Saturday, 19 July 2014

German Qualifying: "Look!...No brakes!"

Lady Luck is certainly giving Lewis Hamilton a run for his money and making him work hard for his success this season. Lewis regularly has a whine and a moan, but to be fair to him he's driving the same car as his team mate, but getting the unequal share of poor luck and unreliability. On the plus side, for Lewis, he almost screwed up his team mates chances in Q1, since at the time of Hamilton's big smash and the subsequent red flag, Rosberg hadn't posted a representative time. There was the very real threat that Nico would leave it too late, however, once the green flag flew to restart the session, he was the first driver out on track and easily slammed in a first place time.

The rest of qualifying in Germany was a bit of a foregone conclusion, apart of course from the exception of Lewis Hamilton not being in the top ten. The Williams team are agonisingly close to putting up a real challenge against Mercedes, but they fell just short again today, only managing second and third on the grid. Obviously, that result is more than Williams would have hoped for or expected, coming in to the 2014 season, but if there was a chance that they could actually win the Championship, over the Mercedes team, then that would be the ultimate success. In all honesty, I don't think there is a chance that any team will worry Mercedes, in the second half of the season.

Apart from Hamilton's excursion to the barrier on the outside of the Sachs corner, qualifying in Germany was a pretty eventless affair. The final result was extremely predictable, although with the weather conditions the way they were, there wasn't much to shake things up. On a positive note, Hamilton's incident resulted in my highlight of the session, when Ben Edwards made a faux pas as he discussed Nico Rosberg's approach to the remainder of qualifying. He asked David Coulthard if Rosberg would, "put in a banker lap, or go for a balls out lap". It was almost as bad as Adrian Chiles stating that he and the rest of the ITV punditry panel were "trying to keep our peckers up", as they filled time during England's pre World Cup friendly against Ecuador. It's as if they don't like their jobs.

The Grid:
16Nico RosbergMercedes1:17.6311:17.1091:16.54017
277Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1:18.2151:17.3531:16.75915
319Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1:18.3811:17.3701:17.07821
420Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1:18.2601:17.7881:17.21417
53Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault1:18.1171:17.8551:17.27319
61Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault1:18.1941:17.6461:17.57716
714Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:18.3891:17.8661:17.64919
826Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault1:18.5301:18.1031:17.96522
927Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1:18.9271:18.0171:18.01421
1011Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1:18.9161:18.1611:18.03521
1122Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1:18.4251:18.19315
127Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:18.5341:18.27313
1325Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault1:18.4961:18.28514
1421Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1:18.7391:18.78714
158Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1:18.8941:18.98314
1644Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:18.6835
1799Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1:19.1428
1817Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari1:19.6768
1913Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1:20.1957
2010Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault1:20.4087
214Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari1:20.4899
DNS9Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault