Hockenheim, July 19, 2014 – Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has claimed pole position for his home grand prix, in track temperatures that were just as hot as those seen yesterday. Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were second and third on the grid for Williams.
Bottas and Hamilton were the only drivers to progress to Q2 without using the P Zero Red supersoft tyre, which all the other drivers – including Rosberg – used. From then on, all the drivers used the softest compound in the range for the rest of qualifying, which was around a second faster than the P Zero Yellow soft tyre, also nominated for Hockenheim.
The biggest talking point though remains the weather, with the current hot weather expected to be replaced by thundery rain showers tomorrow afternoon.
Rosberg was also quickest in the final free practice session this morning, going six-tenths of a second faster than his team mate Lewis Hamilton, who crashed due to a mechanical failure in Q1 but still managed to qualify in 16th position. Although he is out of position, this gives him a completely free choice of tyres for the race and the opportunity to use strategy to his advantage.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “We saw a dramatic qualifying session with track
temperature that was, if anything, even higher than it had been yesterday. As we expected, the supersoft was
the tyre to qualify on, being about a second quicker than the soft. This obviously affected the qualifying strategy,
with all the drivers apart from Bottas and Hamilton using the supersoft even in Q1. Teams are obviously thinking
ahead to the race tomorrow, but with a possibility of heavy showers, it will be hard to make any firm predictions
for a strategy. The teams that have managed to save tyres for the race may not be able to reap the benefit of
them if the wet weather tyres are instead needed. And as the teams don’t really have any relevant wet weather
data for Hockenheim, this would certainly be a very interesting turn of events.”
Fastest compounds in FP3:
Rosberg 1m17.779s Supersoft New
Hamilton 1m18.380s Supersoft New
Alonso 1m18.384s Supersoft New
Top 10 tyre use:
Rosberg 1m16.540s Supersoft New
Bottas 1m16.759s Supersoft New
Massa 1m17.078s Supersoft New
Magnussen 1m17.214s Supersoft New
Ricciardo 1m17.273s Supersoft New
Vettel 1m17.577s Supersoft New
Alonso 1m17.649s Supersoft New
Kvyat 1m17.965s Supersoft New
Hulkenberg 1m18.014s Supersoft New
Perez 1m18.035s Supersoft New