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Brit GP update: How Lewis got it wrong

2014-07-05 15:41


ROSBERG POLE AT SILVERSTONE: Mercedes' Nico Rosberg and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel celebrate in parc ferme at Silverstone on July 6 2014 after qualifying for the British Formula 1 GP. Image: AFP / Dimitar Dilkoff

  • Rosberg puts Mercedes on pole
  • Hamilton aborts last lap
  • Vettel back in front row
  • Ferrari drivers 19th and 20th

SILVERSTONE, England - Formula 1 championship leader Nico Rosberg made the right call to take pole position while Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton got it all wrong for the 2014 Britsh GP on Saturday.

As Hamilton aborted his last lap, assuming he could not improve on a time that looked good for pole in wet conditions, Rosberg kept on pushing and found the final sector of the circuit had dried enough to go faster.

Mercedes' non-executive chairman Niki Lauda said: "It was Lewis' decision because he thought he could not go quicker but Nico proved you could go quicker."


Hamilton, who needs to win his home race on Sunday to reduce the 29-point gap between the two title rivals with 11 races remaining, found himself suddenly down in sixth place on the grid.

"I don't have much of an answer," the downcast Briton told the BBC when asked why he had not completed his final lap. "I just decided not to do the lap."

Hamilton was not the only one to make a major error of judgement on a changeable day at Silverstone that caught out some of the biggest names in the sport and rewarded some of those more used to lining up at the back.

Ferrari and Williams completely misjudged the weather and failed to get a driver through the first phase when rain started to fall before they had set competitive times.


Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen qualified 19th and 20th respectively for Ferrari. Brazilian Felipe Massa, who took pole at the previous race in Austria, was 18th with Williams team mate Valtteri Bottas 17th.

"It was a perfect storm," said Alonso. "It's a narrow line between becoming a hero and a big mistake and we became a big mistake today."

Rosberg, as so often so far in 2014, got it right when it mattered - even if he was almost denied his chance by Hamilton going slow in front of him. "It was a quite crazy qualifying," the German told reporters. "It was quite wet... I told the guys 'that's it' and then we were sitting in the box (garage) and we just came to a general conclusion that we might as well go out and have a look at the track.

"Then it seemed like we should give it a go, but even then I still didn't really believe that the track would be better. What made it was the last sector... it was a lot drier."


Rosberg said he crossed the line to start his final lap a blink of an eye before the chequered flag and so close to Hamilton he was practically in his gearbox.

"With regards to the championship, it's good for me that Lewis is down in sixth. It will take him some time to fight through, although I expect him to come through quite quickly. I think it's very likely we will be racing each other again. We seem to be very quick on this track, it really suits the car.

"I think it could be a good battle again."

Red Bull's quadruple F1 champion Sebastian Vettel qualified alongside Rosberg as part of an all-German front row with McLaren's Jenson Button - who has never appeared on the podium at his home race - third.

The weekend is an emotional one for the Briton; it's his first home GP without his father John in whose memory he is wearing a special pink helmet; fans, too, have been urged to wear 'Pink for Papa' as part of a charity appeal.


"I know it's only a third in qualifying but for us after the last 18 months we had no chance of getting this result," said the 2009 champion, urged last week by McLaren boss Ron Dennis "to try harder".

"It's nice in front of a home crowd to qualify well."

While the heavyweights stumbled, tiny Marussia took advantage with Frenchman Jules Bianchi qualifying 12th and British team mate Max Chilton 13th, although the latter has a five-place gearbox penalty pending,

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 British F1 GP weekend.

Qualifying for the British Formula 1 GP at Silverstone on July 5 2014

Qualifying session 3
1 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min35.766
2 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1min37.386
3 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min38.200
4 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India 1min38.329
5 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren 1min38.417
6 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min39.232
7 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 1min40.457
8 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 1min40.606
10 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 1min40.855

Qualifying session 2
1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min34.870
2 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min35.179
3 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1min36.410
4 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min36.579
5 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso 1min36.813
6 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India 1min37.112
7 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 1min37.350
8 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren 1min37.370
9 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 1min37.800
10 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 1min38.166
11 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1min38.496
12 Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia 1min38.709
13 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia 1min39.800
14 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber 1min40.912
15 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus 1min44.018

Qualifying session 1
1 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes- 1min40.380
2 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso- 1min41.032
3 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes- 1min41.058
4 Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia- 1min41.169
5 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India- 1min41.271
6 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia- 1min42.082
7 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India- 1min42.146
8 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren- 1min42.507
9 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber- 1min42.603
10 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso- 1min43.040
11 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus- 1min43.121
12 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber- 1min43.285
13 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus- 1min43.892
14 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren- 1min44.425
15 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull- 1min44.710
16 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull- 1min45.086
17 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams- 1min45.318
18 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams- 1min45.695
19 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari- 1min45.935
20 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari- 1min46.684
21 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Caterham- 1min49.421
22 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Caterham- 1min49.625

Final free practice times
1 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull- 1min52.522
2 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull- 1min52.631
3 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus- 1min53.044
4 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus- 1min53.566
5 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber- 1min53.585
6 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso- 1min53.654
7 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren- 1min53.911
8 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren- 1min54.041
9 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams- 1min54.217
10 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari- 1min54.558
11 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso- 1min54.602
12 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber- 1min54.761
13 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams- 1min55.003
14 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India- 1min55.688
15 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India- 1min56.918
16 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Caterham- 1min57.091
17 Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia- 1min57.566
18 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Caterham- 1min57.914
19 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia
20 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari
21 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes
22 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes
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