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Lewis Hamilton feels that Mercedes stood no chance of taking Formula 1 pole for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday, believing Ferrari always had a pace advantage.

Hamilton entered qualifying chasing a record-equalling 68th career pole, and appeared to be in contention after leading Q2 for Mercedes.

Ferrari turned up the wick in Q3 and secured a front row lock-out, with Hamilton lagging to fourth place behind Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, complaining of a vibration on his tyre throughout the session.

"I don't think there was any moment when we had a shot at pole. We couldn't match the Ferrari's times today," Hamilton said.

"The vibrations I had didn't cause any issue to do with the balance, what happens is that it's like a road car tyre, so when you have an imbalanced wheel as soon as you drive out and go down the straight it's almost like having a flatspot before you've even started.

"Unless it's a really bad vibration, which a couple of them were, it doesn't get massively in the way but when you go through the corners it's a false reading you're getting on top of all the other readings you are getting for the balance.

"But that wasn't the reason that the pace wasn't where it was. They have obviously made an improvement this weekend and deserve to get pole."



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