Hamilton makes wrong call, Rosberg on pole

Sat Jul 5, 2014 10:35am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

SILVERSTONE England (Reuters) - Formula One championship leader Nico Rosberg made the right call to take pole position while Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton got it all wrong at the British Grand Prix on Saturday.

As Hamilton aborted his last lap, assuming he could not improve on a time that looked good for pole in wet conditions, Rosberg kept on pushing and found the final sector of the circuit had dried enough to go faster.

"It was Lewis' decision because he thought he cannot go quicker but Nico proved you can go quicker and he was proved right," said Mercedes' non-executive chairman Niki Lauda.

Hamilton, who needs to win his home race on Sunday to reduce the 29 point gap between the two title rivals with 11 races remaining, found himself suddenly down in sixth place on the starting grid.

"I don't have much of an answer," the downcast Briton told the BBC when asked why he had not completed his final lap. "I just decided not to do the lap."

Hamilton was not the only one to make a major error of judgement on a changeable day at Silverstone that caught out some of the biggest names in the sport and rewarded some of those more used to lining up at the back.

Ferrari and Williams completely misjudged the weather and failed to get any of their drivers through the first phase when rain started to fall before they had set quick enough times.

Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen qualified 19th and 20th respectively for Ferrari. Brazilian Felipe Massa, who took pole at the previous race in Austria, was 18th with Williams team mate Valtteri Bottas 17th.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany races during the final practice session ahead of the British Grand Prix at the Silverstone Race circuit, central England, July 5, 2014.   REUTERS/Francois Lenoir