Lewis Hamilton secured his 47th career pole position and ninth of the season at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The British driver will line up on pole tomorrow for the 5th time at the Hungaroring and his effort was also the 21st successive pole for Mercedes. It was a fairly straightforward qualifying session for Hamilton who topped every segment and edged out team mate Nico Rosberg in Q3 by more than half a second.
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 25, 2015
“I’ve generally had really good experiences here,” Hamilton said. “I love the weather, love the city but I also just love the track. It feels a bit like one of the old go-kart circuits we used to race on years ago, when we had super special soft tyres, and the temperatures give us a lot of grip.”
The reigning World Champion has been fastest in every session so far this weekend, building up his overwhelming chances of success on a track where he has been the only driver who has succeeded in converting pole into victory in the last ten years, and achieving it three times!
But the Mercedes driver still vowed to keep his head down, with plenty of work still to be accomplished before the lights go out tomorrow afternoon.
“All the work is never done on the Saturday and there’s still a lot to do tomorrow. But in terms of how the weekend has gone so far, I’m incredibly happy. I can’t remember ever having the performance I have this weekend.”
Defending world champion and series leader Lewis Hamilton bidding for a record fifth Hungarian Grand Prix victory will start from pole for Sunday’s race after posting the fastest time in qualifying on Saturday.
It is the fifth time in succession, ninth this season, the 30-year-old Briton has out-performed his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in qualifying.
Hamilton’s pole success was his fifth at the Hungaroring circuit where he is the only driver to have won from pole position in the last 10 years.
Hamilton leads Rosberg by 17 points in the championship standings with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel a distant third, 42 points adrift, after nine races.
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) July 25, 2015
It was the 47th pole position of Hamilton’s career and lifted him clear of fellow-Briton Damon Hill with his 18th successive front row start, leaving only legendary Brazilian Ayrton Senna to catch on 24.
Four-time world champion Vettel was third fastest ahead of Australian Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull and Finn Kimi Raikkonen, fifth in the second Ferrari.
Outpaced by not only Hamilton, but also Vettel and Ricciardo, Rosberg pitted to switch to softs, forcing Hamilton to follow suit as he dropped to 10th as their rivals trimmed their times.
On softs, Rosberg went top only to be outpaced by Hamilton as the session ended with 2009 champion Briton Jenson Button, a two-time winner at the Hungaroring, taking an early exit in 16th place for McLaren Honda.
Ricciardo took 12th to progress to Q2, the only man to do so using the medium tyres. For last year’s winner, it was proof that he had the confidence to resist the temptation of the softs.
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 25, 2015
In Q2, Vettel had set an early best time ahead of Raikkonen and Rosberg when, after Fernando Alonso’s McLaren stopped at the exit of Turn 13, the session was red-flagged. With some help, he managed to push the car uphill and back to the pits.
The stoppage marred Hamilton’s first flying lap, leaving him without a time, but he swiftly rectified that on resumption with a best of 1:22.285, half a second faster than Rosberg.
The two Mercedes men, led by Rosberg, were first out for the top ten shootout, both on used softs. The champion, in dominant form, went top on his first run with 1:22.408, 0.358 seconds quicker than his team-mate.
The third and final practice session at the Hungarian Grand Prix starts at 1pm (UAE time) and then the all-important qualifying begins at 4pm (UAE time). You can follow all the action LIVE through Sport360's live updates.
It was Mercedes's Lewis Hamilton, who topped both the Friday practice sessions, and had company, surprisingly from the Red Bull Racing drivers Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo. The Renault-powered car seems to like the tight and twisty Hungaroring Circuit.
Williams and Ferrari appear to have taken a step back at the sinewy Hungaroring track.
The Ferraris had a difficult Friday, with both cars struggling to find the perfect balance amid a barrage of problems, including a front-wing failure in FP1 for the Finn.
Force India's Sergio Perez escaped injury after a massive shunt in FP1, when a rear suspension failure coming out of turn 11 sent him into the barriers and into a roll, but the Mexican walked away without any damage. The team took precaution and withdrew both their cars from FP2 for further inspection.