Vettel takes his third pole position of 2010 (Chinese Grand Prix qualifying)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber share the front row with Fernando Alonso third
Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber share the front row with Fernando Alonso third

Red Bull used a special device to extract extra performance from their RB6 in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix.

He’s called Sebastian Vettel, and he’ll start from pole position for the third time this year in tomorrow’s race.


Heikki Kovalainen’s session got off to a bad start as he spun his Lotus at turn six.

As usual Lotus along with Virgin and HRT were the slowest cars in the first part of qualifying. Timo Glock won the ‘division two’ battle but was over two seconds slower than the only driver from the established teams to face elimination.

This week’s Q1 victim was Vitantonio Liuzzi, who once again blamed traffic for failing to get a sufficiently quick time.


Lewis Hamilton showed McLaren’s pace with the fastest time in Q2. He was the only person to lap in under 1m 35s and had half a second in hand over his team mate.

Between them were the two Red Bulls, both Ferraris and Nico Rosberg.

Michael Schumacher only narrowly made it into Q3, beating Rubens Barrichello by 0.033s.

Also eliminated were the Toro Rossos of Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi, Vitaly Petrov, Kamui Kobayashi (who also gets a five-place penalty for a gearbox change), Nico H???lkenberg and Pedro de la Rosa.


From the moment Q3 began the performance McLaren had shown in practice and the first two parts of qualifying was no longer apparent.

All the top ten drivers used soft tyres for the session – but Sebastian Vettel found a quarter of a second more than his team mate, most of it with a very quick run through the final sector.

Behind Webber the next two rows of the grid were closely-fought. Fernando Alonso edged Rosberg by a hundredth of a second, and from Rosberg the two McLarens were covered by just a tenth of a second.

Having been off Hamilton’s pace for much of qualifying, Button turned the tables with his final effort, out-qualifying his team mate for the third time this year.

Felipe Massa lines up seventh ahead of Robert Kubica and Schumacher – the Mercedes driver seven tenths of a second slower than his team mate.

The finished the last race one-two and they did the same in Shanghai last year. Now Red Bull will start first and second for tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix.

View the 2010 Chinese Grand Prix grid

Full qualifying times

Pos. # Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’36.317 1’35.280 1’34.558
2 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’35.978 1’35.100 1’34.806
3 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’35.987 1’35.235 1’34.913
4 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’35.952 1’35.134 1’34.923
5 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’36.122 1’35.443 1’34.979
6 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’35.641 1’34.928 1’35.034
7 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’36.076 1’35.290 1’35.180
8 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’36.348 1’35.550 1’35.364
9 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’36.484 1’35.715 1’35.646
10 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’36.671 1’35.665 1’35.963
11 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’36.664 1’35.748
12 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’36.618 1’36.047
13 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’36.844 1’36.149
14 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’37.031 1’36.311
15 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’37.044 1’36.422
16 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’37.049 1’36.647
17 22 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1’37.050 1’37.020
18 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’37.161
19 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’39.278
20 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’39.399
21 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’39.520
22 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’39.783
23 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’40.469
24 20 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1’40.578

2010 Chinese Grand Prix

Browse all 2010 Chinese Grand Prix articles

177 comments on “Vettel takes his third pole position of 2010 (Chinese Grand Prix qualifying)”

  1. MacademiaNut
    17th April 2010, 8:35

    Looks like HAM’s Q2 time is not right.

    1. Fixed, thanks.

  2. Intresting results with Mclaren.

    Hamilton’s times arn’t right for Q2 tho

  3. I’d say that’s pretty much the end of the RBR ride height conspiracy debate. Well done Vettel.

    1. Younger Hamilton
      17th April 2010, 8:43


      1. With constantly saying that Red Bull don’t use ride height adjusters, just makes me more suspicious. But that’s just me.

        1. Whoops typo. The first part is meant to say “With Horner constantly saying…”

          1. I would agree. I am not saying Red bull are lying but clearly in previous qualifications their cars have been bottoming out with only 3 laps of fuel in them to you would assume that the car would be leaving grooves in the track on a full tank which they have obviously not been. So the car has been riding higher (relatively) in the race than in qualifying. It will be interesting when we finally find out how they are doing it.

  4. Really didn’t expect Vettel to get pole but pulled it out of the bag again “YES BABY!!!!”

    Really surprised McLaren weren’t 1-2, I think they’ll be strong in the race though.

    1. LOL. When will we hear the end of this from McLaren fans?

      Face the facts, folks… the MP4-25 is simply slower than the RB6 and has been from the moment they both hit the track in pre-season. They’ve done well enough to have caught up with Ferrari but now it seems Mercedes is potentially as fast as McLaren too.

      1. I don’t think Tommy is even a Mclaren fan :P

        1. Matters not. I keep hearing such things from their fans.

          1. Certainly not a McLaren fan. Yeah I think Mclaren are just off the pace of the Red Bull and almost up with the Ferrari. Mercedes are starting to catch Mclaren too though thanks to Nico’s brilliant driving.

          2. The Mclaren might not quite have the pace of the other two, but it was a fair comment AK, I mean they have two good drivers and supposedly the 3rd fastest car.

            We have seen much odder things in the past than a Mclaren 1-2.

            “Anything can happen in formula one and it usually does”
            My favourite quote from Murry Walker.

      2. I was a little surprised too, but Red Bull has found (her stopped hiding) about 5 tenths in every Q3 so far. I mean no accusation in that at all, they have a fast car which is clearly legal. It’s fun to watch the teams guess and point fingers.

        But what exactly would be an acceptable comment from a McLaren fan?

        “Woe is me, McLaren is so far behind Red Bull, they should just quit and I should give up all hope”?

        I favor McLaren, meaning in the end I want them to win the Constructors title and have the WDC, but not at the cost of an interesting season. I’m loving the season so far. Three races, three winners from three teams. Four teams are legitimately in it.

        Think about this:
        One team clearly has the fastest car but has also experienced reliability problems.
        Another team is very likely second fastest but is experiencing some reliability problems itself.
        Yet another is in the hunt but inconsistent and features, to me the most intriguing (perhaps not the most competitive) driver battle.
        And finally a fourth team was off slightly off the pace but is turning it up now and has the possibility, with a former 7-time WDC to really turn it on if he catches up or solves the car.
        Two other teams are nipping at the heals of the top four.

        This is good stuff!

      3. Younger Hamilton
        17th April 2010, 21:01

        Me,im a big McLaren fan and i agree that Redbull is fastest and ahead of us but we’ve caught up with Ferrari and we are most certainly faster than Mercedes.We will eventually catch RedBull Ferrari will as well as Mercedes but its only a matter of time before RedBull will wrap it all up the best we can all do is halt them just reduce their point scoring until we can make some serious and tough updates to the car.

        We will Catch RedBull!!!


        1. Did anyone else notice that the Mclaren, at one point (I think in Q2) bottomed out on the exit of turn 1 and into 2. It looked like a small ploom of dust out the back anyway.

          1. Yeah, their car was bottoming out in qualifying, therefore they MUST be running some form of ride height control system. I know they claim they don’t, but it’s obviously plain lies, and their accusations of RBR running such a system were only aimed at focusing the attention onto another team.

  5. Did Hamilton offer any explanation to why he did fewer laps or why his time in Q3 was so disappointing?

    1. He didn’t do a second run in Q2 having banked a hot lap, hence less laps.. Said the car balance changed from Q2 to Q3, couldn’t get any more from it.

    2. Younger Hamilton
      17th April 2010, 21:06

      For me Lewis always does small amount of laps in qualifying sessions and most of the time seems to cost him btw probably Brake bias and Tyre Pressure problems

    3. his Q3 times are because they actually had to put fuel in the car. McLaren have always run very very slow fuel to get to the top of the time sheets…..

  6. He couldnt…according to him..he was trying his limit…maybe some balance problem..i am sure they will be better in the race

    1. Ivan Vinitskyy
      17th April 2010, 8:55

      Its his last sector, at least .3 off the pace. It must be his tires that overheated (

      1. My thoughts exactly. Maybe he push a bit too hard in the first 2 sectors and didn’t have enough left at the end.

        1. Makes sense yes.

  7. Hamilton’s final flying lap on Q3 wasn’t perfect. he over steered at turn 1 & lost precise time.
    & what was Vettel looking at Hamilton’s car at the end of the qualifying .

    1. I saw that too, and that comment by Horner. Looks like the redbulls are getting quite cocky

      1. they are not the fun team they used to be! i used to like them when they were fun but now they are just getting boring…

        Vettel: “we dont have the car advantage like 5 years ago”…

        …”oh red bull are on pole again”…”another grid lock out”…

        1. Younger Hamilton
          17th April 2010, 11:07

          hello Harv’s its good to see u in this article,You’re right, i dont like Redbull anymore after this quailfying especially Vettel,in fact i hate them,he’s just become too cocky now and immature, man i used to always rely on them to beat Brawn(now Mercedes)when Mclaren struggled, now power has just gone into their heads and I hate it when commentators are kissing up to them its so irritating.Mark Webber is not even cocky if he wins or on pole he’s just happy and proud,Vettel Cocky,Loud,Immature and annoying.Its all about the Mclaren/Ferrari rivalry,RedBull not involved.

          GO Lewis,Jenson and Mclaren!!!!

          1. For Vettel, I don’t know that it is cockiness or just exuberance.

            For Horner I think it’s a bit of vindication and the old “neener neener.” I’ve never really liked him though, but I honestly can’t say there’s a team principal that I do like.

        2. Priceless by Horner. You go and keep rubbing it into these obnoxious McLaren people who think they’re the only ones out there worthy to build the fastest car on the grid, making sour grape comments and excuses with these ride height innuendos.

          And you don’t even have a wing stalling device that everyone(!!!) had agreed not to develop, like KERS for this season.

          1. It’s funny to see Mclaren fans call Red Bull cocky when Mclaren have “victory shirts” each season :P if that’s not cocky then nothing is.

          2. HRT should blatantly turn up to one of the races with KERS. :p

          3. I think it’s funny that a discussion of how cocky teams are has happened and no one has mention Ferrari…. oh wait, nvm.

          4. @AK,

            Everyone in F1 is always looking for an advantage. Teams did not agree to not stall wings, they agreed not to do it with mechanical devices. Ferrari have their wheels to get around the lack of spinners, red bull have some form of controlling their ride height and I am sure the other big teams are doing other things to get around the stupidly tight rules.

          5. @Lee

            You are wrong, they did agreed not develop in the direction of stalling wings, whether through mechanical means or otherwise (by the way, what is an f-duct if not a mechanical device?).

            As for Red Bull’s supposed ride height controller, it’s a load of baloney dreamt up mainly by McLaren due to insane jealousy and need to play mind games. They’ve been at it from the first race with Dennis making stupid claims about the RB6 fuel consumption, to Hamilton’s inane advice for Webber to quit and now that all that has failed, accusations of skull drudgery due to bitterness about how fast the RB6 truly is.

            They don’t mechanically adjust their height, it has been scrutinised and passed at every race, before rule clarifications and after rule clarifications. Time to move on.

          6. @AK

            I dont think the F-duct is termed as a mechanical device. I would assume a mechanical device is something that has a movable part to it. The F-duct is a aero device. You can obviously have an aero device with mechanical parts like the front wing. May be I’m wrong and Keith can clarify.

    2. He was probably looking inside the cockpit to see how the f-duct is controlled.
      I bet red bull are planning to add one to make their car even more unstoppable!

      1. Yep, thats what I assumed he was doing.

        They all do it anyway, its just you usually see someone in 2nd or 3rd looking at 1st, not 1st looking at a slower car

  8. Atleast we are guaranteed a good show tomorrow as Lewis works his way up the grid

    1. No guarantees there. ;)

  9. Vettel on pole – bad sign :). Hope everything will be alright with a car.

    1. Now that’s funny!

      1. I think he is simply the best. And those 2 failures have to simply forget :)

    2. LOL… that’s exactly what I thought after Q3…! Pole is kind of an omen for Vettel but I don’t give a monkey’s. I just don’t like the finger shoving he does a zillion times like he’s won the WDC by getting a pole. Annoying. What is with the attitude problem of these guys… the exact reason I don’t like watching Hamilton or Vettel out of the car as much as I enjoy watching them in the car.

      1. Past is past, but my question for the race will be can Webber do anything to beat Vettel?

  10. I have a sneaking suspicion that McLaren are trying to be clever and going with a setup more geared for the rain that is due for tomorrow – like Lewis did in his epic Silverstone drive.

    Could be something similar happening at Merceded too – only they’re hedging their bets, giving Rosberg a setup for mostly dry and giving Schumacher a setup for the wet. Surely that explains a 0.6 difference in speed….


    1. Exactly what I thought. Let hope for rain and an exiting race. Will Webber and Nico get the start right this time, or will Alonso pass Webber in the first corner and stress Vettel? Will Hamilton be able to gain a few places in the start? If Button and Rosberg has the usual not so good starts, then Hamilton could be right behind Webber, if Alonso passes him. And how will Michael do against Kubica and Sutil? I can hardly wait.
      Who will start on the clean side or which side is the cleaner side?

      1. I don’t think Button gets bad starts exactly, more just unlucky.

      2. I’m liking the sound of Alonso getting away cleanly at the start – I want to see what he can do in that Ferrari without Felipe holding him up!

  11. Are all the top runners on the soft tyre?

    1. Yes – it says so in the second paragraph under ‘Q3’.

  12. If Vettel had won the 1st 2 races, this season would turn out exactly like the last year.
    but the interesting thing is, no1 still knows wats responsible for tht kinda pace of the red bulls unlike last year. i hope there are sm major upgrades from mclaren n ferrari. i dont want this season to end up like last years.

    1. The Red Bull was the fastest car in 2009 too. Even without the double diffuser they could have won a lot more races at the start of the season (If they hadn’t messed up strategies, didn’t crash cars so much and had been able to overtake cars like Button did)

      So why wouldn’t they be fastest now?

      Newey is simply a genius. Where McLaren need a trick rear wing to find speed, the whole design of that Red Bull car is geared towards efficient downforce.

      Imagine what they will do to the field next year when the double diffusers are gone.

      1. And that’s one explanation for Red Bull’s qualifying pace – i.e. that they are less reliant on the diffuser for similar levels of overall downforce. Which means that they are less troubled by running a high ride height in qualifying trim, which is when the diffuser is least effective. Ferrari appear to have taken a similar approach, with not quite so good results.

        Whereas McLaren appear to have tried to maximise the downforce from the double diffuser, meaning they lose out more in qualifying trim.

        1. What is qualifying trim?

          They start the race with the same setup as they run in qualifying.

          Do you mean when the fuel load pushes the car down, decreases the rid height and thus increases the downforce?

          1. Yes, just shorthand for running low fuel loads in qualifying.

          2. In qual they have as little fuel as possible, meaning there is less weight to push the car down (remember that the down-force they produce amplifies this)

            Now keep in mind that the Diffuser is less effective when it is farther from the ground.

            So this means that due to the car being further from the ground in qual, the Diffuser is less effective.

            As Mclraren reportedly focussed on maximising the effectiveness of the diffuser, they struggle in qual, when the diffuser is less effective….

            Having said that I don’t know how much less effective it becomes.

          3. Yeah, Mike, that’s what I said.

        2. The clarification issued by Charlie Whiting stated that automatic or active ride height adjustment was illegal. I’m fairly sure they’ve developed a driver controlled ride height adjuster :)

          How else do you explain their cars bottoming out on the other tracks with very little fuel in them? That fact is suspicious in of itself.

      2. I completely agree. As long as Red Bull can iron out their reliability problems (and hopefully there won’t be anymore this year) then they will cream everyone else. Adrian Newey is a genius, Sebastien Vettel is, in my opinion, the best driver in the field and will be world champion and Mark Webber is the perfect wingman (even though he mightn’t like that title!). I’m only sorry I didn’t stick a tenner on them before now! :P

        1. I’m not trying to be a **** (and I reall, but has Vettel ever finished higher than he started without the drivers ahead of him retiring?

          Vettel is damn quick, and I think he’ll only get better with experience, but I’m not ready to crown him best of the field yet. I think it’s among Fernando, Lewis,

          1. has Vettel ever finished higher than he started without the drivers ahead of him retiring?

            You mean like he did in the last race?

          2. Brazil 2009 as well.

          3. Yep Brazil 2009 where he started behind the WDC and finished ahead of him…

            And don’t get this Vettel can’t overtake rubbish.

          4. I apparently have a very short memory.

            I suppose it’s hard to overtake when you start at the front. And conversely, easier when you start (in a car that should be at the front) at the rear.

    2. This year will not end up like last year as it has already started well with 3 race winners from diff teams.

      On RBR pace; well, everyday the bucket goes to the Well, one day the bottom will drop-out :-) And that wouldn’t be long….. trust me, I know what I am saying ;-)

      1. i don’t know what you’re saying. please explain…

      2. This year wont be like last year because despite Red Bull having a car that is a lot quicker than its rivals the car is about as reliable as Royal Mail.

        The Brawn car last year was indestructible. Even when something went wrong it would just carry on (Spa 2009)

      3. “well, everyday the bucket goes to the Well, one day the bottom will drop-out And that wouldn’t be long….. trust me, I know what I am saying”

        What? You are saying you are Bob Marley?

        You shot a sheriff?

        You like reggae music?

        Out with it!

  13. Well done Vettel,,Sad to see Shumi fighting for 9th,, sure its not the car as ROS is doing great. Watch for HAM tomorrow.

    1. Schumacher opted not to use the new rear wing and Rosberg did.

      1. I didn’t pick that up – is that true?

        1. Schumacher said something about it in his interview with the BBC after qualifying.

        2. OK, Schumacher said that Rosberg used a different rear wing, but he was incorrect.

          He was later told that Rosberg was infact using the same rear wing.

          So that’s not it. Schumacher just got beaten with the same equipment.

  14. So – is that Button 3 Hamilton 1 in quali and Button leading Hamilton in the Championship after changing teams, going to a team built around someone else & venturing into the Lions Den then ? – not bad for a mediocre driver as some would have had us believe – Yes early days admittedly but the “experts” said it would take the first 6 or so races just to begin to get on level par with Hamilton and Button was ahead of him after 2 ! -nice (Credit to Button but McLaren/Whitmarsh as well for their input into this – they have certainly kept their promises re: Driver/Car equality)

  15. Should be a great race. Hamilton and Button will need to get past rosberg on the first lap ar else i fear that their race will be ruined. Can’t wait and it will be interesting to see the difference between Ferrari and Red bulls race pace. I still can’t get round Mclarens Q3 pace.
    Here are me predictions

    Massa was poor today…get kubica into the red team plz!

    1. YES please, get Kubica to Ferrari next year

    2. How was Massa poor? He was less than two tenths off Alonso’s time in Q3.

      There was a bigger gap between the two RB cars than that.

    3. Wow tbh I think it’s stupid how quickly people are ready to write off certain drivers. We’ve had 3 races!

      1. Not to mention that Massa’s leading that little irrelevant table of drivers called the World Championship. bahahahaha

    4. Here are my predictions:
      Wake up at 02:30 and put the kettle on.
      Stay sleepy through-out the entire race.
      Eat and drink tea non-stop.
      Fall asleep just before the finish (complete with lap-top on my chest with live timing on).
      Wake up in time to watch a re-broadcast at 08:00.
      Watch again at 13:00 on speed.
      Gosh, I am a loser! lol

    5. Ahh.. what made you predict Nico for 7th? I don’t see a way in hell for Button or Massa getting past him, if something doesn’t go wrong that is.
      Also, don’t underestimate Sutil or rather don’t expect him to stay behind Michael. Whether he gets past Kubica is another story but I hope he does.

  16. A bit disapointed by the pace of the McLarens, not too surprised by the RedBull.
    If odd-number places start on the left side, I predict Hamilton to pass Button (not a great starter) before turn 1, and that would be good for the McLarens as I can’t see Button fighting as much as Hamilton.

  17. But do you think the mclaren’s gearbox will play up at the start.
    As much i respect Vettel i would love to see Vettel beaten handsdown.

  18. This is bad. 4 pole positions in 4 races for Red Bull.

    I don’t like where this is heading.

  19. If I were the other teams and drivers I’d be starting to feel pretty insulted at Vettel consistently sandbagging. He’s just playing with the field.

    1. True, and its kinda annoying!

    2. That is part of racing. Don’t show all your cards early. Wait until the last possible minute. But Honestly I don’t think it was completely sandbagging. Vettel just seems to be able to get the most out of the car when it really counts (Q3). Webber was faster then Vettel in Q1 and Q2. No setups where changed for Q3 he just once again pulled of a fantastic lap.

  20. The new regulations have shown one thing very clearly. Mclaren in free practice think they are fast and loose it when RBR and Ferrari(Alonso) show their true pace in quali.
    Have Mclaren become last years Williams by being superfast and then wondering where it all went? It will be interesting to see what the teams bring to Spain with all the new mods.

    1. Younger Hamilton
      17th April 2010, 10:59

      Mclaren are nothing like Williams and they never will be.

    2. Both McLaren drivers had a problem in Q3.

      1. They were not quick enough.

        1. Comparatively not as slow as the Williams though. And still both ahead of the second Ferrari.

        2. because they had a problem yes

          1. What was the problem? If you mean the force neutral, that didn’t affect the teams laps just a slight issue on the outlaps.

          2. Both had trouble with the tyres and Hamilton said the car was bottoming out

        3. They where not quick enough to fight for front row. Hamiltons best lap time across all quali periods would only seen him one position higher on the grid. He was “only” 1 tenths of his Q2 lap time in Q3. Button was 6 hundreds of a second behind Hamilton. So I would say they didn’t have problems besides they just where not quick enough and they believed from FP that they where. Hamilton did 3 tenths faster in Quali then his fastest FP lap time. Webber ,Rosberg and Button was about 5 tenths faster in Quali. Alonso and Vettel was almost a second faster in Quali over their best FP times.
          McLaren either runs lighter in quali or they suffer a little more then Ferrari and RedBull during extreme light conditions.
          This is not the first race McLaren done well during FP1 & 2 not quite gotten it together in FP3 and ended up behind Red Bull and Ferrari in Quali. The pattern start to emerge and it tells me they are just not fast enough in quali and that RedBull and Ferrari can up their game and improve their lap times a bit better then McLaren can in quali to put them a head.

  21. Man Felipe is so slow.

    1. A dissapointing 7th, but only 2 tenths off his teammate, when Webber was 3 tenths off his.

      1. he did improve 1.3 second in quali over his best FP time. Which was better then what Alonso could manage. My guess he want in the wrong direction on setup in FP. It was changed before Quali and he got more in the right direction and managed to close the gap but not enough.

      2. Actually, Webber is closer to Vettel than Massa is to Alonso.

        Still, the laptimes are indeed incredibly close. Only 2 tenths between P2 and P6.

        Just one tiny mistake can cost a lot of places.

        1. Yeah, F1’s tightening up. And you’re right- Webber was closer.

  22. I suspect the Mclarens will be very quick tomorrow as in the previous races their qualifying times are rubbish but their race pace is brilliant.

    I really hope Rosberg or Webber can win this race just as much of a Vettel fan as I am, there is nothing more I hate then Domination or repetition of the same people winning!!

    Button, Alonso and Vettel have all had their wins for the year =)

    1. Relax. Vettel has only won one race this year.

    2. It will be nice if Rosberg wins, Webber even. It must be hard having a teammate like Vettel

      1. I want Mercedes to win this race (not sure whether they have the pace to do it).

  23. At-least Massa is not there to gold Alonso back for the entire race again.

    1. Erm… meant to say “hold”

    2. R u serious? Massa didn’t hold back Alonso. Alonso couldn’t pass him, , i guess he thinks F1 is not about overtaking afterall

      1. Domenicali said that Alonso wasn’t allowed to pass unless Massa had an obvious problem. Where just being a tad slow is probably not considered a problem.

        1. You seriously have some problem understanding english spoken by an Italian man… I clearly remember what Domenicali said was they were not going to take unnecessary risks, there was no mention about “not allowed to pass”.

          1. As i remember, he did say they could race each other, but then he added, that in the last stint (that being the last 50 laps, or maybe just the last 20 laps) the guys were not allowed to pass to saveguard finishing in a good position.

            In Melbourne i had the ipression from what they said, that they actually wanted Alonso behind Massa, so he could keep Lewis behind both of them.

  24. Any ideas why the McLarens didn’t get another lap in at the end? Both finished their flying laps before the chequered flag but didn’t come round again.

    Some quotes I’ve seen suggest the tyres may have been overheating – that doesn’t sound good for the race if it’s dry tomorrow – or would they have run out of fuel (and are you punished if that happens in qualifying)?

    1. They mustn’t have been able to get two quick laps out of the tyres. Presumably they had the minimum fuel on board.

  25. Senna qualified 23rd in all 4 qualifying sessions.

  26. does anybody know which teams decided to use f-duct devise in quali and race?

    1. Ferrari and Williams didn’t use theirs, McLaren did of course, not sure about Sauber.

      1. and what about Mercedes?

        1. I thought they were going to add it for barcelona.
          I’m not sure whether they’re using that new rear wing they tested yesterday either.

  27. Looking forward to the shanghai rain.

  28. Redbull is strong again, despite FIA warn abt Active Ride Height, so sad to know it. It will fun if Redbull is not so dominant.

  29. MetalHammerDude
    17th April 2010, 11:49

    “None of the last races have been won by the driver on pole”

    If the guys in top 4 were running very low in fuel, we should see their true pace tomorrow with full tanks…

    Hamilton was consistently within 1.35.0 area and thanks to the fact that he is 6th, we will see some overtaking (thank you Hammy man)

    Red Bulls arent as frightening as they used to be, however kudos to them for the great quali strategy

    Go McLaren. Can’t wait till tomorrow morning

    So will it rain tomorrow? Let’s hope, then I don’t care who wins, we’ll see a good show…

    “None of the last races have been won by the driver on pole”

    1. During practice the race pace of all the cars seemed pretty similar. All were doing close to the 1:40 lap times in their long high fuel load stints. Difference were at most something like half a second.

      So I seriously doubt there will be much overtaking tomorrow. The cars are just too much on the same pace.

      With refuelling out of the way there are no strategy differences either.

      Unless there is rain of course. Then it will be another lottery with plenty of “action”.

      Hamilton started all the way back in Malaysie. Of course it’s easier to overtake cars that are 2 to 3 seconds slower than to overtake one in the top 10.

  30. DaveG’s predicted pole time was only one tenth away from Vettel’s pole.

    1. make that one thousandth away (0.001)

      1. Yeah, that’s what I ment, my bad.

  31. Reading through the comments-is there a new Mclaren vs RBR team/fan rivalry? :P

    As everyone seems to be talking about Robert I’ll just make a quick comment (feel free to ignore it). Massa made a mistake on the last corner. He should have done better but his times were still close to Alonso. I don’t know if Kubica would do a better job; he’s pretty fussy and while the Renault has good balance and a tidy package to showcase his talent Felipe’s Ferrari was sliding about so I don’t know how well he would deal with that. All three have similar ish driving styles although Alonso is more aggressive and Felipe more accurate but Alonso (in my opinion) is better than both. Kubica’s doing well but he only has Petrov in the garage next door, Massa could do with cutting out the mistakes if he wants to keep up with Alonso.

    Compared to last year quali is dire now. Last year it was manic at times and excluding Malaysia, this has been very predictable.

    I’m not expecting rain. I don’t care what the reports say, I refuse to get my hopes up for it not to deliver…again.

    1. It was a bit predictable today. Hopefully everyone’s big steps forward in Barcelona (some bigger than others) will shake things up a bit. Otherwise, maybe they should eliminate 10 cars after Q1…

      It’ll be good to see what Alonso can do tomorrow racing in front of Massa, and not held back by any team orders or unwritten rules at Ferrari.

    2. Steph I like Red Bull to win the championship because I like new winners rather than the same old team who think its their divine right to be champions.

  32. oh sorry for double post but forgot one last thing. Vettel did well but the 3 who really impressed me today were Alo, Ros and JB. 3-1 to JB and 4-0 to Ros, very few expected that.

    1. Button actually had a poor qualifying. Just slightly less worse than Hamilton.

      1. I know but what impressed me was that he seems to like perfection but got ahead of Hamilton and got a fairly decent lap in (they were all pretty close)

  33. So – is that Button 3 Hamilton 1 in quali and Button leading Hamilton in the Championship after changing teams, going to a team built around someone else & venturing into the Lions Den then ? – not bad for a mediocre driver as some would have had us believe – Yes early days admittedly but the “experts” said it would take the first 6 or so races just to begin to get on level par with Hamilton and Button was ahead of him after 2 ! -nice :) (Credit to Button but McLaren/Whitmarsh as well for their input into this – they have certainly kept their promises re: Driver/Car equality) :)

    1. Statistics often don’t reflect what’s happening on the track. I think that so far Lewis showed some pretty amazing driving skills, even though he didn’t deliver results. Watch the races, don’t just look at the numbers!

      And I’m not a McLaren’s or Hamilton’s fan. I just don’t understand why so many people have such antipathy to him.

      1. …. because all great people polarise opinion.

  34. Well, I don’t understand Schumachers pace. Sure his comments about rear wing – That seems BS. Why would he opt to stay with a wing that makes his car slower? Ok so even if he did, clearly he is getting outpaced by Rosberg consistently. Why!? How!? 0.7 secs slower than Rosberg, surely that is an embarrassment. Schumacher haters will say he was never fast, but statistics say otherwise. So, being 3 years out of F1 that can no longer be an excuse. It doesn’t take that long to get back up to speed. So *** is going on? I would expect him to be within 10th of sec behind or in front of Rosberg , not 0.7 behind.

    I don’t wanna jump the gun but I am somewhat disseminated with what im seeing.

    1. my comment is awaiting moderation …

      1. Yours too?

        I sincerely hope that JB is perceived to be crap for the rest of the season. Nothing annoys people more than a perceived to be crap driver sticking it to his perceived to be more illustrious team mate. LOL

  35. Very bored with Red Bull right now. If this is a reflection of the whole season I’m switching off.

  36. Poor Schumacher. At least we could see some overtaking from him. And Button ahead of Hamilton again, wow.

  37. Lewis should win this Chinese grand Prix, he deserve more than anyone for the excitement he brought to us in Malaysia and Australia race.. Go all the way Lewis!!

  38. Rosberg beats Schumacher and Hamilton in qualifying yet again. But people still doubt him and his obvious ability to give the top drivers a run for their money.

    This is why you should never get hyped up with anybody getting top times in practice runs, because vettel beat Lewis by over half a second in the real thing.

    I can see the Red Bulls flying off again and a really decent fight with Button, Rosberg, Alonso, Kubica, Hamilton and Massa.

    1. rewrite:

      “nearly half a second”

  39. Lewis can win the race tomorrow even when starting from 5th (i know Jenson is 5th, but won’t be when the lights go green)

    1. Lewis should clamp to atlest 3rd place by end of lap 1 to strike for race win..

  40. Just remember, there are three other team ahead of you tomorrow,, I don’t think that Jenson Lucky Button will be able to do anything. Lewis MIGHT do somethin but remember there are chances of rain tomorrow.

  41. What i really cant understand is the haste to call RedBulls “dominant”. Sure, they qualify strong. But then, in the race, they are nowhere near the so called “dominant” form, having pace at best equal to Ferrari’s or Maccas.

    My view at this is, refueling ban introduced some issues with the car we haven’t had in the past. For example, how much fuel the car needs, how well does it treat its tires, can it keep em warm enough with high/low fuel load.

    Thus, some cars benefit from light fuel loads and perform excellent in quali (see RBR’s), while others might not top lap times, but then put up quite a show dominating early stages of the race (Maccass/Ferraris making up 10+ grid positions, Renault, otherwise midfield, having its rookie fight on-par with 2008 WDC).

    All i can say after this is – Yay! Variety!

  42. I don’t understand why people are so annoyed at Red Bull and Vettel dominating qualifying – I’m not particularly a fan of either, but you’ve got to appreciate the brilliance of Adrian Newey’s RB6 and the way Vettel can deliver the goods at the critical points during a weekend. He certainly has Webber covered on a Saturday, but it’s much closer between them on race day and it pretty much depends on who can get off the line cleanest.

    Alonso did a good job outqualifying Massa again – qualifying has traditionally been a strong point of Massa’s and I think that unless he can beat Alonso on a saturday he’s going to struggle to overcome Fernando in a race under normal situations, especially as Felipe has been looking a little ragged since Australia…

    Great job by Rosberg again to mix it up near the front in a car that probably a bit off the pace at the moment. He’ll need a good start if he wants another solid top 5 finish cos on race pace the McLaren’s should be much stronger. JB I think should be secretly happy to be ahead of Lewis. I think people thought Jenson would be close with him in the races and weaker in qualifying, but so far it appears to be the other way around…

    I’m hoping for a nice, dry, uneventful race tomorrow so that we can get a better idea of where all the teams and drivers are relevant to each other.

    1. I agree, Red Bull are faster and that’s the name of the game. No use being bitter about it. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

      And yes, I thought Rosberg was terrific once again.

  43. Massa could be a excellent racer, but nowadays he seems like a simple racer that is most worried about losing his job than being a great racer. What really happened, Massa?

    1. The car is simply no longer the fastest of the field.

    2. That boy has some issues with early season races. Maybe he will be up to speed a bit later on. Considering all his other season this one has started out pretty good, so my guess is he is being over careful about it.

  44. I’ll be the 20th person to be shocked by Horner’s radio blast about ride-height adjustment not mattering. The irony is that, now presuming that all the cars have no trick suspension, RedSwill clearly is being caught by Ferrari, McLaren and now Mercedes, and that McLaren may well now have the best outright pace. So this tends to prove the opposite of Horner’s unseemly braying. And fiven that a tenth covers third to sixth, it is foolish to draw any conclusions about relative performance among those positions anyway. My hope is that Fred can get both RedTreacle at the start and put them in the clutches of the Mercedes powered cars, which we know have good race pace, so we can see a hard fought race first to sixth.

    The battle between Button and Hamilton is excellent. Happy for Button becuase he has already put away the concerns of people like me that beating Schumacher’s Footstool in the dominant car did not make him a truly quick driver. But here Button seems to have benefitted from a strange drop-off with Hamilton—e was several tenths off him earlier in the day. Hamilton said he was bottoming at the front which speaks to a lack of temperature. So I expect Hamilton to be faster in the race tomorrow.

  45. I am getting bored of RB and Vettel.

  46. Would love see to rosberg win a race, but i don’t think he will. Hamilton to get on the podium tomorrow !

  47. I keep picking Hamilton for pole and the win with blind fanaticism… it’s starting to hurt me. :(

    Thankfully though, still 15 race weekend to go after China. I’m confident Lewis will get pole, and win, 15 from the remaining 15 grand prix weekends. :)

    1. You’ll never learn :-)

  48. David Johnson
    17th April 2010, 16:11

    Can anyone explain why the Mclaren was bottoming out with no fuel in it ?….have Mclaren figured out what redbull are doing and got it a little wrong ???

    1. That was a telling comment. Hamilton said the “front” was bottoming. And you can imagine that this condition would starve the diffuser. The same thing happened with Virgin, and they lost a front wing as a result. I assume that the cars are low in the front to ensure a good underbody rake angle for downforce, and to allow needed squat and roll at the back when fuel is added. I speculate that, for Hamilton, they made the rake too steep and, as the temperature fall over the course of the qualifying, his pressures were too low to keep the front floor off the ground.

  49. keith..when i try to open the 2nd page in the comments its not opening..this is what i get as error…please check it..
    (Content Encoding Error
    The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because it uses an invalid or unsupported form of compression.
    Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem.)

  50. sorry keith its working fine now…..sorry… :)

  51. Slightly off topic but how much better was that, with just Jake and DC ? Should leave EJ at home every weekend, and come to think of it, Legard too.

  52. I think the negative comments about the one or the other driver or team should be decreased a bit. We are F1 fanatics, not hooligans. Please respect all teams, drivers and fans alike. Critisism with arguments is OK, but why dislike a team or a driver because they show their happiness and boast, when they have performed well and above their expectations? I think it is a healthy reaction to do that.
    And I would not like to be part of this forum if it escalates to a series of overly negative comments between McLaren and RBR fans. Maybee it annoys me even more because I respect both teams and like to follow their achievements – as well as the other teams/drivers.

  53. Everyone improved them self in Q3 but Sutil didn’t that is a bit strange or did he do a other setup instead? For rain or so?

  54. That was a fun qualifying session, Vettel continues to impress. Loved Horner’s comment regarding ride height control. :)

    Once again impressed by Rosberg, not just compared to his overexposed team mate. I hope he makes it to the podium for Mercedes.

  55. LOL… that’s exactly what I thought after Q3…! Pole is kind of an omen for Vettel but I don’t give a monkey’s. I just don’t like the finger shoving he does a zillion times like he’s won the WDC by getting a pole. Annoying. What is with the attitude problem of these guys… the exact reason I don’t like watching Hamilton or Vettel out of the car as much as I enjoy watching them in the car.

    1. agreed, I despise public displays of excitement, happiness or pride too. its a good part of the reason I hate all children.

      1. Now was that meant to be sarcastic or you really hate children? :o
        Public display of emotion is no problem as long as its not annoying. Shoving your finger at the camera every 2 seconds is VERY annoying, and it looks stupid..

        1. sarcastic im afraid. look seb can stick his finger in the air saying No1 anytime he gets pole or a race win, who are we to deny him that? he’s just happy, and deserves to enjoy it. if I got an F1 pole I’d probably get my cock out.

          1. Oh well, I never denied him anything, I can’t! I said, its very annoying to me.. and no one can deny me that either!
            HE deserves to be happy and enjoy the moment, true, BUT, there’s a humble way of showing excitement which is more appealing more often than not. Sticking your finger out a million times like a 5 year old is hardly called being mature. That’s the whole point.

            p.s. – As for your way of showing excitement, it’s hardly acceptable in the civilized world… so calm down mate!

  56. I must admit, that i was getting annoyed at Vettel, because of his run of poles, the finger thing and him complaining again about things the others have (F-duct, more horsepower).

    But i think this lap was really champion stuf, pulling it out of nowhere with a fastest time in S1, where he was weak. So good for you Seb, sorry about Horner commenting ride height on the radio.

    I do hope Mark has a serious go for 1st of the line this time, we need some battle there.

    1. Totally agree with the driving part… he’s superb in the car, but annoying out of it, just like Lewis. Why can’t they be as good out of the car as they are in it? Another one of those extremely annoying characters was Kimi… just my opinion.
      I mean, look at Mark, he carries himself so well or even Jense for that matter. At this level of professional racing or sport, you got to be a little mature in your conduct.

      1. Kimi??? He was supposedly the Ice-man!

  57. the Sri Lankan
    18th April 2010, 7:37

    i wouldnt write off alonso and ferrari

  58. Vettel really is quite something…

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