HAMILTON EASES TO BUDAPEST POLE

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Lewis Hamilton made it a clean sweep of practice and qualifying sessions by taking a comfortable pole position in Hungary on Saturday, finishing over half a second ahead of Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg. It’s Hamilton’s fifth Budapest pole and his ninth P1 start from ten races this season.
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Behind the Silver Arrows, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel edged Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo for third on the grid, with Kimi Raikkonen fifth in the second SF15-T. Williams’ Valtteri Bottas completed the top six.

Hamilton, already fastest in FP1, FP2 and FP3, maintained his superiority in the opening Q1 session as, in sweltering conditions, he lapped at the last moment in 1m 22.890s on the soft tyres to edge out Rosberg’s 1m 22.979s by 0.089s. Vettel chased them with 1m 23.312s for Ferrari.

Further back there was brutal disappointment for McLaren’s Jenson Button, who had been third on the soft tyres but suffered an ERS deployment problem when it mattered. His lap of 1m 24.739s on softs was a tenth off Carlos Sainz’s, which meant the Toro Rosso driver got through but the Englishman didn’t.

Marcus Ericsson just edged out Sauber team mate Felipe Nasr for 16th, with 1m 24.843s to 1m 24.997s, as Roberto Merhi outqualified Marussia team mate Will Stevens, 1m 27.416s to 1m 27.949s with a stellar final effort.

McLaren’s joy at getting Fernando Alonso safely through to Q2 evaporated immediately as the Spaniard, 14th in Q1, rolled to a halt close to the pit entry on his out lap at the start of Q2. The session was red flagged as he energetically pushed the car back down the pit lane, and marshals then helped him get it back to the garage. Sadly Alonso’s efforts were in vain as the rules dictated that he was unable to continue, his car having not returned to the garage under its own steam.

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