Hydraulics hell for Lewis Hamilton in qualifying

Lewis Hamilton

Qualifying went terribly for Lewis Hamilton, as his Mercedes ground to a halt at the end of Q1, due to a hydraulics fault, meaning the Brit will start an expected P14.

The forecast rain arrived at Hockenheimring prior to the start of final practice and, as to be expected, it made life a little more difficult for some.

After Friday’s heat, Saturday’s play began in the rain with McLaren, along with just about everyone else and their dog, posting the obligatory ‘it is raining’ tweet.

The session got underway without Lewis Hamilton with reports filtering down that the reigning World Champion was feeling under the weather. Mercedes insisted that he was well enough to run… but only of course if they decided to do so given the rain.

Lewis Hamilton

Nico Hulkenberg got proceedings underway with a 1:36.8.

His Renault team-mate Carlos Sainz got the spinning underway.

Saturday’s final practice was one for the birds.

Fernando Alonso ventured out for a lap.

Fernando Alonso

With Mercedes’ line up confirmed, the good news for Daniel Ricciardo is it seems his Red Bull bosses do enjoy his company.

Daniel Ricciardo

Hamilton ventured out for a late run, the last driver to put in a lap.

The session’s P1 belonged to Charles Leclerc, his first – but very likely not his last – P1 in F1.

FP3: P1 for Charles Leclerc in practice washout

For qualifying on Saturday afternoon, the weather dissipated, with the clouds opening up and the track drying out…

The session did not go to plan for Lewis Hamilton, as his Mercedes lost hydraulic pressure and he stopped out on track at the end of Q1..

Despite the issue, Hamilton tried to get his car back to the pit lane by any means possible. However, he will start (at worst) P14 in Sunday’s race.

Marcus Ericsson then brought out a red flag after spinning at the Sachs Curve, and bringing a load of gravel and stones onto the track on his return.

The Sauber man failed to get out of Q2, eventually posting the slowest time of the session, but qualifying in P13.

Also out of Q2 was Fernando Alonso, in P11, and Sergey Sirotkin in P12. Neither Lewis Hamilton or Daniel Ricciardo posted a time.

It made it a four way scrap for for pole position, with both Ferraris going up against Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas.

It would be the German taking pole at his home race, ahead of Valtteri Bottas on the front row. Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen are on the second row.

Vettel now has the best chance of winning his first German Grand Prix, but Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo will be looking to fly through the field on Sunday afternoon.