Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen finished the session in eighth place and a full second behind Alonso.
The Finn admitted his final flying lap had been far from perfect.
"The car was pretty OK, but the conditions were quite difficult," Raikkonen said.
"I did quite a few mistakes in the last lap, I had to compromise my out-lap to get clear of traffic, so it was not the best way to start the lap and then I did some mistakes."
Belgian GP: Nico Rosberg takes pole position at wet Spa
Nico Rosberg claimed his fourth consecutive Formula 1 pole position in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.
Rain meant that the majority of qualifying was run using intermediate tyres and Rosberg’s first flying lap at the start of Q3, a 2m05.591s, proved to be good enough for pole position.
Although Rosberg did switch to a fresh set of intermediates and made a small improvement, he had already done enough to be sure of top spot. He ended up just over two tenths clear of world championship rival and Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton, who set a slow time on his first flier, which was compromised by sliding wide at the first corner, leading him to ease off, before improving on his second.
He then pitted for fresh intermediates and got down to a 2m05.819s on his final flier, but it was only enough for second.
Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel was third fastest, over two seconds slower than Rosberg, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso fourth.
The pair had held third and fourth after the first runs, but improvements later on served only to defend their positions with the Mercedes pairing out of reach.
Daniel Ricciardo, who had an off-track moment on his final attempt, was fifth fastest ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the best of the Williams cars.
Kevin Magnussen outqualified McLaren team-mate Jenson Button, the duo ending up seventh and 10th.
In between them were Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa, with the Finn the biggest loser after the first runs and being bumped from fifth down to eighth.
Scuderia Toro Rosso pairing Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne were the fastest of those eliminated in Q2.
Kvyat put in a lap that temporarily put him eighth in the closing stages of the session, but he was shuffled down the order by improvements by Magnussen, Button and Vettel, all of which were in the drop zone at times late on.
Sergio Perez was 13th ahead of Sauber driver Adrian Sutil, with Romain Grosjean 15th.
Although Jules Bianchi was slowest in the middle part of qualifying, the Marussia driver was one of the stars of the afternoon after reaching Q2 at Spa for the second consecutive year.
Pastor Maldonado appeared to have made it through to Q2 by improving his time on his final flying lap in a Q1 session that started off wet but improved throughout.
But the Lotus driver was bumped back down to 17th when Sutil also improved in the dying moments, with all the runners by then using intermediate rubber.
This also led to Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg being eliminated as he slipped down to 18th ahead of Marussia’s Max Chilton having been ahead of both Maldonado and Sutil as they started their final laps.
Hulkenberg admitted to making a mistake at the end of his final lap, which cost him a couple of tenths, also complaining of a lack of braking feel.
Esteban Gutierrez did not have the chance for a proper qualifying attempt as his Sauber stopped on his fifth lap while he was still on wet tyres.
This meant that the Mexican did not get to run in the best of the conditions, ending up ahead of only the two Caterhams.
Remarkably, Andre Lotterer outpaced Caterham team-mate Marcus Ericsson to avoid starting his debut grand prix last, with the gap between the two almost one second.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 2m05.591s 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 2m05.819s +0.228s 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 2m07.717s +2.126s 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 2m07.786s +2.195s 5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 2m07.911s +2.320s 6. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 2m08.049s +2.458s 7. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 2m08.679s +3.088s 8. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 2m08.780s +3.189s 9. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 2m09.178s +3.587s 10. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 2m09.776s +4.185s Q2 cut-off time: 2m09.272s Gap ** 11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 2m09.377s +2.768s 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 2m09.805s +3.196s 13. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 2m10.084s +3.475s 14. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 2m10.238s +3.629s 15. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 2m11.087s +4.478s 16. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 2m12.470s +5.861s Q1 cut-off time: 2m11.081s Gap * 17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 2m11.261s +4.131s 18. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 2m11.267s +4.137s 19. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 2m12.566s +5.436s 20. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 2m13.414s +6.284s 21. Andre Lotterer Caterham-Renault 2m13.469s +6.339s 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 2m14.438s +7.308s 107% time: 2m16.029s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2
Belgian GP: Valtteri Bottas tops final practice for Williams
Valtteri Bottas went quickest for Williams in a frenzied final few minutes of third practice for Formula 1’s 2014 Belgian Grand Prix, outpacing Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo by 0.268 seconds.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was the best of the title contenders in third.
Many drivers only had the opportunity to run one or two flying laps on the soft Pirelli tyre at the end of the session, and were thwarted by traffic.
After overnight rain a dry line had already formed in some places, thanks to the preceding GP3 qualifying session, as the F1 cars took to the circuit for their installation laps.
With the track temperature still hovering around the 16C mark and the surface still mostly wet, there was little activity for the first 30 minutes as most teams – apart from the tail-enders – elected not to risk their machinery.
Thus Marussia annexed the top two positions for half the session as Jules Bianchi (2m01.823s), Max Chilton (2m05.120s) and Andre Lotterer (2m07.529s) each essayed a tentative lap before reporting back to the pits.
Esteban Gutierrez was the first driver out on slick tyres, half an hour into the session. He instantly took 1.581s out of Bianchi’s time, then improved again by over four seconds as his medium-compound Pirellis came up to temperature, and this provided the cue for others to join the fray.
The track evolved quickly over the final 20 minutes as increased activity broadened the dry line, and Ferrari fans will have been heartened by the sight of Kimi Raikkonen bolting on a set of soft tyres and briefly topping the timesheets with five minutes to go.
Bottas, Ricciardo and Rosberg then went faster using the same tyre choice, but Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were unable to eclipse their team-mates and finished fifth and sixth fastest.
Sebastian Vettel finished the session outside the top 10 having done all his running on the medium compound.
He has reverted to an older engine after an ignition problem in one cylinder set in motion a failure of his nominated power unit on Friday.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m49.465s 12 2. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m49.733s +0.268s 9 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m49.739s +0.274s 13 4. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m49.817s +0.352s 9 5. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m49.817s +0.352s 13 6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m49.890s +0.425s 9 7. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m49.893s +0.428s 11 8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m50.203s +0.738s 11 9. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m50.423s +0.958s 11 10. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m50.535s +1.070s 10 11. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m50.592s +1.127s 12 12. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m50.748s +1.283s 11 13. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m50.814s +1.349s 10 14. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m50.866s +1.401s 11 15. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m50.962s +1.497s 12 16. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m51.509s +2.044s 9 17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m51.610s +2.145s 10 18. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m51.898s +2.433s 15 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m52.457s +2.992s 14 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m52.984s +3.519s 14 21. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m54.294s +3.829s 11 22. Andre Lotterer Caterham-Renault 1m55.008s +5.543s 13
Hungarian GP: Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari should not make Q1 errors
Kimi Raikkonen says that his Ferrari Formula 1 team should not be making the kind of strategic error that led to him being eliminated in Q1 at the Hungaroring.
The 2007 world champion missed the cut in the first segment of qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix when Ferrari decided to keep him in the pits in the closing stages, and his time was beaten by the Marussia of Ferrari protege Jules Bianchi.
Raikkonen admitted that he was unsure if it was the right decision to not run as he felt happier on the softer tyre compound, but the team believed it had made the right call.
“The plan was to do another run but we never did,” the Finn told reporters after the session.
“The team told me, ‘we are fine, we don’t need to go out’.
“I questioned it a few times but they said there was no need, and obviously we can see the end result.
“As a team in Formula 1, as Ferrari, we shouldn’t make these kind of things. We are not in our first year, any of us.
“It’s not good for me, not good for the team, but mistakes have been made.
“People make mistakes, but obviously there are things we need to change to make it better.”
Raikkonen and team-mate Fernando Alonso were knocked out in the first part of qualifying for the British Grand Prix, with the Spaniard saying afterwards the Scuderia needed to “speed up” its decisions.
When asked if he could have simply overruled the team and demanded to go out, Raikkonen said that he placed his faith in Ferrari to make the right calls.
“I’ve got trust in the team and I believe in the people,” he added. “I questioned it but I cannot go against advice.
“We are here as a team, we make decisions as a team and today the outcome was this.
“I don’t really see the point in shouting around. I’ve done mistakes in the past and will make more in the future.”
Hungarian GP: Rosberg on pole, fire puts Hamilton out in Q1
Nico Rosberg had a clear run to pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix after team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes caught fire early in qualifying.
Hamilton was the favourite for pole after topping all three free practice sessions, but he was eliminated just five minutes into Q1 when he stopped in the pit entry with the rear of his Mercedes ablaze thanks to a fuel leak.
But although this meant Rosberg’s main rival was not in contention, rain that struck at the start of Q3 made the world championship leader’s task difficult.
Rosberg was the first onto the track on slick tyres with conditions worsening, but with the first corner particularly wet he slid off into the runoff area on his first flier, ruining his lap.
But Kevin Magnussen, who was second on the road, also outbraked himself, hitting the tyre barrier on the outside of the corner and bringing out the red flag before anyone could set a time.
When qualifying resumed after an eight-minute delay, the rain had eased and while the track was slippery, everyone opted to continue on slicks.
With the track drying up, everyone went back out on slicks, with Rosberg going fastest on his second flying lap after a brief spell at the top of the times for Williams driver Valtteri Bottas.
But unlike Rosberg, who stayed out and used only one set of softs in Q3, Vettel pitted for new rubber and took top spot from the Mercedes driver on his final lap.
Moments later Rosberg improved, taking pole position by almost half-a-second.
Vettel held onto second ahead of Bottas, the latter also opting to pit for new tyres, with Daniel Ricciardo fourth fastest.
Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were fifth and sixth, both also having two runs in the restarted Q3 segment, with Jenson Button eighth ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne.
Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg was the slowest of those to set a time in Q3 in ninth, with Magnussen classified 10th having not set a time before his crash.
Daniil Kvyat was in contention for a top 10 slot, but he locked the rears at Turn 12 on his final lap in Q2 and spun, ending up 11th.
Sauber driver Adrian Sutil was 12th ahead of Sergio Perez, who suffered a hydraulic leak during Q2 and could only attempt one run.
Esteban Gutierrez took 14th ahead of Romain Grosjean, with Jules Bianchi ending up 16th after an excellent performance to make the second stage of qualifying.
Kimi Raikkonen was a shock casuality during Q1, ending the session 17th fastest.
With Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado, whose Lotus had stopped early in Q1, not running, most teams opted not to send their cars out for a second run on the basis that they only needed to finish ahead of the Caterhams and the Marussias to make the next phase.
But Raikkonen was the slowest of those who did not attempt a run on soft rubber and when Bianchi put in his final lap, the Finn was relegated to the dropzone while sat in the garage.
Caterham driver Kamui Kobayashi was 18th ahead of Max Chilton, who suffered a fuel pressure problem on his final run, with Marcus Ericsson slowest of those who set a lap.
Hamilton was classified 21st ahead of Maldonado thanks to starting a flying lap.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m22.715s 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m23.201s +0.486s 3. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m23.354s +0.639s 4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m23.391s +0.676s 5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m23.909s +1.194s 6. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m24.223s +1.508s 7. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m24.294s +1.579s 8. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m24.720s +2.005s 9. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m24.775s +2.060s 10. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes Q3 cut-off time: 1m24.647s 11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m24.706s +1.396s** 12. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m25.136s +1.826s 13. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m25.211s +1.901s 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m25.260s +1.950s 15. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m25.337s +2.027s 16. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m27.419s +4.109s Q2 cut-off time: 1m26.728s 17. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m26.792s +1.851s*** 18. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m27.139s +2.198s 19. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m27.819s +2.878s 20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m28.643s +3.702s 21. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 22. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 107 per cent time: 1m30.886s ** Gap to fastest in Q2 *** Gap to fastest in Q1
Hungarian GP: Lewis Hamilton edges Nico Rosberg in final practice
Lewis Hamilton cemented his status as favourite for pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix by topping Saturday morning free practice.
The Mercedes driver had a quiet start to the session, not going for laptimes on his early laps on the slower medium-compound Pirellis.
Hamilton was down in 18th place when he went out for his third run, still on the mediums, jumping to eighth fastest on his 14th lap on the rubber and then knocking Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari off top spot by almost three-tenths of a second on his 16th lap.
But with a big step in performance between the medium and the soft-compound Pirellis, the fastest laps were always going to be set on that rubber.
Hamilton had slipped to seventh by the time he started his qualifying simulation, but he set the fastest times in the first two sectors of the lap and then a personal best in the final one to knock team-mate Nico Rosberg off top spot with four minutes remaining.
Rosberg subsequently improved on his second attempt after a cool-down lap, closing the deficit to Hamilton from 0.453s to 0.229s. He then improved again, cutting the deficit to just 47-thousandths.
Sebastian Vettel then went third fastest on his qualifying simulation, four-tenths off the pace, with Valtteri Bottas just shaded to fourth fastest by the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.
Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, who had been the first of the frontrunners to go out on the soft Pirellis with 10 minutes remaining were briefly first and second after lapping just 49-thousandths apart.
But they eventually slid to sixth and seventh in the final reckoning, just ahead of Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren.
Scuderia Toro Rosso proved it would be a threat for Q3 this afternoon, with Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat ninth and 10th ahead of Felipe Massa and Jenson Button.
Force India drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez were down in 17th and 18th place behind the Saubers and the two Lotus entries, both unable to extract a competitive laptime from the soft rubber.
Kamui Kobayashi continued Caterham’s improved weekend by outpacing the Marussias of Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi, with team-mate Marcus Ericsson 21st after a brief spin at Turn 13.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m24.048s 21 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m24.095s +0.047s 24 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m24.455s +0.407s 16 4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m24.678s +0.630s 15 5. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m24.685s +0.637s 21 6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m24.769s +0.721s 11 7. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m24.818s +0.770s 19 8. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m24.867s +0.819s 21 9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m25.162s +1.114s 17 10. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m25.170s +1.122s 19 11. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m25.231s +1.183s 18 12. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m25.468s +1.420s 14 13. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m25.829s +1.781s 22 14. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m25.859s +1.811s 19 15. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m25.934s +1.886s 21 16. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m26.023s +1.975s 23 17. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m26.035s +1.987s 19 18. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m26.142s +2.094s 17 19. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m27.560s +3.512s 23 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m28.083s +4.035s 17 21. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m28.605s +4.557s 22 22. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m28.821s +4.773s 14
“Exploiting any opportunity”
Kimi Raikkonen: “This weekend, a few technical problems meant I spent more time in the garage than usual, but already, as from yesterday afternoon, my feeling with the car had improved. Today, in Q1 things went reasonably well, but then in Q2, when I fitted the second set of new Supersofts, my car was sliding all over the place and I lost the back end in turn 2. After that, it was impossible to put a good lap together. I’m not happy with my grid position, but I hope things can go better in tomorrow’s race. It’s likely the weather could be different tomorrow and the temperatures will be lower. We will try and make the most of any opportunity because we want to have a nice race and bring home a good number of points.”
Raikkonen frustrated by Q2 mistakes
Kimi Raikkonen has admitted that several mistakes during his final Q2 lap cost him a chance of progressing to the final qualifying segment.
The Finn had felt more comfortable at the wheel of the F14 T at the Hockenheimring but failed to put a clean lap together in the second session.
He was eventually knocked down to 12th place and will start tomorrow’s German Grand Prix from the sixth row of the grid.
“On the second run, for some reason, I lost the rear in corner two, lost a lot of time and it was difficult to gain back the time after that,” admitted the 2007 champion.
“I also lost time in the last sector, so I couldn’t put the lap together. It had felt pretty okay up to that point. We had a problem yesterday morning and a problem this morning, which doesn’t help, but the car was feeling pretty good yesterday morning and this morning so it was an unfortunate thing, but it happens.”
When asked why he has struggled more in qualifying, he replied: “It’s just different things [affecting qualifying]. In the races, it hasn’t been that good either, so it’s just things going wrong or I’m making mistakes and haven’t been able to put a proper lap together for a long time.
“But it’s been feeling much better here, more like it should. It’s not exactly as I want as it feels good for one run then, on the next, you lose the rear for no reason, but I’m not trying anything stupid.
“It’s so on edge that it’s difficult to predict what it’s going to do and one slip, like I had on corner two, and you lose all the speed on the straight. When it happens in moments like that, it makes a big difference.”
German GP: Rosberg on pole, Hamilton down in 15th
Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for the German Grand Prix after Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton crashed early in the session.
With Hamilton absent, Rosberg’s main challenge for pole position came from Williams driver Valtteri Bottas..
After setting the pace on the first runs in Q3, Rosberg was unable to improve his time on his second run thanks to a slow first sector, but although Bottas set a stunning pace in the middle sector he ended up 0.219s slower.
Hamilton’s shunt happened during Q1 when he locked up and went off at the Sachskurve after suffering what Mercedes confirmed was a right-front brake disc failure, forcing the session to be red-flagged.
The Mercedes driver was transferred to the medical centre complaining of pain in his knees, with the team subsequently reporting that he was “OK, but sore after the crash”.
Although he had already set a laptime good enough to make Q2, Hamilton was unable to take any further part in the session so was classified 16th overall.
Felipe Massa was third fastest for Williams, three tenths slower than team-mate Bottas, with Kevin Magnussen a superb fourth for McLaren.
Daniel Ricciardo again outqualified Sebastian Vettel, putting in a strong lap on his one remaining set of super-soft Pirellis in Q3 to beat his team-mate by three tenths.
Fernando Alonso was seventh, ahead of another star rookie, Daniil Kvyat, with Force India pairing Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez ninth and 10th.
Jenson Button failed to make Q3 after being relegated to 11th by Perez in the dying seconds on the second part of qualifying.
He was joined in being knocked out by fellow world champion Kimi Raikkonen, who was four tenths off Ferrari team-mate Alonso in Q2.
Jean-Eric Vergne was 13th after a late effort in Q2, which included a lairy oversteer moment at the exit of the final corner, ahead of Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez and Lotus driver Romain Grosjean.
But Gutierrez must serve a three-place grid penalty for his clash with Pastor Maldonado at Silverstone, meaning he will start 18th, meaning Hamilton’s 16th place will put him one place higher on the grid.
Adrian Sutil was the fastest of the six who failed to reach Q2 after being bumped down to 17th by Grosjean late in the first segment of qualifying, with his run on super-soft rubber interrupted by the red flag thrown for Hamilton’s accident.
Jules Bianchi was the faster of the Marussias, around half-a-second slower than the Sauber, with Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado 19th.
Kamui Kobayashi pipped Max Chilton to 20th, but the second Caterham of Marcus Ericsson was unable to run at all thanks to a hydraulic leak.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m16.540s 2. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m16.759s +0.219s 3. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m17.078s +0.538s 4. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m17.214s +0.674s 5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m17.273s +0.733s 6. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m17.577s +1.037s 7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m17.649s +1.109s 8. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m17.965s +1.425s 9. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m18.014s +1.474s 10. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m18.035s +1.495s Q2 cut-off time: 1m18.161s Gap ** 11. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m18.193s +1.084s 12. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m18.273s +1.164s 13. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m18.285s +1.176s 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m18.787s +1.678s 15. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m18.983s +1.874s 16. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes no time Q1 cut-off time: 1m18.927s Gap * 17. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m19.142s +1.511s 18. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m19.676s +2.045s 19. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m20.195s +2.564s 20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m20.408s +2.777s 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m20.489s +2.858s 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault no time
German GP: Nico Rosberg back on top in final practice
Nico Rosberg was 0.601s faster than Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in third practice for the 2014 Formula 1 German Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso was third quickest for Ferrari.
Both Mercedes went out on simulated qualifying runs in the closing minutes but Hamilton’s lap was scrappier than Rosberg’s.
Most teams focused on longer runs with higher fuel loads for the majority of the session, before sending their drivers out for simulated qualifying runs on the super-soft tyres in the final 10 minutes.
Williams was chasing lap time early in the session, which put Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa at the top of the timesheets for the first half hour until Kimi Raikkonen, the first driver to go out on the super-soft tyres, usurped them.
Times then tumbled in the final minutes as Mercedes returned to its customary 1-2 position.
Alonso had a spin at Turn 8 after overshooting the apex and running wide over the exit kerb, but his super-soft run was flawlessly committed and he closed out the session third fastest, 0.60s off Rosberg’s benchmark.
Team-mate Raikkonen did not improve on the 1m18.842s he set on his first super-soft run, eighth quickest overall.
Bottas had outpaced Massa on the longer runs, but in qualifying trim the Brazilian had the edge over his team-mate and they ended the session fourth and fifth just off Alonso’s pace.
It was Jenson Button’s turn to test McLaren’s new rear wing, but he struggled with locking brakes and ended the session slower than team-mate Kevin Magnussen, who was sixth fastest.
Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel were fighting their cars throughout and the Red Bull drivers could do no better than seventh and ninth.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m17.779s 24 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m18.380s +0.601s 20 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m18.384s +0.605s 11 4. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m18.575s +0.796s 18 5. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m18.611s +0.832s 19 6. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m18.756s +0.977s 16 7. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m18.769s +0.990s 13 8. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m18.842s +1.063s 8 9. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m18.890s +1.111s 17 10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m19.127s +1.348s 19 11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m19.131s +1.352s 19 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m19.470s +1.691s 20 13. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m19.489s +1.710s 15 14. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m19.505s +1.726s 21 15. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m19.601s +1.822s 23 16. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m20.078s +2.299s 23 17. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m20.198s +2.419s 21 18. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m20.466s +2.687s 19 19. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m20.844s +3.065s 6 20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m21.018s +3.239s 21 21. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m23.077s +5.298s 14 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m23.449s +5.670s 7
Kimi Raikkonen: “Make up ground”
Kimi Raikkonen: “We knew the changeable weather would make this qualifying very unpredictable, but I definitely didn’t expect this sort of result. On my first run, I did four laps on Intermediate tyres because the track was still wet, but then when it stopped raining we decided to switch to slicks. On the first part of the track, the conditions were acceptable, but in the second sector, it began raining again and this prevented us from setting a good enough time to get into Q2. Tomorrow, it won’t be easy moving up the order, but we will do our best to make up ground, also because today I had a better feeling than yesterday and I see no reason why I shouldn’t try and have a good race.”