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Rosberg on pole for his home German GP

2014-07-19 16:21

UNSTOPPABLE NICO: Nico Rosberg has won his fifth pole for his home 2014 German GP. Image: AP/Antonio Calanni

HOCKENHEIM, German - Formula One leader Nico Rosberg put Mercedes on pole position for his home 2014 German GP on Saturday while team mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton crashed early in the session.

Hamilton, the Briton who is four points behind Rosberg in the standings after nine of 19 races, qualified 16th but should start 15th after a penalty is applied to Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez.


Finland's Valtteri Bottas joined Rosberg on the front row for Mercedes-powered Williams, with Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa qualifying third on a searingly hot afternoon at Hockenheim.

The pole was Rosberg's fifth of the season, fourth in the last five races and ninth of his career, but less satisfying than some.

The 29-year-old, who got married last week and signed a new multi-year contract with Mercedes while also celebrating Germany's soccer World Cup win, told reporters: "It's great, a home race and to be on pole is fantastic.

"Of course I would have preferred it if it was an open fight with Lewis, so a little less happy as a result because Lewis didn't have a shot at it again."

McLaren's Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen qualified a strong fourth, with 2009 World champion team mate Jenson Button only 11th, to ensure Mercedes-powered cars filled the two front rows of the grid.

Red Bull's quadruple World champion Sebastian Vettel, a home winner in 2013 when the race was held at the Nuerburgring, will line up sixth and behind Australian team mate Daniel Ricciardo in fifth place.

Victory on Sunday would make Rosberg the first German to win his home GP in a German car since Rudolf Caracciola in 1939, as well as the first driver in 60 years to win in Germany for a works Mercedes team.

With five of the eight races to date at the redesigned circuit won from pole, Rosberg also knows he has a great chance to extend his lead considerably although the weather could play a hand.

"It is supposed to be a bit colder (on Sunday), 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," said Rosberg.


Rosberg had been fastest in final practice, after Hamilton had been top of the time sheets on Friday, with Saturday expected to be another duel between the top two for pole but it did not turn out that way.

Hamilton provided the early drama when he crashed heavily at the Sachs Kurve section of the stadium complex, where Mercedes have a grandstand, bringing out red flags to stop the session in the first phase of qualifying.

The team blamed a right front brake disc failure for the accident, with a puff of smoke visible before the car spun and was pitched into the tyre wall.

Hamilton - who uses a different brand of brakes to Rosberg as a matter of personal choice - stepped out of the car and was taken to the medical centre before returning to the paddock, declared OK but sore.

The crash continued a run of bad luck for 2008 champion Hamilton, who has retired from two races this season through no fault of his own while Rosberg suffered his first blank in Britain two weeks ago.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, winner of the last two races held at Hockenheim, qualified seventh while struggling Finnish team mate Kimi Raikkonen starts 12th.

Russian rookie Daniil Kvyat qualified eighth for Toro Rosso, with the Force India duo of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez ninth and 10th.

Qualifying from the F1 German GP at Hockenheimring on Saturday
1. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min16.540
2. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 1min16.759
3. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1min17.078
4. Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren 1min17.214
5. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull - Renault 1min17.273
6. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull - Renault 1min17.577
7. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min17.649
8. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso - Renault 1min17.965
9. Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 1min18.014
10. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - Mercedes 1min18.035
11. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min18.193
12. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min18.273
13. Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso - Renault 1min18.285
14. Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber - Ferrari 1min18.787
15. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Renault 1min18.983
16. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes
17. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber - Ferrari 1min19.142
18. Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia - Ferrari 1min19.676
19. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - Renault 1min20.195
20. Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Caterham - Renault 1min20.408
21. Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia - Ferrari 1min20.489
22. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Caterham - Renault

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 German GP this weekend.

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