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Perez’s late escape condemns Williams to Q1 exit

6 July 2013


Williams' 600th grand prix will start from the final third of the grid at the German Grand Prix after Valtteri Bottas and Pastor Maldonado failed to progress beyond the opening phase of qualifying at the Nurburgring.

Although Maldonado briefly topped the times early on in the 20-minute session, both drivers remained on the cusp of the 'drop zone' as the clock ticked down and, when Sergio Perez rescued his afternoon with a late lap worthy of 14th spot, Bottas was pushed through the trap-door.

The Finn lost a lot of time with an error on his final run, while Maldonado was likewise unable to improve on 18th position, eliminating the Grove team along with its rivals from Leafield and Banbury as Caterham and Marussia filled their usual positions at the foot of the timesheet.

Mark Webber and Paul di Resta were among those enduring nervous moments towards the end, not least the Australian – who had had to sit through his countrymen's defeat by the British Lions between sessions – who made an error late on and, ultimately, chose to pit before knowing his fate.

Felipe Massa snatched a late top spot for Ferrari, heading Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, long-time benchmark Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton in the top five.


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