German GP: No Surprises in Hot Hockenheim Qualifying
The extensive experience of Scuderia Ferrari’s world champion drivers could be a great asset in what looks like being a very tough race, the hottest of the year, tomorrow at the Hockenheimring. From seventh on the grid, Fernando Alonso will be aiming to make up as many places as possible, as will Kimi Raikkonen, who faces more of an uphill struggle, as he will watch the lights go out from the sixth row of the grid in twelfth place.
Like all the other drivers with the exception of Bottas and the unfortunate Hamilton, who crashed his Mercedes at the Sachskurve, because of a brake problem, Fernando and Kimi used both the Soft and Supersoft to be sure of making the cut from Q1 into Q2. The Spaniard did it by setting the seventh fastest time and the Finn the eleventh.
Q2 proved much tougher and would mark the end of Raikkonen’s participation in qualifying, as he failed to make the cut into Q3, setting the twelfth fastest time. He was unable to improve on his first run after losing a few tenths at Turn 2. Fernando however was through in seventh place. And indeed, that’s where he would stay come the end of the final part of qualifying, to secure a place on row 4, which he shares with Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat. As usual, the Spaniard had rung every last drop of performance out of his F14 T.
With Hamilton out of the way, Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg ensured the home crowd were able to cheer a pole position set by a German driver on a German track in a German-entered car. It was the fifth time this season he has topped the Q3 timing sheet. Next up were the Williams duo, Valtteri Bottas on the front row, with Felipe Massa sharing row 2 with the McLaren of Kevin Magnussen. Kimi has the Dane’s team-mate Jenson Button on the inside of him on row 6.
Pirelli went for the very aggressive choice of running Soft and Supersoft tyres here and they will face a stern test tomorrow, on the assumption the forecast is correct and we have another very hot race day. However, even the softest tyre in the range looked consistent enough on Friday, hotter than today, to do a run of 12 laps or so, therefore a reasonably conventional two stop race, running Supersoft, Soft, Soft, is the most likely scenario. The forecast for rain? Pundits reckon it’s becoming less likely, with the possibility of a nice cool shower once the chequered flag has been waved.
Source: Ferrari Media