The Red Bull duo locked out the front row of the grid for the European Grand Prix with Sebastian Vettel heading Mark Webber.
Lewis Hamilton looked able to get between the two RB6s but made a mistake on his final lap and had to settle for third.
The two Ferraris line up fourth and fifth for tomorrow’s race.
As the first part of qualifying began track temperatures had climbed to 43C – as hot as they had been during second practice on Friday.
Robert Kubica was the last man to set a time in Q1, taking advantage of the improvements to the Renault and an improving track surface to go quickest with a 1’38.132.
Seven drivers were quick enough on their first efforts to stay in the pits and not do a second run. Among those who had to go out again were Jenson Button, who improved to third with his second effort.
Another was Michael Schumacher, who briefly fell into 18th place while struggling with a power steering fault. He improved with his last try, dropping Kamui Kobayashi into the bottom seven and out of qualifying.
The biggest surprise of Q2 was the Mercedes drivers failing to reach the top ten.
Both drivers failed to improve on their final runs. Schumacher was down in 15th, six tenths of a second slower than his team mate.
In their place both Williams drivers progressed to Q3 for the first time since Malaysia.
Williams were the only team not to do two runs in the final part of qualifying, choosing instead to send their cars out when the track was quieter.
Remarkably, Nico Hülkenberg and Rubens Barrichello set identical times to within one thousandth of a second – Hülkenberg was classified ahead of his team mate because he set his time first.
After the first round of laps Mark Webber was fastest ahead of Hamilton. Their team mates provisionally lined up behind them.
But Sebastian Vettel edged his team mate by 0.075s with his final effort to take pole position:
It was a tight qualifying session in the end with not very much between us all. On my first run I had huge a moment in the first sector so I knew I had to put everything in the second sector and it worked.
Hamilton looked likely to threaten the Red Bulls with his last effort but made a mistake on his final run. Despite that he said he was happy to qualifying third:
I tell you what I’m really happy to be here, I feel so fortunate.
We knew everyone else would be bringing updates this weekend and we saw from practice we were quite long way behind. We didn’t realise we would be so far up.
My first lap was good. In the second I was up by a tenth and half then I lost it all into turn 12. I locked the rears, then locked rears again later in lap.
I though “I’m going to drop back quite far here” but I’m third so I’m really happy.
Fernando Alonso took fourth ahead of team mate Felipe Massa.
Full qualifying times
|1||5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’38.324||1’38.015||1’37.587|
|2||6||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’38.549||1’38.041||1’37.662|
|11||16||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’39.096||1’38.586|
|13||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’39.021||1’38.851|
|14||15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||1’38.969||1’38.884|
|16||22||Pedro de la Rosa||Sauber-Ferrari||1’39.003||1’39.264|
|17||17||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’39.128||1’39.458|
|21||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||1’42.086|
2010 European Grand Prix
- The physics of Webber’s Valencia crash
- Technical review: European Grand Prix
- Sauber “thrilled” by Kobayashi’s passes
- 2010 European Grand Prix – the complete F1 Fanatic race weekend review
- Alonso retracts Valencia criticism
- FIA must learn from Valencia shambles
- Best finish of 2010 (Williams race review)
- Di Grassi shines (Virgin race review)
- Double finish at home (HRT race review)
- Buemi slips to ninth (STR race review)