2008 German GP qualifying: Hamilton beats Massa to Hockenheim pole

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton claimed pole for the German Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole for the German Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton carried the momentum of his home Grand Prix win into the German Grand Prix weekend to claim pole positon for tomorrow’s race ahead of Felipe Massa.

Hamilton’s team mate Kovalainen will line up third after a mistake on his first lap. But championship rival Kimi Raikkonen starts a poor sixth.

Part one

The McLarens were quickest to begin with in the first part of qualifying with Lewis Hamilton topping the times despite going very wide at the hairpin.

The Ferraris took over the top of the time sheets later but it came towards the end of the first part as the track got quicker.

The battle to get through the first part of qualifying was especially close. A late lap by Fernando Alonso put him up to fifth after he had been 16th, and Sebastien Bourdais resorted to soft tyres to get out of the bottom five.

It left the two Force Indias at the back of the field as usual (with Giancarlo Fisichella seemingly blocking Robert Kubica at one point), with Rubens Barrichello 18th although team mate Jenson Button managed to get into Q2.

Nelson Piquet Jnr failed to get beyond Q3 for the fourth time this year – although he gap between him and Alonso was just 0.2s. Kazuki Nakajima was 16th and was also 0.2s slower than his team mate.

Drivers eliminated in part one

16. Kazuki Nakajima 1’16.083
17. Nelson Piquet Jnr 1’16.189
18. Rubens Barrichello 1’16.246
19. Adrian Sutil 1’16.657
20. Giancarlo Fisichella 1’16.963

Part two

Sebastien Bourdais locked up and ran wide at the Spitzkerve, ruining his qualifying lap
Sebastien Bourdais locked up and ran wide at the Spitzkerve, ruining his qualifying lap

Hamilton led the way in the second part of qualifying but team mate Kovalainen chose to do a second lap after being 0.4s slower than Hamilton on his first lap.

Kovalainen improved to third on his second attempt, behind Massa. A late lap by Alonso put the Renault driver an excellent fourth and well clear of the bottom five.

Sebastien Bourdais condemned himself to eimination with a mistake at the hairpin on his second attempt. He ended up 15th behind Jenson Button. Nico Rosberg also failed to prceed and Nick Heidfeld was knocked out once again. BMW were notably down on the McLarens and Ferrari but Heidfeld was 0.4s off Robert Kubica’s pace.

Timo Glock was the last driver to be eliminated having failed to beat tenth-placed Mark Webber by 0.027s.

Drivers eliminated in part two

11. Timo Glock 1’15.508
12. Nick Heidfeld 1’15.581
13. Nico Rosberg 1’15.633
14. Jenson Button 1’15.701
15. Sebastien Bourdais 1’15.858

Part three

Felipe Massa held provisional pole position but was pipped by Lewis Hamilton in the dying moments of the session
Felipe Massa held provisional pole position but was pipped by Lewis Hamilton in the dying moments of the session

The McLarens, Ferraris and Red Bulls made it through to the final part of qualifying along with Alonso, Jarno Trulli, Kubica and the only home driver left, Sebastian Vettel.

Massa was instantly quick and went to the top of the times with Raikkonen second, but a huge 0.8s adrift.

The McLarens were circulating line astern and very quickly but when Kovalainen went off at the entrance to the stadium he ruined his lap and compromised Hamilton’s. Hamilton slotted in second, 0.4s down on Massa.

But then Alonso came tearing through on an excellent first lap to knock Hamilton down to third.

McLaren struck back, however. Kovalainen’s second lap was an improvement and split the Ferraris. Then Hamilton, after an indifferent first sector, set the fastest final sector time of all to clinch pole position.

Raikkonen could only manage a 1’16.389, 0.7s off Hamilton’s time, and fell down the order as first Trulli and then Alonso demoted him.

Kubica slotted in seventh on a poor day for BMW ahead of a Red Bull trio, with Vettel’s Toro Rosso between Webber (eighth) and Coulthard (tenth).

Top ten in part three

1. Lewis Hamilton 1’15.666
2. Felipe Massa 1’15.859
3. Heikki Kovalainen 1’16.143
4. Jarno Trulli 1’16.191
5. Fernando Alonso 1’16.385
6. Kimi Raikkonen 1’16.389
7. Robert Kubica 1’16.521
8. Mark Webber 1’17.014
9. Sebastian Vettel 1’17.244
10. David Coulthard 1’17.503

43 comments on “2008 German GP qualifying: Hamilton beats Massa to Hockenheim pole”

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  1. I bet F1Fan can’t wait for Kimi to set another fastest lap of the race while coming in 4th. :)

  2. Little confused about Kimi’s last qualifying lap. To me, it looked like he crossed the line in time for one last run and that he would be the last one to make a flying lap. Even the commentators made it sound like he would get last crack at pole. What really happened?

  3. @Internet, the greatest thing in anything…may it work, sport or life is RESPECT. You might not be a Kimi fan but he surely is a great driver. So yea, respect the sport and its champions !! may it be Hamilton, Raikkonen, Massa or Alonso !!

    – Taimur

  4. What’s wrong with BMW’s? L.Hamilton – great job, J.Trulli on 4th – also great. Tommorow will be very interesting day.

  5. @Taimur: He’s a good driver, but not a great driver. At the moment there are no great drivers on the grid. The only one that comes close is Alonso.

  6. I think Raikkonen has got more fuel than Mass and Hamilton. Maybe about 3-5 laps longer

  7. Internet – Are u kidding!!! There are no great drivers!!
    I say there are more gr8 drivers on track now than anyother seasons! Ham, Kimi, Kubi, Alonso all are superb!!

  8. Massa will be in front of Hamilton after the first curve

  9. Pedro Andrade
    19th July 2008, 16:19

    I didn’t get to see qualifying this time around, but given the times I think this time around Piquet is perfectly excused to miss Q3 if his gap to Alonso of 0.2 seconds ammounts to 12 grid places!

  10. @Internet . I appreciate your comment like Alonso is close to the Greatest driver title ..hehe ..how come u say that !!!

    Let me give some facts abt kimi…

    1 . In 2005 Räikkönen equaled the record of wins in a single season without winning the World Title (7), shared with four time World Champion Alain Prost,also with Michael Schumacher, in 2006

    2. In the 2005 season, he also equaled Schumacher’s record of 10 fastest race laps in a season.He currently holds the third highest record for total fastest laps at 31, thus making him the highest ranked driver still active.

    3 .In 2008, Silverstone marked his sixth fastest race lap in a row (Spain, Turkey, Monaco, Canada, France, Britain), passing Michael Schumacher with 5 and 1 behind record holder Alberto Ascari with 7.

    many more :)

    still you think he is an average driver :) and again i read ur definition of fastest laps in one of the previous threads , that is incredibly disgusting and untrue

    Again i believe alonso is known well for more controversies than his successes :)

    ps: thanks to wikipedia for facts

  11. Apparently Piquet was blocked by Vettel during his last run. He was asking the team to file a protest on the radio.

  12. I wonder if the McLaren duo will start with a team defensive into the first corner…certainly with the only world champions on the grid behind you you’d want to keep them there.

    Hopefully Kimi, Massa, and Alonso can make up places at the start. Kimi made some good starts in the second half of last season, but with his track record here and his poor show earlier this afternoon I wouldn’t place a bet on it.

    On another note, my race prediction was true for the first 3 on the startup grid . . . we shall see what changes tomorrow. :D

  13. @kimster46: I never said he was an average driver. He’s a good driver, but not a great one like many make him out to be.

    As for his stats, the 2005 was in a class of its own when it didn’t fall apart.

    And for 2008, we come to this fastest laps argument again. Like I said, will his weekend be any better if he finishes outside the podium while setting the fastest lap in one of the fastest cars on the grid?

    A great driver wouldn’t have so many setup problems like Kimi does. It seems every 2 or 3 races Kimi is off the pace completely. He might be fuelled heavier than Massa but qualifying 6th in that car is an insult to Ferrari.

  14. As for why I claim Alonso is the only one that is close to being a great driver? Because he is a 2xWDC who had to beat MS while he was still racing to get them.

  15. @Internet…I feel Kimi is a disciplined driver , quite different from others , i just not agree with you in the point that he had many setup problems. Regarding off the pace , i think you talking about the last few races , where lot of unforeseen events happened , most of the problems are not owned by himself ( Ferrari’s strategical blunder at sylverstone , exhaust broke at France , Hamiltons stupidity at montrial), if you look at those races , he was in a commanding position to beat anybody in the track

    I agreed Alonso succeeded getting two WDC’s, Thats great !! Do you think without a faster car Alonso can become a WDC again ?? I hope you keenly watching double world champions performance this year , i am sure at least once this season , he is outperformed by his team mate , many instances in last year too..

    I am sure kimi will fight back tomorrow in a better position than everbody expecting !!

  16. Kimi’s inconsistency is ridiculing the stupendous amount he is being paid to driver the best car on the grid. Its apparent Kimi still does have problems in setting up a car, which indicates he must be a driver who relies too much on natural ability and easily gets bored with the finer details. I also fear that, should Ferrari, allow each driver to rely on his own settings, as they compete for the drivers championships, then Kimi will have it tough coping with circuits that are very technical in nature, and where good lap times are not rewarded by pure pace alone.

    @Internet. I totally agree, Kimi may be fast and enigmatic, however, his on and off nature, does not lend him to be described as one of the greats. Those who bring up race fastest laps as an indication of greatness, have to look at the circumstances under which Kimi sets his fastests laps. More often than not, his fastest laps have been set when it was totally unnecessary, like maybe near the end of a race, or when he has a completely clear track ahead of him. Very rarely has he set a fastest lap time when in chase of another car.
    Unfortunately, the statistics would appear to be in his favour, but that would be only to those who never follow the races, but just read data and use that as an insight into a drivers greatness.

  17. @Oliver , Nobody wants kimi to be described as one of the greats , but facts are facts , why schumi is considered as one of the greatest drivers …According to the official Formula One website, he is “statistically the greatest driver the sport has ever seen” . what the heck it means

    so statistics are facts ..real things :) everybody should respect it , why only few people are making such good things …..

  18. @kimster46: winning most races without winning championship or setting fastest laps without winning races doesn’t make one a great driver.

    It looks like by the end of tomorrows race, either Massa or Hamilton will have twice the number of wins compared to Kimi.

  19. let wait and see .. at the EOD it is racing …anything can happen …there is no hard and fast rule like only pole sitters get into podium …if a guy can win from 17 from grid , so simply u just cant ignore him :)

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