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 Hülkenberg 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.
Full qualifying times
|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|
|10||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’36.671||1’35.665||1’35.963|
|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|
|17||22||Pedro de la Rosa||Sauber-Ferrari||1’37.050||1’37.020|
|18||15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||1’37.161|
|22||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||1’39.783|
2010 Chinese Grand Prix
- Sunday in Shanghai – a fans’ view of the 2010 Chinese Grand Prix
- 2010 Chinese Grand Prix – the complete F1 Fanatic review
- Ferrari deny Alonso-Massa rift
- Points for Petrov and first McLaren 1-2 since 2007 (Chinese GP stats and facts)
- Safety car spares Hamilton and Alonso’s blushes (Chinese Grand Prix analysis)
- Chinese Grand Prix fastest laps
- Chinese Grand Prix in pictures
- Webber loses out in safety car incident
- Button leads McLaren to one-two in wet race
- Hamilton’s pit lane dice with Vettel could cost him second (Update: no penalty)