The final qualifying session of 2012 ended pretty much like the first way back in Australia, with the McLaren’s of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button finishing on the front row, with the Red Bulls behind and Ferrari struggling way down the top 10.
It’s becoming a bit of a fairytale ending of the McLaren chapter of Hamilton’s career, with pole and a win last time out in Austin, before he moves down the paddock to Mercedes for 2013.
But, with a World Championship on the line, it’s all about the contenders. Sebastian Vettel, 13 points ahead in the chase, managed to get his car to 4th place, while rival Fernando Alonso could only manage 8th.
Both cars have their teammates ahead of them – Mark Webber nabbed 3rd, with home hero Felipe Massa in 5th – the only wildcard is the Williams of Pastor Maldonado who, to want of a better phrase, is smack bang in the middle in 7th.
Other notable performances; Romain Grosjean ended up in 18th place, and hot water with the stewards, after colliding with Pedro De La Rosa in Q1. Nico Hulkenberg continued his purple patch by lining up 7th. And the final stop on Michael Schumacher’s retirement tour has finished with him starting down in 14th place.
With rain predicted at a venue that’s already famed for it’s unpredictable nature, anything could happen come tomorrow afternoon. It’s all ended up quite tasty, hasn’t it?
UPDATED: After missing a weigh-in during the qualifying hour, Pastor Maldonado has received a third reprimand for the season, gaining a 10-place grid penalty. The Venezuelan now starts 16th, and more importantly, Fernando Alonso moves up to 7th.
|3||Mark Webber||Red Bull/Renault||1'12.581||0.123|
|4||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1'12.760||0.302|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1'13.206||0.748|
|11||Paul Di Resta||Force India/Mercedes||1'14.121||1.663|
|16||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1'14.574||2.116|
|17||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1'14.619||2.161|
|24||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT/Cosworth||1'19.699||7.241|