The weather in Germany may be worse than we had last time out in Silverstone, with the temperature being described as cool or even cold, but the action on track was warming up nicely with plenty of hot laps to set the grid for the Grand Prix on Sunday. Here, round by round we take you through how qualifying for the German GP unfolded…
Round 1 – Kamui sets himself up for a drive through the field!
A fairly routine opening session, with only a few key points to mention. Massa used up a set of soft tyres to secure his place in Q2, a very bizarre strategy. Williams’ Barrichello scraped through in 17th (team mate Maldonado used soft tyres to get through). Glock did well to take 20th for Marussia Virgin and although Liuzzi was quicker than Ricciardo, he’ll start at the back – following a five place penalty for changing his gearbox.
The headline has to be Kamui Kobayashi starting in 18th, with a complete set of soft, fast, grippy tyres – be prepared to be entertained!
18th – Kamui Kobayashi
19th – Heikki Kovalainen
20th – Timo Glock
21st – Karun Chandhok
22nd – Jermone d’Ambrosio
23rd – Tonio Liuzzi*
24th – Daniel Ricciardo
*gearbox change – 5 place penalty (will start 24th)
Round 2 – Hamilton shows the way with a stunning lap
Hamilton came out early on in the session and popped in a sub 1’31 time, 5 tenths quicker than he went this morning. Team mate Button, 5 tenths down, but comfortably through along with both Red Bulls and Ferraris.
We were then left to see Rosberg, Heidfeld, Petrov, Schumacher, Di Resta, Maldonado and Sutil battle it out for a place in the top 10 shoot out, while both Toro Rossos, Barrichello and Perez seemed reluctant to use up tyres, instead take the time they had for P14 – P17.
In the end, Schumacher snuck in for 10th, while Rosberg impressed with the 5th best time of the session. Petrov took 9th and Sutil took 8th.
11th – Nick Heidfeld
12th – Paul Di Resta
13th – Pastor Maldonado
14th – Rubens Barrichello
15th – Sergio Perez
16th – Sebastien Buemi
17th – Jaime Alguersuari
Round 3 – Vettel has his worst position of the season – 3rd!
Alonso set the pace early on with a 1,30.866 – the fastest time yet, but Hamilton came right back with a 1,30.725 and looked good for all of a few corners until Webber came back with a lap which was nearly half a second faster – 1,30.251. Vettel came out to take the provisional pole back, but was a tenth slower than Webber and took P2.
Massa and Button were clear number two drivers, Massa in 5th with a time of only a tenth off Alonso and Button in P6, a full half second off Hamilton. Petrov also went out early to post the 7th best time.
With only 2 minutes left of the session, everyone poured out onto the track again for a final showdown with all 10 cars out on track… they traded fastest sector times, Alonso improved a little, Webber put himself even further ahead of Vettel and Hamilton posted a time to put himself between the two Red Bull and Vettel could do nothing about it – will start 3rd.
Massa retained his 5th position, Button was pushed down to 7th with Nico Rosberg posting a splendid time for 6th place. Sutil will be pleased to have stamped authority over his rookie team mate with a solid 8th for the grid ahead of Petrov and Schumacher.
POLE – Mark Webber
2nd – Lewis Hamilton
3rd – Sebastian Vettel
4th – Fernando Alonso
5th – Felipe Massa
6th – Nico Rosberg
7th – Jenson Button
8th – Adrian Sutil
9th – Vitaly Petrov
10th – Michael Schumacher
And now we get to look forward to what should be another great grand prix for the 2011 season… thoughts on the start folks? Read our full German GP Coverage here.