Nico Rosberg takes 27th career pole for German Grand Prix
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News July 30, 2016 Updated: 5:22 PM
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg turned trouble into a blessing in Q3 to take his 27th career pole position at the German Grand Prix.
What appeared to be a troubling moment for Rosberg in Q3 when an electronic issue cut his throttle and forced him to return to the pits, quickly turned into a blessing after the team did a reset in the pits allowing him to return to an empty track and finish with a time of 1:14.363 to take pole position in front of his home fans. Hamilton improved his time on his second run, but an unfortunate lock up cost him 0.2s to Rosberg and ultimately, pole position.
“I had an electronic problem with my throttle on my first quick run in Q3, so I had to abort. That meant I had a bit more fuel on my final run. I did a pretty good lap but I wasn’t sure if that was enough. I’m very happy to start from P1 at my second home race,” said Rosberg.
Red Bull’s Ricciardo was just 0.363s off despite a poor middle sector on his final attempt to finish third. His teammate Max Verstappen was 0.108s off in fourth and ahead of the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.
“In Q3 I knew I had to find some more time and I put a really good lap together in the first run. Then I knew there wasn’t much more for the second run so I probably tried a little bit too hard and made a few mistakes, but in the end it was a nice qualifying,” said Ricciardo.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg finished seventh for his home Grand Prix, ahead of Valtteri Bottas for Williams, with Hulkenberg’s teammate Sergio Perez finishing ahead of Felipe Massa.
Haas F1 driver Esteban Gutierrez missed Q3 by just 0.184s after a tough fight with Jenson Button for 11th by 0.026s. Carlos Sainz qualified 13th but will be investigated by the stewards after the session for blocking Felipe Massa.
“I was pushing all the way as I really wanted to get into Q3. I took all the available risks that I could and I really enjoyed it out there. I’m happy the way we worked as a team. It proves that from Friday to Saturday we are making good progress and this gives me a lot of confidence,” said Gutierrez.
McLaren-Honda’s Fernando Alonso will start 14th ahead of Romain Grosjean, who was 0.203s off of his teammate and starts 15th.
Renault’s Jolyon Palmer beat his teammate Kevin Magnussen to Q2 by 0.080s with Manor driver Pascal Wehrlein who was just 0.001s slower than Magnussen after another impressive qualifying result. Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was 0.559s slower than his teammate Carlos Sainz who finished 19th ahead of Rio Haryanato and the Saubers of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson.