F1 2012 German Grand Prix qualifying result: Hamilton eighth fastest as Alonso grabs pole
FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton will start the 2012 German Grand Prix from the fourth row at Hockenheim after a wet qualifying session.
McLaren at the German Grand Prix
* Wins: 8 (1976, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1998, 2008, 2011)
* Poles: 12 (1976, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2008)
* Fastest Laps: 7 (1984, 1985, 1989, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2005)
The 27-year-old Vodafone McLaren Mercedes racer from Hertfordshire qualified eighth today (Saturday) at a wet Hockehheim circuit.
He will start Sunday’s race seventh behind teammate Jenson Button, after Fernando Alonso snatched pole position for Ferrari with a lap of 1m 40.621s.
Reigning F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel qualified second with a time of 1m 41.026s ahead of Red Bull colleague Mark Webber, who recorded a 1m 41.496s in Q3.
Michael Schumacher qualified fourth for Mercedes in the rain, with Nico Hulkenberg and Pastor Maldonado fifth and sixth respectively in the qualifying results.
Hamilton had to abandon his final flying lap and dropped down to eighth with a 1m 44.186s.
However, with Webber taking a five-place grid penalty, Button will start the German Grand Prix from sixth and Lewis from seventh. Webber’s gearbox penalty drops him down to eighth on the grid.
Before Q3 started, Hamilton said: “It’s pretty difficult to heat up the tyres out there.”
The McLaren pitwall replied: “The rain is easing off, the session starts in a minute. We think there might be more so we’re going at the start.”
On full Pirelli wet tyres, Hamilton’s first time lap was a 1m 46.609s for sixth place, with Button seventh.
Button improved to fourth with his second lap, while Hamilton clocked a 1m 44.186s for third place at that point. However, he dropped down the standings as Q3 progressed.
Hamilton was sixth fastest in Q1 and teammate Jenson Button 14th in a compelling qualifying session – and not just because of the uncertain weather.
With rain coming down heavy at the Hockenheimring, Hamilton clocked the fastest lap of Q2 to make the top 10 shootout, with Button fifth on the timesheets.
While out on track, the McLaren pitwall told Lewis: “This is good, you are quick.”
Earlier in the session Button was told over the team radio: “We expect conditions to get worse. We need to push on this out lap and keep pushing for every lap we can.”
The 2012 Grand Prix of Germany starts at 1pm on Sunday.