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Germany 2011 - Qualifying highlights // Lap by lap coverage of the Saturday action at the Nürburgring

Published by Christine

Ricciardo finds some speed at the Nürburgring
Ricciardo finds some speed at the NürburgringCredit: Hispania Racing

So far, all of the predicted rain has remained away from the action at the Nüburgring, but that didn't stop qualifying throwing up something of a surprise. Although we still have a Red Bull on pole position, we've seen great pace from McLaren and Ferrari, and a surprising lack of pace from Sauber and Renault.

If you missed any of the qualifying action, or simply want to remind yourself what went down, here are the Factbyte Factbox highlights.

As it happened: 2011 Germany - Qualifying

  • 12:30

    Hello and welcome to the Factbyte Factbox - it's time for qualifying for the German Grand Prix.

  • 12:31

    In half an hour, we will see 23 drivers try and wrestle pole position from Sebastian Vettel's grasp at his home race.

  • 12:32

    One man who definitely won't be able to do it is Tonio Liuzzi. Aside from the fact that he's in an HRT, he's also going to get a five-place penalty for a gearbox change.

  • 12:33

    Karun Chandhok is going to get his first chance at qualifying this year, taking over Jarno Trulli's Lotus car for this weekend.

  • 12:33

    So far, Karun hasn't done too well, and ended FP3 in the gravel.

  • 12:35

    For the record, Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel have all topped the timesheets in practice sessions - in that order.

  • 12:39

    Along with Vettel, five other drivers are celebrating their home race this weekend - Sutil, Rosberg, Schumacher, Heidfeld and Glock.

  • 12:40

    If you missed any Free Practice action, catch up in just 60 seconds here: https://sidepodcast.com/news/fernando-alonso-and-mark-webber-lead-germany-free-practice

  • 12:42

    If you're watching qualifying today, why not join in the comments: https://sidepodcast.com/dashboard - there's integrated Twitter and this here FBFB as well.

  • 12:44

    Blue skiesBlue skies over the Nürburgring, from @5LiveF1.

  • 12:45

    TweetTweet from @radarguruf1: #F1 radar update 13:43 CET: Light showers just drifted to the south this time. Currently, no showers on track to hit N'ring before end of Q1

  • 12:46
    2011 Poles
    PosDriverTotal
    1Sebastian Vettel7
    2Mark Webber2
  • 12:48

    Let's get you kitted out with far too much information then, first up live timing: http://www.formula1.com/live_timing/

  • 12:48

    The Autosport live text is up and running, with excellent detail: http://live.autosport.com/commentary.php/id/379

  • 12:49

    BBC have their stream and live text updates over here as well: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/9545645.stm

  • 12:49

    TweetTweet from @sarahholtf1: The last time the race was held at the Nurburgring Mark Webber took pole for Red Bull and went on to win his first F1 grand prix #bbcf1

  • 12:50

    Ten minutes until qualifying begins.

  • 12:51

    McLaren and Mercedes both have live data on their sites: http://mclaren.com/formula1 and http://www.mercedes-gp.com/

  • 12:51

    Pitlane viewPitlane view from @WilliamsF1Team - leaving lots of lovely rubber down there.

  • 12:56

    Weather

    14°C

    Track22°C
    Humidity60%
    Wind speed6.8mps
  • 12:57

    RadioTeam radio to Ricciardo: "No rain expected for Q1."

  • 12:57

    In DRS news, the detection is before turn 10, activation is after turn 11, the opposite side of the circuit to the pitlane.

  • 12:58

    If you want a peek at a track map, there's some race information available here: https://sidepodcast.com/post/germany-2011-race-information

  • 12:59

    It looks like the wind direction has changed from where it was in practice but I'm not sure whether that affects teams at all.

  • 13:00

    Green flagQualifying session 1 begins.

  • 13:00

    Both Virgin cars were poised waiting at the end of the pitlane, and they're followed out by Ricciardo.

  • 13:01

    TweetTweet from @lawrobarretto: #f1 Nico Hulkenberg was the last man other than Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel or Mark Webber to start on pole, 10 races ago.

  • 13:01

    Liuzzi is out there, and his engineer tells him not to get too close to the Virgin cars because they were sitting in the pitlane too long and may be slow. Liuzzi has already squeezed his way past one of them.

  • 13:03

    Rubens Q1Rubens heads out for first qualifying.

  • 13:03

    Just four cars remain in the garage now - Both Saubers, Petrov and Buemi.

  • 13:04

    Glock gets the first time - 1:38.486. That's about seven seconds off the pace.

  • 13:05

    The last time F1 was at the Nürburgring, Mark Webber took pole position with a 1:32.230.

  • 13:06

    Pirelli have noted that for this weekend they have added more colour to the sidewalls of the tyre, so that when it rotates it looks solid. Have a peek and see if you can tell the difference.

  • 13:07

    All but those four drivers have set times now, with Webber at the top - 1:34.084, followed by Alguersuari and Schumacher.

  • 13:08

    The times dropped to the 1:33s, but Hamilton comes along with a 1:32.934.

  • 13:08

    Further back, Petrov, Kobayashi and Pérez still remain in the garage.

  • 13:08

    The other four drivers in the drop zone includes D'Ambrosio, Chandhok, Ricciardo and Liuzzi. No surprises yet.

  • 13:09

    The Toro Rosso drivers are up in the top ten for now, which is better than their qualifying performance at Silverstone.

  • 13:10

    Sauber are clearly going for a 'leave-it-late' strategy. Renault have split theirs, as Heidfeld returns to the pitlane with five laps complete. Petrov still waits.

  • 13:11

    Pérez leaves the pitlane for the first time, with nine minutes of qualifying remaining.

  • 13:11

    Fernando Alonso has the fastest time for now - 1:32.916.

  • 13:11

    Replays show Michael Schumacher running wide over the painted grass as he tries to complete a lap.

  • 13:12

    Many of the drivers have returned to the pitlane now. Both Red Bulls remain out on track for now.

  • 13:12

    Kobayashi has joined his teammate in search of a laptime, and finally Petrov leaves the garage too.

  • 13:14

    Pérez crosses the line with a time good enough for sixth place, and Kobayashi follows with eighth.

  • 13:15

    TweetTweet from @InsideFerrari: The question is: run again to be safe 100% or risk? Time will tell..

  • 13:15

    Felipe Massa has left the garage for another run, but Alonso remains in the garage. The rest of the top five are also still in the pits.

  • 13:16

    With Petrov finally crossing the line, the dropzone features Kovalainen, Barrichello, Glock, D'Ambrosio, Liuzzi, Chandhok and Ricciardo.

  • 13:16

    Barrichello's Williams teammate is just 17th,and is out on soft tyres, so it's looking tricky for Williams this weekend.

  • 13:17

    Nick Heidfeld has gone fastest with a 1:32.505.

  • 13:17

    Maldonado improved to sixth place. Barrichello's lap on softs sees him 12th.

  • 13:18

    That pushes Paul Di Resta down into the drop zone, but he is out there on a flying lap now.

  • 13:18

    The top five are gradually dropping down the order, as Massa, Sutil, Schumacher and Di Resta all jump above them on softs.

  • 13:18

    Button is the last of those who didn't return to the track, and he's currently 12th.

  • 13:19

    Brief yellow flags as someone runs wide. Not sure who it is yet.

  • 13:19

    Rosberg is in the drop zone but working on a lap now, he jumps up to sixth, which pushes Kobayashi out.

  • 13:19

    Thirty seconds left.

  • 13:20

    Kobayashi is in the pits, so won't be able to complete another lap.

  • 13:20

    Chequered flagQualifying session 1 ends.

  • 13:21

    Everyone has pitted but the drop zone drivers keep on going, battling for honour rather than the chance to get through.

  • 13:21

    Top three that session were Massa, Sutil and Heidfeld.

  • 13:22
    Qualifying Position
    18Kamui KobayashiSauber
    19Heikki KovalainenLotus
    20Timo GlockVirgin
    21Karun ChandhokLotus
    22Jérôme D'AmbrosioVirgin
    23Tonio LiuzziHRT
    24Daniel RicciardoHRT
  • 13:22

    Kobayashi walks out the back of the garage, looking rather subdued with his day's work.

  • 13:25

    Liuzzi qualified 23rd but will be last with his five place drop.

  • 13:26
    Qualifying Battle
    Virgin RacingQualified Ahead
    Timo Glock8
    Jérôme D'Ambrosio2
  • 13:27

    Paul di Resta is studying some graph printouts as he waits for the second session to begin.

  • 13:27

    Green flagQualifying session 2 begins.

  • 13:27

    The session begins but no cars are waiting at the end of the pitlane this time.

  • 13:27

    Pérez is the first driver to leave the garage.

  • 13:28

    Alonso, Massa, Rosberg and Barrichello all join in the fun.

  • 13:28

    Jenson Button sits in his car, pulling on his gloves and concentrating intently.

  • 13:29

    RadioTeam radio to Hamilton: "Current cutoff predictor in Q2 is 32.0 seconds."

  • 13:30

    Felipe Massa posts the first benchmark - 1:31.792.

  • 13:31

    His Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso looks set to beat that time though.

  • 13:31

    It's a 1:31.150 for Alonso.

  • 13:31

    Three drivers remain in the garage for now, Maldonado, Buemi and Alguersuari.

  • 13:31

    It looks like all the drivers are opting for soft tyres straight away.

  • 13:32

    Lewis Hamilton drops the benchmark even further - 1:30.998.

  • 13:32

    Michael Schumacher struggles to keep control of the rear of his Mercedes as he rounds the final corner - he crosses the line for fifth place.

  • 13:33

    Barrichello and Di Resta have set times, 12th and 13th, but have pitted for now.

  • 13:34

    Replays show Fernando Alonso running massively wide into turn one, it looks like he gave up the racing line to save locking up and flatspotting his tyres.

  • 13:34

    The top four are all in the pits - Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso and Button.

  • 13:35

    Both Toro Rosso drivers have just come out of the pits and are heading for their first lap. Maldonado remains in the pitlane.

  • 13:35

    Heidfeld in Q2Nick Heidfeld displays his new helmet as he participates in second qualifying - via @OfficialLRGP.

  • 13:36

    Pastor Maldonado has left the garage. For a minute there I was worried he would not bother attempting to qualifying. Just over five minutes remain.

  • 13:37

    The drop zone currently features Sutil, Pérez, Barrichello, Di Resta, Alguersuari, Buemi and Maldonado.

  • 13:38

    Rosberg breaks cover from the top ten and leaves the pitlane for his final attempt at a time.

  • 13:39

    At the moment, the Q2 cutoff is 1:32.897 - almost a second off McLaren's earlier prediction.

  • 13:39

    Maldonado improves to 9th place - a good lap for his first flying attempt.

  • 13:40

    RadioTeam radio to Hamilton: "The last sector in that run was the best we've done so far."

  • 13:40

    Paul di Resta improves to ninth, dropping Maldonado to 10th.

  • 13:41

    The drop zone currently features Petrov, Schumacher, Sutil, Barrichello, Pérez, Buemi and Alguersuari. Everyone has set times now.

  • 13:41

    One minute to go.

  • 13:42

    Schumacher improves to 8th, Sutil jumps up to 7th which bumps his teammate Di Resta back into the drop zone.

  • 13:42

    Chequered flagQualifying session 2 ends.

  • 13:42

    Heidfeld is on a flying lap, attempting to keep his 10th place. Petrov is also on a flyer, looking set to improve.

  • 13:42

    Heidfeld remains 10th, Petrov bumps him out by improving to 8th. Rosberg improves to 5th.

  • 13:44
    Qualifying Position
    11Nick HeidfeldRenault
    12Paul di RestaForce India
    13Pastor MaldonadoWilliams
    14Rubens BarrichelloWilliams
    15Sergio PérezSauber
    16Sébastien Buemi
    Toro Rosso
    17Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso
  • 13:44
    Qualifying Battle
    Williams Qualified Ahead
    Rubens Barrichello5
    Pastor Maldonado5
  • 13:45

    Interview with Karun Chandhok: "It's so different, I've never driven the car on slick tyres, never driven the DRS... Tony said to me just before qualifying, get within a second you should be proud of that. It was okay, but it's a lot different to last year. I knew there was a possibility I'd do some races this year, I knew the last couple of weeks it could be this year. I know from experience it's an awful feeling watching your car being driven by someone else. It's tough for him, I'm sure, but he'll be back in Budapest."

  • 13:47

    Interview with Pastor Maldonado: "It's a very difficult season, especially yesterday in Free Practice we had a lot of problems especially with setup. Today we found a better balance in the car so we could be more aggressive and get some better laps out the car...

    "I think because of this kind of track with very slow corners, our car is not so performing there, like in the past at Silverstone with very quick corners. I think that penalises us quite a lot. We're still working to understand the strategy for the race, I think it will be possibly to finish in the points tomorrow."

  • 13:49

    It looks like Petrov may be getting back on terms with his teammate now.

    Qualifying Battle
    RenaultQualified Ahead
    Nick Heidfeld3
    Vitaly Petrov7
  • 13:50

    Green flagQualifying session 3 begins.

  • 13:50

    Ten minutes for the shootout to pole position, and no one is waiting at the end of the pitlane.

  • 13:50

    Engines start to rumble and it is Alonso who breaks cover first.

  • 13:50

    RadioTeam radio to Button: "Weather looks alright, dark clouds around but we think it will remain dry."

  • 13:52

    Alonso is weaving his way around the track, trying to get some temperature through the tyres.

  • 13:53

    Alonso sets the first benchmark - 1:30.866, Petrov slots in behind two seconds off the pace.

  • 13:54

    Hamilton beats the time with a 1:30.725.

  • 13:55

    Mark Webber goes almost half a second quicker to slot in at the top, and Vettel's lap does not look faster.

  • 13:55

    Vettel slips into second place, about a tenth off Webber's time.

  • 13:55

    Five minutes to go, still plenty of time for another lap.

  • 13:55

    Schumacher, Rosberg and Sutil have remained in the garage for the first run.

  • 13:56

    Mercedes let their drivers out for their first attempt at a time. Sutil also joins in, as the other seven drivers return to the pitlane.

  • 13:57

    Just over two minutes to go, Alonso, Webber and Hamilton all head out as Rosberg begins his flying lap.

  • 13:58

    All ten cars are now out on track, seven outlaps, three hotlaps.

  • 13:59

    Fernando Alonso appears to have the most space, about half a lap of clear track.

  • 13:59

    Rosberg's first lap is only good enough for 8th.

  • 13:59

    Rosberg's 1:35.572 is almost three seconds off 7th place Petrov.

  • 13:59

    Webber is going even faster on this lap.

  • 14:00

    Chequered flagQualifying session 3 ends.

  • 14:00

    Alonso remains third, although his time is a little faster. Webber crosses the line improving on his own fastest time.

  • 14:01

    Hamilton jumps up to P2 and it's up to Vettel to try and regain the place.

  • 14:01

    He doesn't do it!

  • 14:02

    That makes this the first time Vettel won't be on the front row this year.

  • 14:02

    RadioTeam radio from Hamilton: "That was a good lap, that was a wicked lap. Thank you guys, mega job."

  • 14:03
    Qualifying Position
    1Mark WebberRed Bull
    2Lewis HamiltonMcLaren
    3Sebastian VettelRed Bull
    4Fernando AlonsoFerrari
    5Felipe MassaFerrari
    6Nico Rosberg
    Mercedes
    7Jenson ButtonMcLaren
    8Adrian SutilForce India
    9Vitaly PetrovRenault
    10Michael Schumacher
    Mercedes
  • 14:04

    RadioTeam radio from Button: "I'm guessing there's a second gap to Lewis. We're not finding the grip somehow. We can solve that. A good launch tomorrow and we'll be right back in it."

  • 14:05
    Qualifying Battle
    MercedesQualified Ahead
    Nico Rosberg9
    Michael Schumacher1
  • 14:06
    Battle For Pole
    PosDriverGap
    1stWEB1:30.079
    2ndHAM+0.055
    3rdVET+0.137
    4thALO+0.363
  • 14:07

    Jenson Button looks really irritated: "I couldn't find any grip out there. Really struggled actually. This morning the car felt good but this afternoon, I had too much front end on the way in to the corners, so we took some front wing out, basically gave me understeer and didn't help the rear of the car. Very strange that we can't find the grip to there. To be down there in seventh is very surprising. Also to be 1.1 seconds behind Lewis isn't quite right."

  • 14:08

    Interview with Paul di Resta: "Difficult, very difficult. We didn't improve enough from practice this morning into qualifying, just generally lacking grip all round. Not any individual balance problem, not a mistake, just gradual loss of time over the lap."

  • 14:08

    QuoteComment from Lukeh: Vettel looks confused. Apparently there are other positions to qualify apart from 1st or 2nd, he needs to find out what other numbers there are

  • 14:10

    Interview with Nico Rosberg: "I think it's okay. In general it shows that we're starting to work much better, and things are hopefully starting to come good a little bit. Here we've done a step, everyone else has done a step too, but we've managed to keep the gap the same, maybe even narrow it down a bit. Going in the right direction."

  • 14:11

    Press Conference Quotes - Mark Webber: "Performance has been getting a little bit better for the last few races, also this track has not been too bad for me in the past. This session went pretty well except for the only run in Q2, that wasn't very smooth, but the other two laps were good. The boys did a good job with the car, some late nights leading up to the race.

    I was thinking on my inlap, if someone gets me they deserve it because I couldn't have got much more out of it. It's still very satisfying to see no one grabs you at the end there, it's a bit of an anxious wait there."

  • 14:12

    Press Conference Quotes - Lewis Hamilton: "First of all a huge congratulations to my team. We've had some new upgrades this weekend, a constant push to bring updates and improve our engine modes which have helped massively. I underestimated how good the car would be when we went to light fuel, but it felt fantastic. It was one of the most comforting laps I've ever had, it felt incredible."

  • 14:13

    Press Conference Quotes - Sebastian Vettel: "It's not really a disappointment, obviously I would like to be a bit further up. I think it was a tough session all in all. We had a good recovery from yesterday, I didn't really find my balance with the car. We should have been a bit quicker but there wasn't much missing to Lewis and Mark. The most important is I have a much better feeling with the car today. Looking forward to tomorrow. If it's dry we have a very good chance but it might not be."

  • 14:13

    Press Conference Quotes - Mark Webber: "I think good quali today but I want to lead one lap tomorrow, that's the last lap. That's the most important thing."

  • 14:15

    Interview with Felipe Massa: "Is better to start in front of everybody, that's not the case. We're fourth and fifth. Red Bull very strong, McLaren also have good pace. We need to be ready for tomorrow, maybe it's raining, we need to be ready for everything. We need to wait and see. It was not fantastic, you know, but let's concentrate for tomorrow."

  • 14:17
    2011 Poles
    PosDriverTotal
    1Sebastian Vettel7
    2Mark Webber3
  • 14:18

    Another Red Bull pole position, but Webber gets top honours, and Lewis Hamilton is right up there in contention.

  • 14:18

    The weather could play a big part tomorrow, with forecasts of rain. Although it's been forecast to rain both today and yesterday and I have yet to see a drop.

  • 14:19

    Schumacher seems to be struggling at his home race, he's been battling the car all weekend and could only manage 10th to his teammates 6th.

  • 14:20

    Williams scraped through to a better qualifying position, and may be in the battle for some points. Toro Rosso did not improve much further than getting into Q2.

  • 14:21

    All drivers were all well within the 107% time, it wasn't even a question mark today.

  • 14:21

    What is a question mark is who can win the race tomorrow? Start placing your bets, and I will see you back here tomorrow and we will find out!

  • 14:21

    Until then, be cool, fact fans.

All content in the series Germany 2011