Qualifying

James Charman

Fernando Alonso stormed to pole as the rain continued to play a part in the German Grand Prix.

Alonso will line up alongside the Red Bull of reigning champion Sebastien Vettel, who set the second fastest time of the session, with team-mate Mark Webber posting the third fastest.

Webber, however will start from eighth place after suffering a five-place grid penalty for changing a gearbox over Friday night.

The second row will be an all German affair, as Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg qualified fourth and fifth respectively, but move up to third and fourth as a result of Webber’s penalty.

The rest of the top ten were made up of Williams’ Pastor Maldonado, the two McLarens of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, Force India’s Paul di Resta and Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen.

The first qualifying session saw dry conditions, but the rain came in just before the start of Q2, resulting in some surprising names failing to make the top ten, including the Lotus of Romain Grosjean and the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg.

Both took the decision to change gearboxes after finishing 15th and 17th respectively, resulting in a five-place grid penalty for the two drivers.

The only other penalty of the session went to Sauber’s Sergio Perez as he was given his own five-place penalty after the stewards ruled he had impeded both Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso during Q2.

Despite qualifying on pole, Alonso was originally not happy with the conditions for Q3, questioning whether the session should even have taken place.

Going into Turn 6 it was not easy for everybody. There was a lot of aquaplaning and we are doing 180mph there.”

Force India’s Hulkenberg echoed Alonso’s statement, but was upbeat about tomorrow’s race.

It was a very difficult session and the rain didn’t make life easy for anybody because there was so much aquaplaning on the back straight with two of three big puddles.

We are definitely in a good position to score points tomorrow and I’m ready to fight and move forward in the race.”

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