Hamilton storms to pole at the Nürburgring
6 July 2013 – Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the German Grand Prix with a stunning late lap in Saturday afternoon's qualifying session at the Nürburgring. The Mercedes driver, who had struggled with car balance during practice, posted a 1:29.398 to lead Sebastian Vettel by just over a tenth, with Mark Webber finishing third.
As qualifying loomed, all eyes were on reigning World Champion Vettel and Nico Rosberg who had secured the top two positions in final practice. However, the Mercedes driver dramatically failed to make it through to the top ten shootout, having been caught out by track evolution in the final stages of the second qualifying phase.
The subsequent battle for pole was thrilling; Vettel seized the early advantage during the final sequence of runs, but Hamilton reached another level and usurped his Red Bull rival in fine style. The Briton used every inch of the circuit en route to his 29th career pole position, a figure which puts him level with the great Juan Manuel Fangio.
Webber wound up a tenth behind team-mate Vettel in third, with Lotus drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean showing much stronger pace to claim fourth and fifth. Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo delivered another impressive performance in sixth, edging out Ferrari duo Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso. Jenson Button and Nico Hülkenberg opted to look towards the race by refraining from posting times.
In addition to Rosberg, Force India's Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil were established names knocked out in Q2. The pair will start from 12th and 15th on Sunday afternoon, with Mexicans Sergio Pérez and Esteban Gutiérrez in between them. Toro Rosso’s Jean-Éric Vergne was the final man to fall from the penultimate phase, being forced to watch on as team-mate Ricciardo made Q3 for the second time in a week.
Ahead of its 600th Formula 1 race appearance, Williams endured a challenging session. Both Valtteri Bottas and Pastor Maldonado were unable to make it past the Q1 hurdle, the pair struggling to find a comfortable car balance throughout practice.
Charles Pic again led the battle at the back, putting his Caterham just ahead of recovering Marussia driver Jules Bianchi. Giedo van der Garde was next up in 21st position, while Max Chilton brought up the rear, over a second adrift of his team-mate.
Sunday afternoon's 60-lap race at the Nürburgring gets underway at 2pm local time (GMT +2) and can be tracked via the GPUpdate.net live report feature