Nico Rosberg has taken pole after team-mate Lewis Hamilton crashed out breaking his suspension in qualifying for tomorrows Grand Prix of Europe. The world clipped the wall entering the narrow uphill section bringing out the red flag with just two minutes remaining of the session.
Rosberg said “It’s a fine line between being on it and not being on it. It’s just one of those days. I’ll try and make up for it tomorrow. I’ll give it my best shot. Today was my fault. Apologies to the team.”
Hamilton had looked good early on but the lockup proved costly which put him out of the more important closing moments of the session, which allowed Force India’s Sergio Perez to take second ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo who will start ahead of Sebastian Vettel who set an identical lap time as the Australian.
Hamilton told Channel 4 “It’s a fine line between being on it and not being on it. It’s just one of those days. I’ll try and make up for it tomorrow. I’ll give it my best shot. Today was my fault. Apologies to the team.”
Vettel’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen will start fifth. It was a good afternoon from Rosberg from the very beginning of the hour with him able to respond from the very start to Hamilton. Hamilton had been looking the man to beat after topping all the practice sessions but dropped it when it mattered.
It was a good performance from Perez for no reward as despite qualifying third he drops five places because of a crash in the practice session earlier today. In the session the Mexican ran off hitting the rear of the car on the wall.
Williams’s Felipe Massa qualified sixth ahead of Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kyvat. Massa’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bulls Max Verstappen tripped over each other as they tried to fight for track position in Q3.
Manor had a good session only missing out on getting into Q2 by a few tenths which is a major step forward for the British team who out qualified the McLaren of Jenson Button who made a mistake at turn 15. Button found it difficult to get a lap together and on his last run ran into traffic.
Button told his engineer, as he bailed on his last lap, “It’s not happening” before uttering an expletive over the radio.
Renault had a very tough afternoon as they are confined to start on the back row, with Kevin Magnussen out qualifying team-mate Jolyon Palmer. But for Manor this was good news as they out qualified Renault and the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson for the first time.
Rio Haryanto out qualified Mercedes backed team-mate Pascal Wehrlein who is seen as the better driver. It will also be seen as a huge step forward after eighteen months of difficulties.