Alonso starts ahead of three home hopefuls on the Hockenheim grid
There will be three German drivers on the front two rows of the grid for their home Grand Prix at Hockenheim, however their strong performances in a wet qualifying session were upstaged by man of the moment Fernando Alonso.
The Spaniard has claimed four podium finishes in five races to emerge as a 13/8 frontrunner for his third Drivers’ title and is also the 7/4 favourite to win on Sunday after qualifying 0.405 seconds faster than world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Alonso was beaten from pole by Mark Webber at Silverstone a fortnight ago as Red Bull’s race pace proved too quick to contain, but despite producing the third fastest time, a grid penalty will see the 16/1-rated Australian start in eighth.
Instead, the second row will be packed out by Michael Schumacher and Niko Hulkenberg, who managed to pull out his best qualifying display of the season in front of his home fans.
Neither are expected to prove too competitive in the race, with Schumacher 12/1 and Hulkenberg 40/1, and Vettel is judged the only man that the locals can realistically pin their hopes on at 15/8.
The 25-year-old hasn’t won a race in which he didn’t qualify quickest since the Korean Grand Prix last October though and has just one victory to his name this campaign.
Additionally, Vettel actually lost from pole to Alonso when the Formula One circus last stopped off in Hockenheim two years ago, suggesting that the championship leader is the better bet at an only marginally shorter price.
Saturday’s session prompted yet more questions about McLaren’s alarming lack of speed in the wet, as Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton could only deliver the seventh and eighth best times.
Both gain a place courtesy of Webber’s predicament though and expressed confidence that they will be a greater threat during the race in anticipated dryer conditions.
Hamilton in fact is third favourite 10/1, with Button further back at 14/1 on account of his poor recent form.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.