Rosberg on pole as Hamilton hits problems

By on Saturday, July 26, 2014
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Nico Rosberg claimed his sixth pole position of the season as Lewis Hamilton’s title bid went up in smoke during the first knockout session at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Rosberg came out on top following a thrilling battle with Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas during Q3 at the Hungaroring, as team-mate Hamilton's day ended early.

Hamilton returned to the pits with flames trickling from his Mercedes W05 Hybrid during the first session and he stopped at the pit entry near a marshals’ post.

The Brit leapt from his car, which continued to smoulder for the remainder of the session, and as a result he will start from 21st position.

Q1 not only delivered the shock of Hamilton’s early exit, but also saw the elimination of Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen.

Hamilton was joined on the side lines in the first session by Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado, whose car stuttered to a halt before the final corner.

That led many to assume that the remaining four slots would be filled by the Marussia and Caterham drivers, but Jules Bianchi improved sufficiently on Options to dump Räikkönen out. The Finn will start from 17th after opting to remain on the Primes in the first knockout session and failing to set a quick enough time.

Compared to Q1, Q2 was a fairly tame session.

Daniil Kvyat had looked set to make it through to Q3 but he spun at turn 12 on his final hot lap, just as Nico Hülkenberg improved, and as a result he dropped to 11th. Kvyat was unable to recover and he climbed out of his Toro Rosso.

Adrian Sutil made it up to 12th in his Sauber, while Sergio Pérez only managed one run due to a hydraulics problem and finished 13th. Esteban Gutiérrez, Romain Grosjean and Bianchi completed the Q2 runners.

Forecasted rain arrived just as Q3 began and all of the frontrunners started on Option tyres, led around by Rosberg.

But Rosberg locked up into the first corner and ran straight on as the rain intensified. Kevin Magnussen, following behind, made a similar mistake but was unable to avoid a heavy impact with the barriers. Jenson Button, following Magnussen, also ran wide and the session was halted to recover the Dane’s McLaren.

Once the session resumed the drivers remained on Options as the brief shower dissipated. Rosberg posted the first time but his lap was soon beaten by Daniel Ricciardo and Bottas.

Vettel stormed to the front on a 1:23.415 – eight-tenths faster than Bottas – before Rosberg duly posted a 1:23.236 to claim top spot. Bottas improved to go second, but remained narrowly behind Rosberg.

Vettel inched ahead of Rosberg on the final lap but his compatriot responded with a time that was 0.486s quicker to take his sixth pole position of the season. Bottas was third, ahead of Ricciardo and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

Felipe Massa was sixth for Williams, ahead of Jenson Button and a fine effort from Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne.

Hulkenberg ended up in ninth, while Magnussen rounded out the top 10 after his accident.

PositionNumberDriverTeamQ1Q2Q3Laps
16Nico RosbergMercedes1:25.2271:23.3101:22.71520
21Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault1:25.6621:23.6061:23.20116
377Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1:25.6901:23.7761:23.35419
43Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault1:25.4951:23.6761:23.39118
514Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:26.0871:24.2491:23.90917
619Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1:26.5921:24.0301:24.22319
722Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1:26.6121:24.5021:24.29421
825Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault1:24.9411:24.6371:24.72019
927Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1:26.1491:24.6471:24.77522
1020Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1:26.5781:24.58513
1126Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault1:25.3611:24.70614
1299Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1:26.0271:25.13612
1311Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1:25.9101:25.21111
1421Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1:25.7091:25.26010
158Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1:26.1361:25.33716
1617Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari1:26.7281:27.41914
177Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:26.7925
1810Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault1:27.13910
194Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari1:27.8197
209Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault1:28.64310
2144Lewis HamiltonMercedesNo time2
2213Pastor MaldonadoLotus-RenaultNo time1

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