The pole for Sunday’s German Grand Prix (9 a.m. ET/ESPN) was signed sealed and delivered to the Ferrari’s. They have led all three practice sessions around the Hockenheimring road course and had a clear advantage over the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
But, when it was all said and done, Mercedes took two of the top three starting spots including the pole for Sunday’s 67 Lap race.
Hamilton, earned his 87th career Formula One pole when he turned a lap of 1:11.767-seconds in his No. 44 Mercedes in the third and final round of knockout qualifying. It wasn’t a pole he was supposed to grab.
See, the England native was only third, third and sixth respectively in practice this weekend. Despite having won five of the last six races on the season and the last two in Germany, he knew that in the unseasonable heat in Germany this weekend that his car didn’t stand a chance. After all, it was hot in Austria a few weeks ago and he finished fifth, his worst result all season. That’s the only other race where the heat was as extreme as it is this weekend.
But, when the Prancing Horses self destructed again, it opened the door.
Hamilton, secured another pole and is looking to give Mercedes their fourth German Grand Prix victory since 2014.
Max Verstappen was .346-seconds off Hamilton’s lap and will start second in his No. 33 Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Honda. He finished third in 2016 and fourth last year on the 2.842-mile road course. The Dutch driver also has a top five finish in every race run this season and won the only event that Mercedes didn’t.
Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas will roll off third as he was .362-seconds behind the pole. Bottas, finished second in this race last year and has two runner-ups in his last three races on the season.
Pierre Gasly and Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top five.
The Ferrari’s saw Sebastian Vettel have a mechanical failure on his first lap in Q1 as he didn’t even get to turn a time. He’ll start last in 20th.
Charles LeClerc was quickest in the last two practice sessions of the weekend but like Vettel, he had a failure in Q3 and didn’t get to turn a lap. He’ll start 10th as a result.
German Grand Prix Starting Lineup
Row 1: Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen
Row 2: Valtteri Bottas, Pierre Gasly
Row 3: Kimi Raikkonen, Romain Grosjean
Row 4: Carlos Sainz Jr., Sergio Perez
Row 5: Nico Hulkenberg, Charles LeClerc
Row 6: Antonio Giovinazzi R, Kevin Magnussen
Row 7: Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat
Row 8: Lance Stroll, Lando Norris R
Row 9: Alex Albon R, George Russell R
Row 10: Robert Kubica, Sebastian Vettel