Vettel Snatches Pole by a Whisker for His Home GP

July 24, 2010

Sebastian Vettel snatched pole by a whisker from Fernando Alonso in qualifying for the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim this afternoon, to put him one step closer to a home Grand Prix win.

The Red Bull driver was flying on his final hot lap, setting a time that no one else could beat, stringing it all together seamlessly to take yet another pole for the Milton Keynes team.

Qualifying wasn’t completely his though, as Alonso looked like he had it in the bag, setting the fastest times in Q1 and Q2. But when it came down to it, pole was for one man only.

A red flag interrupted Q1, when Vitantonio Liuzzi crashed on the start/finish straight. Coming out of the final corner he got caught out on the new astro turf, and spun into the side of the pitwall. As his car crumpled, a tyre made its escape back across the track, and narrowly missed Timo Glock, who was making his way down the pit straight. Once the debris was clear, it was green lights again. Lucas di Grassi failed to set a time with gearbox problems, while Sakon Yamamoto failed to better Liuzzi’s time prior to his crash. Bruno Senna, Timo Glock, Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli all joined di Grassi, Yamamoto and Liuzzi in the dropout zone. Due to a five-place grid-drop penalty, Glock will start from 24th, with Trulli, Kovalainen, Senna, Liuzzi, Yamamoto and di Grassi 18th to 23rd respectively.

In Q2, Michael Schumacher, Kamui Kobayashi, Vitaly Petrov, Adrian Sutil, Pedro de la Rosa, Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi all dropped out, but due to problems in free practice and a gearbox change in the morning, Sutil drops five places down to 19th, elevating Trulli and Kovalainen to 17th and 18th respectively, with de la Rosa, Alguersuari and Buemi up to 14th, 15th and 16th, while Schumacher, Kobayashi and Petrov remain 11th, 12th and 13th.

In the top 10 shoot-out, Alonso was looking set to follow up his fastest times in Q1 and Q2 with pole, but Vettel just snatched it by just two thousandths of a second. The German driver will be hoping for better success off the start line tomorrow, after his disasterous start from pole in Silverstone two weeks ago. Felipe Massa was also on form throughout qualifying, the two Ferrari drivers showing that the team is once again up-to-speed, and a challenger to the unstopable Red Bulls. The Brazilian driver starts from third ahead of Mark Webber in fourth, who had to bin his final lap after running wide. Jenson Button out-qualified Lewis Hamilton for the first time in several races, the two McLaren drivers taking the third row in fifth and sixth, respectively. Robert Kubica will start from seventh, alongside Rubens Barrichello in eighth, who came to Hockenheim following his success on the Top Gear track, beating The Stig’s time in the Reasonably Priced Car. Nico Rosberg and Nico Hulkenberg round out the top ten in ninth and tenth.

Tomorrow’s race looks like it could be exciting, with the top three teams competing for the top points. Alonso will be looking to snatch back from Vettel what he stole from him in the final stages of qualifying, while Vettel will be hoping to take his third win of the season in front of his home crowd. But with only two thousandths of a second in it, the race could be anyone’s for the taking.


One comment

  1. […] The Red Bull driver was flying on his final hot lap, setting a time that no one else could beat, stringing it all together seamlessly to take yet another pole for the Milton Keynes team… More […]

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