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Rosberg takes pole after late yellow flag drama

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Nico Rosberg in action for Mercedes

Hungarian Grand Prix
Dates: 22-24 July Venue: Hungaroring
BBC coverage: Race commentary – Sunday, 24 July (build-up on BBC Radio 5 live from 12:00, race starts at 13:00). Live text and radio commentary of all practice sessions, qualifying and the race on the BBC Sport website

Nico Rosberg stole pole position from under the nose of Lewis Hamilton in a chaotic wet-dry qualifying session for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Hamilton was on what would almost certainly have been the pole lap when he came across the McLaren of Fernando Alonso, which had spun.

He had to back off and lost the lap, while Rosberg, running behind Hamilton, was able to complete his.

The Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen start third and fourth.

The session started on a soaking track after heavy rain, ended two hours later, and featured four red flags – three of them for crashes.

Hamilton will be frustrated after losing what was looking like being a remarkable lap – he had been 0.35secs up on his own previous best time on the first sector on the final lap, and was 0.4secs faster there than Rosberg – only to come across Alonso’s McLaren broadside across the track at Turn Nine.

Hamilton said: “I felt good on the lap. I was a bit unfortunate with Fernando but these things happen. I’m not too disappointed and we still have a long race ahead of us.”

The yellow caution flags were also displayed for Rosberg on his lap, but he said he did not expect to lose the time for not slowing sufficiently.

“I had a big lift and I was also slower in that segment than on previous lap so I am sure I will be OK,” Rosberg said.

Behind the Red Bulls, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was fifth ahead of the impressive Carlos Sainz in the Toro Rosso.

Felipe Massa

Good news for McLaren

Both McLarens made it into the top 10 for the first time since the start of their relationship with Honda in 2015, with Alonso taking seventh and Button eighth.

The Spaniard’s late error was an unfortunate end to a session in which he had until then displayed all the skills for which he has earned a reputation as one of the greatest drivers of the era.

Alonso consistently featured close to the front in the tricky conditions. He was third fastest in the wet first session, behind only Rosberg and Hamilton, and fourth quickest in the second session when the cars did one lap on slick tyres on a still-damp track, beaten only by the Red Bulls and Rosberg.

Raikkonen the big loser

All the front-runners negotiated a first session punctuated by four red flags, initially for another burst of heavy rain and then for a succession of crashes, for Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, Williams’ Felipe Massa and Manor’s Rio Haryanto, who all lost control on their first laps after a re-start.

And in the second session, held in sunshine on a rapidly drying track, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was the big loser. He was knocked out and will start 14th.

Britain’s Jolyon Palmer impressed in the difficult first session, taking 17th and beating Renault team-mate Kevin Magnussen by two places.

Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying results

Hungarian Grand Prix coverage details

Hungary GP

Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo,

Marcus Ericsson

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