Nico Rosberg today took his 27th career pole position – his second at the Hockenheim Circuit and fifth of the 2016 season so far. Lewis Hamilton completed a seventh Silver Arrows front row lockout of the season in P2. Today’s result marks the 300th and 301st Formula One front row grid slots for Mercedes-Benz Power. Both drivers completed a single run in Q1 (Soft) and Q2 (Superset), with Nico completing one run and Lewis two in Q3 (Supersoft)
That was a difficult qualifying for me! I had an electronic problem with my throttle on my first quick run in Q3, so I had to abort. That meant I had a bit more fuel on my final run. I did a pretty good lap but I wasn’t sure if that was enough. I’m very happy to start from P1 at my second home race. It was awesome to hear the fans cheering for me after my run. It’s a great atmosphere here in Hockenheim and I can’t wait for tomorrow. I hope we can put up a good show and that I can win this Grand Prix.
There was nothing particularly wrong today. My final lap just didn’t work out. It was pretty close out there and sometimes you get it right, sometimes you don’t. The car was feeling great. The team did a great job to get it where I needed it to be and it was definitely on for pole. I was two tenths up coming out of T2 – but from T8 onwards it started to deteriorate and I couldn’t maintain the gap. I’ve missed out on pole, so I didn’t do what I was supposed to do – but it’s in the past now, so you just let it go and look forwards. It doesn’t mean the race isn’t there to win tomorrow. I’ll try to get a good start and see how it goes from there. I don’t know what the strategy will be – we’ll look through that tonight. But this is a track where you can overtake, so I don’t have to go for it at the first corner. It can be somewhere else. Last time we raced here I started dead last and finished on the podium, so this is definitely a big step up from that! The pace is clearly there, so it’s still been a good day and I’m generally pretty happy. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to do something from where I am. I’m just focused on trying to move forward and if I can drive like I have done in the past few races then anything can happen.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
Overall, a fantastic result to take the front row of the grid at our home race here in Hockenheim. I’m really pleased for Nico because he overcame a tricky session to get pole. On his first Q3 run, he had an electronic problem during his fast lap, so he aborted and came back to the pits to have it fixed. For the second run, we gave a safety margin of two extra laps of fuel, just to make sure he could get a time on the board. But on his first flying lap, he pulled it out of the bag and got the pole anyway. Lewis then responded on his final run, but fell slightly short; afterwards, the times showed he had been faster in sector three, but lost a bit too much time in the middle sector of the lap. In any case, we can see that our biggest threat for tomorrow starts right behind us. On the long runs yesterday, Red Bull were very competitive and we know that it’s a long and hard race here in Hockenheim. So the first, small part of the job is done. But we must make sure to prepare carefully overnight, keep our feet on the ground and deliver the result tomorrow.
Source: Mercedes-AMG F1