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2011 German Grand Prix.
Over to the Nurburgring this weekend, and maybe McLaren might do better now that the whole blown-exhaust regulations seem to have sorted themselves. Weather looks as if it could play a part too.
Not great so far, Webber fastest from Alonso. Hamilton & Button only 7th and 11th.
No reason to panic, says McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton
Page last updated at
18:22 GMT, Thursday, 21 July 2011 19:22 UK
By Sarah Holt
BBC Sport at the Nurburgring
Lewis Hamilton says there is "no reason to panic" as McLaren target a return to form at the German Grand Prix.
Hamilton and team-mate Jenson Button are both 95 points behind Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel with 10 races to go.
But Hamilton believes a change in the rules over using exhaust gases to enhance downforce will benefit McLaren.
"We're back to what we know and our race pace has been pretty quick," he said. "There's pressure to succeed but we're pushing as hard as we can."
Button added: "We can be on good form here and challenge the Red Bulls and Ferrari."
Before Fernando Alonso's win for Ferrari in the last race, at Silverstone, Hamilton and Button were the only drivers to deny Vettel victory this season.
But the decision by governing body the FIA to restrict the use of exhaust gases to generate downforce had a major impact on McLaren's competitiveness at the British Grand Prix.
Well after the second practice run today..I am panicking Mr. Hamilton! Doesn't look like the exhaust thingy is working yet for McLaren!
Looks like they will have to write off 2011 and work for 2012. The car simply isn't up to it.
Webber beats Hamilton to pole position in the German Grand Prix
By Matt Beer Saturday, July 23rd 2011, 13:03 GMT
Mark Webber claimed his second consecutive pole position by holding off a surprise challenge from Lewis Hamilton in German Grand Prix qualifying.
After McLaren's low-key practice form, the team had not been expecting to challenge for pole position, but Hamilton turned out to be the biggest threat to Webber and Red Bull.
World championship leader Sebastian Vettel will start only third for his home race - the first time all year he has been off the front row. Silverstone winner Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) had to settle for fourth this time.
Webber looked unbeatable throughout Q3, producing a 1m30.251s on his first run and then improving to 1m30.079s to put himself out of everyone's reach.
Hamilton was third after the first runs, was briefly pushed down to fourth by Alonso, but then blasted to second with a lap only 0.055 seconds down on Webber.
Vettel's second effort was not quick enough to reclaim the outside front row spot, while Alonso was 0.4s off the pole pace as he took fourth, half a second clear of his fifth-placed Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa.
Nico Rosberg only required on Q3 run to put his Mercedes in sixth, ahead of Jenson Button, who was a second away from McLaren team-mate Hamilton.
Adrian Sutil reached Q3 for his home race and gave Force India eighth place, ahead of Renault's Vitaly Petrov and national hero Michael Schumacher in the second Mercedes.
Nick Heidfeld and Paul di Resta could not match their Renault and Force India team-mates' progress into Q2 so will share row six, ahead of the Williams duo, with Pastor Maldonado outqualifying Rubens Barrichello by 0.4s.
After three start 18th places in qualifying, Jaime Alguersuari finally got beyond Q1 again - though he only made it as high as 17th, just behind Toro Rosso team-mate Sebastien Buemi. The pair were sandwiched by the Saubers, with Sergio Perez in 15th and Kamui Kobayashi the big gun eliminated in Q1.
Karun Chandhok got within 0.823s of Lotus team-mate Heikki Kovalainen, though the Indian could not prevent Virgin's Timo Glock sneaking between the Lotus duo.
Daniel Ricciardo showed highly encouraging pace in his second grand prix qualifying session as he was only 0.025s adrift of Hispania team-mate Tonio Liuzzi on the back row - and he will start ahead of the Italian in any case due to Liuzzi's gearbox change penalty.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1n30.079s
2. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1n30.134s + 0.055
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1n30.216s + 0.137
4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1n30.442s + 0.363
5. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1n30.910s + 0.831
6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1n31.263s + 1.184
7. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1n31.288s + 1.209
8. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1n32.010s + 1.931
9. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1n32.187s + 2.108
10. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1n32.482s + 2.403
Q2 cut-off time: 1m33.180s Gap **
11. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m32.215s + 1.217
12. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m32.560s + 1.562
13. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m32.635s + 1.637
14. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m33.043s + 2.045
15. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m33.176s + 2.178
16. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m33.546s + 2.548
17. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m33.698s + 2.700
Q1 cut-off time: 1m33.664s Gap *
18. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m33.786s + 1.960
19. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m35.599s + 3.773
20. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m36.400s + 4.574
21. Karun Chandhok Lotus-Renault 1m36.422s + 4.596
22. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m36.641s + 4.815
23. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m37.011s + 5.185
24. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1m37.036s + 5.210
107% time: 1m38.253s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2
Webber on pole, but Hamilton brilliantly split the Red Bulls to make the front row. Chat of a wet race tomorrow which he should relish.
Okay...this looks good! Lewis didn't get the pole...but he is close enough and Button is in 7th so maybe these boys can pull off a good race tomorrow!
They expect a wet race tomorrow!
Originally Posted by Mrs. JR Ewing
Lewis Hamilton wins thrilling German Grand Prix
previousLIVEF1 ForumTop three drivers - German GP6:24 minFerrari pit-stop farce gifts Vettel fourth place0:38 secHeidfeld collides with Buemi 0:50 secHamilton makes stunning start 1:04 minWebber respectful of Red Bull decisions3:49 min'Magic' Alonso hopeful of title challenge3:52 minDi Resta disappointed with unlucky13th1:01 minHighlights - German Grand Prix qualifying14:22 minWatch Mark Webber's pole lap in full1:53 minWebber praises 'sensational' engineers1:37 minAlonso satisfied with Ferrari performance1:28 minGerman Grand Prix qualifying - top three drivers4:36 minButton stunned by poor qualifying pace0:52 secWhat's wrong at McLaren?6:10 minGrip problems leave Di Resta down in 12th2:38 minRosberg takes Coulthard on thrill ride3:38 minGB GP3 drivers impress 4:46 minThe evolution of the F1 tyre2:19 minGerman GP second practice highlights2:47 minGerman GP first practice highlights3:15 minMcLaren cannot challenge for pole - Hamilton2:23 minVettel wants Red Bull step forward1:55 minAlonso refuses to give up Vettel chase1:20 minWebber confident after strong German practice2:36 minButton downbeat after first German practice1:40 minHome GP win would be fantastic - Vettel1:37 minWebber reveals assurances on team orders2:23 minButton not fearing Ferrari revival2:11 minHamilton 'positive' ahead of German GP2:37 minHighlights - British Grand Prix10:59 minLIVEF1 ForumLIVEF1 Forumnext
By Sarah Holt
BBC Sport at the Nurburgring
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton won a thrilling German Grand Prix with a feisty drive at a chilly Nurburgring to move third in the championship.
Hamilton jumped Mark Webber's Red Bull at the start for the lead, lost and regained it before beating Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Webber to the line.
An error-strewn drive saw Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel finish fourth but his championship lead remains 77 points.
McLaren's Jenson Button retired for the second race in a row.
An aggressive qualifying lap had earned Hamilton second on the grid behind Webber and the 26-year-old delivered more of the same when it counted most.
A second victory of the season - and his 16th career victory - leaves Hamilton 82 points behind Vettel with nine races left to go.
Hamilton celebrated on his pit-to-car radio: "Great job guys, great job. Keep pushing, these are the results we can get, it's amazing."
The 2008 world champion jumped pole-sitter Webber at the start to take the lead and although the Australian passed him a few laps later, Hamilton used the Red Bull's slip stream to re-take the lead.
The first round of stops saw Webber make a more decisive move as he pitted first on lap 14 and while Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel jostled for position coming out of the pit lane two laps later Webber sailed supremely into the lead.
An intense battle followed with less than two seconds covering Webber, Hamilton and Alonso. But Vettel, who had spun on the damp track, fell away from the leading pack.
That was unquestionably one of Lewis's best wins. That pass around Alonso, catching him napping, was the key to the whole race
BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard
The second stop for new soft tyres saw another dramatic switch of position with Webber again pitting first followed on the next two laps by Hamilton and Alonso.
Hamilton moved into the lead, slightly nudging Webber out of the way as the Australian tried to defend his lead, but Alonso moved in front on his way out of the pit lane.
The Spaniard's lead did not last long as Hamilton drove around the Ferrari on the outside to move back into first position.
"Hamilton is incredible," commented F1 BBC co-commentator David Coulthard. "He's in permanent attack mode and there's no love lost between him and Alonso either."
There was every chance the trio of closely matched drivers could have swapped positions in an obligatory stop for hard tyres inside the final 10 laps.
But Hamilton, who came in first, held on to take his first victory since April's Chinese Grand Prix ahead of Alonso and Webber.
There were contrasting fortunes on the other side of the McLaren garage as Button retired for the second race running.
The 2009 champion had been working his way through the field with a two-stop strategy after sliding back to 10th after a poor start.
But his comeback was cut short when the team told Button to bring the car back to the garage just after the halfway mark because of hydraulic problems.
"I had a terrible first lap but then the pace was good and it was all looking quite exciting," said Button, who remains fifth in the world championship.
"But I had to retire the car because you never know what can happen with the hydraulics."
For the first time this season, Vettel was not in full command of his Red Bull and his team suggested he may have had a problem with his rear brakes.
The reigning world champion managed to pass Felipe Massa's Ferrari in his final stop on the penultimate lap to gain fourth place.
"He just did not seem settled and the confidence goes - and that's the magic ingredient," added Coulthard.
Only downside was Button's DNF, those points would have been useful in the Constructors' Championship.
Lewis takes over at lap 33!!!
More races and results like today's are needed but equally Red Bull need a few DNFs to help close the gaps.