Jarno Trulli leads first Toyota front row lockout (Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying)

Jarno Trulli scored his fourth career pole position in Bahrain

Jarno Trulli scored his fourth career pole position in Bahrain

Jarno Trulli leads the first ever one-two for Toyota with Timo Glock in second place.

Chinese Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel edged Jenson Button for third by 0.03s.

But Vettel’s team mate Mark Webber will start on the last row of the grid after being held up by Adrian Sutil.

Q1

Giancarlo Fisichella was first to set a time, his Force India running a new front wing and a revised diffuser. But his first lap on super-soft tyres, a 1’35.931, was quickly beaten as many more cars rushed out onto the track.

Several of the fastest cars went out on the medium rubber including Sebastian Vettel, who abandoned his Shanghai tactics of waiting until the last minute, and set the second quickest time behind Jarno Trulli.

Kimi Raikkonen leapt to the top of the times with a 1’33.648 on super-soft tyres – then improved to a 1’33.524 on his second run. But in the meantime team mate Felipe Massa had deposed him with a 1’33.512.

Next Lewis Hamilton, also on the super-soft tyres, moved the benchmark further with a 1’33.290.

Heading into the final stages of the session Nelson Piquet Jnr leapt out of the bottom five to take fourth, leaving Bourdais, Webber, Kovalainen, Glock and Fisichella in the drop zone – but the five were separated by just a few tenths.

Kovalainen improved to second behind his team mate. Both Toyotas began pumping in fastest sector times – Glock moving up to first with a 1’33.165, then Trulli setting a 1’32.779.

In Malaysia it was Massa, in China it was Kubica – and in Bahrain Mark Webber provided the surprise of the session by being eliminated in Q1. He came across Sutil at the end of a flying lap, and the Force India driver took rather too long moving out of the way.

Sutil didn’t make it through to the final part of qualifying either, but a penalty could be waiting for him after the session.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

16. Adrian Sutil 1’33.722
17. Sebastien Buemi 1’33.753
18. Giancarlo Fisichella 1’33.910
19. Mark Webber 1’34.038
20. Sebastien Bourdais 1’34.159

Q2

Sebastian Vettel was quickest after the first round of laps – over 0.3s ahead of Raikkonen. Alonso found more pace from the R29 (he’d also complained of traffic in Q1), going third, 1.1s faster than team mate Piquet.

Hamilton’s first attempt wasn’t good enough for the top ten, leaving him in the drop zone along with both BMWs, Piquet and Massa.

Kovalainen made a tiny improvement of 0.03s on his final effort – putting him eighth – but Hamilton needed much more. He found 0.4s over his team mate with a 1’32.877, which proved the difference between Hamilton staying in and Kovalainen dropping out.

Vettel was comfortably quickest at the end of the session but several drivers who’d gone out to do final laps aborted them after it became clear many drivers in the chasing pack weren’t improving. Along with Kovalainen that included Nakajima, Piquet (who went off on his final effort) and the BMWs.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11. Heikki Kovalainen 1’33.242
12. Kazuki Nakajima 1’33.348
13. Robert Kubica 1’33.487
14. Nick Heidfeld 1’33.562
15. Nelson Piquet Jnr 1’33.941

Q3

Brawn, Ferrari and Toyota each got both their drivers into Q3, while Hamilton, Alonso, Rosberg and Vettel were the sole representatives of their teams.

The Toyotas set the fastest times to begin with, Vettel half a second slower, suggesting he had a decent level of fuel on board. He was fourth between the two Brawns, Button in third.

Button was one of the first drivers to start his final lap – he went quickest with a 1’34.044. Vettel edged that by 0.03s but the Toyotas were vastly quicker – Jarno Trulli claiming pole position with a 0.6s advantage over Vettel in third, and Timo Glock between the pair of them.

Toyota’s John Howett said he didn’t think the cars were “excessively” light, indicating they are a little bit light, but we’ll find out the full fuel weights in a few hours.

Update: Sebastian Vettel carrying more fuel than Toyotas (Bahrain GP fuel and pit stops)

Top ten drivers in Q3

1. Jarno Trulli 1?σΤιΌ??33.431
2. Timo Glock 1?σΤιΌ??33.712
3. Sebastian Vettel 1?σΤιΌ??34.015
4. Jenson Button 1?σΤιΌ??34.044
5. Lewis Hamilton 1?σΤιΌ??34.196
6. Rubens Barrichello 1?σΤιΌ??34.239
7. Fernando Alonso 1?σΤιΌ??34.578
8. Felipe Massa 1?σΤιΌ??34.818
9. Nico Rosberg 1?σΤιΌ??35.134
10. Kimi Raikkonen 1?σΤιΌ??35.380

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34 comments on Jarno Trulli leads first Toyota front row lockout (Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying)

  1. Stealthman said on 25th April 2009, 13:08

    Great job Toyota!! :D And shame about Webber. :(

  2. Explosiva said on 25th April 2009, 13:13

    I thought you could do another lap if you cross the start/finish line before the time is up? How come a few of the guys who did that didn’t get to do another lap?

  3. Bigbadderboom said on 25th April 2009, 13:20

    I would think Kimi and Rosberg are very heavy. I fanecy lewis for a good result.

  4. Gwenouille said on 25th April 2009, 13:30

    @ Explosiva: I asked myself the same question. Wht didn’t Button try again once more ? I think he was still “in” when crossing the line on his 1’34.044 lap.

    Anyway, both Ferraris and McLarens are getting better.
    With the prospect of a normal race (I mean no rain/safety car start/premature stop) and the very close results I think we will have a very enjoyable race indeed !

  5. D Winn said on 25th April 2009, 13:37

    When are the weights published ?

  6. Oliver said on 25th April 2009, 13:41

    Perhaps the track conditions had changed, and teams were noticing a drop in performance on the second timed lap.
    Well I hope Toyota can pick up their first win.

  7. I’d also like to know when the weights are published.

  8. Fer no.65 said on 25th April 2009, 13:46

    “Malaysian Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel”

    you mean Chinese Grand Prix winner… :P:P

  9. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th April 2009, 13:52

    Trulli’s worried about his brakes:

    I had some trouble with my car, the brake pedal was getting longer and longer. To be honest I didn’t feel very comfortable for the qualifying lap, I felt more competitive with the race pace. [...]

    We need to analyse the data to see if we have a problem with the brakes, because I’ve had a problem so it is a bit of a worry.”

  10. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 25th April 2009, 13:52

    And Button thinks Brawn aren’t the team to beat any more:

    We’ve struggled compared to the whole field and we don’t have the pace we had in the first few races. It’s going to be a tough race tomorrow – it’s not a walk in the park.

  11. Kathryn S said on 25th April 2009, 14:55

    Kubica made a comment about his radio not working during qualifying so he had difficulty making adjustments.

    How is it possible that they get these incredibly high performance machines to run on the edge, but can’t get a radio to work? Beyond me…

    • Sush Meerkat said on 25th April 2009, 15:30

      Kathryn, clearly the cost cutting measures are eating into their “coat hanger” expenses.

  12. iceshiel said on 25th April 2009, 15:09

    Trulli train!

  13. Gwenouille said on 25th April 2009, 15:11

    This performance from Toyota is Trulli remarkable, haha…

  14. Daniel said on 25th April 2009, 15:22

    that blocking then getting the draft by sutil was completely pathetic!

    How he only gets 3 spot penalty is beyond me!

  15. Sush Meerkat said on 25th April 2009, 15:26

    Haha Gwenouille, very good, you get a cookie.

    any news on Sutil and his penalty yet?, I’m assuming he’ll get one?, I’m heartbroken the force india’s didn’t make it through, purely because I’ve chosen Sutil for 3rd place on F1fanatic, yeah i’m selfish. (he’s one of my fav drivers really)

    Also I had to watch Quali from my works PC while serbing customers, so muted, why was Ferrari the first out?, thats the minnows job to go out first in quali isn’t it?.

    Trulli claims Quali
    While Kimi Tenth On The Edge
    As Vettel Clings Third

    Crap Haiku For You
    I’m Sorry I’ll get Better
    For Next Time, I Promise

    :D

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