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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 20 August 2018

Sebastian Vettel takes German GP pole as car failure hits Lewis Hamilton's hopes

The world champion only 14th in qualifying at Hockenheim after his Mercedes-GP stops on track

Sebastian Vettel starts from pole position in his Ferrari. AP Photo
Sebastian Vettel starts from pole position in his Ferrari. AP Photo

Sebastian Vettel took pole position for the German Grand Prix as his title rival Lewis Hamilton suffered a new setback to his hopes of defending his championship.

While Vettel took the 55th pole of his career in his Ferrari, and first in his home country, with a lap of 1 minute, 11.212 seconds, a mechanical problem stopped Hamilton and he will start Sunday's race from 14th place.

Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas was second quickest, ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen's Red Bull Racing car.

The world champion's Mercedes slowed in the final seconds of the first part of qualifying, with the Briton complaining he could not change gears.

The car eventually stopped and the four-time champion leaned over his stricken car for a short while before he returned to the pits.

 Lewis Hamilton stands by his stricken Mercedes-GP car gets out of his car during qualifying. Reuters
 Lewis Hamilton stands by his stricken Mercedes-GP car gets out of his car during qualifying. Reuters

Hamilton was classified 14th in the session, and he will start at the back of the seventh row.

Worse off then Hamilton is Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, who did not set a lap in the second part of qualifying as he looked to protect his car for the race.

The Australian has known since the start of the weekend that he will start last after Red Bull chose to change parts of his engine.

The Haas cars of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were fifth and sixth, with the Renaults of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz locking out the fourth row.

Sunday's race starts at 5.10pm UAE time.

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