- German Grand Prix - Qualifying
Hamilton snatches Nurburgring pole from VettelChris Medland at the Nurburgring July 6, 2013
Lewis Hamilton made it back-to-back pole positions with another impressive lap to beat Sebastian Vettel at the Nurburgring.
With Vettel having looked dominant in FP3 and set the provisional pole time, Hamilton responded with a lap of 1:29.398 to edge out the championship leader by just 0.1s. Vettel starts second ahead of team-mate Mark Webber, but it was a bittersweet session for Mercedes as Nico Rosberg failed to make it through in to Q3.
Kimi Raikkonen showed the improved Lotus pace with fourth, while Romain Grosjean starts just behind his team-mate in fifth place. It was another very impressive performance from Daniel Ricciardo as he took sixth ahead of the two Ferraris, although Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso both ran on the medium compound tyre in the final session.
Jenson Button and Nico Hulkenberg start ninth and tenth having failed to set a time in the final part of qualifying.
It was a close session in Q2 as half a second covered the top 11 drivers, but Mercedes was caught out as it pitted both its cars following their first runs and Rosberg was eventually pushed down to P11 with a final lap from Raikkonen. Good laps from Ricciardo, Hulkenberg and Button also hurt Rosberg, who will start on the sixth row alongside Paul di Resta.
The majority of teams opted to complete their Q1 laps on the soft tyres, with the mediums being saved for the race and only Red Bull and Mercedes bucking the trend. It was a poor session for Williams as the team marked 600 grands prix by seeing both of its drivers drop out in the first part of qualifying; Valtteri Bottas beating team-mate Pastor Maldonado and failing to make it through by 0.012s.
The back two rows are predictably occupied by Caterham and Marussia, with Charles Pic and Jules Bianchi shining relative to team-mates Giedo van der Garde and Max Chilton respectively.
Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1