Last Gasp Rosberg Snatches Hungary Pole

Nico Rosberg snatched pole position in a dramatic conclusion to qualifying at the Hungaroring, taking advantage of yellow flags which had slowed teammate Lewis Hamilton. The championship leader leads an all-Mercedes front row after a session which started in torrential rain and was halted by the red flags on four separate occasions.

All told, Q1 took 52 minutes to complete and that all came after a 20 minute start delay due to the pre-session downpour. The first red flag, brought out due to a return of the rainfall, threatened to eliminate both Mercedes who languished in the drop zone but the Silver Arrows both scrambled to safety by the time Marcus Ericsson’s crash brought a second halt to proceedings.

The length of the delays meant a selection of drivers ventured straight out on intermediates when the track was cleared but Felipe Massa was caught out by a white line at turn four, bringing hush on the Hungaroring for the third time. The lap times continued to tumble in part four of Q1 but Rio Haryanto didn’t get chance to go any quicker, spinning into the wall at turn ten and with the red flags thrown yet again, his teammate Pascal Wehrlein was stranded in the drop zone along with Massa, Ericsson and the two Renaults.

Q2 ran with relative calm although a late switch to slicks saw the order jumbled in the dying seconds. Kimi Raikkonen had actually gone fastest of all when he took the chequered flag but given he was the first driver to do so, the Finn was shuffled all the way down to fourteenth as the circuit rubbered in. Both Haas drivers were knocked out too, although Romain Grosjean came within 0.105s of eliminating Hamilton who was put in danger by a lock-up at turn one. Completing the six to drop out were Daniil Kvyat, Sergio Perez and Felipe Nasr.

Q3 was ran exclusively on the super-soft tyres and Hamilton looked to heading for pole after clocking a 1:20.108 on his first run before going four tenths faster in the first sector of his final attempt. However the Briton was slowed by a spinning Fernando Alonso at turn nine, forcing him to abort the lap, and while Rosberg did lift for the yellows, the McLaren had recovered by time Nico arrived at the scene, leaving the path clear for him to snatch pole with a 1:19.965.

The Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen will lock out the second row, the latter having missed the chequered flag for this final run, while Sebastian Vettel lines up fifth ahead of Carlos Sainz’s Toro Rosso. Alonso starts seventh despite his spin, sharing row four with McLaren teammate Jenson Button, while Nico Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas complete the top ten.



PosDriverNatTeamBest Time 
16. Nico ROSBERGGERMercedes1:19.965Q3
244. Lewis HAMILTONGBRMercedes1:20.108Q3
33. Daniel RICCIARDOAUSRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:20.280Q3
433. Max VERSTAPPENNEDRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:20.557Q3
55. Sebastian VETTELGERFerrari1:20.874Q3
655. Carlos SAINZSPASTR Ferrari1:21.131Q3
714. Fernando ALONSOSPAMcLaren Honda1:21.211Q3
822. Jenson BUTTONGBRMcLaren Honda1:21.597Q3
927. Nico HULKENBERGGERForce India Mercedes1:21.823Q3
1077. Valtteri BOTTASFINWilliams Mercedes1:22.182Q3
118. Romain GROSJEANFRAHaas Ferrari1:24.941Q2
1226. Daniil KVYATRUSSTR Ferrari1:25.301Q2
1311. Sergio PEREZMEXForce India Mercedes1:25.416Q2
147. Kimi RAIKKONENFINFerrari1:25.435Q2
1521. Esteban GUTIERREZMEXHaas Ferrari1:26.189Q2
1612. Felipe NASRBRASauber Ferrari1:27.063Q2
1730. Jolyon PALMERGBRRenault1:43.965Q1
1819. Felipe MASSABRAWilliams Mercedes1:43.999Q1
1920. Kevin MAGNUSSENDENRenault1:44.543Q1
209. Marcus ERICSSONSWESauber Ferrari1:46.984Q1
2194. Pascal WEHRLEINGERMRT Mercedes1:47.343Q1
2288. Rio HARYANTOIDNMRT Mercedes1:50.189Q1