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Four penalties give new look to Hockenheim grid

The grid for this afternoon's German Grand Prix has been revised reflecting the three penalties for drivers who had to change a gearbox, but also a...

Four penalties give new look to Hockenheim grid

The grid for this afternoon's German Grand Prix has been revised reflecting the three penalties for drivers who had to change a gearbox, but also a penalty for Sergio Perez, who was docked five places by stewards for blocking.

Mark Webber moves from the front row to eighth, while Romain Grosjean and Nico Rosberg compound what was already a poor qualifying position by slipping back to 20th and 22nd places. All three men have gearbox change penalties of five positions.

Perez was penalised by stewards for blocking Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso during the Q2 session.

Schumacher starts third for the second Grand Prix in a row, while Hulkenberg's fourth place on the grid is the best for Force India this season.

Alonso starts the race from pole with a 13 point advantage over Webber and 29 points lead over Vettel, who will be the main driver he 'marks' today. In other words the target will be to finish ahead of Vettel or at worst to minimise the points loss to him, so in a tight race his strategy will be reactive to what Vettel does.

The race is expected to be dry so we should see a much faster McLaren than in yesterday's qualifying. Jenson Button starts 6th, ahead of Lewis Hamilton; this is not the first time he's started ahead of Hamilton, but it is the first time he's out qualified him this season. The other occasions were due to penalties for Hamilton.

The DRS zone is long at Hockenheim, the drivers can activate the DRS 260 metres after Turn 4, which gives a long run to pass before the hairpin at Turn 6. So we should see plenty of overtaking. For Red Bull staying out of the 1 second DRS detection zone will be important as their straight line speeds are well down on the McLaren.

There will be quite a lot of pressure on Pastor Maldonado to keep out of trouble and get a good result today, starting in fifth place, after throwing away quite a few points this season in races like Valencia and Melbourne.

GERMAN GRAND PRIX, Revised grid

1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari

2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull

3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes

4 Nico Hulkenberg Force India

5 Pastor Maldonado Williams

6 Jenson Button McLaren

7 Lewis Hamilton McLaren

8 Mark Webber Red Bull *

9 Paul di Resta Force India

10 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus

11 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso

12 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber

13 Felipe Massa Ferrari

14 Bruno Senna Williams

15 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso

16 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham

17 Sergio Perez Sauber **

18 Vitaly Petrov Caterham

19 Romain Grosjean Lotus *

20 Charles Pic Marussia

21 Nico Rosberg Mercedes *

22 Timo Glock Marussia

23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT

24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT

* = gearbox penalty

** = blocking penalty
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