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Hamilton misses out after pit-lane confusion - updated 04 Aug 2007

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren after qualifying with pole sitter team mate Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren behind him.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday, 4 August 2007

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was left frustrated in qualifying at the Hungaroring after he was forced to wait in the pit lane behind team mate Fernando Alonso. While Alonso went on to secure pole position, the delay meant Hamilton left the pits too late for a final flying lap.

Both drivers had entered the pits in the closing stages of Q3. However, a lengthy stop for Alonso - with the Spaniard appearing to sit motionless for several seconds even after the lollipop had been raised - meant Hamilton was forced to queue behind the champion.

By the time Hamilton rejoined the circuit there was insufficient time for him to complete his out-lap before the chequered flag fell. He had dominated qualifying to that point, going fastest in Q1 and Q2 and holding provisional pole until Alonso’s final run, which Hamilton was left powerless to challenge.

Stewards are investigating the incident, but McLaren boss Ron Dennis told reporters that Alonso had simply been following instructions from his engineer, who was waiting for an appropriate gap in the traffic on track. Dennis explained that the delay stemmed from the two drivers being out of sequence with the team’s planned strategy for Q3, after Hamilton had disobeyed an order to let Alonso by at the start of the session.

In a separate incident, stewards are also investigating Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella and Spyker's Sakon Yamamoto after Fisichella appeared to block Yamamoto whilst on a flying lap during Q1.