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Formula One

Hamilton pips Vettel in qualifiying at German Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton has raced into pole position for the German Grand Prix, edging just ahead of his rival Sebastian Vettel. A critical team blunder means that Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg starts from 11th place.

The British Mercedes driver Hamilton managed a time of one minute, 29.398 seconds at the Nürburgring, followed by Vettel who was just 0.103 seconds slower.

Vettel's Red Bull teammate Mark Webber placed third, with the two Lotuses of Kimi Raikkonen and, subsequently, Romain Grosjean coming just behind.

The three-time world champion Vettel had appeared to have recorded a fast enough time for pole position as he sought a first win on home soil in the 60-lap race.

Hamilton, however, had the last word on the 5.148-kilometer (3.2 miles) course, gaining his 29th career pole.

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, winner of the British Grand Prix in Silverstone last week was eliminated in the second qualifying session. An error meant that the German stayed in the paddocks, thinking his time was fast enough to advance.

"I tried everything," Vettel said. "I struggled a bit in the first sector and was then trying to catch up. It looks as if we are much closer to them (Mercedes) here than we were last week in Silverstone.

"We had a good run yesterday in the practice session and I think we did our homework. Now it is up to us drivers. We are looking forward to the race tomorrow."

Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo starts out in sixth, with the Ferrari duo Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso in seventh and eighth respectively.

rc/mkg (AFP, AP, dpa)