The Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel will fill the third row of the grid, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz. Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo completed the top ten.
Raikkonen narrowly led the way from Rosberg in Q1, although that owed something to Ferrari electing to switch onto the medium tyre. As they made the change, both Mercedes, both Red Bulls and the Williams of Valtteri Bottas were the only five able to progress whilst only using the hard-compound tyre.
At the other end of the field, Sauber's Felipe Nasr, both McLarens and both Marussias were eliminated. Nasr was just 0.011s slower than Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus on 1m 34.888s. Fernando Alonso, who had a false ERS leak scare just before the start, managed 1m 34.959s to Jenson Button’s 1m 35.207s, as Will Stevens recorded 1m 37.364s and Roberto Merhi 1m 39.577s.
Good to their word, the stewards were tough on drivers exceeding track limits at Copse. Vettel, Hulkenberg, Maldonado, Kvyat, Merhi and Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen all had times deleted - and drivers would continue to fall foul of track limits over the next two sessions.
Rosberg dominated Q2, when everyone ran the mediums, with a lap of 1m 32.737s. Bottas got close for Williams with 1m 33.020s, while a big oversteer moment at Luffield kept Hamilton in third on 1m 33.068s.
Ferrari were lucky to get Raikkonen through in ninth after an earlier time was disallowed for a track limits infringement, but Lotus failed as Maldonado again had a time deleted when he ran wide at Copse. On a legal time he was only 14th, on 1m 34.511s. Sergio Perez was the first of those eliminated in 11th on 1m 34.268s - having also had a faster time disallowed - and was joined by the oversteering Lotus of Romain Grosjean on 1m 34.430s, and a bitterly disappointed Verstappen, who managed only 1m 34.502s. The Dutchman complained vociferously about the handling of his Toro Rosso, saying it was different in 'every corner' compared to his promising runs in practice. Marcus Ericsson also exited in 15th after setting 1m 34.868s in his Sauber.
So who would take pole? Could Rosberg continue his dominance - or would Hamilton get it together?
The first runs ended in favour of the home favourite, as he clocked 1m 32.248s to Rosberg's 1m 32.361s. Bottas was third, ahead of Massa, Raikkonen and Vettel.
A final run-showdown failed to materialise however, as neither of the Mercedes drivers improved on their second runs. Hamilton therefore claimed pole - his third at Silverstone, his fourth in a row, and his eighth from nine races this year.
Massa was one of the few who did improve on their second run, jumping to third with 1m 33.085s - pipping Bottas's 1m 33.149s by less than one tenth of a second. Raikkonen had a similarly miniscule margin over Vettel, the duo lapping in 1m 33.379s to 1m 33.547s respectively.
Like Massa, Daniel Ricciardo found gains on his second run, but the Red Bull driver's lap was promptly disallowed for exceeding track limits, leaving him 10th. Team mate Kvyat was seventh on 1m 33.636s, ahead of Sainz on 1m 33.649s, Hulkenberg on 1m 33.673s and Ricciardo, who had to settle for 1m 33.943s.
The grid will therefore provisionally line up: Hamilton, Rosberg; Massa, Bottas; Raikkonen, Vettel; Kvyat, Sainz; Hulkenberg, Ricciardo; Perez, Grosjean; Verstappen, Maldonado; Ericsson, Nasr; Alonso, Button; Stevens, Merhi.