Mark Webber, Red Bull, Nurburgring, 2011

Webber on pole again at the Nurburgring

2011 German GP qualifyingPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Nurburgring, 2011
Mark Webber, Red Bull, Nurburgring, 2011

Mark Webber took pole position for the second race in a row at the Nurburgring.

He had to fight off a threat to Red Bull’s supremacy which came not from Ferrari as expected, but Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren.

They occupied the front row of the grid while Sebastian Vettel was knocked off the front row for the first time this year.


Sauber took an unusual approach to Q1, keeping both their drivers in the garage for the first half of the session.

It caught them out when they finally sent their drivers out on soft tyres at the end of the session. Kamui Kobayashi set a 1’33.786 which left him vulnerable and he was eliminated as Paul di Resta and Nico Rosberg improved their times.

The other six cars that were eliminated were, as usual, those of Lotus, Virgin and HRT – albeit in a slightly different order to usual.

Heikki Kovalainen easily out-qualified his new team mate Karun Chandhok. Timo Glock pinched 20th place off Chandhok with his last lap, though he sounded distinctly unhappy with his team as he returned to the pits, telling them he’s “made his life difficult” again.

The two HRTs qualified on the back row, with Vitantonio Liuzzi just 0.025s faster than Daniel Ricciardo. But Ricciardo will start ahead following Liuzzi’s five-place penalty for a gearbox change.

All the drivers in the top three teams – Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari – progressed to Q2 without using a set of soft tyres with one exception: Felipe Massa.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

18 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’33.786
19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’35.599
20 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’36.400
21 Karun Chandhok Lotus-Renault 1’36.422
22 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’36.641
23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’37.011
24 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1’37.036


Lewis Hamilton put McLaren at the top of the times for the first time this weekend in Q2.

He blitzed the first sector of the lap, two-tenths of a second faster than anyone else, to lead the times on 1’30.998. Behind him were Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

But the focus of interest was the battle to reach the top ten. Paul di Resta briefly reached Q3 until his team make knocked him out.

The same happened at Renault, as Nick Heidfeld lost his place in the final ten to Vitaly Petrov.

Both Williams and Toro Rosso drivers were also eliminated, and Sergio Perez capped a poor session for Sauber by taking 15th.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’32.215
12 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’32.560
13 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’32.635
14 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’33.043
15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’33.176
16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’33.546
17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’33.698


Hamilton’s first run in qualifying was quick enough to beat Alonso – but not the flying Red Bulls.

Mark Webber was quickest on the first runs, setting a 1’30.251, edging his team mate by a tenth of a second.

The Mercedes drivers held back and did their first runs after the front runners had pitted, as did Adrian Sutil. Nico Rosberg claimed sixth, four places in front of Schumacher with Sutil in between.

Alonso improved his time with his second run but wasn’t able to move up from fourth place. Hamilton, meanwhile, split the Red Bulls to take second on the grid.

That demoted Vettel to third – off the front row of the grid for the first time in 15 races.

Webber lowered his time yet further, getting down to a 1’30.079. That gave him his second pole position in a row both this year and at the Nurburgring – where he scored his maiden F1 triumph two years ago.

Top ten in Q3

1 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’30.079
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’30.134
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’30.216
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’30.442
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’30.910
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’31.263
7 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’31.288
8 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’32.010
9 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’32.187
10 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’32.482

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