After dominating all the practice sessions, Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton grabs pole position at Hungary's Hungaroring circuit
Budapest: World Championship leader Lewis Hamilton set a blistering pace in the searing heat to seize a dominant pole position in qualifying for today's Hungarian Grand Prix ahead of Mercedes teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg.
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton reacts after qualifying on Saturday. Pic/AFP
Hamilton lapped the 4.381 kilometre-long Hungaroring circuit in one minute 22.020 seconds, over half a second faster than Rosberg, continuing what has been a dominant weekend for the Briton. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was third. Yesterday's pole was the 47th of Hamilton's career and his ninth out of ten races so far this season. It keeps him third in the all-time list of drivers with the most pole-positions behind Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna.
"It's been a good weekend so far, yes," said Hamilton who has topped the timesheets in every session this weekend. "I've generally had pretty good experiences here. I love the track, it feels a bit like an old go-kart circuit," added Hamilton, who has won in Hungary four times. Hamilton leads Rosberg by 17 points in the overall standings having won five of the nine races so far and heads into today's racing chasing an unprecedented fifth Hungarian victory.
Behind the top-three, Daniel Ricciardo took fourth. Kimi Raikkonen, who has only finished off the podium thrice in 12 appearances at the Hungaroring, was fifth in the Ferrari ahead of potential future replacement Valtteri Bottas in the Williams.
The qualifying hour was largely uneventful except for Fernando Alonso's McLaren Honda grinding to a halt with engine issues in the second part of the session, prompting a four-minute red flag. The Spaniard, who made it through past the opening part of qualifying, starts 15th.
Perez back in action
Force India were back in action after withdrawing both cars from Friday afternoon's practice session following a massive crash for Sergio Perez. They will start today's race 11th and 13th, with Nico Hulkenberg ahead of the Mexican.