As the title fight comes to it’s climax, every single session becomes that little more important than the last and to make things that little bit trickier, the drivers all had to get used to this all-new (aka barely finished) Yeongam circuit in South Korea. As with most of 2010, the Red Bull looked to have the measure of the rest of the field, but it wasn’t until the very last car had crossed the line that we could be sure of who would be lining up on pole come Sunday – sure enough though, Mr Sebastian Vettel added to his tally of eight, to make it nine this season and beating his team mate by less than a tenth of a second… and here’s how it happened:
ROUND ONE – THESE TIMES THEY ARE A TUMBLIN’
The Yeongam circuit has just became faster and faster throughout the weekend and during this first session of qualifying with the quickest time being quicker seemingly everytime a car crossed the line.
Force India came off worst again here, with Liuzzi joining the new teams in the bottom seven – he wasn’t downbeat though, claiming that his understeering car will make Sunday exciting.. hmm, brave face? Anyhow here are the full times:
ROUND TWO – RED BULL SPREAD THEIR WINGS
After this session was completed, the chances of anyone besides a Red Bull starting from pole on Sunday seemed very much unlikely. Petrov had another shocker of a Saturday, Korea not proving to be very good for his career.
In one sense, after seeing Kamui Kobayashi’s performance in Japan we could be disappointed to see him and Sauber teammate down in 12th and 13th, but thinking about it – maybe it’s better he’s far back, i.e. more fun to be had for him and us come the race. Q2 times in full:
ROUND THREE – TOP 10 SHOOT-OUT
Webber and Hamilton were queuing to get out of the pit lane – a sensible strategy, i.e. to get a good quick ‘banker’ lap because with everyone pushing for pole position, only one tiny mistake could leave them kicking up dust and ruining a lap, not only for themselves but for others too.
The pressure on the ‘big five’ was evident, especially with Hamilton who nearly stacked his car into the barriers on entry into the pit lane, shortly after Button has lost control of his McLaren too.
With only 2 minutes to go, Ferrari were smiling with Fernando sitting on pole, with both Red Bulls behind him and only one run each to take the fight to the Ferrari, Hamilton couldn’t do better than 4th. Sadly for Fernando, the one final run for the pole position is all that Red Bull needed, Vettel snatched a time, just over a tenth quicker than Alonso, and Webber just nipped in behind him, only a few hundredths of a second slower.