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Lewis Hamilton will start the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix from pole position as he coolly dismissed the challenge of Nico Rosberg by half a second in qualifying at a scorching Hungaroring.
With temperatures exceeding 35 degrees, Hamilton – who topped all three free practice session – was similarly authoritative when it mattered in qualifying, topping Q1 and Q2 before posting an unmatched benchmark of 1min 22.020secs in the crucial Q3 session.
Rosberg had hinted at a possible challenge after getting close to his four-time Hungarian GP winning team-mate in FP3, but despite a minor improvement on his second soft tyre run, an even bigger gain from Hamilton on his final effort would put more than half a second between the two Mercedes drivers.
It means Hamilton starts from pole position for the fifth grand prix in succession, and represents his ninth pole from this year's ten qualifying sessions.
Indeed, Rosberg would find himself closer to Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo directly behind him, the former team-mates securing the second row in their respective Ferrari and Red Bull machines. It was a particularly impressive effort from last year's Hungarian GP winner Ricciardo, the Australian's risk of using only hard tyres in Q1 paying off as he came on strong in Q3, his time just four hundredths shy of securing his and the team's best starting position of the year.
Kimi Raikkonen heads up an all-Finnish third row in fifth place – exactly a second behind Hamilton -, with Valtteri Bottas leading the Williams challenge in sixth.
Having out-paced Ricciardo in practice, Daniil Kvyat will be disappointed to not be staring higher than seventh position, while Felipe Massa has work to do from eighth place after locking up on his quickest lap.
Rounding out the top ten, Max Verstappen and Romain Grosjean flew the flag for Toro Rosso and Lotus in Q3 respectively, the pair locking out the fifth row in ninth and tenth.
After starting the day looking to make up track time having been forced to miss FP2, Force India perhaps unsurprisingly slipped out of contention in Q2, Nico Hulkenberg missing the cut by just two hundredths in 11th, while Sergio Perez will get away from 13th. The pair are split by the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz in 12th and trailed by the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado in 14th.
Having shown flashes of pace to potentially carry it all the way to Q3 for the first time in 2015, McLaren-Honda's qualifying came to another frustrating conclusion, with Jenson Button first being eliminated in Q1 as gremlins left him lacking power down the home straight, before more terminal technical issues struck Fernando Alonso at the start of Q2.
Leaving him stranded at the entrance to the pit-lane, Alonso's stoppage brought out the red flag and even prompted a brave effort to push the car back to the garage himself, but without a lap time he will start 15th, potential penalties notwithstanding.
Joining Button in falling at the first qualifying hurdle, Sauber and Manor failed to progress beyond Q1, Marcus Ericsson out-qualifying Felipe Nasr for the second consecutive race, while Roberto Merhi will start in front of Will Stevens for the third time in four races.