Alfa drivers lose German GP points to penalties, Kubica into 10th
Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi have been handed post-race penalties that drop them out of the points for the German Grand Prix, with Robert Kubica now promoted to 10th.
The Alfa Romeo drivers were penalised for an offence related to the way the clutch of their cars operated during the wet standing start at Hockenheim, which was deemed to have potentially mimicked traction control in the tricky conditions.
Raikkonen and Giovinazzi had finished seventh and eighth on the road, and they have now dropped down to 12th and 13th respectively as a result of 30 seconds being added to their race times.
Their places now go to Haas drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, while Lewis Hamilton and Kubica move into the top 10 – with the latter earning the first point for Williams in 2019, as well as his own first point since the 2010 Formula 1 season.
Alfa team boss Fred Vasseur has confirmed that the team will appeal the decision.
The Alfas were reported to the stewards by FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer soon after the chequered flag after their race start data was found to not be in compliance.
A later summons clarified that the cars were under investigation for "Alleged breach of Article 27.1, as related to clutch torque application during race starts, as defined in the informational Appendix to the 2019 Formula One Sporting Regulations related to Art 27.1 part C2."
In the FIA document outlining the penalties, the stewards explained how the teams are allowed the option to tune some of the parameters for their clutches via the common ECU on all cars.
But the torque in the clutch must matches the torque demand as the driver releases the clutch at the start within specified limits and this must occur within 70milliseconds.
In the case of the Alfa drivers, Raikkonen’s car took 200milliseconds and Giovinazzi’s took 300milliseconds.
"This provided a more gradual application of the torque, which given the wet conditions was a potential advantage," read the FIA bulletin.
"Regardless of whether there was an actual advantage, the stewards determined that this was a clear breach of the guidance given to the teams as to how this would be adjudicated."
Alfa argued that the cause of the issue "was that they were caught out by the unusual weather conditions and the fact that they did not do any practice starts under these climatic conditions and set the parameters in a way that failed to meet the requirements", per the FIA bulletin.
But the stewards declared: "The obligation to meet the requirements is irrespective of the climatic conditions.
Therefore, the stewards considered that a breach of Article 27.1 occurred."
The stewards opted to give each Alfa driver a 10 second stop/go penalty, which was converted into a post-race time addition.
"The Stewards noted that this was a breach of the sporting regulations and as a guide compared this to a false start with a potential advantage which carries a normal penalty of a 10 second stop-and-go under the sporting regulations," the FIA bulletin concluded.
In a statement released by Alfa, Vasseur said: "It is extremely disappointing to have both cars penalised and pushed out of the points in what had been such an exciting race.
"The situation arose during the laps we spent behind the safety car ahead of the standing start: we suffered a dysfunction of the clutch that was beyond our control and we will further investigate the issue.
"We respect the FIA’s process and the stewards’ work, but will appeal this decision as we believe we have the grounds and evidence to have it overturned.
"In this regard, we will be in touch with the FIA soon. Kimi and Antonio drove very well in challenging conditions and seventh and eighth place were the rightful reward for their performance.
"The team worked really hard to put both cars in the points and we showed once again that we have the pace to fight at the sharp end of the midfield.
"This race was a great showcase for Formula 1 and it’s a pity it ended this way."
Verstappen wins wild German GP from Vettel, disaster for Mercedes
Max Verstappen mastered both wet and dry conditions to win the 2019 Formula 1 German Grand Prix for Red Bull as Mercedes faltered badly at its home race.
Rain before the start and during the race made for an incident-packed event in which polesitter Lewis Hamilton spun twice on his way to an eventual 11th place finish, and his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas crashed out.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel raced from the back of the grid to finish second, but it was a mixed day for the team after Charles Leclerc hit the barriers and retired.
Daniil Kvyat was third thanks to astute tactical choices by Toro Rosso. Torrential rain throughout the morning ensured this would be the first test of F1’s new wet-weather starting procedures, with the safety car leading the pack for several formation laps.
Predictably, a number of the more combative-minded drivers began to lobby for the it to be withdrawn so the race could begin, and it eventually peeled off to enable a standing start.
Hamilton seamlessly converted pole into the race lead as Verstappen squandered his front-row start with too much wheelspin, conceding two places as both Bottas and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen went by.
He almost lost a further place to the fast-starting Haas of Romain Grosjean, too, but reasserted himself into Turn 1 and recovered third place from Raikkonen next time around.
Spray and uncertain grip levels precipitated chaos in their wake as Carlos Sainz’s McLaren ran wide in Turn 2 and Nico Hulkenberg and Leclerc pounced, and the midfielders bumped and banged their way through the opening laps.
At the end of the second lap, Sergio Perez rotated his Racing Point into the barrier at the exit of Turn 11, bringing out the safety car.
Vettel – starting from the back of the grid after failing to run in qualifying – and Toro Rosso’s Alex Albon dived straight into the pits for intermediates while Hamilton and the rest of the frontrunners had to complete another lap before doing likewise.
A handful of teams gambled on leaving drivers out on the full wet tyres but that soon proved to have been the wrong option as a dry line began to form.
Kevin Magnussen was one such and, although he was running second behind Hamilton in the safety car queue, he was quickly swamped by Bottas and Verstappen when the race was green-flagged on lap 4 of 64.
Stopping a lap earlier elevated Vettel to 12th and he quickly cut through the midfielders ahead to run seventh.
But he was still over half a minute behind Hamilton, who remained serene in the rapidly changing conditions at this stage, stretching his advantage over Bottas beyond five seconds.
Leclerc and Hulkenberg stopped early for new intermediates during a brief virtual safety car period on lap 15 after Daniel Ricciardo pulled off with his Renault engine badly smoking, and Leclerc shot clear.
By lap 22, Leclerc had closed the gap to Verstappen to below four seconds, leaving Hulkenberg 20s down the road, though the threat to him from Raikkonen and Vettel was diminished by their worn intermediates.
On lap 23, Vettel was one of the first to pit for slicks, taking on the soft compound, and Red Bull brought Verstappen in from third place a lap later and fitted mediums.
Mercedes opted to fit mediums as well when it pitted Bottas on lap 26, while Ferrari went for softs on Leclerc’s car on the following lap.
Hamilton was next in, for mediums, but his arrival in the pits coincided with a fresh downpour unheralded on the weather radar.
Leclerc immediately went off at the penultimate corner after making a small mistake and slid into the barriers at slow speed, beaching himself in the gravel and bringing out the safety car.
But then Hamilton speared off-track at the same point on the following lap.
He managed to gather his Mercedes into line and just glanced the barrier, breaking his front wing, but he was able to head straight into the pits.
There, chaotic scenes ensued as his unprepared crew fumbled for a new set of intermediate tyres and a replacement front wing, and to heap further misfortune on Hamilton’s plate he was hit with a five-second penalty for driving on the wrong side of the pit-entry bollard.
The rest of the field then pitted for intermediates as it became obvious that the slicks were unsuitable, leaving Verstappen in the lead ahead of Bottas, Hulkenberg, Albon, Hamilton, Sainz, Raikkonen and Vettel.
Hamilton made short work of Albon in green-flag conditions as Hulkenberg pressured Bottas, handing Verstappen the opportunity to break nearly 10s clear.
That enabled Verstappen to gain a free pitstop for fresh intermediates when the safety car came out again on lap 40, triggered when Hulkenberg went off at the last corner in a similar fashion to Leclerc shortly after being passed by Hamilton for third.
The track began to dry again as the field circulated behind the safety car for four laps, prompting Racing Point to gamble by pitting the previously anonymous Lance Stroll for slicks the lap before the green flag, and he was followed by Kvyat.
This dropped them to the tail of the field, but after the other runners also broke for the pits after the track had gone live, the duo benefitted massively to run second and third behind Verstappen.
Kvyat used DRS to pass Stroll on the run to the hairpin on lap 50, while Mercedes’ day went from bad to worse as Hamilton spun down to 15th place with a high-speed moment at Turn 1 and then Bottas had a near-identical moment a few laps later but hit the barriers hard at Turn 1, bringing out the safety car.
With five laps to run the track went green again with Verstappen leading from Kvyat and Stroll, while Vettel relieved Sainz of fourth immediately after the restart.
Two laps later, Vettel blasted by Stroll on the straight before the hairpin, and he nailed Kvyat next time round to annex second place in the final reckoning, crossing the lap 7.3s seconds behind the victorious Verstappen.
Stroll survived late attention from Sainz to retain fourth, while Albon made it to the flag ahead of Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi despite a tag from Gasly that sent the second Red Bull into retirement late-on.
Grosjean and Magnussen rounded out the top 10, though bonhomie was likely to be in short supply in the Haas camp since they contrived to collide once again in the closing laps, this time without eliminating each other.
Results – 64 laps
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1h44m31.275s|
|3||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||8.305s|
|4||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||8.966s|
|5||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||9.583s|
|6||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||10.052s|
|7||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||12.214s|
|8||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||13.849s|
|14||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda||Collision|
|–||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||Spun off|
|–||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||Spun off|
|–||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||Spun off|
|–||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||Power Unit|
|–||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||Spun off|
|7||Carlos Sainz Jr.||48|
Hamilton takes F1 German GP pole, both Ferraris forced out early
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for Formula 1’s 2019 German Grand Prix after Ferrari’s challenge imploded with power unit problems for both Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel.
With Vettel eliminated in Q1 without setting a time thanks to a problem with the airflow to his turbo, Leclerc was favourite for pole in Q3 having looked quickest up to that point.
But Leclerc was unable to take to the track during Q3, climbing out of his car and commiserating with his team and leaving the way clear for Hamilton to set the pace.
Ferrari has said a fuel system issue prevented Leclerc from joining the pole shootout.
Hamilton then dominated Q3, with a lap of 1m11.767 seconds, which he set on his first run, good enough for pole after he failed to improve on his second lap thanks to time lost in the middle sector.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen split the two Mercedes drivers, lapping 0.346s slower than Hamilton and just 0.016s quicker than Valtteri Bottas.
Pierre Gasly put the second Red Bull fourth, lapping four-tenths slower than Verstappen after his final attempt was disallowed for exceeding track limits exiting the final corner.
With the two Ferraris out of the way, Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen took fifth place with an advantage of 0.316s over an otherwise congested midfield.
Romain Grosjean, driving a Haas running to the same specification used in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, was sixth and just ahead of McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr.
Racing Point’s significant upgrade paid off for Sergio Perez, who qualified eighth ahead of the lead Renault of Nico Hulkenberg.
That left Leclerc classified 10th despite him not running in Q3, as he had at least run without problem during the previous two stages of qualifying.
The two Mercedes drivers and Leclerc will both start on the medium-compound Pirellis after they all used them to set their best times in Q2 – something Verstappen also attempted before aborting his first run after reporting a loss of power.
Antonio Giovinazzi was relegated to 11th and eliminated during a frenetic climax to Q2, lapping just 0.012s slower than Perez.
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen, driving the latest-spec Haas, was always up against it after a lockup into the first corner on his final lap and he failed to improve on his first-run time as a result – ending up 12th.
Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo’s late effort was only good enough for 13th, leading him to apologise to his team over the radio, with Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat just over three-tenths behind.
Racing Point driver Lance Stroll escaped Q1 for the first time in 2019, completing three runs to do so, which meant he only had one fresh set of softs for Q2.
He was in contention to get into the top 10, but his rear-end stepped out in the penultimate corner and was unable to improve late in the second segment.
Lando Norris was fastest of those eliminated in Q1 in 16th place, just 0.055s slower than Kvyat after being bumped into the dropzone by Giovinazzi’s late improvement.
But behind him was the furious Alex Albon, who was baulked at the hairpin on his final Q1 lap by Norris and was unable to improve on his first-run time as a result.
George Russell won the Williams team battle for the 11th time this season, lapping just over a tenth quicker than Robert Kubica – the duo taking 18th and 19th thanks to Vettel’s failure to post a time.
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||0.346s|
|4||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda||0.755s|
|5||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||0.771s|
|7||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||1.130s|
|8||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1.298s|
|11||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1.019s|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1.368s|
|15||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1.683s|
|16||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||1.694s|
Leclerc tops Germany FP3, Mercedes struggles despite lower heat
Charles Leclerc was fastest again for Ferrari in third practice for the 2019 German Grand Prix, outpacing the quickest Mercedes by half a second.
Leclerc’s 1m12.380 second lap, set during his second run on soft tyres, stood to the end of the session and was 0.264s faster than team-mate Sebastian Vettel’s best effort.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen split the Ferraris with a 1m12.548s as Mercedes came up short.
Valtteri Bottas was 0.510s off Leclerc’s benchmark time in fourth, while Lewis Hamilton finished sixth overall, 0.585s down on Leclerc and slower than Kevin Magnussen (Haas).
An overnight change in the weather as the sweltering heat gave way to thunderstorms made for vastly different track conditions in FP3, with an ambient of 27C and a track temperature that hovered around 40C, well below Friday’s peaks.
Even so, there was little urgency at the beginning of the session and 10 minutes passed before anyone set a timed lap.
Any suggestion that Ferrari’s relative strength in hotter temperatures might diminish in the cooler conditions was quickly dispelled by Leclerc, who went quickest of all in the initial running with a 1m12.736s he set during a six-lap stint on the soft-compound tyres.
Vettel’s best effort on a similar run plan was half a second off.
At this point, both Mercedes drivers were focusing on race simulations but Hamilton set a tidy time of 1m13.463s at the beginning of a 15-lap run on the softs.
Bottas was just over two tenths shy on a similar run plan, although his stint began with an off-track moment at Turn 2.
Red Bull’s pace on the medium tyres was very respectable early in the session – or at least Verstappen’s was, since his best lap was marginally faster than the soft-shod Hamilton.
Pierre Gasly, whose car was rebuilt around a new tub after his crash in FP2, was half a second adrift of his team-mate after their first runs.
On the soft rubber, Verstappen was even more punchy.
While the Ferraris made incremental improvements on their second soft-tyre runs – Leclerc to the session-best 1m12.380s, Vettel to 1m12.644s – Verstappen split them with his 1m12.548s.
The Mercedes drivers continued to struggle to match Leclerc on their second soft-tyre runs as Bottas circulated half a second off the benchmark lap and Hamilton had a time struck off for violating track limits.
The results of the session will have generated more intrigue for Haas, which is attempting to benchmark its latest developments against the troublesome VF-19’s early specification by running Romain Grosjean with its Australian Grand Prix aero package.
In FP2, Magnussen was 1.29s off Grosjean’s best, but in Saturday morning’s cooler conditions he was initially over two-tenths faster than Grosjean over the course of a similar seven-lap run plan.
He then put in a 1m12.893s that was good for fifth overall while Grosjean finished 10th fastest on 1m13.378s.
Behind Hamilton there was a substantial time gap as the latter portion of the top 10 came up nearly a second off the frontrunning pace.
While Kimi Raikkonen was ‘best of the rest’ early on, he was trumped by late efforts from Gasly and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz.
|1||Charles Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari||1m12.380s||18|
|2||Max Verstappen||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||0.168s||12|
|3||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari||0.264s||18|
|4||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport||0.510s||24|
|5||Kevin Magnussen||Rich Energy Haas F1 Team||0.513s||13|
|6||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport||0.585s||22|
|7||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren F1 Team||0.920s||18|
|8||Pierre Gasly||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||0.944s||17|
|9||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo Racing||0.971s||18|
|10||Romain Grosjean||Rich Energy Haas F1 Team||0.998s||15|
|11||Sergio Perez||SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team||1.096s||15|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault F1 Team||1.116s||19|
|13||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda||1.174s||24|
|14||Lando Norris||McLaren F1 Team||1.176s||15|
|15||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing||1.291s||16|
|16||Lance Stroll||SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team||1.292s||15|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda||1.387s||21|
|18||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault F1 Team||1.436s||20|
|19||Robert Kubica||ROKiT Williams Racing||3.160s||20|
|20||George Russell||ROKiT Williams Racing||3.444s||11|
German Grand Prix practice: Leclerc leads another Ferrari one-two
Charles Leclerc edged out his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel as Mercedes came up short on single-lap pace in second practice for Formula 1’s German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.
Leclerc’s 1m13.449s lap, set on soft tyres during a qualifying simulation run mid-session, was 0.124 seconds faster than Vettel’s best, with Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes just 0.022s further adrift.
In a session that may well prove redundant if the weather changes as dramatically as expected on Sunday, Hockenheim sweltered in ambient temperatures ranging up to 37C and the surface temperature of the track itself spiked to 51C.
Rapid tyre degradation therefore became an issue as several teams spent the early phase of the session experimenting with shorter runs on tyres at the harder end of the spectrum.
Single-lap pace was proving tricky to unlock since the tyres required delicate management before, during and after any ‘push’ laps; drivers migrating to the soft tyres later in the session found they had to run up to two achingly slow cool-down laps between faster efforts.
Morning pacesetter Ferrari went straight back to the top of the timesheets early on as Leclerc – despite a brief complaint about the positioning of his brake pedal – set an initial benchmark of 1m14.523s on the hard-compound Pirellis, eclipsing a 1m14.804s set by Vettel on mediums.
But when the Mercedes emerged, Hamilton displaced them with a 1m14.074s set on mediums, followed by a 1m14.467s for hard-shod Valtteri Bottas.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen also got between the Ferraris during the opening half hour until Vettel bolted on a set of soft tyres and broke through the 1m14s barrier, clocking up a 1m13.573s that was rapidly eclipsed by Leclerc’s soft-shod riposte of 1m13.449s.
Verstappen couldn’t get as close to the Ferraris when he took on soft rubber, although he reported a power issue that required examination in the pits. His team-mate Pierre Gasly proved unable to summon a properly fast lap from the softs and his best of 1m15.089s left him well outside the top 10.
When Hamilton and Bottas moved on to the softer rubber they fell just short of the Ferraris on their first attempts at ‘push’ laps, and Hamilton bailed out of a second flier when it became apparent there wouldn’t be a decent time at the end of it. Bottas’s best was 0.662s off Leclerc’s benchmark.
Vettel then went back out on medium tyres for a long run but aborted that after just four timed laps, saying, "We’re not learning anything from this." He then joined the rest of the frontrunners in doing race-simulation runs on the soft rubber; for the majority of the top 10 this entailed circulating at 6s a lap off qualifying pace.
The session was briefly red-flagged with 16 minutes remaining when Gasly looped his Red Bull under acceleration out of the final bend and speared into the barriers hard enough to trigger a deployment of the medical car.
It restarted with nine minutes left on the clock, enough to allow a flurry of track activity that yielded little in the way of laptime improvement since most of the runners bar Vettel were out on medium or hard tyres.
Verstappen ended the session in sixth, two-hundredths shy of Bottas, while Romain Grosjean was ‘best of the rest’ for Haas with a 1m14.179s he set mid-session during a qualifying run on softs.
Just behind Grosjean, Racing Point’s Lance Stroll and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen also cracked the top 10 with their quali-simulation efforts on the soft tyres.
Nico Hulkenberg was the fastest of the Renault pairing with a 1m14.472s set on soft rubber midway through the session, but he was then left stranded in the pitlane when his car stuck in neutral as he lined up to perform a practice start.
Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo had an eventful session, locking up and going off at Turn 2 early on while running on the mediums. His soft-tyre qualifying simulation of 1m15.010s left him separated from Hulkenberg by Sergio Perez’s Racing Point, the McLaren of Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso.
Practice two times
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m14.133s||0.684s||23|
|7||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m14.268s||0.819s||32|
|8||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m14.458s||1.009s||33|
|10||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m14.518s||1.069s||30|
|11||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||1m14.662s||1.213s||34|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m14.800s||1.351s||39|
|14||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m15.062s||1.613s||36|
|15||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda||1m15.089s||1.640s||19|
|17||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m15.406s||1.957s||31|
German GP: Vettel heads Ferrari one-two in FP1, late off for Bottas
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel topped the first Formula 1 free practice session of the German Grand Prix weekend at Hockenheim.
Vettel used soft rubber to knock team-mate Charles Leclerc off top spot by a quarter of a second with 20 minutes remaining, setting a time of 1m14.013s.
Leclerc had used the same rubber to relegate Lewis Hamilton to third place, with the Mercedes drivers using medium tyres to set their best times after spending the first part of the session on softs.
Hamilton, who was three-tenths off the pace but had lagged behind Bottas when on soft rubber, lapped almost three and a half tenths quicker than his team-mate on mediums.
This also allowed Red Bull driver Max Verstappen to split the pair – lapping just 0.015 seconds slower than Hamilton – and take fourth place.
Bottas ended his session with an off into the gravel at Turn 12 after a lock-up with two minutes remaining, but was able to dig himself out and return to the pits – scattering gravel on the track as he rejoined.
Pierre Gasly struggled early on with vibration issues, but was able to climb to sixth using soft rubber in the final half-hour.
McLaren driver Carlos Sainz Jr, who spent the early stages of the session fastest when on hard rubber, climbed back to seventh just before the half-hour mark when he bolted on softs.
That put him 0.012s ahead of Haas driver Romain Grosjean, who set his time moments before Sainz.
Grosjean is running the specification of Haas that was used in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, continuing the back-to-back experiment the team started at the last race at Silverstone with Kevin Magnussen now running the latest, upgraded, version.
Lance Stroll, in the heavily upgraded Racing Point, was ninth having concentrated on using medium Pirellis, comfortably ahead of the lead Renault of Daniel Ricciardo, who set his time on softs.
Ricciardo had a spin late in the session at Turn 1, but was able to recover.
Sergio Perez was 11th fastest in the second Racing Point, also using mediums, and just ahead of the second McLaren of Lando Norris.
Magnussen was 13th after returning to the track shortly after causing an eight-minute red flag early on when he stopped in the stadium section.
The issue was revealed to be a sensor problem – he reported over the radio that, "I have some sort of alarm and no power" – so after being towed back to the pits he was ready to go again.
Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat set the 14th-fastest time ahead of team-mate Alex Albon – who switched halos during the session, having initially run a more basic version before returning to the usual spec fitted with an aero faring.
Nico Hulkenberg was 16th in the second Renault ahead of Alfa Romeo duo Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.
Robert Kubica was 19th in the upgraded Williams, lapping almost six tenths faster than team-mate George Russell.
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m14.330s||0.317s||28|
|6||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Honda||1m14.813s||0.800s||23|
|7||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||1m15.062s||1.049s||30|
|9||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m15.191s||1.178s||26|
|11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m15.604s||1.591s||24|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m15.776s||1.763s||30|
|15||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m15.777s||1.764s||24|
|17||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m15.953s||1.940s||26|
|18||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m16.382s||2.369s||31|
Q: They are. Thank you. Kimi, coming to you, you’ve scored in seven of the 10 races so far, including the last three. Is that the level of performance and consistency you expected from Alfa Romeo when you joined them?
Kimi RAIKKONEN: It’s hard to say, because obviously where they’ve been the last few years it’s not been the greatest. Last year they made good gains from half way through. So, very unknown. I just went into the season to try to do the maximum, to see what we get. We had a bit harder part, three or four races where we were not very fast. But we managed to recover from that a little bit. There is still a long way to go but I think it’s not been too bad, at least in their own book. So we’ll keep trying and try to make the car faster.
Q: How much have you improved the car so far?
KR: For sure we have improved. I don’t know how much. It’s depends on what you compare. Obviously we compare to the guys that are close to us and obviously we are still behind on pure speed but we bring as much as we can new parts and try to improve. At least usually the parts work very well, what we brought. So that’s a good thing. Obviously with a small team like us it takes a bit longer to bring new parts. But I think we are quite happy with how things have gone forward. But like I said, there is still an awful lot of work to be done to get more faster and to try to get closer to McLaren and things like that.
Q: You’re happy with developments but how happy are you this year Kimi? How much are you enjoying Formula 1 in 2019 and how different is your experience now compared to last year?
KR: I don’t think it’s a lot different. Obviously racing a bit more rearwards. But if you don’t count that the big picture hasn’t really changed. It’s a different team, but I’ve worked with some of them before. I think F1 hasn’t changed. We still this press conference, we have the same kind of meetings, interviews. That hasn’t changed, but obviously, outside of racing I have a bit more free time, so that is the nice part, but I don’t think it’s night and day what happened last year to this year.
Q: (Christian Nimmervoll – motorsport-total.com) Kimi, you’re back at Sauber – or Alfa Romeo – the first team that you started with in Formula 1. Is this full circle for you? Are you going to end your career here or do you consider moving teams?
KR: I have no idea. I mean, obviously, I have a two-year contract, this and next year, and then we see what happens. No plans really. That’s about it really.
Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) Sebastian, Kimi will be shortly 40 years old, can you see yourself racing as long as that?
SV: I don’t know – I’m not as handsome as Kimi now, so I won’t be as handsome as he is when I’m 40! I don’t know, there’s not much point thinking about it. Imagine if you had asked Kimi when he was 32 if he can imagine to race when he’s 40, I don’t think you would have got an answer. I don’t know, it depends on how the next years go. It depends, I think, on where the sport is going with the big run change that will or will not come for 2021, and then we’ll see what happens after that. I’ll be 40 in 2027, so I don’t know is the answer. Sorry Heikki!
Q: (Rebecca Clancy – The Times) Sebastian and Kimi, do you ever miss each other as teammates and can you say what the best qualities were about each other as a team mate?
KR: The meetings are a lot shorter now, now that we’re not in the same meetings any more. Or in the same team. We see each other still. I enjoy it, for sure, it was very good but we were friends before and it never changed and it’s still the same so life goes on. I think it’s always been very honest with Seb so it’s easy, easy going.
Q: His best qualities?
KR: Straightforward, honest.
SV: I can only return. Obviously now the meetings are not as short as they were which is a pity. Yeah, as Kimi said, we’ve sort of got on with each other before, had respect for each other and it’s the same now. Best qualities? Straightforward and honest! Yeah. No, I think the interesting thing is, even if, no, we look very different from the outside in terms of what people think but I think inside, as I said, we got along with each other fairly quickly right from the beginning and it’s probably because we share a lot of the same values and key to that is there were never any games or any attempt to play anything or… just no attempt to waste time, basically.
Q: Well done, great result. Kimi, we just talked to Valtteri and he was told to hold station. We heard you team coming on and not really telling you to move but telling you that tyre temperatures were critical. You said: ‘tell me what you want me to do’. You understood what they were trying to do wanted but you wanted it to be very clear that you needed the instruction to let Sebastian through.
Kimi Raikkonen: Yeah, we have certain rules but it wasn’t clear enough. I had speed and obviously it was a bit in a moment in the race that I wasn’t ideally to stop… yeah, that’s what happened. In the end, it didn’t change an awful lot. It was a tricky race with the rain and it was pretty slippery in a few places. I had a small moment with one of the lappers, the Sauber, under braking and Valtteri got past me, so not an easy race. Happy to finish. A bit disappointed but I’ll take it today and we’ll try next time.
Q: We saw your team-mate go off in the hairpin there. Do you think the Ferrari was more sensitive in those conditions, it was more difficult to drive than Mercedes today?
KR: I don’t know, I only drive my car, so that’s only what I feel like. In the past it’s been very difficult in that amount of rain and I was surprised by the grip we had. It was very difficult to know where the grip is and where not. Usually when you go fast and suddenly it’s not there, there is nothing you can do.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – Globoesporte.com) To Kimi. Kimi, when we have the restart of the race on lap 58, surprised with the performance of Mercedes in these last ten laps, considering Ferrari seemed to have the fastest car all you were on ultrasoft and new tyres, Valtteri also. But Lewis had ultrasoft from lap 42. Were you weekend?
KR: Yeah, for sure. They were very strong. All the stories that we are so quick on the straight. It wasn’t really the case after the restart. Yeah, I think for sure there was some difference I guess, because Valtteri had a good run. I was surprised overall how good the grip was, because it was still some rain and it was pretty decent grip and the tyres were still cold but I think the ultrasoft worked pretty well in that rainy condition. Usually when you have that amount of rain it’s usually pretty slippery but yeah, it was slippery in some places but most of it was still… you had some grip. Quite a surprise overall from what I remember from the past. Usually it gets pretty slippery quickly.
Q: (Heikku Kulta – Turun Sanomat) To the Finnish drivers: how long do we Finns have to wait for a Finnish victory or is P2 going to be the maximum for the rest of the season?
KR: I will keep trying. Who knows? Maybe, maybe not. We will try every weekend and every race and we’re not far from it but obviously so far it’s not been happening so we will try next weekend again and I’m sure it will come but obviously there’s no guarantee or anything. Things change quickly and we’ve seen it . Home today and come back next Thursday and do a better job.
Q: (Livio Oricchio – Globoesporte.com) Next Grand Prix is on a completely different circuit to the two previous ones, Silverstone and here. Considering what you know from your car in this season, what can you project for the Budapest race?
KR: Very difficult to say, I think. It’s traditionally been good for us but there’s a lot on the weather, what it’s going to be like there. In the past years we would probably be feeling more stronger to go there but it’s the same as always. It’s going to be close and whoever makes the best out of it is going to come out on top. We go there and try and do the best that we can and see what we get.
Q: (Edd Straw – Autosport) Kimi, can you just talk through your thought process coming up to the second pit stop. We could hear on the radio that you were keen to take the risk and just stay out because there wasn’t too much to lose for you so do you regret the fact the team didn’t let you stay out, because even when they called you in you did say ‘are you sure?’ so was there an opportunity missed there?
KR: No, it’s always easy to say afterwards but honestly we don’t know what would happen if we stay out. I’m 100 percent sure that the ultras worked better plus I had very used tyres at that point already but I can’t give an answer if it would have been just fine or a complete disaster, so that’s always an unknown and you try to weigh up the differences and hope that the new tyres will give you some grip to come back. Obviously we knew that the Mercedes will be on one of the some aged tyres but they seemed to be the right decision in those conditions so I don’t have an answer, I don’t think anybody would have an answer what the end result if we stayed out or not. Who knows. That’s how it goes.
Lewis Hamilton wins F1 German GP after Sebastian Vettel crashes
Lewis Hamilton took victory in a sensational Formula 1 German Grand Prix while his title-rival Sebastian Vettel crashed out as a rain storm struck the Hockenheim circuit.
Vettel led for the majority of the race from pole position, but slithered out of contention from the lead, on lap 52 of the 67 race. The German hit his steering wheel in frustration at the mistake of crashing into the Turn 13 barriers.
Hamilton started 14th and took advantage of the downpour that soaked the circuit in the latter stages that caught-out a number of slick-shod drivers – including Vettel – and which led to the safety car to be deployed.
In the chaos, there was an instant reversal of fortune as a Ferrari 1-2 became a Mercedes 1-2 during the rain shower.
All race, teams were constantly trying to second guess the conditions and most drivers stayed out on dry-weather tyres while the storm passed and the circuit began to quickly dry up.
Bottas finished in second, but had an attempt at overtaking his team-mate when the safety car period ended on lap 57.
The Finn got alongside Hamilton at the Turn 6 hairpin, but Hamilton was just able to retain the lead. Moments later, Bottas was instructed to hold position.
Kimi Raikkonen took third place, ahead of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull. The Dutchman was one of the drivers to gamble on intermediate tyres when the rain started to fall in just one section of the track.
Two laps later, Verstappen returned back to the pits for dry tyres – the gamble failed – but then the whole circuit was doused, leading to Vettel’s accident and the safety car’s deployment.
Nico Hulkenberg was fifth for Renault, ahead of Romain Grosjean’s Haas and the two Force Indias. Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson and Brendon Hartley both benefitted from the chaotic conditions to scoop the final points-finishing positions.
At the start, Vettel led away from Bottas, Raikkonen and Verstappen and was comfortably in control of his home race. By lap 25, Vettel held a five second lead over Bottas when he came in to pit from ultra tyres to softs.
His Ferrari team-mate Raikkonen was the first of the front-runners to pit on lap 14 and once the first stops were over, the Finn held a slim lead over Vettel.
But the German was on tyres that were 11 laps fresher and Raikkonen was instructed by engineering director Jock Clear to led Vettel past.
Hamilton started on the soft tyre and made swift progress in the early laps to make his way through the field. After starting 14th, he was up to seventh by lap eight.
It was a remarkable comeback drive that has significant implications in the championship battle, as Hamilton retakes the number one spot.
German Grand Prix result
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||67||7.654s|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||67||30.556s|
|8||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||67||31.750s|
|10||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||67||34.197s|
|14||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||66||1 Lap|
|15||Charles Leclerc||Sauber/Ferrari||66||1 Lap|
|–||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||51||Spun off|
|–||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams/Mercedes||51||Oil leak|
|–||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||27||Power Unit|