It was a superb qualifying session yesterday afternoon with Sebastian Vettel coming out on top to gain pole position for his home race, only a crucial 0.002 seconds quicker than the racier-than-ever Fernando Alonso in 2nd place. Massa sealed the deal for Ferrari with 3rd ahead of Webber and the McLaren duo. The prancing horse management will be most chuffed with the starting grid, which in their eyes is where the team should be in the championship tables. Another team which will be pleased with Saturday is Williams, finally showing consistent improvements race by race with both drivers in the final top ten shoot out, unlike Schumacher who will have been massively frsutrated to only grab 11th place in front of his crowd. Another unlucky German was Virgin’s Timo Glock who, after nearly beating the Lotus cars, now finds himself at the back of the grid with a 10-place penalty for having a gearbox change (5 places) and then the team not correctly declaring gearbox/ratio changes before qualifying (a further 5 places).
So, onto the start – what’s going to happen into and after turn one? The first two sectors of Hockenheim are pretty quick so those cars with great top speed will be in good shape to make a move in the opening laps – that’s what Button and Hamilton will be wanting anyway. As for the front row, we have Vettel who has lost out a few times already this season and has question marks over his ability to hold position when challenged strongly, unfortunately for him, Alonso is alongside and he’s desperate to get Ferrari’s title challenge back on track – with his toys firmly back in the shiny red pram, he’ll be determined to come out of turn one in first place, otherwise it could be another Valencia-style effort for Vettel where with a faster car he can just scamper off into the distance.
Of course, with a firey Spaniard needing a win and a young German trying to readdress himself as number one in his team, there could well be some argy-bargy off the line and that would leave Webber and the McLaren duo looking handy, we all know all too well that although they don’t qualify great, the British champions’ car is more than quick enough in race conditions. As for Massa, he’s in a similar position to Alonso, albeit just a bit quieter.
This is just some musings, what are your musings for the start – any ideas folks? Here’s the order before turn one: