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Sat, 28 July, 2012Hamilton secures dominant Hungarian GP pole

  • Lewis Hamilton (McLaren). 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix, Rd 2, Practice day. Sepang, Malaysia. Friday 23 March 2012. © McLaren.
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Lewis Hamilton starts tomorrow's Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest from pole position after a crushingly dominant display in qualifying on Saturday afternoon. After posting the fastest times in both Friday practice sessions, Hamilton went quickest in all three segments of qualifying, before eventually securing pole by over four tenths of a second.

Other than a scruffy first lap at the beginning of Q1, the 2008 champion was unstoppable throughout the hour and only required a single run in Q2 to make progress, as his rivals burned another set of tyres to make their place in the top ten definite.

Hamilton's pole-setting laptime was a 1m20.953s, well clear of Lotus's Romain Grosjean (1m21.366s) and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel (1m21.416s). Button (1m21.583s) came fourth in the sister McLaren, with Kimi Räikkönen taking fifth in the second Lotus (1m21.730s).

Fernando Alonso made it five world champions in the top six on a time of 1m21.844s, with the championship leader just about beating his team-mate Felipe Massa (1m21.900s). Rounding out the top ten were Williams' Pastor Maldonado (1m21.939s) and Bruno Senna (1m22.343s) and Force India's Nico Hülkenberg (1m22.847s).

Quite a few high-profile names failed to progress beyond Q2, with current championship runner-up Mark Webber and both Mercedes failing to make the top ten. Webber starts 11th on a 1m21.715s, one tenth clear of Force India's Paul di Resta (1m21.813s).

Nico Rosberg (1m21.895s) will start 13th, with Sauber's Sergio Pérez having set an identical laptime to the German, but will start behind having set it later in the session. Kamui Kobayashi (1m22.300s) starts 15th, ahead of Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne (1m22.380s) and the second Mercedes of Michael Schumacher (1m22.723s).

Daniel Ricciardo joined the usual suspects in the drop-out zone of Q1 at the wheel of his Toro Rosso, with his time of 1m23.250s putting him 18th on the grid, his worst starting position of the season so far.

The Australian was just three tenths clear of the lead Caterham of Heikki Kovalainen (1m23.576s), with Vitaly Petrov (1m24.167s), Marussia's Charles Pic (1m25.244s) and Timo Glock (1m25.476s) and HRT's Pedro de la Rosa (1m25.916s) and Narain Karthikeyn (1m26.178s) taking their usual places on the final three rows of the grid.

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