Lewis Hamilton refused to blame what appeared to be a lock-up into the Hockenheim hairpin as he came up short in the intra-team battle for German Grand Prix pole position with Nico Rosberg.
The Briton had been gifted an open run to provisional pole after Rosberg suffered an as yet unexplained electronics glitch that sent the #6 car back into the pits with no throttle, but fell behind the German when Rosberg returned for a second crack at top spot, going a tenth faster despite having enough fuel on board for three laps.
RESULTS: German Grand Prix – Qualifying results
Hamilton still had a chance to respond, however, but could not break the jinx that had seen him fail to beat any team-mate in qualifying at Hockenheim as he came up a fraction slower than Rosberg when it mattered. A tenth ahead through the first sector, the world champion appeared to lock-up into the hairpin in sector two, and ultimately came up 0.107s shy of another pole.
Speaking honestly in the ensuing press conference, however, Hamilton insisted that he had not
made a mistake into T4, but simply failed to extract enough pace from his #44 machine.
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“I had the pace today but just couldn't finish it off on that last lap, so...” he admitted, “I didn't really have much of a lock-up, it was subtle and I didn't really lose any time.”
Behind Rosberg in each of the practice sessions, Hamilton had to give best again in qualifying, but insists that remains in a good position for race day as he attempts to hold on to the championship lead he finally wrested from his team-mate last time out in Hungary.
“It's been a good weekend and I had no problems,” he reported, “It should be a good day for Mercedes and we'll race it out...”
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