Hamilton claims Hungary pole


World championship leader Lewis Hamilton put himself on course for a third successive race victory after grabbing an emphatic pole position for Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

FORMULA 1: McLaren's Lewis Hamilton - 0

The Briton powered around the blisteringly hot Hungaroring track in one minute 20.899 seconds, with team mate Heikki Kovalainen posting the second best time of 1:21.140.

“It’s been a pretty decent weekend for us so far and I feel safe with the position we’re in,” Hamilton said.

“The team have done a great job in improving our car even from the last weekend and it would be great to get a one-two on Sunday. It would be about time.”

Hamilton’s nearest rival for the drivers’ title, Ferrari‘s Felipe Massa, had to settle for third place after finishing his last flying lap in 1:21.191.

“I wasn’t 100 per cent happy with my laps in Q3,” said Massa, who trails Hamilton by four points in the standings. “I went out on the track at a little bit of a wrong time when there were too many cars around.

“That made it really tricky for the preparation of my tyres but I think our lap times from the first two qualifying sessions showed that we are pretty strong.

“I definitely have the feeling we can push these guys tomorrow.”

Massa’s team mate Kimi Raikkonen will start in a disappointing sixth place behind BMW-Sauber‘s Robert Kubica and Toyota‘s Timo Glock.

The qualifying result will give a huge advantage to the McLaren team, who should prove hard to overtake on the slow and twisty Budapest course.

Twice world champion Fernando Alonso will line up on the fourth row of the grid for Renault after finishing qualifying in seventh place ahead of Red Bull‘s Mark Webber.

Jarno Trulli ensured that both Toyotas qualified in the top 10, finishing the final session in ninth place just in front of Alonso’s team mate Nelson Piquet.

BMW-Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld was a surprise casualty of the first qualifying session, failing to go through after apparently being held up by congestion at the final bend of his last flying lap.

Heidfeld, fifth in the overall standings, will start Sunday’s race in 16th place ahead of WilliamsKazuki Nakajima and Honda‘s Rubens Barrichello, with Force India pair Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella bringing up the rear.


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