Peter Bonnington and Toto Wolff were both on hand to offer Sir Lewis Hamilton some consolation after issues with his DRS denied him the chance to fight for pole in Hungary.
Having been around a second adrift of Ferrari’s pace during practice, the Silver Arrows managed to top Q1 as they showed signs of significant pace improvements, before Hamilton and George Russell made it through to the final session.
Following the first run, Russell managed to split the Ferrari pair by going second, with Carlos Sainz taking provisional pole position.
Leclerc improved to second before Sainz went even quicker, so it looked as though the Spaniard was set for his second pole in four races, but Russell came in with a superb lap to take his first-ever pole position.
Hamilton was in front of his team-mate on the racetrack during the final run, but he had to slow down to let him go after his rear wing failed to open.
“No DRS mate, no DRS,” reported Hamilton over the radio.
“Do we have enough time?” he asked, wondering if he was able to go round again and have another crack at pole.
“Negative,” replied engineer Bonnington, before confirming that they had run out of time as the 37-year-old moved over to let Russell go on his way to pole.
Hamilton ended up seventh as result of his late drama, but encouragement could be taken from the fact that the other car set the fastest lap.
“Bad luck mate, we were on a roll,” Bonnington told his driver over the radio.
“Good effort by George, he’s on pole.”
Wolff offered a hand of apology to the 37-year-old for the failure that saw him qualify on the fourth row of the grid, behind Lando Norris, Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso.
“Sorry for the f***-up with the DRS,” he said over the radio.
“You have both Verstappen and Perez behind you, it’s just Norris, Ocon and Alonso [ahead] which you should get so we can recover.”
After the session, the 103-time race winner congratulated Russell on his first pole position in the pinnacle of motorsport.
“I tried to open the DRS and it wouldn’t open, so a bit unfortunate,” Hamilton told Sky Sports.
“I was feeling great, front row was definitely there so it would have been awesome to have got a front row for the team but these things happen.
“Congratulations to George, that’s a great result for the team, given all that we’ve gone through – that’s huge so really happy for everyone.”
Sergio Perez was eliminated in Q2 after a tough afternoon for the Mexican on Saturday, while power unit problems saw Max Verstappen qualify 10th for Sunday’s race.