Lewis Hamilton claims Hungary pole

  • Last Updated: July 28 2012, 18:11 BST

Lewis Hamilton will start Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix from pole position having dominated all three qualifying sessions.

Lewis Hamilton claims Hungary pole

The Englishman's time of 1:20.953 is a full four tenths of a second quicker than Romain Grosjean, with whom he shares the front row. It is the Frenchman's best qualifying result yet.

Hungary represents Hamilton's 22nd career pole position and the 150th in the McLaren team's history. He has won this race twice before, in 2007 and 2009.

Having fallen 62 points behind championship leader Fernando Alonso, Hamilton's target this weekend is clear. The pressure is on to bounce back from his retirement in last weekend's German Grand Prix.

"The last race was tough because we had the pace to get a one-two probably," he said, "but the puncture ruined our race. This weekend, though, has been really positive so far."

Sebastian Vettel overcame his struggles earlier to grab the third place on the grid but his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber was less happy with his final set of soft tyres, failing to reach the Q3 shootout and settling for 11th on the grid.

Both Mercedes drivers also failed to make the cut, with Nico Rosberg thirteenth and Michael Schumacher, who lost time when Pastor Maldonado's Williams kicked a cloud of dirt onto the track before Turn 8, finishing 17th.

"It was quite a tough and difficult day for us," said Schumacher, who has four Hungarian Grand Prix winner's trophies at home.

"We did not have the pace to be in the front. I could have done a faster lap probably, without the dust having been brought to the track by Maldonado, but then I still do not think it would have brought me into Q3."

Alonso was sixth fastest behind Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus. "It was better than I expected to be honest," said the Spaniard.

"Because we were a little bit worried about the Q3 possibilities with the two Lotuses, two Red Bulls and two McLarens, and Force India also looked quite quick.

"Sixth is a reasonable position at the moment. Second in the championship is Webber, and he starts 11th, so hopefully we can keep him behind the whole race."

Alonso admitted it may be too much to hope for his fourth win of the season.

"We have to be honest, we are not in a position to be as quick as the leaders here," he said.

"Victory tomorrow at the moment I think is difficult for us. We need some strange race or wet conditions or something like that, which may happen".

Forecasts suggest a 50 percent chance of rain during the race.

Since McLaren updated its car at Hockenheim, however, Hamilton is confident he can manage his tyre situation.

"I definitely don't believe our car can go the longest on a stint, but we can go longer than we did previously," he said.

"As Jenson [Button] showed, we had pace in the last race and should have it this time as well. For me, if there's any concern for tomorrow at all it's for the start.

"There have been quite a few starts where I haven't got off the line and lost ground, so that's the target and from there you can have a positive race. And no flat tyres, of course."