Vettel pips Alonso to Hockenheim pole (German Grand Prix qualifying)

Sebastian Vettel beat Fernando Alonso to pole position by just two thousandths of a second at the Hockenheimring.

Felipe Massa underlined Ferrari’s improved pace by taking third place, capitalising on a mistake by Mark Webber who will start fourth.

Q1

The first part of qualifying was only five minutes old when Vitantonio Liuzzi brought it to an early halt. He lost his car at the final corner and hit the concrete barrier in front of the pit wall in a crash not dissimilar to Timo Glock’s during the 2008 race.

And it was Glock who had to brake and swerve to avoid the front wheel which was torn off Liuzzi’s car.

Race control swiftly red-flagged the session to recover Liuzzi’s car and clean up the track.

Lewis Hamilton was among the first of the cars to go quickest when the session re-started, before heading back to the pits.

His mark was beaten by the two Red Bulls and finally Fernando Alonso, who set a new best time of the weekend with a 1’14.808.

Unsurprisingly it was the three new teams’ cars that were eliminated along with Liuzzi. Both Virgin drivers are expected to take five-place penalties for gearbox changes, as is Adrian Sutil.

Q2

Most of the front-runners did their first runs on hard tyres but Felipe Massa was a notable exception, setting the fastest time to begin with on super-soft tyres.

But when his rivals switched to super-soft tyres towards the end of the session he was demoted – with team mate Alonso fastest once again on a 1’14.081.

The fight to escape the drop zone was closely-fought – especially between the Mercedes drivers. Nico Rosberg edged Michael Schumacher by eight-thousandths of a second, and Schumacher was ultimately knocked out by the improving Williams of Nico H???lkenberg.

The Saubers, Toro Rossos, Vitaly Petrov and Adrian Sutil were also eliminated ahead of the top-ten shoot-out.

Q3

Alonso struck the first blow in the final part of qualifying with Vettel unable to beat his first effort on the super-soft tyres.

But when they came out for the last runs Vettel turned the table – setting a 1’13.791 which Alonso got within 0.002s of beating.

Webber might have joined his team mate on the front row but he ran wide at turn one on his first lap and had to abort his lap. That allowed Massa to take third place off him.

Jenson Button turned the tables on his team mate with his last effort, edging Hamilton by a tenth of a second on his final run.

See how the grid will look after penalties here: German Grand Prix grid

Full qualifying times

Pos. # Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’15.152 1’14.249 1’13.791
2 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’14.808 1’14.081 1’13.793
3 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’15.216 1’14.478 1’14.290
4 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’15.334 1’14.340 1’14.347
5 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’15.823 1’14.716 1’14.427
6 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’15.505 1’14.488 1’14.566
7 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’15.736 1’14.835 1’15.079
8 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’16.398 1’14.698 1’15.109
9 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’16.178 1’15.018 1’15.179
10 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’16.387 1’14.943 1’15.339
11 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’16.084 1’15.026
12 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’15.951 1’15.084
13 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’16.521 1’15.307
14 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’16.220 1’15.467
15 22 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1’16.450 1’15.550
16 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’16.664 1’15.588
17 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’16.029 1’15.974
18 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’17.583
19 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’18.300
20 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’18.343
21 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’18.592
22 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’18.952
23 20 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1’19.844
24 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth

2010 German Grand Prix

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101 comments on Vettel pips Alonso to Hockenheim pole (German Grand Prix qualifying)

  1. Electrolite said on 24th July 2010, 21:25

    People speak of Mclaren falling behind and not performing well at today’s qualifying. The fact of the matter is, Ferrari have improved massively and are where Mclaren would be. Let’s not forget in this competitive field 4th and 5th still a decent result.

    I honestly thought Alonso would get it today! 2 thousandths of a second!! Vettel must have driven a peach of a last sector as he was still behind Alonso at the end of sector 2. A popular result will be that Williams are up there with the big boys for the 3rd race running, so it’s clear the car is looking good and it’s not down to luck.

  2. Electrolite said on 24th July 2010, 21:28

    To add, I know I harp on about Legard but the commentary today was dire. No hype whatsoever in Q3 when everyone was coming in at the end, whilst i’m sat there thinking “THE WHOLE WEEKEND IS DETERMINED BY THIS YOU PILLOCK!”. To be fair he got out of his seat a bit when Vettel and Alonso crossed the line but that was about a month after the time came up.

    Also the “Look at Alonso! He’s four tenth’s quicker than anyone else!” annoyed me at the start of Q3, because it was actually less than tenth than anyone else looking at Q2 times.

    “It’s not looking good for nico rosberg is it…” When he was on his inlap. Even Brundle )who stays quiet when Legard flops these days) stepped in to correct him…

    There were other moments as well but I don’t want to turn this into a bigger rant ;)

  3. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 25th July 2010, 2:36

    Great work by the Ferrari team but in the last two races we saw that their race pace deteriorate as they progress to the race.I think Hamilton have done the best he could but Webber was disappointing.

    Again Schumacher fails to clear Q2 I think that the more races is going the more weaker the Mercedes car is getting,Kobayashi made a mistakes or else I think he could have been there in Q3.I think it will be a exciting race tomorrow (today).

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