Vettel secures pole in Hockenheim, Hamilton out in Q1
German Grand Prix - Qualifying

Vettel secures pole in Hockenheim, Hamilton out in Q1

Sebastian Vettel romped to pole position at the German Grand Prix after main championship rival Lewis Hamilton was thwarted by car trouble in the early stages of qualifying.

Vettel, who grew up down the road from Hockenheim, turned in a late 1:11.212 to beat Valtteri Bottas to the quickest time of the session, prompting roars from the grandstands. Bottas will join him on the front row of the grid after edging Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari by 0.1s.

There was high drama at the end of Q1 which changed the entire complexion of the session and the rest of the weekend. Hamilton's car slowed to a halt after the reigning world champion ran wide at Turn 1 and hit the kerbs. Radio messages suggested the reigning world champion was reluctant to stop the car when asked to by Mercedes -- -- something which automatically ends a driver's session.-- as he frantically tried to find fourth gear.

After the car was removed to a slip road, a dejected Hamilton knelt by the side of his car in a similar fashion to the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix after the engine failure which played a huge role in his failure to win that year's championship.

It follows two races which have swung the title momentum away from Hamilton and towards Vettel -- in Austria, the Englishman retired when his car suffered a fuel pressure issue, while he was knocked into a spin on the opening lap of his home race at Silverstone by Raikkonen. Coming into this weekend Vettel's championship lead stood at eight points but it looks likely to increase by the conclusion of tomorrow's race.

It means Hamilton will line up from 14th on the grid barring penalties for other drivers, unless Mercedes is prompted into a gearbox change as a result of the incident.

Behind the battle for pole, Max Verstappen claimed fourth position but was 0.3s behind Raikkonen's car on a weekend Red Bull appears to be third quickest again. The absence of Hamilton and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo -- who is set to start at the back due to engine penalties -- helped Haas lock out the third row of the grid, with Kevin Magnussen beating teammate Romain Grosjean to fifth position.

Renault will start behind Haas, with Nico Hulkenberg edging Carlos Sainz for seventh, while Sauber's Charles Leclerc added another impressive performance to his rookie campaign by claiming ninth position. Sergio Perez rounded out the top ten for Force India.

Fernando Alonso continued this year's habit of obliterating teammate Stoffel Vandoorne in qualifying. Alonso missed out on a place in Q3 by 0.6s, while the Belgian was the first driver eliminated from qualifying. The record between the two now stands at 11-0 at a time when there is increasing speculation Vandoorne will not be at the team next season. Behind Alonso was Williams rookie Sergey Sirotkin and Sauber's Marcus Ercisson, who was unable to repeat Leclerc's heroics and progress to the final session.

Esteban Ocon was the first driver eliminated from Q1, ahead of Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly. Lance Stroll was 19th, ahead of the out-of-form Vandoorne.

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