Archive for the ‘2010 Qualifying’ Category

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Vettel on Pole for Final Race of 2010

November 13, 2010

Sebastian Vettel will start the final race of the 2010 Formula One season from pole, his tenth of the season, after setting a lap time of 1:39.394 in qualifying for tomorrow’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton will start from second having missed out by less than a tenth of a second. Championship leader Fernando Alonso will start from third ahead of main rival Mark Webber who will start fifth, with Jenson Button splitting the pair in fourth.

Webber was disappointed with his lack of pace and subsequent grid position, and with Alonso ahead in third, the pressure will no doubt be getting to him if he is to take his first title. Hamilton, who sits 24 points adrift of Alonso will need a win, with Alonso failing to finish in the points, and Vettel finishing no higher than third, with Webber no higher than sixth to take the title. For Vettel, he needs a win or second position to get ahead of Alonso.

In the second half of the top ten, Felipe Massa set the sixth fastest time, with Rubens Barrichello seventh, Michael Schumacher eighth, Nico Rosberg ninth, and Vitaly Petrov tenth.

In Q1 the usual suspects found themselves in the dropout zone – Sebastien Buemi, Jarno Trulli, Heikki Kovalainen, Timo Glock, Lucas di Grassi, Bruno Senna and Christian Klien in 18th to 24th respectively. Jaime Alguersuari just pipped his Toro Rosso teammate to get through to Q2, the two cars the only of the established teams without an F-duct.

In Q2 Robert Kubica, Kamui Kobayashi, Adrian Sutil, Nick Heidfeld, Nico Hulkenberg, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Alguersuari dropped out in 11th down to 17th respectively.

Vettel is in the best position for tomorrow’s race, and he’ll be hoping to stay there if he’s to get the best shot at the title. Hamilton will be on the attack straight away, unless the stewards penalise him for his incident with Massa in Q2. Webber has a fight on his hands if he’s going to take the title, and he’ll be hunting Alonso straight off the start to give him the best possible chance.

So with the grid a bit more shaken up than normal, anything could happen in tomorrow’s race. But who is going to walk away with the ultimate prize? Four men remain in the hunt, and while Alonso is in the best position, it could still be anyone’s for the taking.

The race starts at 1pm UK time tomorrow, and you wouldn’t want to miss it.

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Hulkenberg Takes Surprise Pole in Brazil

November 6, 2010

Nico Hulkenberg set the fastest time in qualifying for tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo this afternoon, a second faster than Sebastian Vettel who starts second and Mark Webber who starts third.

As the track started to dry out in Q3, the drivers pitted for the soft tyres, and while the Red Bulls, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton looked quick, they weren’t quick enough to beat Hulkenberg.

Alonso, who leads the championship by 11 points, will start fifth, incidentally on his final recycled engine after engine failure earlier in the weekend. Hamilton will start ahead of him in fourth alongside Webber on the second row.

Hulkenberg’s Williams teammate, Rubens Barrichello, will start sixth, with Robert Kubica seventh, Michael Schumacher eighth, Felipe Massa ninth, and Vitaly Petrov tenth.

Jenson Button failed to get into the top ten shoot-out, and will start 11th, his championship hopes appearing to have diminished. Kamui Kobayashi starts 12th, Nico Rosberg 13th, Jaime Alguersuari 14th, Sebastien Buemi 15th, and Nick Heidfeld and Vitantonio Liuzzi 16th and 17th, also dropping out in Q2.

Adrian Sutil was the one joining the new teams in Q1, dropping out in 18th, but will start 23rd after receiving a five-place grid-drop penalty for his antics in Korea two weeks ago. That leaves Timo Glock 18th on the grid, Jarno Trulli 19th, Heikki Kovalainen 20th, Lucas di Grassi 21st, Christian Klien 22nd, and Bruno Senna 24th.

So will the title be decided tomorrow? If Alonso wins the race, or finishes second or third with his competitors behind him, he will secure the championship with one race left to go. But no doubt his title contenders won’t be giving up without a fight.

The race starts at 4pm UK time.

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Vettel on Pole for First Ever Korean GP

October 23, 2010

Sebastian Vettel will start the first ever Korean Grand Prix from pole, after setting a time of 1:35.585 in qualifying, less than a tenth of a second ahead of teammate Mark Webber.

Vettel and Webber lock out the front row yet again this season, but championship leader Webber will have to start on the dusty side of the new grid. Fernando Alonso will start third, despite looking for a long time like he had pole in the bag. Lewis Hamilton will start fourth, with Nico Rosberg fifth and Felipe Massa sixth.

Jenson Button struggled throughout qualifying for grip, and he will start from seventh ahead of Robert Kubica, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello who will start eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.

Elsewhere in qualifying, Hamilton was fastest in Q1, while Button struggled to get heat into the prime tyres, setting a time in tenth. In the dropout zone were the usual suspects, Vitantonio Liuzzi out in 18th, joining the new teams with Jarno Trulli 19th, Timo Glock and Heikki Kovalainen 20th and 21st, and Lucas di Grassi, Sakon Yamamoto and Bruno Senna 22nd to 24th, respectively.

In Q2, Webber was fastest, while Button continued to struggle, and Nico Hulkenberg, Kamui Kobayashi, Nick Heidfeld, Adrian Sutil, Vitaly Petrov, Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi found themselves out in 11th to 17th. Petrov will start 20th following his penalty for causing the first lap collision in Japan two weeks ago.

The race will start at 7am UK time tomorrow.

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Japanese Qualifying Postponed Following Torrential Rain

October 9, 2010

Qualifying for tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix has been postponed to race day, after heavy rain and standing water meant it was unsafe for the drivers to take to the track.

The drivers and teams waited patiently in their garages and on the pitwall, but Race Control confirmed it was too dangerous to let the session commence.

Qualifying will be live on BBC1 at 2am, with the race due to start at 7am tomorrow.

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Alonso on Pole in Singapore, While Massa Fails to Set a Time

September 25, 2010

Fernando Alonso secured his second pole for Ferrari in succession in qualifying under the flood lights of the Marina Bay circuit, for tomorrow’s Singapore Grand Prix, while teammate Felipe Massa failed to even set a time in Q1 after he stopped out on track on his outlap with suspected engine problems.

Alonso posted his time early on in the first shoot-out in Q3, setting a time of 1:45.390, that no one could beat in the final push for pole. Even Sebastian Vettel, who was fastest in Q2, was unable to post a time fast enough to topple the Ferrari, and secure yet another pole for the Red Bull team, after he just clipped the barrier as he attempted to set the quickest time. Vettel settled for P2, one tenth of a second slower than Alonso, and another tenth faster than Lewis Hamilton, who will start third, alongside teammate Jenson Button, who joins him on the second row in fourth.

Championship leader, Mark Webber, will start fifth, after Button snatched fourth off him at the final hurdle. Rubens Barrichello will start sixth, with Nico Rosberg seventh, Robert Kubica eighth, Michael Schumacher ninth, and Kamui Kobayashi rounding out the top ten.

Dropping out in Q2 was Jaime Alguersuari in 11th and Nico Hulkenberg in 12th, who will start in 17th after he received a five-place grid-drop penalty for changing his gearbox. Vitaly Petrov, who qualified 13th will start 12, with Sebastien Buemi 13th, Nick Heidfeld, who replaces Pedro de la Rosa in the BMW Sauber, 14th, Adrian Sutil 15th, and Vitantonio Liuzzi 16th.

Q1 became qualifying to forget for Felipe Massa, after he stopped out on track on his outlap, failing to set a time. Stopping in an awkward spot, race control were forced to red flag the session as the marshals cleared the Ferrari from the track.

Timo Glock, Heikki Kovalainen, Lucas di Grassi and Jarno Trulli will start 18th to 21st respectively, while Christian Klien, who replaces Sakon Yamamoto in the HRT will start 22nd, ahead of his teammate Bruno Senna in 23rd, with Massa 24th.

As the season reaches its climax, F1’s only night race could be the turning point for the five drivers in the fight for the title. When it finishes, will there still be five drivers in the hunt for the championship? Or will Red Bull and McLaren be forced to back just one driver? We’ll soon find out.

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Alonso on Pole on Ferrari Home Soil

September 11, 2010

Fernando Alonso took his first ever Ferrari pole position on Ferrari home soil in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix in Monza this afternoon.

Jenson Button will start alongside the Ferrari in second, in the F-duct-sporting McLaren, while teammate Lewis Hamilton, who will be running less downforce and no F-duct, will start fifth.

Alonso didn’t let the media-hype surrounding Wednesday’s World Motor Sport Council meeting over Ferrari’s team orders in Germany get the better off him, and he set the pace early on in Q3, setting a time of 1:21.962 – a time that no one could beat. Button came close, but wasn’t close enough, while Alonso’s teammate, Felipe Massa, couldn’t do better than third. The Red Bulls, for the first time this season, seemed off the pace, with Mark Webber managing to steal P4 from Hamilton at the last possible second, and Sebastian Vettel the slowest of the leading teams in sixth.

In Q1, once the top teams had set their fastest times, with Massa setting the pace, it was a battle of the new teams for the remainder of the session, to try and be the quickest of the knock-outs in the first round. Vitantonio Liuzzi lost out early on, with electrical problems with his Force India, forcing him to bow out. Lotus were the fastest of the new teams, with Jarno Trulli in 18th, Heikki Kovalainen 19th, with Luizzi eliminated early on and forced down to 20th. Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi set the 21st and 22nd fastest times for Virgin, with Bruno Senna and Sakon Yamamoto 23rd and 24th. Due to a five-place grid-drop penalty for changing his gearbox, Glock will start from 24th, elevating di Grassi, Senna and Yamamoto.

Alonso set the fastest time in Q2, while Adrian Sutil, Michael Schumacher, Kamui Kobayashi, Sebastien Buemi, Vitaly Petrov, Jaime Alguersuari and Pedro de la Rosa were eliminated in 11th down to 17th, respectively.

In the end, it was Alonso who was unbeatable, and for just the second time this season, Red Bull won’t start from pole, in fact, they won’t be on the front row at all. Elsewhere in the top ten shoot-out, Nico Rosberg will start seventh, Nico Hulkenberg 8th, Robert Kubica ninth, and Rubens Barrichello will round out the top ten in tenth.

The race is live on BBC1 at 1pm tomorrow.

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Webber Takes Pole in Exciting Spa Quali

August 28, 2010

Mark Webber secured yet another Red Bull pole this afternoon, when F1 returned from its four week summer break, setting a time of 1:45.778, a tenth fastest than Lewis Hamilton, who charged his way to the front row of the grid.

All 24 cars headed out onto the track for the start of Q1, with rain threatening halfway through the session. The track still hadn’t completely dried out from earlier rain, and Vitaly Petrov became a casualty to the turn 9 kerb, causing a red flag to hault the session, just 90 seconds in. Once Petrov’s Renault was removed from the side of the track, the lights turned green, but the rains soon came after the cars dived back out onto the track.

All the drivers were on the soft compound tyre as they headed out for a banker lap, and as the rain started to fall heavier, it was a case of making it round the track to set a time, without running off the road. Jarno Trulli and Lucas di Grassi touched into turn 14, and the pair spun off the track, almost collecting Michael Schumacher, while Adrian Sutil ran wide in the gravel. Schumacher then set the first time, followed by a faster lap time from Jenson Button. The rain started to get heavier, but Hamilton was charging, setting the fastest time of anybody, before they all dove back into the pits. Sebastian Vettel looked to be in danger of the dropout zone, setting the 17th fastest time just after Hamilton set his fastest time, but the German was able to restore his hopes a little while later, heading out on intermediate tyres.

As the track started to dry out the drivers started heading out onto the track on fresh slicks, leaving the McLarens in the garage. Robert Kubica topped Hamilton’s time with two minutes to go, while Kamui Kobayashi and Pedro de la Rosa proved it wasn’t entirely dry out on track as they both ended up in the gravel and out of contention. Nico Rosberg ended up setting the fastest lap in the 1:54s in the closing seconds of the session, leaving Trulli, Kobayashi, Bruno Senna, Sakon Yamamoto, de la Rosa, di Grassi and Petrov in the dropout zone and out of the running in 18th down to 24th.

The track continued to dry in Q2, and the 17 drivers headed out for a banker lap. Hamilton topped the time sheets, with an improved overall time from Q1 with 1:46.211, while Schumacher, Rosberg, Jaime Alguersuari, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Sebastien Buemi, Heikki Kovalainen and Timo Glock found themselves in the dropout zone. Schumacher receives a ten-place grid-drop penalty for his incident with Rubens Barrichello in Hungary, and will start 21st, while Rosberg will start 17th following a five-place grid-drop penalty for changing his gearbox. The bottom 14 will line up on the grid with Alguersuari 11th, Liuzzi, Buemi, Kovalainen, Glock and Trulli, 12th down to 16th, Rosberg 17th, Kobayashi, Senna and Yamamoto 18th to 20th, Schumacher 21st, and de la Rosa, di Grassi and Petrov 22nd to 24th, respectively.

Q3 saw the ten remaining drivers head out for a banker lap as the lights went green, with Hamilton in the lead, setting the fastest lap, with Felipe Massa setting second, Button third, and Fernando Alonso fourth. Kubica then made a move to set first, with Vettel snatching second, before Mark Webber scored the fastest time. Barrichello, Sutil and Nico Hulkenberg then set their fastest times, putting Alonso down to tenth.

The drivers pitted for fresh rubber, and as they started to head out onto track, it started to rain. As the track got wetter, it looked like a dead cert that Webber would take pole, with Kubica separating him from Vettel, and sure enough, Alonso crossed the line at the chequered flag unable to improve on tenth, Massa pulled into the pits before he had a chance to cross the line, after running wide earlier in the lap, and Vettel crossed the line to remain third. But, Button, who by that point was down to sixth, was able to improve in the McLaren, pulling out a time good enough for fifth, and, while despite the rain, the last man on track, Hamilton, pulled out a blinder to set a time a tenth off Webber, for second, demoting Kubica from the front row.

Kubica and Vettel make up the second row, with Button and Massa on row three. Barrichello and Sutil will start seventh and eighth, with Hulkenberg and Alonso in ninth and tenth on row five.

Webber’s pole adds to Red Bull’s string of all-but-one for the season, but with the straight-line speed of the McLaren, Hamilton will be fancying his chances through Eau Rouge at the start of tomorrow’s race.

With 20 points separating the top five drivers in the standings, there is everything to play for in tomorrow’s race. Will the weather spring its usual surprise on the drivers, and rain? And will McLaren’s straight-line speed advantage in sectors one and three give them the complete upper hand over Red Bull? We will see tomorrow. The race starts live on BBC1 at 1pm.