Alonso takes 2nd consecutive pole in Germany
HOCKENHEIM, Germany- Even the second and third qualifying sessions with heavy water on the track did not stop Fernando Alonso from taking the fastest time in qualifying Saturday afternoon as the Spaniard recorded a 1: 40: 621 to take pole for Sunday’s Grand Prix of Germany at the Hockenheimring. Red Bull drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber finished second and third, respectively.
“I still think the conditions are very inconvenient,” commented Alonso about the rain. “As far as it is for everybody, I think it is good to check the certain conditions and going into turn six, it was not good for anybody. We go at about 290 kilometers per hour, so everything went well for us and even with those aquaplaning moments, and with the tire change at the last minute that improved our time.”
The rain itself did not come down in the opening session, but was very much in evidence far away in the distance. With dark clouds expected to come with the next half hour, most of the drivers were able to run with slick tires. But Finn Kimi Raikkonen managed to get a good set of soft tires on his Lotus and took the fastest time of the opening session, with a 1:15:683, while Michael Schumacher just barely made it into the last spot to advance. Frenchman Jean-Eric Vergne failed to advance in his Toro Rosso for the second consecutive race.
AS the second session began, so did the arrival of the rain, which began with a heavy clasp of thunder, followed by a heavy downpour. But some drivers were risky enough to go out on intermediates before realizing that the rain was too much for the thinner tire. Many drivers came in for full wets, but even as the rain began to stop, Vettel set the fastest time, but Felipe Massa, Romain Grosjean and Nico Rosberg failed to advance to the final session.
The wet track did not change anything for the last session, as the track itself remained impossible to change tire compounds. But as in every track conditions, when the cars continue to cross the track, eventually the track will dry out, and with only a few minutes to go in the session, this made some of the drivers improve their times, with Webber, Vettel and finally Alonso managing to improve their times. But it was the Spaniard in his Ferrari that did better than the others, taking his second consecutive pole and his 22nd of his career.
Schumacher led the rest of the field, improving his chances for a win with a fourth place finish, while fellow German Nico Hulkenberg was fifth. Pastor Maldonado got a last minute flying lap to take sixth, while the two Mclarens of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton were seventh and eighth, respectively. Paul di Resta and Raikkonen rounded out the top ten.
“It has been a strange weekend”. concluded Alonso. “The problems on the track have been strange and if we have to do it tomorrow, we can do the same thing. The weather should be good for tomorrow, so we can see how it will perform.”.
A 12 year veteran writer who has covered race weekends for RIS for three years. Also did the same for motorsport.com.For the last two years, I have been a member of AARWBA.