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Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has qualified in pole position for the British Grand Prix. Rosberg judged the constantly changing conditions to perfection, taking advantage of a drying track in the closing stages to seal pole position by the considerable margin of 1.6 seconds from Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.

Qualifying started in the wet, following overnight rain. As a result, all the cars headed out on intermediate tyres for Q1, looking to put in a banker lap in case conditions worsened. Instead, a dry line formed meaning that all drivers switched onto the medium tyres before the rain fell again.

This set the tone for the rest of qualifying, with the drivers starting Q2 on intermediates, before moving onto mediums close to the end: a pattern that was repeated in a dramatic Q3. Even when the drivers moved onto medium tyres, the track was never completely dry, yet the medium compound enabled Rosberg to set a time that was only a second off his fastest time from yesterday – which was completely dry.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said:

“With mixed conditions throughout the day, it was a very complex qualifying session, in which judging the crossover point and amount of grip – which was constantly evolving – proved to be crucial. As a result, there were some surprises in the qualifying order all the way to the end. We’re still anticipating a two-stop race tomorrow, from what should be a very interesting grid.”

The Pirelli strategy predictor:

For the 52-lap British Grand Prix, a two-stop strategy is theoretically fastest, although some drivers might even try a one-stopper, if they want to do something different from lower down the grid. Our prediction for the quickest strategy is medium-medium-hard, stopping on laps 23 and 45. A three-stop sprint strategy could also work (medium-medium-medium-hard) with stops on laps 18, 34 and 51. This however would leave drivers vulnerable of feeding into traffic during the closing stages of the race.

Fastest compounds in FP3:

 Vettel

1m52.522s

Intermediate

 Ricciardo

1m52.631s

Intermediate

 Maldonado

1m53.044s

Intermediate

Top 10 tyre use:

Rosberg

1m35.766s

Medium

Vettel

1m37.386s

Medium

Button

1m38.200s

Medium

Hulkenberg

1m38.329s

Medium

Magnussen

1m38.417s

Medium

Hamilton

1m39.232s

Medium

Perez

1m40.457s

Medium

Ricciardo

1m40.606s

Medium

Kvyat

1m40.707s

Medium

Vergne

1m40.855s

Medium

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Rapierman

    If the track gets wet again, who’s the most likely to come out on top, and how long will the inters and/or wets last?

  • Tom Firth

    Fantastic qualifying session, one of my favourites of the year in terms of drama and the best thing of all, non of it was manufactured to be that way. Sure I wish Ferrari hadn’t dropped out early on, or Williams, and Hamilton on pole at home would of been nice but wow, did it create a great session.

  • Lewis said: “I made a mistake today and pulled out of the lap when I should have kept going,” Hamilton conceded. “It was my decision, a bad call, and that decided my qualifying.”

    that has to hurt. :(