German GP: Lewis Hamilton lands on pole, heartbreak for Sebastian Vettel as Ferrari struggle with mechanical issues

Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes driver gives the thumbs up after claiming pole position at the German GP
Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes driver gives the thumbs up after claiming pole position at the German GP

Lewis Hamilton secured an unlikely pole position for the German Grand Prix after a double mechanical blow for Ferrari.

The Italian team had been fastest throughout practice at Hockenheim, but after an engine problem prevented Vettel from setting a lap time, a fuel-system issue then hit Leclerc's car.

Vettel will start his home race from the back of the grid, with team-mate Leclerc set to line up in 10th.

In the absence of both Ferrari drivers, championship leader Hamilton romped to the front to take pole. This, despite Mercedes having struggled for pace all weekend.

The British driver will be joined on the front row by Red Bull's Max Verstappen. Valtteri Bottas will line up from third.

Mercedes have played second fiddle to Ferrari here, with the red cars heading into qualifying having topped all three practice sessions.

But disaster struck from the outset. In the opening minutes, Vettel reported a lack of power on his very first outing to the track, and, after returning to his garage, his Ferrari mechanics were unable to rectify the issue.

It is the latest in a succession of blows to Vettel, who would have expected to be in contention for pole at his home race, and end a winless streak which stretches back to last August's Belgian Grand Prix.

In Vettel's absence, Leclerc was the overwhelming favourite to claim the third pole of his career.

But, ahead of Q3 - the shoot-out for pole - Ferrari mechanics were scurrying all over the back of the Monegasque's car. Under-fire team principal Mattia Binotto was seen pacing the garage.

With a handful of minutes remaining, Leclerc emerged from his cockpit, the issue terminal.

That paved the way for Hamilton to take pole, finishing a third of a second clear of Verstappen.

"I don't know how we did it today," said Hamilton. "I am not sure what happened to the Ferrari's. This is a second home grand prix for us so it is incredible to celebrate with this.

"Ferrari have been really fast, and they were on another level, but the time at the end would have been close to compete with Leclerc if he had set a lap."

On a poor weekend for Lando Norris, the British teenager was eliminated from Q1 for the first time in his career.

The 19-year-old, who has been second-best to Carlos Sainz in the sister McLaren throughout practice, finished only 16th. Sainz lines up in seventh.

British rookie George Russell out-qualified Robert Kubica for a 11th consecutive time. The young Englishman finished a tenth clear of his team-mate, and is set to start from 18th.

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

England's Rory Burns can't quite cling on to a catch as Australia hold firm1

England run out of time at Lord's

England came up just short in their bid to force an unlikely victory as Australia secured a draw in the second Ashes Test at Lord's.

Coronet and Frankie Dettori coast to victory at York2

Coronet crowned again in France

Frankie Dettori's Group One-laden summer continued when he steered Coronet to victory in the Darley Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville.

Check out Monday's racing preview3

Monday's racing preview

Nick Robson makes Gabrials Boy his best Monday bet and he has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Read out preview,prediction & best bets for Wolves v Man Utd in the Premier League4

Wolves to halt United's momentum

The first Monday Night Football clash of the Premier League season comes from Molineux, where Wolves host top-six rivals Manchester United.

Frank Lampard's Chelsea: Alex Keble looks at the tactics of the new Stamford Bridge boss5

In Focus: Lampard's Chelsea tactics

Alex Keble takes a look at the tactics, style and key players for Frank Lampard after witnessing another difficult afternoon for the new Chelsea boss at Stamford Bridge.

Most Read

England's Rory Burns can't quite cling on to a catch as Australia hold firm1

England run out of time at Lord's

England came up just short in their bid to force an unlikely victory as Australia secured a draw in the second Ashes Test at Lord's.

Coronet and Frankie Dettori coast to victory at York2

Coronet crowned again in France

Frankie Dettori's Group One-laden summer continued when he steered Coronet to victory in the Darley Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville.

Check out Monday's racing preview3

Monday's racing preview

Nick Robson makes Gabrials Boy his best Monday bet and he has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Read out preview,prediction & best bets for Wolves v Man Utd in the Premier League4

Wolves to halt United's momentum

The first Monday Night Football clash of the Premier League season comes from Molineux, where Wolves host top-six rivals Manchester United.

Frank Lampard's Chelsea: Alex Keble looks at the tactics of the new Stamford Bridge boss5

In Focus: Lampard's Chelsea tactics

Alex Keble takes a look at the tactics, style and key players for Frank Lampard after witnessing another difficult afternoon for the new Chelsea boss at Stamford Bridge.

Racing Tips

Check out Monday's racing preview

Monday's racing preview

Nick Robson makes Gabrials Boy his best Monday bet and he has a tip for every race in the UK and Ireland.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day

Daily Nap: Aqua can make splash

Aquadabra looks worth the wait in the closing Sky Sports Racing On Virgin 535 Handicap at Lingfield on Monday according to David Ord.

Raheen House

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in August 2019.

Next Race Off

00:44 Mountaineer
8
(8)
Velvet Breeze
J: Ajhari Williams
7
(7)
My Black Beauty
J: Charle Oliveros

Football Tips

Read out preview,prediction & best bets for Wolves v Man Utd in the Premier League

Wolves to halt United's momentum

The first Monday Night Football clash of the Premier League season comes from Molineux, where Wolves host top-six rivals Manchester United.

All of Sporting Life's current best bets across a range of sports

Our best bets

Check out Sporting Life's best bets across racing, football and more.

Raheen House

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in August 2019.