Lewis Hamilton beats Nico Rosberg to pole position by big margin


Lewis Hamilton took pole position by over half a second at the Hungarian Grand Prix as he stamped his authority over Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in qualifying with his ninth pole in 10 attempts this year.

Hamilton initially laid down a marker on his first run in the top-ten shootout, but then found another 0.4s on his second attempt. Rosberg had no response and would have been second on the grid even if Hamilton had stayed in the garage after his first attempt. Rosberg has been struggling with balance issues all weekend, but was optimistic after Friday practice that the car was better in the race.

Sebastian Vettel secured third place for Ferrari, but despite being just over a tenth of a second off Rosberg, he was still 0.7s off Hamilton. Daniel Ricciardo equalled his season-best qualifying position of fourth and was 0.035s off Vettel in third. Kimi Raikkonen, who was unable to set a soft tyre time in final practice, was a further 0.25s off the front after losing 0.5s to Hamilton's lap in the second sector alone. Valtteri Bottas was the highest-placed Williams in sixth ahead of Daniil Kvyat, Felipe Massa, Max Verstappen and Romain Grosjean.

Q2 was briefly red flagged after Fernando Alonso's McLaren broke down on the entry to the pits and he had to get out and push it back to the garage. Initially Alonso had no help from the marshals and pushed the car alone with great difficulty up the hill. Race control then suspended the session, allowing the marshals to safely join Alonso on track and push the car back to the entry of the pits. However, the problem proved too big to fix on the spot and Alonso's session was over without setting a time in Q2.

Nico Hulkenberg just missed out on a place in the top ten and will start 11th on the grid ahead of Carlos Sainz's Toro Rosso. Sergio Perez was 13th in his Force India, which was almost entirely rebuilt following his huge FP1 accident on Friday. Pastor Maldonado was 0.6s off his team-mate Grosjean and will start the race 14th ahead of Alonso.

Jenson Button failed to make it out of the first part of qualifying after a car issue on the final straight cost him over a tenth of a second, which his engineer believed would have been enough to make Q2 ahead of Sainz. The two Saubers also dropped out in Q1 with Marcus Ericsson getting the better of team-mate Felipe Nasr ahead of the two Manors of Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens.