Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has claimed his fifth pole position in Hungary, after a qualifying session that was held in 52 degrees of track temperature. Some of the warmest conditions seen all year made the task of the tyres even harder at the tight and twisty Hungaroring, where one corner flows into another with a relatively low average speed.

All the drivers used the Yellow soft tyre to get through Q1, with the exception of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who used two sets of P Zero White medium, which is theoretically around 1.8 seconds slower per lap. Nonetheless, last year’s Hungarian Grand Prix winner still managed to set 12th fastest time overall in Q1 and P4 on the grid – underlining the promising pace shown by Red Bull in free practice yesterday.

For the rest of qualifying all the drivers used the soft tyre, in order to extract the maximum performance possible for their cars. However, Q2 was interrupted with five minutes to go after the McLaren of Fernando Alonso stopped on the circuit.

Having gone quickest in all three sessions, Hamilton claimed pole with his second run in Q3 with a time of 1m22.020s: considerably faster than last year’s pole time of 1m22.715s (which was already broken in Q2). Lotus driver Romain Grosjean was the only driver in the top 10 to save a new set of soft tyres for the race, having completed his first Q3 run on a used set.

The extra speed of soft compound is likely to push the teams towards a two-stop strategy for the race tomorrow, with two stints on the soft tyre followed by a final stint on the more durable medium. This is assuming that conditions stay broadly similar to those seen today: slightly cooler weather is expected on Sunday.
 P.    DRIVER            TEAM            TIME         GAP  
 1. Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes AMG   1:22.020
 2. Nico Rosberg       Mercedes AMG   1:22.595   +  0.575
 3. Sebastian Vettel   Ferrari        1:22.739   +  0.719
 4. Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull       1:22.774   +  0.754
 5. Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari        1:23.020   +  1.000
 6. Valtteri Bottas    Williams       1:23.222   +  1.202
 7. Daniil Kvyat       Red Bull       1:23.332   +  1.312
 8. Felipe Massa       Williams       1:23.537   +  1.517
 9. Max Verstappen     Toro Rosso     1:23.679   +  1.659
10. Romain Grosjean    Lotus          1:24.181   +  2.161
    Q2 Fastest Time: Lewis Hamilton 1:22.285             
11. Nico Hulkenberg    Force India    1:23.826   +  1.826
12. Carlos Sainz JR.   Toro Rosso     1:23.869   +  1.901
13. Sergio Perez       Force India    1:24.461   +  1.950
14. Pastor Maldonado   Lotus          1:24.609   +  2.027
15. Fernando Alonso    McLaren             No time
    Q1 Fastest Time: Lewis Hamilton 1:22.890             
16. Jenson Button      McLaren        1:24.739   +  1.849
17. Marcus Ericsson    Sauber         1:24.843   +  1.953
18. Felipe Nasr        Sauber         1:24.997   +  2.107
19. Roberto Merhi      Manor          1:27.416   +  4.526
20. Will Stevens       Manor          1:27.949   +  5.099
    107% time: 1:28.692
* 2014: Nico Rosberg - Mercedes AMG - 1:22.715