Formula One

 
         === Rosberg on pole, Hamilton at the back for Hungarian GP ===
 
 Budapest,  Hungary  (SportsNetwork.com) - Formula One championship leader Nico
 Rosberg  captured  his sixth pole  of the  season while his Mercedes teammate,
 Lewis  Hamilton,  experienced an engine fire  in the early going of Saturday's
 qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
 
 Rosberg  bumped Red  Bull's Sebastian  Vettel from  the pole  position in  the
 closing seconds when he made a lap around the Hungaroring circuit in 1 minute,
 22.715 seconds.
 
 A  brief shower interrupted the start of the final qualifying round (Q3). With
 slippery  conditions in turn 1, McLaren's Kevin Magnussen spun out and slammed
 into the barrier. Magnussen was not injured during the incident but qualifying
 was stopped briefly for repairs to the barrier.
 
 Rosberg  is  seeking his fifth  grand prix victory of  the season. He won last
 weekend's German Grand Prix, his home race.
 
 "That  was a  very tough qualifying session today, especially with the rain at
 the  beginning of  Q3," said Rosberg, who  claimed his 10th career pole in F1.
 "It's  difficult to  judge which braking point is best in changing conditions,
 so  I  was a bit  over the limit  at times, especially in  turn 1. I was lucky
 there,  but in  the end,  I nailed  the last  lap. So  I'm quite  happy to  be
 starting from pole."
 
 Hamilton,  who  has won the  Hungarian GP  four times, including victories the
 past  two years,  qualified 21st after failing to  set a time in Q1 due to his
 engine fire. He had posted the fastest laps in all three practice sessions for
 this race.
 
 "I can't really believe it today. There was just nothing I could do," Hamilton
 said.  "There was an  issue with the car as I was coming out of the second-to-
 last  corner and then  the engine just cut out. I thought we could get it back
 to  the garage, but then I looked in my mirrors and saw the whole rear end was
 on  fire and that was  it. Now we need to see what damage has been done to the
 car and see if the gearbox or engine needs to be changed."
 
 Hamilton,  the 2008  F1 world champion, had a disastrous qualifying session in
 Germany  as  well. He suffered brake  disc failure on his right-front, causing
 him to spin out and slam hard into the barrier. Hamilton later received a grid
 penalty for an unapproved gearbox change. He started 20th but rebounded nicely
 with a third-place finish in the German GP.
 
 "It's  getting to  the point where it's  beyond back luck now," he said. "As a
 team, we need to do better. I need to somehow find the way to turn this into a
 positive for tomorrow, then build on that going into the race. It will be very
 difficult, as [Hungaroring] is one of the hardest circuits to overtake on."
 
 Rosberg  enters  Sunday's  70-lap  Hungarian  GP with  a  14-point  lead  over
 Hamilton.
 
 "It's  a real  shame  for Lewis  and  the team,"  Rosberg  said of  Hamilton's
 qualifying  incident  in Hungary. "I know  how much it hurts to have technical
 failure where there is nothing you can do as a driver. We need to sort out the
 reliability  issues, but I know that tonight there will be a great team effort
 to  fix  his car, just  like in Hockenheim [German  GP] where the whole garage
 pitched in to help rebuild it.
 
 "It  takes  away a  bit of the  excitement when there  is no gloves-off battle
 because that's what we are here for. But tomorrow is a long race, and I'm sure
 that Lewis can get another good result."
 
 Vettel's  final lap  in Q3 was clocked in 1:23.201, giving him the provisional
 pole.  The  four-time F1 world  champion had P1 for  only a few seconds before
 Rosberg  completed  his last  lap and  took the pole.  Vettel matched his best
 qualifying  finish  of the season. He  also qualified second for the Malaysian
 Grand Prix in March.
 
 "I  think historically we've always had a competitive car around here," Vettel
 said. "It seems that we are a little bit closer, but Nico's final lap was very
 good.  The gap was bigger than we were hoping for because if we get everything
 perfect  and Nico maybe has a bit of a wobble then we can have a crack. But it
 didn't happen."
 
 Valtteri  Bottas from  Williams  placed third  in  qualifying, while  Vettel's
 teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, took the fourth spot. Fernando Alonso from Ferrari
 was fifth.
 
 Finishing  sixth  through ninth  were: Felipe  Massa (Williams), Jenson Button
 (McLaren), Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) and Nico Hulkenberg (Force India).
 
 Magnussen  did not post  a time in Q3 due to his accident, as he finished 10th
 in  qualifying. But Magnussen  will have to start the race from pit lane after
 his team had to make a chassis and gearbox change to his badly-damaged car.
 
 "Starting  from the pit lane will make life more difficult, but I'm determined
 to have a strong race," Magnussen said.
 
 Ferrari's  Kimi Raikkonen failed  to advance into Q2 after he opted not to run
 another lap late in the opening round. Raikkonen held a transfer spot until he
 was bumped in the final seconds of Q1. He qualified 17th.
 
 Pastor  Maldonado from Lotus  did not record a lap in Q1 when he experienced a
 problem  with his car  and came to a halt on the track in the opening minutes.
 Maldonado will start alongside Hamilton on the last row.
 
 07/26 11:53:24 ET

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