Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

F1: Nico Rosberg claims pole at rain-hit Silverstone

July 5, 2014 -- Updated 1731 GMT (0131 HKT)
  • Nico Rosberg claims pole at British Grand Prix on Saturday
  • Championship rival Lewis Hamilton can only qualify sixth
  • Sebastian Vettel ends the day second fastest, just in front of Jenson Button

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Formula One championship leader Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for Sunday's British Grand Prix after a rain-affected qualifying session that saw his Mercedes teammate and title rival Lewis Hamilton slip back to sixth position, having at one stage looked set for top spot.

World champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull claimed second position on the grid at Silverstone on Saturday, while McLaren's Jenson Button boosted hopes of a home winner by qualifying third.

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen of McLaren picked up positions four and five respectively.

Hamilton, who trails Rosberg by 29 points overall, had looked set to claim pole but pulled out of his final lap believing the damp conditions meant he could not better his Q3 time.

But as the skies cleared and track dried, Rosberg, Vettel, Button, Hulkenberg and Magnussen all passed the Briton.

Home of British motor racing
Taking a spin around the Red Bull Ring
Red Bull Ring's major transformation
How near-fatal crash changed Niki Lauda

Rosberg, with whom he has had a tetchy relationship at times this season, later spoke of his relief at Hamilton's decision.

"Wow, what a qualifying. It was so tricky out there this afternoon with the rain and the conditions changing so quickly," the German said.

"My last flying lap was difficult because we were very tight for time and I was stuck right up behind Lewis.

"Luckily he didn't finish his lap but I remembered that we were losing three or four seconds in the last corners when it was very wet, so there was an opportunity to make a real improvement and that I should keep going."

"It's a great opportunity to start the race from pole and I'll give it everything to take the win tomorrow."

Latest results and standings

Hamilton, seeking his first home victory since his championship-winning year of 2008, was left to rue his bad judgment.

"I made a mistake today and pulled out of the lap when I should have kept going. It was a tough qualifying with the changing conditions and we got through most of it really well, until the most important part," the Englishman said.

"It was my decision, a bad call, and that decided my qualifying.

"I need to have a start like I had in Austria two weeks ago and then do my best to get back to the front; you never know what might happen."

Hamilton can at least comfort himself at getting as far as the final qualifying session.

There were shock exits in Q1, as Williams' Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were eliminated along with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso.

It was a big setback for Massa and Bottas, who were on the front row in Austria just two weeks ago.

Elsewhere, Force India's Sergio Perez claimed seventh position just behind Hamilton and in front of Red Bull's eighth-placed Daniel Ricciardo.

Read: Woman driver's historic outing stalls

Read: Will Schumacher ever recover?

Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
November 7, 2014 -- Updated 1714 GMT (0114 HKT)
Glitz... check, glamor... check. Teams going bust... er, check. F1 generates billion-dollar revenues, so why can't some of its teams stay afloat?
November 7, 2014 -- Updated 1814 GMT (0214 HKT)
With the sport currently facing up to a financial crisis, motorsport journalist Ed Foster explores the history of F1 sponsorship.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0958 GMT (1758 HKT)
He's paid millions to drive one of the world's fastest cars, and he's one of F1's most colorful characters, but Kimi Raikkonen loves normality.
October 12, 2014 -- Updated 1745 GMT (0145 HKT)
It took a little longer than expected but MotoGP's young star Marc Marquez wraps up his second world title in Japan.
October 9, 2014 -- Updated 1039 GMT (1839 HKT)
Rising star Daniil Kvyat made history as the home hero at F1's first Russian Grand Prix, ahead of next season's move to Red Bull.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 1604 GMT (0004 HKT)
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.