Webber on pole again at the Nurburgring

2011 German GP qualifying

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.

Q1

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

Q2

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

Q3

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

2011 German Grand Prix

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101 comments on Webber on pole again at the Nurburgring

  1. wat happened to 09 world chump button.a second an half behind his team mate..needs to up his game,seems he can only luck into any good drives

  2. Steven said on 23rd July 2011, 14:37

    With Webbers ability at getting of the start line. We should see Lewis leading by the time they exit turn 2. Closely followed by Seb, Fernando and maybe even Nico. Ha ha ha.

    • Lee said on 23rd July 2011, 16:31

      That assumes there is no rain. Remember that the cars can no longer start if it is wet so will be behind a safety car.

  3. sid_prasher (@) said on 23rd July 2011, 14:37

    Brilliant performance from Webber and Lewis.

    Alonso was very neat so a bit disappointed Ferrari are half a second off…

  4. Lachie (@lachie) said on 23rd July 2011, 14:44

    As happy as I am to see Webber and Hamilton on the front row and Vettel in third. It is Webber from pole and Vettel’s also on the clean line. I’ll reserve my excitement until the start of lap 2.

  5. Mads (@mads) said on 23rd July 2011, 14:44

    Good job by Mark, and just amazing lap from Lewis. Really fantastic. I am looking forward to see what Vettel can do from 3rd on the grid!

  6. ralph schumi said on 23rd July 2011, 15:12

    Great news for Mark, finally we will get to see what red bull does when Vet is charging down Web.

    ‘ Sebastian, maintain the gap’??? I think not

  7. Lord Ha Ha said on 23rd July 2011, 15:16

    Evans and Webber on pole and Ricciardo on terms with Liuzzi. Cadel riding for glory to cap off the night.

  8. brum55 said on 23rd July 2011, 15:21

    I think the track temperatures were what did it for Ferrari and played into the hands of McLaren and Lewis.

    In FP3 Ferrari like in Silverstone Ferrari needed 1-2 laps before the tyres rubbered in. Obviously doing that in Quali would be detrimental for the race. I expect Alonso to take his time to get upto speed like Silverstone and be fastest at the end of the stints. If the race is fully dry than that may play into hands as he could afford the least time on the slower prime tyre.

    If it rains than we may see a cracking battle between Vettel and Lewis for the title of wet race king.

  9. Hatebreeder (@hatebreeder) said on 23rd July 2011, 15:35

    eh! i predicted vettel for pole!

  10. badger (@badger) said on 23rd July 2011, 15:55

    As i like Lewis i hope it doesn’t rain, as an F1 fan i hope it does but we don’t start behind the safety car, that’s what wet tyres are for.

  11. F1 98 said on 23rd July 2011, 16:06

    Kamui had traffic so he
    Couldn’ t get a lap time

  12. Funkyf1 (@funkyf1) said on 23rd July 2011, 16:06

    Interesting to see all the people screaming at how bad Mclaren were in practice, now praising Lewis, that’s what practice is for people’s – testing and perfecting. Well done to Webber and Lewis both, still it’s a long race

    • suka (@suka) said on 23rd July 2011, 16:12

      A few of us were hopefull they would recover…at least I did(check out the posts).
      Webber is not a great starter and Hamilton is on the dirty side which gives us Vettel and maybe Massa coming through to the front.
      I’ll keep fingers crossed for Webber’s clean and quick start.

      • Gill said on 23rd July 2011, 17:49

        I have always found the advantage/disadvantage of clean and dirty side a bit exaggerated. In Spain, Fernando was on the dirty side and was 1st after T1. In Spain and Silverstone, Vettel did the same so its not a deciding factor at all.

    • DaveW said on 23rd July 2011, 19:23

      Well, it’s not inconsistent to point out development troubles with the team and with praising Lewis. After all, Button ran the exhaust Friday, and in the end the team could never set up his car to adapt to them. If both cars were on Button’s set up, we would have another case of failed upgrades. It’s not just about blaming Button though. This strange tale suggests that there is an operational issue in getting updates to work at the track.

  13. mark p said on 23rd July 2011, 16:30

    Mclaren were well off through practice, Button still is. Have they left standard race setup on Button who had understeer and gone for oversteer on Hamilton hence getting more heat into his tyres, he was so fast in slow corners. May come back to bite in the race. Covering up slower car in the short term like under fueling in Silverstone?

    • Lee said on 23rd July 2011, 16:37

      Button is a very fast driver when he has the car set up perfectly but seems to struggle a lot if it is not. Lewis seems to be able to drive pretty well if he has rubbish setup and can seemingly squeeze extra performance out of a car that is set up well.

  14. mark p said on 23rd July 2011, 16:38

    Would a heavily biased oversteer balance be bad in the wet?

    • Lee said on 23rd July 2011, 21:44

      Not really sure. It would certainly help with keeping the tyres warm which would help a lot with grip but you would have to be careful not to spin the car if the track was greasy. However heavy understeer which it seems Jensons car has would make the car a bit more stable in the slippy corners but as most cars understeer in the wet anyway it could mean going straight on at corners and also not give as much response when trying to steer out of a spin.

  15. dam00r (@dam00r) said on 23rd July 2011, 17:06

    Hamilton 1.1 second faster than Button.
    That is……. super driving.

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