After the three practice sessions, the cars took to the track for what turned out to be a session dominated by Red Bull with Mark Webber beating his team mate to take pole position with a great performance – he in fact topped the timesheets in every round of qualifying and to rub it in even more the Red Bull chaps stayed on hard (i.e. slower) tyres during the second round and still beat everyone, even those on the soft tyres. Race wise, it’s a little worrying, because we could see a Red Bull demonstration tomorrow. That’s tomorrow though, today we saw another great qualifying battle, here’s how it all happened:
Round 1 – A nightmare for Reubens
As expected all the new teams filled the bottom six places with the Hispania cars firmly at the back, while Lotus and Virgin battle it out between themselves for positions 19-22. But what wasn’t expected was for Rubens Barrichello to be joining them at the back in 18th the place. After being interviewed it became clear that the Williams updates didn’t help and were taken off and that it was this, coupled with traffic that ruined Reubens’ day. Times in full:
Round 2 – winners and losers
The all important second round, important because with many of the cars being so close in 2010, many of the drivers have a shot at being in the top 10. After a promising start to the season, Force India will be disappointed after neither of their drivers made it through to the top 10 with Liuzzi down in 17th while Sutil just missed out, coming in 11th.
On the flipside, Sauber will be chuffed with Pedro De La Rosa looking good and quick and then Kamui Kobayashi who looked and went even quicker to secure a place in the top 10 shoot out. Meanwhile Hulkenberg gave Williams at least something to smile about with 13th position. Times is full:
Round 3 – the Red Bull shoot out and fight for the top 10
It was clear before qualifying even began that it was to be a (Red) bullfight for pole position, with Webber and Vettel leaving everyone else to squabble over 3rd and so on. Mark Webber will be massively pleased with his performance today, clearly out-performing his super-competitive team mate and making inroads into claiming some authority in the team. Schumacher will also be pleased, because he too beat his younger team mate. Button made a mistake and ended up 5th, while Lewis took the best-of-the-rest crown with 3rd behind Red Bull duo. Ferrari made a mistake with Felipe’s car, leaving him stuck down in 9th while Alonso was fast, only just missing out on 3rd by one tenth of a second. Kubica’s consistent season continued with another good result for Renault.
Well done to Mr Webber today, a convincing performance – just hold onto it this time… for at least the first corner.