Lewis Hamilton rues misfortune as Nico Rosberg claims dramatic pole in Hungary

Lewis Hamilton rues misfortune as Nico Rosberg claims dramatic pole in Hungary

Nico Rosberg finished in pole position during a hard wet-dry session in Budapest, and was cleared of misconduct after stewards examined whether he slowed for yellow flags.

Rosberg's Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton lost pole because he slowed after McLaren's Fernando Alonso spun.

In the decision the stewards said "the telemetry demonstrated that the driver reduced speed significantly into Turn 8".

"It was a really challenging qualifying: the conditions changing all the time, very exciting out there", Rosberg said in the press conference afterward.

"It needs to be clarified for all us drivers to fully understand it", said Hamilton.

The difference in conditions on Rosberg's lap opened the door for an easy pole position, which he took with a 0.143-second advantage.

After being cleared of allegations of speeding through the local yellow, Rosberg was awarded his fourth pole of the season, his first since Baku.

Lewis Hamilton was plunged into a safety row after Nico Rosberg plundered a controversial last-gasp pole in Hungary, writes Byron Young in Hungary.

"A fair amount of time is lost when you lift, for sure".

"For me, no question I had to lift because Fernando was on the track, while for Nico, Fernando had cleared, but there were still flags, so it was just a different scenario".

For Rosberg, he is now in prime position to wrestle the championship momentum back from Hamilton after seeing his title lead slashed from 43 points to just one in the space of five races.

Rosberg, who earlier this week signed a new two-year extension to his Mercedes deal, has never stepped foot on the podium in his 10 previous races here.

"I've been feeling really good out there the whole weekend, even with high fuel on Friday".

Starting behind the Mercedes on on Sunday will be the two Red Bulls, with Daniel Ricciardo third and Max Verstappen fourth, followed by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Carlos Sainz in the Toro Rosso.

Qualifying finished nearly an hour later than scheduled after heavy rainfall delayed a red flag-packed Q1 by 20 minutes, but it was a yellow flag in the final moments of the afternoon that proved decisive.