Mercedes' mistake robs Rosberg of front row start

By Nesha Starcevic, AP, 6 July 2013
© AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin

Lewis Hamilton's pole position at the German Grand Prix on Saturday made up for the disappointment of seeing the second Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg knocked down to 11th at the end of the middle of three qualifying sessions because of an embarrassing miscalculation by the team.

Rosberg, winner of two of the last three races, was sitting second midway through the second qualifying session and his team left him in the garage, apparently believing his time was good enough to put him into the top ten for the third and decisive session.

But Lotus' Raikkonen led a charge of late efforts and Rosberg watched from the garage as he was eliminated.

"It was quite a shock," Rosberg said. "I didn't see it coming. I could have been on the front row today and that's why I'm so disappointed."

Mercedes, second in the constructors' standings behind Red Bull, said it miscalculated.

"It's a little bit of an understatement to say that we have mixed emotions after qualifying," Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said. "Lewis put in a superb lap to take pole position. With Nico, we misjudged how quickly the track was improving and got caught out: he clearly had the pace to qualify at the front today.

"Ultimately, the final decision on the pit wall rests with me and it's clear we could have done a better job today," Brawn said.

Mercedes motorsports director Toto Wolff said he was "super sorry" for Rosberg.

"We got things wrong in Q2 and not only did he have the pace to fight for pole today but he has also been instrumental in getting the car right since yesterday," Wolff said.

 

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