Ricciardo claims Hockenheim pole

Red Bull Formula 1 reserve driver Daniel Ricciardo (Tech 1) maintained his Formula Renault 3.5 championship hopes by qualifying on pole position for this afternoon's low-aero configuration race at Hockenheim

Having been quickest in Friday morning's free practice session, ISR's Esteban Guerrieri shaded points leader Mikhail Aleshin (Carlin) by 0.069 seconds to claim an outside front row starting position alongside Ricciardo.

Still searching for his first win of 2010, Fortec Motorsport's Jon Lancaster was in the thick of a furious final few minutes of action. Crossing the start line moments before the appearance of the chequered flag, the Leeds racer leapt from a place outside the top 10 to steal fourth spot.

Guerrieri's ISR team-mate Filip Salaquarda will head the third row alongside Italian Formula 3 champion Daniel Zampieri (Pons).

The red flags were brought out with seven minutes of the half-hour session remaining following a collision between Victor Garcia's KMP car and Epsilon Euskadi's Albert Costa. Reigning Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup champion Costa had encountered Garcia weaving to warm his tyres while on a hot lap. Costa sustained a punctured tyre and broken front wing in the accident, while Garcia speared nose first into a tyre wall.

At the time of the stoppage, Guerrieri sat at the top of the timesheets, 0.07s ahead of Ricciardo, with Lancaster and Garcia's KMP team-mate Anton Nebylitskiy next up.

Costa, in fifth, would lose out most once the session resumed. The Spaniard remained in the pits while the majority of the field took to the track. With one old tyre to replace his punctured Michelin, Costa would be bumped to an eventual 14th place.

The final piece of excitement was provided by Nebylitskiy, who careered across the grass on the exit of Mobil 1, the right-hander leading into the stadium section. The Russian rejoined the track with no obvious damage, but was forced to be content with eighth.

Pos  Driver             Team             Time       Gap
 1.  Daniel Ricciardo   Tech 1           1m27.061s
 2.  Esteban Guerrieri  ISR              1m27.324s  + 0.263s
 3.  Mikhail Aleshin    Carlin           1m27.393s  + 0.332s
 4.  Jon Lancaster      Fortec           1m27.430s  + 0.369s
 5.  Filip Salaquarda   ISR              1m27.432s  + 0.371s
 6.  Daniel Zampieri    Pons             1m27.481s  + 0.420s
 7.  Jan Charouz        P1               1m27.489s  + 0.428s
 8.  Anton Nebylitskiy  KMP              1m27.524s  + 0.463s
 9.  Nathanael Berthon  Draco            1m27.633s  + 0.572s
10.  Nelson Panciatici  Junior Lotus     1m27.679s  + 0.618s
11.  Jean Eric Vergne   Tech 1           1m27.683s  + 0.622s
12.  Greg Mansell       Comtec           1m27.702s  + 0.641s
13.  Albert Costa       Epsilon Euskadi  1m27.743s  + 0.682s
14.  Stefano Coletti    Comtec           1m27.751s  + 0.690s
15.  Walter Grubmuller  P1               1m27.967s  + 0.906s
16.  Federico Leo       Pons             1m28.049s  + 0.988s
17.  Keisuke Kunimoto   Epsilon Euskadi  1m28.080s  + 1.019s
18.  Sten Pentus        Fortec           1m28.087s  + 1.026s
19.  Bruno Mendez       FHV Interwetten  1m28.147s  + 1.086s
20.  Julian Leal        Draco            1m28.183s  + 1.122s
21.  Sergio Canamasas   FHV Interwetten  1m28.455s  + 1.394s
22.  Jake Rosenzweig    Carlin           1m28.475s  + 1.414s
23.  Daniil Move        Junior Lotus     1m28.566s  + 1.505s
24.  Victor Garcia      KMP              1m28.755s  + 1.694s

Ricciardo quickest in second session

Tech 1 thrilled with Ricciardo's pole