Budapest, Hungary – Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes claimed his third consecutive Formula One pole after edging Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel in Saturday's qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
With track temperatures soaring above 120 degrees Fahrenheit (50 Celsius), Hamilton made a lap around the 2.722-mile Hungaroring circuit in 1 minute, 19.388 seconds. He notched his fourth pole of the season and the 30th of his F1 career.
"The (high) temperatures made it pretty tough," Hamilton said. "I was really surprised when I came across the line and they said I got the pole. I was expecting Sebastian to get it, because he had shown some serious pace before. And it didn't even feel that great of a lap. So I was quite surprised."
Hamilton, the 2008 world champion, has three victories in the Hungarian GP, which is the most among active drivers. He started on the pole and won this event in his final season with McLaren last year.
Vettel, the three-time defending F1 world champion, held the provisional pole with a lap in 1:19.426 until Hamilton topped it in the closing seconds of the session. Vettel won the most recent grand prix in Germany, his home country, on July 7. He has yet to win in Hungary.
"Lewis did a good job," Vettel said. "I put in a strong lap, and I had to sets of new tires. I was pretty happy with both laps. Maybe on the second try I was losing out a little bit in the middle sector. It was very twisty, a lot of corners in a short amount of time. Maybe I wasn't aggressive enough there."
Romain Grosjean placed his Lotus third on the starting grid with a lap in 1:19.595. Grosjean started second and finished third in his first Hungarian GP last year.
"It's been a good weekend so far," Grosjean said. "Our last lap was a pretty good lap. But those guys (Hamilton and Vettel) were really quick."
Hamilton's teammate, Nico Rosberg, qualified fourth, while Fernando Alonso from Ferrari took the fifth spot.
Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen placed sixth, followed by Felipe Massa from Ferrari and Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo. Sergio Perez from McLaren and Vettel's teammate, Mark Webber, completed the top-10. Webber did not participate in Q3 after he experienced issues with the gearbox and KERS in his Red Bull during Q2.
Sunday's 70-lap Hungarian GP is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. ET.