The whole engine-map changing malarkey may have been banned, but Vettel still didn’t seem to have a problem showing his rivals the way around the Valencia Street circuit.

Yet another dominating performance that removed the ‘shootout’ element of qualifying could cause a call for concern over the format – it used to generate a thrilling battle on a Saturday afternoons, but with the new tyres (which help the racing) and possibly the infinite DRS usage is taking something away from the qualifying battles we’ve become accustomed to in recent years of F1.  Agree?  Let us know in the comments and here’s the run down of qualifying as it happened…

Vettel took time out to do some bull fighting... off the track


Round 1 – Webber and Massa live life on the edge

Heikki Kovalainen was close to causing a shock in this first round, but missed and joined the rest of the new(ish) teams at the back of the grid.  It was a nerve-racking session for Felipe Massa and Mark Webber, both of the front running drivers were close to dropping out, but Mark nipped through with 16th after a traffic-filled final lap.  Massa however, went out with the softer, faster tyres to secure the fastest time by 7 tenths of a second.  Seemed a little pointless, but he made it through.  Eyes will be on Alguersuari though, as once again this year he was the slowest next car and took up 18th place.

  • 18th – Jaime Alguersuari
  • 19th – Heikki Kovalainen
  • 20th – Jarno Trulli
  • 21st – Timo Glock
  • 22nd – Tonio Liuzzi
  • 23rd – Jerome d’Ambrosio
  • 24th – Narain Karthikeyan

Round 2 – Petrov knocked out, Sutil gets through

A brief red flag period interrupted the second session following Pastor Maldonado’s Williams stopping out on track following a car failure.  His time still secured 15th for the race, ahead of Perez and Buemi.  Kamui Kobayashi will be looking to live up to his overtakingtastic reputation to turn 14th into a points-paying position on Sunday.

Di Resta had a tricky final lap, which left him in 12th and allowed his far more experienced team mate to out qualify him (a rare thing) and also knock Petrov out of the top 10 in the process.  Rubens Barrichello will be reasonable pleased with 13th, clearly in the mix of the midfield.

  • 11th – Vitaly Petrov
  • 12th – Paul di Resta
  • 13th – Rubens Barrichello
  • 14th – Kamui Kobayashi
  • 15th – Pastor Maldonado
  • 16th – Sergio Perez
  • 17th – Sebastien Buemi

Round 3 – The Shoot Out for Pole Position

The shootout once again saw Sebastian Vettel lay down and unbeatable gauntlet and no one else came close to threatening pole position, in fact on the final run of laps everyone just gave in and came in to the pits, realising they couldn’t match the current champion’s time.  Adrian Sutil and Nick Heidfeld didn’t even attempt to go out in the final round of qualifying, instead sticking with their respective 10th and 9th place starting positions.

  • Pole Position – Sebastian Vettel
  • 2nd – Mark Webber
  • 3rd – Lewis Hamilton
  • 4th – Fernando Alonso
  • 5th – Felipe Massa
  • 6th – Jenson Button
  • 7th – Nico Rosberg
  • 8th – Michael Schumacher
  • 9th – Nick Heidfeld
  • 10th – Adrian Sutil
Everyone else is in the shadow of Sebastian Vettel