The leader of the world championship, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, negotiated his way to second successive pole position – again during wet conditions.
Timing was key, but Nando’ still put in a wonderful performance, outclassing the Wunderkid Sebastian Vettel, on home turf no less, by 4 tenths of a second and championship rival Mark Webber by 18 (ie, 1.8 seconds…).
As we cross the half way point of the season, Alonso deserves all the plaudits coming his way and he is winning more and more of the Sett’s affection at every GP of 2012. At this moment, it would be difficult to make the case for anyone in F1 being close to the Spaniard in the talent stakes. He seems to be reaching a level at Ferrari higher than that of his previous two championships.
Jenson Button, on the other hand, managed to out qualify McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton – a rare feat that could probably be explained away by the odd weather conditions.
In other news, Michael Schumacher didn’t have an accident today. Instead, he was for a period during Q3 looking good for pole. And, although Vettel didn’t grab top spot, the Germans should be as happy as British cycling fans, with 3 out of the top 4 on the grid hailing from the home of reliable automobiles (Webber was given a 5 place grid place penalty for a gearbox change).
Penalties seemed to be the order of the day. Joining Webber with gearbox issues are Romain Grosjean and Nico Rosberg, who now line up 20th and 23rd after taking their 5 place penalties.
They were joined in punishment by Sauber’s Sergio Perez. After some investigation, the stewards looked in to complaints made by Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg and demoted Perez for impeding their qualification attempts. The Mexican will now start in 17th place.
Finally, a special mention must go to Charles Pic, who succeeded in beating his team leader despite a lack of practice time. We have been impressed by Pic this year and hope he gets a chance in a better car next year.
On the subject of cycling, our editor-in-chief, Adam Milleneuve, will be peddling his ever leaner frame to the Belgium Grand Prix this year in aid of charity. If you want to support Adam, go here, or come along to our German GP screening at the Roxy Bar and screen tomorrow.
NOTE: If you want to donate, but cannot make this event, you can read more about ride2spa and donate money via the Virgin Money Giving page here: BadgerGP.com/ride2spa
German Grand Prix – Qualifying
1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m40.621s 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m41.026s + 0.405 3. Mark Webber* Red Bull-Renault 1m41.496s + 1.838 4. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m42.459s + 2.880 5. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m43.501s + 3.329 6. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m43.950s + 3.492 7. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m44.113s + 3.565 8. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m44.186s + 3.875 9. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m44.889s + 4.268 10. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m45.811s + 5.190
11. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m39.789s + 2.424 12. Sergio Perez** Sauber-Ferrari 1m39.933s + 2.568 13. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m39.985s + 2.620 14. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m40.212s + 2.847 15. Romain Grosjean* Lotus-Renault 1m40.574s + 3.209 16. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m40.752s + 3.387 17. Nico Rosberg* Mercedes 1m41.551s + 4.186
18. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m16.741s + 1.048 19. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m17.620s + 1.927 20. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m18.531s + 2.838 21. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m19.220s + 3.527 22. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m19.291s + 3.598 23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m19.912s + 4.219 24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m20.230s + 4.537
* - to be demoted 5 places due to gearbox change
** - to be demoted 5 places for blocking fellow drivers on faster laps