Nico Rosberg gave home fans plenty to cheer for after he clinched yet another pole position for Mercedes ahead of Williams' duo - Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa - in the German Grand Prix.
Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton's championship aspirations received severe dent when he crashed out in the first qualifying session. The Brit was on course of setting the second fastest time of the session before his Mercedes spun under braking.
"I'd have to be smoking something to think I could really get first from Nico," Hamilton said. "When you miss the whole session, you know that's the 25 points out of the window. You just have to suck it in and keep your head up and move forward."
A puff of smoke was seen in Hamilton's right-front tyre and he later confirmed that something went wrong when he hit the brakes. The former world champion, however, was uninjured, but a little shaken from the heavy impact.
Hamilton, who originally qualified P16, also received five-place grid penalty for changing the gearbox because of the damage his car sustained during qualifying. The 29-year-old is likely to start from the pitlane, as Mercedes might opt to use Carbone Industrie front discs in his car.
Rosberg, meanwhile, led the Silver Arrows' charge and outpaced both Williams' by a large margin. However, Williams performed quite well in a high track temperature and were the second best team after Mercedes.
Bottas, who once topped the timesheets for a brief period, said he had a clean second flying lap in Q3 and that was the maximum result possible in qualifying.
"The car was feeling great today and it is ready for the race, so as a team we are pleased with the result," Bottas said. "The last lap I had was almost perfect so I can't fault the session."
"The Mercedes are still a bit quicker than us, but we are going to work hard tomorrow to get in front but it will be difficult," he added. "The aim tomorrow is to keep ahead of the Ferraris and Red Bulls and hopefully the cooler temperatures predicted will play into our hands."
Kevin Magnussen was the faster of the two McLarens and finished P5, ahead of Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo, followed by Sebastian Vettel in sister car and Spaniard Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari.
Torro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat was eight fastest, while his teammate Jean-Eric Vergne failed to make Q3 cut and finished 13th. McLaren's Jenson Button and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen also missed the cut from slightest of the margins and will start the race from 11th and 12th positions, respectively.
Meanwhile, both Force India drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez managed to make Q3 and will start the grand prix from 9th and 10th place, respectively.
"I'm feeling fairly happy and satisfied with ninth place and it's pretty much where we expected to be," Hulkenberg said. "This weekend our pace over a single lap has not been the best, but making the top ten gives us a good track position and the chance to make the most of our long-run pace, which has looked promising."
Where to Watch Live
Formula One: German GP Live Streaming Information
Race start: 2:00 pm local time, 5:30 pm IST, 12:00 pm GMT
|India||Star Sports 4, Star Sports HD2|
|United Kingdom||BBC, Sky Sports|
|Middle East and North Africa||Bein Sports Arabia|
|Germany, Italy||Sky Sport|
|UK||HERE or HERE or HERE|
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