Nico Rosberg says he is in little doubt he achieved his pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix legally despite setting a 'purple' time in the second sector under waved yellow flag conditions.
The German was the only driver to keep the hammer down during his final flying lap in Q3, with his rivals all lifting off because of waved yellow flags deployed for Fernando Alonso, who had spun at Turn 8.
Though Rosberg approached the sector with the yellow flags showing at Turn 7, Alonso had returned to the circuit by the time he had reached Turn 8. From here, the Mercedes driver would go on to set a 1min 19.965s lap to secure pole position.
Notably however, Rosberg completed that second sector in question with the fastest time of the session, though the time gain can in part be explained by the rapidly improving conditions following earlier rain. Indeed, Rosberg suggests telemetry will show he had acknowledged the yellow flags with a 'very big lift' even if the time itself doesn't reflect it.
“There were double waved yellows but I had a very, very big lift and I lost a lot of time as a result and I was also slower than on my previous lap in that yellow sector or segment so I am sure it will be OK.”
His fourth pole position of the season, Rosberg was particularly pleased to prevail in a tricky session characterised by four red flag periods in the wet Q1 session alone. Indeed, though the session ended dry, he says the damp kerb on the outside of the final corner would keep him on his toes.
“It was a challenging qualifying with conditions changing all the time and it was very exciting out there. In the end it was pretty amazing that it was fully dried out apart from some of the kerbs and damp patches like going on to the start/finish straight, so you had to be really carefully when opening DRS and we saw a lot of moments coming on to there.
“It was unbelievable [the conditions] as it was changing all the time and so many things counted. Even getting the gap for the end of the lap with everyone backing off so to make sure you did a good job there was difficult because the timing was quite tight. I really nailed that last lap."