Nico Rosberg has continued his push for a maiden Grand Prix victory on home soil by claiming pole position for Sunday’s German Grand Prix at the Hockenheim circuit.
His Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton crashed out of contention in the opening phase of the session after a brake failure, which allowed the Williams Mercedes’ of Veltteri Bottas and Felipe Massa to complete the top-three.
Rosberg was the pace-setter in the earlier practice session and then in all three phases of qualifying, as scorching ambient and track temperatures placed a premium on tyre management.
The German’s path to his first pole position on home soil was made all the easier – and a little more tense! – by a brake failure for Hamilton, whose Fw105 snapped into a high speed crash into the tyre wall at the Sachskurve. The Englishman emerged shaken but thankfully unhurt from the crash, and he’ll start the race from fifteenth on the grid once Esteban Gutiérrez’s grid penalty is handed down.
Rosberg went on to claim his fourth pole position in the last five Grands Prix with a rapid 1:16.540 on his first flying lap of Q3, which ultimately proved unbeatable. His closest challenge came from the two Williams’, who were shadowed by the impressive Kevin Magnussen in his McLaren.
The Dane lines up ahead of the two Red Bull Racing Renaults – Daniel Ricciardo one again outqualified teammate Sebastian Vettel – with Fernando Alonso and Daniil Kvyat completing the fourth tow ahead of the Force Indias of Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez.
Hamilton and his former teammate Jenson Button ensured there would be no English driver inside the top ten; the latter just missed out on a Q3 berth in the made last-lap scramble at the end of the middle phase of qualifying. Button will share the sixth row of the grid with Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen, who ruined his final attempt at escaping the knockout zone when he locked up at the hairpin.
Toro Rosso’s Jean-Éric Vergne, Sauber’s Esteban Gutiérrez and Lotus driver Romain Grosjean completed the Q2 runners; Gutiérrez cops a three-place grid penalty for his collision with Pastor Maldonado a fortnight ago at Silverstone.
Adrian Sutil’s interrupted FP3 session carried into qualifying, with the local driver failing to make it out of Q1. Pastor Maldonado was the other bigger name to fail at the first hurdle; he struggled in his evil-handling Lotus and was embarrassingly outqualified by Jules Bianchi’s Marussia.
Kamui Kobayashi and Max Chilton were the slowest of the timed runners, while Kobayashi’s Caterham teammate Marcus Ericsson was unable to leave the garage while his mechanics continued to repair the hydraulics issue that struck him in FP3.
2014 German Formula 1 Grand Prix – Qualifying Results:
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||1:16.540||17|
|2.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||1:16.759||+ 0.219||15|
|3.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||1:17.078||+ 0.538||21|
|4.||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:17.214||+ 0.674||17|
|5.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||1:17.273||+ 0.733||19|
|6.||Sebastian Vettel||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||1:17.577||+ 1.037||16|
|7.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:17.649||+ 1.109||19|
|8.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||1:17.965||+ 1.425||22|
|9.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||1:18.014||+ 1.474||21|
|10.||Sergio Pérez||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||1:18.035||+ 1.495||21|
|Q3 Cut-Off: 1:18.161||Time||Gap*||Laps|
|11.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:18.193||+ 1.084||15|
|12.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:18.273||+ 1.164||13|
|13.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||1:18.265||+ 1.156||14|
|14.||Esteban Gutiérrez^||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||1:18.787||+ 1.678||14|
|15.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||1:18.983||+ 1.874||14|
|16.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||no time||5|
|Q2 Cut-Off: 1:18.927||Time||Gap**||Laps|
|17.||Adrian Sutil||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||1:19.142||+ 1.511||8|
|18.||Jules Bianchi||Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:19.676||+ 2.045||8|
|19.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||1:20.195||+ 2.564||7|
|20.||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05||1:20.408||+ 2.777||7|
|21.||Max Chilton||Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:20.489||+ 2.858||9|
|DNQ.||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05||no time||0|
^ Denotes three-place grid penalty for causing an avoidable collision with Pastor Maldonado at the British Grand Prix.
* Gap to fastest Q2 time of 1:17.109 by Nico Rosberg
** Gap to fastest Q1 time of 1:17.631 by Nico Rosberg
Image via XPB Images
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