Grand Prix of Germany – Qualifying

Toto Wolff and HAM both had to calm down and backtrack after making not-too-veiled accusations aimed at Ferrari at the end of the British GP. Hopefully cooler heads have prevailed and Mercedes are back to being focused on beating Ferrari.

In other Mercedes news, HAM and BOT have both signed 2-year contract extensions; this means the silly season is in full flow, with quite a few seats up for grabs.

RIC arrives at Hockenheim knowing he’ll start from the back of the grid thanks to a batch of engine upgrades; Red Bull want the changes in place for the Hungarian Grand Prix, and they believe the penalties will have least impact here at the German GP. [FIA]

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: RIC (1:13.525), HAM, VER, VET, BOT
  2. FP2: VER (1:13.085), HAM, BOT, VET, RAI
  3. FP3: LEC (1:34.577), ERI, SIR, VET, GAS
    Until about 5mins before the end of FP3, there was just one timed lap posted due to the pouring rain

Just ahead of Qualifying, there’s still a lot of cloud cover but the track is drying out.
Air temperature 22°C; track 29°C; humidity 82%
Local reports say there are thunderstorms about 25-30km from the circuit

Assuming it’s dry, the tyre compounds are medium, soft and ultrasoft.

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
SIR is first to leave the pit lane
Small trails of water coming off the cars on the fast straights
SIR 1:15.771
LEC 1:15.203
GRO 1:13.959
Radio from VAN – “problem with the shifts”; “we’re investigating”
HUL 1:13.874
LEC 1:13.562
RAI 1:12.794
VET 1:12.765
(BOT P3)
(HAM P3)
RAI 1:12.538
5mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are SAI, HAR, STR, SIR, VAN
RAI 1:12.505
SIR P11, GAS P16
VAN P17
GAS P14, PER P16
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are PER, STR, VAN, SAI, HAR
HAR P16
Radio from HAM – “gears won’t change” – he’s stuck in 4th
SAI P10, GAS P16
PER P11, OCO P16
HAM is slowing; he’s out of the car, pushing it towards the pits! He’s about Turn 11 which means there’s a long way to go
Bottom of the grid: OCO, GAS, HAR, STR, VAN
HAM crouched down beside the car (which has been pushed behind the wall) – he looks distraught
Replay of HAM radio telling him “loss of hydraulics, stop stop”; HAM disagrees, thinks he can limp back to the pits; “stop stop stop stop”

Qualifying session 2
(HAM won’t run in Q2; RIC probably won’t run either because there’s no point using up tyres when he’ll start right at the back)
GRO 1:12.722
MAG 1:12.523
BOT 1:12.152
ERI runs wide, off across the gravel; keeps the engine running; gets it back on track and heads for the pits
There’s a ton of gravel on the track, thanks to ERI
Red flag – session suspended with 6:57 remaining
Most of the gravel is off the racing line, so I’m surprised they’ve paused Q2 in order to sweep up
Air temp hasn’t changed much but track is up to 41°C
Green lights; Q2 continues
3mins left of Q2; bottom 5 are ALO, SAI, SIR, plus HAM & RIC not running
SIR P10, ERI P11
Chequered flag
ALO P11
SAI P9, SIR P11
Middle of the grid: ALO, SIR, ERI, HAM, RIC*

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between BOT, VER, RAI, VET, MAG, GRO, HUL, LEC, SAI, PER
RAI 1:11.880
VET 1:11.539
BOT P2
VER P4
SAI P5
GRO P5
MAG P6
HUL P6
LEC P8
Order after one run is VET, BOT, RAI, VER, GRO, HUL, MAG, LEC, SAI; no time yet from PER
Mercedes have reduced the downforce on BOT’s front wing
Chequered flag
RAI P2
BOT 1:11.416
HUL P7
PER P10
SAI P8
LEC P9
VET 1:11.212
Front of the grid: VET, BOT, RAI, VER, MAG, GRO, HUL, SAI, LEC, PER

Provisional grid: VET, BOT, RAI, VER, MAG, GRO, HUL, SAI, LEC, PER, ALO, SIR, ERI, HAM, RIC*, OCO, GAS, HAR, STR, VAN
*RIC has penalties for engine changes, dropping him to P20
Hopefully Mercedes can fix HAM’s hydraulic problem without incurring any penalties.

2 Replies to “Grand Prix of Germany – Qualifying”

  1. “Hamilton not to blame for qualifying woe – Wolff” [FIA]
    “So I think at the moment we are unpicking how the problem has started. As far as we understand now, without having seen any detail, it was not caused by the driver.”

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