German Grand Prix Live: Follow all the F1 drama as it unfolds from Hockenheim
13:04 GMT, 22 July 2012
Fernando Alonso will start on pole for the German Grand Prix after mastering the conditions in yesterday's rain-hit qualifying session.
But it was another disappointing day for the McLaren duo of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton who will start sixth and seventh respectively.
Stay tuned for all the action, and get involved by sending me an email or by directing your tweets to @martin_domin
Lewis Hamilton suffered an early puncture and lies 16th
Fernando Alonso leads from Jenson Button
Sebastian Vettel is third
LAP 44: Less than a second between Alonso and Button now. This is all set up for a cracking finish.
LAP 43: Vettel goes wide which allows Button to pull further clear. As the track temperature increases, the Lotus' seem to be getting faster and we could see something from Raikkonen after all.
LAP 42: So, Alonso still leads but Button is less than two seconds behind with Vettel in third.
LAP 41: Brilliant from Button! He pits which forces Vettel and Alonso to do likewise and the Brit manages to steal second place with a cracking head to head fight with the German.
LAP 40: McLaren are out for Jenson Button.
LAP 39: Raikkonen has made it through those four laps and is in to the pits. Not too much happening in terms of times at the front as Alonso maintains his advantage.
LAP 38: Our F1 correspondent Phil Duncan on Twitter: 'Will be very interesting to hear what Vettel says about this afterwards. He's not a happy bunny.'
LAP 37: Hamilton looks like he'll need another stop after all due to his ongoing battle at the front, despite being at the back, if you get my drift.
LAP 36: Hamilton causing havoc at the front and he closes on Alonso despite being 18th. Button less than two seconds behind Vettel now. The German has been told to go easy on the KERS by his team; his afternoon has suddenly taken a turn for he worse.
LAP 35: Hamilton unlaps himself by passing Vettel which could help Button close the gap even further.
LAP 34: Hamilton is told by his team not to hold Button up, which is fair enough and the front three are close together now.
LAP 33: Button set the fastest lap on his last effort and he is now less than three seconds behind Vettel. Hamilton is among the leaders but is being lapped. Not the day he expected.
LAP 32: Webber is now seventh as Hulkenburg is passed again; not a great day for the German at his home grand prix. Raikkonen is complaining about his tyres but is told he must stay out for four more laps. Hamilton comes in for what we expect to be his last stop.
LAP 31: Mark Webber is now back to where he started in eighth and we'll be expecting cars to come back into the pits soon. Button remains four seconds behind Vettel and 10 clear of Raikkonen.
LAP 30: Nico Rosberg is another who has been on a charge and from 21st, he is now 10th as Paul Di Resta continues to go backwards. Vettel is right behind Alonso now, how long can the Ferrari hold him off
Missing: Massa suffered a bad start as he lost his front wing
LAP 29: This alleged pace from Lotus is not evident. I'd be surprised if the top three changes although any of Alonso, Vettel and Button could win it. And Perez takes Hulkenburg for sixth.
LAP 28: Sergio Perez is sitting seventh after his early march through the pack. Next up is Nico Hulkenburg.
LAP 27: The German certainly looks the fastest man out there. Can he break his hoodoo
LAP 26: Expecting the rest of the drivers to make their seconds stops at around lap 33. Button losing a bit of time over the last few laps while Vettel closes in on Alonso. He looks ominous.
LAP 25: Paul Di Resta is battling with Kobayashi for ninth place in what looks to be a good fight. Raikkonen is informed he's the fastest man on the track, which is not quite true but might motivate the Finn. He's fourth.
LAP 24: Hamilton is informed he might only be stopping just once more despite stopping as early as the third lap. Button continues to close the gap. Alonso not as fast after his stop.
LAP 23: Hamilton is now up to 18th and should be focusing on the race now rather than rain, or retiring, or what's on TV. Just over six seconds separate the top three.
LAP 22: Jenson Button has been informed that he is racing to win. I'm glad they cleared that up. The Brit gained 2.5 seconds over the pit stops on Vettel which is good news for him.
LAP 21: Vettel is in to the pits… and comes out behind Kobayashi and Alonso. The German manages to take second a few corners later however and it's as we were. Raikkonen is now fifth after another impressive move on Schumacher as his race gets better and better.
LAP 20: Button also pits and rejoins behind Takeru Kobayashi in fourth. Hamilton is asking his team if there is any rain forecast. Desperate measures from the Brit. No sign of Vettel coming in. Webber makes his way up to ninth.
LAP 19: Alonso rejoins in third behind Vettel and Button.
LAP 18: Perez is in to the pits as Hamilton catches the back of the field and will begin to work his way through the field. Race leader Alonso is in.
LAP 17: Mark Webber, having won the British Grand Prix, is struggling down in 11th. He'll need to force himself into the points somehow.
Crash: The front wing of Felipe Massa of Brazil flies over the track
LAP 16: Button remains in third place but he's more than five seconds behind Vettel. Perez is now in fourth and is yet to pit but his times are up there with the leaders. Impressive from the Sauber.
LAP 15: Schumacher is in and rejoins in seventh, behind Hulkenburg. Alonso's lead is now two seconds. Terrific scrap between the Germans though! Schumacher gets past then Raikonnen also slips through. The Finn is flying.
LAP 14: Raikonnen looks to be running well after his pit stop. He's in ninth despite having to pass cars on his first lap back out, and has set the fastest lap. No change at the front, Alonso from Vettel.
LAP 13: Hamilton does seem to be rather disinterested in the race. Put stops aplenty now, some teams opting for soft tyres, some for medium. Bit of a guessing game now.
LAP 12: Raikkonen is next to pit but he opts for another set of softs. From Simon Cass: Does Lewis Hamilton have a prior engagement ‘We should retire’ followed by ‘The car doesn’t feel stable’. So how come he was the fastest man on the track'
LAP 11: Di Resta is in to the pits and changes on to medium tyres. Button takes Schumacher and is flying in third. Next up, Vettel.
LAP 10: Hamilton is lapping at a similar pace to the leaders but does have new tyres and is over a minute down.
LAP 9: Alonso has a lead of one second over Alonso who is in turn four seconds ahead of Schumacher. Di Resta loses another place, this time to Perez who continues to storm through the field.
LAP 8: Brilliant move from Button as he overtakes Hulkenburg into fourth. He has been told by his team that he is quicker than Schumacher in third. Is a much needed podium in the offing for the Brit
LAP 7: The McLaren driver is still not happy and is complaining to his team about the handling of the car.
LAP 6: Hamilton remains in the race but he is in 22nd place, behind Massa. He won't be retiring after all. Excellent start from Sergio Perez; he's jumped from 17th to 10th already.
LAP 5: Stunning battle between Raikonnen and Di Resta as the Lotus takes eighth place from the Scot. Going back to Massa, and it looks like he clipped Ricciardo and lost his front wing just after the start.
Pulling away: Fernando Alonso leads from Sebastian Vettel
LAP 4: Hamilton tells his team he should be retiring on his 100th Grand Prix. The front two are pulling away from Schumacher as Alonso sets the fastest lap.
LAP 3: Hamilton is really struggling now and is in 10th place as even Daniel Ricciardo finds a way passed. He's limping towards the pits and his race looks like it's over already. Plenty of debris on the track from Massa's incident that I still haven't seen and the McLaren has suffered a puncture as a result. Vettel sets the fastest lap so far.
LAP 2: Massa
is in the pits and he's lost a front wing somewhere but no-one is quite
sure how. Grosjean comes in as well which would suggest he was
involved. Bruno Senna is also having to come in and he isn't going back
out by the looks of things.
LAP 1: Here we go! Alonso gets away well and is clear of Vettel. Button has passed Maldonado but disaster for Hamilton as both Webber and Raikkonen overtake. Vettel locks up and Schumacher closes in on his fellow German.
1pm: The parade lap is underway… We should be looking at two-stop strategies this afternoon, lets hope McLaren can avoid any slip-ups.
12.55pm: Simon Cass is our man in Germany: 'Afternoon all. So in the sunshine of Hockenheim we should finally get to see whether those McLaren updates are all they are cracked up to be. They will need to be if Jenson and Lewis are to overhaul Maldonado, the German trio of Hulkenberg, Schumacher and Vettel, not to mention championship leader Alonso.
'Red Bull have dodged another bullet after escaping punishment for an engine mapping tweak which most of the competition believe improves rear down force and cuts wheel spin. ‘It is certainly not the end of it,’ said driver steward for the day Derek Warwick. I reckon he is right!'
12.50pm: Red Bull chief Christian Horner claims he was always confident that his team would be cleared. He expects the issue to be debated again and hopes some clarity can emerge.
12.45pm: The German national anthem rings out which means we must be getting close to the start. One home favourite who won't be winning today is Nico Rosberg who had a poor qualifying session and was then relegated to 21st after changing his gear box.
Here we go: Alonso arrives at the track
12.40pm: Ross Brawn of Mercedes reckons there will be more to come from the Red Bull row. Certainly nothing will happen before the race.
and Hamilton will be looking to get past the trio of Michael
Schumacher, Nico Hulkenberg and Pastor Maldonado as quickly as possible.
Then, it's game on. Incidentally, Vettel has never won in Germany, nor
has he won a grand prix in July. Omens…
12.30pm: McLaren struggled in the rain yesterday but conditions are better today and they did look good in the practice sessions before the heavens opened. Whether they can make up enough ground to challenge Alonso and Vettel however is another thing altogether.
12.20pm: The Brits of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, in his 100th grand prix, are sixth and seventh after Mark Webber's five place grid penalty for a gearbox change.
12.10pm: Anyway, the race itself is 50 minutes away and we have Fernando Alonso on pole with Vettel himself sitting second.
12.02pm: It seems however that the stewards were not completely satisfied with Red Bull's explanation but because of the wording of the regulations, they could not find a way to punish them. Hmmm….
12.01pm: No action will be taken against Red Bull.
12pm: Welcome to Sportsmail's coverage of today's German Grand Prix. There has already been a development at Hockenheim as you can see below…
BREAKING NEWS: Red Bull are under investigation by the stewards for a breach of the technical regulations ahead of today's German Grand Prix.
Technical delegate Jo Bauer has questioned the engine torque map of the cars of reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel and team- mate Mark Webber.
Read the full story here
On pole: Fernando Alonso will be hoping to convert his qualifying performance into a race win