Nico Rosberg has captured pole position for the Hungarian GP. The German took advantage of the misfortune of teammate Lewis Hamilton, who'll start last after an engine fire prevented him from setting a qualifying time.
Rosberg clocked the best qualifying lap time of 1 minute and 22.715 seconds at the Hungaroring on Saturday to claim his sixth pole of the year and 10th of his career. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel was 0.586 seconds back, ahead of Williams' Valtteri Bottas.
Amid intense heat, following by dark clouds and rain, the 29-year-old Rosberg capitalized on Hamilton's fiery setback after his car burst into flames in the opening minutes of qualifying.
Tricky Turn One
"Qualifying three was a really big challenge, the track was changing all time at the beginning. Starting the lap, I was the first one to arrive at the first corner, it was difficult to judge," said Rosberg. "It was very, very wet so I did take it a bit easy and I managed to avoid crashing. It was just massively difficult down there. From then on, it was easier as it started drying again. My last lap, I really managed to nail it."
Following Rosberg's lap, Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen flew off and into the barriers at Turn One, causing a five-minute halt to the session.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull will start fourth, followed by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Williams' Felip Massa. Jenson Button of Britain, a two-time winner at the Hungarian GP, was seventh for McLare, ahead of Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso and German Nico Hulkenberg of Force India.
Another setback for Hamilton
Hamilton, meanwhile, will be forced to battle his way forward from the back on a circuit that is notoriously difficult for overtaking.
It was a fiery end to Hamilton's Hungaroring qualifying, and yet another setback in a string of unfortunate events
"We'll have to replace the engine and gearbox, but with that penalty it's a good thing [for a gearbox change]," said Hamilton, who has won in Hungary for the past two years and four times in total. "I can't go any further back."
The 29-year-old has suffered a series of setbacks this season. He has had two retirements to Rosberg's one and has endured a streak of qualifying problems going back six races. He crashed out of qualifying at Hockenheim last Saturday when a front disc brake failed and had to start in 20th place.
"There's a lot going through my mind, but I just have to try and turn it back into positives until tomorrow," he added. "I think it's getting to the point beyond bad luck - it's something else. We just need to do better."
Rosberg is now well-positioned to add to his 14-point championship lead over Hamilton.
"It's a pity for the team, not a good thing … I would prefer to be out there battling with Lewis," he said. "Tomorrow's still going to be a long race, a challenging race."
dr/slk (AFP, dpa, Reuters, AP)