German Grand Qualifying: Hamilton lock up gives Rosberg a home pole position

Nico Rosberg will start his home race from pole position. after overcoming an electronic problem. The German who only had one chance to set a time did not crack under pressure and beat Lewis Hamilton by just over a tenth of a second.

Hamilton locked up a front tyre at the hairpin after being faster than Rosberg in the first sector. Daniel Ricciardo will start in 3rd place ahead of teammate Max Verstappen in 4th. Kimi Raikkonen out-qualified Sebastian Vettel on the third row of the grid.

It was a slow start to Q1 with the drivers taking their time to come out onto the track. When the drivers eventually appeared in Q1 it was Hamilton that jumped straight to the top of the times. Mercedes were the only team to run the soft tyre in comparison to the rest of the field who were running on the super-soft compound. 

Jenson Button struggled in Q1 but mad it through into the next session. Fernando Alonso was over half a second faster than Button who missed out on crucial track time on Friday after a trip to the hospital during FP2.

The Haas pairing of Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez set a good time in the dying moments of the session which put the drivers in the lower reaches of the times under pressure.

Pascal Wehrlein almost booked a place in Q2 only to be beaten by Kevin Magnussen by just 0.001s. The Dane was then in turn beaten by teammate Jolyon Palmer. 

Wehrlein and Magnussen were joined on the sidelines by Daniil Kvyat who continues to struggle since his demotion to Toro Rosso, Rio Haryanto and the Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.

As Q2 began it was clear to see just how close Hamilton and Rosberg were in terms of pace. Hamilton led Rosberg as Mercedes bolted on the super-soft tyres. Hamilton ahead by just a tenth of a second.

Max Verstappen could only manage to be .376s behind pacesetter Hamilton on the same tyre as the Mercedes, there was also cause for concern for Daniel Ricciardo who is celebrating his 100th grand prix this weekend was almost a full second off Hamilton.

Ricciardo elected to stay out on the same set of tyres to do another flying lap. The Australian will start the race on tyres that are two laps older than the rest of the drivers in the top ten.

The later stages of Q2 was a hive of activity with ten cars out on track trying to force their way into Q3.

Jenson Button improved to sneak into ninth place but was quickly beaten by Gutierrez, the Mexican out qualified Grosjean for the fourth time who will line up 14th tomorrow.  Both Jenson Button and Gutierrez were beaten as Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas secured their place in the top-ten shootout.

Sebastian Vettel at his home race was the first driver on track at the start of Q3 but it was a scruffy lap from the four-time champion.

Nico Rosberg looked set to beat Vettel’s time but peeled off into the pits after setting quick times in sector one and two. Rosberg could not complete his first laps with an “electronic error”.

Daniel Ricciardo impressed in Q2 with a storming lap. The Australian’s first effort was a quarter of a second slower than Hamilton and was good enough for a provisional front row start.

Rosberg had the track to himself for his first full lap whilst the other drivers were in the garage preparing for their final efforts. He did enough to take pole from Lewis Hamilton by just 0.123s.

A mistake for Hamilton after a faster first sector at the hairpin cost Hamilton pole position.