United States Grand Prix Qualifying: Nico Rosberg Fends Off Hamilton For Pole

USGP, 2014, quallifying, Kettlemag, Charlie Wright
Written by F1_Charlie

Nico Rosberg starts today’s United States Grand Prix from pole position after seeing off team mate Lewis Hamilton in convincing style in Austin, Texas yesterday.

Hamilton up until Q2 had topped every session so far this weekend however the Brit who has a seventeen point lead in the championship had a scruffy qualifying session.

Hamilton locked up his brakes in the second phase of qualifying, his troubles carried over into the top ten shoot out as he also went on to lock up his brakes on his final attempt. Whilst Rosberg set a time of 1:36.290 Hamilton found himself .376 behind his championship rival.

There was a sense of emptiness as Q1 began with just four cars being eliminated as opposed due to Caterham and Marussia not competing this weekend. Sebastian Vettel joined the likes of Jean-Eric Vergne, Esteban Gutierrez and the Lotus of Romain Grosjean who fell at the first hurdle. Last season both Vettel and Grosjean stood on the podium at this event, what a difference a year makes.

Whilst Hamilton topped Q1, Q2 was a different story.  The Brit complained on the radio about his car “It’s getting a bit ridiculous, the things keeps locking.” Hamilton had braking issues this morning in the final free practice, it looks as if the team were unable to iron out that particular issue.

Nico Rosberg laid down a marker in the final stages of Q2 by setting a time that was just shy of a second faster than Hamilton.

Adrian Sutil was the good news story of the day. Amidst of the recent financial issues that the smaller teams are facing Adrian Sutil was able to get his Sauber into Q3 after a quick time at the end of the second session, narrowly fending off a late challenge from the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado who qualified an impressive eleventh place for Lotus.

Neither Force India made their way into Q3 as well as the Lotus of Maldonado and Daniil Kvyat face a ten-place grid penalty for using his seventh power unit of the season.

Daniel Ricciardo was the first driver to set a time in the final shootout yet his time was quickly beaten by Valtteri Bottas.

After the first runs in Q3 it was clear that Rosberg had the advantage, whilst Hamilton after his first attempt was just .161 slower, the Brit had lost his confidence in the car under braking.

Rosberg would go onto improve his time further and ultimately end up securing pole position from Hamilton.

The Williams pair of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa occupy the second row of the grid with the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo and the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso joining them on the third row.

Jenson Button leads teammate Kevin Magnussen however Button will take a five-place grid drop for a change of gearbox with Kimi Raikkonen and Adrian Sutil bringing up the rear of the top ten.

Below is a rundown of the grid for tomorrow’s United States Grand Prix:

1Nico RosbergMercedes
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes
3Valtteri BottasWilliams Mercedes
4Felipe MassaWilliams Mercedes
5Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing Renault
6Fernando AlonsoFerrari
7Jenson ButttonMcLaren Mercedes
8Kevin MagnussenMcLaren Mercedes
9Kimi RaikkonenFerrari
10Adrian SutilSauber Ferrari
11Pastor MaldonadoLotus Renault
12Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes
13Nico HulkenbergForce India Mercedes
14Daniil KvyatToro Rosso Renault
15Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso Renault
16Esteban GutierrezSauber Ferrari
17Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing Renault
18Romain GrosjeanLotus Renault