Hamilton captures pole for Hungarian GP

Lewis Hamilton from McLaren will start on the pole for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix after a superb performance in qualifying.

Hamilton topped Lotus' Romain Grosjean and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel in Saturday's qualifying session with a lap time around the 2.722-mile, 14-turn Hungaroring course in 1 minute, 20.953 seconds. He earned his third pole of the season and the 22nd of his Formula One career. It's also the third time the Brit will start up front in the Hungarian GP.

"It's been a really positive weekend so far, and the guys have done an incredible job as always in preparing the car," Hamilton said. "Every lap has been quite good throughout practice and in qualifying."

Hamilton has won the Hungarian GP twice (2007 and '09). He enters this race fifth in the world championship standings, as he trails leader Fernando Alonso by a distant 62 points.

Grosjean will start on the front row for the first time this season after qualifying 0.413 seconds behind Hamilton.

"It's good to be back at the front," Grosjean said. "We had a difficult German Grand Prix (last weekend) and a difficult start here in Hungary. The guys did a fantastic job in setting up the car and finding out what was wrong. I think tomorrow's race is going to be interesting."

Vettel, the two-time defending F1 world champion, struggled early in qualifying but bounced back in the final segment (Q3) to place third. He had won the pole for the Hungarian GP the past two seasons.

"I think the speed is there, but it seems extremely difficult once you lose the balance of the car, and I think we were struggling with that a little bit," Vettel said. "It got better throughout qualifying."

Vettel and his teammate, Mark Webber, barely made it out of Q1, ending the session in 16th and 17th. Webber failed to advance out of Q2. He will start 11th.

"On my last run there, I didn't get the most out of my tires," Webber said. "It's disappointing to qualify there, but we look forward to the race tomorrow."

Jenson Button, the defending Hungarian GP winner, put his McLaren car fourth on the grid, while Kimi Raikkonen from Lotus qualified fifth.

Ferrari drivers Alonso and Felipe Massa will line up sixth and seventh, respectively. Williams' Pastor Maldonado will roll off eighth, followed by his teammate, Bruno Senna. Nico Hulkenberg will start 10th for Force India.

Alonso currently holds a 34-point lead over Webber and a 44-point advantage over Vettel.

The Hungarian GP is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. (ET).