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
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
|12||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1’32.560|
|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.
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|
|3||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’30.216|
|8||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’32.010|
2011 German Grand Prix
- Rate the race result: 2011 German Grand Prix
- 2011 German Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vote for your German GP driver of the weekend
- McLaren: Surprise win in Germany for Hamilton
- Red Bull: McLaren and Ferrari ahead in Germany
- Ferrari: Alonso beats Red Bulls despite cool weather
- Mercedes: Three-stopper costs Rosberg a place
- Force India: Sutil helps team overtake Toro Rosso
- Renault: Petrov dissatisfied with strategy
- Sauber: Kobayashi out in Q1 but claims points
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