Sebastian Vettel did what his home fans expected of him and set the best lap in qualifying to secure pole position for the German Grand Prix. Valtteri Bottas will join him on the front row, followed by Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen who was third fastest. Kimi as first out on track, and improved to go up into second, just 0.008s down on Vettel’s first lap. Bottas then, who recovered from a troubled warm-up lap moved to provisional pole for about 15s, until Vettel shaved off another 2 tenths to take pole position. The first time since 2010 he managed to do so at his home race.
Following the wet third practice session, rain stopped and the track dried quickly, making for an entirely dry racetrack at the start of qualifying, bar some wet patches at Turn 10, but nothing that could annoy any driver. With such conditions, the ultra soft tyres were again the preferred choice.
Lewis Hamilton was left having to push his own Mercedes car during German GP qualifying after it broke down on track. Hamilton was ordered to stop his Mercedes on track at the Hockenheimring, as he stood behind the rearwing and pushed the 200mph race car in a frantic bid to return to the pits. Mercedes confirmed on Twitter that Hamilton had “lost hydraulic pressure and had to stop the car”. The reliability failure means the world champion, eight points behind Sebastian Vettel, is set to start Sunday’s race from 14th on the grid.
Formula 1 German Grand Prix – Full qualifying classification
1. Sebastian Vettel GER Scuderia Ferrari 1m 11.212s
2. Valtteri Bottas FIN Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport 1m 11.416s
3. Kimi Raikkonen FIN Scuderia Ferrari 1m 11.547s
4. Max Verstappen NED Aston Martin Red Bull Racing 1m 11.822s
5. Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas F1 Team 1m 12.200s
6. Romain Grosjean FRA Haas F1 Team 1m 12.544s
7. Nico Hulkenberg GER Renault Sport Formula One Team 1m 12.560s
8. Carlos Sainz Jr. ESP Renault Sport Formula One Team 1m 12.692s
9. Charles Leclerc MON Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team 1m 12.717s
10. Sergio Perez MEX Sahara Force India F1 Team 1m 12.774s