Fernando Alonso once again enjoyed his day in the rain, mastering Hockenheim and taking pole by nearly half a second. Red Bull tried to challenge but Alonso not only held them off with his lap, he set the final lap of the day and beat his own time leaving a large gap with the conditions.
Vettel and Webber line up 2nd and 3rd respectively with good laps considering the weather conditions, a lot of drivers venturing into gravel traps and run off areas. Michael Schumacher followed them with an impressive showing considering his team mate couldn’t even get out of Q2 in the Mercedes.
The McLarens struggled to get their tyres working in the wet conditions, Button and Hamilton starting 7th and 8th but they may be set up for a dry race so should be OK for tomorrow. Force India looked very strong considering they are a mid-pack team, Hulkenberg starting in 5th and Di Resta in 9th which could lead to some needed points.
Pastor Maldonado once again showed he knows how to drive this track when it’s wet, popping his Williams into 6th. Raikkonen’s Lotus struggled in the rain, only able to get 10th with Romain Grosjean struggling earlier in Q2 and getting 15th. Daniel Ricciardo threw in a good lap in Q2 to get 11th, only just missing out on Q3 in his Toro Rosso.
Sauber are still carrying on their early season pace, Perez starting 11th alongside Kobayashi in 12th. They’ll be hoping to keep the Ferrari, Lotus and Mercedes behind them. Massa made a mistake on his first timed lap in Q2 and couldn’t recover when it started raining heavier later in the session leaving his Ferrari starting in 13th.
Grosjean couldn’t keep his car on the track during the rain, having a few journeys into gravel traps. He also had issues in Q1 and only just managed to get through but must be disappointed as his team-mate finished 1st in Q1. Bruno Senna finished in 16th in his Williams, continuing his disappointing form of starting a long way away from his team-mate. One man he beat though was Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes who struggled desperately as soon as the rain came down and so starts in 17th.
Vergne was once again the whipping boy to go out from the higher teams in Q1 along with the usual suspects from Caterham, Marussia and HRT, they may be disappointed it didn’t rain earlier as that may have got them in the mix for Q2.
So Pole Position has been taken by Alonso in the last 2 races, can he see it through to win this time?
A few penalties to know about, Webber takes a 5 place penalty for a gearbox change so drops down to start 8th. Grosjean and Rosberg also take 5 place gearbox penalties so their woes get worse as they drop to 20th and 22nd.
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This article was first posted on July 21, 2012