Motorsports Mondial

Photo: msport_graphics

Mark Webber snatches pole for the German Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton puts in a wicked lap for the front row.

Sebastian Vettel settles for third on the grid.

Renault reverts to forward facing exhaust.

Charles Pic powers to pole for the GP2 race.

GP3’s Mitch Evans takes his second pole this season.

Lewis Hamilton: “I definitely underestimated how good the car would be when we went to light fuel. The lap was beautiful – it was one of the happiest and comforting laps I have ever had.

I was sitting in the car before Q3 and I thought I might have to eat my words. It was definitely the best qualifying session I can remember having at least this year. First session was fantastic and the last lap was excellent.

When I crossed the line it was massively satisfying.”

For us we honestly never thought we would be near the Red Bulls.

What was important was that even though we were not fastest we kept trying to dial the car in. We made some changes, and the car felt fantastic.

A huge congratulations for my team, it was a fantastic effort. Throughout the weekend we have had a constant push to bring updates and improve engine modes, which helped massively.”

At Silverstone we really struggled with the rule changes, cornering stability and that sort of things, so we were on the back foot and there was nothing we could do.

This weekend, (the rule change) doesn’t look like it has massively affected the Ferrari and Red Bulls, but it has enabled us to get back in the fight.”

Pos  Driver                Team                 Time            Gap   
 1.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1n30.079s
 2.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes     1n30.134s   + 0.055
 3.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1n30.216s   + 0.137
 4.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1n30.442s   + 0.363
 5.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1n30.910s   + 0.831
 6.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1n31.263s   + 1.184
 7.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1n31.288s   + 1.209
 8.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes 1n32.010s   + 1.931
 9.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault              1n32.187s   + 2.108
10.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes             1n32.482s   + 2.403
Q2 cut-off time: 1m33.180s                                   Gap **
11.  Nick Heidfeld         Renault              1m32.2152   + 1.217
12.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 1m32.5602   + 1.562
13.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth    1m32.6352   + 1.637
14.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth    1m33.0432   + 2.045
15.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari       1m33.1762   + 2.178
16.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m33.5462   + 2.548
17.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m33.6982   + 2.700
Q1 cut-off time: 1m33.664s      	                      Gap *
18.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari       1m33.786s   + 1.960
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault        1m35.599s   + 3.773
20.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth      1m36.400s   + 4.574
21.  Karun Chandhok        Lotus-Renault        1m36.422s   + 4.596
22.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth      1m36.641s   + 4.815
23.  Tonio Liuzzi          HRT-Cosworth         1m37.011s   + 5.185
24.  Daniel Ricciardo      HRT-Cosworth         1m37.036s   + 5.210

Photo: gp2series

Frenchman steals top spot in closing minutes

Charles Pic claimed pole position for tomorrow’s feature race at the Nurburgring with a late surge against the run of play in this afternoon’s qualifying session: the Frenchman found time on his second set of tyres while his rivals struggled to squeeze his Addax car past Luca Filippi and Romain Grosjean for the top spot.

The Frenchman’s best time of 1:40.317 was set with four minutes remaining: Pic’s pole came by just 0.076 seconds as he left his rivals floundering in traffic as they tried in vain to better his time before the clock ran out.

Pic was the first man to set a competitive lap, but in short order Sam Bird and then Grosjean bettered his time, the latter driver doing so despite running wide through the gravel at the chicane on his hot lap. Traffic was playing havoc with a number of driver’s best efforts though, as Filippi looked set for the top spot with purple sectors 1 and 2 before slowing in the final sector, and Giedo van der Garde losing time similarly.

With most of the field returning to the pits for fresh tyres halfway through the session the Italian took a gamble and stayed out for one more lap, squeezing by Grosjean for the top spot by just 0.011 seconds to the delight of the pitwall at his new team Coloni: it meant that the Italian would have less laps on the second set, but it seemed to be a gamble worth taking.

And so it was, until Pic squeezed onto pole with four minutes remaining: Filippi improved his time next time round, but not by enough, while Grosjean and the others tripped over each other until the chequered flag was shown. Behind the top 3 were Jules Bianchi, van der Garde, Fabio Leimer, Alvaro Parente, Esteban Gutierrez, Marcus Ericsson and Luiz Razia. But with 17 drivers within a second of pole, tomorrow’s race has all the makings of a classic.

Photo: gp3series

Second GP3 Series pole position for MW Arden’s New Zealander

Mitch Evans took his second pole position of the season for MW Arden in a closely fought battle for the top spot at Nürburgring today. The Series front runner was just 0.035 seconds ahead of Antonio Felix Da Costa in second.

The field hit the track in much improved and sunny conditions for the early morning session. Marussia Manor Racing’s Rio Haryanto was the first driver to set a quick time during a frantic first few minutes of the session as the drivers all headed out on fresh rubber. Evans, James Calado, Valtteri Bottas and Tom Dillmann all joined the Indonesian at the top of the timesheet in a battle for P1.

By the midway point of qualifying when the thirty strong field began flooding the pits for new Pirelli P Zero slick tyres it was Dillmann who had taken control of the session and became the first man to break under the 1:50 barrier. The Frenchman was comfortably ahead of Lewis Williamson by half a second after the Scotsman put in a flyer to move up the times. Gabby Chaves was next to put in a challenge and the Addax Team driver briefly moved up into second before Felix Da Costa improved to bump the Colombian down a spot. Aaro Vainio was also in the mix and fighting with Haryanto for a second row start tomorrow.

With four minutes left on the clock Felix Da Costa put in a storming lap to snatch provisional pole from Dillmann with a 1:49.401 lap and looked like securing his first GP3 pole, but seconds later Evans moved to the top. Dillmann put in one final challenge but was hampered by traffic leaving Evans and Felix Da Costa to line-up on the front row. Haryanto took third ahead of Dillmann, Vainio, Adrian Quaife-Hobbs, Alexander Sims, Williamson, Calado and Zoel Amberg.

With twenty-five drivers within one second tomorrow’s race look set to be a thriller. Evans is now just 1 point behind the Series leader Sims in the drivers’ standings.