Motor racing: Hamilton on cloud nine after pole at Hungarian GP

Briton nabs pole with blinding lap as Rosberg fumes at inability to keep up with team-mate

Lewis Hamilton's qualifying lap was more than half a second faster than that of Nico Rosberg, putting him in prime position for a fifth Hungarian Grand Prix win.
Lewis Hamilton's qualifying lap was more than half a second faster than that of Nico Rosberg, putting him in prime position for a fifth Hungarian Grand Prix win.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BUDAPEST • Defending Formula One champion and series leader Lewis Hamilton is in prime position to record a fifth Hungarian Grand Prix victory, after claiming pole position in qualifying yesterday.

His dominance was not just exemplified by the topping of all three sessions and all three sectors, but also a blistering lap more than half a second faster than his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

It is the fifth time in succession - and ninth time this season - that Hamilton has out-performed Rosberg in qualifying.

His pole success - after clocking 1min 22.020sec - 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 before a race that marks the halfway point of the season.


  • 1st row

    Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes

    Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes

  • 2nd row

    Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull

  • 3rd row

    Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Williams

  • 4th row

    Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Red Bull

    Felipe Massa (Bra) Williams

  • 5th row

    Max Verstappen (Ned) Toro Rosso

    Romain Grosjean (Fra) Lotus

  • Selected

    15 Fernando Alonso (Esp) McLaren

    16 Jenson Button (Gbr) McLaren


"I'm incredibly happy with the weekend, I can't remember having a performance as good as this," said the 30-year-old Briton.

"I'm liking the weather, loving the city. I love the track, it feels a bit like an old go-kart circuit that we used to race on many years ago."

Rosberg, who has won three times to Hamilton's five victories this season, was on pole in Hungary last year. But he had no response to his team-mate this time on a hot and hazy afternoon.

"I don't have an explanation," he said. "I just didn't find the pace.

"It's been a bit up and down all weekend, I'm definitely not happy with how it went today."

It was the 47th pole position of Hamilton's career. It lifted him clear of fellow Briton Damon Hill with his 18th successive front-row start, leaving only the legendary Ayrton Senna to catch on 24.

Rival team chief Christian Horner of Red Bull noted that there was no catching Hamilton for now.

"Lewis is high on confidence at the moment and he wants to be the quickest in every session," he said.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel was third fastest ahead of Australian Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull and Finn Kimi Raikkonen, fifth in the second Ferrari.

McLaren, a team with an impressive record in Hungary, endured another tough afternoon with Fernando Alonso pushing his broken down car back to the pit lane.

The second phase of qualifying was red-flagged to allow marshals to help the sweating Spaniard get the McLaren off the track.

Alonso will line up in 15th place with team-mate Jenson Button alongside in 16th. Both drivers took their first grand prix wins in Hungary but even a point will be a bonus this time around.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 26, 2015, with the headline 'HAMILTON DOMINATES IN HUNGARY'. Print Edition | Subscribe