Rosberg takes British GP Pole

By Mark Gero

SILVERSTONE, England- Even a qualifying session with very light rain could not stop Nico Rosberg from taking another pole position Saturday afternoon as the German recorded a 1:35:786 to start on the front row for Sunday’s British Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel posted his best qualifying spot yet by taking second, his best so far this season. Jenson Button also had his best grid position this year, finishing third.

“Definitely it was a crazy qualifying – just changing all the time and that makes it difficult,” said Rosberg . “In the end of last qualifying [Q3] also, on the first lap with the soft [medium] tires it started to rain quite a lot on the last three corners, and then lost a lot of time there. Then everywhere else it was quite wet also on the in lap so I was sure, I told the guys already ‘that’s it’.

“Then I was sitting in the box and we just came to a general conclusion, might as well go out and have a look at the track because if you don’t have a look there’s no chance, if you have a look there’s a tiny chance. So at least go out and have a look. It seemed like we should give it go, even then I didn’t really believe that the track would be any better.”

“I knew that I’d lost four seconds on the previous lap so even if I was slower than that lap I would still have chance of going a lot quicker in those last three corners if it was half way as dry and that’s the way it turned out. I made the time because it was a lot dryer in the last three corners.”

The third practice session was extremely wet, so when the qualifying round came, the rain was there, but much lighter. Drivers could only use the intermediate tires to begin, but it became obvious that dry lines on the track were beginning to appear.

Button himself was strong early on, and set a 1:39:000 best lap, only to have it deleted off the time sheets because of having all four wheels outside the final turn of the course. However, the main story of this session was with the change in the weather, some surprises came around as both Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, along with the Williams team of Felipe Massa and Valterri Bottas, all failed to reach the second qualifying round. Despite this, Rosberg had the best session time of 1:40:380.

The second session saw the rain finally begin to let up and the circuit begin to dry out. With seven minutes left in the session, all the drivers began to change to slick tires and the times started to drop tremendously. But Esteban Gutierrez struck his Sauber into the wall with only three minutes left, falling to get anyone close to challenge Lewis Hamilton, who had the second session’s best time of 1:34:870.

But Rosberg had no trouble regaining his form to take the final session and pole position, while Hamilton, his closest rival and teammate, could do no better than sixth. Nico Hulkenberg recovered enough to take fourth in his Force India, while Kevin Magnussen was fifth in his McLaren, and along with Button, put the Woking team in the first two rows for the first time this season. Along with Mclaren, Force India also contributed two cars in the top ten with Sergio Perez finishing seventh, while Daniel Riccairdo was a disappointing eighth. Toro Rosso’s Dani Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne rounded out the top ten on the grid, repectively.

Despite a great qualifying session, Rosberg is still cautious that Hamilton could move up the grid and challenge him on race day.

“Of course with regards to the championship its good for me that Lewis is down in sixth.” He claimed. “It will take him some time to fight through although I expect him to come through quite quickly, and then most likely we will be fighting each other again. We seem to be very quickly, this track really suits the car, more so than Austria. Starting from Austria is the best possible place and I’m very confident for the race.”

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