Lewis Hamilton was in a diplomatic but obviously frustrated mood immediately following qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix when he was denied the chance to challenge for pole position by what seemed to be questionable tactics by team-mate Fernando Alonso in the pit lane.

Hamilton headed into the top ten shootout as the definite favourite having dominated the preceding knockout sessions, but whilst queued behind Alonso to take on new tyres for a final assault, the reigning champion waited several seconds after he was prompted to go by the team.

While Alonso came back onto the circuit and got around in time to start his final lap, one that would be good enough to better the fastest time Hamilton had at that point set, the crucial delay prevented the Brit from getting new tyres and sprint round on his out-lap to start his final attempt before the chequered flag was deployed.

Demoted to second, a somewhat bemused McLaren-Mercedes garage produced a smattering - rather than an explosion - of applause for Alonso when he crossed the finish line, while the TV cameras caught an angry Ron Dennis throwing his headphones down.

While Alonso somewhat dodged the situation in the press conference, Hamilton was sanguine - if defiant - about the situation.

"There isn't much to say," he said in the press conference that followed after qualifying. "You saw what happened. I have been very quick today, which is good because we have been making improvements throughout the weekend. We had plenty of pace.

Asked why he thought he was held up, Hamilton refused to point the finger of blame, coolly claiming the time he lost in the pit lane was exactly the amount he missed the chequered flag by.

"No I don't know the reason why I was held up - you'll have to ask the team that. I lost the same amount of time in the pit lane as I missed the chequered flag by..."

 

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