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?â??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

Browse all 2010 Spanish Grand Prix articles

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

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3
  1. Mclaren is stronger on race pace…Lewis should win….

    1. They are no where near RB’s race, don’t worry about that. Remember Malaysia?

      1. The McLarens started near the back in Malaysia. This time they’re right behind. The Red Bulls are obviously way ahead in qualifying but McLaren have matched them when it comes to race pace. Red Bull will most likely win but Lewis isn’t going to be thrashed.

        1. They haven’t really though at times they have been close. RB is strong in the races and have pulled away from the pack when at the front. Remember also that this is quite possibly the biggest gap in qualifying so far this season. Eight tenths of a second over the relatively short Catalunya lap is HUGE. The gap has grown since China.

          1. Even if they struggle a little bit with tyres, they should be able to get 15 seconds lead from the soft tyres and if they don’t wait too long this time, that will be it.

            Not much chance of catching up for Fernando or Lewis after the first hundreds of meters. Only rain, safetycars or technical gremlins can get between that.

    2. are the red bulls harder on their tyres or something???

    3. Don’t think so. Q3 the first run by red bull cars were on hard tyres and still they were faster than everybody else on soft tyres.

      They have genuine race pace and unless the conditions are really hot or it rains others have no chance.

    4. Jhonnie Siggie
      8th May 2010, 18:37

      Mclaren doesn’t necessarily have stronger race pace. They just seem to be the fastest in the first 1/3rd of the race when the rear of their car is dragging on the ground. Remember in Australia, Hamilton passed a bunch of guys early but once he came up to Alonso in the middle of the race, he couldn’t do anything about him. Lewis will do well if he can split the Bulls early on but they will probably get him back during a pit stop and end up with a one two finish.

      1. Hamilton cought up to Alonso in the last few laps! That’s hardly the middle of the race.

        Besides, he had had to race like a madman to make up for the time that that extra pitstop cost him. That pretty much ruined his tyres.

        And then … he actually DID get past Alonso. Only Webber rammed him off.

        Did you actually watch the race?

    5. How can you say that when we’ve still seen very little of the effects the new aero parts are having apart from qualifying runs?

      1. because the sum total of the effects of new aero packages was that RB has actually now extended their advantage in qualifying, not decreased it as was McLaren’s intentions.

        1. Too bad the original post was about race pace …

  2. how can somebody think that mclaren or ferrari could race red bull tomorrow?
    they are nearly a second faster…
    red bull’s car of today reminds me the f2004

    1. Yes, they are 8/10th faster on empty tank but how will they behave when in race trim? That is where other teams are better than the RBs.

      LH said they are slow in the straight too, so maybe the F-duct will help him to, at least, pass Vettel in the first corner. Hopping Jensen will have the balls to pass Alonso too but that is just my dream ;-)

      1. You forget Button is excellent at overtaking. Look back to last season and you will know.

    2. Except they can’t seem to to actually win that many races…

      1. Paulipedia
        8th May 2010, 15:31

        only because of bad luck

        1. Shanghai wasn’t bad luck.

        2. Technical problems and bad team strategy in the race as well as wors pace in slippery conditions did it for them.

        3. Webber could (would) have won in Australia if they hadn’t waited so long to first bring in Vettel for the first tyre change. That they dropped him from P2 to P6 is hardly bad “luck” either.

    3. Only when it’s going to rain. In the dry everyone is going to be beaten.

  3. great for sauber…
    they gonna get their first point this season for them this time around.. hopefully.

    and hope that ferrari engine have enough burger king lubricant in it

  4. Interesting that Alonso and Schumacher did faster laps in yesterday’s second practice than in Q3. Schumacher did a 1:20.7 and Alonso a 1:20.8. Sorry and Vettel did a faster lap in second practice as well. Weirdly though the track temperature appeared to be higher today than it was yesterday.

    1. The rain overnight might have taken rubber off the track.

      1. Paulipedia
        8th May 2010, 15:32

        Schumacher screwed up his first sector on his final lap I think.

  5. Red Bull’s dominance is beginning to get slightly scary, even though I like the team and drivers. They were always going to do good here, but this is quite insane.

    Considering they were the fastest of the non-double diffuser teams last year I think we might see Red Bull dominating for quite a while longer. Sure the F-duct is a cute and inspired feature, but it does feel very flimsy compared to the ultra clean looking Red Bull. I’m surprised nobody attempted to copy their suspension.

    1. Copying a pull-rod suspension isn’t an easy thing to do. It involves various anchor points in the chassis being designed and present, which with the homogulated chassis rules means it’s almost impossible to copy.

      The other reasons that the other teams haven’t used this design, is probably for the same reasons Arrows back in 1990 (I think) stopped using their design. It was adding quite a lot of time to their set up time!

  6. Paulipedia
    8th May 2010, 15:38

    Did anyone else notice how angry Rosberg was when talking to Schumi. He looked very aggrieved about something. Pehaps that the car handles like a cart horse for him now. Schumacher gave him a slightly condescending pat on the back, sort of hard luck mate I’m in charge now.

    1. It’s a kind of understandable reaction. He beats Schumacher resoundingly in the first races, Schumacher pressurizes Brawn, the team completely reworks the car, Schumacher is now way ahead of Rosberg, but with no apparent improvement for the team. They’ve simply swapped places. Gives you a clear idea of how he beat Barrichello etc. in the past. If Rosberg adjusts and catches him again, you can be sure Schumacher will be off to Brawn to eek out another advantage over him.

      1. I agree with with you 100% .
        I feel so bad for Nico.
        Funny thing is Nico would have been further up than Schumi’s position today had they not changed the car.

      2. woah! guys lets not jump the gun. wait til after turkey then we’ll see if schumi has actually gained an advantge through the designing of this new car.

    2. I thought they looked like they were actually working together.

      1. At least Rosberg did …

  7. Ferrari got a $20,000 fine for releasing Alonso into the path of Rosberg, but no grid penalty.

    1. Not a racing incident so I don’t it deserved a grid penalty, especially given the way the stewards have been behaving so far this season.

      1. which is a good thing don’t forget. would have been depressing if he’d got a grid penalty for that.

  8. raymondu999
    8th May 2010, 15:45

    Let’s have a list of opinions here. Will Vettel jump Webber off the line, or will Webber hold him?

    1. Gwenouille
      8th May 2010, 17:43

      I don’t see why Vettel would fly past Webber at the start… In fact it was rather the contrary in China.

      1. It’s not as easy here from the dirtier side of the track. Whats more, he has to keep an eye out for Alonso racing past with the F-i duck switched on.

    2. I think it’ll be very close, but probably Webber will keep the lead.

    3. Lewis is going to jump Vettel, Alonso might too

    4. I miss KERS. Would love to see Hamilton and Alonso both sail past those Red bull cars and hold them up for the whole race.

  9. HAM says the mclarens are fast down the straight but they are alot slower on the speed trap results from quali…

    1. Well compared to the Red Bulls they aren’t, they are about 3kph quicker. I think lewis will have to look out for Alonso more, he is flying down that straight although he is starting from the dirtier side.

      From what I have heard the Mclarens can afford to use more wing due to their duct and im guessing Alonso isnt doing that which explains why he is fast through S1 but slower in S2 and S3.

      However with overtaking as hard as it is in Spain, Alonso may have chosen to do the right thing, untouchable on the straight and nowhere to pass through the corners. Guess we will find out.

      I was thinking though, and this may be a bit of an over reaction, but with Alonso and Massa using their left hands to block the duct, if they have to make a sudden movement to their right will they be able to do it with just their right hand as it seems pretty cramped in the cock pit?

      1. Well Badoer had such strategy in Spa. After some drivers pited on lap 1 he gained some places and it was close to impossible to overtake him on the straight. Sutil overtook him in corner exit.

    2. Jhonnie Siggie
      8th May 2010, 18:42

      He meant that they are faster than the Bulls not “fastest” so he was correct. He Bulls are is target.

      1. Jhonnie Siggie
        8th May 2010, 19:33

        Hehe…. That last line should read “The Bulls are his target”

  10. So according to Webber;

    “(Team boss) Christian (Horner) said to me beforehand, you probably won’t get to drive a car this quick around here again, so go and enjoy yourself and I did.”

    Um, as an Aussie I hope he means that he expects the Red Bulls to slow a little cos otherwise that sounds pretty definitive on Webber’s chances of a drive next year.

    1. Rubbish Dave
      8th May 2010, 16:30

      With the change in aero regulations, they’re expecting next years car to be slow.

      1. But i did have the same thoughts after reading that. I would hope Webber to turn in the keys after winning WDC with the car!

        I like him, he had a fair share of bad luck, his williams going out after leading impressively in Monaco, some young bloke punting him out behind the safety car once etc.

  11. bad_whippet
    8th May 2010, 15:51

    Awesome lap by Webber and I’m not trying to take anything away from it, but did anyone notice him coming wide out of turn 7 so that turn 8 he took with all four wheels off the track… he was on the inside of the kerb.

    You can see it in the replay on the Beeb at around 42s – http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8669726.stm

    Surprised no-one else mentioned it, else I’ve got too much time on my hands and am being pedantic ;)

    1. Legard mentioned it every bloody time “OH LOOKS LIKE THEY’VE GONE OFF” without bothering to notice every driver was doing it and not losing time at all rather they were clearly doing it cos its the best line :)

      Brundle talked about it at one point saying that it is TECHNICALLY against the rules to take all four wheels outside the white line but that in some places everyone does it so in that case it’s ok.

    2. They were all off the road through that section.

      1. bad_whippet
        8th May 2010, 16:05

        That’s cool, fair enough. I’d only seen that particular piece of footage, didn’t actually get to see quali.

  12. So i guess vettel will win this Gp then since he didn’t get pole?

    1. Don’t forget, you can’t win from front row in 2010.

  13. How can these cars get much faster than they were on first day when they were light on fuel?

  14. Glad for Michael. Finally.

  15. The first victory for Lewis Hamilton! ;) Wanna bet !?…

  16. rubens helmet after quali session


    1. wow, what happened to that.

    2. Did he throw it?

  17. Nice to see Schumacher showing some decent pace. Maybe he’s not quite past it after all! Of course, now Rosberg is complaining about the car. Oh well.

  18. I ran some stats on the 846 predictions.

    Turns out that everybody pretty much expected Vettel to take pole:
    Pole Perc
    VET 82%
    HAM 8%
    WEB 4%

    Odd to see how few votes Webber gets.

    The median pole time most people predicted was 1:19.2. In the end they were slower than in practice so most predictions were a bit higher than the actual pole time.

    Predictions were pretty close though, with 50% of the predictions within seven tenths of a second.

    The closest prediction was made by bunboyfantastic who predicted 1:19.999 (4 thousandths of a second off)

    Next closest where MAKrifayee, Ronan, Saipthegod, SimonF1, SethBahl, Chubbfw31, Mufin and BrawnGPStefan who all predicted a pole time of 1:20.

    I calculated F1 scores for each prediction (25 for prediction on P1 etc) and added all these socres up to get the following F1Fanatic top 10 prediction:

    Driver Score
    VET 16167
    HAM 12423
    ALO 11319
    WEB 8193
    SCH 7330
    BUT 6332
    ROS 2924
    MAS 1818
    KUB 1058
    SUT 54

    This compares pretty well to the qualification result. Notable differences are Webber who is predicted to finish a lot lower and Kubica a bit lower.

    1. Nice work PatrickL! I must admit i underestimated Webber as well, or maybe misjudged how focussed he is right now. For once i would not mind the polesitter winning this year.

      1. I think the problem was that that too many people overestimated McLaren’s pace and thought they were up there with RB6.

  19. Interesting things come from this qualification. First the way Schumachers explanations to the team have gotten him a better car. Second the explanation Barrichello gave to Williams did not work. He even blamed his crew to talk to him whil e doing a fast lap that cost him Q2.
    Hulkenberg did great however.
    The race could be very interesting because the RBs are quick in lap but they are never the fastest in raw speed. So on the straights Hamilton and Alonso should be able to actually try to overtake. We will see.

  20. personally i would like the ferraris to win tomoro… but RBR are good enough …they just need their strategies to be in place.

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.