Nurburg, Germany – Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes won his second consecutive pole position after topping Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel in Saturday's qualifying for the German Grand Prix.
Vettel, a German, held the provisional pole in the closing minutes of the session until Hamilton made a lap around the 3.2 Nurburgring circuit in 1 minute, 29.398 seconds to take the top spot for Sunday's 60-lap race. It was Hamilton's 29th career Formula One pole, including his second in Germany. The Englishman started on the pole and won this race during his 2008 F1 world championship season.
Hamilton's team struggled with the setup of his car during the first two practice sessions on Friday and the final practice on Saturday morning.
"It's really overwhelming, because I've been struggling since the first run in P1 (first practice), which was pretty good," Hamilton said. "P2 and P3 were just disasters, and it got even worse this morning. We were miles off. I wasn't comfortable with the car at all. We went back to the truck and tried to analyze everything and made lots and lots of changes. We just hoped it would work. Fortunately, the car was beneath me, and I was able to put in the times that I did. So I'm grateful for all the work the guys did for me."
Vettel, who has yet to win a grand prix in his home country, posted a lap time in 1:29.501. He currently holds a 21-point lead over Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who qualified eighth. Alonso is the defending winner of the German GP.
"Congratulations to Lewis; he did a great job," Vettel said. "I think it was quite close. I tried everything that I had. The car felt fine. I was struggling a little bit in the first sector, losing a little bit of time there. Then I was trying to catch up. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough."
While Hamilton grabbed the pole, his teammate, Nico Rosberg, who won last weekend's British Grand Prix in Silverstone, failed to advance into Q3 after making only one lap in Q2. Rosberg came up 0.095 seconds short of getting into the final qualifying segment. He will start 11th.
"It was quite a shock," Rosberg said. "I didn't see it coming. We just didn't judge it correctly."
Mark Webber from Red Bull qualified third, while Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean placed their Lotus cars fourth and fifth on the grid, respectively.
Daniel Ricciardo from Toro Rosso continues to be impressive in qualifying this season with a sixth-place result. Felipe Massa from Ferrari placed seventh. McLaren's Jenson Button and Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg completed the top-10.
Teams did not experience any issues with the Pirelli tires during qualifying and practice. Following the tire failures in the British GP, Pirelli quickly made changes to the tires that are being used this weekend in Germany.
Hamilton started on the pole for the British GP. He led the first seven laps before his left-rear tire blew. Hamilton bounced back with a fourth-place finish.