Nico Rosberg stole pole from team-mate Lewis Hamilton in a heavily interrupted qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Rosberg took pole from his team-mate by a tenth in drying conditions following the rain which gave plenty of drama on track.
Hamilton looked on course to knock Rosberg of pole on his final run until McLaren’s Fernando Alonso spun off in the closing moments bringing the yellow flags out. This stopped Hamilton from improving his time as he was forced to back off.
However, the German’s pace on his pole lap is sure to be scrutinised as Rosberg set a purple middle sector while the double yellow flags were being waved. This means Hamilton still has the chance of his best time being the pole time.
Rosberg told Sky Sports “for sure there was double waved [yellows], but I had a very big lift and lost a lot of time as a result. I’m sure that’ll be okay.”
Red Bull put in another good performance to out qualify the Ferrari’s but they were also caught by the yellow flags stopping them from improving their times. Ricciardo also had to abort his final flyer and wound up third fastest, just 0.172s slower than Hamilton in a session he called “crazy”.
Sebastian Vettel will start fifth ahead of Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz with Fernando Alonso out qualifying Jenson Button. Like in Q3 times to get into the session were tight in a session where there were four red flags in the three sessions.
The fight to get into Q3 provided drama after Haas’s Romain Grosjean put in a good lap but them Force India’s Sergio Perez was the first indicator that the conditions were improving.
Valtteri Bottas was one of the first drivers to do a run on the slicks which prompted many other drivers to do the same. However it almost caught Hamilton out in Q2 with him being nearly being knocked out of the session.
Marcus Ericson was the first to be caught out when he lost the Sauber at turn ten. The Swedish drivers second high-profile collision in two grands prix on this occasion he locked up at the left-hander on the wet tyre. Who damaged his suspension bringing out the red flag when he hit the wall damaging the right-front suspension in particular, and out came the red flags again.
He told Sky Sports “It was difficult conditions for sure but it was same for everyone, you cannot blame that. It was a bad mistake which should not happened”
Williams Felipe Massa was another to be caught out at turn four – where he had a life threatening crash in this session in 2009 – He was on the inters when his car snapped after just touching the white line.
“It was like a river coming in the middle. Every corner before that, I felt the intermediates were the quickest tyres.” Massa told Sky Sports.