Alonso takes pole position at rain-soaked Hockenheim | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 21.07.2012
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Alonso takes pole position at rain-soaked Hockenheim

Formula One championship leader Fernando Alonso has taken pole position in tough conditions at the German Grand Prix. Defending world champion, Germany’s Sebastian Vettel, will join him in the front row.

Spaniard Alonso was four tenths of a second faster than his nearest rival, with a finishing time of one minute and 40.621 seconds.

Victory didn't come easy with the pools of standing water on the track at Germany's Hockenheim racetrack after a downpour before the second part of qualifying.

"It was not fun, that's for sure," said Alonso, who is hoping for his third win of the year in the season's tenth race.

"The conditions were on the limit but they were the same for everybody," the Ferrari driver said. "There was a lot of aquaplaning. I think we made a good strategic position to stop and change tires late in the third session, which helped us a lot."

Alonso had been among those calling for race control to abandon the session and almost spun into a wall during the race.

Second-place Vettel predicted something of a lottery in Sunday's race, with the possibility that similar conditions would open up the field.

"It could be pretty messy tomorrow," Vettel said. "Someone starting 18th could win the race."

Although Vettel's Red Bull teammate, Australia's Mark Webber, finished third, he dropped five places for an unscheduled gear change.

That means that Michael Schumacher, who finished fourth fastest, will start for Mercedes in an all-German second row with Force India's Nico Hulkenberg.

rc/tm (AP, AFP, Reuters)