Starting grid for the 2014 British Grand Prix

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Nico Rosberg will lead the field away at Silverstone after securing his fourth pole position of the year in yesterday’s qualifying session for the British Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver made the most of the changeable conditions in Q3 to put in a last-ditch lap and secure pole by over 1.5 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.

Lewis Hamilton had looked set to claim his fifth pole of the season, but his decision to bail on his final Q3 lap backfired and he ended up in sixth place on the grid.

McLaren finally found its feet in qualifying, meaning that Jenson Button will start his home grand prix from third place. Kevin Magnussen is fifth, with Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India in the McLaren sandwich. His teammate, Sergio Perez, is seventh ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and the two Toro Rosso drivers.

Ferrari and Williams endured a disastrous session as their drivers all dropped out in Q1. They have made up some places by virtue of grid penalties.

FROM THE STEWARDS’ OFFICE

  • Esteban Gutierrez carries over a 10-place grid penalty to this race for his unsafe release during the Austrian Grand Prix.
  • Max Chilton drops five places after a gearbox change on Saturday.
  • Pastor Maldonado was excluded from qualifying after his Lotus ran out of fuel.
  • He will start ahead of the two Caterham cars which failed to qualify inside the required 107% time. They are permitted to start the race though.

2014 BRITISH GRAND PRIX STARTING GRID

1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
3. Jenson Button McLaren
4. Nico Hulkenberg Force India
5. Kevin Magnussen McLaren
6. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
7. Sergio Perez Force India
8. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
9. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
10. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
11. Romain Grosjean Lotus
12. Jules Bianchi Marussia
13. Adrian Sutil Sauber
14. Valtteri Bottas Williams
15. Felipe Massa Williams
16. Fernando Alonso Ferrari
17. Max Chilton Marussia
18. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
19. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber
20. Pastor Maldonado Lotus
21. Marcus Ericsson Caterham
22. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham

You can watch the British Grand Prix live on CNBC and Live Extra from 7:30am ET.

Hamilton: Abu Dhabi ‘the last race with good-looking cars’ in F1

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Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.

Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.

Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.

“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.

“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”

Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.

“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.

“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”