Hamilton scorches to third straight pole

Reuters, BUDAPEST

Sun, Jul 28, 2013 - Page 20

A stunned Lewis Hamilton scorched to his third pole position in a row for Mercedes in searing track temperatures at the Hungarian Grand Prix yesterday.

The 2008 Formula One world champion, a triple winner in Hungary with McLaren, lapped the circuit with a best time of 1 minute, 19.388 seconds to deny Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel the top slot.

“Are we on pole?” the Briton shouted over the radio on his slowing down lap at the Hungaroring.

“Yeah, we’re as surprised as you,” came the reply.

Triple world champion Vettel, who leads Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in the standings by 34 points after nine of 19 races, could manage only 1:19.426, with the track temperature hitting 50oC earlier in the session. He starts second.

Hamilton had never before in his stellar career taken three successive poles and his fourth of the season took his overall tally to 30 — one more than the late Argentine five-times champion Juan Manuel Fangio.

Frenchman Romain Grosjean qualified third for Lotus, with Hamilton’s German teammate Nico Rosberg fourth. Alonso, who has not started on pole for more than a year and turns 32 tomorrow, will start fifth.