Lewis Hamilton may have won the pole position for the German Grand Prix Saturday afternoon, but the big story of the day involves the driver who will start Sunday’s race from last place.
Local favorite Sebastian Vettel, who has already experienced plenty of misfortunes this season, failed to advance from Q1 for the first time since Malaysia in 2017. The German driver reported to his crew that his Ferrari had lost power early on in the session, sending the four-time World Champion into the garage. He would not complete another lap in qualifying.
“”I don’t know what happened – something was broken with the turbo,” Vettel said. “It’s bitter for us. The car feels great and we have missed a big opportunity here.”
Vettel’s teammate Charles Leclerc would experience issues of his own, claiming to have suffered a fuel system issue. Leclerc qualified 10th after being the slowest in Q3.
Ferrari’s losses would be Lewis Hamilton’s gain, as the current World Championship points leader would set a lap of 1 minute, 11.767 seconds around the 2.842-mile, 17-turn Hockenheimring circuit early on in Q3 to collect his fourth pole position of the 2019 season.
“I don’t know really how we did it today – I’m not quite sure what happened to the Ferraris,” Hamilton said. “It’s so important to us, at our second home Grand Prix.
“I think if Leclerc had done a lap at the end, it would have been close between us.”
Max Verstappen qualified second with an elapsed time of 1 minute, 12.113 seconds in his Red Bull entry, while Valterri Bottas (1 minute, 12.129 seconds) qualified third.
Pierre Gasly qualified fourth for Red Bull, while Kimi Räikkönen will start Sunday’s race from P5.
Full qualifying results and times are below: