Lewis Hamilton will start the Hungarian Grand Prix from fourth on the grid after a below par qualifying for the Mercedes driver who will be hunting his sixth Formula 1 victory at Hungaroring on race day.
Hamilton summed up his afternoon to reporters after qualifying, “When you drive it to a certain limit the car feels fine. But then you see Ferrari’s time and you think you can push further. So when you drive 110 per cent the car is more on a knife edge and you are just taking it into places it doesn’t want to go.”
Indeed his main championship rival Sebastian Vettel powered to pole position, beating Hamilton’s best time by over half a second.
In qualifying Hamilton was ill at ease, and complained on a number of occasions about vibrations on his car, “I don’t think there was any moment when we had a shot at pole. We couldn’t match the Ferrari’s times today.
“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 flat-spot 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.
“Ferrari have obviously made an improvement this weekend and deserve to get pole.”
Hamilton trails Vettel by a single point in the championship standings, and will line-up on the second row – behind the Reds who locked out the front row – alongside Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas who was third fastest.