Lewis Hamilton led a front-row lockout for Mercedes at the Hungarian Grand Prix as the Silver Arrows emerged from a rain-soaked qualifying session at the Hungaroring. Valtteri Bottas will back up his team-mate froms econd, with Hamilton's title rival Sebastian Vettel qualifying fourth behind his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Vettel looked like he would master the wet conditions as he looks to bounce back from sliding out of the German Grand Prix last weekend, but an extreme-wet Q3 once again went the way of Mercedes and Hamilton, who secured his 77th pole position.
Vettel was two seconds adrift of Hamilton at one point in Q3 and could only close that gap to half a second by the end of the session and he will start fourth, with hope of dry conditions and Ferrari's recent run of electric race starts continuing.
The Scuderia have been near untouchable in the dry, with Red Bull hanging onto their coattails but Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo had a miserable time of it, qualifying seventh and 12th respectively.
Ricciardo spent much of a wet-dry first session hovering above, and dropping into, the drop zone, but his luck ran out in Q2 when the rain came down again and he was marooned in 12th place, having taken intermediates too slow at the start of the session - unable to put a dent into the top 10 on full wets.
Verstappen elbowed his way past Brendon Hartley to get out of the spray at the start of Q3 but the improved visibility could not help him as he qualified behind the Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly and a fifth-placed Renault of Carlos Sainz Jr.
There is once again a threat of rain for Sunday's race, which the Mercedes may well be praying for, with Hamilton having gone from hoping to limit how much Vettel would eat into his championship, to now hoping to extend it further before the summer break.
We got all the action early on, but a late treat came from Fernando Alonso's radio. Asked what he should do, the veteran told McLaren: "Go to the garage. Run whatever tyre you want, the last sector is impossible. Even if you put a rocket ship out we would be 11th." Nico Hulkenberg and Ricciardo were surprise eliminations, with Marcus Ericsson also falling out and Lance Stroll going the same way, having lost a front wing with a spin in this session.
After an astonishing session, the result was weirdly familiar. Stoffel Vandoorne went out in Q1 for the fifth race in a row alongside Sergey Sirotkin and Charles Leclerc. The Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon both joined them, continuing a miserable weekend for the team that has seen them put into administration.