Nico Rosberg will start tonight’s German Grand Prix from pole position after his teammate Lewis Hamilton crashed out due to a brake failure in Q1. In his first lap of Q3 Rosberg laid down a marker (1:16.540) that nobody could match. It’s his fourth pole in the last five races.
In the first serious hit out since the teams ditched the FRIC suspension the order we have come to expect in 2014 remained largely in tact. Perhaps we’re not used to seeing both Williams drivers in the top three, but their form has been on the improve in recent times and seeing Valtteri Bottas (1:16.759) almost challenge for pole was not a total surprise, nor was seeing Felipe Massa (1:17.078) in the frame as well.
In P4 was Kevin Magnussen (1:17.214) who claims McLaren has benefitted from the recent suspension changes. Once again Daniel Ricciardo (1:17.273) has qualified ahead of Sebastian Vettel (1:17.577) and the Red Bull pair will start from P5 and P6 respectively.
â€œIt wasnâ€™t too bad today, we would like to be further forward than fifth, but the lap I did was pretty good,” Ricciardo said. “I made quite an improvement in Q3 from Q2 so I canâ€™t really argue with the lap I did, but as a team we are still a bit off.
“We know the Mercedes is strong, but the Williams was also continually showing their pace today and the McLaren with Kevin was good, so we have to keep working but we did what we could.
“I think the race will be close between the top eight tomorrow and it will be a battle for the final podium spot.â€
The top 10 was rounded out by Fernando Alonso (1:17.649), Daniil Kvyat (1:17.965), Nico Hulkenberg (1:18.014) and Sergio Perez (1:18.035).
The major drama from qualifying was Hamilton’s crash in Q1. He is okay, although he was a bit shaken and has bruised knees after making heavy contact with the tyre barrier. Immediately afterwards Lewis claimed a brake failure caused him to lose control. Mercedes later confirmed a front right disc failed.
Mercedes has changed the discs on Lewis’ car and will now most likely start the race from the pit lane.
Nico Rosberg explained in the press conference he knew he could not be affected by the same problem as he runs different brake components to Lewis. Which is an interesting discussion point on its own.
Rosberg will be hoping to cap-off a great start to his home grand prix with a win, something made that little bit easier by Hamilton’s woes. Perhaps, things are just going to go Nico’s way this year.