German GP - Saturday - Qualifying Session Report
The Other Home Pole
Nico Rosberg has lived all his life in Monaco and he won the pole for his home race back in May. He is a German citizen and was born in Germany, however, and he also won the pole for his other home Grand Prix of Germany. Nobody was able to challenge him for the top spot, not even his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton who crashed because of brake failure in the first qualifying session.
The ambient temperature at the start of the session was 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 131 degrees Fahrenheit (55 degrees Centigrade.)
First out: Jules Bianchi in his Marussia.
Once the drivers started setting times, Felipe Massa put his Williams on top with a lap in 1:19.389 only to have Kevin Magnussen (McLaren) beat that with a 1:19.379.
Missing from the action was Marcus Ericsson whose Caterham had hydraulic woes.
6 minutes into the session Lewis Hamilton posted a 1:18.683 in his Mercedes fitted with the soft compound Pirelli tires. His teammate Nico Rosberg slid off the track on his run.
10 minutes into the session Valtteri Bottas topped the times with a 1:18.215. Red Bull‚Äö√Ñ√¥s Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo were fifth and sixth.
And 10 minutes into the session Hamilton spun off and crashed heavily into the tire barriers at Turn 13. The session was red flagged.
"I'm OK, ohh, something made the brakes fail," Hamilton radioed in.
He went back in the medical car while his car went back on a flat bed truck.
After a nine minute stoppage the session was restarted. Rosberg had yet to set a time. There was 7 minutes and 21 seconds remaining in Q1. Rosberg was first out, and he was on the super soft tires because there would be no second chances.
The man on the bubble in 16th place was Pastor Maldonado (Lotus) while Adrian Sutil (Sauber) was 17th.
With 4 minutes remaining in the session, Rosberg clocked a 1:17.631. That moved Maldonado to 17th and put Bianchi on the bubble. Maldonado, however, did not immediately go back out.
The guys that were out ran the super soft tires.
With 2 minutes remaining in the session, Ricciardo moved up to second and Vettel to third. Now Sutil was on the bubble.
The top six at the end of Q1 were: Rosberg, Ricciardo, Vettel, Bottas, Magnussen and Massa.
The six drivers eliminated at the end of Q1 were: Sutil, Bianchi, Maldonado, Kamui Kobayashi (Caterham), Max Chilton (Marussia) and Ericsson.
Mercedes tweeted: "Lewis Hamilton is back from the medical centre. He's OK but sore from the crash. We are working to diagnose the cause"
Hamilton, who had a right front brake failure, was 16th.
Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) was first to set at time in the 15-minute Q2 ‚Äö√Ñ√¨ 1:18.270. But Massa soon beat that with a 1:17.790.
With 8 minutes remaining in the session, Rosberg went quickest with a 1:17.109. Bottas was second and Massa third. Fernando Alonso was fourth in his Ferrari.
With 6 minutes remaining in the session, Vettel moved into third and Magnussen into fourth.
With 5 minutes remaining in the session, Hulkenberg was 10th and on the bubble while Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) was 11th.
With 3 minutes remaining in the session, some drivers including Raikkonen and Hulkenberg headed out for one last gasp of a run.
Hulkenberg moved up to eighth, putting Jenson Button (McLaren) on the 10th placed bubble and ahead of Raikkonen. Both got pushed down, to 11th and 12th, as Sergio Perez grabbed 10th place in his Force India.
The top 10 at the end of Q2 were: Rosberg, Bottas, Massa, Vettel, Magnussen, Ricciardo, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) and Perez.
The six drivers eliminated at the end of Q2 were: Button, Raikkonen, Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber), Romain Grosjean (Lotus) and Hamilton.
Perez was the first out for the 12-minute Q3 shootout. He clocked a slow 1:19.395.
Rosberg then came around and posted a 1:16.540.
Next it was the Williams boys: Bottas grabbed second with a 1:17.057 and Massa third with a 1:17.306.
Ricciardo got fourth but Magnussen took it away from him.
With 5 minutes remaining in the session, Vettel snatched fourth place. Magnussen was fifth and Ricciardo sixth. Alonso Kvyat, Hulkenberg and Perez rounded out the top 10
The drivers headed for the pits to prepare for one final run.
With less than 3 minutes remaining in the session, it was time to go out on track. Perez moved up to sixth.
In the final moments, Ricciardo took third but lost it to Massa. Then Magnussen took fourth.
Rosberg was out there too but even he could not beat his time of 1:16.540.
The top 10 qualifiers at the end of Q3 were: Rosberg, Bottas, Massa, Magnussen, Ricciardo, Vettel, Alonso, Kvyat, Hulkenberg and Perez.