F1: Fifth Pole of season for Rosberg at super hot home German Grand Prix

F1: Fifth Pole of season for Rosberg at super hot home German Grand Prix

Hockenheim Pole for Rosberg

Hockenheim, July 19, 2014 – Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has claimed pole position for his home grand prix, in track temperatures that were just as hot as those seen yesterday. Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were second and third on the grid for Williams. Bottas and Hamilton were the only drivers to progress to Q2 without using the P Zero Red supersoft tyre, which all the other drivers – including Rosberg – used.  Hamilton suffered  had a sudden and catastrophic right front brake disc failure at Turn 13 during Q1 that ended his session during Q1. From then on, all the drivers used the softest compound in the range for the rest of qualifying, which was around a second faster than the soft tyre, also nominated for Hockenheim.

 

The biggest talking point though remains the weather, with the current hot weather expected to be replaced by thundery rain showers tomorrow afternoon. Rosberg was also quickest in the final free practice session this morning, going six-tenths of a second faster than his team mate Lewis Hamilton, who crashed due to a mechanical failure in Q1 but still managed to qualify in 16th position. Although he is out of position, this gives him a completely free choice of tyres for the race and the opportunity to use strategy to his advantage.

 

Nico topped the timesheets in all three sessions today, ending with the fastest lap time of the weekend, a 1:16.540 Lewis is sore from the impact but will be ready to race tomorrow; the team has yet to determine the extent of the damage to the car Nico was running a different type of brake material at the front of the car and the team will conduct diligent inspection of his brake system in parc ferme.

 

Nico Rosberg-That was a quite challenging Qualifying session. The option tyre lasts only for one quick lap and without FRIC we had a lot do adjust the set-up. I had a difficult start because I didn’t really feel comfortable with the balance in the braking zones but that gradually improved through the sessions. The quickest lap at the end was really a good one. So I’m really happy to start from the top position here at our home Grand Prix. But I can’t be too pleased about today because of the accident Lewis suffered, I’m glad he is fine. I would have preferred to have the normal fight for the pole with him. But I’m sure he will fly through the field as our car is still the quickest out there. So our German fans will see an exciting race tomorrow.

 

Lewis Hamilton-The car was feeling great today. I braked in the same place as I have been doing and I suddenly lost brake pressure – it took me by surprise and the failure spun the car into the wall. It wasn’t a great feeling when that happened, you just have to take your hands off the wheel and brace for the impact, but thankfully I’m okay. My legs are a little bruised but I will be fine to race tomorrow; nothing is going to stop me getting in that car. I’m devastated for the guys because they worked so hard during the evening and late last night – I even got an email from my engineers at 01:00 and we were making changes to the set-up to get it just right, which paid off because the balance felt fantastic out there. Then we didn’t even get to do five laps. I’m not sure where we’ll start tomorrow in the race because that will depend on the damage to the car. But we’ll give it everything, hope for a slice of luck and aim for a recovery like I made at Silverstone. It’s definitely going to be a tough afternoon but I won’t be giving up.

 

Valtteri Bottas, Williams: The car was feeling great today and it is ready for the race, so as a team we are pleased with the result. The last lap I had was almost perfect so I can’t fault the session. The Mercedes are still a bit quicker than us, but we are going to work hard tomorrow to get in front but it will be difficult. The aimtomorrow is to keep ahead of the Ferraris and Red Bulls and hopefully the cooler temperatures predicted will play into our hands.

 

Felipe Massa, Williams: It was a very positive qualifying for us. I didn’t get the perfect lap, but we are second and third, so there are no complaints. The race will be difficult so today was more important than usual and so I am delighted with the result. Hopefully we can continue this forward and have a positive day tomorrow as well.

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