Archive for the ‘Lewis Hamilton’ Category

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Hamilton Takes Win in Incident-Filled Belgian Grand Prix

August 29, 2010

Lewis Hamilton was all smiles this afternoon after he took an early lead and a seemingly easy win in Spa, while three of his title challengers failed to score following an incident-filled race.

Pole-sitter, Mark Webber got bogged down at the start, allowing second-placed starter, Hamilton, to shoot off into the lead. Robert Kubica found himself up to second, with Jenson Button up to third. Sebastian Vettel retained fourth, with Felipe Massa and Adrian Sutil up a place each to fifth and sixth, while Webber slipped back to seventh.

The rain started to fall, and by the end of the lap the drivers were struggling to make it round the Bus Stop chicane. Fernando Alonso, who made it up to eighth on the first lap, after starting tenth, was sent spinning after Rubens Barrichello was caught out under braking in the wet, and collected the Ferrari. The incident caused several other drivers to run wide through the chicane to avoid getting caught up in the collision, and it saw the end of Barrichello’s race, his 300th of his career. Alonso was able to get going again, heading into the pits for an early stop and a change to intermediate tyres.

Vettel made a move on Button into turn one on the second lap, but the McLaren driver was able to use his straightline speed advantage through Eau Rouge to keep the Red Bull at bay. Kubica found himself running wide on the exit of Eau Rouge, allowing the McLaren to take second. Vettel fancied his chances, but nearly lost control of his Red Bull as he was forced to take to the grass along the straight down to turn five, allowing Kubica to retain third. Webber was then making moves, and having passed Sutil, made a move on Massa for fifth into turn eight.

By lap three, the safety car had been deployed, and at the restart a lap later, Hamilton was forced to go defensive after running wide into turn one. Button saw his chances, but Hamilton wasn’t going to let him past.

As the track started to dry out, Alonso who had opted for intermediate tyres during his early pitstop, was forced to pit for fresh slicks on lap five, and it became apparent his gamble hadn’t paid off, as the track became considerably drier. By the end of the lap Hamilton was leading, from Button and Vettel, who had managed to pass Kubica at the restart, with Webber in fifth, Massa, Sutil, Nico Hulkenberg, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Nico Rosberg in sixth to tenth, respectively, and Vitaly Petrov and Michael Schumacher, who after starting from 23rd and 21st, had made their way up to 11th and 12th.

On lap 11, Petrov was piling the pressure on Rosberg, and after a good tow down the long straight from Eau Rouge, he was able to make a move stick through Les Combes, at turn five. Rosberg went defensive and ended up running wide, leaving Schumacher room to try and squeeze through. The pair made contact, causing Rosberg to lose a piece of his front-left end plate, as well as P10 and P11.

As Hamilton pulled out a comfortable lead from teammate Button at a rate of around eight tenths of a second in the middle sector alone on each lap, the reigning champion was finding himself under pressure from Vettel, with the latter unable to make a move due to the raw pace of the McLaren in a straight line. Vettel seemed to have no answer, but on lap 17 he found himself a lot closer to Button heading down towards the Bus Stop chicane, and he fancied his chances. The move was set to be disasterous, and Vettel found himself weaving around Button, and appeared to lose control, causing his wing to go head first into the side of the McLaren, seeing the end to Jenson’s race. Vettel was able to find his way back to the pits, cutting across the track from the runoff area at the Bus Stop, for a new nose and a set of fresh tyres. After coming back out in 12th, Vettel then found himself under investigation by the stewards for causing a collision. On lap 20, he passed Liuzzi for 11th, only to have the Force India snatch it back, and as he tried to find a way around, he was issued with a drive through, which he came in to serve at the end of the lap.

On lap 22, Sutil became the first of the front runners to pit for the harder compound tyre, rejoining the track in eighth. Webber stopped a lap later and rejoined in fourth, leaving Renault with no choice but to pit Kubica to try and keep him ahead of the Red Bull. The move worked and Kubica maintained second, while Massa, who pitted on the same lap, on lap 24, rejoined back in fourth, with Webber back in third. Hamilton came in next on lap 25 and maintained his lead.

As Hamilton rejoined the track, Sutil passed Schumacher, who was yet to pit, for fifth. By lap 27, Vettel, who was up to 12th, found himself in another scrap, clipping the front wing of Liuzzi, as he made a pass into the Bus Stop chicane. The Force India was forced to pit, but Vettel continued, only to find himself with a puncture later in the lap, and he had to limp back to the pits for more tyres, only to find himself in 20th upon rejoining the track.

The rain made its return on lap 35, and the mid field pitted for new tyres, the majority opting for the extreme wet tyres as opposed to the intermediates, in fear that the rain would worsen. As the pitlane filled up with cars coming in to make their stops, Alonso and Vettel very nearly made contact as the exited their pitboxes. On lap 36, as the rain indeed started to get heavier, Hamilton’s superb run was nearly ruined, as he failed to slow his McLaren down going into turn eight, and he very nearly found himself in the wall. Luckily, he was able to get out of the gravel and back on the road, and into the pits in the lead at the end of the lap. Kubica and Webber  joined him in coming into the pits, and while Hamilton was able to retain the lead after a successful switch to intermediates, Kubica overshot his pitbox, gifting second to Webber.

On lap 38, Vettel pitted for the fifth time for another set of full wet tyres, after his rear tyres from the previous set were shredded. As it became apparent it wasn’t wet enough for full wets, Alonso found himself in a spin and out of the race between turns seven and eight, as he hit the grass. The safety car was deployed while the marshals removed the Ferrari, which was halfway across the track, and returned to the pits at the end of lap 40. Hamilton tentatively led the pack through turn one at the restart, and he kept his cool from there for the remaining four laps, to take the win, with Webber second, Kubica third, and Massa, Sutil, Rosberg, Schumacher, Kobayashi, Petrov and Alguersuari in fourth to tenth, respectively.

Following the race, Alguersuari was then penalised for cutting the Bus Stop chicane at the restart after locking his wheel. He gained a position from Pedro de la Rosa for doing so, and having failed to give it back, the stewards demoted him of the position, gifting the last points-paying position to Liuzzi.

Hamilton’s victory puts him back in the lead of the drivers’ championship on 182 points, with Webber second on 179. Vettel’s scraps left him down in 15th as he crossed the line, and a failure to score leaves him 31 points off the lead in the race for the title, on 151 points. Failure to finish the race on both Button and Alonso’s parts, gives Hamilton and Webber the advantage, as the pair now sit further down the standings on 147 and 141, respectively. Massa’s fourth place finish puts him on 109 points, with Kubica on 104.

In the constructors’ standings, Red Bull remain in the lead on 330 points, while McLaren are hot on their heels on 329. Ferrari trail further behind on 250.

As ever, the changeable conditions of Spa have left a lot to be talked about, particularly in the Red Bull camp, as Vettel proved the pressure is starting to get to him after finding himself amongst the majority of incidents the race had to offer. Hamilton however, bounded onto the podium with a grin on his face after scoring his third victory of the season.

While Hamilton and Webber extend their lead to Vettel, Button and Alonso, it’s still a five-horse race as F1 heads into the final six rounds of the 2010 season. There are still a maximum of 150 points left up for grabs, but the pair will leave Spa with a spring in their step, knowing they stand a good chance of winning the title if things stay as they are.

The next race takes place in Italy, for the final round of the European leg of the season, in two weeks time, with qualifying on Saturday 11th September, and the race live on BBC1 at 1pm on Sunday 12th.

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Hamilton Wins Thrilling Canadian Grand Prix

June 13, 2010

Lewis Hamilton took his second win in succession this afternoon, leading home teammate Jenson Button for a McLaren one-two, in a Canadian Grand Prix that saw lots of action, and caused lots of problems for all the drivers.

Lewis, who started the race from pole, defended and fought his way to the win, in a race that posed tyre issues for everyone involved.

Hamilton got a good getaway from pole, defending second-placed starter Sebastian Vettel, who in turn kept Fernando Alonso at bay in third. Button, who started fourth, only just got cleanly through the first two corners, as Vitantonio Liuzzi and Felipe Massa, who started fifth and sixth, began their first of three collisions in the first two corners. Mark Webber, who started seventh after receiving a five-place grid-drop penalty for changing his gearbox, gained from Liuzzi and Massa’s scrap, finding himself in fifth and chasing down Button. At the end of the first lap, Massa pitted for a new nose, while Nico Hulkenberg and Kamui Kobayashi had a scrap in the final chicane, which saw the latter in the ‘champions’ wall’, and later out of the race.

By lap five, Webber had the speed over Button, and passed him into turn three, for fourth, while Robert Kubica fancied his chances and started piling the pressure on the reigning world champion. Button was the first of the front runners to pit on lap seven, as the McLaren team started to suffer on the super-soft tyres.

Hamilton and Alonso were the next to pit on lap eight, and despite leading Alonso by two seconds, a slow stop and wheel spin resulted in Hamilton finding himself side-by-side with Alonso exiting the pits. Alonso had the upper hand, and got out ahead of Hamilton, but the two’s battle wasn’t to end there.

Vettel had the lead of the race, with Webber in second, but that wasn’t for long, when Webber pitted for a fresh set of hard tyres. The Red Bull driver found himself behind Alonso, Hamilton and Button, while Vettel continued in the lead, ahead of Sebastien Buemi in second.

Vettel was next to pit, gifting the lead to Buemi, and the Red Bull team chose to put the German on the super-softs. Alonso was soon on the attack, over the back of Buemi, but as the two fought, Hamilton saw his chance, and as Buemi pitted on lap 16, a lap after Vettel, Lewis once again had the lead of the race, and by lap 19 he was leading Alonso, from Button, Vettel, Webber, Kubica, Adrian Sutil, Buemi, Nico Rosberg, and Hulkenberg.

Hamilton then found himself under threat from Alonso while passing a back-marker, and made a last minute decision to dive out of the way into the pits on lap 26, taking another set of the harder compound tyre. Button and Vettel were the next to pit for more hard tyres on lap 28, with Alonso pitting from the lead at the end of the lap. Despite having an advantage over Hamilton, Alonso lost the position to the McLaren after traffic on his in lap held him up, and as the last of the front four to pit, he gifted the lead to Webber.

Webber extended his lead to 11 seconds over Hamilton, but as his hard tyre started to fall apart, he found himself being reeled in by the Hamilton-train, who were all confirmed to not have to pit again. Webber’s lead was punctured by a second a lap, and on lap 50, Hamilton passed him on the start/finish straight. Alonso was next in line to pass the Red Bull driver, but Webber pitted for the super-soft tyres on lap 51, before the Ferrari had the chance.

From then, Hamilton was in control, but Alonso, while lapping the Force Indias and Massa, found himself losing second to Button, who saw a way through. Button was then left to put pressure on Hamilton, but his teammate was ready to respond, setting fastest lap after fastest lap to the finish line.

Hamilton finished just over two seconds ahead of Button, with Alonso a further seven seconds behind in third. Vettel finished fourth, with Webber fifth, losing out through his strategy. Rosberg came through in sixth, ahead of Kubica in seventh, Buemi in eighth, and Liuzzi and Sutil in ninth and tenth, who found a way round the slowing Michael Schumacher on the final lap. The seven-time champion, who failed to make it through to the final round of qualifying yesterday, was seen playing dirty in the closing laps, pushing Massa towards the wall in the final two turns, dislodging the Ferrari’s front wing, after Massa tried to make a pass on Schumacher, who had been struggling with his worn out tyres.

Hamilton’s win hands him the lead of the drivers’ championship on 109 points, ahead of Button on 106, and Webber on 103. Alonso sits down in fourth on 94, with Vettel on 90, while Rosberg and Kubica are beginning to trail on 74 and 73, respectively.

McLaren edge further forward into the lead of the constructors’ championship on 215 points, with Red Bull on 193, and Ferrari beginning to trail on 161.

The next race is in Valencia in two weeks time, with qualifying on Saturday 26th June, and the race live on BBC1 on Sunday 27th.

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Red Bull Fall at 8th Hurdle as Hamilton Takes Canadian Pole

June 12, 2010

Red Bull’s run of consecutive poles came to an end this afternoon, when Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in qualifying for tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver set the fastest time in Q1 and Q2, and was on course for pole throughout Q3, until Mark Webber set provisional pole. But Hamilton played a blinder on his last lap, and set a time of 1:15.105 to knock the Red Bulls of their perch.

Hamilton was then forced to stop on the track after running low on fuel, and he was seen celebating is pole pushing his McLaren back towards the pits.

Webber very nearly took pole as the chequered flag came down on Q3, but was pipped by Hamilton by over two tenths of a second. Sebastian Vettel, who struggled with tyre temperature throughout Q3, pulled a quick lap out of the bag when it mattered, and will start third ahead of Fernando Alonso in fourth.

Jenson Button, who only just made it into Q3, set the fifth fastest time, while Vitantonio Liuzzi scored his best qualifying result of the season, setting the sixth fastest time, ahead of Felipe Massa in seventh, Robert Kubica in eighth, Adrian Sutil in ninth, and Nico Rosberg in tenth, who out-qualified teammate Michael Schumacher, who failed to improve on 13th. The two will be split by the Williams’ of Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg in 11th and 12th.

Vitaly Petrov will start in 14th, with the Toro Rossos of Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari 15th and 16th, with Pedro de la Rosa 17th and Kamui Kobayashi in 18th, failing to get through to Q2, and joining the three new teams at the back of the grid.

Hamilton made it a hat trick of poles in Canada today, and will be hoping for his second win in succession tomorrow.

The race starts live on BBC1 at 5pm.

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Hamilton Wins Nail-Biting Turkish Grand Prix

May 30, 2010

Lewis Hamilton won his first race of 2010 in Turkey this afternoon, leading home teammate Jenson Button for a McLaren one-two, in a nail-biting 58 laps that saw the two Red Bulls collide, and very nearly saw the McLarens run out of fuel.

Mark Webber took an early lead from pole, while Hamilton slipped back behind Sebastian Vettel after a slow start from the dirty side of the grid. Michael Schumacher made a move from fifth, taking Button for fourth in the first corner, but while Hamilton snatched second back off Vettel in turn three, Button stole fourth from Schumacher in turn 12, using the pure straight-line speed of the McLaren to edge around the Mercedes.

Webber led Hamilton into the first round of pitstops, with Hamilton keeping the Red Bull honest, having a look once or twice into turn 12. Vettel had been the first of the front four to pit, on lap 15, and the early stop meant that when Webber and Hamilton stopped a lap later, Vettel managed to take second off Hamilton after the Brit was delayed in his pitbox.

Button was next to pit from the front four, but was unable to leapfrog the other three to take the lead, and he fed out behind his teammate. Hamilton fought to hold on to the Red Bulls, and on lap 18 he tried to pass Vettel into turn 12, but ran wide.

The front four stayed as they were for the laps that followed, keeping the gap between them down to less than three seconds. Webber was the slowest of the four, and on lap 40, Vettel made a move down the straight into turn 12, but the two collided, seeing an end to Vettel’s race, and leaving Webber in third. Hamilton went through to take the lead, with Button just over a second behind him.

Then came the message from McLaren to save fuel, as both drivers had a high consumption and there were fears they wouldn’t make it to the end of the race. Button reeled in Hamilton, and on lap 48, passed his teammate into turn 12. The two were wheel-to-wheel in a heart-in-mouth duel, as Hamilton fought to take the lead back off Button, making it stick into turn two on the following lap. Button was once again given a warning by the team to save fuel, and he backed off, following Hamilton home for a McLaren one-two.

Meanwhile, Webber, who was forced to stop for a new nose following his collision with Vettel, came through to finish third, while Schumacher, some 25 seconds off the leaders for the majority of the race, finished fourth.

Elsewhere in the field, the top ten on the grid resumed their positions for the majority of the race, Schumacher settling back into fifth after Button reclaimed fourth on the opening lap, while his teammate, Nico Rosberg, had a quiet race in sixth, ahead of Robert Kubica and Felipe Massa who started seventh and eighth. All four retained their positions for the majority of the race. Vitaly Petrov held ninth off the grid, while Adrian Sutil passed Kamui Kobayashi for tenth.

As the race began to unfold, Schumacher found himself fourth following Vettel’s retirement, with Rosberg fifth, Kubica sixth and Massa seventh. Fernando Alonso, who made his way up from 12th to ninth behind Petrov, had a fight for eighth on lap 54, and the two made contact, resulting in a puncture for Petrov, gifting ninth to Sutil and tenth to Kobayashi, who scored BMW Sauber’s first point of the season.

So while the fans were left with a nail-biting race that saw contact between the Red Bulls and a battle between the McLarens along with a fight to save fuel, Hamilton was left to take his first win of the season, edging him closer to Mark Webber in the fight for the title. Webber retains his lead in the championship on 93 points, with Button on 88, Hamilton on 84, Alonso holding on to fourth with 79 points, and Vettel out of the race and failing to score, leaving him on 78 points.

In the constructors’ battle, it’s all change, as McLaren lead the way on 172 points having scored the maximum of 43 points for the weekend. Red Bull sit in second on 161, with Ferrari on 146. Mercedes join the top three teams in triple figures, on 100 points, while Renault trail on 73.

So McLaren head to Canada in two weeks time, having caught up with the previously unstoppable Red Bulls. McLaren may have taken the lead of the constructors’ battle, but will Button or Hamilton be leading the drivers’ battle out of Montreal? Qualifying is on Saturday 12th June, with the race live on BBC1 at 5pm on Sunday 13th.

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Hamilton on Pole for Last Race of the Season

October 31, 2009

Lewis Hamilton took the final pole of the season in qualifying at Abu Dhabi this afternoon, while Jenson Button, the new 2009 world champion set the fifth fastest time ahead of tomorrow’s race.

Hamilton set the fastest lap times in all three rounds of qualifying, showing the McLaren is in a class of its own this weekend at the brand new Yas Marina circuit. He finished the final session with a time of 1:40.948, 0.7 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel who will start alongside him on the grid.

Vettel will be aiming to come away with more points than Rubens Barrichello tomorrow in order for him to secure second in this year’s world drivers’ championship. Barrichello will start tomorrow’s race from fourth, alongside third-placed Mark Webber, on the second row of the grid, and ahead of Jenson Button in fifth in his first race after securing the title.

Kimi Raikkonen will start his last race for Ferrari from 11th after just missing out on the top ten shoot out, Heikki Kovalainen will start what could possibly be his last race for McLaren from 13th after he stopped out on track during Q2 with suspected gearbox problems. Fernando Alonso starts his last race for Renault before his move to Ferrari from 16th, while Giancarlo Fisichella will start what is likely to be his last F1 race in 20th after another poor qualifying session.

With the focus now on who can finish where in the standings for the season, with all being well in tomorrow’s race, Hamilton looks likely to secure fifth in the drivers’ standings over Raikkonen, while McLaren look set to take third from Ferrari in the constructors’, after a difficult season for both teams.

Tomorrow’s race is also set to be F1’s first ‘twilight race’, starting in daylight and finishing under flood lights. The new circuit is set to end the season on a high, with Hamilton and his KERS-equipped McLaren looking good to take the last win.

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Hamilton Produces Faultless Drive to Take Victory in Singapore

September 27, 2009

Lewis Hamilton produced a faultless drive in an eventful Singapore Grand Prix this afternoon, turning pole into victory, while Jenson Button extended his lead in the drivers’ championship to teammate Rubens Barrichello.

Hamilton made the perfect getaway from pole, leading third-place starter Nico Rosberg into the first corner. Despite problems with KERS, the McLaren driver led for all but four laps, which were led by Fernando Alonso during the Brit’s second stop in Singapore’s sensational night race at the Marina Bay circuit.

Having got past second-place starter Sebastian Vettel heading into the first corner, Rosberg kept the gap to Hamilton down to three seconds in the first stint, with both drivers, and the Red Bull of Vettel pulling away from fourth place man Timo Glock.

Hamilton pitted for his first stop after Vettel and Rosberg, and he rejoined the track with a comfortable lead, not long before the safety car was deployed following a collision between Adrian Sutil and Nick Heidfeld, after the former spun trying to hunt down Jaime Alguersuari. The shunt, which was avoidable on Sutil’s part as he tried to rejoin the track, was investigated after the race resulting in a $20,000 fine for the German.

At the restart, Hamilton started to pull away from Rosberg, but when the latter dived into the pits to serve a drive-through penalty, it was Vettel who began to put pressure on the McLaren driver, closing the gap to half a second.

Hamilton said: “It was a very very tough race, I think I can speak for all of us. Conditions made it very tough but it was pretty straightforward for me. I knew I was longer than the guys around me so all I had to do was keep Vettel behind me. I felt I drove quite a nicely controlled race.”

Rosberg had been looking set for second place, until a slip up exiting the pitlane after his first stop saw him cross the white line, subsequently penalising him with a drive-through penalty. Shortly after it was issued the safety car was deployed, and the young German’s hopes to serve the penalty and get back out in the points scoring positions was crushed, and he finished in 11th.

It seemed second place wasn’t to be for Vettel either, as he too was issued with a drive-through penalty after speeding in the pitlane during his second stop. However, Vettel was able to keep on the pace and after everyone else had made their second stops, he finished in fourth ahead of championship leader Button.

With penalties robbing Rosberg and Vettel of second place, it was Timo Glock who came through to finish second, with Fernando Alonso in third.

Mark Webber lost out on the opening lap, after an illegal pass on Alonso meant he had to give up his fourth place to Glock to be able to let Alonso back through, putting him back down to sixth. Glock, who had started sixth, had already passed Alonso for fifth when Webber was told to let both drivers through. It was the start of a miserable race for the Aussie driver, who had qualified fourth, as he was the first of several drivers to have problems with his brakes, with them failing shortly after his second stop, sending him spinning into the tyre wall at the end of the start/finish straight.

Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari was the next to retire with brake problems, and it was touch and go for Button as his right-front brake appeared to be under pressure, and while closing down on Vettel in the final stint he was told to back off and just bring his Brawn home.

Despite the safety car messing up Button’s strategy, a charge in the second stint had enabled him to leapfrog Heikki Kovalainen and Brawn teammate Barrichello at his second stop, and the championship leader finished fifth, extending his lead to Rubens but one point in the championship. Barrichello finished in sixth ahead of Kovalainen, with Robert Kubica rounding off the points scorers.

Webber’s DNF almost certainly means his hopes for taking the title are over, and with Vettel 25 points adrift from Button, it is looking unlikely for him too. With just three races left to go, Button has a 15 point advantage over Barrichello, with it looking like it is the Briton’s to lose.

The constructors’ championship looks likely to be Brawn’s, with Red Bull taking second. But with three points in it between Ferrari and McLaren, the only real fight in the constructors’ battle is for third. Ferrari leave Singapore having had a miserable weekend, with both Kimi Raikkonen and Giancarlo Fisichella failing to impress in qualifying, and finishing out of the points in 10th and 13th respectively.

 

F1 returns to Suzuka next weekend for the Japanese Grand Prix, with qualifying on Saturday 3rd, and the race live on BBC One at 6am on Sunday 4th October.

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Hamilton on Pole After Red Flag Haults Q3 in Singapore

September 26, 2009

Lewis Hamilton took pole in Singapore this afternoon, after Rubens Barrichello crashed in the closing stages of Q3, causing the session to be red flagged.

Lewis, who topped the time sheets in practice this morning and was fastest in Q1, grabbed pole after just one flying lap in Q3 with a time of 1:47.891. He had been about to start his final hot lap when Barrichello’s shunt put a hault to the session.

Sebastian Vettel, who will start tomorrow’s night race from second, had been on his final hot lap when Barrichello hit the wall at turn five, meaning the German was unable to complete his lap which was looking good enough to have put him on pole.

Barrichello, who had set the fifth fastest time prior to the crash, will start tenth, following a five-place grid drop after his gearbox was changed. His teammate, Jenson Button, will start in 12th after failing to get through to Q3.

Nico Rosberg will start the race from third in the Williams. Rosberg had been looking like a strong contender for pole after putting in an impressive 1:46.197 in Q2. Mark Webber will start in fourth, directly behind teammate Vettel, after both Red Bulls put in a great performance to qualify ahead of the Brawn drivers.

Last year’s controversial winner, Fernando Alonso, will start from fifth, moving up one place from sixth following Barrichello’s gearbox penalty. Timo Glock will start in sixth, with Nick Heidfeld, Robert Kubica and Heikki Kovalainen in seventh, eighth and nineth, respectively.

The surprises during the late-night qualifying session came not only from Button, who failed to make the top ten shoot-out, but also Kimi Raikkonen, who starts behind Button in 13th, and Giancarlo Fisichella, who will start 18th after failing to make it through to Q2.

The Force Indias of Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi, who both managed to qualify in the top ten in Monza two weeks ago, will start down in 16th and 20th respectively, after a poor qualifying session for the team.

After several crashes so far this weekend during free practice, and indeed Barrichello’s shunt in qualifying, it is likely there will be more in tomorrow’s race. If Hamilton has more fuel on board than Vettel, the race may be in favour of the McLaren driver, but with the possibility of yet more crashes during the race, and the possibility of a safety car, anything can happen.

For Button and Barrichello, who go into tomorrow’s race with an advantage over Vettel and Webber in the fight for the driver’s title, they will be hoping to score as many points as possible to help retain their lead, as both Red Bull drivers have the upper-hand for the race. With only four races left to go, the fight for the title is looking more and more like it will go down to the wire.