Maiden pole position for Mark Webber
Mark Webber won the tactical Q3 gamble and will start the German GP from pole position, the first one in his F1 career. Rubens Barrichello in on P2, Jenson Button P3, Sebastian Vettel P4. The post qualifying weights (see here) will be published later on today. It would be interesting to know who gambled on wet race set up with rain expected tomorrow …
1. M. Webber – 1:32.230
2. R. Barrichello – 1:32.357
3. J. Button – 1:32.473
4. S. Vettel – 1:32.480
5. L. Hamilton – 1:32.616
6. H. Kovalainen – 1:33.859
7. A. Sutil – 1:34.316
8. F. Massa – 1:34.574
9. K. Raikkonen – 1:34.710
10. N. Piquet – 1:34.803
Interesting last practice session it was with rather unusual order. Lewis Hamilton was fastest again, ahead of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. Obviously some cars were focused more on the low fuel runs while some other went for race fuel simulation. Can’t wait for qualifying …
Saturday practice times:
Martin Whitmarsh and McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen look ahead to this weekend’s Santander German Grand Prix:
German GP weekend started today with free practice. Mark Webber was the fastest driver in the first session, about 4 tenths ahead of Jenson Button. Felipe Massa clocked the thirds best time in his Ferrari featuring very Red Bull like nose.
Lewis Hamilton was the fastest driver in the afternoon practice followed by Vettel, Button and Webber. Force India was again out in force – this time Adrian Sutil in 6th.
A thing to note is the Williams change of strategy – no more Friday low fuel runs.
Friday Practice 1 times:
F1 fans - they can handle it, right ?
The news are full of reports that following the French and Canadian GPs we may soon see the German Formula 1 races go too. This would be sad development in the country that between 1995 and 2006 had been hosting two Formula 1 races per year – the German GP proper at Hockenheim and European / Luxemburg Grands Prix at Nurburgring. Now Hockenheim bosses make it clear that without government money they will not be able to host the race again when their turn comes in 2010. Nurburgring responded saying that their venue is unable to organize the Formula 1 race on annual bases.
Is it really impossible to save the Formula 1 races in Germany ?
Magny Cours 2008
The decision of the Federation Francaise du Sport Automobile (FFSA) to cancel the 2009 French Grand Prix came as a surprise. At the same time however it was probably only a matter of time before someone came out cancelling a race. Rumours about some race organizers looking for a way out of 2009 calendar surfaced around the same time the Canadian GP was dropped. French GP did not feature on F1 calendar only 1 time, back in 1955, following the Le Mans events. There are several French regions and venues interested in staging the Formula 1 race (Disneyland being the front runner) but it looks dead certain now that there will be no Formula 1 race in France next year. What looked like 19 races season only 2 weeks ago is turning into 17 races one. Will FIA and FOM keep it at 17 or will they add another race in place of the French GP ?
I do not want to say this was the best race of the season but it sure was entertaining. We could see some serious racing with overtaking up and down the grid, we had a safety car following a crash (luckily without any serious injury), we could see a serious strategy blunder and impressive recovery from it and 2 Brazilians on podium, one of them being Piquet jr. !
McLaren dominated the weekend from Friday but the close fight between Massa and Hamilton in qualifying promised some possibility of a fight for the race win. At the end we had a fight but more thanks to McLaren getting it wrong than Ferrari getting it right. Lewis Hamilton pulled away right from the start and Massa never looked like a serious opposition. Early on even Kovalainen was a threat but after few laps Massa pulled away from him. Not sure why because Heikki was not that much more heavy than Massa. In the meantime Hamilton managed to build a decent lead in front.
It looked way too easy when Hamilton passed his team mate after his second pit stop. The presenters at the Star TV studio were rather ironic after the race saying that there are “no team orders in F1″ , the whole bar where I was watching the race was full of boos. So were there team orders or is Hamilton that much better than Kovalainen that he simply made that look that easy ? At the end, it did not take him that long to overtake Felipe Massa …
So were there team orders or not ?
Photo: Daimler Media
Lewis Hamilton managed to overcome apparent strategy blunder and won the 2008 German GP at Hockenheim. Nelson Piquet climbed up to the podium for the first time in his F1 career scoring also the first podium of the season for Renault. Felipe Massa finished 3rd. First time since 1991 Belgian GP (when Senna won and Piquet sr. finished 3rd) there were 2 Brazilian drivers on podium .
The race was affected by safety car following Timo Glock’s violent crash. Glock looked a bit shaken after the crash but seems to be OK.
2008 German GP result:
1. Lewis Hamilton – McLaren – 1:31:20.847
2. Nelson Piquet – Renault + 5.586
3. Felipe Massa – Ferrari + 9.339
4. Nick Heidfeld – BMW Sauber + 9.825
5. Heikki Kovalainen – McLaren + 12.411
6. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari + 14.483
7. Robert Kubica – BMW Sauber + 22.603
8. Sebastian Vettel – Toro Rosso + 33.282
Welcome to Live Blog coverage from 2008 German Grand Prix. Join the debate below !
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Adrian Sutil is another German driver sporting new helmet design at his home Grand Prix. Here are few pictures (click on photos to enlarge):
Adrian Sutil with his new helmet
Adrain Sutil – 2008 German GP helmet
Adrian Sutil with his new helmet
Photos: Force India F1
Lewis Hamilton will start the German GP from pole position after beating Felipe Massa by 0.02s in dry qualifying session. Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli will occupy row 2. Fernando Alonso recovered from a Q1 elimination scare and will start from P5, just ahead of disappointing Kimi Raikkonen. Robert Kubica who suffered technical problems in free practice and was also on a brink of elimination in Q1 will on P7. Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel and David Coulthard complete the top 10.
Q1 was very even, only about half second separated 4th from 16th. Nelson Piquet missed out on Q2 fourth time this season and I wonder for much longer will the team remain patient with him … Kazuki Nakajima and Rubens Barrichello were the other 2 higher profile casualties of Q1.