Sebastian Vettel takes German GP pole as car failure hits Lewis Hamilton's hopes

The world champion only 14th in qualifying at Hockenheim after his Mercedes-GP stops on track

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany, front, and Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson of Sweden steer their cars during the qualifying session at the Hockenheimring racetrack in Hockenheim, Germany, Saturday, July 21, 2018. The German Formula One Grand Prix will be held on Sunday, July 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

Sebastian Vettel took pole position for the German Grand Prix as his title rival Lewis Hamilton suffered a new setback to his hopes of defending his championship.

While Vettel took the 55th pole of his career in his Ferrari, and first in his home country, with a lap of 1 minute, 11.212 seconds, a mechanical problem stopped Hamilton and he will start Sunday's race from 14th place.

Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas was second quickest, ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen's Red Bull Racing car.

The world champion's Mercedes slowed in the final seconds of the first part of qualifying, with the Briton complaining he could not change gears.

The car eventually stopped and the four-time champion leaned over his stricken car for a short while before he returned to the pits.

Formula One F1 - German Grand Prix - Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, Germany - July 21, 2018   Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton gets out of his car during qualifying    REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

Hamilton was classified 14th in the session, and he will start at the back of the seventh row.

Worse off then Hamilton is Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, who did not set a lap in the second part of qualifying as he looked to protect his car for the race.

The Australian has known since the start of the weekend that he will start last after Red Bull chose to change parts of his engine.

The Haas cars of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were fifth and sixth, with the Renaults of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz locking out the fourth row.

Sunday's race starts at 5.10pm UAE time.


Read more

German Grand Prix talking points: Can Vettel break Hockenheim duck?

F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton staying with Mercedes until 2020

Mercedes still fastest in Formula One season despite lost points, says Toto Wolff