Lewis Hamilton will start from pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix

For the first time since the Malaysian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton will start from pole position, having today earned the McLaren team’s 150th pole position in the team’s history ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Having been quickest in two of the three preceding practice sessions, Hamilton was comfortably quickest in each of the three phases in qualifying, and secured pole position with his first flying lap in the final shootout in Q3. Rubbing salt in the wounds of his nine other rivals, he then lowered the benchmark on his final tour to win pole by over four-tenths of a second from Romain Grosjean.

For Grosjean, the result represents a career-best qualifying result. The Frenchman will start ahead of defending champion Sebastian Vettel and defending Hungary race-winner Jenson Button, who were third- and fourth-quickest respectively for Red Bull and McLaren.

In a good day for the Lotus F1 team, Kimi Räikkönen managed the fifth-fastest time in Q3, ahead of the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, while Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna got both Williams’ into Q3 for the first time this season. Nico Hülkenberg was the slowest of the Q3 runners in the fourth successive occasion that he has out-qualified Force India team-mate Paul di Resta.

The Q3 appearances of the less-fancied Massa and Senna served as the giant-killing performances that saw the likes of Mark Webber and both Mercedes runners eliminated in Q2. Webber was just bumped in the closing stages after he was unable to improve on his first flying lap in Q2, while Mercedes simply had a shocker. Nico Rosberg will line up 13th after missing out on Q3 by four tenths of a second, while Michael Schumacher was the slowest of all the runners in Q2.

The first phase of qualifying was an action-packed affair, and while it was little surprise to see the Caterhams, Marussia and HRTF1 entries assume a Noah’s Ark formation on the final three rows of the grid once again, this time it was Daniel Ricciardo who joined them for an early bath in qualifying.

Heikki Kovalainen gave some of the more fancied runners a scare in Q1 by getting close to making it into the top-seventeen, while further behind, Charles Pic once again outperformed Marussia team-mate Timo Glock to claim 21st position on the grid.

2012 Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix – Qualifying Session Times:

Driver Team Time Gap
1. Lewis Hamilton GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 1:20.953
2. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus F1 Renault E20 1:21.366 + 0.413
3. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Racing Renault RB8 1:21.416 + 0.463
4. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 1:21.583 + 0.630
5. Kimi Räikkönen FIN Lotus F1 Renault E20 1:21.730 + 0.777
6. Fernando Alonso ESP Scuderia Ferrari F2012 1:21.844 + 0.891
7. Felipe Massa BRA Scuderia Ferrari F2012 1:21.900 + 0.947
8. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Renault FW34 1:21.939 + 0.986
9. Bruno Senna BRA Williams Renault FW34 1:22.343 + 1.390
10. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Force India Mercedes VJM05 1:22.847 + 1.894
  Q2 Cut-Off – 1:21.497   Time Gap
11. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Racing Renault RB8 1:21.715 + 0.218
12. Paul di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes VJM05 1:21.813 + 0.316
13. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes AMG F1 W03 1:21.895 + 0.398
14. Sergio Pérez MEX Sauber Ferrari C31 1:21.895 + 0.398
15. Kamui Kobayashi JPN Sauber Ferrari C31 1:22.300 + 0.803
16. Jean-Éric Vergne FRA Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7 1:22.380 + 0.883
17. Michael Schumacher DEU Mercedes AMG F1 W03 1:22.723 + 1.226
  Q1 Cut-Off – 1:22.829   Time Gap
18. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7 1:23.250 + 0.421
19. Heikki Kovalainen FIN Caterham Renault CT01 1:23.574 + 0.745
20. Vitaly Petrov RUS Caterham Renault CT01 1:24.147 + 1.318
21. Charles Pic FRA Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01 1:25.244 + 2.415
22. Timo Glock DEU Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01 1:25.476 + 2.647
23. Pedro de la Rosa ESP HRTF1 Cosworth F112 1:25.916 + 3.087
24. Narain Karthikeyan IND HRTF1 Cosworth F112 1:26.178 + 3.349

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.