Lewis Hamilton has his first chance to equal Michael Schumacher’s F1 pole position record in Saturday’s Hungarian GP qualifying hour.
Schumacher’s record of 68 poles was set at the 2006 French GP, seven races after the German broke Ayrton Senna’s previous benchmark of 65 which had stood since the Brazilian’s death 12 years earlier.
Qualifying at the Hungaroring starts at 1 pm today, live only on Sky Sports F1, with build-up from midday. Practice Three action starts at 10 am
However, Hamilton has conceded it is “not going to be easy for us to get pole” after Mercedes were outpaced by Red Bull and Ferrari in Friday practice.
Schumacher claimed what turned out to be the 68th and final pole of his career at the 243rd attempt, whereas Saturday will be Hamilton’s 199th F1 qualifying session.
In his later three-year comeback to the sport, Schumacher did famously set the qualifying pace at Monaco in 2012 but the pole did not count in the record books owing to a five-place grid penalty. Mark Webber is instead credited with that year’s Monaco pole.
Hamilton, who is also second to Schumacher in F1’s all-time race wins table, was keen not to get ahead of himself when asked on Thursday about the prospect of matching one of the sport’s most significant records.