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Qualifying - Webber bests Hamilton to take pole 23 Jul 2011

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, German Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Nurburgring, Germany, Saturday, 23 July 2011 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/26.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, German Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Nurburgring, Germany, Saturday, 23 July 2011 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams FW33.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, German Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Nurburgring, Germany, Saturday, 23 July 2011 Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber C30.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, German Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Nurburgring, Germany, Saturday, 23 July 2011 Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) HRT Formula One Team HRT F111.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, German Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Nurburgring, Germany, Saturday, 23 July 2011

Mark Webber upstaged his Red Bull team mate at the Nurburgring on Saturday afternoon to take pole position for the German Grand Prix, as Sebastian Vettel failed to qualify for the front row of a starting grid for the first time in 15 races.

Webber redefined things on his second Q3 run to lap in 1m 30.079s, and it was Lewis Hamilton who gave McLaren a major fillip by snatching second place with 1m 30.134s. Vettel’s attempt to beat that fell short with 1m 30.216s, leaving him third ahead of Fernando Alonso, whose Ferrari could not quite recapture its Silverstone form as the Spaniard recorded 1m 30.442s for fourth.

Behind them there was a big gap to Ferrari’s Felipe Massa on 1m 30.910s, while Nico Rosberg was sixth for Mercedes on 1m 31.263s. Jenson Button lines up seventh after just one troubled run for McLaren yielded only 1m 31.288s.

Adrian Sutil maintained his strong form for Force €ndia with 1m 32.010s, to head Vitaly Petrov’s Renault on 1m 32.187s, as Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes completed the top 10 with 1m 32.482s.

As Hamilton headed Q2 with 1m 30.998s from Vettel and Alonso, a late jump to fifth by Rosberg pushed Nick Heidfeld out of Q3, leaving the Renault driver 11th on 1m 32.215s. Paul di Resta didn’t make it either, lapping his Force €ndia in 1m 32.560s to head the Williamses of Pastor Maldonado and Rubens Barrichello on 1m 32.635s and 1m 33.043s respectively. Sergio Perez couldn’t better 1m 33.176s in his Sauber, and Sebastien Buemi just shaded Toro Rosso team mate Jaime Alguersuari, 1m 33.546s to 1m 33.698s.

Massa took advantage of improving track conditions to set the fastest time of 1m 31.826s in Q1. The session weeded out Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi, who didn’t run for the first 10 minutes, vaulted to eighth with his first run as the track got better, but failed to improve again on 1m 33.786s when it mattered. Behind him, Lotus’s Heikki Kovalainen survived an off in Turn One to set 1m 35.599s for 19th, with Timo Glock and Jerome D’Ambrosio each improving right at the end to 1m 36.400s and 1m 36.641s in their Virgins to sandwich Karun Chandhok’s Lotus on 1m 36.422s as they filled 20th to 22nd places.

At the back, Tonio Liuzzi just aced HRT team mate Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 37.011s to 1m 37.036s. But the €talian loses a place after a Friday gearbox change.

Later on Saturday, Buemi had his times from qualifying disallowed after the F€A discovered the fuel in his Toro Rosso did not conform to the regulations. The grid from P16 backwards thus reads: Alguersuari, Kobayashi, Kovalainen, Glock, Chandhok, D’Ambrosio, Ricciardo, Liuzzi and Buemi.

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