Nico Rosberg had mixed feelings again on Saturday when he claimed his sixth pole of the season for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix after Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton's car burst into flames on his opening lap.
The world championship leader took full advantage of Hamilton's bad luck and admitted he felt less than ecstatic at his success and would have preferred to have competed against his main title rival.
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.
"It's a pity for the team and for me," said Rosberg. "Again it's reliability and, also, I would prefer to be battling with Lewis and have the maximum adrenaline rush and not be like this... It's not the same.
"I am not so happy and not ecstatic about it."
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.
He added: "Q3 was a big challenge. The track was changing all the time at the beginning I was the first one into the first corner. It was very difficult to judge. It was very wet.
"So, I took it easy and I managed to avoid crashing. It was massively difficult and unpredictable. And then it was drying and it was much easier and I managed to nail it with my last lap."
‘It’s nice to be closer to Rosberg’
Vettel clocked a best lap of 1:23.201 that 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.
Vettel said: "I think the nature of the track here suits us better; there are less straights and historically we have always had a competitive car around here.
"It is nice to be a little bit closer to Rosberg, but his lap still gave him a bigger gap at the end than we had hoped for."
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.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2014.
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