Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hockenheimring, 2019

Hamilton takes pole as double disaster strikes Ferrari

2019 German Grand Prix qualifying

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Lewis Hamilton claimed a surprise pole position for the German Grand Prix after technical problems hit Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc.

Max Verstappen ill join Hamilton on the front row of the grid at the Hockenheimring.


Ferrari went into qualifying in strong shape after leading all three stages of practice. But it all went wrong within moments of Sebastian Vettel joining the track for his first qualifying attempt.

He reported a loss of power and was told to drive slowly back to the pits, the team problem with the airflow to the turbo. With no time to fix it before the end of the session, Vettel was consigned to starting his home race from the back of the grid.

The demise of one of the front runners increased Lance Stroll’s chances of finally making it into Q2 for the first time this year. However the Racing Point driver, wielding the team’s upgraded RP19, would have made it into the next stage anyway, placing 14th. Despite that, and having lapped within a tenth of a second of his team mate, he wasn’t entirely satisfied with his effort, feeling his car had lacked grip.

Predictably, the two Williams drivers failed to go no further. However Lando Norris was a surprise elimination, having consistently qualified strongly in recent races. He dropped out along with Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

16 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1’13.333
17 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso-Honda 1’13.461
18 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1’14.721
19 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 1’14.839
20 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari No time

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After Vettel’s elimination in Q1 it seemed another shock was on the cards in Q2. Max Verstappen reported a loss of power on his first lap and had to tour back into the pits.

Red Bull were able to remedy Verstappen’s problem to an extent, though he complained about a recurrence of his turbo lag problems as he returned to the pits after bagging a place in Q3. The need to ensure he got into the top 10 also prompted the team to switch him from his original medium tyres to softs, which he will start the race on.

Pierre Gasly took soft tyres from the start and joined his team mate in Q3. However Leclerc and the Mercedes drivers favoured the mediums. Leclerc had to abandon his first lap after running wide at turn one, which meant his time would be deleted, and therefore put an extra couple of laps on his race-starting set. He ended the session second, split by the Mercedes drivers, Lewis Hamilton on top.

Stroll proceeded no further after reaching Q2: Sergio Perez was six tenths of a second faster than him and snatched the final place in the top 10. But it was incredibly close. Nico Hulkenberg took eighth, a scant 0.033s faster than team mate Daniel Ricciardo, who was eliminated in 13th. Antonio Giovinazzi and Kevin Magnussen in the new-spec Haas were bumped to the sixth row on the last runs, and Daniil Kvyat also went no further.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’12.519
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1’12.789
13 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1’12.799
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Honda 1’13.135
15 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1’13.450

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Incredibly there was more pain to come for Ferrari. Within minutes of Q3 starting, Leclerc was lifting himself out of his car, another technical problem having halted the number 16 SF90.

That seemed to pave the way for a Mercedes run to pole position. But Verstappen in his remedied Red Bull was giving it everything in pursuit of his first ever pole position. Hamilton laid down the initial benchmark with a 1’11.767, but Verstappen split him from the other W10, Bottas almost half a second off his team mate.

Hamilton couldn’t find any more time with his final effort but it didn’t matter as neither Verstappen nor Bottas were able to get significantly closer. There was no change in the top three places, and Gasly cemented fourth place some way behind them.

With the demise of both Ferraris, Kimi Raikkonen seized his chance to put the Alfa Romeo in fifth place. he will be joined on the third row by Romain Grosjean, who delivered on the potential he believed Haas’s old-spec car had. “Oh yeah baby that was a hell of a lap!” he said on his way back to the pits.

Following his car failure Leclerc is set to line up 10th behind Carlos Sainz Jnr, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.

Top ten in Q3

1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’11.767
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1’12.113
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’12.129
4 Pierre Gasly Red Bull-Honda 1’12.180
5 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’12.786
6 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1’12.851
7 Carlos Sainz Jnr McLaren-Renault 1’12.897
8 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 1’13.065
9 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1’13.126
10 Charles Leclerc Ferrari

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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100 comments on “Hamilton takes pole as double disaster strikes Ferrari”

  1. DAllein (@)
    27th July 2019, 15:09


    Well down, Lewis!

    Shame for Ferrari to end up like this.

    1. What did he do that was so great?
      Beat an incompetent teammate who was not only 4 tenths down, but could only manage third in the best car? Yet Hamilton defends him and says they have a good thing going – a joke.
      Beat the supposedly second best team whose cars had mechanicals?
      A lot of drivers could have done what he did today.
      He is extremely fortunate to have driven in the best car for 5 years.

      1. I feel your pain, Mike!

      2. Yep, fortunate ever since he was racing R/C cars at the age of 6.

        Lucky in Cadet Karts.
        Lucky in intercontinental karts
        Lucky in formula A karts
        Lucky in Formula Renault
        Lucky in F3
        Lucky in Euro F3
        Lucky in GP2
        Lucky in F1

        1. @paulguitar +1

          If I had a penny for every time I saw the terms ‘luck’ and ‘fortune’ being lazily and improperly thrown around…

          1. Hehehehe love it! The faster he drives, the luckier he gets…go figure.

        2. Cheesy bounce
          27th July 2019, 23:21

          Yeah Mike, most of all he’s lucky he’s not a bitter no-talent nobody like you!

  2. Ferrari are an embarrassment. This isn’t bad luck or misfortune, it’s pure incompetence. And as a fan of the sport, it’s excruciating.

    1. Yes it is, but like other things in f1 that you can predict, you can also predict ferrari mucking it up, as Crofty suggested.
      I always find it excruciating that Crofty can’t have Ham on anything but pole and not get instantly less enthusiastic, even practice, he made q1 a downer as a viewer. It’s both odd and hilarious how he commentates on Vettel’s woes with all the right words yet sound sound elated and ecstatic.

      1. Agree. Lewis Hamilton is definitely faster than Valtteri Bottas- that’s all we can really be sure of these days. That’s not Lewis’s fault – he needs better competition.

        1. Bottas beat Massa easy. So Hamilton beats the likes of Hulkenburg, Ricciardo, leclerc, verstappen, vettel, raikonnen , sains and Norris as default too. Hamilton is one of the most under rated drivers in history because I believe he is the greatest.

          1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
            27th July 2019, 23:15

            What are you even on? It is impossible to clearly compare Hamilton to most of them. His performance last year did tell me he is stronger than Raikkönen and Vettel, he will probably beat Sainz and Hulkenberg too , and quite comfortably so. There is however no way to really objectively compare Hamilton to Ricciardo – who beat Vettel handsomely in 2014 and was always handycapped by inferior material – and Leclerc and Verstappen. Norris is a rookie. I do rate Hamilton as the best driver currently racing, but your logic is lacking.
            None of the drivers you listed ever had Bottas as teammate, and only one had Massa (a much faster ,pre-hungary 2009, Massa at that) as teammate. To determine how hamilton compares to most drivers you listed, both Bottas and Massa are as good as irrelevant.
            The fact you think Hamilton is one of the greatest of all time does not make him underrated either.

          2. ofcourse it makes him underatted,because people like yourself never want to give him credit.
            it doesn’t matter if he beats,alonso,button,rosberg,bottas,
            its never good enough for some people.

          3. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
            28th July 2019, 16:58

            mark, are you stupid or just illeterate?

            I do rate Hamilton as the best driver currently racing, but your logic is lacking.

    2. They are village simpletons of F1 who claim right to bonus(tax) and veto.

    3. Well they have been in much worse conditions in the past. Weren’t they a midfield team during some time, i think the 90s?

      1. Ipsom, oh, Ferrari have had far, far worse seasons – 1980 comes to mind, where Jody Schecker – having won the 1979 title with Ferrari – ended up failing to even make the 107% rule because the 312T5 was so uncompetitive that season. 1980 was their worst season on record, as they only finished in 10th place in the WCC and scored just 8 points – a rather remarkable collapse in form given they’d won both the WDC and WCC only one year earlier, though that was mainly because the team were mostly writing off the 1980 season to focus on their first turbocharged car for 1981.

        They had some rather rough years in the mid to late 1980s too, where they were a midfield team – 4th in 1986 and 1987 – and the same again in 1992 and 1993.

        1. oh, Ferrari have had far, far worse seasons

          this one is not over yet

          1. erikje, realistically, the results Ferrari have now are far, far better than they achieved in the seasons that I have listed above – the current performance may have seen them slip back from where they were a couple of years ago, but it’s still not even vaguely in the same league as some of those seasons.

            To put things in perspective, the five podium finishes that Leclerc alone has scored is equal to the number of podiums that both Ferrari drivers managed to score in 1992 and 1993 combined. Equally, Ferrari have had only one finish this season where one driver finished lower than 5th place – in 1980, the highest that any Ferrari driver managed to finish was 5th.

            Let’s be realistic – we are talking about a team that is still in second place in the World Constructors Championship and has a points cushion in excess of 50 points over Red Bull. There may be a few issues within the team and with the car, but the internal politics are nowhere near as fiery as they have sometimes been in the past, the car is only a matter of tenths off the pace, rather than being a couple of seconds off the pace and relations between Leclerc and Vettel are pretty amicable.

            I’m not saying that things are wonderful, because evidently there are problems – it’s just that, when you step back and look at things in the historical context, their current form really isn’t that bad and their current problems aren’t that bad compared to what they were in the past.

          2. Thank you @anon

      2. Anon: You write “the car is only a matter of tenths off the pace” — no it isn’t. It should have been “a matter of tenths” either ahead of, or off the pace, from the numbers in FP. It wasn’t — it was a dollar short and a day late. Ferrari’s incompetence is now not only strategical, it’s technical (and I say that rather reluctantly, as I’ve owned seven Ferraris and seven Mercedes over the years.)

        1. @paul-a, the point is that the hyperbole that is thrown about around Ferrari is a bit tiresome – whilst there have been issues, people are acting as if this is a catastrophic season along the lines of, say, the 1980 season.

          As I said, whilst the team has under delivered this season, in the grand scheme of things it is nowhere near as extreme as people paint it to be compared to where the team has been in the past. You’d think that Ferrari were having the sort of season that Williams are having from the way that some people are overreacting…

  3. Those times by Hamilton make me doubt whether Ferrari could lock the front row or not.

    1. I think Leclerc would’ve got pole by a tenth or 2 given his Q1 time was a 12.2, but it would’ve been close with Vettel.

    2. @krichelle
      It was indeed a very good lap by Lewis.. But we will never know the truth if Charles could have beaten that.
      Its a shame, and as a fan of the sport, i am disappointed at what happened today,. Its come to a point where i feel sorry for the Tifosi and the guys at Ferrari.

      1. Please don’t feel sorry for them. The drivers chose to drive for Ferrari knowing full well how incompetent they are. The fans choose to support them.
        Death, taxes and Ferrari failure.

    3. I don’t see why you’re all so in doubt, hamilton had 3,5 tenths on verstappen who drove pretty well, I’m sure there’s about a tenth between the best leclerc\vettel and hamilton, as in hamilton, leclerc, verstappen, vettel, or vettel, verstappen, depending if he would’ve qualified properly, checking his last performances.

      1. Either way it’d have helped give more chance of a non mercedes win to have 2 like verstappen and leclerc before bottas instead of verstappen alone.

  4. Go Alpha Romeo!!!

  5. Ferrari’s troubles seems to never end. Great pace from Kimi. The Alfa seemed quick today. Hopefully, Kimi can avoid contact with GRO at the start…

  6. Ferrari is a mobile disaster.

    1. “Mobile” is giving them a bit too much credit…

  7. Amazing lap from Hamilton.
    It never ceases to amaze me to see how this driver can easily been beaten by Bottas one Sunday and dominate the next weekend.

    1. Bottas has frizzled. I would only allow a comment like that within the first 4 races of this season.

      1. @gufdamn
        Still, Lewis’ ups and downs are remarkable to me.
        I can’t remember other all time greats meeting so hard defeats to their teammates and then trashing the field the next week.

        1. What ups and downs? Lewis has been the most consistent driver this season.

          1. I think there’s something wrong with your thinking when you consider a drivers “down” as winning a race but being outqualified by 0.06 seconds. I doubt you hold any other driver to the same standards, as if you did you’d find there are many,many more inconsistent drivers out there.

        2. Lol what are you talking about lewis is dominating and his worst performance was being like 6th

        3. Not sure I understand? Bottas didn’t beat Lewis last time out and has finished ahead of lewis in only 3 of the 10 races so far this season, Lewis has won 7 races to his 2 and is currently 39 points ahead in the championship. Pretty comprehensive by my judgement.

          1. Yes, he’s not generally been in the same form as the start of the season, true there’s been a silly strategy at silverstone which would’ve lost bottas’ race even without SC but reliability seems to have been even and the team let them free to race.

        4. lewis has won 5 of the last 6 races,thats very consistent.

  8. Kimi is the first Ferrari…

    1. Is it time do swap VET for RAI?

      1. A third Ferrari stint for the Iceman. I like it!

        1. It’s nicer for the fans to watch Kimi fighting hard on the midfield and the best for him and his family having a relaxed work close to his home. Leave it alone!

          1. Also you’d need alonso at ferrari to capitalize WHEN the pace and reliability is there, but I assume he watches f1 nowadays, no way he’d want to come to ferrari 2019!

  9. Lewis Hamilton claimed a surprise pole position

    Lol. I don’t know where the surprise comes from, they’ve been worried about “cooling” but that is not a qualifying worry. Sunday is likely wet therefore it is no surprise, last year Ham qualified surprisingly bad, down to team error. Predictable this afternoon though.

    1. Indeed. Hamilton or Bottas claiming pole this weekend is about as surprising as a rainy day in Scotland.

      Practice doesn’t mean that much; I would give it less weight than season-long form when guessing who will take pole. Plus even if Ferrari were slightly faster in principle, the second or third fastest team taking pole still isn’t a surprise pole position. Hulkenberg in Brazil 2010 was a surprise pole.

      1. if max was able to beat bottas in that redbull
        I think Leclerc definitely could have got pole.

  10. I think there may be a bit of a shake up at Ferrari before the start of the 2020 season.

    1. @johnrkh

      The Brawn effect wore off in 2008. They are back to their old selves, that is all. This is the Ferrari everyone over a certain age knew and loved. What an earth was Alonso and later Vettel thinking.

      1. Atleast Alonso took that taxi and fought for championship till the last race of season on the other hand Vettel is a clown best said nothing about.

        1. Hard to tell who’s a clown, a four time world champion or an obnoxious Mercedes fan.

          1. Four time “world champion” who everytime went wheel to wheel racing ends up either crashing or spinning or rear ending the car in the front or the one who likes to use car as a weapon or the one who has no respect for race director or the one who throws temper tantrums or rants filled with profanities.

        2. Alonso threw away two championships at Ferrari, in two seasons when they had domination, not just the fastest car. He was a very average driver by current standards, and a complete scumbag to boot.

          Let me guess, your other hero is Nick Griffin, right?

          1. Being honest, calling Alonso “average” sounds like a bit out of place to me.
            He is probably on par with Vettel, maybe slower in quali, but with a better racecraft, IMHO.
            Surely, Hamilton is on another level, but that was pretty obvious since 2007.
            Fernando really missed out his best chances for a third title in 2010 and 2013.

          2. Dave, you could do the world a favour by spending more time shutting up. Preferably all the time. Whatever your problem is, it doesn’t make for an interesting read.

          3. @liko41, the poster called Dave has been making some rather strange remarks in recent posts, such as his attempts to stir up conflict by making random accusations of racist behaviour – note that, in referring to Nick Griffin, he is trying to paint that poster as a right wing extremist – that suggest he is deliberately setting out to harass and intimidate others.

            I really don’t think that he wants any sort of rational conversation – it sounds like all he wants to do is to cause trouble.

          4. You are a wacko…

          5. Hahaha when did Ferrari have the best car when alonso was there? Redbull were always miles ahead of Ferrari

        3. Very harsh on VET. Probably deserves it but his 4 WDCs deserve some respect. 4 WDCs don’t fall in your lap.
          1, OK.
          2 Maybe.
          3 No.
          4 No way!

  11. Vettel set up beautiful for his Hamilton style comeback win tomorrow

    1. Running a “which lap does Vettel spin or hit another car” sweepstake.

      Bonus points for how many times.

      1. Halfway, once!

  12. Mercedes tried to fool everybody with their tricks. They are desperate to make these champs looking like they’re disputed.

    1. You have an inability to critically think, or be reasonable. Why would Mercedes care about that at all? Stop commenting when you are in an emotional state.

    2. I guess you missed the part where both Ferraris had to sit out qualifying at different points in time.