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It's time to sign off. That was some qualifying session. Red Bull have now had 10 out of 11 pole positions this season but remember that only four of the 10 races so far have been won by drivers from pole. Thanks so much for all your messages today, sorry that I couldn't use them all. I'll be back at around 1130 BST tomorrow to take you through the race. It has all the makings of a classic. Don't miss out. Bye for now.
Red Bull's Mark Webber:
"I got a little bit wide on the entry to turn one. It wasn't good enough and I lost the position to Felipe which was a shame. I knew is was going to be tight. It would have been good to be amongst it. Seb did a good job to get on pole so it's a good day for the team."
Muricher on Twitter:
"Would be better if it was McLaren one-two but five-six ain't bad. Can still get a one-two on Sunday."
jeff on 606:
"Ferrari taking points off Red Bull will be good for McLaren whilst McLaren take a couple of races to get their updates working. Still fancy McLaren's race pace though!!"
Vettel went bananas in the cockpit as he came round after claiming pole by the way. "Yes baby!" he shouts. "You did it," says his race engineer Guillaume Rocquelin. "Alonso didn't."
Massa and Mark Webber form the second row. Webber went wide on his final fast lap and that was his lap ruined. Button is with team-mate Hamilton on the third row, then it is Kubica, Barrichello, Rosberg and Hulkenberg.
Incredible. Vettel sets a 1:13.791 and Alonso, who is following him, just hasn't got enough. The gap is only two thousandths of a second. That is Vettel's third pole position in a row. It was some lap.
SEBASTIAN VETTEL QUALIFIES ON POLE FOR THE GERMAN GRAND PRIX BBC1 Radio 5 live F1 analyst Anthony Davidson:
"I think Red Bull may have made a little bit of an error in sending out Vettel early. Either that or they're super-confident."
Rosberg is off the pace and he sets a 1:17.537. He has time for one more lap.
Just two and a half minutes to go. The big boys come out for their late shot at pole. Hold on to your hats.
And now it's Vettel - a 1:13.961. That is very, very close. Webber is third with a 1:14.347, Hamilton is fourth, Massa fifth, Button sixth.
Here's Alonso then... and he's quickest! A 1:13.927. Beat that if you can folks.
Webber is the first man out for a fast lap - it's a 1:14.347. Hamilton sets a 1:14.566. Don't know about you but I'm feeling a little nervous.
Here we go for Q3. Where's your money? Don't go anywhere, you will not want to miss this.
There's a tiny pause before Q3. The chat about Schumacher's displays in his comeback season will not calm down after that. The other drivers to drop out are: Kobayashi, Petrov, Sutil, De la Rosa, Alguersuari and Buemi.
Would you believe it. Right at the very end of the session Nico Hulkenberg sets a 1:14.943 which is enough to knock Schumacher down into 11th and out of qualifying. What disappointment for the fans at Hockenheim. Rosberg just survives in 10th.
Drama. Schumacher gets into the top 10 with a 1:15.026 and then Rosberg leaps above him with a 1:15.018. They are ninth and 10th and safe. For now.
Alonso and Vettel are both on new tyres now and there is immediate improvement. The Spaniard sets a 1:14.081 while Vettel is second after a 1:14.333. Rosberg is still struggling in 11th, he needs to find something. And quick.
Massa improves to a 1:14.478, Alonso sets a 1:14.664, then it's Webber and Vettel. Button is in ninth and is going out on a new set of soft tyres. Rosberg and Schumacher are both in the drop zone at the moment.
BBC Radio 5 live F1 analyst Anthony Davidson:
"Is it going to boil down to a battle between Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel at the end of Q3? It wouldn't surprise me."
Bosh. Have that. Alonso, on the hard tyres, sets a 1:14.807 while Massa, who is on the softer tyres, then beats it with a 1:14.607. Vettel is third,Webber fourth, Hamilton fifth.
Webber posts an early 1:15.323 while BBC F1 analyst Martin Brundle
says: "I think there will be a shock this session, it is very close indeed."
And we are go for Q2 - Vettel, Webber and Alonso are the first drivers to take to the track.
Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi:
"I came out of the last corner quite fast, and I think I hit a puddle in the artificial grass that was quite invisible."
Chequered flag, Q1 is over. Kovalainen moves above Glock but the seven that drop out do not change. Noteworthy performance from Bruno Senna, who is close to Glock. There's just 0.249 seconds between them.
In the drop zone it is Trulli, Glock, Kovalainen, Senna, Liuzzi, Yamamoto and Di Grassi. There's lots of chat in the commentary box about whether Chandhok will be back in the Hispania race seat for the next race in Hungary. Interesting.
BBC Radio 5 live F1 analyst Anthony Davidson on Alonso:
"If there's ever been a warning shot, that's it. It's what we've been expecting from Ferrari all weekend."
And there he is, bang goes Alonso with a 1:14.808. Vettel is still second with Webber third (1:15.334). Schumacher is down in 13th. Lucas di Grassi will not take part in the rest of qualifying as he has a gearbox problem.
BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz:
"Jenson Button's brakes are running a little hot and it's a problem for McLaren generally. Lewis Hamilton is running with less tape on the brake ducts than Button. A problem for McLaren to keep an eye on."
BBC Radio 5 live F1 analyst Anthony Davidson:
"With all the rain the teams have had very little dry running at this stage, and really it's all about which drivers can actually live with the problems that they haven't had time to fiddle out of the cars."
There are lots of times being posted now. Vettel is quickest with a 1:15.152, Hamilton second, Button third, Webber fourth. Kobayashi is fifth.
Hamilton sets a 1:15.505 and he is the fastest man so far in qualifying. Vettel goes second with a 1:15.881. Button is currently seventh.
Button is currently lying in third, Hamilton fourth, Kubica fifth. Vettel is now on a flier, there's 12 minutes left.
BBC F1 analyst Anthony Davidson:
"There was no need for Liuzzi to push quite so hard at such an early stage. What would normally be a small error has cost him big-time. I'm sure his team will be less than pleased with him."
Liuzzi's car is being carted away on the back of a lorry and as the sun comes out in Germany, the session resumes. Liuzzi will now have no more running time before the race tomorrow.
BBC F1 analyst Martin Brundle:
"He'll be sore tomorrow. Unusually, there's no tyre barrier or conveyor-belting there. He's only gone half a metre or a couple of feet wide (on to the artificial grass). He should know what's out there. It's slippery out there. There are two areas like that around the racetrack. A driver's job is to shorten the race track and it is a difficult job to stop them taking advantage of areas like that and that's one of the solutions that's being used increasingly around the world."
We've just seen a replay of what happened. Liuzzi runs a little wide at the last corner and his tyres touch a bit of the astroturf. He loses control of the car and it smashes into the wall which protects the pit lane on the other side of the track. There is debris all over the place. Nasty.
Alonso sets the early pace - a 1:16.430 with Massa second. Whoa, there's a big smash. Liuzzi has crashed - red flag, session stopped.
The likes of Schumacher, Alonso and Massa are out on the harder tyres. Remember, the slowest seven drivers at the end of this 20-minute session will drop out.
Almost set now. Mercedes boss Ross Brawn is on BBC One. "There is big gap between the primes and the options [tyres]," he says. "It's the biggest gap we have had this year." I wonder what surprises are in store?
Paul in Zermatt via text:
"Watching RTL coverage of F1 in Switzerland. Eddie has nothing on their presenter who is wearing dark blue stripy shirt, lime green tie and white jeans."Tidy outfit, I like it.
Claire in Notts via text:
"My best friend Olly is at Hockenheim for a late birthday gift. Can you say hi to him? We're Vettel mad so I'm hoping for a home win for him."Done.
Sportsfan87 on 606:
"It's my birthday today, so a McLaren front row please. That would be a very nice treat."You lot don't want much do you?
Force India on Twitter:
"Driveshaft problem has resulted in a gearbox change for Adrian [Sutil]. He's fine to take part in qualifying but will get a five place grid penalty."
Telly coverage is showing Kamui Kobayashi in the kitchen cooking a bit of Japanese food. Looks a bit nicer than my sandwich in truth. He cooks a bit of salmon for BBC's Lee McKenzie and then reveals that he doesn't like fish. Strange boy.
BenIssatt on Twitter:
"Hi Orlo, it's my birthday GP as well (20 on Mon) and so this year I would like a Vettel home win and Alguersuari in the points please!!"Happy birthday, I'll see what I can do.
Kieran in Ireland via text:
"It has to be a Red Bull one-two on the grid with Vettel on pole and a mouth-watering start to the race in prospect for Sunday."
1235:Red Bull team principal Christian Horner
is asked on BBC One how sure he is that the tensions of Silverstone are not going to rear their heads again this season. He replied: "I'm very sure. We sat down after Silverstone and I spoke to both drivers. The opposition are the other 11 teams. Nothing is bigger than the team. Both drivers are contracted to the team. Silverstone (when a front wing was taken off Mark Webber's car and given to Sebastian Vettel) was one of those difficult decisions, but the data we got from there has enabled us to develop further for here and keep up the performance momentum. We now have a very clear policy - if such a situation comes up again, and there is only one part, it will go to the driver who is ahead in the championship. Mark understands that. Seb understands that and they are both happy with it."
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Hockenheim:
"I managed to grab a quick word with Martin Whitmarsh at a very busy McLaren HQ over lunchtime. After limited running during Friday's second practice, Lewis Hamilton was late getting out again for P3. The McLaren boss explained that the team were waiting for the track to dry because Hamilton only has two sets of intermediate tyres left after 'trashing' a set when he spun into the barriers in P1. Whitmarsh also said there was a slight vibration on Hamilton's car which they were worried could be a potential brake problem so they wanted to act with caution. He says there are no concerns ahead of qualifying but wouldn't be drawn on whether Hamilton or team-mate Jenson Button can stop Red Bull capturing a 10th pole of the season."
Just 30 minutes to go now. While you are waiting, take a look at a video of
Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button
competing as to who can erect a tent the fastest. I'm going camping with the family soon, maybe I could ask them to come with me to give me a hand.
Zeke Pliskin on 606:
"Webber's on a hot streak right now, hope he pips his team-mate and worthy adversary Vettel to pole position. Red Bull closing the gap between them and McLaren ratchets up the drama and keeps F1 riveting!"
Red Bull boss Christian Horner is being grilled by the boys on BBC One. He really has had to answer some difficult questions so far this season with all the controversy within the team. After one such question from EJ, Horner takes one look at his black shirt and responds by saying: "And I thought you were going to a funeral!"
mattlyon on Twitter:
"Jenson planning something sneaky perhaps? He's better than his third practice performance."
BBC F1 pundit David Coulthard on BBC One:
"It is remarkable that McLaren find themselves on top of the drivers' and constructors' championships when they have not had the quickest package. What they do have is a great deal of experience and strength in depth and they have been picking up the points."
BBC F1 pundit Eddie Jordan on BBC One:
"No-one has a clue who is going to be on pole today let alone who is going to win the race. That's why it is so exciting. Together with Britain, Germany is a pivotal race and these two races often form who is going to be the main protagonist at the end of the season."
Anna, London via text:
"It's my birthday! Vettel on pole please!"
Tom at work via text:
"Big Ferrari fan here. Would love to see one of my two boys on pole. Alonso for pole and win. Can't wait for the race!"
Right then, I'm now fully settled with the sandwich classic of ham, tomato and mayonnaise and telly coverage is about to start on BBC One and at the top of this page. Good times.
Anon via text:
"Guess what I saw last Sunday when I was travelling on the M20 to the beach? A Virgin Racing truck which I guess was heading to the German GP. Always look forward to a GP weekend, c'mon McLaren."
A lot of focus in the build-up to this race has been centred on Michael Schumacher and his return to the German GP. Our very own intrepid reporter Sarah Holt has been out and about at Hockenheim
chatting to home fans
about the seven-time world champion. I'm particularly keen on the fella with custom-made Schumacher jeans, scarf and flag. This year's must have.
From James (stuck at work) via text:
"Would love to see Rosberg grab his first victory at his home grand prix. Have been so impressed with his attitude and ability this year. Hamilton and Webber to make up rest of the podium!"
Virgin Racing had some problems at the end of final practice but the team insist both Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi will be OK for qualifying. "Looks like Timo may need a gearbox change, Lucas has an electrical problem," say the team.
zestex on Twitter:
"Very strong contingent of Lewis fans here in Nairobi, Kenya. By the way the beer is quite refreshing."You are making me feel quite jealous!
Confidence is running pretty high in the Ferrari team right now, not surprising really considering their displays so far this weekend. The team's
simply states: "Ferrari very competitive." Which says it all really. Ferrari have not won a race since Alonso claimed victory in Bahrain in the opening race of the season by the way, and they trail McLaren by 113 points in the constructors' world championship.
BBC F1 commentator David Croft:
"Traffic could be an issue. In Q2 someone could get caught out by being in the wrong place on the track at the wrong time."
fellboy on Twitter:
"Brit in the States on a bus to Cleveland, Ohio. It's 5am and I'm concerned for Jenson Button! Not looking good it seems!"
I've just had a sneaky peak at Eddie Jordan's outfit for today and disappointingly, it isn't something that should be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for further investigation. From what I can see he is wearing a very plain back shirt. I'm in shock.
Here's a quick reminder that you are most welcome to get in touch to give your predictions and comments about what will happen this weekend. You can use
or text on 81111
(UK) or +44 7786200666
(worldwide) with F1 before your message. Nice.
Carol via text:
"There are not enough texts and Tweets about Rubens Barrichello. So go Rubens go, you deserve to be back on the podium."
Anon via text:
"Mercedes seem to be improving rapidly and Schumacher is looking more consistent. Germany will (how fitting) be the turning point for Shumi!"
Ralph00100 on 606:
"Following from Nairobi, Kenya! I love the prospect of a wet race on Sunday. Go Lewis. (And a huge amount of credit to the McLaren garage! Guys are amazing!)"
While there is a little break in the action on the track, why don't you take a look at our
which takes in stories from around the F1 press. Could I also direct you to a great blog from our
F1 commentator Jonathan Legard
on Michael Schumacher and his form this season. "Schumacher's enthusiasm, commitment, knowledge and determination remain as sharp as ever but the whole racing package is not at its previous peak," he says.
seanbhoy87 on Twitter:
"Apologies for turning up late, couldn't drag myself out of bed this am. Hamilton on pole."We'll let you off seanbhoy87, it is the weekend.
Stuart, in Wagga Wagga, Australia via text:
"Big Lewis fan right here. Was a bit concerned about the crash but it looks like the McLaren boys have sorted it out. Would love to see a Brit one-two in Germany after the World Cup fiasco but that's perhaps a bit farfetched. Get on it lads!"
Ferrari on Twitter:
"Nothing too different from what we have seen yesterday: Red Bull look the strongest as usual but we are competitive behind them."
Well if qualifying is going to be like the end of that practice session then we are in for a real treat. That was very, very lively. The last man on a flier is Vettel and with his final lap he sets a scorching 1:15.103. Alonso is second quickest (1:15.387) followed by Webber (1:15.708), Massa (1:15.854), Rosberg (1:16.046), Hamilton (1:16.207), Barrichello (1:16.481), Kubica (1:16.646) and The Hulk (1:16.743). Button was 13th fastest.
Not long left now. Webber sets a 1:15.983 but Alonso trumps it with a 1:15.934. This Red Bull v Ferrari battle is fascinating.
Webber is on a charge and is quickest with a 1:16.568 but there's that man Vettel with a 1:16.087. There's a lot of traffic, Massa and Vettel have all been affected. Alonso is third, Massa fourth, Kubica fifth (1:16.985).
This is getting silly now, I'm struggling to keep up. Vettel posts a 1:16.915 but then here comes Alonso with a 1:16.805. Massa is third, Hamilton fourth with Rosberg fifth (1:17.649).
Crikey it's busy out there. Lewis Hamilton posts a 1:17.600 only for Massa to set a 1:17.171. Vettel has been keeping his powder dry so to speak during this period but he is out now.
Lots of action at the top of the timesheets now. Webber improves to a 1:18.675 with Jenson Button second after a 1:19.100. Massa is third (1:19.798). Hold on... Button is now top (1:18.576) while Michael Schumacher (1:18.868) is third.
The drivers are piling out now on the slick tyres. Mark Webber sets the fastest time of 1:20.360 with Alguersuari second after a 1:21.193. Buemi is third.
The Toro Rosso of Sebastien Buemi is out on slick tyres and unsurprisingly he sets the fastest time so far today of 1:21.369, which is 2.648 seconds quicker than Massa's best. Just as an aside, Toro Rosso
announced this week
that Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari will be retained for next season.
Button is on a fast lap and locks up coming into the Hairpin. He sets a 1:25.183 which is fourth fastest this morning. Vitaly Petrov is second fastest with a 1:24.526 with Vettel in third. BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos
says Sutil will not be coming out again in this session. His Force India car is up on the jacks and he has a drive-shaft problem. Team-mate Vitantonio Liuzzi, who is eighth fastest, tells his team that the track is "90% dry".
Jack on 606:
"I hope Webber gets pole, followed by the race win, and ultimately the championship."
BBC F1 commentator Jonathan Legard:
"The mixed conditions in practice on Friday make performance difficult to read, but the feeling among the engineers ahead of final practice is that the Red Bull, which has some new aerodynamic tweaks, is where it always is, ie the car to beat, and that their closest rivals this weekend, as was the case in Silverstone, are Ferrari rather than McLaren. Mercedes are hoping for an improved performance thanks to some new parts - a new floor, rear wing and other aerodynamic parts but Michael Schumacher is struggling to adapt to the handling characteristics of the new rear wing."
McLaren will be running their rear blown diffuser upgrade for the rest of this weekend by the way. They abandoned it after Friday practice at Silverstone two weeks ago. Jenson Button
that he was worried by the pace of Ferrari and Red Bull this weekend. He said: "The Red Bulls and Ferrari look fast, faster than we expected. I don't know if we'll be as quick." On the track, Felipe Massa goes quickest with a 1:24.017 and is then told by his race engineer Rob Smedley that he is only supposed to be scrubbing the front tyres. Brilliant.
And he does it, Sutil finally gets back to the pits and is wheeled back into the garage to allow the mechanics to find out what the problem is. Time update: Vettel (1:24.988), Kamui Kobayashi (1:25.953), Rubens Barrichello (1:26.367), Pedro de la Rosa (1:27.353), Nico Hulkenberg (1:29.465), Alonso (1:29.754).
ForestHamilton on 606:
"I hope Hamilton or Webber get pole, Hamilton because he seemed so determined in FP2 yesterday, he was pushing so hard just in 10 laps and Webber because I love to see Vettel lose."
A very sick-looking Force India is crawling around Turn Eight. Adrian Sutil is coasting back to the pits, he tells his team that he has lost drive and that he will try to get back to the pits. It's painful to watch. Go on Adrian, you can do it.
BBC F1 commentator Jonathan Legard:
"Behind the scenes in Hockenheim, there is plenty of gossip going on as usual. Driver-wise, Russian rookie Vitaly Petrov's seat at Renault for 2011 is looking increasingly insecure, but it remains a mystery who might replace him. Kimi Raikkonen, though, can be ruled out, despite recent rumours. And there are rumblings of disagreement over the future of testing, particularly pre-season, with some teams wanting the current limits to stay and others wanting to increase the amount of running."
And we have a time, Lucas di Grassi take a bow. He posts a 1:33.800. The Virgin Racing driver was having all sorts of bother finding some grip at the Hairpin and he did go wide early doors. Sebastian Vettel is also out and about and sets a 1:28.330.
306XSI on Twitter:
"McLaren to win in Hockenheim this weekend and would like to praise them for getting Hamilton back on track yesterday."
Every driver has now completed an installation lap and it's all quiet out there for now. BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos
says Rosberg was not completely happy with the balance of his Mercedes yesterday while team-mate Michael Schumacher says if everything goes to plan, they will secure fifth and sixth on the grid in qualifying. Meanwhile, David Croft has just stated an incredible stat. Apparently, 5.2 tonnes of cooked sausage will be eaten at Hockenheim this weekend - enough to fill 10 bath tubs. That's making me hungry.
Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne on Twitter:
"Tricky conditions now. Parts of the circuit dry and some wet so too dry for inters but not good enough for a useful run on drys. Will srub in some full wets and inters in case we need them for qualifying."
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Hockenheim:
"Jarno Trulli has been talking about his future after half a season battling at the back with Lotus. The Italian says he knew full well what he was getting into when he signed a three-year contract with a new team but the 36-year-old Italian wants to carry on. Is his seat in danger? 'No, I have a contract with the team and should be on board,' Trulli said with a smile. 'I'm very motivated to stay. I had to pay my dues this year but now I want to see where I can take this to. Heikki and I knew this was a transition season to build up the team. We have everything we need to think about scoring a point but not for this year. We still have a big step to catch up to one of the midfield teams but I think we will get them next year.'"
lokalhero via text:
"Not looking too great for McLaren so far this weekend. I hope they can find some more pace for qualifying."
Sreejay, Chennai via text:
"What's that vulgar message? Just like to know so that I can sympathise with your sensitive soul."I can't tell you I'm afraid. If I did I would be escorted out of the building!
The Lotus of Jarno Trulli is the first man out on the track and is very twitchy as he makes a start to the lap. There is a dry line but there is bit of standing water out there and Force India's Adrian Sutil is the first man to take a trip onto the gravel.
As drops of rain start to fall in Germany, our Red Button coverage is now up and running. Hispania's Sakon Yamamoto is told that it is just a passing shower and will last for five to 10 minutes.
BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Hockenheim:
"The German Grand Prix's return to Hockenheim after the race was hosted by the Nurburgring last year seems to have put everyone in a relaxed mood. Half an hour before third practice, Robert Kubica was chatting amiably to a man with a large cigar outside Renault, Red Bull boss Christian Horner was signing caps and Virgin's Timo Glock was doing a live interview with German television. The exception to all this serenity was McLaren, where there was some frenzied vacuuming on the doorstep of their motorhome. Former team boss Ron Dennis was renowned for wanting every speck of dust removed but it's a bit of an uphill task for those responsible for maintaining that image in the wet, mud-streaked conditions here. It could be dry for qualifying at 1300 BST."
Ferrari's hopes of a strong performance in qualifying were boosted by
Fernando Alonso's display
in Friday practice - setting the fastest time ahead of Sebastian Vettel. Felipe Massa was third quickest with Red Bull's Mark Webber in fourth. The Mercedes pair of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher were fifth and sixth. McLaren's
Lewis Hamilton crashed
in a rain-affected first practice, smashing his car into the tyre wall. He had limited running in the afternoon session but still set the seventh quickest time, with team-mate Jenson Button down in 15th.
N1njazNutz on 606:
"My money is on Webber to outshine Vettel for the remainder of the weekend - starting with P1 for qualy today."
BBC pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie:
"After a Ferrari dinner and shuttle bus shortage last night, a handful of the BBC team and I had to trek back to our car through the fans' campsites along the side of the autobahn. Despite the driving rain, there were plenty of people watching fireworks, sizzling sausages on barbeques and even doing a spot of karting. Some plucky campers had put up paddling pools of various sizes in the tented forest area. The fans deserve a medal for putting up with the horrendous weather that has caused such trouble on track for the drivers but it certainly doesn't seem to be dampening their spirits!"
So who is going to be on pole position today? Get involved with all of your predictions via
or text on 81111
(UK) or +44 7786200666
(worldwide) with F1 before your message. Actually, if could you text something in pretty quickly that would be fab because at the moment there is a quite vulgar message at the top of the inbox and it's upsetting my sensitive soul. Thanks.
Here's the schedule for today. We've got an hour of third and final practice coming up at 1000 BST - with
on the Red Button and at the top of this page from 0955 BST. Qualifying starts at 1300 BST with
and the boys on BBC One from 1210 BST. You can also listen to qualifying on BBC Radio 5 live. The whole of that lot is also streamed here on this interweb page thingy. Magic.
And a very good morning to you. We've got glorious sunshine in our little piece of heaven here in west London and it doesn't look too horrendous out in Hockenheim. Apparently it was raining overnight but the track seems to be drying out.
Ferrari have not had the joy of securing pole position for 27 races - a run that stretches back to Brazil in 2008. Can that drought end today? We'll get the answer to that question in the next four hours or so. Welcome to final practice and qualifying for the German Grand Prix.