Hungarian GP: Nico Rosberg on pole after Lewis Hamilton hopes go up in smoke
Budapest: World championship leader Nico Rosberg once again took full advantage of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton`s bad luck on Saturday by claiming pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The 29-year-old German, who leads Hamilton by 14 points in their duel for the drivers` title, cashed in after the luckless Briton`s car burst into flames in the opening minutes of a dramatic qualifying session.
Rosberg clocked a best lap of one minute and 22.715 seconds to claim his sixth pole of the year and the 10th of his career in an hour that saw intense heat, at the start, followed by dark clouds and rain in the final minutes.
Reading the weather conditions in advance, Rosberg was first car out in Q3 and ran wide at Turn One shortly before Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen flew off and into the barriers at the same place.
That caused red flags and the session was halted for five minutes, resuming in damp, but drying conditions as the hot sunshine resumed - a scenario that saw a series of drivers in serious contention for pole.
Vettel clocked a best lap of 1:23.201 put him clear at the top in the final seconds, but Rosberg responded to outpace him by 0.486 seconds to secure the prime starting position.
Finn Valtteri Bottas was third for Williams ahead of Australian Daniel Ricciardo in the second Red Bull, two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari and Brazilian Felipe Massa, sixth for Williams.
Briton Jenson Button, twice a winner in Hungary, in wet conditions, was seventh for McLaren ahead of Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso, German Nico Hulkenberg of Force India and Magnussen.