Hamilton heads McLaren one-two in qualifying 02 Aug 2008
Qualifying in Hungary saw Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen wrap up the first all-McLaren front row since Monza 2007, leaving Felipe Massa to take third for Ferrari and team mate Kimi Raikkonen a little breathless on the third row in sixth place.
Massa was the only man to trouble Hamilton throughout qualifying. The Englishman lapped in 1m 19.376s to dominate Q1, but was only third in Q2 where the Brazilian set the pace with 1m 19.068s.
Tyre choice proved crucial. Hamilton used the softer Bridgestone in Q2 and planned to run it in Q3, but Massas speed on the harder tyre in that second session prompted McLaren to switch to the prime tyre instead. On that, Hamilton proved dominant again with a lap of 1m 20.899s, which gave McLaren their eighth pole in Hungary, and him his 10th overall.
Kovalainen backed him strongly with 1m 21.140s, the difference in times most likely explained by fuel load. Massa was only fifth with seconds to go, but banged in a lap of 1m 21.191s at the end and is confident that Ferrari have the package to challenge McLaren on Sunday.
So who was between the two red cars? Robert Kubica gave all the visiting Poles something to cheer with fourth place for BMW Sauber in 1m 21.281s, while Timo Glock enjoyed his best-ever qualifying to take fifth for Toyota with 1m 21.326s. Raikkonen was thus left on the inside of row three on 1m 21.516s.
Both Renaults made it through to Q3, with Fernando Alonso seventh on 1m 21.698s and Nelson Piquet 10th on 1m 22.371s. Between them were Mark Webber in eighth for Red Bull on 1m 21.732s, and Jarno Trulli in the other Toyota on 1m 21.767s.
Sebastian Vettel recovered superbly from his lack of track time on Friday to claim 11th for Toro Rosso with 1m 20.144s. Jenson Button was 12th after a strong effort for Honda yielded 1m 20.332s, then came Red Bulls David Coulthard (1m 20.502s), Toro Rossos Sebastien Bourdais (1m 20.963s) and Nico Rosberg, who had problems and did not actually run after making it through from Q1.
Buttons late burst speed in Q1 pushed BMW Saubers Nick Heidfeld into oblivion, and the German was clearly inferring with a waved hand that he felt he had been impeded through the final corner by a car ahead of him. He had to be content with 1m 21.045s for only 16th place, leaving him a mountain to climb in Sundays race.
Williams Kazuki Nakajima could not improve on 1m 21.085s for 17th ahead of Hondas Rubens Barrichello on 1m 21.332s, Force Indias Giancarlo Fisichella on 1m 21.670s and team mate Adrian Sutil, the only man not to dip below 1m 22s, on 1m 22.113s.