Lewis Hamilton says he is “not too disappointed” with second place on the grid for Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix despite having his final Q3 run ruined by a yellow flag.
Hamilton sat on provisional pole after his first flying lap in Q3, making the most of his slick tires after narrowly escaping elimination in Q2 on a drying circuit.
The Briton found a further four-tenths of a second in the first sector of his final lap, only to back off under yellow flags shown following a spin for Fernando Alonso at Turn 5.
The majority of drivers on their final hot lap were affected, but Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg managed to find more time in the final sector to snatch pole position away.
Despite being denied a sixth pole position in Hungary, Hamilton wasn’t too downbeat after qualifying, saying he did all he could.
“I don’t know how much Nico was up but I had the fastest first sector, I was four-tenths up,” Hamilton said.
“I felt good on that lap. A bit unfortunate with Fernando, but these things happen so I’m not really too disappointed.
“It was a tricky session. I did the best I could do.
“We still have a long race ahead of us tomorrow so I’ll give it everything I’ve got from there.”
The focus after qualifying is already on whether Rosberg did enough to slow under the yellow flags, although the stewards are yet to show any indication of investigating his lap.
The Hungarian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports App from 7am ET on Sunday.
In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.
Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.
Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.
The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.
“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”
Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.
SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.
When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.
SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.
Read more about SuperMotocross