Alonso masters the rain to take pole
Fernando Alonso has taken pole position for the German GP after carefully mastering the ever changing track conditions because of the rain. In what turned out to be a full wet final session, Vettel positioned himself in second place for the grid while Michael Schumacher will start from 3rd.
After a big shower at the very end of FP3, there was no more rain and therefore the track could dry entirely for the start of qualifying. With rain expected soon however, the track is flourishin with action as of the green light.
Nico Hulkenberg was the first man on track, but everybody came out during the first 5 minutes to make sure they set a banker while the track is in optimal condition.
7 minutes into the session, Hamilton is fastest, ahead of Button, Alonso and Raikkonen. In the danger zone at this time are all cars from the 'new' teams as well as Daniel Ricciardo with the Toro Rosso. So far everybody seems to be focussed on running on the harder tyre.
A few minutes later Romain Grosjean has a few hot moments after going wide through several corners. He did however manage to recover the his car before ending up in an accident. This lap resulted only in a 16th fastest time.
With 6 minutes left on the clock, only 2 cars are on track, as the front runners have already decided to sit out the rest of Q1. Ricciardo and Hulkenberg both made the switch to soft tyres and move up on the timesheet to secure themselves of a position into Q2.
Both Lotus drivers returned to the track on hards yet again. Raikkonen needed just a single lap to post a 1:15.693, half a second faster than Hamilton. Grosjean on the other hand again ruined his first lap while on his second attempt he moved up to 13th.
In the final minute, the pressure is on Schumacher who is down in 18th. The German decided to give it another go on the harder tyre. Webber meanwhile is 15th and returned to the track on the soft tyres. Webber moved up to 13th while Schumacher just managed it by setting the 17th best time.
This means Vergne is out in 18th, ahead of Kovalainen, Petrov, Pic, Glock, De La Rosa and Karthikeyan.
By the time Q2 kicks off, the track is wet. Thunder and lightning are close to the track, and rain is intensifying quickly. As the first few laps are likely going to be the best if it keeps raining. As a result, all cars come out soon, all on intermediates.
Button is the first man out, hoping the first lap will be the best, but he'll be 5th after 5 minutes. Hamilton posts the best time on intermediates several minutes into the session. Schumacher is second, Vettel third, Alonso 4th. The Spaniard at first was somewhat blocked by Massa who made a mistake just ahead of him. Alonso though did manage to get past his teammate after a few corners to secure a place into Q3.
With 5 minutes left on the clock, Rosberg is out again, now on full wet tyres. He did not manage to post a time better than 17th on the intermediates.
Provisionally eliminated are Ricciardo, Pérez, Kobayashi, Massa, Grosjean, Senna, Rosberg.
Most of the troubled drivers, as well as Schumacher and several other secured Q3 drivers went out in the final stages on full wets to get a feeling for the track. Nobody was able to improve their time, but for those who already managed to post a time for Q3 it will have ben an interesting few laps.
By the start of Q3, the rain eased off a bit, but the track is of course still very wet. Hamilton, Button and Maldonado are the first men out. All those who followed have also chosen the full wet tyres.
Hulkenberg is the first man to go off, aquaplaning through turn 6.
After the first laps, Vettel has set the best time. Alonso is second, ahead of Hulkenberg, Button Di Resta, Schumacher, Hamilton.
The track conditions though are improving rapidly as the rain has stopped. HAmilton first improved to pole, then Schumacher, then Vettel. The latter was actually angry at Webber ahead of him who was clearly slower, but as he was on a flying lap as well they was nothing to do for him.
1 minute from the end Webber posts the fastest time, only to Alonso go faster yet again. The Spaniard is also able to continue for one more lap while everybody behind him is too late at the finish line.
The Spaniard improved another 2 tenths while nobody else improved his earlier lap, making it a clear pole position for Ferrari.
|2||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:16.393||1:38.309||1:41.026||23|
|3||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:16.500||1:39.382||1:41.496||24|
|4||7||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes AMG||1:16.686||1:38.010||1:42.459||24|
|5||12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:16.271||1:39.467||1:43.501||24|
|9||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:16.352||1:39.703||1:44.889||26|
|17||8||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG||1:15.988||1:41.551||-||18|
|23||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||1:19.912||-||-||8|