Vettel holds back Ferrari charge for pole (Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel spoiled Ferrari's party by grabbing pole position
Sebastian Vettel spoiled Ferrari's party by grabbing pole position

Sebastian Vettel will start the first race of the year from pole position after heading qualifying for Red Bull.

He needed just one run at the end of Q3 to displace the Ferrari duo at the front of the field.

But Michael Schumacher could only manage seventh on his return to F1.


It was no surprise to see all three of the new teams eliminated in Q1. But the battle for newbie honours was close, with Timo Glock edging Jarno Trulli by one tenth of a second.

After a mammoth struggle with hydraulic problems HRT F1 finally managed to get Karun Chandhok on the circuit for the first time. He did seven laps on his first run and although he was slowest he will be able to start tomorrow’s race. He shares the back row of the grid with team mate Bruno Senna.

Jaime Alguersuari had the distinction of being the only one of the established runners to be knocked out.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

18. Jaime Alguersuari – 1’57.071
19. Timo Glock – 1’59.782
20. Jarno Trulli – 1’59.852
21. Heikki Kovalainen – 2’00.313
22. Lucas di Grassi – 2’00.587
23. Bruno Senna – 2’03.240
24. Karun Chandhok – 2’04.904


Vettel showed his hand in Q3, setting the quickest time which was also half a second better than team mate Mark Webber managed.

Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso traded fastest times early on. But things were not going so well at McLaren.

Both their drivers had to make a second attempt to ensure they made the cut and Jenson Button scraped into tenth place by less than two tenths of a second.

The Williams pair were also eliminated though Rubens Barrichello finally showed his hand and beat Nico H???lkenberg by half a second.

Vitantonio Liuzzi also failed to make the cut – he was around seven tenths slower than Adrian Sutil who did reach the top ten.

While Robert Kubica made it through to Q3 team mate Vitaly Petrov was 1.7 seconds slower and last in Q2.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11. Rubens Barrichello – 1’55.330
12. Vitantonio Liuzzi – 1’55.653
13. Nico H???lkenberg – 1’55.857
14. Pedro de la Rosa – 1’56.237
15. Sebastien Buemi – 1’56.265
16. Kamui Kobayashi – 1’56.270
17. Vitaly Petrov – 1’56.619


With the top ten qualifiers having to start the race on the same tyres they qualified teams tried different strategies in Q3.

Ferrari and McLaren both sent their drivers out for early laps followed by a tyre change and a final run. The other simply bided their time until the last possible moment.

While Alonso and Massa headed the times a mistake by Lewis Hamilton left him with a slow lap. Button didn’t get a flying lap in on his first run and returned to the pits after just an out- and in-lap.

Vettel headed the queue of runners making their final runs and his RB6’s pace through the middle sector proved decisive. That extra tenth of a second accounted for most of his advantage over second-placed Massa.

Hamilton’s run lifted him to fourth ahead of Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes.

Once again Michael Schumacher was a crucial couple of tenths slower than his team mate, leaving him seventh ahead of Button.

Vettel hailed the car’s performance as a “big surprise” after their problematic practice session yesterday. But do they have the race pace to match their qualifying performance? We’ll find out tomorrow.

Top ten drivers in Q3

1. Sebastian Vettel, 1’54.101
2. Felipe Massa, 1’54.242
3. Fernando Alonso, 1’54.608
4. Lewis Hamilton, 1’55.217
5. Nico Rosberg, 1’55.241
6. Mark Webber, 1’55.284
7. Michael Schumacher, 1’55.524
8. Jenson Button, 1’55.672
9. Robert Kubica, 1’55.885
10. Adrian Sutil, 1’56.309

223 comments on “Vettel holds back Ferrari charge for pole (Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying)”

  1. Red Bull are quick on the one laps but the question is can they hold it together for a race distance. Unfortunately as a Red Bull fan I can see a Ferrari win on the cards tomorrow.

    I was surprised to see McLaren struggling a little!

    1. Vettel and Massa are on the soft compounds. Not too sure about Fernando’s compound. I’m still tipping Fernando for the victory tomorrow.

      1. Pretty sure everyone went for options in Q3

        1. except sutil

          1. Sutil might just do well….. I tipped him for 5th so I’m happy ^^

          2. Good stratergy from Force India. They anyway were not chasing P1. Given their race pace, now have a realistic chance of finishing higher than they qualified. I voted 4th.

    2. Like i´ve been saying on my responses
      This year The gaps are larger this year there aint going to be top 10 in the same second maybe on the end of the year specially on big circuits like this one the qually definatly is less interesting then the previous years but i bet the races will be better from now on

      1. i also said that massa was going to beat Alonso i dont like massa but i even like less alonso

        1. Miguel are you catalan or basque? Because your name is very Spanish.

  2. Prisoner Monkeys
    13th March 2010, 12:37

    Go Vettel.

    I’d have been fuming if Ferrari got pole or lockd out the front row.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        13th March 2010, 13:44

        Because of late, the seem to think they’re the only team in the sport and that everybody else is there by th grace of their charity. They’ve become a dark parody of their fomer selves, more interested in beating everyone off the track thanin an actual, fair race.

        1. “…they seem to think they’re the only team in the sport and that everybody else is there by th grace of their charity…”

          Well, yes they are! F1 w/o Ferrari isn’t F1! :P

          1. Oh, dear.

          2. You got a point, but would F1 be F1 without McLaren?
            It’s not only Ferrari who makes F1 F1, it’s just a combination of different things.

          3. So say the Ferrari fans. I don’t think any team is bigger that the sport they participate in. The sport would go on without them and the majority of fans would not be to worried!

          4. F1 does not need Ferrari, If Ferrari left, the worst real problem would be that like Heidfeld, maybe Massa or Alonso would struggle to get a drive.

            I rather hope that they grow up, and play fair.
            I hate Elitism.

          5. First I realised that I wrote something before I thought, Then I realise that he was joking…. (slaps head)… idiot

        2. Obviously your statement is a fact. Interesting… is that why Mclaren stole their secret information in 2007?

    1. Looking at the comments in 2012, it’s strange to see how everyone cheered for Vettel (not knowing he’d set most pole positions in 2010 and 2011) and how now nobody would like to see him on pole/win, for a change.

  3. STRFerrari4Ever
    13th March 2010, 12:37

    Woooohooo great stuff! Vettel & RBR on pole, lets hope they have the race pace to hold off those Ferrari’s tommorow.
    McLaren were the real surprise for me I expected them to be much closer than that, they seem to lack that one lap pace.
    We’ll have to wait & see how it turns out in the race tommorow, who knows they could just blow everyone away.

    1. I agree with everything you’ve put. So happy that Vettel is on pole as that was pretty unexpected for me. But I think of a race distance the Red Bull’s won’t be as quick, leaving them vulnerable to Ferrari. If Vettel can keep close to them though (if he falls back) then hopefully he will be quicker towards the end of the race, on less fuel, and overtake them.

      1. SO happy with Vettel’s pole what a great lap. I tip Ferrari for the race as I don’t think Seb will be able to make his tyres last on a longer run.

        Also great drive from Chandhok driver of the day I think!

  4. Interesting quali and very strange to see Mclaren nearly 1 sec off the pace. Tomorrow we get to see who manages the tyres better.
    On another note my 15 year old daughter just came home from school and wanted to know why prince charming from Shrek was on TV( Nico Rosberg)

    1. “On another note my 15 year old daughter just came home from school and wanted to know why prince charming from Shrek was on TV( Nico Rosberg)” Lol! Hilarious but also very sweet :)
      As for Mclaren, I was very surprised also. Lewis said it was sector two they lost the most time and need to find more downforce and then the usual f1 driver ‘but it’s a good start, the team are working hard’ pr talk

  5. hi all
    i m sure that sutil has an advantage with the harder compound tiers…..

    1. Completely agree. Think FI were smart to put Sutil on the medium compound. On full fuel I expect to see top nine having to look to pit in 7-12 laps. Unless they are going to take 3 seconds a lap out of Sutil, he’s sitting in the box seats.

  6. I didn’t expect Mclaren to struggle so much but good luck to them and Schumi.
    Congrats to RBR and Vettel. Good speed and stunning lap there.
    Ferrari have started well so I’m incredibly happy. I already got emotional with Massa and well done to Fernando for a good qualifying too!
    Don’t want to get ahead of myself so I’ll see how it goes.
    Rubens one to watch tomorrow I would say and Schumi because he’s Schumi P:

    1. I bet you’re pretty pleased about Massa, he definitely lived up to the billing, can’t wait for the race.

      1. Definately. I think I expected too much of him at first and had to keep reminding myself that he had just returned :P But it was quite emotional and I love the human side of F1.
        Also, incredibly happy anyway with Ferrari no matter what order they were but it was the icing on the cake :P

    2. Oh hey, a fellow Ferrari lover. We seem to be in quite a minority here :D

      1. Hi cyanide :) they are a love/hate team…

        1. Pretty much all hate for me, since Kimi has gone :)

    3. Who’d have thought after this qualifying and his race he would go on to be so uncompetitive? It’s sad, really, as it shows he’s still got the speed, but somehow he can’t be fast enough.

  7. Felipe let me down :(. Out of interest, how far off 107% were HRT (I’m assuming virgin and Lotus were inside)?

    I certainly dont agree with EJ that Vettel will win the race, their reliability problems (especially brakes) could still come back, and even if they didn’t I dont think the Red Bull has the pace of the Ferrari.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      13th March 2010, 12:50

      107% was 2:03.05 … so Senna was just out by two tenths, and Chandhok was nearly two seconds out.

      However, I think it would be unfair to introduce the 107% rule, because the new teams will all get progressively better. They’ll all be within 107% soon enough.

      1. Yeah two tenths is nothing really, glad to hear

      2. Introducing the 107% rule for this year would require all the teams to agree, which obviously isn’t going to happen until the new teams are well within 107% of the leaders’ pace – by which point it will be moot anyway. It could be pushed through for 2011 but I would imagine everyone will be sufficiently up to speed by then anyway.

        1. Prisoner Monkeys
          13th March 2010, 13:11

          They need 70% of the teams to vote for it. That means the nine teams left over from last year need to agree.

          On a similar note, Ferrari want it on “safety grounds” – but we all know they want the 107% rule because if any car falls short, they’ll take it as proof that they were right about the new teams.

          1. All the teams would have to agree to introduce it this season PM, the 70% amount is if it’s introduced for next season.

      3. I worked out the 107% to be 2′2.088

        1’54.101 = 114.101
        114.101 x 1.07 = 122.088 – 2’2.088

        This would still only place the two HRTs out but by quite a bit.

        1. Prisoner Monkeys
          13th March 2010, 13:04

          Actually, the 107% would be taken off Alonso’s fastest time in Q1 because neither Hispania was in Q3 when Vettel set that time.

          1. It’s 107% of pole position time. Doesn’t matter that they weren’t in Q1

          2. Prisoner Monkeys
            13th March 2010, 13:46

            Nope, the rules would be adjusted for the knockout format.

      4. To be fair that was Chandook’s first go in the Hispania.

        1. I am really impressed by them, as I understand it, they only fired it up after they got to the track,

          I think 107% should not be introduced…. maybe if Ferrari had not blocked almost everything designed to assist them, bagged them at every opportunity and thoroughly made things difficult, I might listen to them.

          1. Bottom line is no one expected Lotus, HRT or Virgin to do a ‘Braun’. They are start-ups, they aren’t going to win races for years (ref the hugely bankrolled Toyota). They have already been handed a poisoned chalice with the FiA scrapping the budget cap after they signed, so not just playing catch-up, but cough-up as well.

            Even at Monaco, back markers do get overtaken, and since most of the field will be lapping them, it’s not going to hurt any one team more than any other.

            Re-introduction of the 107% rule would be pointless and harmful to these guys who are trying to breath some new life into our sport. By Monaco they will all be inside 107% anyway, but the threat caused by re-introduction of the rule would undermine the credibility of the new teams and damage their sponsorship options, thus chance of remaining in the sport. Why stop at 107%? Perhaps 103% next so if you can’t race a car 5km within a second of another – you’re out! Daft isn’t it?

            I don’t want Formula Ferrari or Formula Red Bull etc. This is a team sport. New teams are good – applaud them.

            Karun was driver of the day today for me. Climbed a mountain to get as close as he did.

        2. Consider Qualification was his first time driving the car. I have mixed feelings here. One that say he shouldn’t be allowed onto the grid. For safety reasons and experience reasons. After all a regular F1 driver can’t be replaced with a reserve driver unless the reserve driver drove in Practice seasons if I don’t recall wrong. Which was why Toyota only fielded one car last year in one race. Reserve driver wasn’t allowed to drive the Qual because he hadn’t turned a lap in the practice. So Karun have done 7 laps in a F1 car and ready to go racing. Hey I done 28 laps in a Nascar car on a oval track. That makes me triple qualified to race next Nascar race.

          1. New season so no one ‘qualified’ to drive a car or not – the clock started today. HRT have an option to do that with a registered driver, so they did.

            Karun did a great job to get with 1.5secs of Bruno in first outing. Equally, Bruno showed quality in getting a brand new car with practically zero test data within 2 seconds of their natural rivals. HRT have shown quality and professionalism in their efforts today.

          2. Why do some entries not include a ‘reply’ option. Odd and makes follow-ups fractured… Keith, sorry, know you’re a busy man, but something seems broken?

          3. Are you implying you couldn’t race in NASCAR with that experience if you brought enough money?

          4. macahan, you recalled wrong- Timo Glock got injured in his crash during Qualifying, which is why Kobayashi (sp?) couldn’t run in the race – he hadn’t participated in any of the pre-race sessions.

            This is probably the exact reason Force India is planning to run their 3rd driver in one of the Friday Practice sessions each week – so they have 3 eligible drivers for their 2 cars on race day, just in case. In their position of fighting for king of the midfield, they can’t afford the chance of only having one car in a race.

  8. The first few laps should dictate the rest of the race tomorrow. Expect pit-stops within the first 7-8 laps. Exciting stuff, bring it on!!

  9. where was the positions list during qualifying?! (usually on the left hand side) i couldn’t follow quali at all, i had to wait til the end of each session to find out anything.

    1. Nick Someone
      13th March 2010, 12:53

      Yep. I agree with you. The graphics are poor this season with the weird diagonal times which mean they are hard to read and compare quickly. I didn’t think the director concentrated on the crucial things. He/she missed quite a lot of important laps in Q3.

      Maybe they assume these days that everyone has their laptop with them and are looking at the FIA timing. If you have a laptop, or a computer near a TV it is definitely the way to go. unfortunately I don’t. :-)

      …Anyway good qualifying session and a lot of interesting stuff to watch tomorrow. I hope Mclaren can get on the pace so it’s a 4 team battle. I fear the Ferraris will walk it tomorrow based on their long run tyre performance.

      1. I don’t mind the new graphics too much but I definately miss the live feed at the side.

        1. Last year’s LHS dropdown was much better.

      2. we all need to email FOM for an answer. anyone got an email address? i’ve already tried emailing the livetiming guys at…

        1. yeah there was a few us moaning in the live blog. I apologise for that as I didn’t ever shut up about it. I definately msis the times ladder. It’s like Hungary 09 when they all vanished; it was such an anti climax. I had to use live timing but most fans won’t do that.
          Tomorrow will the positions still be shown throughout the race along the bottom or not?

          1. Did anyone else have problems with the live timing, we were trying to log on but couldn’t get it to work. Would be a disaster if we can’t get it to work for the race.

          2. Ads a few people had to register again for live timing

          3. Except that Hungary was exciting, as usual it is exciting when things go wrong (rain etc)….

            \This is just a cock up.

      3. I thought they looked quite slick, but when you fall asleep after P3 then wake up halfway through Q2 you don’t know who’s safe and who isn’t because there is no list coming down from the top left of the screen showing positions like there was last year. I like seeing who is first and who is last! I don’t want a box coming up showing who is in the knockout zone because I don’t know who has been knocked out and who is in the top 10!!!

    2. I was disappointed by the lack of a ladder as well. I like the idea of new graphics but in qualifying it is essential to feel on top of what’s happening, especially if the director is missing the action. Live timing isn’t the same, you can’t be immediately aware of a change in the order unless your constantly diverting to another screen, which takes the enjoyment out of it for me. Also allot of broadcasts are delayed rendering it useless.

      1. I was surprised to find out that SpeedTV on the west side of the pond is delayed approx. 10 minutes. We were approaching 6 minutes left in Q2 as Q3 started on T&S. At that point I paused it and went for a proper southern breakfast…biscuits and gravy. No sense being hungry AND out of the loop…

        1. Never having come across biscuits and gravy I just did a Google image search out of interest. Big mistake. AJ – please tell me it tastes better than it looks.

          Anyway – has Windsor shown up on Speed TV again yet, or is he still in hiding?

          1. For what it’s worth, Bob Varsha (Speed F1 Host) said yesterday that he had spoken to Windsor and that Windsor had stated that the FIA is asking USF1 to keep mum on the subject for now and that Speed would respect that.

          2. And Biscuits and Gravy are wonderful!

          3. They’ve said that Windsor will be back later in the year. I’ll be happy to have him back because Gilette (not pronounced the same as Liverpool’s adopted son George…) sounded a little shaky on the mic yesterday and today. I’ll reserve my final judgment for a couple weeks, but I think his grid-walk won’t be as fun as it was with Peter. BTW, they were nice fluffy biscuits with white sausage gravy with some pepper in it.

          4. mmmm Yummy! But Windsor will not be back, he is being replaced by Will Buxton (ex GP Week). Gilette is only standing in for the first few races while the Buxtons have a baby.

          5. Okay – my better half is German/Texan mix. She advises me the biscuit is like a light soft roll, not biscuit as in cookie (UK definition). A peppered sausage white sauce doesn’t sound so bad either. Just threw me a curve ball is all guys – still not pretty looking though ;)

            Guessing FiA is asking for silence on the situation while they try and figure out whether to fine USF1 or let them re-apply for 2011. A wrong word could swing it badly for Windsor and Anderson.

            As a US follower of the series, what’s your view/feeling on the USF1 no-show? Do they deserve a second chance, or should FiA be cap in hand back to tempting Pro-Drive, Stefan, Lola et al back into the formula?

          6. I think they should be allowed to reapply and go through the whole vetting process again along with anyone else but if they wind up being sanctioned for not competing this year then that seems unlikely.

          7. I think the USF1 crew screwed the pooch. Until there is a USGP there won’t be a team. I work as a press officer for a college athletic department over here, I would have given anything to get a chance to work for them though…

            As far as number of teams, my view is that FIA is being a little too “all powerful” by limiting the entries. Bring in the 107% rule and don’t reject entries. Let them build cars and if it gets too big, allow the 30 fastest drivers for each race.

          8. The biscuits confuse and worry me, and I hope that common sense is being applied along with your application of gravy.

            As a side note, as SeminoleAJ said:
            “As far as number of teams, my view is that FIA is being a little too “all powerful” by limiting the entries.”
            I agree, but will sponsors support the slower teams? probably not,
            That being said, I do agree, I just don’t know if it would work.
            I assume you were suggesting pre-qual?

          9. Biscuits and Gravy are delicious. Well worth it. If I could find a way to get decent sausage gravy mix here in England my life would be much easier.

    3. Too right sato, without knowing immediately who’s where during qualifying it really does become a bunch of cars driving round a car park in the desert (maybe the Globo TV coverage in Brazil was particularly bad today too). Appalling coverage. In Q3 there seemed to be just 4 cars racing until the final list popped up. F1 needs to get its act sorted here, millions invested, but one clueless director in the TV control room can turn the whole thing into a complete snore fest.

      1. do you reckon it was the tv director’s fault here? who actually makes the decision to remove the positions ladder?! it’s a joke…

  10. That was kinda classy from Massa to beat Alonso by that margin. I’m going to guess that Vettel and Webber will go backwards due to heavy tire graining and the winner will be in a Ferrari. Hoping Barrichello gets ahead of Schumy at some point tomorrow.

    1. The Ferrari did look easily the most comfortable over the bumps today. Will be interesting to see if the same is true under full fuel conditions. Agree Vettel won’t be able to maintain tyres driving like he did today.

      Glad Victoria Park isn’t as bumpy as Sakir. Might see McLaren back in contention there.

      1. Nick Someone
        14th March 2010, 2:48

        So your thinking is that it is just the bumps that are screwing Mclaren? That is possible I suppose. We will have to wait a few races to see if that’s the reason they are behind or if its just a fundamental lack of downforce.

        1. Indeed – McLaren were losing the time in the middle sector, which is where the bump fest is in the new section. Going to fast through there will just toss the car off the track.

          Ferrari looked much smoother, thus able to carry more speed through that section. I don’t think Vettel will be able to hold back the Ferraris, they will be all over his tail as he hits the back straight, if he manages to hold them off the start.

  11. Could anyone please explain to me why everyone (save Massa) was quicker in Q2 than in Q3 (Sutil for obvious reasons). I would have thought that the more into the session the more grip there is.

    Kubica for instance was almost a second slower in Q3 than in Q2… (1:55.885 and 1:54.963 respectively).

    1. Perhaps because no worries about tires in Q2? I was wondering the same.

      1. red bull tastes like crap
        13th March 2010, 14:07

        track temperature i imagine.

    2. Teams are saving tyres for the race and the cars have different setup in Q2 and in Q3. They aren’t allowed to change the car setup before the race, so Q3 are tweaked for long distance run. That’s why Q3 is slower.

      1. oh ok, car setup. Missed that.

      2. The cars are in Parc Ferme from the beginning of the qualifying practice session until the start of the race.

        “34.1 Each car will be deemed to be in parc fermé from the time at which it leaves the pit lane for the first time during qualifying practice until the start of the race.”

        No changes are allowed to the aerodynamic or suspension setup except for adjusting the existing front wing settings without replacing any parts.

        1. then it could be cause they did not want to destroy the tires in Q3 as they need to be using it for the race, and q2 tires were disposable… .

    3. Weasel Chops
      13th March 2010, 12:47

      Switching over to a more race-oriented set-up I’d guess.
      In Q2 there’s no need to compromise and you can set-up for pure qualifying.

    4. Indeed. Only Massa and Webber improved on their Q2 times.

      I guess one has to pin it down on changeable weather conditions or on driver errors.

      But pretty strange to see that, no doubt. I doubt this will be trend for all the races.

  12. Ferrari are looking very good…
    Good on Vettel to find some speed but Ferrari have the pace and consistency.. look at there long runs in testing… great quali for sure!! :)

  13. Does anybody know which team are going to wear hard compound tomorrow?

    1. force india sutil

    2. among top 10 Sutil will be on hard compound.

      and i think the times for q3 were slower than q2 cause most of cars would have changed the setup of the car to suit the race day… as the set up & the tires can’t be changed expect small change on front wing…

      running on softer tire won’t be a big problem in my opinion… but we see tomorrow how it plays out.

    3. I dont know about the other teams, Rosberg said in an interview that the soft is better for the first stint.

      1. but the problem is if you going soft, you are committing to a two stopper… and if you are on hard ones you could prolly take only one stop… and finish the race…

  14. All credit to vettel for a great performance, although i suspect ferrari will beat him on race pace. though what i find inconceivable is how maclaren have yet agan failed to produce a car that is on the pace from the start. with all the money and reources they have you would have thought they would of learned from the previous year and put all there effort into developing a car with a good aerodynamic balnce. despite this lewis managed to turn the cars bad performance around with his brilliance.

    1. The decision to keep developing a dog car last year may come back to haunt them. Ferrari did a Honda and has come out with a Brawn…if you know what I mean?

      So our dreams of a tight four squad fight at the front are now shattered. Clearly, Ferrari and Red Bull are fastest on raw pace then thére’s a quite a gap to the Mercs and Macs that simply won’t be fully bridged on race pace.

      1. At this circuit… I expect we’ll see even more variance between circuits this year with heavy cars. I doubt this pattern will be repeated exactly over the few races. I suspect the merc engined teams will shine at the real power circuits for example

        1. Possibly, but it is quite reasonable to think that the other ‘big two’ are playing catch up now.

          1. Yes they are, i just hope mclaren dont do a repeat of last year and develop this car to far leaving no room to make next years car competitive.. its stupid really, last year they assured us that this years car would be up to speed, im getting de ja vu

  15. Ooops, there goes my F1 Fanatic prediction entry …

  16. congrats to VET! by the way running a car with full tank in a dry weather can totally overturn the qualifying streak!

  17. Why almost every diver set his best lap in Q2 and not in Q3? Both session were of course on lowest possible fuel load.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      13th March 2010, 13:08

      Tyre choice.

      1. yeah the used the softer tyres in Q3 so why weren’t they quicker? i think that’s wot he’s asking.

        1. car setup must have been changed to suit for sunday… as you are not allowed to do that once q3 is done..

          1. You are not allowed to do that after you leave pit lane for the first time in Q1, see my reply above ^^

  18. Only Sutil opted for Primes in Q3.

    I wonder what was the rationale for Mclaren going for the option in Q3? when they knew they lacked the pace of Ferrari in the softs. A long first run would have put them back in contention for the podium… Well I’m not Whitmarsh.

    1. Good question. I think RB and Ferrari might have missed a trick by not running on harder tyre too as they might have still been in a reasonable position had they done so.

      Or perhaps the super soft is a good tyre, as it was last year. But that was on low-ish fuel loads. It will be interesting to see the strategies play out. Could some be thinking of doing three stints?

  19. Sucks to see McLaren off the pace somewhat, but good job anyway Lewis. I wonder if he could jump the Ferraris at the start?

    1. Maybe if they fit for him KERS from last season:) Should be still somewhere in the garage :)

    2. rosberg is sitting pretty.
      13th March 2010, 14:14

      he’ll be on the dirty side, so he can be happy to keep his 4th place.
      Alonso on the other hand, is on the clean side, so massa will have to do some blocking to keep 2nd. An incident is a possibility. And the nice ferrari atmosphere could start to deteriorate.

  20. i’m very, very confused about what’s going on here. Nearly none of you guys placed the RBR on the top – always, ferrari, ferrari, ferrari… now you have some proofs of the possibilties of the cars nad STIL a doubt…

    Come on. It’s NEWEY there in Red bull and I think i’dont have to remind that this awsome machine is powered by renaults engine that lacks a 10 – 15 HP to the ferrari and mercedes. WAKE UP.

    Glad to see Robert in Q3 – Renault has a potential and I hope they will develop quick .

    wow – can’w wait till tomorrow.

    Go Red Bull’s go Robert

    Powodzenia Robert – trzymamy kciuki :)

    1. I actually went for Vettel on my f1badger prediction, but I changed my mind for fanatic after their woes yesterday. I’m pretty confident for my race prediction at least.

    2. Thank god someone else who doesnt have scarlet coloured goggles on! Red Bull have done summat worth talking about, but no its all, Ferrari! The bull is on a charge and the prancing horse better watch out! Well done Seb!

      1. This is the same Red Bull that was chewing their fingers to bits because that genius of Newey’s design actually caused problems with overheating on the rear of the car? Yeah. I’m still doubting. He builds cars that are way too fragile.

    3. I play several different fantasy leagues, and the one I picked last week and just left was totally Red Bull dominated. The one I picked 3 days ago and left was redbull/ferrari split. Sadly the two I changed after a couple of practice sessions swapped some redbull for mercedes… so hoping for a bit of a run for rosberg (whom I picked over schumi – no genius needed there, amazed that Keith picked Schumi for champion). I still think Ferrari are looking in best shape for a fully competitive season, I think they’ll always be in the mix at every race whereas the redbull will ebb and flow depending on circuit, and I expect the mclaren and merc to do well at power circuits – but I don’t think there’s a ‘Ferrari will walk it mentality’ around generally.

  21. Schumi_the_greatest
    13th March 2010, 12:54

    Massive difference between red bull/ferrari and mclaren/mercedes in quali, long run pace will be diufferent i think we’ll see the red bulls drop back abit, apparently their chewing their rear tyres and that should allow the mcs and mercs to climb the field but ferrari will win this 1. Id bet on alonso hes looked brilliant all weekend. Bad lap by webber “the qualifying specialist” too.

  22. I hope Sebastian will transform this result into a victory. In any case, it’s a good start. By the way, here’s my Twitter account, I just started to use it.

  23. Now it would be interesting to get the tyre info. Maybe all but the first 4 are on hard tyres (Vettel, Massa and Hamilton are on softs for sure)?

    Seems to me Kubica and Sutil only did a lap to do any time on the hard tyres to be prepared for the race. Or may be all those teams (maybe without Ferrari) divided their drivers on the tyres to spread risks?

  24. At last racing is back …well done Vets. Anyone know the music bbc played at end of qualifying show .. lyrics included run run run !!!

    1. That was Unkle (DJ Shadow) – Eye for an Eye:

  25. MarcBlondino
    13th March 2010, 13:00

    it’s very interesting thing, I just compared results of final practice and qualfying results. Red bulls improved their times, also as Mclaren and Massa. The bigest “loser” were Mercedes with almost 1 sec, and Alonso with half second. Something is cooking, it can be some tactical background of Red bull, but you have to take in concern that they imporoved their times. I would say that the bigest favorit is Alonso, then we can also expect some exciting things from Rosberg and Schumi. Writte your opinions.

    1. I don’t know. It appears that Alonso had been wearing his tyres as bad as any rival in practice. I would say Vettel is favourite here. The RB6 is obviously super fast and the pole getter usually wins here. Just ask Massa.

      1. Well Massa won starting p2 in 2008.

  26. I’m worried that races in this year will be mostly determined in qualifying. Last year with teams close to each other only different strategy allowed some overtaking moves. Can’t imagine how slower car in qualifying in this year could possibly become faster enough during a race to overtake one which was faster in qualifying. There is a fuss about fuel consumption and tyres degradation but I don’t think this will differentiate teams enough too make overtaking possible.

    1. You’ll see in the race tomorrow, when Vettel rapidly goes backwards behind the Ferraris and Hamilton.

    2. A car that’s 25% heavier is going to drastically change the handling and performance, particularly in regards to the weight balance. Also with the cars appearing to be more spread out in terms of raw pace (maybe half a second instead of half a tenth) plus with the increased braking zones that result from having a heavier car and the fact they can’t rely on fuel strategy anymore, overtaking should be easier and hopefully more frequent.

    3. Prisoner Monkeys
      13th March 2010, 13:09

      Different cars will handle differently depending on the weight. The Renault is apparently fantastic when heavy, but understeers a lot when with lot fuel.

      1. Fantastic when light, or understeers with little fuel?

  27. I’m so happy that F1 is not only back, but back with proper low fuel qualifying and no refuelling.

    Epic lap from Vettel, and it’s great to see Massa back as quick he was before the accident. Schumi didn’t really do too bad, and qualifying was never really his forte. Shout out for De La Rosa out qualifying Kobayashi too – I didn’t really expect that!

  28. I think I heard Massa in the post qualify press conference, saying something about Alonso using a different tyre compound?

  29. Strange qaulli, way long not as excited as I thought it would be.
    More than 2 seconds between place 1 and 10.
    If you ask me, they should get rid of the use the same tire in qualli as in the race rule.

  30. The race tomorrow will not really show where most teams are. Even though the track has changed Ferrari should have an advantage here as they have done for most of the 6 races held here. It will be good to see Rubens with new rubber and the advantage of 10th on the grid. I can see drivers in Q3 not going out and posting a lap time.They would then be in top 10 with a choice of tyre if they think above 6th is not possible.

    1. The skipping a Q3 run is a danger, but a loophole that could be swiftly closed by a 5 place grid drop for not running in Q3 rule.

      Your favourite team sir looked great. “Rode the bumps like a Rolls Royce” one of the BBC commentator said today of the Ferrari’s – quite true. Thought the FI was looking smooth too.

      Hope that P2 gives Massa the advantage he earned over Alonso, but the dirty side is even tougher in Sakir.

      If reliability holds, expect a 1-2 for Scuderia F ;)

  31. MarcBlondino
    13th March 2010, 13:09

    it’s probably true, Alonso on different tyre compound, something made him slower. My opinion is he is the fastest, and he surely doesn’t have lack of experience, so…

  32. Vettel, Massa, Alonso, Hamilton, Roseberg, Schumacher, Button and Webber.. All are using the softer coumouds

  33. I always new that Red Bull and especially Vettel will be strong and I think that Vettel will be the champ this year!!!

  34. Newey is the single strongest force in Formula One.

    1. If you can forgive him for his role in building the jalopy that would be the death of Ayrton Senna.
      Seems like most have, or simply forgotten…

      1. First off, he has been cleared of all charges in this topic, therefore he’s innocent regarding that. And even if you don’t trust judges, it was Senna who asked for the longer steering column. AND that is disregarding the simple fact that it wasn’t Newey’s fault that Senna pushed too hard through Tamburello, which has, apparentely, played an important role in the crash

    2. I would have said “FORCE” India!!!

  35. This is just my Opinion, Nothing else.
    I was suprised to see the gap between all the feild first of all.
    Well done to Ferrari and Mclaren for getting back up there where they should be. although a little suprised to see Mclaren a little off the pace through one lap runs. i Hope they will be quick and consistant through the race tommorow.
    I know i will get alot of abuse for this, but try to understand where i am coming from.
    Red bull are starting to become a bit of a pest for me, although Sebastian Vettel is a good driver i think personally They should’nt be at the front, they should return to lower-mid feild where they belong.
    Finally i hope Lewis can gain a good slot tommorow perhaps jump Fernando at the start. i will be totally over the moon if he wins, so lets hope he does. Lewis for Victory. Hope Massa, Kobayashi, Sutil and Kovalainen do well.

    1. I’m happy teams like Red Bull are moving up, I hate having just Ferrari or Mclaren up front, as it tells me the rules are not favouring talent. only money.

      That being said, I can see where your coming from, I just don’t agree.

    2. Teams are where they belong to be. If Red Bull are at the top there must be a good reason for it. Everyone on this site knows I am a long time Ferrari fan but no team has a right to be at the top, they must earn it.

    3. Frankly I don’t understand where you’re coming from. If you think that Red Bull “belong” to the lower-mid field, then you don’t understand this sport. Their hard work brought them to the front row. That’s where they “belong”, at least for now.

      1. In reply to Ben’s Comment.
        I Personally think that teams like Ferrari, Mclaren, Williams Ect. who have been in the sport for many years and have put alot of hard work and money into developing cars and hiring drivers who will give them the chance to fight For the WCC and the WDC desrve that right.
        I just dont feel a team like RBR have earnt that right.
        Opinion Not Fact.

        1. And it’s an opinion your fully entitled to have but IMHO after 5 years of hard work culminating in 2nd in the WDC and WCC last year, I believe they deserve to be where they are – at the front of the field.

    4. Umar Farooq Khawaja
      13th March 2010, 16:17

      Speaking as a Ferrari fan, why do Red Bull belong down the field? They have pushed hard over the past year and a half and have a genuinely fast car. They didn’t even use any aerodynamic trickery last year.

      I think they are right where they belong.

  36. A really good and exciting session,

    Wow, good show by Vettel, possibly a bit unlucky for mark,
    Massa has just impressed me to no end, I’m not really a fan of Alonso, but I still recognise the achievement that Massa just produced!

    Well done by Hamilton although my pre season impression that Button might get beaten decisively by Hamilton may I now think, prove exaggerated.

    Rosberg must have a mention, He has just out paced Schumacher, that being said, I think Schumacher will improve further into the year, we all knew he would struggle a bit first race back, and I think his experience might serve him well in the race.

    For me? I think the Ferrari’s will take it in the race, But I’d recommend watching out for both Sutil and Rubens who are starting on the harder compound from 10th and 11th, they should be able to threaten further up.

    I think Chandok did well considering that was his first 7 laps, he was close to Senna (It feels weird typing that) and Senna has the better car for the moment.

    To be honest I hope Schumacher wins from Rubens and Hulkenburg.
    Chances? A bit slim…..

  37. MarcBlondino
    13th March 2010, 13:20

    Hm, something is sure. We’ll have hell of a race tomorrow:)

  38. Rosberg seemed to change his cars Rear Wing. Is it a new one?

  39. It seems nobody has a clear advantage.Isn’t that cool?:P

    1. oh yes…very cool but expect fireworks from the ferraris and the mercedes powered cars all the way to the finish line

  40. Great lap from Vettel, showing that he and the Red Bull have the best pace marginally over one lap. Massively surprised that McLaren’s one lap pace was so far off, and then Lewis admitted that they lacked downforce in his BBC post Qualy interview, there were no noises to that effect at all in winter testing! So quite surprised by that. With their long run pace, Ferrari look very strong for tomorrow, and in Bahrain practice they seemed to look after the tyres better than the Red Bull and McLaren. Remember if Vettel stays ahead in the first stint and the Ferraris are right behind him and pit first – the new rubber advantage over one lap will be enough for them to leapfrog Vettel! (so look out from the start of the race, obviously the lap times will start coming down with the fuel, but as soon as a cars lap times aren’t getting quicker they need to dive straight in the pits. It’s gonna be like switching from inters to slicks on a drying track) That’s even more the case with the new longer Bahrain lap. And as I’ve seen nothing to suggest that the Red Bull’s long run pace is better than Ferrari, I see it being the two Ferraris fighting for the win, based on what we know so far. In testing we saw McLaren with good long run pace, maybe just a touch off the Ferraris, to be fair I don’t think the McLaren is at it’s best on this track, I’d expect them to be stronger elsewhere. So I think Vettel will at some point get passed by the Ferraris and end up fighting it out with Hamilton, Rosberg, Webber and Schumacher (and hopefully Button) for 3rd place.

    That’s just my opinion based on what we’ve seen so far this year, let’s hope things aren’t as predictable as that, here’s to a great first race of the season! F1 is back everybody!

    1. Speaking of stints.. what kind of weight difference can the Redbulls run with renault engines? They may have the upper hand the first few laps am i right? Or is the weight so difference small enough not to worry ?

      1. That depends on the fuel consumption of the Renault engine, which is supposedly very good. (Obviously the more efficient it is, the less fuel they will need to complete the distance) If that’s true and the tyres work well for them away from the start in that first stint, then you’re right Vettel could pull out a small gap to counter getting jumped if a Ferrari pits before him.

        We’ll only really know the answer to this sort of question tomorrow, because it’s the first time everyone is running together doing the same thing at the same time. Everyone is starting the race (hopefully) with enough fuel to get to the finish, the same track at the same time etc.

        Red Bulls long run pace is probably the hardest to read from testing, it’s stone cold obvious that the Ferrari is excellent on the long runs and the McLaren appeared to be not too far behind if not similar, but at this track they seem to be struggling with the tyre temperatures. So it’ll be interesting to see if Vettel can stay with the Ferraris or fall back with Hamilton and the others.

        Again just my unbiased opinion, so sorry McLaren fans. That F Duct system might help get them ahead of a few cars though, so I certainly woudn’t write them. We’ll know the answers tomorrow, can’t wait!

    2. great points here…but i suspect that we shall have a safety car situation between the mid placed cars on the grid…BUT the FERARIS will finish 1and 2 easily and hamilton may move to three or not finish at all.Vetel may finish fifth ….

      1. Thank You, I try to give a balanced opinion. Yes I suspect heading down to turn 1 for the first time with all the cars heavy with fuel there’s a high chance of an accident, someone misjudging their braking with the heavier car. So good chance of a safety car early on. I wonder how safety cars are gonna effect the racing this year without refueling? Surely it won’t be a case of cars automatically pitting anymore if there’s a safety car mid-race, unless your tyres are wrecked then it makes sense to be on fresh tyres for the restart.

        But yeah as I said previously I think the race will be won and lost pretty much in that opening soft tyre stint. Vettel has to build a gap before he changes to the hard tyre otherwise whoever is right behind (I suspect two Ferraris) will jump him simply by pitting one lap earlier. The new rubber advantage over one lap will be enough for them to leapfrog Vettel, especially with that long lap.

        1. its unlikely that that the red bull will be at the front after 7 to 8 laps..and if that happens that the redbull is leading from this pont…expect the feraris to pit in rapid succession and then go for the kill on the long stint with hard tyre..and if there are no safety car issues the feraris will switch again to super soft tyres in the last 5 to 6 laps of the race.HOWEVER the presure and aggresive nature of HAMILTON and maybe The confidence of Roseberg may force some mistakes causing me to think that by end of the fisrt few laps one of the top contenders will make a mistake in the pits which will create room for Schumacher and Button to make headway with Sutil and Barichelo in the mix..

  41. What if the Renault engines turn out to be as Frugal as the’re said to be?

    That would mean a lot less fuel in the tanks for the RedBulls, better starts, better tyre managment… We could be seeing a 1-2 for the RB.

    On the other Hand. What if the Option Tyres only last 5 laps? That would open the race wide open, Could that mean that the Force Indias have a Chance for tomorrows race?

    1. its true the renault engine is not as thirsty as the ferari…thats why we expect the feraris to outrun the renault by the end of lap three or four…due to faster strait line speed and consistant pace as shown during the testing.the mclaren may shine as well but rapid tyre degradation will be its undoing also poor downforce will be a factor.

  42. I think looking at Karuns Chandhok….he did only 7 laps in this whole weekend till now….and i think he’s done a fantastic job compared to Bruno Senna….

  43. Now that the KERS is gone I hope we’ll se some proper battles out there. What can Rubens or Sutil do for example, what will happen in the first corner? Can’t wait really. Bit disappointing from Webber, it’s not the first time, but it just makes it more interesting for the race.

  44. MarcBlondino
    13th March 2010, 13:31

    Guys remember, Brown has all night to thing something good…hehehehe.

    1. Parc Ferme rules – no overnighter for Mercedes and Ross Braun.

  45. I vote for Chandhok as star of qualifying. Doing the first 7 laps in a completely new car, sittion on the bottom of the car and be only 1,7 seconds of his team mate!

    Vetter was great as well, i am curious to see how the RBR will do in the race.

    1. Quite right, Karun driving that car straight out of the box was great to see. Glad we will see a full grid (well, nearly).

  46. I have read somewhere that Kubica was using the hard compound, but I thought he was using soft. Anyone who’s more aware than I am – which one did he use? If he used hard then the Renault is not too bad.

    1. Sutil only drive in top ten not on soft: one of autosport’s reporter on twitter.

  47. Chandhok was impressive….his test session starts tomorrow…Sutil will be a threat tomorrow….Massa has a disadvantage starting from a dirtier side and with a full tank…its gonna be a very tough 2 lap….i think he will lose a place to alonso in the start and the outcome will be..

    1. dont forget hamilton may jump one of the feraris as well plus the raining world champion is a good fighter and in the end
      it could be
      3 Alonzo

  48. Keith can u post a list of tyres used by drivers in q3… :)

  49. Sutil and Kubica have good chances for tomorrow’s race. Definitely a good strategy from Renault and Force India.

    Also quite surprised by Karun Chandhok’s pace with that struggling HRT car…..

    The new teams are all so far behind in their times that I feel in tomorrows race you might see them +3 or +4 laps behind the leading cars…. That would look strange!

    Virgin Racing’s Tire coming off was a bit funny. I hope FIA took a closer look at it. I was honestly expecting some kind of penalty for them….. but didnt’t happen.

    1. the virgin tyre came off due to an underpowered wheel gun.. infact when they got back to the pits …they found that all the other wheels were also loose and were prevented from coming off by safety pins.Am ALSO surprised that there were no penalties handed out….may be it pays to be new to formula one…

      1. If there was something wrong with the wheel gun is it the responsibility of the team?

  50. Great session… I’m stoked for Vettel.

    There’s just one thing that’s bugging me… I was listening to the BBC Commentary on TV, and I heard Brundle talking about tyres. He pointed out that some teams could probably choose not to run or set a time in Q3, in order to retain free choice in their tyre compounds.

    Of course, no-one did that here, but is this a possibility? Or are Brundle and I just paranoid? :P

  51. Oops..I think I was wrong…. Sutil was the only one on Hard compound tyres…. So it seems only Sutil might have the edge over the others… interesting.

  52. I’m very surprised by Red Bull. I thought top five. Also surprised by the gap between the teammates. Felipe has again shown that he is the most underrated F1 racer. Beating Alonso will be a tough task and he will be on the dirty side. Mac’s have been the disappointment to me. I thought it would be them and Ferrari fighting for pole. Jensen especially is still struggling with one lap pace. I don’t believe no re-fuelling will make pit stops less important, I feel it has increased its importance. It will be hard to pass offline.
    The more I write the more complexes things look. Well we know Red Bull have qualy pace especially with SV.

    1. Alonso will be more worried about Hamilton on his back… looking forward for the start!!

      1. Hamilton will be on the dirty side of the grid and will probably be worried about “destroying” his soft compound rears!

        1. agreed, but Hamilton will be looking for any chance at the start of the race to move up… if the top 3 make an error in braking… you will have Rosberg & Hamilton trying to make most of it…

          but they won’t be there for long cause their race pace won’t be great… but it will hurt in terms of allowing the leader to go build up a lead..

          ferrari should make sure it does not make any mistakes in the first corner and it’s said their tires will last longer than Red Bull… then 1-2 for them is a strong chance… all they need is a clean start.

          1. Tire management will be The Story of the race, Hamilton said after Qualy that McLaren is lacking downforce which will make them have to manage the tires carefully under heavy fuel load at the start. Interestingly, Button’s best speed trap was 3 kph faster than Hamilton’s (and 9.5 faster than Vettel’s). Does Jenson have a stronger knee than Lewis? :-)

  53. Pretty exciting quali. As a lot of you said, it was surprising to see the McLaren cars a full sec off the pace, but what was even more surprising was to see Jenson lose out by that margin to Lewis. He’d looked quicker than Lewis during practice.

    Anyway, good start to the season for Massa. I hope he keeps the position but I doubt Alonso will let that happen. Vettel did a super lap but again, those reliability woes mighjt come back to haunt them tomorrow. I see Alonso taking the win tomorrow if Massa fails to strike gold.
    Kubica looked very impressive and to an extent surprised me too. I was expecting a Sauber or maybe Hulk’s Williams to be in the top 10, but that didn’t happen.
    Force India, well, I had faith that they’d do good and they did. Sutil is on the pace for sure and that prime compound choice for Q3 might work well for him tomorrow.
    Lets see, its all very very difficult to predict and the cart’s being upset every now and then.

    Schumacher did what I expected he’d do, he has a lot of catch up to play if he’s seriously aiming at that title.
    I’d spoken about MercedesGP being off the pace and it seems I was right to a certain extent. I won’t be surprised if Button moved up a few places tomorrow as he’s very much capable of doing that and has done it more than once in the past. Also, Lewis will naturally slam it and gain atleast a couple places, I’m sure.

    What will be more exciting to see is how Sutil goes about the game. He’s known to push very hard and that should ideally gain him a few places, and I just hope to the skies he doesn’t do something foolish, or worse, doesn’t get jammed by someone else, he’s had an incredible amount of bad luck on that front(remember the Iceman?)!

    Btw, the shock-of-the-day for me was De La Rosa out-qualifying Koby!!! :o Wow! I’d never expected to see that in my life or rather De La Rosa’s life!

    Karun did pretty well imo. Just the first outing and he was at Senna’s tail in the second lap itself. I think he’ll progress fast. More importantly, nothing flew off his car!

    All in all, we’re in for a great 1st race tomorrow!

    See ya’ll tomorrow then :)

  54. over a second off pace from pole to 4th place. That’s potentially disconcerting. I hope there was a lot of tire saving strategy going on there.

    f1zone is providing HD clips from bahrain…

  55. Jhonnie Siggie
    13th March 2010, 15:14

    I think Massa is about to pull a “Lance Armstrong” this season. Most of the pundits here will be eating their words for having concluded that Alonso is the better of the 2.

  56. First off there goes my race predictions :(

    In the TV commentary (during quali) McLaren team apparently mentioned they knew Red Bull and Ferrari were much faster. I am surprised none of us picked out Red Bull’s pace. Wern’t we also assuming that McLaren’s 1 lap pace was better than other teams and now we get exactly the opposite impression!

    Martin Brundel also mentioned how strung out the McLaren looked and that it was finding bumps that other cars did not find. His guess was that maybe the car is setup for heavy fuel load so as to better manage the tires.

    Ferrari will defenitely be the team to beat. My guess for race is Alonso, Massa, Hamilton, Vettel, Roseberg.

    1. Seriously doubt Vettel will loose 3 slots all of the sudden. We might see him drop one, but 3?
      Whether he finishes or not is a whole different story…

      1. Again this is based on race pace and tyre management. Vettel is pretty good at managing his tires and we have heard even horner talk about it last year, however is red bull upto it? He could lose more if tires don’t hold up.

        1. “Vettel is pretty good at managing his tires” I’m thinking back to Monaco last year.

  57. To tell you the truth I just hope we have a cracking race tomorrow with all four big teams fighting for the major points.

    1. I doubt that we will see overtaking?

  58. Not the best qualifying coverage by FOM.
    Lack of Schumi’s lap
    Did anybody noticed in the past we used to see the classification of the grid at the left side of the screen with the driver’s initials they were missing.
    They couldn’t concentrated well on track especially they missed many good flying lap

    1. [i]”Did anybody noticed in the past we used to see the classification of the grid at the left side of the screen with the driver’s initials they were missing.” [/i]

      This was really annoying, that simple graphic actually makes qualifying much more exciting.

      1. Without it qualification was just confusing (especially with so few of the laps being properly shown, and very few overall classification graphics), I seriously hope it is reintrduced ASAP…

  59. Do you people think that we may see overtaking tomorrow on track?
    I think NO

    1. Why do you say that?

      1. The new section will block any opportunity of overtaking, & as all the car will carry same amount of fuel I don’t think we will see too much overtaking. But I will love if I am wrong.

  60. Great lap from Vettel sadly for him I think he’ll end the race 3rd IF the Red Bull finishes the race at all. Ferrari one – two I’m afraid. Although I’d like to see him behind someone at some point and fight his way past for the win. I only say I can’t see him winning because the car was killing the rears over longer stints (but maybe they hit a balance just before Quali)

    As for Mclaren disappointing for this weekend but the long Micky Mouse section 2 hurts them badly, I expect them to be right at the front at low down force circuits, still fingers crossed for the race but its a bit of a long shot unless they find a faster way through section 2.

  61. This is Ferrari’s to lose. RedBull will run out of tyres early on, maybe even stopping before they think they should. Hamilton is faster than Button on low fuel, but the opposite is true on high fuel, according to McLaren. Mercedes are good on tyre life, but have some other issues which prevent fast low fuel laps (think back to last season when they were Brawn).

  62. The fact that so many are saying Ferrari have this in the bag is actually worrying me. I don’t want to take anything for granted and Massa put in a good performance (esp with a fever/flu or whatever) and has won from that position before but with the rule changes and Vettel and even Ham near by I can’t relax yet.

    1. Ferrari’s ‘long run’ pace is way better than McLaren’s and RedBull’s and , ironically, way better than Vettel’s and Hamilton’s compared to their own team mates! So Ferrari should have nothing to worry about..except maybe the first corner…and then maybe a Ferrari- ‘bound to get on youtube again’-pit stop…and then maybe run out of fuel. But apart from that, they should win.

  63. I don’t think that either RedBull or McLaren will score points tomorrow, if that makes you feel any better about Ferrari’s chances. :)

    1. It really does but I’m trying not to get my hopes up or expect too much especially after last year :P

  64. Come to papa :-)
    The first points of the prediction game are in the pocket. Thanks Vettel! Silverstone Grandstand here I come.

    What a great qualification it was. Very small differences. Good viewing of the cars. Nice to see the knee-handled-flap on the McLaren bodywork actually work pretty good adding about 6-8km speed on the straight.

    1. The only one near them in the speed trap was Sutil (JB 313.7 Ham 310.8 Sut 310.3), everyone else was 5-12 kph slower!

  65. I had predicted Alonso for pole – beautiful stuff from Vettel and Massa, and really respectable from Kubica I would think.

    This is going to be a great season! Gad – I can’t watch tomorrow, I’m only going to be able to watch a replay on Monday. I’ll go bonkers before then!

    1. I won’t be able to watch the Australian GP and I’m already angry with the world. Poor you :(.

  66. Mostly what I expected! HRT is 7 seconds off the pace, Ferrari and RBR look a little stronger than McClaren. Kubica and Sutil suprised me. That renault car didn’t look very stong at all but 9th is pretty good! Another perhaps smaller surprise is that Rosberg was quicker than Schumacher and Massa faster than Alonso. In the race it’s probably going the other way around. The Cosworth engine does not look very good, not one of the cars made it to top 10 while Williams is a strong team.

  67. So if the harder tyres make a difference of ca. 0,5 seconds, Sutil is as fast as Kubica?

    A lot depends on the cars being balanced and reacting to fuelloads. Then there is accidents. When seeing how bumpy the corners 6/7 are, i am afraid there will be some casualties during the first laps and/or when the tyres start to come off.

    Anybody remember last year having almost 15 cars with less than 1 sec difference? It looks like we are going to have larger differences between the cars this year, maybe different with each race and changing during the race based on tyre wear and emptier tanks.

  68. Anybody think Schumacher will burn his clutch tomorrow, to keep the similarities with his first race start up?

    Would be funny if he had some kind of problem like that

  69. For me it was interesting to hear Alonso say, that the with the long laps and fiddly new part, there is a lot of room for mistakes.

    Can the 1 second difference between pole and 4th be as much to do with mistakes? Webber sure lost almost a second in this middle sector.

    Maybe the McLarens are set up to get past other cars on the straits and then just keep those cars behind them in the tight corners?

    1. “Maybe the McLarens are set up to get past other cars on the straits and then just keep those cars behind them in the tight corners?”

      The McLaren’s were alwys going to be the fastest cars on the straights, so maybe you are right, and they are just playing to their strength.

      Their car setup may also be more ‘race friendly’ than the competition.

      It is entirely possible that McLaren have erred more towards a setup that looks after the tyres better in race conditions. Maybe Button has gone that way more than Hamilton?

  70. I had thought we would have REAL qualifying back this season, but it looks like it’s all about tyre choice/saving etc.

    I don’t like it.

    1. ‘Real’ qualifying used to be where the teams that could afford to, built chassis/engines/suspension/tyres etc that would only be used for qualifying (read-extremely fragile) and then another car would be wheeled out for the race. Not my idea of ‘real’ racing.

    2. Well the differences between the cars are huge. But not too much, when we take the characteristics of the track and the lap times (almost 2 minutes) into account.

      I think the new part of the track had much to do with it, as nobody knew how it would be for real. Alonso said, that differences have a lot to do with mistakes made. Webbers time is a good example of that – some mistakes and over 0,5 seconds is gone.

      Withmarsh from McLaren said, that the characteristics of their car didn’t allow them to make setup changes to get through there any better, without compromising lap times somewhere else any more.

  71. I expect the cars of the race line to have some problems getting away, as the track is still pretty dusty.

    Will be looking forward to seeing at least some 2 stoppers (maybe Vettel to keep going faster than Ferrari?)

  72. I’ve just watched quali on the iplayer having missed it live due to work. Boy am I glad we’re finally at the first race!

    There were so many triumphs that it’s hard to sum up, but having had few kind words for Karun Chandhok previously I’ve suddenly amassed a huge respect both for him and HRT – I mean what a way to start his F1 career! And kudos to him for giving it some having never driven the car before. Wow. To be fair I’m impressed with all the new teams for having survived their first ever quali session without major hiccups and very much look forward to the friendly rivalry between Virgin/Glock and Lotus/Trulli over the following nineteen races. Next up I have to sound my trumpet of jubilation to Felipe Massa for a fantastic return to F1 with P2 following a potentially life and career-ending accident. I’ve never been a Massa or Ferrari fan but I hope 2010 will be the year for that elusive Championship win for him. Finally, I was chuffed for Rosberg that he out-qualified his team mate as it must have been hard for him the last few months, and now the talking can stop and he can show his worth on track. As for Schumacher, it was hugely amusing seeing him take that opportunity in parc ferme to give the McLaren a once over – classic M.S. he hasn’t changed at all! :P

    It was a great qualifying session overall and a neat package from the BBC again, roll on tomorrow! (Felipe for the win).

  73. Didn’t really like the fact that 6 of 10 drivers chose to wait out Q3 till the final minutes. High chance we’ll see more of that. Did changing the rules improve the show, shall see later during the race. But i’m pretty certain it just ruined qualifying for me.

  74. I think some of you are forgetting that Chandhok probably would have been using Senna’s setup, it makes sense as Senna has done all weekend while Chandhok did nothing. I dont see why they would send him out with a basic setup and then change it after, they would have given him Senna’s, then made the necessary changes to make it work for Chandhok.

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