Kamui Kobayashi's up-and-down season plummeted again in the opening phase of qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix after traffic meant that he failed to make it through to the latter stages.

The Sauber ace, a scorer in two of the last three races, was the latest in a string of fancied runners - after Adrian Sutil, Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button - to drop into the danger zone, but found himself held up by Bruno Senna on his last flying lap, and pitted when he realised that his time would not be good enough to progress.

Kobayashi joins the expected sextet from the three newcomer teams in bowing out at the first hurdle after missing the cut by a couple of tenths, but was comfortably clear of Timo Glock, who put Virgin Racing ahead of arch rival Lotus with a last-ditch lap that proved good enough to topple Heikki Kovalainen from 'division three pole'. Jarno Trulli, Lucas di Grassi, Senna and Sakon Yamamoto will complete the line-up on Sunday afternoon.

As predicted Red Bull continued to set the pace, with Sebastian Vettel returning to the top of the timesheets after clocking 1min 20.417secs and leaving team-mate Mark Webber seven-tenths adrift. Robert Kubica, Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso completed the top five.