Lewis Hamilton has upstaged Sebastian Vettel's charge to pole in qualifying for tomorrow's Formula 1 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring by stealing the top spot at the final moment of the third session, whilst his team-mate Nico Rosberg dipped outside the top 10.
A massive strategic error from Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 will see last round winner Rosberg start from position 11 in tomorrow's race. In Q2, the German set a time the team were happy with and kept him in the garage, he was not anticipating the last minute surge on soft tyres from most of his competitors, which saw Felipe Massa top the session.
“I didn't see it coming. The team didn't expect the track to ramp up that much,” said Rosberg post-session.”I can't believe I am standing here right now. I thought I would be easily on the front row today.”
Massa backed up his opening session topping time, however will start tomorrow's race from eighth position.
Mark Webber's good pace continued, starting the race from third, whilst his fellow Australian, Daniel Ricciardo put in another blistering qualifying performance. He equalled his best ever qualification for Scuderia Toro Rosso by qualifying in sixth place.
The Lotus F1 Team machines of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean showed they may be in contention for a podium or even a race win tomorrow with the pair of black and gold Renault powered cars qualifying fourth and fifth respectively. Grosjean popped in some surprising times early during the second section of qualifying.
The Ferraris will be seventh and eighth on the grid with a bit of work to do for Championship aspirant Fernando Alonso with Jenson Button making an impressive return to the top 10 for the troubled McLaren and Nico Hulkenberg rounding out the top 10 in another stellar performance for Sauber.
Both Force India's and McLaren's Sergio Perez bowed out in Q2, whilst the pair of Williams-Renaults joined the Caterhams and Marussias in the first round of qualifying exits – not the way they were looking to celebrate 600 Formula 1 events combined with this morning's KERS garage drama.
QUALIFYING – Formula 1 German Grand Prix:
|No time set
|No time set
|Paul di Resta
|Giedo van der Garde