Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Hockenheimring, 2016

Rosberg overcomes setback for home pole

2016 German Grand Prix qualifying

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Nico Rosberg took pole position for his home race despite a problem forcing him into the pits at the end of his first run in Q3.

A mistake by Lewis Hamilton at the hairpin ensured Rosberg his fifth pole position of the season so far as the Mercedes drivers locked out the front row of the grid ahead of the two Red Bulls.


Mercedes gave an ominous indication of their pace in the first phase of qualifying by setting the fastest times of the weekend so far despite not using the softest available tyre compound. Hamilton produced a 1’15.243 on softs to head Q1.

After the first runs Pascal Wehrlein lay a promising 13th for Manor but a raft of improvements in the final minutes put paid to his chances of progressing to Q2 at his home track. A slightly scruffy final sector meant both Renault crept ahead of him.

Only one of those made it into the next phase, however, and for once it was Jolyon Palmer. The pair were separated by just eight-hundredths of a second, which made the difference between Palmer moving on and Kevin Magnussen dropping out.

But the most frustrated driver among the bottom six was Daniil Kvyat. He cursed in frustration after being told he was only 19th, while team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr was comfortably through in 12th.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

17Kevin MagnussenRenault1’16.716
18Pascal WehrleinManor-Mercedes1’16.717
19Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Ferrari1’16.876
20Rio HaryantoManor-Mercedes1’16.977
21Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’17.123
22Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’17.238


The Mercedes pair opted for super-softs at the start of Q2 and predictably sustained their positions at the top of the times. However Hamilton’s margin of Rosberg was less than a tenth of a second, and Max Verstappen was able to get within four-tenths of a second of them.

A quick run through the final sector for Daniel Ricciardo was not enough to make up for an error in the first, which left his best effort four-tenths of a second off his team mate. Nonetheless he opted to stay in the garage and not make a second run.

It proved a smart move as few drivers improved with their final runs. Sebastian Vettel ventured out for another run but it proved unnecessary, though he succeeded in angering Fernando Alonso, who claimed the Ferrari held him up.

The stewards also investigated Carlos Sainz Jnr for impeding Felipe Massa, though the Williams driver made it into the top ten while the Toro Rosso driver failed to.

Both Mclarens also dropped out – Jenson Button eliminated by Massa’s final improvement. The Haas pair were eliminated as well, Romain Grosjean puzzled by their inability to find pace from a new set of tyres.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11Esteban GutierrezHaas-Ferrari1’15.883
12Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’15.909
13Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Ferrari1’15.989
14Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’16.041
15Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’16.086
16Jolyon PalmerRenault1’16.665


A 1’14.486 from Hamilton gave him the early advantage in Q3 – and so did an electrical problem for Rosberg, which forced him to abandon his first lap.

Rosberg got back out for a second run, however, and a pinpoint-accurate lap delivered a time of 1’14.363 to put him ahead. Hamilton still had one chance to respond and when a super-committed run through turn one saw him gain a tenth of a second in the first sector he seemed on course to do it.

But arriving at the Spitzkehre Hamilton locked his front right wheel, dragging the car wide. He couldn’t claw back the lost time in the remaining corners, and was forced to settle for second place.

Ricciardo couldn’t improve on his flying first effort and stayed third ahead of Verstappen. The Ferraris lined up behind them, Vettel having to give best to Verstappen.

Mercedes-powered cars filled the remaining places, Nico Hulkenberg putting his Force India in front of both the Williams drivers.

Top ten in Q3

1Nico RosbergMercedes1’14.363
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’14.470
3Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’14.726
4Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’14.834
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’15.142
6Sebastian VettelFerrari1’15.315
7Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’15.510
8Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’15.530
9Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’15.537
10Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’15.615

2016 German Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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36 comments on “Rosberg overcomes setback for home pole”

  1. I don’t get it. Hamilton set the fastest final sector and still could not get at least a better one.. But I am not worried with him starting 2nd. And Lewis even said that he didn’t lose anytime with regards to the lock up. Bring on the run down to turn 2 and the hairpin tomorrow. Anyone seen Lewis’ last onboard lap? He was crazy through turn 1.

    1. I’ll eat my words after watching Ant’s onboard… he did.. LOL that’s probabyl 2-3 tenths or even more because that leads onto a straight.

      1. And the fuel Rosberg was carrying was also worth quite a few tenths.

        1. Lewis’ lap wasn’t perfect either… His lap shows quite a lot of mistakes. I would say had they been in the same circumstance, they would have been extremely close. (Just like in Q2 the gap)

          1. the end result is all that matters. redbull drivers showed better speed and less mistakes, put them in the Mercedes.

  2. I just heard that Rosberg was carrying 3 laps of fuel onboard for his lap. That is incredible. He was in the same situation as Hamilton in Monaco and still took pole.

    1. Hamilton had 3 laps of fuel onboard in Silverstone and took pole by a bigger margin.

      1. Silverstone is a bigger track

      2. There are only about 9 proper corners on this circuit, Silverstone has about twice as many corners to make up time. Likewise, it was Lewis’ own fault for only having 1 lap to set a time at Silverstone (although his one lap was mighty impressive).

      3. Its okay all the fuss Rosberg’s getting. After all he is an inferior driver to Lewis and he doing what Hamilton seldom does is kinda amazing ;)

    2. Not quite; Penalty per lap of fuel around here is 0.045s (Source: F1 Fanatic), so at best Nico had another tenth fuel adjusted.

      At Monaco Lewis had 3-4 laps of fuel on board; He had to abadon his first flyer due to traffic, and then pounded around another couple of laps to find a space; So his tyres would have been well past their best.

      So impressive performance by Nico, but not at all comparable to Monaco.

  3. Yup…. congratulations to Rosberg for a perfect weekend so far.

    And now for the longest 24 hours ever – the wait for the race.

    Happy weekend, everybody!!

    1. There’s a 24 hour race at Spa, the F1 is just something to fill your time this weekend.

  4. I’m happy to see Rosberg bouncing back like that. He withstood enormous pressure after the last race, in front of his home crowd. I hope he will repeat that tomorrow. He’s looking good.

  5. great drives from both Rosberg and Ricciardo

  6. Great job from Rosberg even with the electronic issue. I hope that he can keep this level of performance in the race.

  7. Two errors from Lewis to deny him top spot in fp2 and q3. Maybe he is feeling the pressure it being Rosbergs home race as well as Mercedes. But I think he’ll get Nico off the line just like in Hungary.

    1. Yes, but if Rosberg has the pace he at least is racing on s track where you can overtake.

    2. Maybe he is feeling the pressure it being Rosberg’s home race

      I really doubt that because there is nothing really that makes any German drivers’ feel like their home race with minuscule crowds!

      1. Stands were all red in any event. Hardly a clap in the crowd for his ‘home’ race

  8. Hamilton gained a second through turn 1 keith? I highly doubt that’s possible…

  9. It’s not the first time that Hamilton has made a small mistake under pressure this year in Qualy.

    I’d love to see someone get close enough to him in a race to see if the same occurs but sadly at present no one can.

    1. When is there a qualy session in F1 that isn’t under pressure when you’re still in the WDC fight mathematically?

  10. Mighty lap from Nico, refreshing to see him when deliver under pressure for once and proved his doubters, including myself, wrong in that respect.

    Think I’m gonna be the first to give Kimi his dues today thrashing Vettel, can’t remember the last time he put in a one-lap performance of that kind relative to a team-mate. Would be interesting if he can stay in front of Vettel tomorrow and give us a good intra-team battle on track.

    Can’t see pass Mercs to walk a 1-2 finish tomorrow as I can’t see Red Bull’s long-run pace from yesterday materalising tomorrow

    1. Redbull’s are impressive nonetheless, however their performance is almost like a parabolic graph… they go fast fast fast, then fall dramatically as designed by pirelli :) they have a good car, and their engine is not that terrible either anymore, at least more reliable or no less reliable then others… but they run super high downforce all the time, which i suspect maybe eating into tyres massively…

  11. Vettel was over-driving the car. Again. He just doesn’t perform like he should at the moment.

    1. There’s a hitch in his get along. he’ll get it sorted

  12. There has been some confusion with regards to refueling mid-session.

    Do tēmas refuel between the first and second run in Q3?

    I was always under the inpression that they do. Some pundints are now claiming they don’t, and that Rosberg set out in Q3 with 3+3 laps of fuel, but did 2+3. But what I understood from Rosberg in the press conference, he said, they refueled with a safety +1 lap fuel for the second run.

    1. @mateuss they can choose to refuel, although it takes time with the current cars so the teams need to be careful not to leave themselves short of time to complete their laps.

      1. @optimaximal Thanks, I was under the same impression. Some national level pundits claiming some nonsense.

  13. Hamiltons home race, Hamilton wins.
    Rosbergs home race, Rosberg wins.

    Illuminati confirmed ;)

    1. Ha ha. The problem with F1 today is all of those engine settings. There should be one setting like in the old days. Start the car and drive it hard until the engine blows up. No turning it ‘up or down’. Tell me Merc didn’t turn down the engines in Singapore last season.

  14. Mercedes dominance is making it hard to get excited about the result of any session. If anything they are more dominant than 2015. This reflects poorly on their rivals. I expect Hamilton to win as he is a born winner. Only thing I noticed is that Vettel has been out of sorts for a while now – the Ferrari doesn’t seem to have the front end he needs and he is off the pace.

    1. Agree. Rosberg is great over one lap, sometimes better than Lewis, but over a race distance Lewis will most likely win.

      Has ROS ever beaten HAM in a straight fight over a race distance, on a circuit with passing opportunities, where both drivers were unimpeded by technical problems or grid position? I can’t recall that ever happened.

  15. Lewis adopted his usual arrogant, dismissive, obnoxious mode after Rosberg beat him in qualifying.

    1. Lewis doesn’t know all of the mode settings on his Mercedes, but he sure knows how to turn off and on his personality “modes”

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