German Grand Prix – Qualifying

Just like in the British GP, the German GP weekend started off with wet practice sessions.
Air temperature 17°C; track 25°C; wind 3.6m/s; humidity 59%; it’s dry and a little overcast

JB was fastest in FP1 (1:16.595); PM in FP2 (1:27.476)

Tyre compounds are the soft (yellow wall) and medium (white), plus of course the intermediate and full wets.

5 grid spot penalties await RG, MW & NR for gearbox changes

Qualifying 1
A queue starts to form at the pit lane exit as they wait for the lights to turn green
It’s a rush to get on track and post a time before the rain arrives
NH 1:18.475
SV runs wide
PM 1:18.317
KK 1:17.367
NR 1:17.051
JB 1:16.737
FA 1:16.705
Radio from MS saying his GPS isn’t working
LH locks up and decides to abort the lap
Just the cars expected to be at the back of the grid on prime (soft compound) tyres
LH 1:16.383
(JB P2)
LH 1:16.221
10mins left of Q1; bottom 7 are NH, HK, VP, PRo, CP, TG, NK – all on primes, as are JV & DR
Radio for LH telling him they’re confident he’s through to Q2 so they don’t plan to run again in this session
Current 107% time is 1:21.556 – everyone is inside the time
Sky is looking a little more ominous
Both LH and JB are out of their cars, confident in going through (LH=P1, JB=P3)
(NH P2)
KR 1:15.693
LH getting back into his car
5mins left; bottom 7 are RG, HK, VP, CP, TG, PRo, NK
PM pushing hard – runs wide a couple of times but takes P4
MW down to P18; he’s on track, on primes
(MW P15)
1min left; bottom 7 are MS, HK, VP, CP, TG, PRo, NK
Radio for MS – “we need this next lap”
Chequered flag
(MS P17; JV now P18)
Back of the grid: JV, HK, VP, CP, TG, PRo, NK
MS makes it through by 0.05 sec!

Qualifying 2
It’s started raining
JB first on track – he’s on inters
Marshal showing the red/yellow striped “slippery surface” flag
Radio for FM telling him they expect only the first lap will count as rain will get heavier
Race control: DRS disabled
JB 1:39.010
PM 1:38.949
Everyone struggling to stay on track as they slither round
SV 1:38.505
FM runs wide, rejoins inches ahead of his teammate
MS 1:38.010
Lots of spray being thrown up by the intermediate rain tyres
LH 1:37.927
On-board shots show how little visibility the drivers have
LH 1:37.365
NR pits – switches to full wets
SP runs wide, through the gravel trap and rejoins
5mins left; bottom 7 are DR, SP, KK, FM, RG, BS, NR
The rain is getting harder; lots of people running wide
Chequered flag
Middle of the grid: DR, SP, KK, FM, RG*, BS, NR* (5 grid-spot penalty to be applied)
Radio from KR complaining he was blocked

Qualifying 3
The battle for the top 10 grid spots will be between LH, MS, SV, FA, JB, PM, MW*, NH, PRe & KR
The McLarens are first out of the pits
Everyone out on full wets – it’s not raining but there’s lots of standing water
NH way off track – aquaplaned off on a fast straight
Radio from MS asking team to tell Charlie (Whiting, race director) that it’s hard to stay on track
JB 1:46.922
LH 1:46.609
(PM P3)
MS 1:46.540
FA 1:44.745
(MW P5)
(KR P7)
SV 1:44.605
5mins left of Q3; order is SV, FA, NH, PRe, MS, LH, JB, MW, PM, KR
(JB P4)
FA & KR pit for new wets
(PRe P3)
3mins left
LH 1:44.186
MS 1:42.473
(MW P8)
SV 1:42.342
The Red Bulls were close at the end of that lap; SV gesticulates as he passes the pit wall
Radio for JB saying new tyres are much better
1min left; order is SV, MS, LH, FA, PRe, NH, JB, MW, PM, KR
MW 1:41.680
FA 1:40.904
Chequered flag
JB struggling on his final flying lap
(JB P6)
(MS P4)
(MW P2)
(SV P2)
(PM P6)
FA 1:40.621
Front of the grid: FA, SV, MW*, MS, NH, PM, JB, LH, PRe, KR (5 grid-spot penalty to be applied)
First time JB has qualified ahead of his teammate this season

Provisional grid: FA, SV, MS, NH, PM, JB, LH, MW*, PRe, KR, DR, SP, KK, FM, BS, JV, HK, VP, RG*, CP, NR*, TG, PRo, NK.