Hamilton breaks records as Mercedes lock out front row

Budapest (AFP) –


Lewis Hamilton broke the circuit lap record and drew level with Michael Schumacher for another feat on Saturday as he claimed a record-increasing 90th pole position of his career for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

The six-time world champion clocked a stunning time of one minute and 13.447 seconds on his second run in final qualifying to finish just ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas as Mercedes reeled off their 65th front=row lockout.

It was Hamilton's second successive pole of the COVID-19 delayed season and his Schumacher-equalling seventh pole at the Hungaroring where on Sunday he seeks his eighth victory, potentially drawing level with another Schumacher achievement for wins on the same track.

Schumacher won eight times at the French Grand Prix.

"I have to pinch myself," said Hamilton. "It doesn't register. It's quite humbling because I work with an incredible bunch of people who do an amazing job here and back home.

"And Valtteri doesn't make it easy for me. It takes perfection to do laps like that so this is one of the things I enjoy most."

Bottas said he expected it to be close. "We seem to be on another level, pretty far ahead of the others. My laps were ok, but I couldn't go faster really."

Behind the two 'black arrows', the controversial 'pink Mercedes' of Racing Point were third and fourth with Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez ahead of a much-improved showing by four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc for Ferrari.

Max Verstappen was a disappointed seventh for Red Bull, Lando Norris eighth ahead of his McLaren team-mate Carlos Sainz with Pierre Gasly, in his 50th Grand Prix, 10th for Alpha Tauri.