Renault's Fernando Alonso took his first pole position in nearly two years on Saturday after a Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying session overshadowed by Ferrari's Felipe Massa suffering a heavy crash.
The session was suspended at the end of the second phase when Brazilian Massa, who appeared to have been hit on the helmet by debris, ploughed full-throttle into the tyre barrier at turn four.
He was extracted from the car, taken to the circuit medical centre and then flown to hospital. A spokeswoman for the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) said he was in a stable condition. However, he will miss the race on Sunday. There was further confusion when qualifying resumed, with the timing screens going blank and leaving teams and drivers as well as spectators in the dark about who had taken the pole position. When they came back, Alonso's first pole since the Italian Grand Prix of September 2007 was confirmed with Red Bulls' Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber starting second and third.
Briton Jenson Button, the championship leader after winning six of the first seven races, qualified only eighth for Mercedes-powered Brawn GP.
Spain's Jaime Alguersuari, just 19, became the youngest driver ever to qualify for a GP. The Toro Rosso driver will start at the back of the grid however after pulling over with a mechanical problem at the end of the first session.