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Rosberg takes pole as Hamilton falters

5 July 2014

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  • Rosberg on pole by 1.6s as Hamilton aborts final run and drops to sixth
  • Vettel second ahead of Button and Hulkenberg
  • Both Ferraris and Williams out in Q1 amid rain

Nico Rosberg took pole position for the British Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton again failed to deliver in qualifying.

The hour-long qualifying session saw changeable conditions throughout, with drivers starting Q3 on slick tyres but losing a lot of time in the final sector as light rain fell. Hamilton was on provisional pole position as everyone attempted one final run late on, but appeared to back off in the opening sector with conditions still far from ideal.

However, the final sector was much improved and those who finished a lap were rewarded. Rosberg took pole with a 1:35.766, leaving him 1.6s clear of Sebastian Vettel who had been over two seconds down on Hamilton's original time after two sectors. Jenson Button was the top home driver in third place, albeit 2.5s down on Rosberg.

It was a session of shocks, with Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa all dropping out in Q1 as both Marussia cars progressed.

Nico Hulkenberg will start from fourth ahead of Kevin Magnussen and Hamilton, while Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne rounded out the top ten.

There was a frantic ending to Q2 as conditions allowed slick tyre running in the closing minutes. Both Marussias had got in to the top ten but were unable to improve significantly under yellow flags as Esteban Gutierrez spun off after dropping his Sauber exiting Brooklands, hitting the barrier on the outside of Luffield.

That left Jules Bianchi in a career-best 12th position, while Max Chilton qualified 13th but will take a five-place grid penalty as a result of a gearbox change. Gutierrez's incident ensured both Sauber's dropped out in the second session as team-mate Adrian Sutil had beached his car in the gravel at Brooklands in Q1 having already set a quick enough time to progress.

Both Lotus cars also dropped out as Romain Grosjean missed out by 0.3s and Pastor Maldonado was unable to set a representative time in the dry conditions as he suffered a loss of fuel pressure and had to park his car on the outside of Woodcote.

In similar fashion to Q2, after all the early running took place on intermediate tyres – with the two Williams drivers leaving it late to do their first runs – the track conditions improved enough for slick running and everyone headed out on medium tyres. The first drivers to take the risk benefitted as it started to rain again right at the end of the session.

The weather played in to the hands of Marussia, with Bianchi and Chilton getting in good early laps to finish Q1 fourth and sixth respectively, while Williams and Ferrari left it too late to head out and were caught out by the increasing rain. Alonso spun at Brooklands to ruin any chance of progressing, while the track was too wet for any improvements and Bottas, Massa, Alonso and Raikkonen joined the two Caterhams in dropping out in the first session.


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