Stats from Hockenheim Qualifying
Changeable weather conditions always seem to produce exciting qualifying sessions and Hockenheim qualifying was to prove no exception. Oddly, a different tyre type was needed in each session with mediums in Q1, intermediates in Q2 and full wets in Q3 as the track became progressively wetter. Once again it was Jean-Eric Vergne who fell foul of the first cut-off, failing to progress beyond the first session for the sixth time this season, just five hundredth’s of a second behind Michael Schumacher in 17th.
The rain would mix the grid up further however, with Massa, Rosberg and Grosjean the surprise casualties of Q2, the latter two would be further disadvantaged for the race with 5-place grid penalties for taking a new gearbox. Once again pole position seemed to be Vettel’s for the taking but Fernando Alonso had other plans with provisional pole switching between him and and the two Red Bulls until the dying seconds when the Spaniard’s fresher wet tyres gave him the crucial advantage. With Mark Webber taking a grid penalty for the race the remaining spaces on the front two rows will be filled by three German drivers all vying for the lead and the support of the home crowd.
- The spread of times between the fastest driver in Q1 and slowest in Q3 was 28.420 seconds.
- Romain Grosjean’s 15th place means that Lewis Hamilton is the only driver to have reached Q3 every weekend in 2012.
- Alonso and de la Rosa are the only drivers to out-qualify their team mates at every event this year whilst Button out-qualified Hamilton for the first time this season.
- Five drivers excluding Charles Pic took their fifth engine of the season this weekend. It is unclear if Pic’s engine change during FP3 was for a new unit or one that has been used previously.
- There have been eleven, five-place grid drop penalties for a new gearbox this season but only Maldonado has been penalised twice.
Qualifying Lap Times
|2. Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1:41.026|
|3. Webber³||Red Bull-Renault||1:41.496|
|5. Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:43.501|
|9. Di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:44.889|
|Q2 cut-off time:||1:39.729|
|11. Ricciardo||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1:39.789|
|Q1 cut-off time:||1:16.686|
|18. Vergne||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1:16.741|
|23. De La Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||1:19.912|
107% time: 1:20.991
¹ Romain Grosjean starts 19th after a five-place grid penalty for a new gearbox
² Nico Rosberg starts 21st after a five-place grid penalty for a new gearbox
³ Mark Webber starts 8th after a five-place grid penalty for a new gearbox
Best Sector Times
What are your predictions for the race? Should Fernando Alonso’s final lap time have been removed for driving offline, contrary to Charlie Whiting’s free practice instructions? Who was lucky and who was unlucky today? Let us know your thoughts in the comments…
Photo: Scuderia Ferrari