Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg crushed Sebastian Vettel’s lap time of 1:23.201 to take his third straight
pole position of the season in what was a thrilling qualifying session at the Hungaroring.
The drama started in Q1 when Lewis Hamilton’s W05 Hybrid caught fire at the pit entry. The Brit tried to get his car back into the garage but was instructed to stop his car as soon as he can to limit the damage.
With no lap time set, the 2008 world champion will start no further than 21st, unless someone who has qualified ahead is given a grid penalty.
More surprises awaited in the opening leg of the session as Jules Bianchi in the Marussia made it into Q2 at the expense of Kimi Raikkonen who did a single run on slower prime tyres. The Finn will start tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix from 17th on the grid.
In Q2, Daniil Kvyat lost the rear of his car at the entry of turn 12, bringing out double yellow flags with less than a minute to go in the session. As a result, the Russian was joined by Sauber’s Adrian Sutil, Force India of Sergio Perez, the second Sauber driven by Esteban Gutierrez, Romain Grosjean’s Lotus and the Marussia of Jules Bianchi in the list of drivers to be eliminated during the second leg of the session.
The final part of the session started with slight drizzle and all drivers immediately headed to the track on slick tyres, fearing more rain. Kevin Magnussen got caught by the changing conditions and went straight into the tyre barriers at turn 1, bringing out the red flags.
By the time session went green, track has started to dry out with chances of further rain fading. Thus, everyone ventured out on the soft tyre with Nico Rosberg emerging as the eventual pole sitter with a lap time of 1:22.715 around the 4.3 km track.
Sebastian Vettel qualified on the front row for only the third time this season, outpacing his teammate Daniel Ricciardo who could manage fourth.
Valtteri Bottas was sandwiched between the two Red Bulls in third place, despite fears that Williams were just not as competitive on this high downforce track.
Further back, Fernando Alonso qualified his Ferrari in fifth position for Sunday’s race ahead of Felipe Massa who in turn was a second down on his younger teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Jenson Button, wearing his #PinkForPapa helmet for the second time this season, took seventh at the chequered flag.
Toro Rossos were again quick on a single lap with Jean Eric Vergne qualifying in eighth place ahead of the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg. However, the two drivers might be swapping places very soon in the race, considering their pace over long runs.
And finally, Kevin Magnussen will start his 11th career Grand Prix from 10th position, having failed to set a lap time in Q3.