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Hamilton puts McLaren on pole in Hungary

August 03, 2008 08:29 IST

World championship leader Lewis Hamilton [Images] put himself on course for a third successive Grand Prix victory after grabbing an emphatic pole position for Sunday's Hungarian race.

The Briton powered around the blisteringly hot Hungaroring track in one minute 20.899 seconds, with team mate Heikki Kovalainen posting the second best time of 1:21.140.

"It's been a pretty decent weekend for us so far and I feel safe with the position we're in," Hamilton told a news conference.

"The team have done a great job in improving our car even from the last weekend and it would be great to get a 1-2 on Sunday. It would be about time."

Hamilton's nearest rival for the drivers' title, Ferrari's [Images] Felipe Massa [Images], had to settle for third place after finishing his last flying lap in 1:21.191.

"I wasn't 100 percent happy with my laps in Q3," said Massa, who trails Hamilton by four points in the standings. "I went out on the track at a little bit of a wrong time when there were too many cars around.

"That made it really tricky for the preparation of my tyres but I think our lap times from the first two qualifying sessions showed that we are pretty strong.

"I definitely have the feeling we can push these guys tomorrow."

Massa's team mate Kimi Raikkonen [Images] will start in a disappointing sixth place behind BMW-Sauber's Robert Kubica and Toyota's Timo Glock.

The qualifying result will give a huge advantage to the McLaren team, who should prove hard to overtake on the slow and twisty Budapest course.

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