Sebastian Vettel takes 55th career pole position as Lewis Hamilton forced to retire from qualifying
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News July 21, 2018 Updated: 11:38 PM PT
HOCKENHEIM, Germany — Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel took his 55th career pole on home soil as Lewis Hamilton runs into trouble early in the session.
During the closing minutes of the first qualifying session, Hamilton began to have issues with his car shortly after running wide and making heavy contact with the curbs at Turn 1.
Hamilton and the team tried to sort out the situation before he was forced to pull the car over to the side. Attempting to avoid elimination, Hamilton begin to push his car back to the pits. However, he had no choice but to abandon his efforts, leaving him to start 14th.
“In that moment I was thinking just push the car back to the garage, maybe we can fix it - it’s that I will not to give up. All I can do is put aside that negative energy and see tomorrow as another opportunity to rise,” Hamilton said.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff had speculated that Hamilton’s contact with the curbs was the cause of the issue, but the team later confirmed that Hamilton suffered a hydraulic leak prior to running over the curbs. Hamilton will now have to attempt another recovery drive just as he did at the British Grand Prix two weeks ago.
Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas took provisional pole on his second flying lap before losing out to Vettel and will start second. Vettel’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen finished 0.1s behind Bottas in third.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen will start fourth ahead of Haas continue to have a progressive weekend with drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean ending the day in fifth and sixth. Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg finished seventh and hopes to bring good a result in front of his home crowd.
Teammate Carlos Sainz will start eighth ahead of Charles Leclerc who continues his impressive rookie season starting ninth for Sauber.
Force India’s Sergio Perez rounded out the top ten while Fernando Alonso will start 11th for McLaren ahead of Williams rookie driver Sergey Sirotkin in 12th.
Marcus Ericsson will start 13th with Lewis Hamilton in 14th. Daniel Ricciardo, who qualified 15th, will move to the back of the grid after his penalties are applied.
Ricciardo’s move will shuffle the lower end of the grid moving Esteban Ocon to 15th and giving Toro Rosso drivers Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley a bump to 16th and 17th. Sirotkin’s teammate Lance Stroll will also get a bump and move to 18th.
Stoffel Vandoorne, who lost out to his teammate Fernando Alonso for the 11th time this season, will move up to 19th with Ricciardo in 20th.