappen by just 0.003s for the Hungarian Grand Prix in a thrilling and closely contested Formula 1 qualifying session.
The Mercedes driver was the last driver to cross the line in Q3 at the Hungaroring and overturned Verstappen's benchmark lap to claim his first pole position of the season.
The qualifying format was tweaked as part of an 'alternative tyre allocation' trial, where only hard tyres could be used in Q1, medium tyres in Q2, and softs in Q3, which yielded a competitive qualifying session.
Lando Norris broke into the 1m16s with his opening gambit, a 1m16.904s to sit atop the order, but the McLaren driver had his hopes dashed when Verstappen threw down the gauntlet to set a 1m16.612s.
Hamilton then separated the pair that had locked out the front row at Silverstone with a 1m16.738s, showcasing the potential that Mercedes had shown in glimmers over the course of the weekend.
When it came to the second and final series of runs, Verstappen's first sector had been less impressive than his first. Despite improvement in the second part of the lap, he fell short of his earlier time and left him vulnerable to an attack from the drivers behind.
Norris got close, just falling short after setting a 1m16.694s, but Hamilton was up on Verstappen's delta by the close of the second sector. Although the Mercedes appeared to step out of line in the final couple of corners, the seven-time champion held on to claim the first pole since 2021.
The McLarens locked out the second row as Oscar Piastri set the best middle sector of the session, as Zhou Guanyu was another driver to star in qualifying as the Alfa Romeo driver put his car onto fifth on Sunday's grid.
Charles Leclerc was sixth fastest ahead of Valtteri Bottas, who was just over half a tenth away from his Chinese team-mate, as Fernando Alonso was just 0.001s behind the Finn to take eighth.
Sergio Perez claimed ninth on the grid having broken a streak of five races without a Q3 appearance, as Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10 having once again dragged his Haas into the top-10 shootout.
Carlos Sainz was dumped out of the second part of qualifying by Ferrari team-mate Leclerc at the death of the session, as the Spanish driver trailed countryman Alonso by a scant 0.002s.
Verstappen suffered a scare when his initial Q2 table-topping effort was deleted for surpassing track limits at Turn 5, which strong-armed him into going for a second effort on a new set of the mandated medium tyre.
He broke into the top 10 with apparent ease despite taking margin with the white lines, dumping Esteban Ocon into the bottom five to set up a thrilling battle to get into the final part of qualifying.
Bottas demonstrated the pace of the Alfa Romeo and rocketed up to fourth to secure safety, precipitating the duel between the Ferraris to break through.
Sainz was the one to miss out when Leclerc crept through to the final part of qualifying, but was over a tenth clear of Ocon - who lines up 12th for Sunday's grand prix.
Daniel Ricciardo grabbed 13th for his return after replacing Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri, as Lance Stroll was promoted to 14th after Pierre Gasly's final lap was deleted for track limits. The final times all fell within a second of each other.
George Russell was the biggest scalp in a wild Q1 session having been unable to better his time in the dying stages of the session, as Zhou Guanyu headed the order on the hard tyres.
Russell was heard complaining about the high levels of traffic ahead of his final lap, and the Briton was overtaken by Lando Norris, Valtteri Bottas and Pierre Gasly ahead of the final corner as they jostled for track position. This left Russell on the back foot, and crossed the line stranded in 18th.
Alex Albon had seemingly made good his escape from the drop zone, but fell down the order as Ricciardo burst through to outqualify Yuki Tsunoda at the first attempt. Albon was less than 0.8s short of Zhou's benchmark, with Tsunoda just 0.002s shy of the Anglo-Thai driver.
Russell qualified ahead of Kevin Magnussen and Logan Sargeant, the American losing a lap due to track limits at the top of the session and then rattled across the Turn 6/7 chicane on another effort to break out of the bottom five.
|L. Hamilton Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
|M. Verstappen Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing
|L. Norris Lando Norris McLaren
|O. Piastri Oscar Piastri McLaren
|Z. Guanyu Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo
|C. Leclerc Charles Leclerc Ferrari
|V. Bottas Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo
|F. Alonso Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Racing
|S. Perez Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing
|N. Hulkenberg Nico Hulkenberg Haas F1 Team
|C. Sainz Carlos Sainz Ferrari
|E. Ocon Esteban Ocon Alpine
|D. Ricciardo Daniel Ricciardo AlphaTauri
|L. Stroll Lance Stroll Aston Martin Racing
|P. Gasly Pierre Gasly Alpine
|A. Albon Alex Albon Williams
|Y. Tsunoda Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri
|G. Russell George Russell Mercedes
|K. Magnussen Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team
|L. Sargeant Logan Sargeant Williams
|View full results