Hamilton hails 'incredible' pole after Ferrari's qualifying chaos

With Ferrari scuppered by mechanical problems, Lewis Hamilton is a happy but surprised pole-sitter at Hockenheim.

Lewis Hamilton salutes the Hockenheim crowd.   -  Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton admitted it was a real surprise to claim pole position at the German Grand Prix after Ferrari endured a terrible day in qualifying.

The drivers' championship leader will start from the front on Sunday after clocking a time of one minute and 11.767 seconds, more than three-tenths of a second faster than Max Verstappen in second.

Ferrari had set the fastest times in the first two practice sessions but were undone by mechanical woes, with Sebastian Vettel, who will start last, unable even to set a lap time due to a turbo problem.

Charles Leclerc was then unable to take part in Q3 after another failure, meaning he will line up in 10th place on the grid.

Given Ferrari's impressive showing on Friday, Hamilton was left stunned to come out on top, although he was delighted to mark Mercedes' 125th anniversary in style.

"I'm not really sure how we did it today, and I'm not really sure what happened to the Ferraris, but it's such an important race for us, our second home Grand Prix, and 125 years of motor racing, so it's incredible to celebrate in this way," he told Sky Sports.

"We've brought some upgrades this weekend, and the car has felt really good. Ferrari have been really fast this weekend, and I think they've been on a slightly different level.

"I think the times at the end were good enough to be able to compete with Leclerc if he'd done a lap at the end. It would've been close between us."

Leclerc confirmed he had been scuppered by a fuel problem, saying: "It's a shame but we will be trying to understand what happened in order to not reproduce it.

"It's a very difficult day for the team, but I hope it will be a more positive day [on Sunday]. I felt great in the car, and the car felt great today and all weekend, so it's a shame it ends up last this."

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