We had a beautiful qualifying session - Bridgestone
Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel powered to his sixth pole of the year for his home German Grand Prix using Bridgestone’s super soft compound Potenza in an exciting qualifying at Hockenheim. Vettel set his 1min 13.791secs time in the last moments of the highly competitive session, with Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver Fernando Alonso just 0.002secs slower.
Vettel had been fastest in the morning practice, however Alonso was top in the Q1 and Q2 sessions.
Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development
What was significant about today’s running?
“Today we had a beautiful qualifying session. The top two drivers used the potential of the super soft Bridgestone to the maximum and for two different drivers in different cars to qualify just 0.002secs apart is incredible! If both cars started their quickest lap at the same time, Sebastian would have been just 15cm ahead of Fernando at the end of the 4.574 km lap. Remarkable! We also saw that if a driver pushed too hard with the super soft in the first sector of the lap, they could not set the times they wanted in the second two sectors. For the first time this season we have Fernando Alonso on the front row for a Grand Prix and I think this is just one aspect of many showing that we could have a very exciting race tomorrow.”
What are the tyre strategy considerations for tomorrow’s race?
“There is still plenty of scope for the track surface to improve with more rubber laid, so the strategy if it stays dry will be interesting as teams react to the lap times and their track positions. If any drivers in the top ten have graining on their qualifying set of tyres, they will have to pit earlier than if they did not, so this will be another good aspect of tyre focus. Interestingly, Michael Schumacher is the best placed of the drivers able to choose which tyres he will start the race with, so his tyre choice for his first stint tomorrow will be a good focal point too. We have seen a lot of rain over the weekend so far, and I think there is still potential for more too. Everything considered, I am very much looking forward to the race."