Red Bull Racing driver Mark Webber has claimed his second consecutive pole position, following his pole in Britain two weeks ago, setting a time of 1m30.079s at the Nurburgring on Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tires. This was comfortably faster than his pole time of 1m32.230s in 2009 (the last time that the German Grand Prix was held at the Nurburgring) although on that occasion qualifying was held in damp conditions.
Red Bull remains unbeaten in qualifying since the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix in November, claimed by Nico Hulkenberg for Williams in mixed weather conditions. However, for the first time in 14 races, World Championship leader Sebastian Vettel is not on the front row and will start third, behind McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton.
Conditions for qualifying were overcast, although the day remained dry, with 14 degrees centigrade ambient in the afternoon. The majority of the top drivers used the P Zero White medium tires to get through Q1, before switching to the P Zero Yellow soft tires from Q2 onwards.
During final practice this morning, held in cool temperatures of 12 degrees, Red Bull’s World Championship leader Sebastian Vettel went quickest on the soft tires with a time of 1m30.916s, to the delight of his home fans.
This remained the quickest lap of the weekend until Q3, which four of the six German drivers currently in Formula One took part in. Webber completed two runs during the final session, topping the time sheets on both occasions, using P Zero Yellow tires to claim the ninth pole position of his career and his third of this season.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery commented: “Despite the threatening skies, the rain held off, which enabled us to see a great duel from start to finish of qualifying. We saw a bit of tactics, with the teams trying to save their soft tires for the race, but the predictions for tomorrow indicate rain, which is obviously going to throw all the strategy out of the window if it materializes. The data from the weekend so far shows that our tires are lasting for a long time – we could probably get 60 laps out of a set of the mediums – so under normal circumstances we would probably see some teams trying a one-stop strategy. It seems unlikely though that the circumstances are going to be completely normal, so there will be a lot of thinking about the right set-up tonight.”
PIRELLI FACTS OF THE DAY
- During the last German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in 2009, there were 1.5 pit stops per car.
- The time spent in the 377-meter pit lane at this circuit is approximately 18 seconds.
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