Mercedes drivers surprised by qualifying speed

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Lewis Hamilton surprised himself by taking the 30th pole position of his career this afternoon at the Hungaroring and his fourth at this circuit. His Mercedes AMG team mate Nico Rosberg qualified 4th but was hampered by his brake balance quick adjuster becoming stuck during his final lap.

Lewis Hamilton, F1 W04 / 04, 1st: "I was really surprised when the guys told me over the radio that I was on pole today. It was a good lap but I thought Sebastian had done enough. So it's fantastic - and also to get three pole positions in a row. It's great to start from the front but, like we know, the race is where we score the points. Looking to tomorrow, this is a tough circuit to overtake on but it's also a long run down to the first corner, and both Seb and the Lotus cars will be really quick. We have a good car but the race will come down to how we use the tyres. We are working hard to improve in that area and we had some reasonable long runs yesterday. We'll have to see how it goes because it's going to be tough in these high temperatures. I would love to have a real race with the guys around me, a proper battle, and the goal has to be to collect as many points as we can."

Nico Rosberg, F1 W04 / 03, 4th: "Our speed was a bit of a surprise today as the car set-up work was focused on good race pace this weekend. But it worked quite well in the hot temperatures. It's great for the team to be starting from fourth and pole position. I hope we can have a good start even though I'm on the dirtier side of the grid. Qualifying did not go perfectly for me at the end, it didn't help that my brake balance adjuster got stuck, so I couldn't change it around the lap. That cost me a little, but the pole wasn't possible today. Now we look forward to tomorrow and I'm confident that we look better in the hot conditions than in the previous race."

Ross Brawn, Team principal: "First of all, I want to compliment the engineers, the drivers and our technicians back at the factory for the job they have done so far this weekend. We had a lot of work to do here in order to understand the tyres and we have made progress through every session, improving our understanding with every lap. We are still on a good upward slope of progress and hopefully there will be more room to improve tomorrow. Lewis put in an exceptional lap at the end of Qualifying, it was a really impressive performance. Nico did a good job too - all the more so considering he had a small car problem halfway through the lap - and the great thing about our driver pairing is how they consistently push each other to new heights. We know that we have a challenging race ahead of us tomorrow, with record temperatures forecast, and that will be the opportunity to see exactly what progress we have made."

Toto Wolff, Executive director (business): "We prepared well for the race during the practice sessions, collecting the information we needed, and managed to perform well in Qualifying in spite of the very high temperatures. So we have a good basis for tomorrow with first and fourth positions representing a very strong team result. Lewis delivered a lap that seemed about perfect while Nico had a small car problem that certainly cost him some lap time. Now we need to wait and see tomorrow just how well we have prepared for the race and how we cope on these new tyres in the hot conditions."


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