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Hungarian Grand Prix: Hamilton on pole, yet again

11:43 PM Jul 31, 2021 | Associated Press

Budapest: Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, with championship leader Max Verstappen lagging behind them in third place on Saturday.

Hamilton's record-extending 101st pole in Formula One puts him in a strong position for a record-extending 100th win on a circuit where he has won the past three races and a record eight times.

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Great efforts guys, absolutely fantastic job,” Hamilton said on radio after his third pole of the season.

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Hamilton was .315 ahead of Bottas and .421 clear of Verstappen.

It was an amazing qualifying lap,” Hamilton said as some sections of the crowd jeered him, one week after he was ruled at fault for the crash which sent Verstappen out of the British GP.

Verstappen was chasing a sixth pole this season for Red Bull. His teammate Sergio Perez placed fourth.

Verstappen led Q1, the first section of qualifying, from Hamilton and Q2 from Norris. The orange-shirted Dutch fans in one section of the main grandstand roared every time he came past them on the long straight.

But Hamilton and Bottas were quicker than Verstappen on their first runs in Q3.

Pole could prove crucial on Sunday, given that the sinewy and tight 4.4-kilometer (2.7-mile) Hungaroring circuit is arguably the hardest track to overtake on after Monaco.

Earlier, Hamilton clocked the fastest time in the third and final practice.

He placed a narrow .088 ahead of Verstappen and .229 clear of Bottas.

There is a four-week summer break after Sunday's race, where Hamilton will look to win in Hungary for a record-extending ninth time and fourth straight.

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