Webber beats Vettel to pole as Red Bull dominate Spanish GP qualifying

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Mark Webber won the battle of the Red Bulls at Barcelona
Mark Webber won the battle of the Red Bulls at Barcelona

Mark Webber claimed pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix, beating team mate Sebastian Vettel by one tenth of a second at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Red Bull enjoyed a huge margin of superiority over their rivals with Lewis Hamilton three-quarters of a second behind the RB6 drivers.


The session began on a dry track with temperatures around 20 degrees – slightly warmer than final practice, but still quite cool for the Circuit de Catalunya at this time of year.

While the front-runners made their way through to Q2 with little difficulty, the midfield scrap to avoid the dreaded 18th was as fierce as ever.

Pedro de la Rosa jumped up from 18th to sixth with a fine late effort but that left Rubens Barrichello stuck in the bottom seven. He failed to improve with his last lap and on the radio after he complained about getting messages from the team during his best effort.

The six new cars occupied the bottom places as usual with the revised Lotuses comfortably clear of the Timo Glock’s revised Virgin and his team mate. But both VR-01s will lose five places due to a grid penalty.


Red Bull demonstrated their superiority by saving a set of soft tyres in the second session. They went out on the hard tyres for their first run – and their rivals using soft tyres couldn’t beat them.

When the RB6s put soft tyres on for their final runs the scale of their performance advantage was revealed – Webber’s Q2 time was half a second faster than Button’s McLaren, who took third behind Vettel.

A great lap by Kamui Kobayashi late in the session put him eighth, ahead of Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg. Force India, who’ve become accustomed to getting cars into Q3, saw both their drivers eliminated in Q2.

The Toro Rosso duo failed in their efforts to reach Q3. Sebastien Buemi beat his team mate to 15th place by just one hundredth of a second.


The battle for pole position was always going to be a Red Bull-only affair. But for once it was Webber, not Vettel, ho came out on top.

Vettel took the top spot with his final lap but Webber had one final lap in hand and he broke the 80-second barrier to claim pole position from his team mate.

The McLaren had consistently placed third and fourth but Fernando Alonso split the pair of them to take four on the grid for his home race.

But the stewards may take a dim view of an incident in the pit lane where he pulled into the fast lane in front of Nico Rosberg, who was forced to take avoiding action.

Michael Schumacher claimed sixth place and beat Rosberg in qualifying for the first time this year in the updated W01.

However it looks unlikely anyone is going to be able to catch the Red Bulls in tomorrow’s race.

Full qualifying times

Pos. # Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’21.412 1’20.655 1’19.995
2 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’21.680 1’20.772 1’20.101
3 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’21.723 1’21.415 1’20.829
4 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’21.957 1’21.549 1’20.937
5 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’21.915 1’21.168 1’20.991
6 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’22.528 1’21.557 1’21.294
7 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’22.488 1’21.599 1’21.353
8 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’22.419 1’21.867 1’21.408
9 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’22.564 1’21.841 1’21.585
10 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’22.577 1’21.725 1’21.984
11 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’22.628 1’21.985
12 22 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1’22.211 1’22.026
13 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’22.857 1’22.131
14 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’22.976 1’22.139
15 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’22.699 1’22.191
16 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’22.593 1’22.207
17 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’23.084 1’22.854
18 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’23.125
19 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’24.674
20 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’24.748
21 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’25.475
22 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’25.556
23 20 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1’26.750
24 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’27.122

2010 Spanish Grand Prix

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185 comments on “Webber beats Vettel to pole as Red Bull dominate Spanish GP qualifying”

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  1. 8th May today. Qualifying on Saturday, just like 28 years ago. Salut Gilles.

    1. Indeed, Rest in Peace Gilles !

  2. Marc Connell
    8th May 2010, 14:19

    another redbull pole start :) glad its webber this time

    Just hope the finish the way they started

    1. i hate red bull
      they are breaking the 55% downforce cut agreement
      and they have got an illegal car

      1. I didn’t realise there was an agreement. Just regulations to try and ensure that this happens. And the car can’t be illegal, it is checked by the FIA

        1. the teams agreed that
          i just dont like red bull thats why i said there car was illegal

          1. Your input is cherished.

          2. I don’t like Pedro De la Rosa. He is therefore illegal :-P

          3. I don’t like America’s political stance therefore it is illegal

      2. I think all cars probably are with all these updates. If it was illegal they’d be punished.

      3. The car’s not illegal and they haven’t broken any agreement. They’re just doing a better job.

      4. You have the words “illegal” and “blindingly-fast” confused.

        1. “An agreement”. Mclaren broke one with the F-duct and heard the new Mercedes did too. Never mind, if you were in the same position I’m sure you’d do everything to win.

          1. I think Massa is pulling our legs. A dig at the active suspension accusations I think.

      5. i hate red bull aswell as any team beating ferrari but every team is breaking the 55% reduction that they have predicted

        1. and get your own words dont use bbc pundits words ok? and dont miss judge what they say cause there is a lot of people here using other peoples words

          1. I hate Ferrari, so therefore their sponsor is sending subliminal messages… oh, wait, I think I have that mixed up somehow…

      6. Younger Hamilton
        8th May 2010, 20:56

        Look lets just face it,RedBull Have the Quickest car at the Moment and have a big advantage than the others, its even bigger than they did in the past 4 races,In Qualifying Mark’s Pole lap was 8 Tenths quicker than the next non red bull car(Which was Lewis in the McLaren) even Vettel’s best lap was nearly three quarters of a second quicker than Lewis’s best lap.Im a Big McLaren fan but i have to admit 3rd was the best we could do and that Red Bull are the Fastest guys out on Track.But tomorrow we’ll see no one has actually won from pole so far this season and Mark is very Unlucky at crucial times. but every driver who started on pole for the Spanish GP in the past decade has won from pole.For me Lewis or Seb to win the race

    2. if they did all finish the way they started, the champ would look like this-

    3. im not australian but theres something about vettel that simply makes me mad

      1. Sam...wise
        8th May 2010, 21:50

        The way he celebrates a race with his index fingers in the air…he’s not number one, yet!

        1. Why is the word illegal coming here??

          I think Webber did a great job in the car, it will be interesting to see how is defent the attack from Vettel & Hamilton.

  3. Congrats to Webber. He owned quali today.

  4. Qualifying is boring this year. You know it’s going to be a Red Bull on pole but the important thing is you never know who’s going to win the race.

    No one has won from pole and Red Bull seem to have a habit of losing races for themselves. It’s not over till the checkered flag…

    1. Unfortunately the pole sitter almost always wins in Spain and has done for I think the last nine years? Personally I think Vettel will probably jump Webber off the line but it’s tough to see past a Red Bull win.

      1. We’ve sad that in every race though :P I really don’t think its a forgone conclusion like everyone is saying.

      2. i have a bad feeling vettel will get alongside webber at turn 1 and neither will give in…

        1. I think this race will answer the truly interesting question about the difference in Redbulls quali an race pace. If Redbull pull away, this glut of exciting races might be over. If they don’t, well Redbull on poll isn’t all that bad a thing. If McLaren is slower in quali an faster in the race we could be in for a damn entertaining title fight.

          McLaren have possibly topped Ferrari with their updates but 6tenthso probably didn’t provide quite that much.

          1. Bigbadderboom
            8th May 2010, 21:57

            Great comment, exactly how I see it. I think the red bull is made for quali, but has real problems with race pace. I think that red bull has serious issues in race mode. I still think the McLarens will prove too strong across race distance, if not we may be in for a really boring rest of season.

          2. One thing is for sure, there ain’t anywhere near a eight tenths of a second turn around between Red Bull’s qualifying and race pace, or that of their rivals for that matter. It is just not physically possible.

            In clean air they’ll blitz the opposition, I would think.

  5. My pole prediction time was 0.006 off!

    1. Lots of people were 0.005 off

      1. Dude, .006 is pretty damn close. Enigma, why do you have to take the guy down right away? What was your guess Dr. Facts? Lots of people can break 80 on a golf course, but its a big deal for over 90% of the world. You should change your name from Enigma to Dark_cloud

        1. i think you got it wrong!
          if he said-
          ‘lol, alot of people were 0.005 off! ha’ you wouldn’t complain. i think he’s just suggesting alot of people put 01:25.000 as their prediction.

  6. I knew Red Bull would be untouchable. Good to see Lewis qualify properly at last.

    1. Same think he could have a good advantage into the first corner tomorrow with the F-duct.

      1. Is it much use off the start line? My impression was it only really comes into its own at or near top speed and while it’s a decent run to the first corner here I wouldn’t think it would make much difference.

        1. Think about it this way. The f-duct won’t do a damn thing at a standstill because there’s no air moving through the system. What you you will find is that as the car’s speed increases, so will the effect of the duct. It won’t spoil the wing at lower speeds as much, but it’ll still help.

      2. I really don’t think so

      3. I think it doesn’t really help. It gives them higher speed, but they set the wings so it’s more grip.

  7. Yawn, let’s see this track scrapped and Valencia Street Circuit installed as the Spanish Grand Prix.

    1. I think they should ditch the chicane before the last corner and remove Valencia from the calender altogether, that’s even worse than Barcelona.

    2. Not sure they would improve anything, Valencia does not really make great racing.

      1. They should race at Jerez

    3. Valencia’s rubbish too, and Jerez is far too tight and slow for F1. They should have the Spanish Grand Prix at Motorland Aragon.

      1. Catalunya would be fun if they reverted to the original, fast lay-out (quite easily done too). We wouldn’t necessarily see more passing though.

      2. Good point. I remember that track now. I’d be in support of that.

      3. If they really want two Iberian races, then they should have a new Portuguese Grand Prix at the Algarve Circuit in Portimao. They need to at least try both of these tracks; they can hardly be as bad as the current selection.

        1. Unfortunately GP2 have now dropped that race from their calendar :-(

      4. I did like Motorland Aragon layout that circuit will provide us with some good racing.

    4. ugh no Valencia is more boooooring then Katalunya. Valencia had 0 ovetakes last year and 4 the first year. Katalunya had 2 last year and 2 the year before 5 and 7 before that. If only one race be taken out my personal feeling is Valencia but I would like to see both go.

    5. Agreed. Let’s add a trap in Switzerland through the alps with ice tires and a jump!

  8. Its incredible.. almost 1 second away from everybody.. how can’t Ferrari and McLaren don’t see what to do to catch up?

    1. It’s amazing that despite all these much touted updates to rival cars Red Bull have in fact managed to increase their superiority over the pack since the last race.

      This is incredible work from that team!

      Now all they need is a proper strategist on the pitwall; they might have already rapped the championships had they had one to this stage.

    2. NO kidding. Last year 1 sec was often the time different from the first to last between the cars in Q2.
      The scary thing is that RedBull was even faster in FP2 then they where in any Quali session. On another thing I think it’s pretty funny that Schumacher in his upgraded car only managed to be 0.3sec ahead of Rosberg in the old car on a consistant basis. I think when he get the new car Rosberg might find himself once again a head of the weltmeister.

      1. Rosberg has the new car too

      2. Both have the updated car!

  9. well done Kobayashi!!! pure skill to get into q3 with the big boys. ALO and MSC starting on the dirty side of the grid tomorrow…

    1. Maybe we will see a repeat of the Alonso-Schumi-Button tangle we saw in Australia. All of them will want to get in front and be agressive about it.
      Just hope Kubica does not get hit by them, as i wonder how many laps will Kobayashi get to drive before the engine gives up.

    2. Anyone else really want a Burger King….

      1. Yeah, would go great with my Marlboro cigarette….

        1. big burger king meal with some cola to wash it down, then a nice big cigarette after. mmm…

          1. and a can of Red Bull. I think I’ll go set up an account at Santander while I’m out.

          2. We should have a whole boatload of alcohol as well. J. Walker, the bunch from Force india.
            Get drunk smoked to death high on cola and Red Bull and stuffed with burgers. Then call all our friends through the different mobile networks availabe.

          3. Yea Im with TommyB. All those activities involves a lot of hand movement – may want to get those thumbs insured

          4. and wash it down with a can of Force India

        2. and johny walker :P

          1. Has anyone seen my Alice cell phone?… oh, I left it on the Kingfisher flight to India. darn it.

  10. quite a standard result, glad alonso broke mclarens grip and 2nd row…id rather have webber win than vettel, but who knows maybe theyll take each other out. looks like it be a luxury having 3rd tomorrow for ferrari, but at home alonso is always better than usual.i personally dont have this track like some people say, but that last turn modification needs to be reversed.

  11. The HRT of Senna is only a couple of tenths faster than the GP2 cars. Is the Cosworth engine the problem, or did Dallara do a not so good job.

    I am getting to like Webber more and more, if he could seriously get a try at winning WDC away from Vettel that would be amazing.

    1. HRT already openly blamed Dallara for the awful chassis and they’ve ended their partnership. It’s definitely not the Cosworth engine that makes for that big a difference, just look at the Williams.

      1. Yes, and in which direction is Williams heading?

        LOL. Williams is the fastest Cosworth car and they ain’t exactly threatening to make it into Q3 every time.

        1. If Williams manage to beat a Renault, a Ferrari and a Mercedes Engine all in one dry qualifying session (like they did today) it’s very safe to say that at this point the amount of power the new teams get from their engine really is the least of their problems.

          1. Of course they are lacking downforce but I have my reservations about the Cosworth engines too.

          2. So far the Cosworth engine has been quick enough to be competitive and seemingly reliable… in spite coming in only this year and supplying more teams than any other engine developer.

            It’s hard to quantify performance since we have no clue on how good the williams is and top speed has more to do with downforce than power, but Cosworth seems to be doing a pretty good job actually.

          3. I heard Rubens is not happy with Cosworth’s efforts at the track.

    2. Klien has come out and said there’s at least half a second in the car just by setting it up properly after testing it in FP1. It’s a team of rookies on all sides, which isn’t going to help.

      1. So why didn’t he set it up properly then?

        1. He only had Free Practice One to look at it, there’s only so much he can do in 90 minutes on the Friday. To be honest, the sensible thing to do would be to put Klien in the race seat but I’m assuming (and I’ll stand to be corrected) both Senna and Chandhok are pay drivers who are keeping the team afloat with their own sponsorship.

        2. Maybe that is the reason Chandhok was considerably faster than Senna all weekend.

          There is more than 0.5 secs between them in qualifying.

      2. Klien also said that the HRT car is “not up to F1 standard.” I’ll take his word for it, after all if there’s anyone who knows about not being up to F1 standard….

      3. I’m sure I would say the same thing if I were Klein because I would want to make a play to be a driver instead of the backup to a bunch of young guys with a future in F1. Klein is just trying to get the drive. Besieds, .5 seconds isn’t going to help but eliminate 1 of the 10 times they get lapped. They need to find 3-4 seconds. I wonder how they can still be this far off the pace. I hope they change the standards before next season because the cars can’t be this far off the pace. Whats the point of them?

      4. probably why Chandhok’s car was ahead of Senna by same margin Bruno has had before for a change

  12. Ned Flanders
    8th May 2010, 14:30

    As Tommy says above, Quali has not been great this season.

    o 7 cars go out in Q1- we know who 6 of those will be

    o Of the 17 remaining cars, you know the Ferrari’s/ Red Bull’s/ McLaren’s/ Merc’s + Kubica, so that leaves only one spot

    o And of course in Q3 the Red Bull’s are ina league of their own

    My solution- split quali into 5 short parts. 5 cars go out in Q1 (so the quickest new car is rewarded), another 5 in Q2, Q3, and Q4, and then a one lap shootout for the top 4. Or something like that

    1. Umar Farooq Khawaja
      8th May 2010, 15:15

      The solution is not to complicate the qualification process even further, but to go back to basics, i.e., a flat 1 hour with no restrictions on teams as to how they want to use that hour. No restrictions on times, tyres, nothing.

      Just go out, run your car around as you see fit and after an hour we’ll see who’s fastest and what’s what.

      I detest this artificially structured qualifying.

      1. Paulipedia
        8th May 2010, 15:27

        Hear hear, qualifying was so much much more exciting when you only had 4 laps to set a time within the hour.

        1. I think the qualifying format is good. No one complained last year. I just think teams need to catch Red Bull. I like the fact that the race is more exciting than qualifying now though.

          1. Agree, this is probably the best qualifying format we have had in the past 10 years. Next year it might be different, there won’t be so much difference in the backmarkers and red bull might not be so dominant.

        2. there could be long periods of no action though.

        3. Especially when it’s raining during qualifying, no one wants to go out until the very last moment. I can remember several sessions where the picture shows rain dripping in puddles and the commentators are desperately trying to think of something to say. The current system lacks the frantic excitement of the closing minutes, but it’s a good compromise.

      2. There was an idea last year that in qualy they should make a race. I guess the qualy grid would be decided by times in practices. In qualy they’d race, and the last one on each lap would have to stop. It would take 19 laps last year, 23 this year. It would make an interesting qualy & give some idea of the race pace.

    2. or not…
      qual tyres and low fuel and then new tyres for race…that is qual..not a chook raffle or rock paper scissors as you are proposing.

      1. Ned Flanders
        8th May 2010, 20:11

        Er it’s hardly a radical step, it’s exactly the same as it is now but with a different number of cars going out at each cut. It’s harsly a raffle. Idiot

        (And sorry I know I’ve just broken the no insults rule, but this guy really bugs me)

    3. There’s nothing wrong with the qualifying format. We don’t need to go changing everything just because of one team doing a good job. Red Bull’s performance margin wasn’t anything like as big as this earlier in the year so obviously something’s changed. Let’s see if they have this kind of margin at Monte-Carlo…

      1. I suspect even more of a difference to the rest in monte carlo due to the even higher downforce requirements than any other race and its exactly where redbull is so much better than everyone else at.

        Anyway things are fine as they are its just not cool seeing a team with 1 sec difference to the second best in such a small track.

        1. yeah but mechanical grip is more important than downforce at Monaco.

  13. East Londoner
    8th May 2010, 14:33

    Petrov also has a 5 place grid penalty as well for a gearbox change. I know these rules are designed to cut costs, but they are ridiculously draconial and unfair.

  14. Quick reporting Keith . Great to see Schumacher doing better. He was actually faster on Friday. Into the 20’s . Wet compromise?

    1. Doubt it very much.

    2. The RBs were slower than on Friday too. I think the rain took some grip out of the circuit.

  15. We want turbos
    8th May 2010, 14:37

    It’s interesting that on low fuel they are so much quicker, and the rear ends scrape the floor I know this has been done to death but it’s obviously where the advantage lies, I’m guessing to must have something to do with the pull-rod suspension. Fair play to Red Bull for it though!!!

  16. ferrari and mclaren should kidnap Newey to catch those tenths of a second, RBR is an alien at the moment. If only they had the right engines…

    Related to this, is it true that Volkswagen is interested in buying Red Bull?

    1. I also heard the commentators say that McLaren are planning to build their own engines(buying the unit from BMW), any1 has any idea about that?

      1. Younger Hamilton
        8th May 2010, 21:01

        Well McLaren did separate from Mercedes and therefore became a independant racing company late last year and Mercedes are only gonna be their sponsors and engine suppliers until 2015 so its Likely that it is true that McLaren are beginning to develop their own engines

  17. decaffnota
    8th May 2010, 14:38

    Just to spice things up they should move the Virgin cars 5 places backwards, if that leaves them at the back then count from the front and have them starting 2nd and 3rd. It all adds to the spectacle!

  18. What hell is happening with Massa? I believe he can do better than he is doing.

    1. I’m too am surprised by his poor qualifying form this year. That was supposed to be his strong point.

      1. From what i have been reading, he is suprised himself as well.
        That is the second race going, is it possible he did lose something in the crash?
        Or maybe the car is developing more into Fernandos liking and a little bit away from what Massa prefers.

    2. I am surprised too. I expected more from him. Its like he’s not even there!

  19. Good that Sauber have found the key. Unlucky for Sutil to miss Q3. Too bad Rubens missed out. Worse for Luizzi as he can’t blame traffic today.

  20. Great qualifying for Webber. I am so happy for him. I hope he stays ahead of Vettel tomorrow too. I want Lewis to win the race though :)

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