2016 German Grand Prix Qualifying Review

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But heading into Qualifying, it would seem that Mercedes are looking like the teams to beat heading into the session that look set to gain Pole Position ahead of the race on Sunday. But Ferrari, McLaren, Ferrari, Toro Rosso or Force India may spring a surprise and throw a spanner into the works based on their early pace and promise within the Practice sessions.

Shortly after FP3 was finished, it was announced that Romain Grosjean will have to take a five place grid penalty for changing his gearbox after his incident on the track. To read more about this, please read my article here:- https://jonesonf1.wordpress.com/2016/07/30/grosjean-to-take-a-five-place-grid-penalty-for-the-german-gp/.

It was also announced before Qualifying that Lewis Hamilton was cleared of any wrong-doing regarding the incident in the pitlane between himself and Romain Grosjean. The Mercedes AMG Petronas team were fined £10,000 Euros for releasing Hamilton’s car when it was not safe to do so.

Let the battle for Pole Position begin…

Lewis Hamilton tops the timesheets in Q1. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lewis Hamilton tops the timesheets in Q1 and Q2. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

In Q1, we saw Lewis Hamilton topping the timesheets with a lap time of 1.15.243, Nico Rosberg was second, Daniel Ricciardo was third, Kimi Raikkonen was fourth, Max Verstappen was fifth, Sebastian Vettel was sixth, Valtteri Bottas was seventh, Esteban Gutierrez was eighth, Sergio Perez was ninth and Jenson Button rounded off the top ten finshers.

At the end of Q1 we lose Kevin Magnussen, Pascal Wehrlein, Daniil Kvyat, Rio Haryanto, Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson.

In Q2, we saw Hamilton topping the timesheets with a lap time of 1.14.748, Rosberg was second, Verstappen was third, Raikkonen was fourth, Bottas was fifth, Perez was sixth, Ricciardo was seventh, Hulkenberg was eighth, Vettel was ninth and Massa rounded off the top ten finshers.

At the end of Q2, we lose Esteban Gutierrez, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Romain Grosjean, Carlos Sainz Jr and Jolyon Palmer.

During Q2, Carlos Sainz Jr is under investigation by the stewards after impeding Felipe Massa on a flying lap and Nico Rosberg on his first run in Q3 backed out of it for suspected electronic issues.

Let the battle for Pole Position begin…

Nico Rosberg claims Pole Position for the German GP ahead of Lewis Hamilton in second place and Daniel Ricciardo in third place. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Nico Rosberg claims Pole Position for the German GP ahead of Lewis Hamilton in second place and Daniel Ricciardo in third place. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

At the end of Q3, Rosberg took Pole Position for the German GP, with a lap time of 1.14.363. Rosberg did it on the anniversary of the last time his father Keke Rosberg took his last ever Pole Position in the sport which is a fitting tribute.

Hamilton finished in second place 0.107 seconds behind Rosberg, Ricciardo finished in third place 0.363 seconds behind Rosberg, Verstappen finished in fourth place 0.471 seconds behind Rosberg and Raikkonen was fifth place 0.779 seconds behind Rosberg.

Vettel ended the session in sixth place 0.952 seconds behind Rosberg, Hulkenberg finished in seventh place 1.147 seconds behind Rosberg, Bottas finished in eight place 1.167 seconds behind Rosberg, Perez finished in ninth place 1.174 seconds behind Rosberg and Massa finished in tenth place.

It would seem that Mercedes genuinely has the pace to challenge for the race win again this weekend despite their form in Qualifying. Both of the Mercedes drivers seem to have the cars underneath them to do this and have been consistent and fast throughout every session so far this weekend; even if Hamilton has a challenge on his hands to get a result this weekend.

You cannot discount Ricciardo, Verstappen or Vettel even to be challenging also for the race win and could also be the dark horses to take the win away from Mercedes (and also Ferrari in Mercedes’ case) that could see gaining some points on their rivals to kick start their Constructors Championship.

Hulkenberg, Sainz Jr and Raikkonen could also have a decent race and pick up some much needed points for their respective teams. Will it rain? I do not know. Who will win the Grand Prix on Sunday? I really don’t know.

But let’s see what happens tomorrow on the Hockenheimring circuit on race day on Sunday…

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