Nico Rosberg strikes back on his Mercedes team-mate and title challenger Lewis Hamilton to take pole position at Hockenheim.
This P1 is significant in terms of the championship. Just six points the difference following Hamilton’s victory in Hungary last weekend. Rosberg was under pressure in Q3 following an electronic issue that forced him to abort his first flying lap.
It seemed Lewis Hamilton had the edge after setting the quickest time in Q1 and Q2. The championship leader was on provisional pole in Q3 with a margin of six tenths of a second over the others.
Rosberg took to the track on super-softs after the electronic issue was resolved and grabbed his fifth pole position of the season by just over a tenth of a second.
Hamilton responding to his team-mate’s lap time. He was tenth of a second quicker in the first sector but locked up at the Turn 6 hairpin and fell up short. Still lines up second on the grid.
Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo relegated team-mate Max Verstappen to fourth on his final run, having been behind on first-run times.
Ferrari locked out the third row, with Kimi Raikkonen outpacing Sebastian Vettel by almost two tenths to win the intra-team battle.
Force India and Williams had a very close battle for the final four places in the top ten, with the four cars covered by just 0.105 seconds.
Nico Hulkenberg won the battle ahead of Valtteri Bottas, with Sergio Perez ninth ahead of Felipe Massa.
Esteban Gutierrez was the fastest driver in Q2 to be eliminated, ending up P11, after briefly breaking into the top ten with his final run before being eliminated by Massa’s late improvement.
McLaren driver Jenson Button was P12 ahead of Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz, who is under investigation for impeding Massa at Turn 2.
Fernando Alonso was P14 after running wide over a kerb and shedding some small parts of his front wing in the stadium section – although he also complained about being held up by Vettel’s slow Ferrari.
Romain Grosjean, who lost most of final practice to a gearbox problem that will lead to a five-place penalty, was P15 ahead of Jolyon Palmer, the Renault driver making his first Q2 appearance since the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was the surprise driver to be eliminated in Q1 thanks to late improvements from the Renaults and Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein.
Palmer’s final lap put him into Q2, with Kevin Magnussen taking P17 with a lap less than a tenth slower than his team-mate.
Despite not believing he could have gone any quicker after his second run, Wehrlein used a third set of super-softs to take P18 with what he described as a “great” lap ahead of the baffled Kvyat.
The Sauber pairing of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson complete the final row, with the former just over a tenth faster than his team-mate.
So a top result for Nico Rosberg in front of his home fans. This result marks 30 years since his father Keke recorded his last pole position. At exactly the same circuit too.
Qualifying standings, German Grand Prix:
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m14.363s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m14.470s
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m14.726s
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Renault 1m14.834s
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m15.142s
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m15.315s
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m15.510s
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m15.530s
9 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m15.537s
10 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m15.615s
11 Esteban Gutierrez Haas-Ferrari 1m15.883s
12 Jenson Button McLaren-Honda 1m15.909s
13 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m15.989s
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1m16.041s
15 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m16.665s
16 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m16.716s
17 Pascal Wehrlein Manor-Mercedes 1m16.717s
18 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m16.876s
19 Rio Haryanto Manor-Mercedes 1m16.977s
20 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1m16.086s
21 Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 1m17.123s
22 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1m17.238s