Qualifying - Vettel snatches home pole in Germany 24 Jul 2010
Ferraris Fernando Alonso led Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel in both Q1 and Q2, and again after the first runs in Q3, but on his very last run the German stopped the clocks in 1m 13.791s. And when the dust had settled after the Spaniard had completed his second run he came up just two thousandths of a second short, on 1m 13.793s.
There could scarcely have been a better nor more dramatic scene-setter for Sundays German Grand Prix here at Hockenheim.
After Red Bulls Mark Webber made a mistake in the first sector of his final run, he was jumped by Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari, who thus starts third after a lap of 1m 14.290s. Webber is fourth on 1m 14.347s.
Behind them, the McLarens share row three, with Jenson Button acing Lewis Hamilton on their final runs. The former improved to 1m 14.427s, the latter did not improve on 1m 14.566s.
Robert Kubica was seventh for Renault on 1m 15.079s, ahead of Rubens Barrichello on 1m 15.109s for Williams, Nico Rosberg on 1m 15.179s for Mercedes, and Nico Hulkenberg on 1m 15.339s in the second Williams.
Right at the end of Q2, in which Alonso was again fastest with 1m 14.081s, Hulkenberg pushed fellow German - and Mercedes driver - Michael Schumacher out of Q3, leaving the veteran first of the fallers on 1m 15.026s (to Rosbergs 1m 15.018s). Kamui Kobayashi ran wide in Turn One and thus compromised his chances of getting through, leaving him 12th for BMW Sauber with 1m 15.084s, then came Vitaly Petrov on 1m 15.307s for Renault, Adrian Sutil on 1m 15.467s for Force India, Pedro de la Rosa on 1m 15.550s in the second BMW Sauber and then the Toro Rossos of Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi on 1m 15.588s and 1m 15.974s.
In Q1 Vitantonio Liuzzi had just done a 1m 18.952s when he ran wide exiting the final corner, spun and smacked broadside into the pit wall. A front wheel flew off the Force India, and though the Italian was unharmed, the session was red flagged for eight minutes while the debris was cleared up.
When it resumed, Vettel went fastest until he was supplanted by Alonso with 1m 14.808s, and those who didnt get through were Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen who put Lotus back on top in the newbie stakes with 1m 17.583s and 1m 18.300s respectively; Timo Glocks Virgin on 1m 18.343s, and Bruno Sennas HRT on 1m 18.592s. At the back, Liuzzi will start 22nd ahead of Sakon Yamamoto who lapped his HRT in 1m 19.844s and Lucas di Grassi, whose Virgin ran into mechanical problems before he got a timed lap.
Sutil is set to drop five places on Sunday's grid thanks to a gearbox-change penalty following problems in final practice. The German will thus start 19th, with De la Rosa, Alguersuari, Buemi, Trulli and Kovalainen each moving up a place as a result.
Both Virgins will also run new gearboxes in the race, meaning penalties for Glock and Di Grassi, who will start 23rd and 24th respectively.