Formula 1

Hamilton takes Pole as Ferrari Falter

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Lewis Hamilton
Octane Photographic Ltd.

Lewis Hamilton has taken Pole Position for the German Grand Prix as the Scuderia Ferrari duo waned due to mechanical problems – leaving Charles Leclerc tenth and Sebastian Vettel twentieth.

Max Verstappen managed to split the Mercedes pairing as he aims to double his qin tally in 2019. This also leaves the tantalising prospect of F1’s two most reverred rain-masters locking horns in treacherous conditions on Sunday. Valtteri Bottas was third for Mercedes AMG Petronas.

Pierre Gasly bounced back from his Free Practice two struggles, to take fourth in spite of his fastest lap being cancelled by the stewards for exceeding track limits. Gasly also had trouble in the early Qualifying segment as he was a lowly thirteenth after the opening runs. The Frenchman will certainly be pleased with his return to form.

Kimi Räikkönen was a best of the rest fifth for Alfa Romeo Racing, as the Finn dominated Formula 1’s unofficial ‘B class’ at Hockenheim. The Finn almost managed to get on the second row, as he ended up only half a tenth behind Gasly. Romain Grosjean continued Rich Energy Haas F1 Team‘s peculiar run of form, as the Frenchman continued to outpace Magnussen despite the decision to revert to the supposedly slower package.

Carlos Sainz Jr. continued his superb season with seventh for McLaren F1 Team. The Spaniard was, along with Räikkönen, one of the fastest of the midfield runners throughout the qualifying session as he bounced back from a lowkey Friday.

Sergio Pérez highlighted SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team’s progress as he completed the fourth row, he narrowly edged out former Force India teammate Nico Hülkenberg to take ninth . Ninth was a sign of relief for the German as he finally outqualified teammate Daniel Ricciardo for the first time since March’s Australian Grand Prix. Hülkenberg’s result managed to allow the Enstone-squad to recover from a disappointing Practice three.

Charles Leclerc, who looked like an early favourite for Pole Position as he topped the opening segment of qualifying, was afflicted by mechanical gremlins which forced the young Monegasque driver to get out of his scarlet red Ferrari and admit defeat. Leclerc therefore, will start a dissatisfying tenth with Mercedes effectively given an open goal by Ferrari.

Qualifying two saw both Mercedes, Leclerc as well as Verstappen all attempt to make the final segment of Qualifying on the slower, yet more durable Medium compound. But the Dutchman was faced with complications as a loss of power caused him to return to the garage without a competitive run. Once Verstappen reappeared he was soft tyre shod, as he made went fourth fastest.

Antonio Giovinazzi was eleventh and the first of the cars that will recieve fresh tyres for Sunday’s race, should it stay dry. Giovinazzi moved into the top ten provisionally, only for Pérez to oust him by 0.010s as Racing Point made good use of their raft of upgrades.

Kevin Magnussen found himself caught out as he locked up on his final push-lap as he challenged to retain his top ten spot. Magnussen locked up as his Haas car rode over a bump leaving him down in twelfth, as he was outqualified for the second race in a row.

Daniel Ricciardo was outqualified by his teammate for the first time since the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, but he was the last of six cars all within one tenth of eachother in a tightly bunched midfield.

Daniil Kvyat could only manage fourteenth in the lead Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda, while an error for Lance Stroll left him down in a relativelt dissapointing fifteenth considering SportPesa Racing Point’s strong Friday pace. Yet the Canadian did break his streak of Q1 eliminations stretching back to his time at Williams.

Rookies Lando Norris and Alexander Albon were knocked out in Q1, with the London-born Thai driver feeling aggrieved with Norris for blocking him on his final Qualifying run. Norris himself struggled for pace in his McLaren as the Woking-based squad struggled for speed in the low-speed final sector.

George Russell managed to wrap up the qualifying battle at ROKit Williams Racing, besting teammate Robert Kubica by just over a tenth of a second – the smallest margin of the season in that particular head-to-head.

It was a disatrous Q1 session for home-hero Sebastian Vettel. The German was plagued by Ferrari engine problems as a turbo failure left the quadruple world champion without a timed lap – leaving his German Grand Prix weekend in dissaray as he will start twentieth and last.

This marks the first time since the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix that Vettel was eliminated at the first hurdle of Qualifying.

German Grand Prix Qualifying Times

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