HOCKENHEIM, Germany – Despite the track temperatures climbing to a high of 57˚C during the session, both our drivers were comfortable in the opening exchanges, with Daniel easing through to Q2 in second position behind fastest man Rosberg. It wasn't as smooth a session for Hamilton. The Mercedes driver suffered a heavy crash 10 minutes into Q1. He braked for the Sachskurve but his front-left locked and he spun off at high speed, hitting the barriers hard. It was the end of his session. He qualified in 16th place ahead of eliminated drivers, Adrian Sutil of Sauber, Marussia's Jules Bianchi, Lotus' Pastor Maldonado, Caterham's Kamui Kobayashi, Max Chilton in the second Marussia and the second Caterham of Marcus Ericsson, who was sidelined before the session by a hydraulics problem on his car.
After their efforts in the opening phase, Daniel and Sebastian made similarly short work of Q2. Sebastian took the lead this time, the champion making it into the final session in fourth place with a time of 1:17.646, half a second down on P1 man Rosberg. Daniel made it through in sixth place, his lap just under two tenths down on his teammate's.
However, out went McLaren's Jenson Button, Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Verge, the second Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez, the second Lotus of Romain Grosjean and the non-running Hamilton. In the final 12-minute segment, Rosberg laid down an early marker, posting an unassailable time of 1:16.540. Williams Valtteri Bottas got closest to the Mercedes driver, finishing just over two tenths down on Rosberg. The Finn's teammate Felipe Massa finished third, ahead of McLaren's Kevin Magnussen.
That left fifth to Daniel and sixth to Sebastian, and afterwards both admitted they had got as much as possible out of the RB10 in the tough conditions.
"It wasn't too bad today. We would like to be further forward than fifth, but the lap I did was pretty good," said Daniel. "I made quite an improvement in Q3 from Q2 so I can't really argue with the lap I did, but as a team we are still a bit off. We know the Mercedes is strong, but the Williams was also continually showing their pace today, and the McLaren with Kevin [Magnussen] was good, so we have to keep working, but we did what we could. I think the race will be close between the top eight tomorrow, and it will be a battle for the final podium spot."
Sebastian, meanwhile, was content that he had got the most he could from the package at his disposal, saying that the car had improved from the final practice session.
"It was a bit tough today and the final run didn't come together, but other than that it was good session. I felt happier in the car this afternoon than I did this morning, so that was good. We're not sure that the weather will be like tomorrow; we will have a reasonable position to do well from."
Team Principal Christian Horner, meanwhile, explained that the team was losing out in the high-speed sector two: "Fifth and sixth are probably about the maximum amount we could get in qualifying today. We are very competitive in sectors one and three, but unfortunately the middle sector really seems to favor the Mercedes-powered cars here in Hockenheim. Nonetheless, both drivers did the best they could to extract the most they could out of the car, and hopefully in tomorrow's race in these hot conditions, we can progress from fifth and sixth on the grid."
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