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The Circuit

Hamilton heads McLaren 1-2 in Hungary qualifying

  • Story Highlights
  • World championship leader Lewis Hamilton on track for third successive race win
  • McLaren driver claims pole position for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix
  • Briton will be joined on front row of the grid by teammate Heikki Kovalainen
  • Ferrari's Felipe Massa qualifies third while teammate Kimi Raikkonen is sixth
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(CNN) -- World championship leader Lewis Hamilton is on track for a third successive race victory after claiming pole position for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

McLaren star Lewis Hamilton will be seeking to win for the second year in a row in Budapest.

McLaren star Lewis Hamilton will be seeking to win for the second year in a row in Budapest.

The McLaren driver, who won in Budapest last year, will start from the front of the grid for the fourth time this season. He headed off teammate Heikki Kovalainen in Saturday's qualifying sessions with a time of one minute 20.899 seconds.

The Finn, who this week was rewarded with a new deal for 2009, clocked 1:21.140.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa, who trails the young Briton by four points by four points in the overall standings, took third place with 1:21.191 ahead of BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica (1:21.281).

Massa's world champion teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who lies third in the drivers' standings a further three points back, was sixth on the grid in 1:21.516 behind Toyota's Timo Glock (1:21.326).

Glock made an impressive return to racing following his horror accident at his home German Grand Prix last time out, when his car span into the safety barriers at high speed following a suspension failure caused by a damaged part from a previous race that his team had not detected.

The top-10 qualifiers were completed by former two-time world champion Fernando Alonso of Renault (1:21.698), Red Bull's Mark Webber (1:21.732), Jarno Trulli of Toyota (1:21.767) and Renault's Nelson Piquet Jr (1:22.371).

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Hamilton triumphed last year after his 2007 teammate Alonso was penalized for holding him up during qualifying, which escalated the growing feud between the two drivers that saw the Spaniard depart the British outfit.

"It's about time Heikki and I started one and two, so I'm very pleased," Hamilton told reporters. "The car was great, but you can never be too comfortable, although I feel safe in the position I'm in.

"We're both on great strategies for the race to push for the win, and I aim to do that. It would be great to have a one-two in the race. The team deserve it, and I feel Heikki and I do too. We've been working hard for it."

The 23-year-old is seeking to become the fifth repeat winner of the event and the first Briton since Damon Hill 12 years ago to win three straight F1 races.

Kovalainen, who allowed Hamilton to pass him en route to a thrilling victory at Hockenheim, said: "The car has been feeling strong the last few races. "We have been improving the package more and more, which is a great effort from the team, and tomorrow should be quite an interesting race."

Massa had set the quickest time of the middle session with 1:19.068, having been second to his title rival in the opening eliminator.

"I just couldn't do a great lap as I managed in Q1 and Q2, but we are still pretty strong," the Brazilian said. "We are there and I feel I can push these guys (Hamilton and Kovalainen) tomorrow."

Germany's Nick Heidfeld, still seeking to clinch a new contract with BMW Sauber, was the biggest casualty of the first qualifying session as he could finish only 16th.

Also knocked out in the opening drives were Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil of Force India, Honda's Rubens Barrichello and Williams's Japanese driver Kazuki Nakajima.

Nico Rosberg completed a disappointing afternoon for Williams as he failed to take part in the second session, which saw the Toro Rosso duo of Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastian Vettel also eliminated along with Red Bull veteran David Coulthard and Honda's Jenson Button.

All About Lewis HamiltonHeikki KovalainenTeam McLaren MercedesFormula One Racing

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