Red Bull continued their domination at the head of the field as Mark Webber qualified on pole position for the German Grand Prix at Nurburgring. It was back-to-back poles for the Australian after his fastest lap at Silverstone in the last race. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton put behind his practice miseries and wrung around his car to take P2, which pushes Sebastian Vettel to the second row of the grid for the first time this season!
Ferrari took P4 and P5 with Fernando Alonso leading Felipe Massa, ahead of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg in P6 and Jenson Button in P7. Adrian Sutil was P8 for Force India as Vitaly Petrov in the Renault and Michael Schumacher in the second Mercedes completed the top ten.
Red Bull and Ferrari had been the fastest cars in Friday and Saturday practice sessions as McLaren struggled with downforce throughout. But it was a great drive from Hamilton as he topped the timesheets in Q2 and then was second fastest in Q3. Alonso might have hoped that he will be the best-of-the-rest behind the Red Bulls but he has to be content with a second row start, beside a fast-starting Vettel and behind Hamilton!
Last year’s German Grand Prix (albeit at Hockenheim) was one of the key moments in the season and though Red Bull seem to be running away with both titles this season, another win for Alonso (with the Red Bulls tripping up over themselves & the McLaren ) would possibly bring back some excitement into the title chase.
Red Bull’s Mark Webber scored his first ever Grand Prix victory at the Nurburgring in the German Grand Prix in a race that was expected to be weather-effected but was dry throughout. Sebastian Vettel finished in 2nd place to hand Red Bull their second consecutive 1-2 finish. Felipe Massa scored Ferrari’s first podium place of this season in 3rd place.
Williams’ Nico Rosberg unobtrusively drove to the 4th place finish as Championship leader Jenson Button finished in 5th place ahead of teammate Rubens Barrichello with the Renault of Fernando Alonso and McLaren of Heikki Kovalainen finishing in 7th and 8th place respectively. The race’s only two retirements were Sebastian Bourdais and Kimi Raikkonen – with hydraulic and mechanical failure.
The start was a crucial affair as the Brawn of Rubens Barrichello managed to come alongside pole-sitter Webber and that prompted a right-side lunge from Webber which was deemed to be ‘un-sportsman like behaviour’ by the FIA stewards and promptly handed him a drive-through penalty. By the end of the first lap, there were a couple of incidents – Webber & Barrichello’s moment & then Lewis Hamilton, using his KERS, streaked alongside the leaders at the start but ran wide at the first corner and as the rest of the field trooped past him, picked up a right rear puncture which effectively ruined his race. Both the Ferraris made a good start and were in the midst of it all but a mechanical failure put paid to Kimi Raikkonen’s race and he retired on lap 36.
But not before he sort-of ruined Adrian Sutil’s race (yet again!) Sutil was running in fourth place and as he emerged from his first pit-stop, Kimi tried to overtake on the outside and there was contact which saw the Force India’s front wing clipped off. Another pit-stop effectively ended Sutil and Force India’s quest for their maiden points. Last year at the Monaco Grand Prix, it was Kimi again who ended Sutil’s 5th place run as he lost control exiting the tunnel and careened into the Force India’s back. Heartbreak for Sutil!
With the threatening rain never materialising, it was a race of strategy and the Brawn GP team switched into a three-stop strategy in the latter part of the race as a tyre-graining problem affected their race somewhat. Red Bull however had the truer race pace and despite Webber’s penalty, they stuck to their strategy and emerged the biggest winners with a second consecutive 1-2. Fernando Alonso picked up the pace at the end of the race and clocked the fastest lap of the race.
The vrooming sounds of F1 Cars are back…and so am I!
Red Bull’s Mark Webber will start the European Grand Prix from Pole Position as he will attempt to pick up his first Grand Prix win of his career. In an exhilarating Qualifying Session, the last few laps were all it mattered as Webber grabbed pole position and saw the other drivers couldn’t match it. The Brawns were right behind with Rubens Barrichello on P2 & championship leader Jenson Button on P3. The second Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel will start fourth followed by Lewis Hamilton, Heikki Kovalainen, (surprise surprise!) Adrian Sutil, Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen & Nelson Piquet.
Q1 was a disaster for the drivers who chose to go out late onto the track as a slight drizzle started the end of the session and that mean everyone was going slower! By that time, Red Bull had already set the fastest time, with Mark Webber topping the timesheets. The surprise was Lewis Hamilton, who was 4th fastest. The ones to drop out were Robert Kubica, Sebastian Buemi, Giancarlo Fisichella, Timo Glock & Sebastian Bourdais.