Bottas becomes the Nurburgring’s 25th polesitter, Vettel records Ferrari’s worst qualifying result at the circuit in over twenty years and Giovinazzi makes it out of Q1 for the first time in 2020. Here are all the facts and statistics from qualifying at the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix!
BOTTAS ON POLE
Valtteri Bottas recorded the fourteenth pole position of his career at the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix. It was his third pole position of the 2020 season – his first since the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
Bottas becomes the 25th different driver to have taken pole position at the Nurburgring, and the third Finn to do so. Mika Hakkinen took pole here in 1997, while Kimi Raikkonen took pole in 2003 and 2007.
With his fourteenth pole, Bottas moves up to 21st in the all-time list of most poles, tying with Alberto Ascari, James Hunt, Ronnie Peterson and Rubens Barrichello.
Mercedes start on pole position for a twelfth consecutive race, making this only the seventh time in F1 history that a team has taken twelve successive poles.
Valtteri Bottas took pole by 0.256 seconds – the same margin by which Fernando Alonso took pole at the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix. That’s the largest margin by which pole has been taken at the Nurburgring since fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen took pole for the 2007 European Grand Prix by 0.291 seconds.
Lewis Hamilton took pole position for Mercedes on F1’s last visit to the Nurburgring in 2013. Mercedes therefore become the fifth team to have taken consecutive poles at the circuit. Ferrari, Lotus, Williams and Red Bull are the other teams to have done so.
Mercedes are the first team to lock out the front row at the Nurburgring since Williams in 2002.
THE TOP TEN
Lewis Hamilton’s streak of five consecutive poles came to an end at the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix, but he maintains his record of having qualified on the front row at every race this season. In the last 54 races, the 2018 German Grand Prix is the only one in which he has failed to qualify in the top five.
This is the first time that Lewis Hamilton has been out-qualified at the Nurburgring since 2007, when he crashed in the opening part of Q3.
Max Verstappen qualified in third place and set the fastest first sector time during qualifying. He has now been the fastest non-Mercedes driver at six of this year’s eleven Grands Prix.
Charles Leclerc equalled his best qualifying result of the season with fourth place. He also qualified in fourth position for the British Grand Prix.
Alex Albon qualified in fifth place, becoming the first Red Bull driver to fail to qualify in the top four at the Nurburgring since 2007. That year, the team’s best qualifier was Mark Webber in sixth place.
Qualifying in sixth position, Daniel Ricciardo qualified in the same position for Renault at the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix as he did for Toro Rosso at the 2013 German Grand Prix, the last race to be held at the Nurburgring.
With Daniel Ricciardo sixth and Esteban Ocon seventh, this is the first time that both Renault drivers have qualified in the top ten at the Nurburgring since 2005. Both of the Enstone team’s drivers qualified in the top five in 2013, when the team was in its Lotus guise.
OUT IN Q2
Sebastian Vettel qualified in eleventh place for the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix. This is the seventh consecutive race at which Vettel has failed to reach Q3, equalling his longest streak of Q3-less appearances. The only other time he has failed to qualify in the top ten at seven consecutive races was while driving for Toro Rosso, between the 2008 Malaysian and French Grands Prix.
Vettel’s eleventh place in qualifying marks the first time a Ferrari driver has qualified outside of the top ten at the Nurburgring since Mika Salo qualified twelfth for the 1999 European Grand Prix.
For the first time since the final seven races of the 2009 season, Ferrari have failed to reach Q3 with both cars at seven consecutive races. In that period, Luca Badoer and Giancarlo Fisichella recorded six Q1 exits between them.
Both AlphaTauri drivers were eliminated in Q2. While Daniil Kvyat is yet to reach Q3 this season, his thirteenth place in qualifying for the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix marked the first time since the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix that the Russian has failed to qualify in the top twelve.
Antonio Giovinazzi reached Q2 for the first time since the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix, recording Alfa Romeo’s fourth Q2 appearance of the 2020 season.
OUT IN Q1
Romain Grosjean missed out on reaching Q2 by 0.020 seconds. This was his third Q1 exit of the year, equalling the tally of his team-mate Kevin Magnussen.
George Russell out-qualified his team-mate for a 32nd race in a row. While Russell qualified seventeenth, Nicholas Latifi qualified eighteenth. Williams recorded the same qualifying result in the last race at the circuit, with Valtteri Bottas qualifying seventeenth and Pastor Maldonado eighteenth.
Kimi Raikkonen qualified in nineteenth for the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix. It’s his worst ever qualifying result at the Nurburgring. He had never previously qualified outside of the top nine at the circuit.
Due to Lance Stroll being unwell, Nico Hulkenberg’s services were called upon once again for the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix. For the first time since the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Hulkenberg will partner Sergio Perez at the Silverstone-based team. This will be their 60th race together at the team.
With minimal preparation, Hulkenberg set the slowest time in Q1 and qualified in twentieth place. It’s his worst qualifying result since failing to set a time and qualifying 24th at the 2012 Italian Grand Prix. He records Racing Point’s second Q1 exit of 2020, and the team’s first Q1 exit at the Nurburgring since 2009.
Hulkenberg’s lap time – a 1:28.021 – was 1.377 seconds faster than the lap time with which Lewis Hamilton took pole position at the last F1 race held at the Nurburgring.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.