21/07/12 - 13:00
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German Grand Prix
LIVE
Hockenheimring • Qualifying
avant-match

Qualifying

Follow the German Grand Prix live with Eurosport. The race starts at 13:00 on 21 July 2012. Find race results, standings, stats, scores and track info. Keep up with the top F1 drivers and teams including Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Valteri Bottas (Mercedes) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing).
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Highlights 
 
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Hope you enjoyed that - we'll be back for the Grand Prix on Sunday which is due to begin at 13:00 UK time. See you then.

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Top 10: Alonso, Vettel, Webber, Schumacher, Hulkenberg, Maldonado, Button, Hamilton, Di Resta, Raikkonen (Webber will lose five places for a grid penalty)

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Hamilton had to abandon his last lap, and that leaves him stranded in eighth - not ideal from the McLaren man. Hulkenberg snatched fifth at the death - great result for the German at his home race.

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1:40.621! ALONSO IS ON POLE!

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Webber up to second! Vettel leapfrogs him - but it means that Alonso is set for pole!

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Button through to 6th - Schumacher only 4th!

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Button appears to have backed off - he'll improve, but it's not going to worry Alonso.

0'

Alonso will squeeze through for one last lap - and HE'S TOP ALREADY - 1:40.9!

0' 

WEBBER TOP! 1:41.6 - that's a marker!

1' 

Schumacher has backed off from this lap, looking for a little room for this final effort. Alonso the quickest man on track at the moment through the first sector.

1' 

Most drivers should get one, maybe two more laps in - they'll know the breaking points a little better, the racing line will be drying out, this is far from over.

1' 

Schumacher 1:42.4! Great lap! But Vettel beats it by four-tenths!

2' 

Schumacher on the charge! Seven-tenths clear at sector two split! Hamilton improves to a 1:44.1 which puts him top... for now.

2' 

Every driver on the track - no time to switch to intermediates. Everything to play for.

3' 

Di Resta slots in third! That's a good effort from the Force Indias - can they sustain it?

3' 

Now... Button shaves a second off his previous best to go fourth - the times are going to drop....

4' 

Schumacher nips ahead of Hamilton before Alonso and Vettel rip past them both with times in the 1:44s! Hulkenberg up to third.

5' 

1:46.9 from Button - immediately eclipsed by a 1:46.6 from Hamilton. Maladonado and Raikkonen behind.

6' 

Could be an interesting session here - could we see drivers go out late on intermediates? Would be very brave. For now we're seeing some laps put down on wets, and the conditions will keep improving.

7'

Hulkenberg off at turn six! Nobody said this would be easy - but the good news is that the RAIN HAS STOPPED.

8' 

There's some standing water on the racing line now - drivers need to be very careful here, but the Force Indias are out, as are the McLarens.

9'

How do you see this one going? I make Hamilton the favourite in these conditions. Tweet me your thoughts to @Mark_Eurosport

10'

GO! 10 minutes on the clock, and we have a race for pole in the wet.

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Looks like we're going to go - and we're going to do it on the wet tyres.

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When we get away, we'll have a shoot-out between: Two McLarens, two Force Indias, two Red Bulls, Fernando Alonso, Peter Maldonado, Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher.

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We have a precedent, of course - there was a big delay in qualifying at Silverstone because of the rain. We'll see.

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Alonso suggests over the radio that it's too wet for Q3 at the moment. I'm not sure about that - but it's certainly wet tyres for Q3.

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Eliminated: Ricciardo, Perez, Kobayashi, Massa, Gorsjean, Senna, Rosberg

0'

SESSION OVER!

0' 

Raikkonen not happy that Perez was in his way and didn't appear to see him - mind you, it was pretty wet. Wouldn't blame him for missing him in the mirrors.

1' 

Hamilton, Schumacher, Vettel and Button are in the pits. Others are out, but I can't see anyone improving their times now.

2' 

Rosberg stays out for another lap. He's not going to find another 4.5 seconds, which is what he knows. Looks like sector three would start in wets at this rate.

3' 

Not good news for Rosberg - he's 3.5 seconds down on the time he needs at sector two split.

4' 

Rosberg heads out on full wets. The hope is that he can find the extra grip to set a time that gets him through. He'll be lucky.

5' 

Raikkonen is in 10th now, and he's holding on by a whisker because Daniel Ricciardo is just six-hundredths behind him.

6' 

Hamilton is making a mockery of the conditions to pull out another six-tenths of a second - miles clear at the front now. Most drivers still out on track.

7' 

What an odd situation - Rosberg so sure in Q1, Schumacher squeaking through - now in Q2 they're at opposite ends of the scale.

8' 

Hamilton now shoots up with a 1:37.927 - but Massa, Gorsjean, Ricciardo, Perez, Senna, Kobyashi and Rosberg are in trouble.

9' 

The top 10: Schumacher, Vettel, Alonso, Button, Maldonado, Hulkenberg, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Di Resta, Webber

10' 

Schumacher top - 1:38.010! Great lap, half a second clear of the field - where did that come from? Meantime, the rain keeps falling and the chances of bettering these times gets slimmer and slimmer.

11' 

Maldonado nips past Button into the lead, while everyone else piles in in the 1:40s and even the 1:41s - it's not going to get much easier out there... but Alonso and Vettel best Maldonado!

11' 

Raikkonen dipped into the 1:15s in Q1 - Button sets the pace with a 1:39.010 in different conditions in Q2.

12' 

Button on his timed lap, but loses the car at turn eight. He recovers, but at the cost of some precious time.

13' 

Looks like most of the field are trying the Button formula - intermediates immediately.

14' 

Lots of frantic tyre changes in the pits - wets are going to be the order of the day - if Button can eke a lap out on inters first he'll be happy, but it's not going to be easy.

15'

Q2 BEGINS! Button's out straight away in what looks like a set of intermediates. Others considering the wets.

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RAIN!

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How do you see things panning out from here? Tweet me your thoughts and predictions @Mark_Eurosport

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Word is (from the Williams garage at least) that there will be some rain before Q2 starts. Whether that comes to pass we'll see - but it will be a game-changer if it does.

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Eliminated from Q3: Vergne, Kovalainen, Petrov, Pic, Glock, de la Rosa, Karthikeyan

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17TH! Through by a whisker - condemning Jean-Eric Vergne to 18th place. And ahead of Schumacher by just one-thousandth of a second is Romain Grosjean! Strange session, but the big names survive - just.

0'

SESSION OVER - Where's Schumacher....?

1' 

Raikkonen, Rosberg, and the McLarens amonst those happy in the pits...

2' 

Webber only good enough for 15th! He might need to go around again. Schumacher is now in the drop zone, and needs a big lap.

2' 

Perez sweeps up the standings and into second - still no sign of the rain, fortunately for the drivers. Webber on an improved lap.

3' 

Grosjean improves - but not by much - into 12th with a 1:16.6 - and I'm not convinced that will be enough. Webber precarious in 17th, but out on track now.

4' 

Grosjean runs off the track again! Not sure what's happened to the Lotus, it's looked so good all season long, but he's making it look undriveable at the moment. He's down in 18th.

5' 

Interesting - Alonso has decided to go back out on soft tyres, but Schumacher, who's lower down, is on the mediums. Will that be a mistake?

6' 

Raikkonen, on mediums, takes the top spot! Much-improved run of 1:15.693.

7' 

Hulkenberg flies around the Hockenheim circuit, using soft compounds to give him a boost and settling into second place.

8' 

Hamilton, meanwhile, has been told by McLaren that his 1:16.221 should see him safely through to Q2.

9' 

The man in trouble at the moment is Nico Hulkenberg. 18th - and if the rain comes he'll be out at this early juncture.

10' 

Grosjean has crept up to 14th, but he's not convincing at all so far. Some issues with the drivers running too wide at Turn 1 - the stewards watching that turn.

11' 

The clouds overhead look really ominous from the camera angle on Seb Vettel's car - but for now the rains hold off. Vettel jumps to fifth, Senna from the foot of the timesheet up to seventh.

12' 

Hamilton now back up to the top of the standings with a 1:16.383, while Button improves to retake second. Alonso in third, Massa fourth - the Ferraris have improved, but some encouraging signs for the McLaren updates?

13' 

Men in the elimination zone so far - Kovalainen, de la Rosa, Pic, Glock, Karthikeyan, Petrov, Senna (who made a mistake on his lap). Usual suspects for the most part.

14' 

Hamilton shown locking up the wheels, but better news for Button - he had a stinker in practice this morning but has started well in quali.

15' 

Webber and Vettel currently 11th and 12th - the drivers who look less assured still are the men from Lotus - Grosjean down in 17th.

16' 

Right - a flurry of times - too many to keep up with - but for now Alonso is top with a 1:16.705, just ahead of Button and the two Mercedes. Hamilton fifth, Massa sixth.

17' 

1:18.475 from Hulkenberg, Di Resta a tenth behind. The times should pick up considerably from there though.

18' 

In fact, by my quick count, it looks like all 24 drivers are out and keen to get a lap down. orce Indias at the front of the queue, and Nico Hulkenberg will set the first time.

19' 

You know the drill - in Q1, all 24 cars go out on track, and the seven slowest are eliminated after 20 minutes. A clutch of cars straight out onto the track.

20'

AWAY WE GO!

13:00 

Lots of revs in the pit lane already - Michael Schumacher gives the cameras a cheeky wink - expect action early as drivers will want laps on the board in case any rain falls.

12:55 

Some housekeeping - Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber have changed gearboxes this weekend, and will be facing five-place grid penalties. They have both have pole positions this season, but not today. Who's the favourite? Fernando Alonso perhaps - he was quickest in the final session this morning.

12:50

WEATHER: It's cloudy overhead, and the skies are dark. But for now, crucially, it's dry. Rain is in the forecast today - if it falls in the next hour, we could have quite a session.

12:45 

Hello and welcome to qualifying for the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim.