Home Latest News Rosberg on Pole After Topsy-Turvy British Grand Prix Qualifying

Rosberg on Pole After Topsy-Turvy British Grand Prix Qualifying

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Mercedes F1 1Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg will start on pole for the 2014 British Grand Prix as the German emerged on top in a frantic scramble for the top places in the dying moments of qualifying.

There was drama aplenty in a rain effected qualifying session at Silverstone, as both Ferraris and Williams sensationally missed the cut in Q1 when they failed to take advantage of a brief let-up in the rain.

Lewis Hamilton will start from sixth as he mistakenly chose to abort his final lap, which may well have proven fast enough to carry him to top spot on the grid.

Elsewhere, there was finally something to smile about for Jensen Button who made full use of his skills in the wet to plant his McLaren in a lofty third position, just behind world champion Sébastien Vettel in second.

Further down the grid, Jules Bianchi stunningly snatched 12th position amid the drama. This not only represents a personal best qualifying for the Frenchman but also a record result for the Marrussia team, who found themselves in the unfamiliar position of getting both cars through to the second part of qualifying.

Q1 got underway against the backdrop of the threateningly grey skies over Silverstone. As the rain drizzled down, intermediate tyres were the order of the day. However, times registered in the wet became irrelevant when a brief rain-free window opened up mid-way through the session. It was Button and the Marussias who were quickest to read the pattern and quickly set down a marker with some much improved times in the more favourable conditions. Button looked to have carved out a 2.2 second gap on the rest of the field, until his lap time was erased for exceeding the track limits. However, by the time the checkered flag was waved, the outlook for Ferrari and Williams was as grim as the Northamptonshire skyline. Both teams missed that crucial dry window and by the time their drivers had pitted for slicks the rain had begun to fall again. Once Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas had both made errors on their flying laps, it became apparent that neither they nor their teammates would be able to escape the Q1 drop zone. Vettel was particularly fortunate to scrape through as he found himself on the bubble in 16th 

Track conditions slowly improved for Q2, with some drivers seeing a 10 second difference in their times over the course of the session. After a brief delay to untangle the stricken Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez from the crash barriers when the Mexican span on a wet section, the action resumed with all the remaining big-hitters negotiating their way through to Q3. Bianchi and Chilton marginally missed out in 12th and 13th respectively, although the latter will start from 18th after a gearbox change. Pastor Maldonado’s fuel pressure problem and subsequent failure to supply race control with the standard one-litre sample means he will start from 20th.

The best of the drama was reserved for the dying stages of Q3. Initially, Perez, Ricciardo, Vergne and Kvyat all set quick times on slicks before the rain returned, but all were trumped by the pure speed of the Mercedes. As the heavens began to open again and the session looked to have been brought to a premature close, it was Hamilton who had posted the faster time of the two Silver Arrows. However, with only minutes left on the clock, the erratic conditions took yet another turn. The rain ceased and much of the final sector began to dry out, allowing the remaining protagonists to cram in a final flurry of flying laps on the faster medium tyre. Vettel, Button, Hulkenburg and Magnussen all found several tenths in the rapidly drying third sector and, along with pole sitter Rosberg, they completed the top five. Hamilton, advised by his teammate via radio to “speed up”, chose to abort his final run, presumably unaware of the precious time to be gained further down the road. This error means much work lies ahead for the Brit if he wishes to chip in to his teammate’s championship lead at Silverstone.

Final Qualifying results – British Gran Prix

1              N Rosberg           Mercedes

2              S Vettel                Red Bull

3              J Button               McLaren

4              N Hulkenberg    Force India

5              K Magnussen     McLaren

6              L Hamilton           Mercedes

7              S Perez               Force India

8              D Ricciardo          Red Bull

9              D Kvyat               Toro Rosso

10           J Vergne              Toro Rosso

11           R Grosjean          Lotus

12           J Bianchi               Marussia

13           M Chilton            Marussia

14           E Gutierrez         Sauber

15           P Maldonado     Lotus

16           A Sutil                 Sauber

17           V Bottas               Williams

18           F Massa                Williams

19           F Alonso               Ferrari

20           K Raikkonen       Ferrari

21           M Ericsson          Caterham

22           K Kobayashi        Caterham

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