German Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton took pole position in Hockenheim after technical problems eliminated both Ferrari drivers, who qualified 10th and 20th.
In a remarkable turnaround from the final free practice session, early pace-setters Ferrari suffered a big blow to their German Grand Prix hopes when both drivers retired from qualifying due to reliability issues.
With Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel suffering technical problems in Q3 and Q1 respectively, they will line-up 10th and 20th. They will now face an almighty recovery task to salvage any good results from this weekend.
Vettel was unable to set a lap in Q1 after the team discovered problems with the turbocharger, whilst Leclerc’s issue was with the fuel system.
As a result, Mercedes – who had looked second best to Ferrari earlier in the day – were able to take pole position on the weekend where they celebrate ‘125 years of motorsport’, with Lewis Hamilton taking his fourth pole position of the season.
After having his own “power loss” scare in Q2, Max Verstappen progressed into Q2 on a set of the soft tyres, and qualified on the front row of the grid, over three tenths adrift of Hamilton. His Q2 tyre choice means that he’ll be on an adverse starting strategy to both Mercedes drivers.
The second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas will start the race in third, having finished Q3 just 0.016 of a second behind Verstappen, with the other Red Bull of Pierre Gasly in fourth.
As a result of the Ferrari attrition, former Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen was able to qualify his Alfa Romeo in fifth place, ahead of Haas’ Romain Grosjean and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz.
Racing Point’s Sergio Perez took eighth, whilst the first Renault driver of Nico Hulkenberg qualifies for his home race in ninth place.
Antonio Giovinazzi was just 0.01 of a second away from progressing into the third part of qualifying, with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen just three-thousandths of a second behind him.
The second Renault of Daniel Ricciardo was a fraction behind in thirteenth, whilst Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and Racing Point’s Lance Stroll completed the top fifteen.
For Stroll, this was his first Q2 appearance of the season and his first since last season’s Japanese Grand Prix.
McLaren’s Lando Norris was a shock elimination in Q1 after being pipped to Q2 by Kvyat by just half-a-tenth of a second.
Seventeenth was Toro Rosso’s Alex Albon, whose final flying lap was hindered by Norris, resulting in the Briton being investigated by the stewards.
Williams’ George Russell continued his qualifying advantage over team-mate Robert Kubica, edging this particular battle by just one-tenth of a second to qualify 18th, with Vettel ending the day at the back.