Daily Archives: November 26, 2011

Vettel crushes rivals with 15th pole of the year in Brazil

Sebastian Vettel set yet another record today in Interlagos – 15 pole positions in a single season. The German was blisteringly fast in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix – and could have gone faster.

A late lap by Mark Webber ensured a Red Bull front row lockout, while Jenson Button was 3rd. Here is what happened:

Q1

The threat of rain nearby sent most cars out on track early for Q1. Lewis Hamilton set a 1:13.8 on the prime tyres, 2 tenths faster than his teammate. All 24 cars were out within 5 minutes, with Vettel soon taking the lead at the top.

Mark Webber went fastest, and was soon beaten by Jenson Button, with a 1:13.2. Adrian Sutil’s first attempt put him in 6th place, with Felipe Massa only 8th.

An impressive lap put Jaime Alguersuari 7th, while several cars made the switch to the soft tyres. Pastor Maldonado moved out of the drop zone, taking 14th, with local hero Rubens Barrichello moving into 9th.

The Force Indias took 3rd and 5th on the options, while Felipe Massa again felt the need to take on the soft compound.

Maldonado slipped back into 18th, and couldn’t improve on his previous time. Heikki Kovalainen’s final run put him ahead of Jarno Trulli for the 16th time this year.

Drivers knocked out of Q1:

18) Pastor Maldonado – 1:14.625

19) Heikki Kovalainen – 1:15.068

20) Jarno Trulli – 1:15.358

21) Vitantonio Liuzzi – 1:16.631

22) Daniel Ricciardo – 1:16.890

23) Jerome D’Ambrosio – 1:17.019

24) Timo Glock – 1:17.060

Q2

The pit lane was again crowded, as the rain clouds loomed near the circuit. The Force Indias set 1:13 times, while Vettel sett eh standard with a 1:12.446. Nico Rosberg was a tenth off the Red Bull, with Mark Webber half a second behind.

All cars pitted after several laps, with further qualifying attempts only restarting in the last 5 minutes.

Jaime Alguersuari went 12th, while Felipe Massa was forced to use another new set of soft tyres in order to progress to Q3. The rain clouds cleared, leaving the midfield to battle for top 10 positions.

Michael Schumacher just moved into 10th place, with Paul di Resta 11th. Despite Massa ruining his final lap, he was safe in 8th place.

Drivers knocked out in Q2:

11) Paul di Resta – 1:13.584

12) Rubens Barrichello – 1:13.801

13) Jaime Alguersuari – 1:13.804

14) Sebastien Buemi – 1:13.919

15) Vitaly Petrov – 1:14.053

16) Kamui Kobayashi – 1:14.129

17) Sergio Perez – 1:14.182

Q3

While the thunder storms died away, Nico Rosberg was the only car to leave the pits at the start of Q1. After a warm-up lap for the tyres, Nico set a 1:13.159.

Lewis Hamilton followed the same tactic on the first lap, but was soundly beaten by Sebastian Vettel – setting a 1:12.268. None of his rivals could even get close to that on their first runs.

In the period between the frontrunners’ first and second runs, Adrian Sutil moved into 7th place.

Vettel was first out for the final attempts, smashing the 1:11 barrier, and beating his previous time by 0.35 seconds. Fernando Alonso was half a second off the Red Bull, and Jenson Button went 2nd, before being beaten by Mark Webber. Lewis Hamilton’s final lap only gave him 4th position.

Nico Rosberg beat Felipe Massa for 6th, with Sutil, Senna and Schumacher filling up the top 10.

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