It was a topsy-turvy qualifying session as Sebastian Vettel grabbed pole in Hockenheim. However, it was a close session as teammate Kimi Raikkonen and the other Mercedes of Bottas made him sweat. Meanwhile, Max Verstappen ended the session 4th ahead of both Haas cars.
In Q1, there was drama as Lewis Hamilton juddered to a halt due to a hydraulic problem. Many suspected that Lewis’ constant running wide was the reason behind the hydraulic issue. Bottas salvage some pride for Mercedes by slotting between both Ferraris. But Sebastian Vettel proved that he is the king of qualifying with a stunning lap.
With Daniel Ricciardo also out of the reckoning due to a grid penalty, that meant that there were 2 less rivals.
In Q1, Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly, Brendon Hartley, Lance Stroll and Stoffel Vandoorne were eliminagted. Of these 5, Ocon was the biggest surprise exit. Also joining them on the sidelines was an unhappy Hamilton.
In Q2, there was even more drama as Marcus Ericsson spun at the hairpin and ended up in the gravel. Fortunately, he was able to extricate himself and return to the pit lane. However, in doing so, he dumped a lot of gravel on the track, bringing out the red flag.
At the end of Q2, Fernando Alonso, Sergey Sirotkin and Ericsson joined Hamilton and Ricciardo on the sidelines. The Australian opted to remain in the pits as he probably found it pointless to set a lap time when he was starting last.
In the top 10 shootout, Raikkonen was on a flyer when he made a mistake in sector 3. This handed Vettel the advantage and Bottas also capitalised. Behind the top 3 were Max Verstappen in the surviving Red Bull, the Haas duo of Magnussen and Grosjean, Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz with Charles LeClerc sandwiched between the two Renaults. Finally, Force India’s Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10.