Qualifying - Alonso grabs pole after Massa crashes out 25 Jul 2009
Renault's Fernando Alonso will start Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix from pole position after a dramatic qualifying session at the Hungaroring, which saw Ferrari's Felipe Massa helicoptered to hospital after a heavy crash in Q2. As news emerged that Massa was in a stable condition, Alonso went on to beat Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel to P1 by less than a tenth of a second.
Massa hit the wall in Turn 4 after his helmet was struck by debris, believed to be a piece of suspension that had come loose from Rubens Barrichello's Brawn, knocking him out.
The start of Q3 was delayed 22 minutes until 15.10 as the Brazilian was taken to the circuit medical centre, where he was found to be heavily shaken after the impact with the tyre wall. He was later taken to hospital for further checks, as reports confirmed that he is okay. He will not race on Sunday.
Once the Q3 session got underway Williams' Nico Rosberg set the initial pace, before Alonso went fastest from Vettel with a lap of 1m 21.569s to the German's 1m 21.607s, with Mark Webber third on 1m 21.741s in the other Red Bull. Alonso is almost certainly running lighter than either of them.
Lewis Hamilton got the second row start he wanted with a lap of 1m 21.839s, and his McLaren will be very strong with its KERS on the run to Turn One on Sunday. Rosberg clung on for fifth with 1m 21.890s ahead of Heikki Kovalainen in the other McLaren on 1m 22.095s, Kimi Raikkonen in the sole Ferrari on 1m 22.468s and Jenson Button, who will only start eighth for Brawn after recording 1m 22.511s in his worst session of the year. With Massa obviously not running, Kazuki Nakajima was the final driver with 1m 22.835s for ninth slot.
Q2 weeded out Sebastien Buemi who did a fine job to take 11th for Toro Rosso in 1m 21.002s, head of Toyota's Jarno Trulli on 1m 21.082s. For the first time this year a Brawn failed to make Q3 as Rubens Barrichello did not better 1m 21.222s for 13th. Behind him came Timo Glock on 1m 21.242s for Toyota, and Nelson Piquet on 1m 21.389s in the second Renault.
BMW Sauber made progress this weekend, but ultimately it was not enough to see either Nick Heidfeld or Robert Kubica through into Q2. The German lapped his F1.09 in 1m 21.738s, the Pole his in 1m 21.901s, for 16th and 19th places respectively.
Between them sat the Force ndias, with the rapid improvement in times at the end of the session dropping Fisichella 1m 21.807s from 11th to 17th place in the blink of an eye. Adrian Sutil managed 1m 21.868s after a late start following repairs after his morning off.
At the back, rookie Jaime Alguersauri got down to a competent 1m 22.359s before his Toro Rosso ground to a halt three-quarters of the way through Q1.