THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Hamilton takes pole as Ferrari implodes in Hockenheim heartbreak

Hamilton takes pole as Ferrari implodes in Hockenheim heartbreak

FORMULA ONE: Lewis Hamilton has dominated qualifying for the German Grand Prix after pole favourite Ferrari suffered an embarrassing double car failure at Hockenheim.

Sunday 28 July 2019, 10:58AM


A blown turbocharger will see Vettel start last on the grid for his home grand prix. Photo: © Mercedes AMG Petronas

A blown turbocharger will see Vettel start last on the grid for his home grand prix. Photo: © Mercedes AMG Petronas

Ferrari led all three practice sessions ahead of the pole decider to make a straight fight between Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel seem the likely outcome, but almost immediately the Italian team’s afternoon unravelled into a painful mess.

Vettel’s qualifying session lasted less than a lap. The German, who has never won at the Hockenheimring, radioed his team shortly after taking to the circuit complaining of a loss of power.

He returned immediately to the pits, where his mechanics opened the car to inspect the engine. A turbocharger issue was identified, but with less than 10 minutes to fix it, Vettel’s cause was lost.

The German retired from the session and will start last for his home grand prix.

Leclerc was able to continue through to the top-10 shootout apparently unhindered, but Ferrari detected a fuel system problem in his car between Q2 and Q3 that meant he never had the opportunity to set a lap in the pole-deciding session.

The dejected Monegasque will start the race from 10th on the grid after being forced to watch Mercedes and Red Bull Racing fight for pole without him.

Hamilton’s position at the head of the field was never in doubt with Ferrari out of the frame. He established a 0.346 gap to second-placed Max Verstappen after their first runs, and when neither was able to improve on their second attempts, pole position was comfortably his.

“I don’t really know how we did it today,” Hamilton said. “I don’t know what happened to the Ferraris.

“They’ve been really fast all weekend. We’ve brought some upgrades this weekend — the car’s been feeling good, but the Ferrari’s on a slightly other level. It would’ve been definitely close between us.”

But while Mercedes clearly had the pace for pole, there was doubt Hamilton could do the job after an overnight illness scare. The Briton revealed he’d been feeling unwell on Saturday morning enough to consider having the team reserve driver take his place for qualifying, but he was sufficiently comfortable in practice to continue in the car and seize pole.

Verstappen was another principal beneficiary of Ferrari’s failure by taking an unlikely place on the front row after his own power unit scare in Q2, when turbo lag problems momentarily threatened to prevent him from setting a time.

“Happy of course to be in Q2,” he said. “Happy to be on the front row, and anything is possible tomorrow.

Laguna Golf Phuket

“We could’ve been closer, but I wouldn’t say we could’ve got pole. It’s a good result.”

Valtteri Bottas qualified a despondent third, 0.362 seconds off his teammate’s headline time. The Finn is 39 points behind Hamilton on the championship table but has looked the slower of the two Mercedes drivers for most of the weekend, further dampening hopes of a title fightback.

“It’s a bit of a disappointing qualifying,” he admitted. “I didn’t have the same confidence I had in practice three, especially under braking. I really struggled.

“[But] we’re in good place for tomorrow. Obviously I’ll try to come up from third place.”

Pierre Gasly qualified fourth, 0.755 seconds off pole and only 0.016 seconds ahead of an impressive Kimi Raikkonen in his Alfa Romeo.

Romain Grosjean followed for Haas, validating his request of the team to equip him with his car from the Australian Grand Prix in March. The Haas team has struggled with the upgraded iterations of its car since May and the Frenchman has been adamant the earlier-specification machine could deliver better results, as seems to be the case in Germany.

McLaren’s Carlos Sainz qualified seventh ahead of Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg to complete the top 10 ahead of Charles Leclerc’s failed car.

The midfield fight was extremely close. Antonio Giovinazzi put his Sauber just 0.01 seconds outside Q3, qualifying 11th, with Kevin Magnussen a measly 0.003 seconds further back despite a lock-up on his last hot lap. Daniel Ricciardo followed only 0.01 seconds further behind, the Australian disappointed to be unable to join his teammate in the top 10 by such a fine margin.

Daniil Kvyat qualified 14th ahead of Racing Point’s Lance Stroll in 15th, the Canadian making his first appearance outside Q1 since last year’s Japanese Grand Prix, albeit as the slowest of those who progressed.

McLaren’s Lando Norris will start 16th, but he was the subject of complaints from Toro Rosso’s Alex Albon, who felt he had his final flying lap blocked by the slow-moving Briton as the clock expired, leaving the Thai driver to qualify 17th.

George Russell and Robert Kubica will start 18th and 19th for Williams ahead of Sebastian Vettel’s stricken Ferrari.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Karon Police reveal details of Norwegian arrested for death of Brit at Phuket resort

Just like everywhere else in the world, only a judge can decide if bail is granted, police can only ...(Read More)


Rescue workers trap three monitor lizards in houses and gardens in Kathu

Kurt,they were released into their natural habitat.Same as they do with snakes.Should they give a wa...(Read More)


Norwegian tourist charged for killing British man at Phuket resort

Kurt,I can't remember being with you in the same room wherever i stayed.So please tell me how do...(Read More)


Phuket officials whittle down routes for ‘Bike Un Ai Rak’ mass-cycling event

Un Air Rak? Warmth of love? How about to experience that first at Phuket beaches, in Phuket taxis, v...(Read More)


Rescue workers trap three monitor lizards in houses and gardens in Kathu

Yes GerryT81, that is true. But Phuket officialdom should warn foreign tourists about it on forehand...(Read More)


Norwegian tourist charged for killing British man at Phuket resort

Sorry GerryT81. Fruit baskets never come with a steak knife. And any kind of burger by room service ...(Read More)


Rescue workers trap three monitor lizards in houses and gardens in Kathu

@Kurt,aren't in jungle areas not all kind of dangerous animals?...(Read More)


Norwegian tourist charged for killing British man at Phuket resort

@Sajanee I have found multiple times a fruit basket with a steak knife on arrival as a welcome gift ...(Read More)


Phuket officials whittle down routes for ‘Bike Un Ai Rak’ mass-cycling event

Why is in Thailand organising a bike- or marathon event a government Officials job? ( no better real...(Read More)