Despite the Valencia Street Circuit not being the best for racing or the most anticipated grand prix playground of the year, this afternoon’s qualifying session promised to be a classic with top teams being so close, especially with many of them arriving in Spain with numerous updates on their motors.  Ferrari and Renault looking to have made the biggest improvements… here’s the qualifying session as it happened:

ROUND 1
BOBBY K IMPRESSES, SCHUMACHER SCRAPES THROUGH

This was nearly a disaster for the legendary Michael Schumacher as he only squeezed through on his final lap to secure 12th.  The usual suspects went out, i.e. all the new-for-2010 teams with Lotus leading Virgin from Hispania.  Sauber are having a poor weekend again with Kamui Kobayashi also going out in round 1 of qualifying.  Williams are having a far better time with Rubens tryout their new F-Duct and finishing 4th – team mate Nico Hulkenberg isn’t using the F-Duct this weekend, because his legs are too short (bless!).

A great start to what promised to be a great qualifying session with one of seven drivers possible to grab pole position – Kubica took first blood by topping the timesheet with a convincing time, nearly two tenths quicker than everyone else after only completing four laps.

ROUND 2
A TURN UP FOR WILLIAMS AS MERCEDES BOW OUT

Williams have struggled throughout 2010 so far, that’s a fair comment but today in Valencia they’ve finally turned a corner and got both of their drivers into the top 10 shoot out with Barrichello in 7th and Hulkenberg in 9th.  Also, Renault will be smiling with Vitaliy Petrov and Bobby K getting through, it’s a massive bonus for the team and a positive improvement for the year’s star Russian rookie.

The timesheet shows Red Bull back at the top and in charge, but as we have already seen this year, nothing can be taken for granted until the final top ten shoot out…

ROUND 3
POLE POSITION SHOOT OUT

Sebastian Vettel as rightly chuffed to bits with grabbing pole position in Valencia in a final shoot out which fired a warning shot to the rest of the teams – yes they all arrived here with updates-a-plenty but even with these fancy improvements, Red Bull are still clearly the team to beat with Webber grabbing 2nd, less than tenth of a second behind his team mate.  Hamilton had a good chance to upset the Red Bull party but he lost it under braking on his flying lap, Kubica did well but couldn’t match the final pace of the Red Bulls.  Ferrari arrived in Valencia full of promise, but could only manage 4th and 5th – perfectly respectable, but Alonso especially will want to make improvements during the race in front of his home crowd.

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