Lewis Hamilton beat Max Verstappen to pole position for the German Grand Prix, while both Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc broke down, which allowed Mercedes and Red Bull to triumph to the front of the grid, whilst Gasly recovered to fourth place after a disastrous Friday.
Hamilton’s pole time was a 1.11.767s, which gave him a 0.346s advantage over Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, while his team-mate Bottas could only go third. Gasly, as well, was a standout, finishing fourth after his shunt with the wall yesterday.
Story of the session
As the light went green, Robert Kubica was first out, as he set about chasing gains following Williams’ first substantial updates of the 2019 Formula 1 season. Russell soon pipped Kubica to top spot with a 1.15.682s, heading his team-mate by nearly half a second straight out of the box.
Racing Point were looking much better with their upgrades, and Stroll straight away set a 1.13.393, which set him more than two seconds clear of the two Williams drivers. The McLaren drivers were next, while young gun Norris struggled, Sainz just about managed to relegate the Racing Point – just by a tenth.
As the Ferrari’s took to circuit, Vettel was straight away faced with an unknown technical issue and headed back to the pits. Meanwhile, his team-mate went fastest with a 1.12.229s, heading Verstappen with a 0.3s advantage.
The situation wasn’t much better at Mercedes, as Hamilton was only P15 after his first flyer, whilst Bottas aborted his first flying lap. The next lap for the Finn was slightly better, and went up to fourth fastest, meanwhile Hamilton improved to third place on his lap.
While one Ferrari sat at the top of the order, by the four-minute mark, Vettel got out of his car, and didn’t even get a chance to set a single lap.
As Q1 came to an end, Norris, Albon, Russell, Kubica and Vettel all faced elimination.
With Q2 underway, Hamilton was first out on the yellow-marked medium compound tyres, closely followed by his team-mate. The sole remaining Ferrari of Leclerc also followed suit with Mercedes, taking the medium tyres.
Mercedes quickly led a 1-2, with Hamilton setting a 1.12.149s, leading his team-mate by 0.338s, meanwhile Leclerc backed off on his first flyer. Upon his second lap, he slotted into second place, and trailed Hamilton by nearly two tenths.
Verstappen had an early session engine scare, however was good to go after a visit to the pits, and ended the session in fifth place.
As Q2 came to an end, Giovinazzi, Magnussen, Ricciardo, Kvyat and Stroll all faced elimination.
With the light green for the pole position shootout, the two Mercedes cars headed out first, with Bottas ahead of Hamilton. Meanwhile, just when it counted, there was a suspected technical issue on Leclerc’s car, which kept him in the pits.
Hamilton jumped to provisional pole with a 1.11.767, with Bottas nearly half a second behind, meanwhile Verstappen put his Red Bull in second. While this happened, Leclerc jumped out of his Ferrari.