Mark Webber took pole position for the second year in a row in the Spanish Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel was hampered by a faulty Kinetic Energy Recovery System but was still able to take second ahead of the McLarens.
Lewis Hamilton starts third ahead of Fernando Alonso.
The huge gap in performance between the hard and soft tyres meant most teams had to consider using soft tyres even as early as Q1.
The major exceptions were Red Bull and McLaren, the latter pair falling to 14th and 15th as other drivers improved on soft tyres. However Mercedes and Ferrari both used soft tyres to ensure their drivers reached Q2.
Nick Heidfeld was unable to join in following his fire during practice. And a gearbox problem after his first run condemned Rubens Barrichello to elimination as well.
That handed a rare place in Q2 to Lotus’s Heikki Kovalainen.
The usual suspects filled the remaining places but all the drivers who set times were within the 107% time. Jerome d’Ambrosio, the slowest qualifier, was inside by just three tenths of a second.
Drivers eliminated in Q1
|24||Nick Heidfeld||Renault||No time|
Sebastian Vettel was fastest in Q2 despite not being able to use his Kinetic Energy Recovery System.
Team mate Webber was second, two-tenths of a second slower than his team mate, ahead of the two McLarens.
Force India resigned themselves to not reaching Q3 and elected not to use a set of soft tyres. That allowed Heikki Kovalainen to beat them to 15th.
The Saubers and Toro Rossos also failed to reach Q3 as Pastor Maldonado reached the final ten for the first time.
Drivers eliminated in Q2
|11||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’23.231|
|13||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’23.694|
|16||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1’26.126|
|17||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’26.571|
Jenson Button led the cars out as the final ten minutes of qualifying began.
The McLaren duo briefly sat at the top of the times, Hamilton just three tenths of a second faster than Button.
But they were quickly beaten by the two Red Bulls, led by Vettel.
Webber had even more speed in reserve, though, and his 1’20.981 was a full second faster than the McLarens could manage.
An impressive effort by Fernando Alonso split the McLarens, leaving him just three-thousandths of a second slower than Hamilton.
Vitaly Petrov was sixth in front of Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa.
Pastor Maldonado was ninth ahead of Michael Schumacher, who left the pits on hards but did not set a time.
Top ten in Q3
|1||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’20.981|
|2||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’21.181|
|10||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes||No time|
2011 Spanish Grand Prix
- 2011 Spanish Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vote for the best driver of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend
- Red Bull: Vettel soaks up pressure for fourth win
- McLaren: Hamilton strong on “disastrous” Pirellis
- Ferrari: Alonso stars, Massa struggles
- Mercedes: Rosberg wanted Schumacher to let him pass
- Renault: Heidfeld eighth after “worst fire of my career”
- Sauber: Kobayashi gets point after puncture
- Williams: Maldonado reaches Q3 but still no points
- Force India hold back on aerodynamic upgrade