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Van der Garde sails to Hockenheim pole
Giedo van der Garde
Giedo van der Garde held his nerve in heavy weather to take his second pole position of the season this afternoon in Hockenheim, clinging on as his rivals slid all over the circuit in the wet conditions to take the top spot ahead of James Calado and Fabio Leimer.

The Dutchman's best time of 1:44.022 pipped his British rival by just 0.012 just as conditions worsened, giving the rest of the field no chance to improve their position as the clock wound down to zero. The session started with steady rain falling, and worsened slowly but surely as time went on. Accordingly all drivers (apart from Giancarlo Serenelli, who was unable to take part due to the damage picked up this morning) were straight on track to set some banker times, although most were unable to stop sliding in the treacherous conditions.

Calado, van der Garde and Davide Valsecchi were soon swapping best times, but with no dry line forming on the circuit the improvements were incremental: van der Garde set his best time eight minutes into the session, just as the radar screens noted there was no chance of any improvement until the end, and so it proved.

Most of the field came back in halfway through to regroup and talk with their engineers to see where any improvement could be found, but with the rain carrying on no one was able to pick up any time savings in the second half of the session, and it was soon all over.

Behind the top three Nigel Melker, Fabio Onidi, Valsecchi, Felipe Nasr, Victor Guerin, Esteban Gutiérrez and Luiz Razia were all hoping for more from the session, although both Lotus GP drivers will be dropped ten positions on tomorrow’s Starting Grid following penalties picked up two weeks ago in Silverstone. The results mean a slightly shaken up grid for tomorrow's feature race, which promises fights galore as everyone looks to put one over their rivals when it counts.

Hockenheim – Qualifying Session

Pos Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing 1:44.022 11
2. James Calado Lotus GP 1:44.034 10
3. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:44.944 11
4. Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Technology 1:45.063 14
5. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni 1:45.129 12
6. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1:45.152 15
7. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1:45.420 13
8. Victor Guerin Ocean Racing Technology 1:45.516 11
9. Esteban Gutiérrez Lotus GP 1:45.613 14
10. Luiz Razia Arden International 1:45.636 12
11. Max Chilton Carlin 1:45.760 9
12. Tom Dillmann Rapax 1:45.763 15
13. Sergio Canamasas Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:45.821 13
14. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:45.870 14
15. Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 1:45.907 13
16. Nathanael Berthon Racing Engineering 1:45.917 12
17. Simon Trummer Arden International 1:45.939 13
18. Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team 1:46.103 13
19 Rio Haryanto Carlin 1:46.394 11
20. Josef Kral Barwa Addax Team 1:46.637 12
21. Jolyon Palmer iSport International 1:46.651 14
22. Stéphane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:46.849 13
23. Julian Leal Trident Racing 1:47.332 13
24. Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing 1:49.546 10
25. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax 1:52.356 14
26. Giancarlo Serenelli Venezuela GP Lazarus -- --
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