Second qualifying at the Nürburgring yielded no improvement in form for Joel on a meagre weekend so far in the Eifel mountains, as he again struggled for grip in another rain-drenched outing.
Much like opening qualifying yesterday, the second grid-decider in Germany took place in heavy rain, with Joel again left uncharacteristically far down the order.
Unable to make a proper impact, Joel ended up 17th on the outright charts that set up the grid for Race 2, and 16th on second-fastest times used to determine the Race 3 formation.
The two pole positions on offer went to Britons Jake Hughes (Race 2) and Callum Ilott (Race 3).
Ilott’s case told a telling tale about the fickle nature of the session. Languishing down in 19th place for much of the 20 minutes, the Prema Powerteam man then suddenly improved by some 2.5 seconds in the closing stages to haul himself all the way to the front.
Next session: Race 2, 11.05 local time (GMT+02:00) on Sunday.
“It’s the same as yesterday – we’re just not quick enough, lacking in overall grip. I gave it everything I had out there today, but this is where we are. I spoke to Maxi (Günther) when we got back to the pits, and he experienced the same. I think it’s partly connected to the tyres and getting them into the right operating window, but it’s also more to it than that.
“It will be a long day tomorrow. Having said that, we have proved earlier this season that we’re strong in the races and know how to fight back. We just need to keep our heads down, work hard and make the best of what we have, even though – of course – this was another massive blow.”
RESULTS – Qualifying 2
Outright times (grid for Race 2)
Second-fastest times (grid for Race 3)