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More bad luck for Lewis Hamilton in F1 qualifying

Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes went up in smoke in qualifying at the Hungarian Grand Prix but he was unhurt.

Story highlights

  • Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton finishes second last in Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying
  • Hamilton's car catches fire to end his session early but he walked away unhurt
  • It's the second straight week the Englishman suffers a car issue in qualifying
  • Teammate and Championship leader Nico Rosberg records the fastest time

If Lewis Hamilton is to win a fifth Hungarian Grand Prix, he'll need something akin to a miracle.

That's because he'll start well adrift of the pack after the back of his Mercedes caught fire in qualifying -- the second consecutive Saturday he's suffered misfortune. It was on his first qualifying lap, too.

Hamilton wasn't hurt but with his chassis needing replacing, it means a start from pit lane.

His teammate and Championship leader Nico Rosberg had no such issues, recording the fastest time.

Last week in qualifying for the German Grand Prix, a brake issue led to a Hamilton crash and meant he began 20th on the grid on race day but he put in a stellar drive to rise to third.

Hamilton, who bettered the field in practice Friday and earlier Saturday, was the first to point out that overtaking opportunities aren't as great in Hungary as they were in Germany.

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"It's a shame, especially when you do the practice sessions with not too many problems," Hamilton said in a television interview aired by Sky. "I didn't even get a lap this time. Last time I got maybe two laps.

"I can't believe it's happened again. This is not a track you can really overtake on so coming from last to the podium is a lot less likely."

Hamilton's mishap gives Rosberg the chance to extend his 14-point lead over Hamilton in the individual standings.

And although the German said he would have preferred to go head-to-head with Hamilton, he felt Sunday's race would now be "easier."

Unsurprisingly, he doesn't plan on taking many risks at the Hungaroring.

"It makes it easier of course because he is my competitor," Rosberg was quoted as saying by Autosport.com. "It's a free opportunity tomorrow.

"I need to play it safe and avoid any unnecessary things happening, and get as many points as possible.

"I would prefer to be out there battling with Lewis. That would give me the maximum adrenaline rush. It won't be a gloves-off battle with Lewis, but I am still very, very happy."

Rosberg clocked a best time of one minute, 22.715 seconds, bettering reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull by 0.486 seconds, Williams' Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, who is a distant third in the driver standings.

Read: Rosberg wins at home