Mark Webber scores his first pole position (German Grand Prix Qualifying)

Posted on

| Written by

Mark Webber flanked by the Brawn duo after scoring his first pole position

Mark Webber will start from pole position for the first time in his F1 career tomorrow after mastering tricky conditions at the Nurburgring.

The Brawns of Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button will line up behind him with Sebastian Vettel only fourth for his home race.

Lewis Hamilton’s rejuvenated McLaren starts from fifth on the grid.


Qualifying started in conditions that were scarcely any warmer than practice, just 22C on the surface of the track. That prompted almost all the teams to opt for the super-soft tyre, but Red Bull made an attempt to get through using the medium compound.

Sebastian Vettel went quickest on his mediums with a 1’31.430, just 0.043s ahead of Lewis Hamilton – the McLaren driver (on super-softs) enjoying a much more competitive run with a revised diffuser on his MP4/24.

But everyone returned for a final shot with the super-soft tyres, starting with Mark Webber, who went fastest with a 1’31.257. Fernando Alonso was poised to demote the Red Bull but he came across the slow Toyota of Timo Glock at the final corner and lost time.

Jenson Button’s final effort of 1’31.568 – one tenth of a second slower than team mate Rubens Barrichello – put him third, illustrating the problems Brawn faced in getting their tyres up to temperature.

Most of the runners wrapped up their final runs with three minutes to spare as light rain began to fall on part of the track. Glock was among those caught out, as was Sebastien Bourdais, who spun off.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

16. Robert Kubica, BMW – 1’32.190
17. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso-Ferrari – 1’32.251
18. Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India-Mercedes – 1’32.402
19. Timo Glock, Toyota – 1’32.423
20. Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso-Ferrari – 1’33.559


With rain falling as the second part of qualifying began all 15 cars bolted onto the track as quickly as possible. But as Kazuki Nakajima and Felipe Massa spun off the track it became clear the conditions were just too wet for slick tyres. Everyone apart from Mark Webber came straight back in for slick tyres – the Red Bull driver tiptoed around the greasy track and then came in for intermediates too.

Heikki Kovalainen went fastest to begin with and then spun off at turn four, shortly after team mate Hamilton had set the fastest time.

But the conditions continued to toy with the drivers – first the track dried as no further rain fell, giving them the chance to switch to slicks. Barrichello took the opportunity to do just that and set a 1’34.455 while the track was at its driest.

But then rain began to fell once more, putting the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button in jeopardy.

Button and Hamilton both scraped through with their final efforts. But Alonso spun at the chicane and failed to make it into Q3 – while team mate Nelson Piquet Jnr was second behind Barrichello – and one place ahead of Adrian Sutil.

Kimi Raikkonen also had a spin but he and Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa both made it into Q3.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11. Nick Heidfeld, BMW – 1’42.310
12. Fernando Alonso, Renault – 1’42.318
13. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams-Toyota – 1’42.500
14. Jarno Trulli, Toyota – 1’42.771
15. Nico Rosberg, Williams-Toyota – 1’42.859


For the first time this year, both McLarens made it into Q3, accompanied by the Brawns, Red Bulls and Ferraris, plus Nelson Piquet Jnr’s Renault and Adrian Sutil’s Force India.

Jenson Button went out first but didn’t set a timed lap – team mate Rubens Barrichello put up the first time with a 1’32.797. Mark Webber slotted in second, half a second slower than the Brawn.

As the final set of runs began, Lewis Hamilton briefly put the McLaren fastest ahead of the two Brawns. But he was demoted by the Red Bulls and Brawns on the final set of runs.

It was Mark Webber who set the quickest time with a 1’32.230, but team mate Vettel was a quarter of a second slower. The two Brawns took advantage of that delay, with Rubens Barrichello nabbing the second spot on the front row.

The other surprise of the final part of qualifying was Adrian Sutil taking seventh place ahead of the two Ferraris. With more rain expected tomorrow, and the fuel weights yet to be published, we could be in for a gripping race tomorrow.

Update: Timo Glock sent to the back of the grid for impeding Fernando Alonso

Update: Fuel weights published: Heavy fuel load puts Webber in strong position (German Grand Prix fuel loads)

Top ten drivers in Q3

1. Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault – 1?���??32.230
2. Rubens Barrichello, Brawn-Mercedes – 1?���??32.357
3. Jenson Button, Brawn-Mercedes – 1?���??32.473
4. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault – 1?���??32.480
5. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes – 1?���??32.616
6. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren-Mercedes – 1?���??33.859
7. Adrian Sutil, Force India-Mercedes – 1?���??34.316
8. Felipe Massa, Ferrari – 1?���??34.574
9. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari – 1?���??34.710
10. Nelson Piquet Jnr, Renault – 1?���??34.803

Read more: German Grand Prix grid

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

47 comments on “Mark Webber scores his first pole position (German Grand Prix Qualifying)”

  1. Bourdais eliminated in Q1 twice? :O

    1. Damn Toro Rosso and their infinite Sebastiens!

      1. StrFerrari4Ever
        11th July 2009, 14:35

        No don’t Damn Toro Rosso :) they’ll have another Sebastian soon which i can guarantee you wont be damming Loeb interested in Bourdais seat i say bring him on Bourdais is just a disgrace!

        1. Bourdais is not a disgrace!
          The car and the team are a disgrace!

          1. StrFerrari4Ever
            11th July 2009, 19:45

            Oh come on you can’t justify that yes Toro Rosso maybe be undergraded in terms of updates but still the driver has to show their talents and push their hardest Buemi’s been consistantly outperforming Bourdais and to add insult to injury that Buemi is a rookie so kinda like last year for the SeaBass being beaten by a younger less experienced teammate absolutely unacceptable

        2. No way ! They will announce Monday the 19 years old Spanish: Jaime Alguersuari.
          I got it from the horses’s mouth !

  2. StrFerrari4Ever
    11th July 2009, 14:26

    Great result for Webber it was long due and it’s finally happened great lap from him to get pole. I’m disappointed though that Vettel couldn’t be on pole or at least the front row his lap kind of lost momentum in turn 7 when his car went a bit wide but it’s not the end of the world with the crazy variable weather expected tommorow. Brawns are back which is worrying but at the start I hope Seb can pick both of them off and Lewis can pick them off aswell or cause havock between them.

  3. go go Webber!!

  4. That was excellent. I’d love to see Mark win tomorrow.

    Thumbs up also for Sutil and Piquet.

    Nick Heidfeld was quietly impressive. I hope his first win will finally arrive soon, too.

    Did Heikki have to argue for the right tyres? And has Rubens maybe turned his season around? Anyway, those looked like good job from them. Nakajima ahead of Rosberg is also worth a mention.

  5. PrisonerMonkeys
    11th July 2009, 14:37

    C’mon, JB!

  6. Sutil!!!!

  7. Go Webber.
    My prediction is and I will love to see
    1. Webber (great driver. he will not loose his position)
    2. Button (he will take his team mate on first cornor)
    3. Vettel (I just want him on podium)

    1. But I think Hamilton will take Vettel on first cornor being on clean side

      1. …and having KERS.

        1. Who are using KERS there, Keith?

          1. The McLarens and the Ferraris. McLaren reckon it’s worth 0.3s per lap.

      2. I predict Hamilton will be 3rd or 4th after the first corner. Barrichello will do a bad start, Button or Webber will remain 1st or 2nd. I hope no crash happens on turn 3…

        1. Bigbadderboom
          11th July 2009, 16:41

          Agreed, Rubens will make a mess and I can see the first lap ending, Webber, Button and then Hamilton, I think he (Hami) deserves a podium.

          1. if that kers of lewis is working properly, we might see him leading the race after the first lap.

  8. Damn I hate this mode of qualifying and cannot wait for normality next year.
    Kubica has had the fastest lap time today (1:32,190) and he’s 16th.
    Nico Rosberg has had the slowest lap (1:42,859) and he’s 15th.
    Those time tables look so ridiculous :-)
    Anyway, it looks like we’re gonna have an even battle between Redbull and Brawn – hopefully to the end of the season. I’m looking forward to that.

    I wish Vettel, Webber and Barrichello perform well tomorrow, as to keep themselves alive in the WDC chase.
    If Button doesn’t score points, and the three behind him do, then the championship might become a battle of four.

    1. Well that proves that it is actually better to have this qualifying format. Because it tests the consistency as well as speed, and surely drivers that can keep both deserve the pole

        1. Care to elaborate?

    2. Apart from Race-fuel Q3, the Qualy format is really fair, unlike the one-lap Qualifying from a few years ago.
      Who cares if the timetables look a bit weird? everyone knows that Kubica didn’t do the fastest lap all day, but the 16th fastest in Q1, and you won’t get pole with that ;)

    3. Utter nonsense

    4. That’s just a fluke of the conditions, though.

  9. Senior Citizens dominate qualifying..young punks relegated to lesser positions..yes!!

  10. How low on fuel do we recokn the McLarens are?

  11. Adrian 7th?????? I cant feel my head!

  12. ohh the German effect!!! I almost forgot!

  13. Unless Vettel gets very lucky I’m not expecting him to win tomorrows race. Even if he is the heaviest of the top 4. Hamilton can easily screw up Vettels race with KERS similar to when Massa did was it in Bahrain?

    This race is going to be between Barrichello and Webber Barrichellos car just seems to handle better than Buttons so I don’t expect Button to gain any places unless Barrichello gets another bad start.

    But with a wet race for tomrrow my prediction could be completely off. Nurburing + Rain = very very good chance of a SC tomorrow to throw team strategies off.

  14. ahh im getting a vision…….. Sutil crashes on to fisico on the very first corner…. ooohhh

  15. An off-topic question.

    The image of the Honda F1 car that is shown on the “live qualifying” blog (before I press the “play” button) is of which year’s Honda?

    1. It’s Davidson in the 2004 car.

  16. Timo Glock sent to the back of the grid: Revised German Grand Prix grid

    1. Yeah, really, what was he doing there? He truly deserved a penalty.

  17. Why are the weights taking so long to be published? McLaren phoneix from the flames.

    1. I know why does it take so long???

      I hope Mclarne are phoneix but a bit worried they may be light

  18. Keith hi !
    According to the French guys @ the French TV, the KERS gives an advantage of +/- 15 m at the start !

    1. Hadn’t heard that before, but based on how they’ve been getting away this year I’d believe it! The problem here is the start straight isn’t very long.

      1. Shagrathian
        11th July 2009, 19:31

        Exactly. I hope Lewis uses his magic button well.
        Cheers to Sutil! Great performance. With more fuel, he leads both Ferrari. They had no new option tyres tough. Whatever.
        If it rains, it’s going to be a really crazy race. And i hope it will.
        Best wishes with Seb for the podium.

    2. No one uses KERS to launch themselves off the starting grid. KERS is most often applied once the car has gained sufficient momentum. Problem is you may run out of room in which to apply it at the start of a race. But the run up to the last chicane is a good prospect for harvesting KERS to over take.

  19. Great quali. Need more part dry part wet ones like that! :)

    Could be a great race tomorrow if the rain does come…. will the grid actually matter or will everything be thrown into turmoil? Lets wait and see! Im looking forward to it! :)

  20. One part of me wants changeable weather for the race and another part just wants a dry race. One reason I want a dry race is to see if the Mclaren is able to keep up with the Redbulls and Brawns.
    Qualifying was just a nightmare. I was so tensed up, and I wasn’t even driving . :-)

  21. Mark winning with Vettel on podium with one of the Brawn.
    Sutil good point finished.Key will be the start as both Ferrari & Mclaren have KERS.

  22. I believe that BGP is right here, as they announce rain-showers from 13:00 on, which means that they will all have to pit early, and probably all several times. Intermediate could be a good choice if ever (between) rain, the track’d dry up, then they would wear out and transform into slicks giving the advantage on dry without having to go in. This after first pit, Keith ?

Comments are closed.