Likely there’s some dull soul out there who knows the record for consecutive pole positions, or even poles from the beginning of the season that led to the championship, but either because we’re way too cool at Badger, or just don’t care for such things, we’d just like to say this about today; Wowza! Sebastian Vettel, for the fourth time in a row, and in as many Grands Prix, has landed his RB6, sorry speed demon, on pole. That’s pretty cool right?
Of course, some other stuff happened; Hamilton had a mild strop, Button revelled, Webber popped his head in the McLaren (possible because he’s a a canberra milk kid!) and Schumacher was out-qualified by his much younger and inexperienced team mate Nico Rosberg, but just indulge us whilst we revel in the success of one Sebastien Perceus Vettel.
It was September 2008, Monza was the scene of one of the wettest Grands Prix Europe had ever seen the like of and following a tumultuous Saturday, during which a largely unknown German put his Ferrari powered Toro Rosso on pole, Sebastian Vettel, the driver in question, stormed through the dense forest at the seat of the Italian Alps to win the first Grand Prix of his career. Maybe it was unfair to call Vettel unknown, but during his first full season in Formula One racing, the then youngest member of the F1 fraternity powered to a victory that in its incongruity, shamed the older, wiser and vastly better-funded sister-team Red Bull Racing (RBR were yet to score maximum points in a Grand Prix). Whilst all this was occurring, the founding F1Badgers, were enjoying a well-planned holiday to sunny Italy for their first taste of the legendary Monza racing. Sure, it’s a bit of an aside, but the point is if we have to watch a non-Brit take F1 glory, we’re quite glad it’s our Seb. What a lad!
So anyway, that’s why he’s sometimes mentioned a bit over here in case you were wondering. Back to qualifying?
Somewhat alarming earlier on in the day was Schumacher’s comment about his car’s balance, which removed any hope of a dirty and determined drive to the chequered flag, following a succession of races that we’d all secretly hoped was an intricately planned part of his comeback show.
“We’re struggling a little bit on that all weekend, and due to the fact that we can’t change set-ups between now and the race, it’s going to be difficult and I’m just going to have to live with it,” said Schumacher.
Eagle-eyed viewers would have spotted Schumacher and compatriot Rosberg twiddling with something next to their legs as they approached the slower corners of the Shanghai circuit. Assuredly, sincewe said it was next to and not between, you can be certain that that’s not the reason they’ve been chronically lacking in pace all weekend. It was their break-bias adjust in case you’re wondering.
Today was also a chance for the more curious of the elite racers to check out McLaren’s much lauded F-duct; used to stall the flow of air to the rear-wing, removing an element of down force and allowing faster straight-line speeds. Simples. Vettel was papped having a brief nose in the direction of the Macca, but Webber had his whole head in the thing. Badger reckons he’d be better spending his time keeping an eye on Seb’s telemetry!
Not for the first time this season, Hamilton had a little strop after qualifying. You’ve got to love Ms McKenzie’s leading questions in the press pit; she knows just how to wind the Brit right up doesn’t she! Unhappy with being out qualified by his new team-mate for the 3rd time in four races, Hamilton only managed sixth for his fourth Chinese F1 start. He lines up next to Button, who despite qualifying in a similarly unenviable slot on the grid will have the physcological advantage tomorrow morning. Then again… Hammy is awesome off the line.
It was a fairly typical qualifying session, the top guys did their jobs superbly for the most part, but in our opinion it was never in question that Red Bull could follow up their prestige laid down in previous races. We’ve got a long season ahead, but as the last flyaway before the European calendar comes alive; Sebastian and his Red Bull Rangers have the opportunity to return to their home continent leading both the driver and constructor championships. Exciting eh?!