German GP - Qualifying
The extensive experience of Scuderia Ferrari’s world champion drivers could be a great asset in what looks like being a very tough race, the hottest of the year, tomorrow at the Hockenheimring. Kimi will watch the lights go out from the sixth row of the grid in twelfth place.
Like all the other drivers with the exception of Bottas and the unfortunate Hamilton, who crashed his Mercedes at the Sachskurve, because of a brake problem, Kimi used both the Soft and Supersoft to be sure of making the cut from Q1 into Q2. Kimi did it by setting the eleventh fastest time.
Q2 proved much tougher and would mark the end of Raikkonen’s participation in qualifying, as he failed to make the cut into Q3, setting the twelfth fastest time. He was unable to improve on his first run after losing a few tenths at Turn 2.
With Hamilton out of the way, Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg ensured the home crowd were able to cheer a pole position set by a German driver on a German track in a German-entered car. It was the fifth time this season he has topped the Q3 timing sheet. Next up were the Williams duo, Valtteri Bottas on the front row, with Felipe Massa sharing row 2 with the McLaren of Kevin Magnussen. Kimi has the Dane’s team-mate Jenson Button on the inside of him on row 6.
Pirelli went for the very aggressive choice of running Soft and Supersoft tyres here and they will face a stern test tomorrow, on the assumption the forecast is correct and we have another very hot race day. However, even the softest tyre in the range looked consistent enough on Friday, hotter than today, to do a run of 12 laps or so, therefore a reasonably conventional two stop race, running Supersoft, Soft, Soft, is the most likely scenario. The forecast for rain? Pundits reckon it’s becoming less likely, with the possibility of a nice cool shower once the chequered flag has been waved.