Hockenheim Qualifying: Rosberg fends off Williams duo

Nico Rosberg will start the German Grand Prix from pole

Nico Rosberg will start the German Grand Prix from pole

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 that McLaren have 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.

The team later confirmed: “The cause of  Lewis Hamilton’s crash was a right front brake disc failure.”

Lewis Hamilton's shunt was violent

Lewis Hamilton’s shunt was violent

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 not set a time before the red flags, immediately moved to the top of the time sheet, outpacing Bottas by six tenths of a second.

The time, set on Super-softs, 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.

Valtteri Bottas second fastest in qualifying

Valtteri Bottas second fastest in Qualifying

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 0.2 s 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.

Also ruled out after Q2 were Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez in 14th place and Lotus’ Romain Grosjean who took 15th ahead of the non-running Hamilton.

Kevin Magnussen will start from fourth

Kevin Magnussen will start from fourth

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.

Rosberg said afterwards, “For now, it’s been going really well. Home race, to be on pole is fantastic. I would have preferred if it was an open fight with Lewis so I’m less happy as a result. It’s a fantastic day but there are no points today. There is still a long way to go tomorrow.”

He added, “For tomorrow, it is supposed to be a bit colder, so it should make it easier on the tyres. The weather could play a role, so I just need to take it as it comes.”

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.

Top three pose for photographers after Hockenheim qualifying

Top three pose for photographers after Hockenheim Qualifying

The Finn commented, “I’m happy with the result we got as a team, well done to everyone, but Mercedes are still ahead. The lap I did in the end, I made no mistakes, it was a really nice lap. I felt I got everything out of the car today.”

Massa reflected on third place, “We managed to put a lap together even though we were not able to have the perfect car. We still did a very good lap and I’m quite happy with the result and our car. In the race conditions will give a different feeling of the car but I will try to do a very good job.”

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 India duo of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. (GP247-F1 Media)

German Grand Prix, Qualifying – Saturday, 19 July 2014
Pos No Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:17.631 1:17.109 1:16.540 17
2 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:18.215 1:17.353 1:16.759 15
3 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1:18.381 1:17.370 1:17.078 21
4 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1:18.260 1:17.788 1:17.214 17
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:18.117 1:17.855 1:17.273 19
6 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:18.194 1:17.646 1:17.577 16
7 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:18.389 1:17.866 1:17.649 19
8 26 Daniil Kvyat STR-Renault 1:18.530 1:18.103 1:17.965 22
9 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:18.927 1:18.017 1:18.014 21
10 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1:18.916 1:18.161 1:18.035 21
11 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:18.425 1:18.193 15
12 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:18.534 1:18.273 13
13 25 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Renault 1:18.496 1:18.285 14
14 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:18.739 1:18.787 14
15 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:18.894 1:18.983 14
16 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:18.683 5
17 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1:19.142 8
18 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1:19.676 8
19 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1:20.195 7
20 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1:20.408 7
21 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1:20.489 9
22 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault