Lewis Hamilton will start tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix from pole position after beating Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in qualifying at the Hungaroring on Saturday afternoon.
Hamilton posted a fastest lap time of 1:22.020 to finish half a second clear of Rosberg in second place as Mercedes once again locked out the front row of the grid.
Hamilton entered qualifying after finishing fastest in all three practice sessions at the Hungaroring, and he continued this record by going quickest in Q1, Q2, and – most importantly – Q3 on Saturday.
After edging out Rosberg by three-tenths of a second on their first Q3 runs, Hamilton extended his advantage with a stunning final lap to enjoy a margin of 0.575 seconds at the end of the session.
The Silver Arrows were followed once again by Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari, but the German was run close by Daniel Ricciardo, who was just 0.035 seconds further back in fifth place.
Kimi Raikkonen qualified fifth for Ferrari ahead of Williams’ Valtteri Bottas. Daniil Kvyat qualified seventh for Red Bull ahead of Felipe Massa, who finished two places behind his teammate in P8.
Max Verstappen and Romain Grosjean both did well to make it through to Q3 on Saturday, but neither could challenge to leading drivers and instead rounded out the top ten in ninth and tenth place respectively.
After missing FP2 on Friday due to a suspension problem that caused Sergio Perez to flip in FP1, Force India bounced back on Saturday and nearly made it into Q3. Nico Hulkenberg was edged out by Grosjean for P10 in the dying stages of Q2, leaving him 11th ahead of Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz and Perez in P13. A mistake by Pastor Maldonado meant he could only qualify 14th on Saturday.
McLaren’s impressive practice pace failed to carry over to qualifying on Saturday afternoon as Jenson Button was eliminated in Q1, finishing 16th. The Briton lamented a problem with the power delivery on his car on the main straight that cost him a place in Q2.
Although teammate Fernando Alonso was able to make it through, his car stopped out on track before he could post a time. With the help of some marshals, the Spaniard did push his car back to the pits under the subsequent red flag, but was unable to get out on track again.
Qualifying proved to be another difficult session for Sauber as neither Marcus Ericsson or Felipe Nasr could make it into Q2, leaving them 17th and 18th respectively on the grid. Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens once again filled out the back row for Manor.
Mercedes may once again be the dominant team, but it will take an almighty effort from Rosberg to get ahead of Hamilton in the race tomorrow. The British driver can become the most successful driver in the history of the Hungarian Grand Prix with victory on Sunday, and if his qualifying lap is anything to go by, few would bet against him.