Lewis Hamilton has romped to pole position for the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix, half a second ahead of Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel.

On top in all three qualifying sessions, pole position never seemed to be in doubt for the championship leader as he claimed his ninth pole position for the year.

It was Rosberg’s turn to take to the track first ahead of his team-mate. He registered a 1:22.766 on his first lap in Q3 to set the pace for the remainder of the session. Hamilton was quick to demote Rosberg’s time posting a 1:22.408 putting him on provisional pole, a lap which would eventually be good enough for pole position.

Rosberg’s second attempt was far from perfect as an average middle sector cost him the chance to snatch pole from Hamilton, who was also on his final flying lap in which he went even faster to register a 1:22.020.

Mercedes didn’t seem too confident early in qualifying as they chose use the Soft compound tyre in Q1, such is the time difference between the Soft and Medium compounds. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo gambled to stay on the Medium tyre in Q1, a gamble which paid off as he saved a set of Soft tyres for tomorrow’s race.

Rosberg spent much of Q1 and Q2 complaining of understeer and the balance of his car, he even played engineer by suggesting the tyre pressures may be different, as he couldn’t understand why the car’s setup was so different to the practice session.

McLaren’s qualifying session started well and many punters believed that the Woking team were a good chance to make Q3. In Q1 both cars were running in the top 10 with Jenson Button placing as high as third, however, it wasn’t to last as he was bumped down to the dropout zone and failed to make Q2 after his ERS failed to kick in on the main straight. He missed the cut off by a tenth of a second.

Fernando Alonso’s McLaren didn’t perform much better than Button’s despite making it into Q2. The Spaniard was completing his first lap when his engine broke down just before the pitlane entrance. Refusing to be beaten again by his McLaren, Alonso got out and pushed the MP4-30 back to the garage. His efforts were in vain though as he was unable to re-join the session.

Ricciardo has set himself up nicely for tomorrow’s race, saving a set of Soft tyres as well as qualifying in fourth position ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. Just 0.04s separated the Australian with his former team-mate Vettel in third.

Daniil Kvyat confirmed the pace Red Bull has at the Hungaroring, also qualifying in the top 10 in seventh place, sandwiched between the two Williams drivers of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa.

Romain Grosjean bounced back after struggling with his car setup early in qualifying to finish in 10th, while his team-mate Pastor Maldonado failed to make an impression down in 14th.

Formula 1 Pirelli Magyar Nagydíj 2015 – Qualifying Results
Pos Q3 Qualifiers Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton uk Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid 1:22.020 20
2. Nico Rosberg de Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid 1:22.595 + 0.575 21
3. Sebastian Vettel de Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T 1:22.739 + 0.719 17
4. Daniel Ricciardo au Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11 1:22.774 + 0.754 20
5. Kimi Räikkönen fi Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T 1:23.020 + 1.000 16
6. Valtteri Bottas fi Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37 1:23.222 + 1.202 19
7. Daniil Kvyat ru Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11 1:23.332 + 1.312 17
8. Felipe Massa br Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37 1:23.537 + 1.517 20
9. Max Verstappen nl Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10 1:23.679 + 1.659 18
10. Romain Grosjean fr Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid 1:24.181 + 2.161 18
Pos Q2 Qualifiers Team / Entry Time Gap* Laps
11. Nico Hülkenberg de Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08 1:23.826 + 1.541 13
12. Carlos Sainz Jr. es Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10 1:23.869 + 1.584 16
13. Sergio Pérez mx Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08 1:24.461 + 2.176 14
14. Pastor Maldonado ve Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid 1:24.609 + 2.324 12
15. Fernando Alonso es McLaren Honda MP4-30 no time 7
Pos Q1 Qualifiers Team / Entry Time Gap** Laps
16. Jenson Button uk McLaren Honda MP4-30 1:24.739 + 1.849 0
17. Marcus Ericsson se Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34 1:24.843 + 1.953 20
18. Felipe Nasr br Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34 1:24.997 + 2.107 18
19. Roberto Merhi es Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03 1:27.416 + 4.526 11
20. Will Stevens uk Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03 1:27.949 + 5.059 10

* Denotes gap to fastest Q2 time of 1:22.285 posted by Lewis Hamilton

** Denotes gap to fastest Q1 time of 1:22.890 posted by Lewis Hamilton

Image via XPB Images

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Josh Kruse

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