• Hungarian GP - Qualifying

Rosberg takes pole as Hamilton's hopes go up in flames

Laurence Edmondson at the Hungaroring
July 26, 2014
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This season's two title contenders will start at opposite ends of the Hungarian Grand Prix grid after Nico Rosberg took pole position and Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes caught fire in Q1.

Hamilton qualified 21st after failing to set a time due to a fire at the rear of the car on his first flying lap. He attempted to return to the pits but had to pull over before the flames fully engulfed the rear of his Mercedes. It is the second weekend in a row that Hamilton's qualifying has been blighted by a car problem and left Rosberg with an easy route to pole position.

A brief rain shower spiced up the final session, but the track had dried in time for the final attempts on the softer compound tyres, with Rosberg 0.486s clear of his nearest rival Sebastian Vettel. Valtteri Bottas took third on the grid in the Williams after briefly holding provisional pole position when the rain was falling, while Daniel Ricciardo took fourth place ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso in fifth.

Felipe Massa had to settle for sixth ahead of McLaren's Jenson Button, the Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne and Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg. Kevin Magnussen qualified tenth after crashing out of Q3 when he was caught out by the sudden shower at Turn 1. He hit the barriers hard, bringing about a brief red flag to repair the tyres, and was nearly joined by team-mate Button as well as Rosberg, who ran wide at Turn 1 ahead of him.

Daniil Kvyat just missed out on a place in Q3 but spun on his final lap at Turn12 and stalled the car. He will start 11th ahead of an impressive performance from Adrian Sutil in the Sauber and Sergio Perez, who had a hydraulic issue with his Force India. Esteban Gutierrez starts 14th ahead of Romain Grosjean and an impressive qualifying performance from Jules Bianchi in the Marussia.

Hamilton was not the only big name to get knocked out in Q1 as Kimi Raikkonen failed to make the cut after opting to save a set of soft tyres. Bianchi made sure Raikkonen's gamble did not pay off with an impressive lap in the Marussia using soft tyres, which knocked the Finn down to 17th. Raikkonen had been confident of an improved weekend but will now be forced to fight through the field on Sunday.

Pastor Maldonado had a car problem after just two minutes of the session, meaning he failed to complete a lap and will start from the back row of the grid alongside Hamilton and behind Marcus Ericsson, Max Chilton and Kamui Kobayashi.

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