Nico Rosberg storms to a home Grand Prix pole


Nico Rosberg takes a brilliant pole in Germany

Nico Rosberg takes a brilliant pole at his home Grand Prix beating his Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team-mate Lewis Hamilton by a tenth of a second.

The German driver drove superbly to pick up yet another pole position for the Silver Arrows, with Hamilton having to settle for second place but will still feel he has a chance of winning at the home of the German manufacturer.

Rosberg suffered a technical issue at the end of his first run in Q3 and had to abort that lap but the team fixed the problem and the German went on to take pole.

After a year out the German Grand Prix returned to the Hockenheimring and played host to a stunning qualifying battle between the two Mercedes drivers.

Red Bull Racing are on the second row of the grid with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen third and fourth respectively. Ricciardo has only been beaten by a team-mate once this year in qualifying and continued to dominate qualifying, piping his younger teammate to third place.

It was a disappointing qualifying for Scuderia Ferrari, who line up fifth and sixth on the grid with Kimi Raikkonen out qualifying his four-time World Champion teammate Sebastian Vettel. In front of his home crowd Vettel failed to deliver when it mattered but the race pace of the Scuderia will allow the team to battle at the front.

The battle for the final places in the top 10 were hotly contested by Sahara Force India and Williams Martini Racing. Nico Hulkenberg came out on top starting an impressive seventh ahead of Valtteri Bottas. Sergio Perez will start ahead of the vastly experienced Brazilian Felipe Massa who rounds out the top 10.

The Mercedes dominated qualifying showing the power of the Mercedes engine and pleasing the bosses of the German manufacturer at their home race.

Hamilton’s final flying lap was full of mistakes with tyre locking and scruffy middle sector after Rosberg’s early pole winning lap was near perfect.

The race could prove to be exciting with the top three teams lined a stern and the fast starting Red Bull’s ready to pick up the pieces if the Mercedes drivers collide.

Ferrari will need to show a stronger race pace to please the adoring Ferrari fans who flock to Germany to see Vettel.

Heading into qualifying Hamilton was under investigation for unsafe release in the pit lane but the team accepted full responsibility for the error and the three-time World Champion could head into qualifying penalty free.

Esteban Gutierrez will line up an impressive eleventh just missing out on Q3, Romain Grosjean on the other hand could only manage fifteenth in the second Haas, with the team still seeking their first venture into Q3 this season.  Grosjean will drop down the order after he takes a five-place grid penalty for a pre-qualifying gearbox change after having issues during free practice earlier in the day.

The McLaren-Honda’s had a disappointing qualifying with Jenson Button twelfth and Fernando Alonso settling for fourteenth, the Honda powered team looked a top ten contender but could not match the Mercedes powered cars in the top ten.

Carlos Sainz showed his skill to outperformed his team-mate Daniil Kvyat starting thirteenth while the Russian was very disappointed with nineteenth in the Scuderia Toro Rosso with his career seemingly spiralling out of control.

Renault will line up sixteenth and seventeenth with Jolyon Palmer making it into Q2 for the first time since Australia, Kevin Magnussen was only a tenth of his team-mate but will start behind the British driver.

German home boy Pascal Wehrlein produced a stunning qualifying display to go eighteenth, finishing ahead of Kvyat and his Manor Racing team-mate Rio Haryanto, while the two Saubers of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson complete the field.