Daily Archives: July 24, 2010

Vettel pips Alonso to pole in Germany

Sebastian Vettel has taken pole position for the German Grand Prix – but only by 0.002 seconds, ahead of the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. Mark Webber made a mistake on his final lap, and could only start 4th. Here is the full report:


Before the session even began, it emerged that Lucas di Grassi would be unable to take part, as a gearbox issue had forced him out. While he did go out, he pitted instantly, suggesting a ratio problem. A later gearbox change sealed his fate at the back of the grid.

After only 5 minutes, the session was halted when Vitantonio Liuzzi crashed into the pit wall after the final corner, in a very similar fashion to Timo Glock here in 2008. Ironically, it was Glock who had to swerve to avoid one of Liuzzi’s detached tyres.The session later restarted, and Mark Webber did a 1.16.024 to go fastest on an old set of tyres, before Lewis Hamilton got a 1.15.505 on a new set.

Sebastian, on a new set of tyres, unlike Mark, could only go a few tenths faster, but still was 2nd. Jenson Button was 3 tenths off Hamilton, before Vettel went around again to blast 4 tenths off the fastest time. Further back, Nico Rosberg was struggling in the dropout zone, after 2 previously failed attempts, but finally got a 1.16.1 to get up to 6th.

Then, Fernando Alonso set the fastest time of the weekend so far, with a 1.14.808. This left the Lotus, Virgin and HRT cars all out, alongside Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Jarno Trulli

19) Heikki Kovalainen

20) Timo Glock

21) Bruno Senna

22) Vitantonio Liuzzi

23) Sakon Yamamoto

24) Lucas di Grassi


The first set of laps were mostly done on the harder tyres, except for Felipe Massa, who opted to do his first lap on the super-softs. This allowed him to set the fastest time early on, with a 1.14.607. He could have gone even faster, but a mistake in the final sector cost him the lap.

However, once the other frontrunners switched to the super-soft tyres for their second runs. Team-mate Fernando Alonso raised the bar for fast laps even higher, with a 1.14 dead. The Mercedes drivers were 11th and 12th with 6 minutes remaining, while Adrian Sutil was struggling in 14th with a suspected gearbox problem.

In the final few minutes, Nico Rosberg edged out Schumacher by 0.008 seconds, leaving them 9th and 10th. However, Nico Hulkenberg went faster than both of them, leaving Michael 11th and out of Q2. He was joined by both Sauber drivers, Toro Rossos, Vitaly Petrov and Adrian Sutil, who will drop a further 5 places thanks to a gearbox change.

Drivers knocked out in Q2:

11) Michael Schumacher

12) Kamui Kobayashi

13) Vitaly Petrov

14) Adrian Sutil

15) Pedro de la Rosa

16) Jaime Alguersuari

17) Sebastien Buemi


At the start of Q3, Fernando Alonso got the fastest lap in first, while Sebastian Vettel was unable to beat that time, also on super-soft tyres. Mark Webber’s first lap was a 1.14.3, but he was unable to improve upon it later.

At the second runs, Sebastian Vettel did a stunning lap, to snatch pole position by 0.002 seconds from Alonso, setting a 1.13.791. While Felipe Massa was 3rd, he was a half a second slower, and Webber ran wide at Turn 1 on his final lap, leaving him in 4th. Jenson Button edged out Hamilton by one tenth, leaving them 5th and 6th.

Robert Kubica was 7th, Rubens Barrichello 8th, Nico Rosberg 9th and Nico Hulkenberg finishing off the top 10.

While starting 1st is the best place to be, the two Ferraris will be in place to keep Sebastian Vettel on his toes tomorrow. Also, Button and Hamilton are not to be excluded, as their faster straight-line speed will help them keep up.