Lewis Hamilton snatches German Grand Prix pole as main threat Ferrari implode with mechanical issues… leaving Charles Leclerc starting 10th and Sebastian Vettel LAST
- Lewis Hamilton took pole position ahead of Max Verstappen for German GP
- Valtteri Bottas took third for Mercedes ahead of sister Red Bull of Pierre Gasly
- Charles Leclerc and Ferrari were favourites to take pole at Hockenheim
- But Leclerc suffered mechanical failure at start of pole position shootout
- Team-mate Sebastian Vettel had turbo issue at very start of qualifying
- READ: All the latest F1 news, features and points tables throughout the season
Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the German Grand Prix with a helping hand from Ferrari.
The five-time world champion, who had been feeling unwell going into qualifying at Hockenheim, set the fastest time despite struggling for pace through practice.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen qualified second and Mercedes No 2 Valtteri Bottas third.
Lewis Hamilton took advantage of Ferrari misfortune to claim German Grand Prix pole position
Hamilton is congratulated on his pole position by Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas
Bottas reflects on his third place where he was over three tenths down on Hamilton’s time
Hamilton shakes hands with second place Max Verstappen after the session
‘You never cease to amaze us,’ Mercedes boss Toto Wolff told Hamilton.
The Briton is now aiming to win this race for the fifth time, an achievement that would lift him ahead of Michael Schumacher, a hero beyond measure in these parts.
His supposed heir Sebastian Vettel’s hopes of winning his home race took a beating without him even turning the wheel. An engine problem caused him to climb out of the cockpit as his mechanics toiled unavailingly to mend the problem before time ran out.
Ferrari had looked quick throughout the weekend but imploded come qualifying in Germany
Sebastian Vettel, watched on by his father Norbert (right) at his home grand prix was unable to set at lap time due to a turbo issue at the very start of qualifying
Vettel will now start the race at Hockenheim from last place as he addresses the media
Pole position favourite Charles Leclerc was forced out his car at the start of the pole shootout
He will start in the pit lane, meaning he will stay clear of any early skirmishes and has the opportunity to carve his way through the field – even if victory is a remote chance.
Already 100 points behind Hamilton after 10 of the season’s 21 rounds, the turbo malfunction is just one of many setbacks Vettel has endured during the most frustrating year of his career.
He has not won since the Belgian Grand Prix last year.
GERMAN GP QUALIFYING
POLE POSITION SHOOTOUT
1 Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes 1:11.767
2 Verstappen (Hol) Red Bull 1:12.113
3 Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 1:12.129
4 Gasly (Fra) Red Bull 1:12.180
5 Raikkonen (Fin) Alfa Romeo 1:12.538
6 Grosjean (Fra) Haas 1:12.851
7 Sainz (Spa) McLaren 1:12.897
8 Perez (Mex) Racing Point 1:13.065
9 Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 1:13.126
10 Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari No Time Set
11 Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo 1:12.786
12 Magnussen (Den) Haas 1:12.789
13 Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1:12.799
14 Kvyat (Rus) Toro Rosso 1:13.135
15 Stroll (Can) Racing Point 1:13.450
16 Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:13.333
17 Albon (Tha) Toro Rosso 1:13.461
18 Russell (Gbr) Williams 1:14.721
19 Kubica (Pol) Williams 1:14.839
20 Vettel (Ger) Ferrari No Time Set
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen looks on having secured a front row slot for the German Grand Prix
Plenty of Dutch supporters were present inside Hockenheim to cheer on Verstappen
Vettel’s team-mate Charles Leclerc, who was dominant in practice, was also stuck in the garage ahead of Q3, with a fuel system problem. He, too, climbed out of the car ignominiously. He qualified 10th.
The two young Brits, Lando Norris and George Russell, did not manage to escape Q1.
Russell was second slowest, though ahead of team-mate Robert Kubica for the 11th consecutive time. Norris, struggling all weekend, was slower than his team-mate Carlos Sainz, who was seventh best. It was the first time Norris has not penetrated Q2.
Mercedes ran a special livery to mark 125 years of motorsport and their 200th GP start
The white paint scheme was to show the team’s initial colours before they famously stripped the colour to expose the silver body work and save weight in the 1930s