Latest: Course record sees Sebastian Vettel take pole position in German Grand Prix

Latest: Course record sees Sebastian Vettel take pole position in German Grand Prix

Update 3.17pm: Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) will start the German Grand Prix on pole position after finishing fastest in qualifying this afternoon.

Vettel delivered a blistering lap in the dying moments of qualifying to see off the competition from Bottas and take the front slot on the grid. Kimi Raikkonen qualified third in the sister Ferrari.

Vettel's breathless lap was greeted by huge cheers from the Hockenheim crowd, with the German now the overwhelming favourite to extend his championship lead over a crestfallen Lewis Hamilton.

"I didn't really understand exactly what had happened so in my mind I was thinking, 'Get the car back to the track', but they asked me to turn the car off," Hamilton explained. "I jumped out and wanted to push it back but it was so far to go.

"I saw there was leaking oil and I knew that I had to stop and let the marshals put the car away somewhere. I have the will to not want to give up. I just want to keep pushing."

Earlier: Sauber's Charles Leclerc fastest in practice at rain-hit German Grand Prix

Sauber driver Charles Leclerc set the quickest time in a rain-affected final practice session for the German Grand Prix.

Following an overnight downpour at Hockenheim, the heavens opened again in the minutes before the one-hour running.

A number of drivers completed one exploratory lap before returning to their garages with the risk of car damage too high in the slippery conditions.

But, as the rain eased in the closing stages, Leclerc took to the damp track to post a best effort of one minute and 34.577 seconds.

Leclerc's Sauber team-mate Marcus Ericsson and Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin completed an unlikely top three, with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel fourth.

Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas were among 11 of the 20 runners who did not set a competitive time.

Speculation before final practice suggested Hamilton would be unable to take part due to being unwell, but a Mercedes spokesperson told Press Association Sport that the Englishman is not ill, and is fit to participate for the remainder of the weekend.

Hamilton, eight points behind Vettel in the championship, will return for qualifying which is scheduled to get underway at 2pm Irish time.

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