Formula 1: Hamilton Claims Pole in German Grand Prix as Vettel Starts Last After mechanical Failure

Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the German Grand Prix with a helping hand from Ferrari.

The five-time world champion, who had been feeling unwell going into qualifying at Hockenheim, set the fastest time despite struggling for pace through practice.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen qualified second and Mercedes No 2 Valtteri Bottas third.

The Briton is now aiming to win this race for the fifth time, an achievement that would lift him ahead of Michael Schumacher, a hero beyond measure in these parts.

His supposed heir Sebastian Vettel’s hopes of winning his home race took a beating without him even turning the wheel. An engine problem caused him to climb out of the cockpit as his mechanics toiled unavailingly to mend the problem before time ran out.

He will start in the pit lane, meaning he will stay clear of any early skirmishes and has the opportunity to carve his way through the field – even if victory is a remote chance.

Already 100 points behind Hamilton after 10 of the season’s 21 rounds, the turbo malfunction is just one of many setbacks Vettel has endured during the most frustrating year of his career.

He has not won since the Belgian Grand Prix last year.

Vettel’s team-mate Charles Leclerc, who was dominant in practice, was also stuck in the garage ahead of Q3, with a fuel system problem. He, too, climbed out of the car ignominiously. He qualified 10th.

The two young Brits, Lando Norris and George Russell, did not manage to escape Q1.

Russell was second slowest, though ahead of team-mate Robert Kubica for the 11th consecutive time. Norris, struggling all weekend, was slower than his team-mate Carlos Sainz, who was seventh best. It was the first time Norris has not penetrated Q2.