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Nico Rosberg on pole for home race

Lewis Hamilton’s crash during the German GP qualifying on Saturday continued a run of bad luck for the Mercedes driver, who has retired from two races this season.

Lewis Hamilton’s crash during the German GP qualifying on Saturday continued a run of bad luck for the Mercedes driver, who has retired from two races this season.  

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Lewis Hamilton crashes; Williams duo qualifies second and third

Formula One leader Nico Rosberg put Mercedes on pole position for his home German Grand Prix on Saturday after a brake failure dumped title rival and teammate Lewis Hamilton out of qualifying.

Hamilton, who is four points behind Rosberg in the standings after nine of 19 races, ended up sore and 16th after a heavy crash but should start 15th when a penalty is applied to Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez ahead of him.

Finland’s Valtteri Bottas joined Rosberg on the front row for Mercedes-powered Williams, with Brazilian teammate Felipe Massa qualifying third on a searingly hot afternoon at Hockenheim with temperatures in the 50s Celsius.

The pole was Rosberg’s fifth of the season, fourth in the last five races and ninth of his career, but less satisfying than some.

“It’s great, a home race and to be on pole is fantastic,” the 29-year-old, who got married last week and signed a new multi-year contract with Mercedes while also celebrating Germany’s soccer World Cup win, told reporters.

“Of course I would have preferred it if it was an open fight with Lewis, so a little less happy as a result because Lewis didn’t have a shot at it again,” said Nico Rosberg.

McLaren’s Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen qualified a strong fourth, with 2009 world champion teammate Jenson Button only 11th, to ensure Mercedes-powered cars filled the two front rows of the grid.

Vettel sixth

Red Bull’s quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel, a home winner last year when the race was held at the Nuerburgring, will line up sixth and behind Australian teammate Daniel Ricciardo in fifth place.

Victory on Sunday would make Rosberg the first German to win his home Grand Prix in a German car since Rudolf Caracciola in 1939, as well as the first driver in 60 years to win in Germany for a works Mercedes team.

With five of the eight races to date at the redesigned circuit won from pole, Rosberg also knows he has a great chance to extend his lead considerably although the weather could play a hand.

Starting grid:

First row: Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), Valtteri Bottas (Williams); Second row: Felipe Massa (Williams), Kevin Magnussen (McLaren); Third row: Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull), Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull); Fourth row: Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso); Fifth row: Nico Hulkenberg (Force India), Sergio Perez (Force India); Sixth row: Jenson Button (McLaren), Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari).

Seventh row: Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso), Romain Grosjean (Lotus); Eighth row: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Adrian Sutil (Sauber); Ninth row: Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber), Jules Bianchi (Marussia-Ferrari).

10th row: Pastor Maldonado (Lotus), Kamui Kobayashi (Caterham); 11th row: Max Chilton (Marussia), Marcus Ericsson (Caterham).

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Printable version | Jan 30, 2020 12:31:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/nico-rosberg-on-pole-for-home-race/article6229260.ece

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