Hamilton takes pole for Hungarian GP
Briton Lewis Hamilton confirmed that he and McLaren have recovered their form when he swept to a dominant pole position in Saturday's closely-fought qualifying session for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.
Driving with supreme speed and consistency, the 27-year-old Briton clocked a best time of one minute and 20.953 seconds to top the times ahead of nearest rival Frenchman Romain Grosjean in a Lotus.
Grosjean secured his front row starting position with a fast lap in the final seconds of a tight session to move ahead of third-placed defending drivers champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull and Hamilton's teammate and compatriot Jenson Button.
Finn Kimi Raikkonen was fifth in the second Lotus ahead of championship leader Fernando Alonso of Spain and his Ferrari teammate Brazilian Felipe Massa.
Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado was eighth ahead of his Williams teammate Brazilian Bruno Senna and German Nico Hulkenberg in the leading Force India.
For Hamilton, it was a third pole of the year and the 22nd of his career.
On a hot afternoon at the Hungaroring, 25 kilometres north of Budapest, the track temperature was 45 degrees Celsius when qualifying began, with Grosjean one of the first men out.
The morning had been dominated by paddock gossip about another controversy surrounding the Red Bull team who, it was claimed, had been told to remove a device that allowed them to adjust their front ride-height by hand.
The claim came from the German magazine Auto Motor und Sport which said also that the incident happened following the Canadian Grand Prix.
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The final minutes saw some dramatic scrapping for positions before, unexpectedly, Webber was unable to beat the cut and was eliminated in 11th place along with Briton Paul Di Resta of Force India who was 12th.
Also out went German Nico Rosberg of Mercedes, Mexican Sergio Perez and his Sauber teammate Japanese Kamui Kobayashi, Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso and seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher of Germany who was 17th in the second Mercedes.
All this left Hamilton fastest again and looking supremely fast ahead of Vettel and Maldonado as they began their final countdown for the top ten shootout.
But when the final Q3 action began, Hamilton had to pull out of a fast lap when the back end of his McLaren appeared to twitch before he clocked a fastest lap to set the pace. After that it was down to the rest to try and catch him.
1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1:20.953
2. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Renault 1:21.366
3. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull - Renault 1:21.416
4. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1:21.583
5. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus - Renault 1:21.730
6. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1:21.844
7. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1:21.900
8. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams - Renault 1:21.939
9. Bruno Senna (Brazil) Williams - Renault 1:22.343
10. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 1:22.847
11. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault
12. Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India - Mercedes
13. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes
14. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber - Ferrari
15. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber - Ferrari
16. Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso - Ferrari
17. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes
18. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso - Ferrari
19. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham - Renault
20. Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Caterham - Renault
21. Charles Pic (France) Marussia - Cosworth
22. Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia - Cosworth
23. Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) HRT - Cosworth
24. Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT - Cosworth