Hockenheim, Germany (SportsNetwork.com) - Formula One points leader Nico Rosberg won the pole position for the German Grand Prix, while his Mercedes teammate and championship rival, Lewis Hamilton, wrecked during the first round in Saturday's qualifying.
Rosberg, a German, will start on the pole for his home grand prix on Sunday after making a lap around the 2.842-mile (4.574-kilometer), 17-turn Hockenheimring circuit in 1 minute, 16.540 seconds. He claimed his fifth pole of the season and the ninth of his F1 career.
Two weeks ago, Rosberg started on the pole for the British Grand Prix but suffered his first retirement of the season due to a faulty gearbox. Since then, the 29-year-old Rosberg got married to his long-time girlfriend Vivian Sibold and signed a new multi-year contract extension with Mercedes. Germany won the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final as well.
"For now, it's been going really, really well," Rosberg said. "It's great. To be on pole for home race is fantastic. Of course, I would have preferred if it was an open fight with Lewis, so I'm a little less happy with the result because Lewis didn't have a shot at it there at the end.
"All in all, it was a fantastic day up to now, but there are no points today. There is a long way to go tomorrow, but it's a good start."
Rosberg has finished no better than fourth in seven German GP starts. He placed ninth in this race last year.
Hamilton, who won his home grand prix in Great Britain and moved to within four points of Rosberg, wrecked during the mid-stages of Q1. He lost control and spun out before slamming hard into the barrier due to brake disc failure on his right-front.
Hamilton was not injured but complained of soreness after making impact at a high rate of speed. He was taken to the track's medical care center for observation and soon released. Hamilton finished 16th in qualifying but moved up one spot on the grid following a penalty for Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez (assessed for causing a collision during the British GP).
"I'm a little bit bruised, but I will be fine," Hamilton said. "The car was feeling great, but then the brake failed. I guess the brake exploded. I lost brake pressure, and it sent me off into the wall. It's not a great feeling when that happens."
Valtteri Bottas from Williams qualified second, while his teammate, Felipe Massa, placed third.
"I'm really happy with the result we got as a team today, second and third," Bottas said. "Well done to everyone. The lap I did in the end had no mistakes and was a really nice lap, so I felt like I got everything out of the car today."
McLaren's Kevin Magnussen took the fourth spot. Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull was fifth, followed by his teammate, Sebastian Vettel, the four-time and defending F1 world champion as well as the winner of last year's German GP, which was held at the Nurburgring circuit.
Fernando Alonso from Ferrari qualified seventh, and Daniil Kvyat put his Toro Rosso eighth on the grid. Force India teammates Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez completed the top-10.
Among those failing to advance into Q3 were McLaren's Jenson Button (qualified 11th) and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen (12th).