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Vettel takes pole for German GP; Hamilton down in 14th


HOCKENHEIM, Germany — Sebastian Vettel secured pole position for the German Grand Prix on Saturday while Lewis Hamilton's hopes took another blow.

Already trailing in the title race, Hamilton starts Sunday's race from 14th place after a hydraulic failure.

A huge roar went up from German fans at the Hockenheimring as their local favourite — Vettel grew up near to the track — moved top of the leaderboard with seconds left in qualifying.

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas had only just beaten Vettel's leading time, when Vettel produced a stunning lap to move back in front. Ferrari's good day was completed with Kimi Raikkonen third fastest ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Earlier, German fans had cheered for a different reason when Hamilton's Mercedes suddenly stalled on track in the first part of qualifying, known as Q1. It happened shortly after Hamilton had gone too wide into a turn, sliding off the track and then going over some rough grass and bumping over a kerb — while momentarily airborne — as he came back onto the track.

The British driver desperately tried to push his car back to the pits so he could continue qualifying, but he realized it was a futile effort. Moments later, Hamilton was slumped over his car, head down for several moments.

Jerome Pugmire, The Associated Press

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