If you’re looking for winners and losers regarding the new tires brought to the German Grand Prix, then perhaps you could see a rise in performance in Sauber and perhaps Lotus who have always found qualifying a bit of a challenge.
Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg proved once again why he deserves a top ride by getting his complicated chassis into Q3 but it was Lotus F1’s Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean who slotted 4th and 5th for Sunday’s race.
Ferrari were setting good lap times but chose to mix the strategy up a bit by qualifying on the prime tires instead of the options and this could work in their favor should the pace we thought we saw in Q2 comes to fruition. Getting heat into the Kevlar-belted rear tires is proving a little more difficult and many of the teams spent the first part fo the season trying to prevent heat from ruining their rear tires, now they have to do the opposite.
It also shouldn’t go unnoticed that McLaren seem to have squeaked into Q3 and that’s given the folks from Woking a little hope that the Kevlar-belted tires may be an assist in getting their car headed in the right direction.
For Mercedes, the tire issues of the past may simply be behind them. They’ve shown good qualifying pace all year long but the race pace has been their deficit. That appears to be a thing of the past but Sunday will tell whether the German marque can keep from destroying their rear tires.
Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo is still driving like a man on a job interview and so is Paul di Resta who both did a handy job of it on Saturday.
Who do you think gained the most from the new tires? Is there a theme emerging or is this status quo for what we’ve seen most of the year so far?
2013 German Grand Prix qualifying times
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:29.398
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:29.501
3 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1:29.608
4 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus 1:29.892
5 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:29.959
6 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:30.528
7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:31.126
8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:31.209
9 Jenson Button McLaren No time
10 Nico Hülkenberg Sauber No time
11 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:30.326
12 Paul di Resta Force India 1:30.697
13 Sergio Pérez McLaren 1:30.933
14 Esteban Gutiérrez Sauber 1:31.010
15 Adrian Sutil Force India 1:31.010
16 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:31.104
17 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:31.693
18 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:31.707
19 Charles Pic Caterham 1:32.937
20 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:33.063
21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1:33.734
22 Max Chilton Marussia 1:34.098