Rosberg claims home pole position as Hamilton crashes out
Mercedes driver takes fifth pole of the season as brake failure sends Hamilton into the barriers.
Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for his home grand prix as his team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton crashed out in Q1. The Briton ended the session in 16th place.
Rosberg, for whom the Hockenheim pole represented a fifth this season, will be joined on the front row by Williams’ Valtteri Bottas. The Finn’s team-mate Felipe Massa took third place. Kevin Magnussen confirmed the progress McLaren has made in recent weeks by completing the row two line-up.
Hamilton’s crash came 10 minutes into Q1 when the Mercedes driver was in P2 on the timesheet behind Williams’ Valtteri Bottas. Hamilton braked for the Sachskurve but there was a problem. His front-left wheel locked and he spun off track and into barriers. His best Q1 time of 1:18.683 was in the end good enough to see him through to Q2 but he was unable to take part and finished the session in 16th place Should his car not require a major rebuild, Hamilton will start in 15th place, as Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez, who qualified 14th, is set to take a three-place grid imposed at the British Grand Prix a fortnight ago.
Once Hamilton’s W05 Hybrid had been craned away and the tyres walls repaired the session resumed and Rosberg, who had no set a time before the red flags, immediately moved to the top of the timesheet, outpacing Bottas by six tenths of a second.
The time, set on supersofts, was good enough to see him through to Q2 in P1, followed by Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel, and in fourth place Vallteri Bottas, whose time of 1:18.215 was set on soft tyres.
Eliminated, in order, after Q1 were Marcus Ericsson, who failed to set a time due to a hydraulic problem, Marussia’ Max Chilton, Kamui Kobayashi in the second Caterham, Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado, Jules Bianchi in the second Marussia and Sauber’s Adrian Sutil.
Rosberg was again quickest in Q2, his time of 1:17.109 deemed good enough to see him through to the top-10 shootout. Bottas was again close, the Finn taking P2, with a time just over 0.2s shy of the German’s. The Finn’s Williams team-mate Felipe Massa was fourth ahead of Vettel, while Magnussen an impressive fifth.
It was a less happy outing for team-mate Jenson Button, who failed to make it through to Q3. His time of 1:18.193 was just under four tenths down on his team-mate and only good enough for P11.
Jean-Eric Vergne was also eclipsed by his team-mate. The Frenchman could only manage P13 behind Kimi Raikkonen, while Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat took ninth place in the segment.
Also ruled out after Q2 were Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez in 14th place and Lotus’ Romain Grojean who took 15th ahead of the non-running Hamilton.
In the final segment Rosberg laid down a marker with his first run. He stunned rivals with a laps of 1:16.540 and with Bottas’s first run yielding a time half a second shy of that, any ambition of making a challenge for pole evaporated.
Bottas put in a valiant effort with his final run and shaved over two tenths off his previous time but he had to settle for his second front-row start of the season, having started from P2 in Austria.
Magnussen was fourth for McLaren ahead of Ricciardo who, as ever, left his best for last, demoting team-mate Vettel to sixth by three tenths of a second.
Seventh place went to Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. Kvyat improved on provisional P9 to claim eighth place in the session ahead of the Force Indias of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez.
2014 German Grand Prix – Qualifying Result
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:17.631 1:17.109 1:16.540 17
2 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:18.215 1:17.353 1:16.759 15
3 Felipe Massa Williams 1:18.381 1:17.370 1:17.078 21
4 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:18.260 1:17.788 1:17.214 17
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:18.117 1:17.855 1:17.273 19
6 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:18.194 1:17.646 1:17.577 16
7 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:18.389 1:17.866 1:17.649 19
8 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:18.530 1:18.103 1:17.965 22
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:18.927 1:18.017 1:18.014 21
10 Sergio Perez Force India 1:18.916 1:18.161 1:18.035 21
11 Jenson Button McLaren 1:18.425 1:18.193 15
12 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:18.534 1:18.273 13
13 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:18.496 1:18.285 14
14 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:18.739 1:18.787 14
15 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:18.894 1:18.983 14
16 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:18.683 5
17 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:19.142 8
18 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:19.676 8
19 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:20.195 7
20 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:20.408 7
21 Max Chilton Marussia 1:20.489 9
22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham