RACE DEBRIEF

    Lewis Hamilton took his first pole position at Hockenheim since 2008, as the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel suffered from mechanical issues. Here are the most notable statistics from the 2019 German Grand Prix.

    • Mercedes start their 200th Grand Prix as a marque from pole, and they’re also the title sponsor of the race that marks their 125th year in motorsport. But it’s taken 11 years for Hamilton to get that second pole position, let alone out-qualify a team mate at this circuit. He reckoned he could do so even without Ferrari’s doubly devastating retirement.

    • As for Valtteri Bottas, he’ll have to defy the odds to win from a starting position of third, as the last winner from P3 at Hockenheim was Fernando Alonso in 2005. What’s more, Alonso is the only driver to have won this race from P3 since Niki Lauda did in 1977.

    • The biggest story from qualifying was Ferrari’s double-breakdown, Sebastian Vettel unable to set a lap as he was eliminated in Q1, and Charles Leclerc stuck in the garage for Q3. Vettel’s last Q1 elimination was at Malaysia, 2017, and only once has he qualified above 15th and managed to make the podium – with Red Bull at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

    • As for Leclerc, who dominated FP3 only to qualify P10, it’s been seven years since a Ferrari driver has won a race from 10th or lower, Alonso doing so from 11th at Valencia, in 2012.

    • Red Bull haven’t been on the front row at Hockenheim since 2012, Verstappen breaking that duck with P2 on Saturday. But the Dutchman is still waiting for a pole, this being the seventh front row start for Verstappen without starting P1. He’s nearing Jean Behra’s record of 10 front row starts without polesitter status.

    2019 German GP
    • Verstappen’s team mate Pierre Gasly crashed out of FP2 but recovered to P4 in qualifying – that’s his best start in F1 so far.

    • Kimi Raikkonen qualified just 0.015s behind Gasly, giving Alfa Romeo a P5 start, their best since the 1985 Monaco Grand Prix. There were even closer margins at play for Alfa team mate Antonio Giovinazzi, who missed out on a Q3 spot by 0.010s to Racing Point’s Sergio Perez.

    • For Racing Point, laden with upgrades this weekend, two major droughts were ended in qualifying at Hockenheim. Lance Stroll made it out of Q1 for the first time this season, snapping a 14-race run, with his last Q2 appearance being in Japan, 2018. Perez out-qualified his team mate, taking eighth on the grid as he made Q3 for the first time since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. With that, Perez sealed the season-long qualifying head-to-head against Stroll. Williams’ George Russell did the same over Robert Kubica.

    • It was high-fives all around for Carlos Sainz, who secured McLaren’s fifth consecutive top-eight start this season and his fifth top-10 start of the season. But Norris’s day didn’t go so smoothly, this being his first Q1 elimination ever, ending a run of four top-10 qualifying performances, two of them being fifth in France and Austria.

    2019 German GP
    • Renault were one of the eight teams represented in Q3, through Nico Hulkenberg – who has reached Q3 in each of his six Hockenheim appearances and expects a contract extension for 2020. Team mate Daniel Ricciardo, however, couldn’t match his team mate and faced another Q2 elimination for the second time in the last three races.

    • Doing his best to lower Team Principal Guenther Steiner’s stress levels, Haas's Romain Grosjean took P6 – as he did last season – and reached Q3 for the first time since the Spanish Grand Prix this season. There shouldn't be any first-lap scrapes again either, as team mate Kevin Magnussen starts 12th.