Daily Archives: September 24, 2011

Vettel leads Webber in Singapore qualifying

Sebastian Vettel will start from pole position, ahead of teammate Mark Webber, for the Singapore Grand Prix.

Vettel only set 1 lap in Q3, and a slow final sector meant Webber failed to beat his teammate. Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton were 3rd and 4th, with Fernando Alonso 5th.

Q1

Renault were well off the pace in Q1

Renault were well off the pace in Q1

Sebastian Vettel’s early benchmark for his rivals was a 1:47.137 on the prime tyres. Lewis Hamilton pipped the Red Bull by 0.1 second, with Button a further 0.02 seconds ahead.

Sebastian quickly improved on the McLarens by half a second. With a Ferrari struggling for control, Fernando Alonso went 4th. Replays showed Lewis Hamilton locking up and sliding wide at Turn 7. His teammate complained to his team about chronic understeer on his car.

Several drivers, including Sergio Perez and Paul di Resta, were the first to go onto the super-soft tyres. Perez went 7th, with Di Resta 9th.

Vitaly Petrov pulled himself out of the drop zone on his final lap, but only just. His teammate Bruno Senna promptly moved into 15th, pushing Vitaly back into 18th position.

Heikki Kovalainen once again beat Jarno Trulli, while at HRT, Ricciardo beat Liuzzi, whose 5-place grid penalty from Monza proved completely ineffective.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Vitaly Petrov – 1:49.835

19) Heikki Kovalainen – 1:50.948

20) Jarno Trulli – 1:51.012

21) Timo Glock – 1:52.154

22) Jerome D’Ambrosio – 1:52.363

23) Daniel Ricciardo – 1:52.404

24) Vitantonio Liuzzi – 1:52.810

Q2

Kobayashi failed to set a time

Kobayashi failed to set a time

Mark Webber was the first out on super-softs, but suffered slight understeer, setting a 1:45.651. This allowed Button and Vettel to better Mark on their first runs.

However, the session was abruptly halted, as Kamui Kobayashi crashed at the triple chicane. The Sauber made a mistake at the first kerb, then the second launched Kobayashi into the barriers.

After a 5 minute delay, the session resumed. Felipe Massa went 5th, with Nico Rosberg just behind the Ferrari in 6th. Lewis Hamilton suffered a puncture on his final run, but his previous times were enough to let him into Q3.

Bruno Senna improved to 11th, but decided not to make a final run. Sergio Perez and Paul di Resta diced for 10th, with the Force India making it through to Q3. Barrichello and Maldonado were 12th and 13th, with the Toro Rossos 14th and 16th.

Drivers knocked out of Q2:

11) Sergio Perez – 1:47.616

12) Rubens Barrichello – 1:48.082

13) Pastor Maldonado – 1:48.270

14) Sebastien Buemi – 1:48.634

15) Bruno Senna – 1:48.662

16) Jaime Alguersuari – 1:49.862

17) Kamui Kobayashi – No time set

Q3

A massive queue emerged as the frontrunners battled for position on their first flying laps, with Lewis Hamilton nearly clashing with Felipe Massa. The McLarens went 1st and 2nd, with Webber 3rd. Vettel was up next, blasting the rest of the field away by 4 tenths of a second.

As most cars went out for their final run, Hamilton, Michael Schumacher and both Force Indias opted to stay in the pits.

Nico Rosberg was nowhere near the top teams, 1.6 seconds off the pace. Felipe Massa took 6th place, with Mark Webber taking 2nd. Jenson Button snatched 3rd off Hamilton, and Alonso could only manage 5th.

A poor final sector was the deciding factor between the Red Bulls, and Webber once again will start behind Vettel on the grid.

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