Daily Archives: May 7, 2011

Vettel takes Turkey pole position in the pits

Sebastian Vettel took pole position ahead of tomorrow’s Turkish Grand Prix. The German, supremely confident with a previous lap time set, decided to sit out the final few minutes of qualifying, and was untouched by any of the other drivers.

Mark Webber was 2nd, while Nico Rosberg impressed to take 3rd place. Here is the full report:

Q1

Liuzzi impressed by beating Virgin in Q1

Liuzzi impressed by beating Virgin in Q1

Kamui Kobayashi was the first out of the pits as the session began. However, his car rolled to a halt on his first lap, and left him stranded outside of the pit lane, leaving him out of Q1.

A hard tyre run from Vettel gave him a 1.27.039, more than 2 seconds faster than Paul di Resta. Michael Schumacher, who was within one thousandth of a second of Vettel in Saturday practice, was 0.6 seconds off.

Mark Webber matched Sebastian, while Rosberg went into 3rd place. The McLarens went 3rd and 4th, but Lewis’ lap was ruined after being held up by Michael Schumacher.

Vettel, Webber and Button failed to improve on their times. The Renault drivers went out with only 5 minutes to go. Petrov was 5th, while Heidfeld was classified 11th. Sergio Perez set the fastest sector time in sector 3 to go 10th.

In 17th place with 2 minutes to go, Felipe Massa took the safe option, and set another lap on the soft tyre. He went fastest. but only by 2 hundreths, considering all his rivals used the harder tyre.

His teammate Alonso, still on the hard tyre, was within 3 tenths of Massa.

Jarno Trulli’s session was hampered by a DRS issue, and will start 21st. Jerome D’Ambrosio was 20th, but a 5-place grid penalty for ignoring yellow flags in FP2, and will start at the back of the grid.

Drivers knocked out of Q1:

18) Heikki Kovalainen

19) Jarno Trulli

20) Vitantonio Liuzzi

21) Timo Glock

22) Narain Karthikeyan

23) Kamui Kobayashi

24) Jerome D’Ambrosio *

*5-place grid penalty for ignoring yellow flags in FP2

Q2

Barrichello was just knocked out of Q2

Barrichello was just knocked out of Q2

On worn hard tyres, Michael Schumacher set the first lap, a 1.27.458. Webber set the benchmark for soft tyres, with a 1.26.0.

Button went second, while Vettel smashed his teammate’s lap by half a second. Hamilton and Alonso went 2nd and 4th respectively.

The final 5 minutes saw the rest of the field try out the softer tyres. Vitaly Petrov went 6th, Massa took 7th, while Rosberg leaped up to 2nd place.

In the dying seconds of Q2, both Paul di Resta and Rubens Barrichello had a sniff at Q3, but a last-gasp lap from Nick Heidfeld took both drivers out of the session.

Drivers knocked out of Q2:

11) Rubens Barrichello

12) Adrian Sutil

13) Paul di Resta

14) Pastor Maldonado

15) Sergio Perez

16) Sebastien Buemi

17) Jaime Alguersuari

Q3

Nico Rosberg seemed content with 3rd on the grid

Nico Rosberg seemed content with 3rd on the grid

The sound of silence at the start of Q3 confirmed the rumours that most drivers would attempt a 1-lap run for Q3.

Left to right: Rosberg, Vettel and Webber after qualifying

Left to right: Rosberg, Vettel and Webber after qualifying

Vitaly Petrov soon got the ball rolling with a 1.26.411. Fernando Alonso set a 1.25.8, while Webber went another 4 tenths faster than the Ferrari. Hamilton got within 1 tenth of the Red Bull.

With 5 minutes to go, Vettel set out for his one and only lap attempt, and destroyed the opposition with a 1.25.0.

In the final 2 minutes, Nick Heidfeld went 9th, while Felipe Massa aborted his run to save his tyres. Upon realising that none of their rivals could beat their times, both Red Bulls parked up in the garage, content with their performance.

Their prediction was correct, as the only driver who got near them was Nico Rosberg, who went 3rd. Lewis was demoted to 4th, while Alonso starts 5th for the 3rd race in a row. Jenson finished 6th, Petrov was 7th, while Schumacher was 1.5 seconds off the pace of Vettel in 8th position.

The searing pace of Vettel remains as feared as ever. Rosberg will be one to watch tomorrow, as he starts on the clean side of the grid, though it remains to be seen can he challenge for the race win. Both Schumacher and Massa disappointed hugely in their final runs.

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