Historic qualifying day for McLaren at Hungaroring

Peter Revson (USA) McLaren M19C used his knowledge of the circuit gained through CanAm racing to take his only pole position and to finish the race in second place. Canadian Grand Prix, Mosport Park, 24 September 1972. BEST IMAGE

Peter Revson in action at the wheel of the McLaren M19C to take pole position for the 1972 Canadian GP

Jul.28 (GP247) Qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix turned out to be a very big day for McLaren. Apart from Lewis Hamilton starting the race from top spot on the grid, they also achieved a massive milestone  as it was the Woking team’s 150th pole position in their illustrious history in Formula One.

Ayrton Senna (BRA) McLaren MP4/5 secured pole position but crashed out whilst leading the race. Australian Grand Prix, Adelaide, 5 November 1989Almost forty years ago, on 23 September 1972, Peter Revson powered around Mosport Park to score the team’s first pole position on the occasion of the Canadian Grand Prix. Since then some of the sport’s greats have powered to pole position for the team including the likes of James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinen.

Hamilton’s run, in Hungary, was a fitting homage to the history of the team, as it was one of the most dominant displays in qualifying seen so far this season and arguably one of the most impressive of Hamilton’s career.

Team principal Martin Whitmarsh said afterwards, “I want to pay tribute to all the men and women who, over the past 40 years, have put so much hard work into securing a grand total of 150 pole positions for McLaren. That’s right; today’s was our 150th.

Lewis Hamilton McLaren at Hungarian Grand Prix Qualifying“For all you train-spotters out there, our first was scored by Peter Revson, at Mosport Park, in Canada, on September 23rd 1972, in a McLaren M19C, with a lap-time of 1min 13.6sec. Oh, and, by the way, I haven’t forgotten the 1968 Race of Champions at Brands Hatch, where we also got the pole, but that was a non-championship Formula One race!” added Whitmarsh.

The milestone did not go unnoticed by Hamilton who said, “I’m told that today’s pole position is the 150th in McLaren’s history. That’s a truly fantastic achievement.”

“I’m extremely proud to be able to contribute to the ongoing success of such a great team, especially as I first met Ron [Dennis, Executive Chairman, McLaren Group and McLaren Automotive] when I was just 10 years old. I remember the occasion really well. I told Ron that one day I wanted to be driving for his team. And here we are today,” mused the 2008 world champion.

Subbed by AJN.

  • Jody Renza

    The Mclaren M19C remains one of my best looking cars…great memories in the hands of Peter Revson, Denny Hulme & our own Jody Scheckter..

  • McHare

    Get no points for qual though. Need full conversion today from the McLaren team.

  • Hawk

    seeing red, Marlboro and Shell, you would be forgiven for thinking that that is a Ferrari. The Honda betrays it.