Alonso on German poleposted in F121 | 07 | 2012
BATHGATE'S PAUL DI RESTA (see official photos of Paul in action in Germany today) starts tomorrow's German Grand Prix from ninth on the grid, while Ferrari's Fernando Alonso (above) bagged his second pole position in succession.
A fortnight after dominating the British Grand Prix, the world championship leader gave another masterclass in the mixed conditions.
After the opening qualifying session was run in the dry, Hockenheim was soaked during Q2 forcing some drivers to fit a full set of wets.
But as the track dried again in Q3, Alonso topped the timesheets with a time of 1min 40.621secs, 0.405s ahead of the Red Bull of second-placed Sebastian Vettel.
The German's team-mate Mark Webber, second in the title race, just 13 points behind Alonso, was third-fastest. But the Aussie will drop five places due to a penalty for a gearbox change.
Michael Schumacher continued his current run of impressive form, and will start third, ahead of countryman and Sahara Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg.
Paul di Resta: No1 focus for 2013
Next up is the Williams of Pastor Maldonado, followed by the two McLarens of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.
With Webber slotting in eighth, Di Resta's 1:44.889s was enough for ninth, just ahead of Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus.
After clinching the 21st pole position of his F1 career, Alonso admitted running Q3 in the wet was right on the limit'.
"I think the conditions were still very on the limit," the double world champ said. "As far as it is the same for everybody, I think sometimes it is good to check the circuit conditions.
"We did Q3 and I think going into T6 it was not easy for anybody. There was a lot of aquaplaning and we are doing 280/90km/h so... But, you know, everything went well for us and we backed off a little bit in those aquaplaning moments and the rest of the lap was clean."
The Ferrari No1 added he was relieved to have made it to the end of the session.
Scot Lewis Williamson back in GP3 action
"In these conditions there are surprises and moments everywhere," he continued. "It was not fun.
"When you have these conditions its very difficult to put a clean lap together. Those are survival moments, you need to finish the session and see what you can get. Whatever the position, you are happy because you made the finish."
Di Resta, meanwhile, the global ambassador for Whyte & Mackay Whisky, admitted he was held up by traffic during his final run in Q3.
“It was a very difficult session and the rain didn’t make life easy for anybody because there was so much aquaplaning on the back straight with two or three big puddles," the 26-year-old from Bathgate said.
"Towards the end of Q3 I was getting ready for my final run, but the traffic didn’t really work out for me and I struggled to get the lap when it really counted.
"Still, we made it into the top 10, so I’m happy, but you always want to be a bit further up the grid.
"We think it will be dry tomorrow, so it was important to get lots of running during final practice this morning to build up a feel for the car in the dry.
"We are definitely in a good position to score points tomorrow and I’m ready to fight and move forward in the race.”
German Grand Prix, Hockenheim — Qualifying (Provisional):
1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m40.621s;
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m41.026s +0.405;
3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m41.496s +1.838;
4. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m42.459s +2.880;
5. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m43.501s +3.329;
6. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m43.950s +3.492;
7. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m44.113s +3.565;
8. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m44.186s +0.875;
9. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m44.889s +4.268;
10. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m45.811s +5.190;
Q2 cut-off time: 1m39.729s
11. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m39.789s +2.424;
12. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m39.933s +2.568;
13. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m39.985s +2.620;
14. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m40.212s +2.847;
15. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m40.574s +3.209;
16. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m40.752s +3.387;
17. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m41.551s +4.186;
Q1 cut-off time: 1m16.686s
18. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m16.741s +1.048;
19. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m17.620s +1.927;
20. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m18.531s +2.838;
21. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m19.220s +3.527;
22. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m19.291s +3.598;
23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m19.912s +4.219;
24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m20.230s +4.537.
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