Hamilton storms to Hungarian pole position
28 July 2012 – Lewis Hamilton was unstoppable in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix, picking up McLaren’s 150th pole position. Romain Grosjean will start second, a career-best for the reigning GP2 Champion, with Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button on Row 2. Championship leader Fernando Alonso lines up sixth, with Michael Schumacher 17th.
There have been few incidents all weekend so far, with Q1 maintaining that fact. As Button struggled for rear tyre temperatures, Hamilton set the pace while Kamui Kobayashi bumped Daniel Ricciardo out at the first hurdle. This marked the first time in the season season that the Australian had fallen at the earliest possible point, with Marussia’s Charles Pic beating team-mate Timo Glock for the fourth time despite the latter having a new chassis.
A big winner of Q3 was Williams, which kept up its promising speed from practice to witness a double top ten result for the first time in 2012; Bruno Senna, starting ninth, managed the top ten for the first time this year.
It initially looked as though as many as four drivers may have chosen not to post a lap time in Q3, in a bid to save tyres, but all ten contenders did eventually leave the pits. Unsurprisingly, Hamilton led the way, with Grosjean missing out on the leading time of 1:20.953 by four tenths of a second. Third was an achievement for Vettel, considering his team-mate’s lowly position and the fact that he has also out-qualified a McLaren, but the result did signal an end to his two-year pole run at the Hungaroring.
In eighth, Felipe Massa had his best opportunity of the season to out-qualify team-mate Alonso, but missed out by 56 thousandths of a second. As Williams celebrated a double top ten result, Nico Hülkenberg qualified in the top ten for the fourth consecutive race.
McLaren’s 150th pole comes 11 weeks after it originally had, as Hamilton lost his Barcelona result when there was not enough fuel left for a sample.
The team’s first pole came at the 1972 Canadian Grand Prix, with American Pete Revson having achieved it at the Mosport circuit.
Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix begins at 2pm local time (BST +1) and can also be tracked through the interactive GPUpdate.net live report