Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Nurburgring, 2013

Hamilton denies Vettel home pole position

2013 German Grand Prix qualifying

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Nurburgring, 2013Lewis Hamilton beat Sebastian Vettel to pole position for the German Grand Prix in a surprise result after the Mercedes driver had struggled in practice.

Hamilton was grappling with oversteer in the final hour of practice. But as temperatures rose during qualifying Hamilton came into contention for pole position.

The result was a relief for Mercedes after Nico Rosberg was knocked out during Q2 and will start eleventh.


By the start of qualifying the Nurburgring tarmac was some 10C hotter than it had been during final practice – hitting 39C.

With the soft tyres offering a lap time gain of around one-and-a-half seconds over the mediums, most drivers chose them to make their bids to reach Q2. Among the exceptions were the Red Bull drivers, both of which secured their passage to Q2 on mediums.

Williams knew from the off they were going to find it difficult to get beyond the first stage of qualifying and sent both drivers out on soft tyres. But it was to no avail: Valtteri Bottas ended up 17th, just 12 thousandths of a second behind Esteban Gutierrez.

As usual the Caterhams and Marussias were also eliminated, Charles Pic fastest of the quartet but well over a second off the FW35s.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

17Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’31.693
18Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’31.707
19Charles PicCaterham-Renault1’32.937
20Jules BianchiMarussia-Cosworth1’33.063
21Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1’33.734
22Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth1’34.098


Q2 brought the shock of the session as Mercedes paid the price for keeping their drivers in the pits at the end of the session. A spate of improvements from the Ferraris and Lotuses left Rosberg in the danger zone.

Jenson Button delivered the coup de grace with a superb lap in the McLaren which got him into the final ten – and knocked Rosberg out by less than six-hundredths of a second.

The rapid gains drivers found in Q2 knocked Red Bull off the top spot. Felipe Massa led the times followed by Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso. But the Ferrari drivers had got through their soft tyres at a rapid rate, which would influence their strategy for Q3.

Neither of the Force India drivers made it through to Q3, aiding Nico Hulkenberg’s passage into the top ten. Daniel Ricciardo also reached Q3, beating team mate Jean-Eric Vergne by almost a second.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11Nico RosbergMercedes1’30.326
12Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’30.697
13Sergio PerezMcLaren1’30.933
14Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’31.010
15Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’31.010
16Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’31.104


Ferrari sent their drivers out on soft tyres at the beginning of the second but pulled them in without setting a time and switched both to mediums. Both set their times on the slower tyre which they will also start on.

Button noticed what Ferrari were doing and pointed out to his team that they were unlikely to out-qualify them, so McLaren aborted his run. Hulkenberg also chose not to set a time, leaving just six drivers competing for pole position.

Hamilton was revelling in the transformed pace of his W04 and pushed Vettel hard. As the Red Bull driver began his final run he made a small error in the final sector, though he still had enough in hand to set the top time.

His rival in the Mercedes was coming on strong, however, and claimed the top time with a lap of 1’29.398. It was a triumph for Mercedes on home ground, but they will no doubt feel Rosberg should be joining his team mate on the front row.

Top ten in Q3

1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’29.398
2Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’29.501
3Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’29.608
4Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’29.892
5Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’29.959
6Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’30.528
7Felipe MassaFerrari1’31.126
8Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’31.209
9Jenson ButtonMcLaren2’0.000
10Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari3’0.000

2013 German Grand Prix

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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...

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92 comments on “Hamilton denies Vettel home pole position”

  1. Any Day, Any circuit give him a good car, Lewis will put it on Pole.

    1. Actually…….:) It also depends on how well Nicole is treating him

      1. She isn’t, they split up.

        1. LOL ok, well something is helping him give that Merc an extra umph

        2. The pair broke up and Lewis immediately found the pace, interesting…

        3. Traverse (@)
          6th July 2013, 15:39

          So that’s why he looks so happy, he’s a free man!

      2. Used to depend…

  2. This is getting annoying, They complain about the car all weekend and then get pole, does the predictions championship mean nothing to them ?!

    1. @mnm101 Haha, certainly it means less than their championship :)

    2. +1 :)

    3. I feel for you there mate. I alternate between Lewis and Sebastian . But when I do Nico pops up . Its so frustrating

    4. Aye, I did have Hamilton down as pole, but 2 mins before the start of quali I changed it to Vettel… Sods law!

      1. Same here, despite nearly falling for that just last week

    5. Haha, well what should make the predictions championship great is unpredictability I guess.

    6. @mnm101 +infinity, you are too wise. It gives me comfort knowing I am not alone when I think this, that is the entire reason I didn’t pick my driver Hamilton and went for Rosberg, because he said the car wasn’t good coming out of FP3. That usually leads me to believe that he wont get pole, and history supports it. Thanks for ruining my predictions this week MGP, last week it was Pirelli and teams not putting tires on correctly. I want a painting from Rob Ijbema in my house at some point!!!! But I want to win it though!!!! RAWR

  3. It’s time for Hamilton.

    1. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
      6th July 2013, 15:53

      To become a WDC again? If you mean *that*, then certainly YES =)

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        6th July 2013, 15:56

        +1 :-)

  4. Looks like Jenson was right when he said “Lewis’ pace will shock you.” Now that he seems to be getting a better handle on the braking issues he is experiencing, he seems to be able to better Nico consistently. I don’t see him being able to stay ahead of RB tomorrow so he sure took the opportunity to do all his fist pumping today :)

    1. Nathan (@il-ferrarista)
      6th July 2013, 15:54


  5. I think Raikkonen is in real contention for victory this weekend. The track and high track temperatures put him on second row, and if he can clear Webber at the start, he can push Hamilton and Vettel really hard, given Lotus’ race pace. Though Mercedes were quick in last weekend’s race, they were aided by cool weather and strong wind, which might’ve cooled down their tyres a bit, so I think Hamilton will strugle in the race (though not as much as in the past). Meanwhile Vettel has bad luck on his home turf, but if he gets better luck in the race, he is another very strong candidate for the race. Ferraris will surely charge to the front, but they must clear a few strong cars to their way to the front. And their strategy looks a bit compromised.

  6. We must never underestimate any driver… We underestimated Lewis, and then he puts a brilliant lap in… Never underestimate teams, who knows what can happened??? Maybe one time, we’ll see a CATERHAM OR MARUSSIA take pole… ahahhaa But, for Rosberg that was bad, and that certainly opened the door to others as it can create a huge story on Sunday.

    1. @krichelle, yeah sure we will see that when the FIA tells all other teams that their cars must have the aerodynamics of a brick…

  7. I’m a bit worried that Ferrari didn’t go for quali position, since they could have easily fought for P4 and P5 with Lotuses, but I’m keeping my faith that they have a great car and strategy for the race.

  8. Thoroughly deserved pole. Congrats to Lewis and his fans.
    Watching the onboard replay the lap looked kinda scruffy. I reckon there was a bit more left in that Merc and Lewis today. Looking forward to the race.

    1. How did he know that he had the pole the moment he crossed the finish line ? He started thumping his fists in the air as soon as he completed the lap !!!!!!!!

      1. Ricardo Boccoli Gallego (@)
        6th July 2013, 15:39

        I believe this information is showed on the steering wheel

      2. I assume he had the pole time on his wheel lcd since vettel crossed the line a while before him ?

      3. They can see the delta on their wheels, Lewis in particular uses the HUD on his wheel for that.

        1. Is that correct? A “heads up display” in F1? Maybe exists in computer games, but probably not on real F1 cars (at least I’ve never heard of it, and given that there’s no windscreen, it would have to be reflected on the helmet visor — a huge technical challenge.)

        2. If it’s on the wheel, that would be a Head Down Display.
          A HUD would be technically feasible, but probably not worth the cost of implementing.

          1. Your right technically its a heads down display, if they were HUDs that’d be awesome though.

  9. Will we hear a German anthem on the podium or are the Spaniard or OZ going to deny the fans that pleasure ????

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      6th July 2013, 15:58

      Are we already assuming car trouble for Lewis?

    2. @tmax
      So Lewis has no chance in hell of winning this race?

      1. @mads @freelittlebirds looks like you did not get my comment.

        A German anthem will be played if Lewis wins or Vettel wins. Lewis because Mercedes is a German car, Vettel because of his Nationality.

        So read my comment literally like this

        “Will Alonso or Webber win tomorrow to stop Lewis or Vettel from winning and denying the pleasure of a German anthem on the podium for the German fans.”

        1. @tmax
          Ah you are right of cause. I didn’t think of that.

        2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          6th July 2013, 18:01

          Indeed @tmax

  10. Sad to see McLaren relegated to Midfield and Williams relegated to back markers.

    Lewis must be considering himself lucky to have moved out of McLaren at the right time.

    1. Traverse (@)
      6th July 2013, 15:45

      It’s due to Hamilton moving that McLaren are resigned to the midfield. Hamilton demands success whereas Jenson is a push over – McLaren are struggling because they haven’t got a true No.1, top notch driver to work with. Jenson’s good, not great.

    2. Traverse (@)
      6th July 2013, 15:46

      Mc Shades smashed it!! He hit a mean pole time blood, init! Shout out to the homie Dr Brawn fa sorting those sweet rims y’all! Check it!

      1. Traverse (@)
        6th July 2013, 15:51

        Dang it, it didn’t mean to reply to you.

          1. @hellotraverse while I myself believe that Lewis Is the best driver on the grid today. I don’t think we can completely blame the Mclaren’s downfall to him leaving the team. I think Mclaren has more issues to sort out and put their house in order than attributing their performance directly to the technical inputs from the driver.

    3. Or McLaren finally understand they made a mistake in letting Lewis go/driving him away.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        6th July 2013, 16:11

        I’m beginning to think that the driver is more important than I’ve previously had come to believe. I don’t believe Mercedes would be where they are without Hamilton. They had Schumacher for 3 years and they couldn’t build a top car. Hamilton has helped McLaren design a quick but not necessarily reliable car or team in quite a few seasons and I think we are seeing his experience benefiting Mercedes.

        1. Traverse (@)
          6th July 2013, 16:25


        2. Mercedes were the fastest car in pre-season testing. Rosberg was the fastest driver by the way.

        3. Schumacher helped Ferrari build a top car.

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            6th July 2013, 18:06

            He sure did and the same can be said of him at Benetton. Perhaps the sport or he had changed too much for him to be able to replicate it 2 decades later. Although @anon’s comment does suggest that Merc’s current performance could be attributed in large part to Schumacher

          2. Herr Schue brought at least a dozen of f1’s best with him from Benneton, including Rory B and Ross B!

          3. Yet they never gave him the best car at Benetton and they only ever gave him the best car in the field in 01, 02 and 04. So much for this super team.

            Newey was considered the best designer back then.

    4. Traverse (@)
      6th July 2013, 16:25

      I have no doubt that if Lewis was still driving for McLaren they would be more competitive. They would have a better caliber of driver to work with and to tailor a car for. McLaren currently have two consistent, reliable but slow (compared to Ham) drivers; Where McLaren will find speed from having to build a car around Button and/or Perez I don’t know – Hamilton was a huge loss to McLaren.

      It can’t be a complete coincidence that McLaren’s dip in form arrives just as Mercedes finally find their feet in F1. This is the Hamilton effect in full force!

      1. @hellotraverse I agree with you that Lewis is the best and his inputs will make more sense to the team. In fact Lewis is the only driver who could give Mclaren a WDC in this century and in the last 14 years.

        But I am saying this again. Mclaren has more things to sort out internally. Look at the the a,lint of caliber they had.

        Adrian Newey
        Kimi Raikkonen
        Mika Hakkinen
        Lewis Hamilton
        Jensen button

        And still in the last 15 years they could win only one WDC (that too in the last lap last corner by 1 point) that is it ?????

        They could not take the championship to the penUltimate round last year with the best car on the grid !!!!

        There is something fundamentally wrong in the team that needs a fix.

        1. Traverse (@)
          6th July 2013, 16:56

          I agree with everything stated in your comment. My belief is that McLaren’s ability to build a race winning car and subsequently win races, would be greatly improved if Hamilton was still a part of their setup.

        2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          6th July 2013, 18:11

          A lot of people ascribe that to their policy of not having a #1 driver. The sport is way too competitive to have equal drivers unless your car is light years ahead of the other constructors. When your car is close to the top, a 1-car strategy with the 2nd car defending whenever possible is the only winning gambit.

    5. Very interesting points in this thread. I cannot make up my mind in this topic. Of course Hamilton is great, but is he THAT great? Can he singlehandedly raise the performance of a whole team that much? Button’s mix of experience (more) and skill (less) should roughly equal Hamilton’s feedback to the team, no?
      Any specific ideas on how Hamilton’s feedback can make such a huge difference?

      1. Gary Anderson put it rather succinctly in an article last week, Jenson is too nice and he an Perez (at least publicly) seem content to simply say the car is of the pace, oh no! But we are sure it will get better, Mclaren is a great team e.t.c

        Hamilton, Vettel or Alonso would have the doll straight out the pram and be howling for blood right now. Remember how Hamilton was at the beginning of his time with MGP? He would say the car is quick, but it needs this much more downforce or it chews tires even commented once that other teams have upgrades we they didn’t have!

      2. I think it has more to do with Mclaren losing their benchmark than simply Lewis making a car gain seconds by demanding stuff or giving the upper godly feedback.
        Button is a really confusing driver to follow the advice of and Perez is still trying to absorb everything and not very experienced. For examble last year during Button slamp Lewis was getting one pole after another and running great(and getting screwed by strategy and pit-stops). If Lewis wasn’t there doing that Mclaren may well have thought that they somehow their opponents got a second on them in developments and go exploring routes they shouldn’t or waste time trying to find what is wrong with the updates when they work just fine. Also Button has such an annoyingly small window of how he wants the car that trying to follow him around gives you really little flexibility and options and he constantly find things to bother him even when the car would feel perfect for other drivers. That can confuse the hell out of the mechanics. Imagine trying to find a setup during practice and having the driver finding oversteer, understeer, problems with one thing, problems with the other thing and just never finding any balance at all.
        Finding the setup will feel like an ultimate task and the so many comments start to make you unsure on what the hell is going on.
        Now if a driver simply has a lot less and more specific things to say then you can easily try to find your way to a proper set-up.

    6. I still think that if lewis was still driving for mclaren he would’ve been in q3 every session this year still and the mclaren would look better. Jenson is good in the race but throughout their 3 years together was a solid 3 tenths down on lewis over one quali lap. So this year they’ve been qualifying 10th and 13th (perez a few tenths behind jenson) whereas with lewis it would’ve been 7th and 10th, possibly 6th and 9th if he could’ve dragged some extra setup performance out of the mc which starts to look a lot less disasterously midfield. They should’ve got hulkenburg over perez.

      tl;dr: if mclaren dont want to be a midfield team then they need to not have a midfield driver line-up.

      1. “if mclaren dont want to be a midfield team then they need to not have a midfield driver line-up.”


  11. VET will lead after the first corner and him and HAM will lap half the field circa Barcelona 2011

  12. A Mercedes being on pole isn’t a shock it’s par. They were the team to beat 7 days ago and have been for the last 5 races. Rosberg not making it to Q3 is a shock.

    Alonso butchering his championship chances again with a poor qualifying performance. He should still get on the podium given he has a really strong car in race trim and everyone will gush because he was able to overtake slower cars. Embarrassing to be outqualified by a second year driver in a car with a customer Ferrari engine.

    1. Alsonso sets up the car for the race. That’s where the points are given and that’s where his setup decision makes up for a few lost positions in qualifying.

      1. Alsonso is giving up pole on purpose.


      2. @patrickl while that is a nice explanation to keep Alonso and his fans happy, lets just simply accept the fact that Alonso’s biggest weakness is his qualifying speed. He is a complete package as a driver. He is probably the best package today – Great start, great race pace, great fighting spirit, excellent tire management , wonderful cool head to move up the field etc. – but the qualifying single lap blistering speed is what puts him on the back foot.

        That was his problem at Mclaren when he was up against the super Mclaren Rookie on the same machinery. It is just an established fact that Lewis will easily out qualify him on equal machinery . So will Vettel. I mean even Massa is able to do that consistently now.

        1. If Vettel consistently started races on the third row on the grid in a strong car we’d see him pass many cars throughout a race as well and people would talk about his supposed race craft.

          Plus, the Ferrari is incredible of the grid. Even Massa who at times seems like he has no business in a F1 car has blistering starts of the line.

          Alonso’s a solid driver and probably the third best on the grid, but Vettel and Hamilton are clearly the class of the field. Vettel ahead of Hamilton due to his incredible consistency throughout his career.

          1. Are you mad, 3rd best driver on the grid. Come on.

          2. Are u serious?
            Alonso is the 3rd best?
            I mean even hamilton agrees that alonso is a great driver. He is surely the best package of the grid.
            Good that you did not say that even ricciardo is bettee than Alonso because he qualified higher 2 weeks in succession.

          3. I mean even hamilton agrees that alonso is a great driver.

            I didn’t say he wasn’t a great driver. Being third best driver on the grid is something to be proud. I just don’t consider him to be as good as Vettel and Hamilton.

            Also, both Alonso and Hamilton have spent the last couple years admiring each other, going out of their way in the media to tell everyone that they consider each other to be their biggest rival, despite Vettel clearly being each other’s biggest rival. They’re trying to mess with Vettel’s head but it’s been to no avail.

          4. No way …….The top 3 are barely separable but saying Alonso is a solid driver is just an understatement . He is one of the greats . After his sheer tenacious drive last year , I gained a whole lot of respect for him .

            So for me hamilton , vettel and alonso , in no particular order are three best today . Future stars include hulk,bianchi … but yeah they (f1 drivers) are all very very good but these names have a special something

          5. Alonso third-best driver?
            Sure, that’s why he almost won the title last year in the second-best car and why he is within one race win this year of the lead in what is now the third-fastest car.

          6. “Alonso third-best driver?
            Sure, that’s why he almost won the title last year in the second-best car and why he is within one race win this year of the lead in what is now the third-fastest car.”

            He had a very strong race car from Barcelona. What kept him in the championship was the bulletproof reliability of the Ferrari. You don’t always need the fastest car to be in contention. McLaren was the fastest car last year but where did that get them with terrible reliability?

            The Ferrari was clearly the fastest car up until Canada. Alonso simply drove poorly in Monaco getting out driven by a Force India and McLaren.

            Montreal it was as quick as the Red Bull. Alonso qualified really poorly that’s what gave the race to Vettel.

            The Ferrari has come back to the field. Instead of being the clear quickest car there isn’t anything in it between the top three cars. Alonso should be way ahead in the championship given the advantage he has enjoyed. Anything less than a podium will be a fail on Sunday given how strong his car is.

        2. I completely agree. As good a racer as Alonso is, he isn’t able to extract the most out of a car over one lap.

        3. That’s nonsense. Alonso has proven many times that he can qualify really well. How quickly people forget, but remember his Renault days or even at McLaren where he kept up with Hamilton reasonably well.

          Massa is known to be a good qualifier (yet subpar racer), but Alsonso is usually in front. And then faster still in the race.

      3. I don’t think the Ferrari has an issue with getting heat in their tyres. I mean, Massa’s tyres blew up at Silverstone and Bahrain. They were getting too much heat and too much wear. It’s a really quick car. Alonso was just blowing by people in a straight line last week.

        Plus, I think everyone is trying to set up their car for a balance between the race and qualifying since track position is worth as much any more because of how effective DRS and KERS is.

        I really think it’s as simple as Alonso woefully under-performing again in qualifying. Even Kimi managed to get his car in 4th despite his struggles this season.

        1. @anon, Dude you are replying to yourself as if you are having a discussion with someone who agrees with you, pathetic!

    2. well the Ferraris wouldn’t be out qualified by the Toro Rosso if they haven’t been on the medium compounds. It is obvious in Q2 when they are able to set lap times that are equivalent or might even be better than the lap times set by the lotus in Q3.

      I would like to see how starting on medium tyres is more advantageous than starting ahead in the grid though, as it seems that that is what Ferrari has in mind.

  13. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    6th July 2013, 16:00

    My wish is for Webber to have a good start, pass Vettel and then stand between him and Hamilton as Vettel screams “You are too slow!!!Why are you in front of me??? I can’t pass you!!! You are too slow!!!”

    Please god make it come true!

    1. That is what webber wishes and probably that might mean more to him than winning WDC this year !!!!!!! LOL

    2. Yes and then he should finish ahead of vettel . But as someone says whenever webber starts close to vettel , his starts are poor .

    3. I’d love for Horner to give him team orders and Webber just blow him off, haha

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        7th July 2013, 1:54

        Lol – “what Christian? I can’t hear you! Did you say wipe the floor with a vet towel? The radio is gone! Can someone check if my KERS is working? I’ve asked you to fix it for 3 years now…”

  14. With this pole position of Lewis, Mercedes has twice the number of pole positions (3 Nico + 3 Lewis) as compared to Red Bull (3 Vettel)

  15. A great qualifying lap by Hamilton, but he needs to lose those stupid sunglasses.

  16. Vettel will need to beware of Webber who starts behind him on the clean side of the grid.
    Does the clean side and dirty side matter that much at this circuit.

  17. Mercheatdes is on a roll. Vettel vs Hamilton can’t wait tomorrow.

    1. what about Rebmoaningbull then ?

    2. … or Fer-anchor-i …

    3. What about Lot-iknowwhati’mdoing-us?

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