Hamilton bags poleposted in F128 | 07 | 2012
LEWIS HAMILTON CLINCHED the 150th pole position for McLaren today. The former world champ lines up in front for the first time since Malaysia, while Bathgate's Paul di Resta could only manage 12th at the Hungaroring (see official photos of Paul di Resta in action at the Hungaroring).
Hamilton, currently fifth in the championship, 62 points behind the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso, dominated qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Fastest through the sessions, the Englishman (pictured) cruised to pole position by clocking 1min 20.953secs, 0.413s ahead of the Lotus of Romain Grosjean.
Double world champ Sebastian Vettel could only manage third for Red Bull — his team-mate Mark Webber struggled to 11th — with the second McLaren of Jenson Button fourth.
Behind the Lotus of fifth-placed Kimi Raikkonen, the two Ferris of Alonso and team-mate Felipe Massa start sixth and seventh respectively.
And with the Williams of Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna in eight and ninth, the top 10 is rounded off by Di Resta's Sahara Force India team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.
It was a tough day for a number of the big-name drivers. In addition to Webber's woes, the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher start 13th and 17th respectively.
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And the Saubers of Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi line up 14 and 15th. Hamilton though was delighted with his day's work, though he admitted he was concerned about Lotus.
"It has been a really positive weekend so far," Hamilton said, "and we can finally see the upgrades working this weekend, being able to put car in places I previously wasn't able to.
"I'm always striving for the perfect lap, and to get that is intense and exciting. If you get it right, it's incredibly empowering. This weekend we have obviously had pace, we knew it was possible but it was just a case of doing it.
"Considering we have had pace all weekend, missing pole]would have been disappointing, so I am happy I've done it.
"But we know Lotus is long through long runs and so is the Red Bull, so we just need to focus on us."
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Di Resta meanwhile, whose clocked a best time of 1:21.813s, admitted he faces a tough race tomorrow in his effort to score world championship points.
“I think there was more potential in the car today, but I couldn’t get the laptime when it counted during Q2," the Scot said afterwards.
"The main issue was trying to find track position and I had to push very hard on my out-lap to make some space, which probably took too much out of the tyres.
"It’s a shame because we were very quick in Q1 and the car has been working well here.
"We can still have a good race, but it won’t be easy with the high temperatures and the fact that it’s never easy to overtake here.”
Hungary Grand Prix, Hungaroring — Qualifying Times (Provisional);
1. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m20.953s;
2. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m21.366s +0.413;
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m21.416s +0.463;
4. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m21.583s +0.630;
5. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m21.730s +0.777;
6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m21.844s +0.891;
7. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m21.900s +0.947;
8. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m21.939s +0.986;
9. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m22.343s +1.390;
10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m22.847s +1.894;
Q2 cut-off time: 1m21.697s
11. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m21.715s +0.655;
12. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m21.813s +0.753;
13. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m21.895s +0.835;
14. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m21.895s +0.835;
15. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m22.300s +1.240;
16. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m22.380s +1.320;
17. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m22.723s +1.663;
Q1 cut-off time: 1m22.948s
18. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m23.250s +1.456;
19. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m23.576s +1.782;
20. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m24.167s +2.373;
21. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m25.244s +3.450;
22. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m25.476s +3.682;
23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m25.916s +4.122;
24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m26.178s +4.384.
Watch Paul di Resta's preview of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
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