Mercedes’ Toto Wolff: “A fantastic result to take the front row”

Nico Rosberg - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Toto Wolff was delighted to see his Mercedes AMG PETRONAS drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton lock out the front row of the grid for the German Grand Prix on Saturday.

The Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport watched as Rosberg recovered from an electronics glitch during his first run in Q3 to take his fifth pole of the season, denying team-mate Hamilton by 0.107 seconds, and praised the German for pulling the lap out of the bag when it mattered.

“Overall, a fantastic result to take the front row of the grid at our home race here in Hockenheim,” said Wolff.

“I’m really pleased for Nico because he overcame a tricky session to get pole. On his first Q3 run, he had an electronic problem during his fast lap, so he aborted and came back to the pits to have it fixed.

“For the second run, we gave a safety margin of two extra laps of fuel, just to make sure he could get a time on the board. But on his first flying lap, he pulled it out of the bag and got the pole anyway.

“Lewis then responded on his final run, but fell slightly short; afterwards, the times showed he had been faster in sector three, but lost a bit too much time in the middle sector of the lap.”

Wolff knows Red Bull Racing are the biggest threat to the team on race day, with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen qualifying third and fourth on the grid, and insists the team will work hard to keep their advantage over their rivals on Sunday.

“We can see that our biggest threat for tomorrow starts right behind us,” said Wolff. “On the long runs yesterday, Red Bull were very competitive and we know that it’s a long and hard race here in Hockenheim.

“So the first, small part of the job is done. But we must make sure to prepare carefully overnight, keep our feet on the ground and deliver the result tomorrow.”