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Lewis Hamilton takes crushing pole in Hungary

2015-07-25 21:35:04

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton took a superb pole position at the Hungarian Grand Prix, beating Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by more than half a second.

The British world champion has dominated all weekend and looked untouchable throughout qualifying.

He was fastest on his first lap in the final session and Rosberg was unable to match that even at his second attempt, as Hamilton went quicker still.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel just pipped Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo for third.

Fernando AlonsoFernando Alonso pushed his car back to the pits after breaking down during the second session of qualifying, drawing great support for his determination from fans across social media

The Australian ended up just 0.035secs adrift of his former team-mate and Red Bull will have hopes of beating Ferrari to the final podium place in the race on Sunday.

Neither are likely to be able to challenge Mercedes, with Hamilton and Rosberg apparently untouchable at the front.

Hamilton's final lap was 0.575secs quicker than Rosberg's best effort and 0.719secs ahead of the German Vettel.

"I'm incredibly happy with the weekend," said Hamilton. "I can't remember having a performance as good as this."

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff revealed that Hamilton had been set for an even faster time but lost 0.2secs in one corner.

Hamilton set a benchmark of one minute 22.408 seconds on his first run in the final session, with Rosberg on 1:22.706.

The German lowered his time to 1:22.595 on his second attempt and Hamilton, who had still to complete his lap, could have left it there. But he kept going and lowered his mark to 1:22.020.

"I don't have an explanation," said Rosberg. "Qualifying went pretty much to plan, but I didn't find the pace. It has been a bit up and down all weekend for some reason. We need to look into it tonight.

"I am definitely not happy with how it went today."

How much it meant to Hamilton was clear as he punched his fist in delight in the cockpit before raising his arm out of the car and doing it again for the crowd.

Behind Ricciardo, Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was fifth ahead of Williams's Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat.

The second Williams of Felipe Massa was eighth, from Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen and Lotus's Romain Grosjean.

It was another dismal day for McLaren. Their practice form promised an improved showing, but Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button will line up 15th and 16th after two separate reliability problems hindered their progress.

Alonso made into the second knock-out session but his car shut down on his first lap, grinding to a halt at the entry to the pit lane.

Alonso inadvertently provided a metaphor for McLaren-Honda's season so far when he jumped out and started desperately pushing the car back to the pits in an attempt to get out on track again.

The two-time champion struggled on his own for a while, before finally being joined by marshals, only to be told when he got back to the pits that the rules forbade him from running again.

"I was not allowed to compete again after the car doesn't arrive by itself into the garage, so when I knew the rules I thought: 'Why did I push so hard?'" Alonso said with a rueful smile afterwards.

Button missed out on getting out of the first session by just over 0.1secs after his hybrid system failed to work on the pit straight.

"We had no electrical power all the way down the straight," Button said. "That's about 0.3secs so it would have been easily into Q2. I was enjoying myself out there, that's the shame. Hopefully the race will be reasonable."

Full qualifying results

Daniel RicciardoDaniel Ricciardo, who knew Jules Bianchi since karting days, paid tribute to his friend and colleague on his cap

Jules Bianchi tributeTribute messages for Bianchi were displayed on helmets and cars, including this one on the Force India

Source: bbc.co.uk

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