Tag Archives: qualifying

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.

Vettel unchallenged to Italian Grand Prix pole position

Sebastian Vettel took a commanding pole position for the Italian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were set to challenge the Red Bull, but both gave up on their final laps, allowing Sebastian to take the front spot on the grid.

Fernando Alonso was 4th, with Mark Webber 5th. Here is the full report:

Q1

Pastor Maldonado pits without a front wing

Pastor Maldonado pits without a front wing

Jaime Alguersuari set the first competitive time of Q1, – a 1:26.610. Jenson Button improved the fastest time by over 2 seconds, while Alonso and Vettel went 2nd and 3rd.

Hamilton and Vettel each lowered the benchmark by 0.4 seconds several seconds after each other.

A brief yellow flag came out on the main straight, as Pastor Maldonado knocked off his front wing, spinning as he entered the pit lane.

Mark Webber was the last car to leave the pits, and was also one of the few not to put on a new engine for this weekend. He was unusually off the pace, classified 7th.

Maldonado finally set a lap time with 2 minutes to go. With the Lotuses not challenging for 17th place, it became clear that only one midfield car would be knocked out of Q1. Kamui Kobayashi, Sebastien Buemi and Bruno Senna all fell into the drop zone, before Jaime Alguersuari was pushed into 18th place.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Jaime Alguersuari – 1:25.334

19) Jarno Trulli – 1:26.647

20) Heikki Kovalainen -1:27.184

21) Timo Glock – 1:27.591

22) Jerome D’Ambrosio – 1:27.609

23) Daniel Ricciardo – 1:28.054

24) Vitantonio Liuzzi – 1:28.231

Q2

Paul di Resta's gamble failed to pay off, and was eliminated in Q2

Paul di Resta's gamble failed to pay off, and was eliminated in Q2

Jenson Button set a 1:23.427, before Vettel quickly went 3 tenths faster. Sebastian then became the first man of the weekend to break the 1:22 barrier.

Fernando Alonso pushed his car to the max, but only managed 4th. Lewis Hamilton was 7th, but impressively set that time on the medium tyres, unlike his rivals.

He soon went out on the softer tyres, going 3rd. The top 10 runners all opted not to do a final run, which was especially risky for Paul di Resta in 10th. It proved to be decisive, as Bruno Senna sliced into 10th place by 0.006 seconds.

Drivers knocked out of Q2:

11) Paul di Resta – 1:24.163

12) Adrian Sutil – 1:24.209

13) Rubens Barrichell0 1:24.648

14) Pastor Maldonado – 1:24.726

15) Sergio Perez – 1:24.845

16) Sebastien Buemi – 1:24.932

17) Kamui Kobayashi – 1:25.065

Q3

Vettel heads Hamilton and Button on the grid

Vettel heads Hamilton and Button on the grid

The Ferraris were the first out for Q3, and were met with a roar of approval by the crowd. Alonso set a 1:22.999, 3 tenths faster than Felipe Massa.

Button swiftly went fastest, before Vettel beat the fastest lap of the weekend once again. Lewis Hamilton went within one tenth of Sebastian.

Vettel was set to go even quicker, but a spectacular powerslide in the middle of the Ascari chicane cut short his run. Nico Rosberg took on the medium tyres, but was nowhere near the frontrunners.

All 10 cars went out on track for the final two minutes. Lewis Hamilton ruined his final lap under braking, and Jenson Button gave up his last run. Mark Webber disappointed with 4th, and the Ferrari’s challenge failed to materialise. This left Vettel with a clear pole position, and his final lap of 1:22.275 wasn’t even necessary.

Times from Q3:

1) Sebastian Vettel – 1:22.275

2) Lewis Hamilton – 1:22.725

3) Jenson Button – 1:22.777

4) Fernando Alonso – 1:22.841

5) Mark Webber – 1:22.972

6) Felipe Massa – 1:23.138

7) Vitaly Petrov – 1:23.530

8 ) Michael Schumacher – 1:23.777

9) Nico Rosberg – 1:24.477

10) Bruno Senna – No time set

5-place grid penalty for Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado has been handed a 5-place grid penalty for a deliberate collision with Lewis Hamilton in qualifying.

Lewis muscled past the Williams on track while battling for position for their last lap in Q2. Maldonado’s lap was heavily disrupted by the battle, and failed to progress to Q3. After the session ended, Pastor swerved into the side of Lewis’ car, damaging the McLaren’s front wing and sidepod.

Hamilton was able to participate in Q3 (with sticky tape on his sidepods, if anyone noticed!) after several minutes of repairs, and qualified second.

The stewards decided that Maldonado had acted dangerously, and the Venezuelan driver will now start from 21st place.

Lewis has received a reprimand for the incident. Here is how he described the incident:

"I was at the end of my Q2 lap and I got to the chicane as I was just finishing and
there were two Williams just sitting there going very, very slow – I think they were
probably preparing to start for another lap, but it was already red light [chequered
flag, end of Q2].

So I tried and get past, which I did. I lost quite a lot of time there but as I was
coming through the exit of turn one I saw Maldonado approaching quite quickly and he
came around me, I didn’t move anywhere, but [he] happened to swipe across me.

I don’t know whether it was intentional or not, but I guess we’ll see shortly.

The front wing was quite badly damaged, my side pod… I thought my front suspension
was damaged, I think the front towing is a little bit out, but fortunately the guys
did a great job to put it back together.

I just think once the flag is out and the red lights are on there’s no need to be
racing, there should never ever be an incident but unfortunately there was.”

I think it was quite serious and just unfortunate that neither of us, and particularly
him, flipped it or had a big, big crash, so I think we’re quite lucky there."

Here is a video of the incident:

And onboard footage from Hamilton:

Vettel snatches pole for Belgian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel will start on pole position for tomorrow’s Belgian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton was set to take pole, but will start 2nd, with Mark Webber 3rd. Bruno Senna, in his first qualifying session for Renault, took a fantastic 7th place. Here is the full report:

Q1

Schumacher hits the wall after his wheel detaches

Schumacher hits the wall after his wheel detaches

As the cars left the pits for their first laps on intermediate tyres, a crash disrupted the session. Michael Schumacher was on an out lap, when his back right wheel detached, and the Mercedes spun and crashed into the barriers.

While the double yellows were out straight away, the session continued. Lewis Hamilton was the fastest in the first few minutes with a 2:09.506.

Within minutes though, that time had been reduced by 3 seconds. With 8 minutes to go, Mark Webber posted a 2:04.481.

Both McLarens soon topped that, Jenson Button taking a 2:01.813. The track was drying out, but not quickly enough for drivers to put on the slick tyres. Both Ferraris pitted with 3 minutes to go, while the Force Indias took on new sets of intermediates.

A spin by Paul di Resta on his penultimate lap, and Heikki Kovalainen pushed him into the drop zone.

Michael Schumacher will start 24th, the worst qualifying performance in his entire career.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Paul di Resta – 2:07.758

19) Jarno Trulli – 2:08.773

20) Timo Glock – 2:09.566

Outside 107% rule

21) Jerome D’Ambrosio – 2:11.601

22) Vitantonio Liuzzi – 2:11.616

23) Daniel Ricciardo – 2:13.077

24) Michael Schumacher  – No time

Q2

Another accident - this time it's Sutil in the wall

Another accident - this time it's Sutil in the wall

Intermediates were still the way to go, as Q2 began. A small shower of rain before the session slowed the cars a little, with the fastest time being a 2:06 by Webber.

However, with 7 minutes to go, the red flag was thrown for the second crash of the day. Adrian Sutil used too much kerb at the exit of Eau Rouge, spun and hit the left-hand side barriers.

The cars all queued up as the session restarted, with all the drivers looking to get a quick lap in before potential rain.

Before any cars could start their laps, medium intensity rain hit part the circuit. In 11th position, Fernando Alonso braved the conditions to go fastest, pipping Sebastien Buemi and Vitaly Petrov.

However, the times soon began to crash once again – Vettel posting a 2:03.317. Pastor Maldonado was held up by a Lotus car, then Lewis Hamilton pushed him aside on the final corner on a last-gasp run. Maldonado was forced to stay 16th, while Hamilton went fastest.

Pastor wasn’t finished with Lewis yet, though. On their cool-down lap, Pastor swerved into Lewis’ car, damaging the McLaren. The stewards are investigating the incident.

Bruno Senna took a fantastic 5th place, while Fernando Alonso took top spot. Jenson Button allowed his teammate past on the final lap, and was unable to post a faster lap, dropping out of Q2.

Drivers knocked out in Q2:

11) Sebastien Buemi – 2:04.692

12) Kamui Kobayashi – 2:04.757

13) Jenson Button – 2:05.150

14) Rubens Barrichello – 2:07.349

15) Adrian Sutil – 2:07.777

16) Pastor Maldonado – 2:08.106

17) Heikki Kovalainen – 2:08.354

Q3

Senna excelled to take 7th position in the dry conditions

Senna excelled to take 7th position in the dry conditions

An interesting tyre situation emerged at the start of Q3, as the drivers took on soft tyres on a damp track. Felipe Massa running into a gravel trap just showed how difficult the conditions were.

Alonso set a 1:54.550, while Webber went 8 tenths faster. Sebatsian Vettel struggled slightly to 4th position.

Webber soon improved to a 1:50. Lewis Hamilton, carrying sticky tape on his sidepods after the clash with Maldonado, went 3rd.

Webber and Hamilton’s times continued to crash as they entered the final lap. Mark made a mistake at Pouhon, allowing Lewis to post the fastest time as the chequered flag fell. However, Vettel crossed the line half a second faster than anybody else, snatching pole position out of the McLaren’s hands.

Felipe Massa was 4th, well ahead of Alonso in 8th. Nico Rosberg was 5th, while it was an amazing qualifying session for Jaime Alguersuari and Bruno Senna, taking 6th and 7th respectively.

Times in Q3:

1) Sebastian Vettel – 1:48.298

2) Lewis Hamilton – 1:48.730

3) Mark Webber – 1:49.376

4) Felipe Massa -1:50.256

5) Nico Rosberg – 1:50.552

6) Jaime Alguersuari – 1:50.773

7) Bruno Senna – 1:51.121

8 ) Fernando Alonso – 1:51.251

9) Sergio Perez – 1:51.374

10) Vitaly Petrov – 1:52.303

Vettel pips Hamilton to Hungary pole position

Sebastian Vettel took his 8th pole position of the year for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

He came out on top after a climactic battle for top spot, with Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton both making mistakes on their final runs. Lewis was 2nd, ahead of his teammate Button. Alonso was beaten by Felipe Massa for the first time in 17 races. Here is the full report:

Q1

Ricciardo moved even closer to his teammate

Ricciardo moved even closer to his teammate

All of the leading cars were easily able to use the prime tyres, to save a set for later.

Vettel went fastest, before being beaten by Hamilton, who was then knocked off the top by Alonso. Button, Massa and Webber were off the pace of their teammates.

Jarno Trulli’s new steering system was a success, allowing him to get within 5 tenths of Sebastien Buemi, who only used the prime tyres in Q1, and ended up 18th. After his grid penalty sustained in Germany, he will start 23rd.

Daniel Ricciardo was within 0.15 seconds of Vitantonio Liuzzi, who both were faster than Jerome D’Ambrosio.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Sebastien Buemi – 5-place grid penalty

19) Heikki Kovalainen – 1:24.362

20) Jarno Trulli 1:24.534

21) Timo Glock 1:26.294

22) Vitantonio Liuzzi 1:26.323

23) Daniel Ricciardo – 1:26.479

24) Jerome D’Ambrosio 1:26.510

Q2

Kobayashi was well beaten by Sergio Perez

Kobayashi was well beaten by Sergio Perez

Alonso once again led the way in Q2, setting a 1:20.262 on the super-softs.

Only two drivers failed to use the option tyres – Lewis Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado. Pastor didn’t set a lap, opting to save a set of tyres for tomorrow’s race. Lewis managed to get through to Q3 without using the super-softs.

Adrian Sutil, Vitaly Petrov and Sergio Perez managed to make it through to the shoot-out, at the expense of their teammates. Rubens Barrichello found no pace in the Williams, and finished 15th.

Drivers knocked out in Q2:

11) Paul di Resta – 1:22.258

12) Vitaly Petrov – 1:22.284

13) Kamui Kobayashi – 1:22.435

14) Nick Heidfeld – 1:22.470

15) Rubens Barrichello – 1:22.684

16) Jaime Alguersuari – 1:22.979

17) Pastor Maldonado – No time set

Q3

Vettel will be chased by the McLarens to the first corner

Vettel will be chased by the McLarens to the first corner

Despite having very little practice on the super-soft tyre, Hamilton quickly set the fastest time in Q3 – and was the first man to enter the 1:19 range. Vettel moved into 2nd, with Alonso 3rd.

Schumacher, Rosberg, Sutil and Perez stayed in the pits for the first part of the session. All of the cars went out in the final few minutes, with the exception of Perez.

Vettel and Hamilton traded fastest sectors, before a mistake on the final corner by Lewis allowed the Red Bull to take provisional pole. Alonso had a poor final lap, allowing himself to be beaten by Felipe Massa, for the first time in 17 races.

Jenson Button quietly moved into 3rd place, and will start on the clean side of the grid. Mark Webber was well off the pace, and will start 6th. Adrian Sutil split the Mercedes cars, finishing in 8th position.

Times in Q3:

1) Sebastian Vettel – 1:19.815

2) Lewis Hamilton – 1:19.978

3) Jenson Button – 1:20.024

4) Felipe Massa – 1:20.350

5) Fernando Alonso – 1:20.365

6) Mark Webber – 1:20.474

7) Nico Rosberg – 1:21.098

8 ) Adrian Sutil – 1:21.445

9) Michael Schumacher – 1:21.907

10) Sergio Perez – No time set

Webber snatches pole in Germany

Mark Webber will start on pole position ahead of the German Grand Prix. He will start ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who pulled out a stunning lap at the end of Q3 to move ahead of Sebastian Vettel in 3rd. Fernando Alonso failed to beat the Red Bulls after a promising start to the weekend. Here is the full report:

Q1

Ricciardo went within 0.02 seconds of Liuzzi

Ricciardo went within 0.02 seconds of Liuzzi

As expected in Q1, most of the frontrunners did their best to conserve their soft tyres. Felipe Massa was the only driver in the top 6 who felt the need to put on the options in Q1.

Daniel Ricciardo got much closer to Vitantonio Liuzzi compared to last race – only 0.025 seconds away. Karun Chandhok split the two Virgin cars to go 21st.

Timo Glock was 20th, but complained to his team, claiming they were “making his life difficult”. Heikki Kovalainen was comdfortably the fastest of the bottom 3 teams.

Sauber’s strategy of holding their drivers in the garage for the first half of Q1 failed to pay off. A 1:33.786 wasn’t enough for Kamui Kobayashi to make it through the session, and he will start the race 18th.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Kamui Kobayashi – 1:33.786

19) Heikki Kovalainen – 1:35.599

20) Timo Glock – 1:36.400

21) Karun Chandhok – 1:36.422

22) Jerome D’Ambrosio – 1:36.641

23) Vitantonio Liuzzi – 1:37.011

24) Daniel Ricciardo – 1:37.036

Q2

Perez struggled for pace in Q2

Perez struggled for pace in Q2

Lewis Hamilton was the first man of the weekend to enter the 1:30′s, leading the two Red Bulls.

Vitaly Petrov pushed Michael Schumacher out of 10th, before he was de-seated by Paul di Resta.

Schumacher moved back into the top 10, while Adrian Sutil went 7th to knock his teammate out of Q2. Nick Heidfeld improved on his time to stay 10th, before Petrov came back to go 9th.

Pastor Maldonado and Rubens Barrichello were 13th and 14th, with Sergio Perez 15th. The Toro Rossos of Buemi and Alguersuari were 16th and 17th.

Update: Buemi has been excluded from qualifying because of fuel irregularities. He will start tomorrow’s race either last, or from the pit lane.

Drivers knocked out of Q2:

11) Nick Heidfeld – 1:32.215

12) Paul di Resta – 1:32.560

13) Pastor Maldonado – 1:32.635

14) Rubens Barrichello – 1:33.043

15) Sergio Perez – 1:33.176

16) Sebastien Buemi – Excluded

17) Jaime Alguersuari – 1:33.698

Q3

Webber resisted a charge from Lewis to take pole

Webber resisted a charge from Lewis to take pole

Fernando Alonso led the way out of the pits for Q3. He briefly went fastest, before Hamilton beat the Spaniard by one tenth.

However, the searing Red Bull pace quickly propelled Mark Webber in front by 0.4 seconds. Vettel was a single tenth behind his teammate.

Massa’s and Button’s times were well off the pace, while Petrov went 7th. Neither Mercedes or Adrian Sutil set a time n the first 5 minutes, instead electing to go out while the frontrunners were in the pits.

Fernando Alonso pushed his Ferrari to the limit, but only moved into 3rd. Mark Webber improved by a tenth to stay on top, while Lewis Hamilton pulled out an incredible lap to split the Red Bulls, after Vettel moved into 3rd place.

Nico Rosberg pipped a dissappointing Button to 6th, while Adrian Sutil was 8th. Vitaly Petrov and Michael Schumacher finished off the top 10.

Lewis was delighted with his 2nd position, describing it as a “wicked lap”, going over a second faster than teammate Button.

While a Red Bull on pole was not too surprising, it was a joy to see Alonso and particularly Hamilton push their cars to the absolute limit. The gap to the previously invincible Red Bulls has disappeared, and it has set up for a fantastic race tomorrow, with rain on the forecasts…

Webber pips Vettel in Silverstone qualifying

Mark Webber will start on pole position for tomorrow’s British Grand Prix. The Australian was 0.04 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel, while both Red Bulls were challenged by the Ferraris. Lewis Hamilton had a torrid qualifying, while Paul di Resta drove brilliantly to 6th position. Here is the full report:

Q1

Heikki Kovalainen got through to Q2

Heikki Kovalainen got through to Q2

After heavy rain on Friday, the track was certainly not in prime position. Instead of only one or two short runs, most of the field opted to take on heavy fuel and stay out longer, in order to help the track rubber in.

The times tumbled during the session, with Felipe Massa and even Pastor Maldonado leading at certain points.

Mark Webber went fastest with a 1:32.6 with 6 minutes to go. However, the rain returned once again, ruining the final laps of those in the drop zone. The Toro Rossos of Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi suffered most, finishing 18th and 19th. Heikki Kovalainen pushed his way up to 16th.

Daniel Ricciardo failed to beat Vitantonio Liuzzi in his first qualifying session, falling away by 0.6 seconds. Nick Heidfeld just scraped through to Q2, finishing in 17th place.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Jaime Alguersuari – 1:35.245

19) Sebastien Buemi – 1:35.749

20) Timo Glock – 1:36.203

21) Jarno Trulli 1:36.456

22) Jerome D’Ambrosio – 1:37.154

23) Vitantonio Liuzzi – 1:37.484

24) Daniel Ricciardo – 1:38.059

107% time: 1:39.156

Q2

Pastor Maldonado edged through to Q3

Pastor Maldonado edged through to Q3

While the rain quickly stopped, the track remained damp as Q2 began. Several cars emerged from the pits on soft tyres, while both Mercedes drivers took on intermediates.

Rosberg and Schumacher were joined by Fernando Alonso on inters, while it became apparent that certain parts of the track were unsuitable for dry tyres. Despite this, the dry tyres soon became the way to go, as the times began to tumble again.

Both Williams drivers topped the timesheets for several minutes, before being beaten by Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez. Mark Webber, and then Adrian Sutil, thrashed that time by 2 seconds.

Fernando Alonso set a 1:31.727 to go fastest. Vettel went 4th, while Massa and Webber moved to the top.

With 1 minute to go, the times were still falling, as a last gap charge for Q3 began. Pastor Maldonado edged out Adrian Sutil and Sergio Perez for 10th place, while Button leaped from 14th t0 4th on his final lap.

Drivers knocked out of Q2:

11) Adrian Sutil – 1:32.617

12) Sergio Perez – 1:32.624

13) Michael Schumacher – 1:32.656

14) Vitaly Petrov – 1:32.734

15) Rubens Barrichell0 – 1:33.119

16) Nick Heidfeld – 1:33.805

17) Heikki Kovalainen – 1:34.821

Q3

Webber broke Vettel's streak of pole positions

Webber broke Vettel's streak of pole positions

With more rain expected for Q3, the smarter drivers were the first out of the pits. Sebastian Vettel set a 1:30.431, while Mark Webber went 4 hundreths faster than his teammate.

The Ferraris went 3rd and 4th, while the McLarens were horribly off the pace. Button was 1.5 seconds off Webber, with Hamilton a further second behind.

Kamui Kobayashi and Nico Rosberg went 8th and 9th, with Hamilton relegated to 10th. Paul di Resta impressively went 6th, ahead of Pastor Maldonado.

With 3 minutes to go, the final runs were being prepared. However, the rain began to fall again, albeit not as intensive as before. While Jenson Button went out for a final lap time, he gave up before the end of sector 1. Nico Rosberg bravely tried a last-gasp run, but a slip entering the Hangar Straight ended his lap prematurely.

With no further fast laps to be set, Mark Webber was declared to have pole position, marginally ahead of his teammate. Alonso was one tenth off Vettel, with Massa and Button 4th and 5th. Paul di Resta put in a fantastic lap to go 6th.

Vettel takes 7th pole of the year in Valencia

Sebastian Vettel took his 7th pole position of the year at qualifying for the European Grand Prix today.

The Red Bulls locked out the front row, with Mark Webber one tenth of a second behind. Lewis Hamilton was 3rd, and Fernando Alonso 4th. Here is the full report:

Q1

Fernando Alonso cancelled his first run early on in the session. Sebastian Vettel set a 1.39.9, half a second faster than his teammate.

Alonso’s first fast lap was 2 tenths off the Red Bull, despite several mistakes in the last corner. Button went 3 tenths faster than Vettel, while Lewis Hamilton remained in the pits.

Lewis eventually went out, and swiftly took the top spot, but the Mercedes cars struggled, with Rosberg 1.5 seconds away in 7th, and Schumacher another 6 tenths off..

Perez, Maldonado, Buemi and Alguersuari all waited until the final 5 minutes to set their laps. Sergio lept up to 4th on the softer tyres but was quickly replaced by Buemi. Jaime went 9th, and Pastor took 5th.

With a few minutes to go, eyebrows were raised as both Mercedes drivers and Felipe Massa felt the need to take on soft tyres in Q1. Schumacher went 2nd, with Rosberg 4th. Kamui Kobayashi escaped the drop zone, moving into 16th.

Surprisingly, Massa could have been knocked out of Q1 if he hadn’t taken on the new tyres. His newer soft rubber easily moved him into 1st.

Jarno Trulli ruined his final run by spinning at the final corner. Jaime Alguersuari was the casualty of Q1, while Mark Webber was incredibly close to a shock exit, finishing only 16th.

Drivers knocked out of Q1:

18) Jaime Alguersuari

19) Heikki Kovalainen

20) Jarno Trulli

21) Timo Glock

22) Vitantonio Liuzzi

23) Jerome D’Ambrosio

24) Narain Karthikeyan

Q2

Felipe Massa was first out on the soft tyres, setting a 1.38.5. Alonso beat his teammate by 6 tenths, but Vettel was quick to take back first spot.

However, the red flags were soon thrown, as Pastor Maldonado’s Williams was stranded out on track. This ruined several laps, most notably Felipe Massa’s, as he was on his 3rd lap on the same set of tyres.

Once the session resumed, both Kamui Kobayashi and Rubens Barrichello locked up at the final corner, ruining two laps and their sets of tyres.

The top 5 drivers remained in the pits for the final few minutes. Adrian Sutil pushed Vitaly Petrov out of 10th place, while Paul di Resta failed to improve from 12th.

Drivers knocked out of Q2:

11) Vitaly Petrov

12) Paul di Resta

13) Rubens Barrichello

14) Kamui Kobayashi

15) Pastor Maldonado

16) Sergio Perez

17) Sebastien Buemi

Q3

Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were the only drivers who left the pits as the session started. Alonso seta 1.37.4, while Massa was 4 tenths further off.

Lewis Hamilton improved by 0.07 seconds, while Vettel smashed the 1.37 barrier, setting a 1.36.975.

Nico Rosberg was 1.2 seconds off the Red Bull’s time. With 2 minutes to go, all drivers bar Nico left the pits for one final run.

Mark Webber was the first to set his time, but failed to unseat his teammate, going 2nd. Alonso gave up on his final run, followed swiftly by Vettel. Massa only went 5th, so pole position went rather easily to Vettel.

Neither Nick Heidfeld or Adrian Sutil went out in Q3 at all.

Top 10 results:

1) Sebastian Vettel – 1:36.975

2) Mark Webber – 1:37.163

3) Lewis Hamilton – 1:37.380

4) Fernando Alonso – 1:37.454

5) Felipe Massa – 1:37.535

6) Jenson Button – 1:37.645

7) Nico Rosberg – 1:38.231

8 ) Michael Schumacher – 1:38.240

9) Nick Heidfeld – No time

10) Adrian Sutil – No time

Vettel pips Ferraris to Canada pole

Sebastian Vettel has taken his sixth pole position in seven races, in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix.

The Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were close behind, while the McLarens struggled. Here is the full report:

Q1

Unusually fast times from the frontrunners put the backmarkers under pressure from the 107% rule.

A 1.13.822 from Alonso meant that Jerome D’Ambrosio was outside of the limits. However, despite this lap being the fastest of the weekend (and still outside 107%) the stewards have decided to allow him to race tomorrow.

Jarno Trulli out-qualified Heikki Kovalainen for the first time this year. Jaime Alguersuari was the main loser from Q1, and will start in 18th place.

Drivers knocked out of Q1:

18) Jaime Alguersuari

19) Jarno Trulli

20) Heikki Kovalainen

21) Vitantonio Liuzzi

22) Timo Glock

23) Narain Karthikeyan

24) Jerome D’Ambrosio

Q2

All of the frontrunners decided to put on the super-soft tyres, with the field being split on doing either one or two runs.

Times set earlier in the session paid off, as Schumacher (8th) and Petrov (9th) remained in the top 10.

Nick Heidfeld took 10th, while Paul di Resta was just pipped out of reaching Q3.

Drivers knocked out of Q2:

11) Paul di Resta

12) Pastor Maldonado

13) Kamui Kobayashi

14) Adrian Sutil

15) Sebastien Buemi

16) Rubens Barrichello

17) Pedro de la Rosa

Q3

Sebastian Vettel set his fastest lap early on in Q3, with Massa and Alonso close behind.

Racing style pit stops were the order for Ferrari, maximising the amount of time they were on the super-softs. They soon switched places, but failed to unseat Vettel.

A KERS problem hindered Webber, relegating him to 4th. Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were 5th and 7th. Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher were 6th and 8th for Mercedes. The Renaults of Heidfeld and Petrov were the only cars in the 1.14 range.

Hamilton demoted to 9th on the grid

Hamilton has been pushed down the order to 9th

Hamilton has been pushed down the order to 9th

Lewis Hamilton has had his only lap time from qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix deleted, which drops him to 9th on the grid.

The stewards have decided that he cut a chicane on his one and only fast lap.

Lewis will start 9th, and not 10th, because of Sergio Perez’s crash, as the Mexican will not start the race tomorrow. Pastor Maldonado has been promoted to 7th, and Nico Rosberg is up to 8th.

However, since his only lap from Q3 was disqualified, there is some confusion as to whether Lewis will be able to choose his tyres for tomorrow, or if he must keep the set he set his (cancelled) lap on.

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