Lewis Hamilton scored the 87th pole position of his Formula 1 career in Saturday’s qualifying session at Hockenheim, edging out Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by three-tenths of a second in the final Q3 fight. It marked Hamilton’s fifth pole of the year, and his first at Hockenheim since 2008.

- Hamilton took pole despite feeling unwell with flu over the past few days, prompting Mercedes to make arrangements for Esteban Ocon to take over his seat if the Briton was unable to qualify. Hamilton had informed team boss Toto Wolff on Saturday morning that he was unsure if he would be fit enough to take part in qualifying.

- The big story coming out of qualifying was Ferrari’s double-failure as both Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel were sidelined by issues with their car. A turbo problem meant Vettel could not set a time in qualifying, leaving him last on the grid, while Leclerc was sidelined at the start of Q3 by an unrelated fuel system problem, meaning he will start P10 tomorrow. Both were new issues for Ferrari that had not been encountered before.

- Mercedes F1 chief Toto Wolff cleared up quotes regarding an “illness” at Ferrari after an interview he gave post-qualifying, saying his words had been “lost in translation”. “At the moment my sportsmanship prevails in saying I don’t want to wish anybody bad luck,” he said.

- Vettel said he was left feeling “very bitter” by the issue, but Leclerc was more upbeat, taking heart from his impressive pace throughout the weekend so far. He was quickest in FP2 and FP3, and also led Q1.

- Max Verstappen took a surprising front-row by qualifying P2 – surprising even himself as he parked his car up in the P3 slot – but he felt Red Bull could have been even closer to pole. A minor error on his final Q3 lap prevented him from improving and bridging the 0.3s gap to Hamilton. Teammate Pierre Gasly will start fourth on Sunday.

Valtteri Bottas was left frustrated by braking instability as he finished third in the sister Mercedes, narrowly shy of Verstappen’s lap in P2. Bottas, Hamilton and Leclerc are the only drivers in the top 10 who will start Sunday’s race on Mediums. The rest of the Q3 runners will all start on Softs.

- Kimi Raikkonen led the midfield for Alfa Romeo in fifth, but the Finn felt he could even have broken onto the front two rows after falling just shy of Gasly’s time.

Romain Grosjean’s decision to revert to Haas’ Australia-spec car was justified as he qualified sixth, calling the feat “impressive” given the development of the rival midfield teams. However the Frenchman admitted a race day pace drop-off, as seen time and time again at Haas this year, was a “possibility”.

Sergio Perez and George Russell became the first drivers to complete qualifying victories over their teammates for the season, going 11-0 up over Lance Stroll and Robert Kubica respectively with 10 races to spare.

- Stroll did however record his best qualifying result since last year’s Japanese Grand Prix by finishing 15th, ending his nine-month streak of Q1 exits.

- Pierre Gasly and Robert Kubica both took new chassis overnight in Hockenheim following incidents during Friday’s practice running. Gasly crashed hard towards the end of FP2, resulting in the change, while Kubica’s car was also found to have picked up damage, the Pole having complained of issues throughout Friday. Both cars had to repass scrutineering as a result, which was completed on Saturday morning prior to the start of FP3.

- Williams broke the curfew to complete the repairs on Kubica’s car, marking its first of two permitted breakages this year. Toro Rosso also broke curfew for the first time this year.

- FIA race director Michael Masi issued an update to the race notes on Friday evening that added a clampdown on track limits at Turn 1 and Turn 17. In both cases, drivers were warned their lap times would be deleted if any part of their car passed the left-hand edge of the blue and white kerbing. This led to a number of deletions throughout FP3 and qualifying, almost costing Pierre Gasly fourth place on the grid – he hung on by 0.016s to Raikkonen after initially going three-tenths quicker.

- Mercedes continued its retro throwbacks at Hockenheim as its team members donned 1950s-themed uniform, extending from team boss Wolff to the catering team and communications department. Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas both wore retro-themed race suits with stitched-on logos, as well as running retro helmet designs made to look hand-painted. Bottas also wore brown gloves and race boots.

- Another throwback on Saturday was the return of Michael Schumacher’s title-winning Ferrari F2004 to Hockenheim, this time driven by his son, Mick. Schumacher Jr. called the run “amazing”, and even noted that he fitted in his father’s seat perfectly. Schumacher Jr. will complete another extended show run on Sunday at Hockenheim ahead of the race.

- Charles Leclerc’s younger brother Arthur took pole position in the German Formula 4 race on Saturday, but went on to finish the race down in P10.



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