Hamilton on pole in German Grand Prix, disaster for Ferrari

<i> Image: AFP / Jan Woitas </i>
<i> Image: AFP / Jan Woitas </i>
Jan Woitas

Lewis Hamilton secured a record-extending 87th pole position on Saturday when he made the most of a double disaster for Ferrari in qualifying at the German Grand Prix.

The defending five-time world champion, who had struggled for pace and consistency in his Mercedes in practice, improved to clock a best lap in one minute and 11.767 and outpace Max Verstappen of Red Bull by 0.346 seconds.  

Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was third ahead of Pierre Gasly in the second Red Bull while Charles Leclerc, who had been fastest for Ferrari in final practice, failed to run in the Q3 top-ten shootout due to a technical problem with his car.

The Moneqasque will start 10th, 10 places ahead of his luckless Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel who was unable to take part in qualifying due to a turbo problem and will start at the back of the grid for his home race.

Kimi Raikkonen was fifth for Alfa Romeo ahead of Romain Grosjean of Haas, Carlos Sainz of McLaren, Sergio Perez of Racing Point and Nico Hulkenberg of Renault.

"Congratulations Lewis – you never stop amazing us," said Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff as the Briton drove his slow-down lap. 

"Thanks, Toto," he replied. "A great job guys – I don't know how we did that."

The starting grid for Sunday's German Grand Prix following the final qualifying sessions on Saturday:

1st row

Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes)

Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull-Honda)

2nd row

Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Mercedes)

Pierre Gasly (FRA/Red Bull-Honda)

3rd rowKimi Raikkonen (FIN/Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari)

Romain Grosjean (FRA/Haas-Ferrari)

4th row

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/McLaren-Renault)

Sergio Perez (MEX/Racing Point-Mercedes)

5th row

Nico Hülkenberg (GER/Renault)

Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari)6th row

Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA/Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari)

Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari)

7th row

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Renault)

Daniil Kvyat (RUS/Toro Rosso-Honda)

8th row

Lance Stroll (CAN/Racing Point-Mercedes)

Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Renault)9th row

Alexander Albon (THA/Toro Rosso-Honda)

George Russell (GBR/Williams-Mercedes)

10th row

Robert Kubica (POL/Williams-Mercedes)

Sebastian Vettel (GER/Ferrari)

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