Alonso on top in final Hockenheim practice

Alonso on top in final Hockenheim practice

21 July 2012 – Ahead of qualifying for the German Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso narrowly edged out Lewis Hamilton to top Saturday morning practice. As Mark Webber took a five-place grid penalty, the quickest times were set on a dry track, but a heavy downpour washed all Slick rubber off the racing line in the closing minutes.

After the rain of Friday, Lotus elected not to run its new Super DRS as it had not enjoyed enough dry track time to fully evaluate the component. On the contrary, McLaren is pleased with their latest upgrades which include new sidepods and new rear wings on the cars of Hamilton and Jenson Button. Today marked a quiet session for the latter, who finished last as he did not have a run on the Soft compound tyre.

Mark Webber has been handed a five-place gearbox penalty

All in the paddock were pleased to hear that Marussia reserve driver María de Villota has returned home to Spain after her English testing accident, but there was frustration in the team garage as Charles Pic ran into trouble; the Frenchman is expected to take a ten-place engine penalty ahead of qualifying. Also penalised is Webber, whose gearbox has been changed; because Romain Grosjean and Nico Rosberg have received the same fate, three possible pole contenders are already out of the running.

Lotus split up this morning’s programme, with Grosjean leaving the pits on white-marked Medium compound tyres as team-mate Kimi Räikkönen went out with the yellow-walled Softs on-board. Sebastian Vettel – one of five Germans in the field – led the way after 25 minutes before Alonso moved ahead at half past eleven. The Red Bull driver then remained in the pits for a prolonged period as torsion bars were adjusted in a bid to improve front-end responsiveness.

The German Grand Prix marks the halfway point of the season

At McLaren, Jenson Button reported too much front wing on his car, meaning it was turning too sharply into some corners which is not suited to his driving style; however, as the tyres lose grip, this could help the Englishman who usually suffers easily from understeer. 15 minutes before the end of the session, Alonso posted the eventual fastest lap of 1:16.014, demoting Hamilton – on his 100th Grand Prix weekend - by just 77 thousandths of a second.

Not only did the late rain send up umbrellas as cars dived for the pit lane, but removed the Slick rubber laid down on the race track; this should result in a dramatic qualifying session as drivers straggle for grip. 2012 marks Hockenheim’s first German Grand Prix for two years, as the venue now alternates with the Nürburgring.


Qualifying for the 2012 German Grand Prix begins at 2pm local time (BST +1) and can also be followed through the interactive GPUpdate.net Live Report

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Thursday 21 August 2014

  2. Pérez likens Verstappen rise to Räikkönen 12:57

    Pérez likens Verstappen rise to Räikkönen

    Sergio Pérez sees no reason why Max Verstappen cannot succeed when he graduates to Formula 1. Verstappen, who will be 17...

    F1
  3. Tung completes China Racing line-up 11:08

    Tung completes China Racing line-up

    Ho-Pin Tung has completed China Racing's driver line-up for the opening Formula E campaign. Although born in the...

    Formula E
  4. Wolff told Verstappen to pick Red Bull 09:40

    Wolff told Verstappen to pick Red Bull

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has claimed that he told Max Verstappen to pick Red Bull's offer of a Toro Rosso seat for the 2015...

    F1
  5. Piquet Jr. secures China Racing seat 09:32

    Piquet Jr. secures China Racing seat

    Nelson Piquet Jr. has claimed a seat at China Racing for the inaugural Formula E season. The Brazilian, who previously...

    Formula E
  6. Trident reveals new GP3 line-up for Spa 08:33

    Trident reveals new GP3 line-up for Spa

    Trident will field three GP3 rookies for this weekend's round at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. The GP3 entry list,...

    GP3
  7. Hamilton out to put difficult times in past 08:00

    Hamilton out to put difficult times in past

    Lewis Hamilton has said he will be aiming to put the "difficult times" behind him during the second half of the...

    F1
  8. Spa memories: Fangio wins, 1955 05:00

    Spa memories: Fangio wins, 1955

    Take a look back at the 1955 Belgian Grand Prix, where Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss finished one-two for Mercedes.

    F1
  9. Wednesday 20 August 2014

  10. Video: Pirelli's guide to the Belgian GP 18:30

    Video: Pirelli's guide to the Belgian GP

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli previews this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

    F1
  11. Ericsson: Caterham eyeing 'real progress' 17:46

    Ericsson: Caterham eyeing 'real progress'

    Marcus Ericsson has said Caterham is aiming to make "real progress" this weekend in Belgium. Caterham will have a number...

    F1
  12. Watson: Verstappen must grow up quickly 15:46

    Watson: Verstappen must grow up quickly

    Ex-Formula 1 driver John Watson has warned that Max Verstappen will have to "grow up really quickly" next...

    F1
  13. Hamilton: Title fight more intense this year 14:37

    Hamilton: Title fight more intense this year

    Lewis Hamilton has said the title this season with Nico Rosberg is more intense than when he won it in 2008. Hamilton...

    F1
  14. Video: Rosberg previews the Belgian GP 13:30

    Video: Rosberg previews the Belgian GP

    Mercedes driver and championship leader Nico Rosberg previews the Belgian Grand Prix.

    F1
  15. New debris fencing at Turn 1 in Belgium 13:10

    New debris fencing at Turn 1 in Belgium

    New debris fences have been installed at Turn 1 of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix,...

    F1
  16. Pirro driver steward for second race in row 12:30

    Pirro driver steward for second race in row

    Emanuele Pirro will be the FIA driver steward for the second race in succession this weekend in Belgium. Pirro, who also...

    F1
  17. Lotterer to make F1 debut with Caterham 12:14

    Lotterer to make F1 debut with Caterham

    André Lotterer will make his Formula 1 debut at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend for Caterham, it has been announced. The...

    F1
  18. Formula 1 circuit in Sochi approved by FIA 11:43

    Formula 1 circuit in Sochi approved by FIA

    Formula 1 Race Director Charlie Whiting has confirmed that the new track in Sochi will be granted the necessary licence in...

    F1
  19. Video: Hamilton interviewed by James Corden 11:00

    Video: Hamilton interviewed by James Corden

    Lewis Hamilton gets interviewed by British actor James Corden... while treating him to a high speed lap of Rockingham.

    F1
  20. Buemi fastest again on final test day 10:40

    Buemi fastest again on final test day

    Sébastien Buemi was again quickest on the final day of pre-season testing at Donington Park on Tuesday for the inaugural...

    Formula E
  21. Wolff: Reliability a 'key focus' for Mercedes 10:15

    Wolff: Reliability a 'key focus' for Mercedes

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has said reliability will be a "key focus" for the team during the second half of the...

    F1
  22. Rosberg: Every last point will be crucial 09:00

    Rosberg: Every last point will be crucial

    Championship leader Nico Rosberg says every point will be 'crucial' as his title fight with his Mercedes team-mate continues...

    F1
  23. Spa Memories: Chaos at the start 05:00

    Spa Memories: Chaos at the start

    Re-live the chaotic opening lap to the 2004 Belgian Grand Prix.

    F1
  24. Tuesday 19 August 2014

  25. Marko: Verstappen has 'unbelievable speed' 15:30

    Marko: Verstappen has 'unbelievable speed'

    Red Bull Motorsport Consultant Helmut Marko has praised new Toro Rosso signing Max Verstappen, describing the Dutch...

    F1
  26. Räikkönen targets 2009-like revival at Spa 14:51

    Räikkönen targets 2009-like revival at Spa

    Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen says he is hoping to revive his 2014 season as he returns to his 'favourite' circuit for this w...

    F1
  27. Ceccon returns to GP3 with Jenzer 14:41

    Ceccon returns to GP3 with Jenzer

    Italian racer Kevin Ceccon will return to GP3 after signing a deal to race with Jenzer Motorsport for the remainder of the...

    GP3
  28. Camier retains Aspar seat for Silverstone 13:51

    Camier retains Aspar seat for Silverstone

    Leon Camier will continue to substitute for 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden at next weekend's British Grand...

    MotoGP
  29. Smedley wary of middle sector at Spa 12:00

    Smedley wary of middle sector at Spa

    Williams Head of Vehicle Performance Rob Smedley says the team must be wary not to lose out in the middle sector at...

    F1
  30. Vergne still aiming for 2015 seat 11:54

    Vergne still aiming for 2015 seat

    Jean-Éric Vergne says he is determined to prove that he deserves to remain in Formula 1, having lost out on a 2015 Toro...

    F1
  31. Force India pair target consistent points 11:00

    Force India pair target consistent points

    Force India pairing Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez say that consistently finishing in the points must be their target for t...

    F1
  32. Verstappen gets F1 outing in Rotterdam 10:25

    Verstappen gets F1 outing in Rotterdam

    Max Verstappen will drive a Formula 1 car for the first time when he demonstrates a Toro Rosso around the streets of...

    F1
  33. 'F1 the best option for Max' - Jos Verstappen 09:49

    'F1 the best option for Max' - Jos Verstappen

    Jos Verstappen says Formula 1 is the best option for his son Max, after the 16-year-old was confirmed as a Toro Rosso driver...

    F1
  34. Spa Memories: Hamilton and Alonso scrap 05:00

    Spa Memories: Hamilton and Alonso scrap

    Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso do battle on the opening lap at Spa in 2007.

    F1
  35. Monday 18 August 2014

  36. Verstappen to race for Toro Rosso in 2015 20:19

    Verstappen to race for Toro Rosso in 2015

    Max Verstappen will become the youngest driver in Formula 1 history after it was confirmed that he will race for Toro Rosso...

    F1
  37. Boullier confident of McLaren improvements 16:53

    Boullier confident of McLaren improvements

    McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier says his squad will show an improvement in form across the second half of the Formula...

    F1
  38. Williams duo sure of strong Spa showing 14:00

    Williams duo sure of strong Spa showing

    Williams duo Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa reckon that the layout of Spa-Francorchamps, which plays host to this...

    F1
  39. Mallya: Fourth place not out of reach 11:10

    Mallya: Fourth place not out of reach

    Force India Team Principal Vijay Mallya is sure that his squad can fight for fourth place in the Constructors' championship...

    F1
  40. Lorenzo laments missed chance at Brno 10:00

    Lorenzo laments missed chance at Brno

    Double MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo lamented a missed opportunity after finishing in second place in the Czech Republic...

    MotoGP
  41. Sauber anticipating challenging Spa weekend 09:33

    Sauber anticipating challenging Spa weekend

    Sauber duo Esteban Gutiérrez and Adrian Sutil are expecting this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix to be a challenge for the...

    F1
  42. Spa memories: Vettel crashes into Button 05:00

    Spa memories: Vettel crashes into Button

    Relive the drama as Sebastian Vettel crashes into Jenson Button during the 2010 Belgian Grand Prix.

    F1
  43. Sunday 17 August 2014

  44. Dominant Power extends championship lead 22:38

    Dominant Power extends championship lead

    Australian Will Power did not lead the ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 from wire to wire, but it may have felt like it, leading...

    Indy
  45. 16:47

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Brno

    MotoGP
more news