Nico Rosberg has taken his fifth pole of the season after narrowly beating his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton by .11 of a second for his home Grand Prix at Hockenhiem.
It wasn’t a perfect afternoon for the German after he was forced to abandon his first run in Q3 after an electronics issue which his team-mate used to his advantage taking provisional pole. But when it mattered Rosberg responded but Hamilton made two errors on his last run.
It was the first time he has beaten Hamilton on merit when the two have been fighting it out in the final seconds of the session. So far Hamilton has had the upper hand in qualifying when there haven’t been problems for him in the session.
Rosberg told the media “it was a great feeling. Just a great lap. Not only was it just one lap that I had but I also had extra fuel to make sure that I would have an extra shot if a mistake or something happens.”
“So I had fuel for three laps. So that was some more time in the bag there, so I was really satisfied with that one. That was really cool.”
Hamilton said “It’s been a good weekend, I had no problems. I had the pace today I just didn’t finish it off in the last lap, so.”
Daniel Ricciardo will start third ahead of team-mate Max Verstappen who once again out-qualified the Ferrari’s who have being struggling to equal the Red Bull’s in recent races. Kimi Raikkonen out qualified his German team-mate Sebastian Vettel making it an all Ferrari third row.
Red Bull will be hoping they can keep at least one of their cars ahead of the Ferrari’s because it would give them second in the constructors championship.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg will start seventh behind his compatriot after going faster than the William’s of Valtteri Bottas with less than .1 of a second breaking him from Sergio Perez and team-mate Felipe Massa.
Neither McLaren’s made it through to Q3 and has been out-qualified by the Haas of Esteban Gutierrez who was faster than Jenson Button and the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz and team-mate Fernando Alonso.
Sainz was placed under investigation for impeding Massa at Turn 2 for which the steward handed him two penalty points on his Superlicence – taking him to four points in total, of the permitted 12 within a calendar year.
It wasn’t a clean session for the other Spaniard Alonso, who ran wide going over a kerb shedding some small parts of his front wing in the stadium section and complained about being held up by Vettel’s slow Ferrari.
Daniil Kyvat was the surprise early departure in Q1 which with rumours in the paddock that he now in grave danger of losing his seat with Toro Rosso at the end of the year.
Few in the paddock now believe Pierre Gasly isn’t being lined up to replace Kvyat for 2017. Kyvat told Sky Sports “I don’t know what’s going on at the moment. I think I need more than a summer break.”
Manor’s Pascal Wehrlien will start eighteenth ahead of Kyvat and team-mate Rio Haryanto who will start ahead of the Sauber’s of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson.