Hamilton and Maldonado share the front row in Spain

2012 Spanish Grand Prix qualifying

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Barcelona, 2012Lewis Hamilton claimed his third pole position of the year and his first ever at the Circuit de Catalunya.

He will share the front row of the grid for the Spanish Grand Prix will Wiliams driver Pastor Maldonado.

Fernando Alonso took third at home in front of the two Lotuses.


With the soft tyre offering an improvement of over a second per lap over the hard tyre, and the top 14 cars covered by a second in practice, it was clear that none of the front runners would be able to get away with not running the soft tyre in Q1.

Red Bull accepted the inevitable and didn’t even bother to send Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber out for a run on hard tyres at the beginning of the session, holding back until the final six minutes, then heading out on softs.

Even Lewis Hamilton, who was fastest to begin with, decided to use a set of softs to guarantee his place in Q2. His lap of 1’22.583 was seven-tenths faster than anyone else could manage.

The contest to escape Q1 was as close and fraught as usual. Jean-Eric Vergne looked on course to drop out early again when he failed to improve with his last effort.

But he still had Bruno Senna behind him, and the Williams driver had a scruffy middle sector on his final lap. He never made it to the finishing line, spinning off at turn 12, letting Vergne off the hook.

Narain Karthikeyan only completed four laps and his best effort was outside of the 107% time by 1.8 seconds.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

18 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’24.981
19 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’25.277
20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’25.507
21 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’26.582
22 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’27.022
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’27.555
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’31.122


Hamilton avoided having to make a second run in Q2 – his first effort of 1’22.465 was good enough to secure him a place in the final ten.

Webber also tried to do a single run but paid the price – he was shuffled down to 12th as the others improved. Jenson Button was another surprise eliminated despite doing a pair of runs, as he continued to struggle with understeer in his car.

Lotus and Toro Rosso only did single runs, coming out late in the session. The Lotus pair made it through but both Toro Rossos were eliminated.

Neither Force India driver made it through to Q3 and Felipe Massa was also eliminated – his lap 0.6s slower than team mate Alonso’s.

Pastor Maldonado was the only driver to beat Hamilton’s time, ending Q2 fastest after his team mate had been knocked out in Q1.

Kamui Kobayashi grabbed a place in Q3 but wasn’t able to make use of it – a hydraulic problem forced him to stop at turn three on his way back to the pits.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’22.944
12 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’22.977
13 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’23.125
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’23.177
15 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’23.265
16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’23.442
17 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’23.444


Vettel queued up at the exit of the pits as he waited for the final ten minutes of qualifiyng to begin. But after taking to the track he returned to his garage without setting a time, apparently expecting many other drivers would also not set times.

Hamilton went out next and did set a time. He was followed by the two Mercedes drivers – Rosberg taking second place, Schumacher also pitting without setting a time.

Now the session started to liven up. Fernando Alonso headed out in the Ferrari and produced a superb lap to beat Hamilton’s time. Neither of the Lotuses could beat it, Grosjean edging Raikkonen.

But Maldonado could, and for a few seconds the Williams driver was on pole position with a lap of 1’22.285.

However Hamilton had returned to the circuit, and produced a blistering lap of 1’21.707 to claim pole position by half a second.

Hamilton hit trouble on his return to the pits, his engineer telling him to stop on his in-lap due to an unspecified problem with the car.

Top ten in Q3

1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’21.707
2 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’22.285
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’22.302
4 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’22.424
5 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’22.497
6 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’22.533
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’23.005
8 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault No time
9 Michael Schumacher Mercedes No time
10 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber No time

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

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155 comments on Hamilton and Maldonado share the front row in Spain

1 2 3
  1. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 12th May 2012, 14:14

    What an unusual, but exciting session. I can’t wait for the race tomorrow. I have a feeling the guys who held back in Q3 are going to have the last laugh…

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 12th May 2012, 14:26

      Me too. If anything it’s gonna be an interesting Spanish Grand Prix…!

      Now that’s unusual!

      • moonlight (@prdsh) said on 12th May 2012, 18:02

        I am not sure if Seb n Redbull ve made a mistake by not setting a time in Q3. Sure they have a new set of soft rubber and a choice of starting in either Option or Prime.. but such advantage will be (what should i say..) washed out? if it rains tomo.. when it rains the mandatory option/prime rule doesnt apply right?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th May 2012, 14:26

      @magnificent-geoffrey Reading between the lines in the radio message, I wonder if Hamilton had insufficient fuel at the end of the session.

      Martin Whitmarsh didn’t look “we’ve just won pole position” happy after the session, he looked “I wonder if we’re going to lose pole position” concerned.

      A similar thing happened to Hamilton in Canada two years ago. On that occasion Charlie Whiting issued a bulletin saying:

      Any team whose car stops on the slowing down lap after the race will be asked by the stewards to explain why this happened. If they [the stewards] are not satisfied that the reasons were beyond the control of the driver or team and feel that this has been done deliberately to gain a competitive advantage, appropriate action will be taken.

      Obviously that only refers to the race – it remains to be seen if the same action might be taken after qualifying.

      To the best of my knowledge the sporting regulations do not automatically penalise a driver for stopping after a qualifying lap after running out of fuel. Article 33.2 says:

      Any driver whose car stops on the circuit during the qualifying session will not be permitted to take any further part in the session. Any car which stops on the circuit during the qualifying session, and which is returned to the pits before the end of the session, will be held in parc ferme until the end of the session.

      More on Canada 2010:

      Hamilton beats Red Bulls for third pole in Canada
      Hamilton gets reprimand but keeps pole
      Did running low on fuel give Lewis Hamilton pole position? No.

      • Lemon (@lemon) said on 12th May 2012, 14:37

        my thoughts exactly, rather then carrying on, blatently running out of fuel, and definitely not being able to produce a sample at the end of quali…they might as well of just covered it up as a ‘technical issue’ and told lewis to stop out on track to save the last dregs there were in his car…….

        • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 12th May 2012, 15:02

          By not telling HAM, maybe they also cover the “force majeur for the driver” bit, ie. at least HAM can say it’s not his fault?

      • Jake (@jleigh) said on 12th May 2012, 14:37

        Why would Mclaren make such a silly error as not putting enough fuel in the car, particularly considering the clear pace advantage he had throughout quali. In Canada 2010, the reason he ran out of fuel was that he messed up his quali lap, so did a 2nd when it wasn’t planned. There’s no such reason for such an error here.

        Regarding MW, maybe he was a little worried as he wasn’t sure what was wrong with the car, or was a little despondent because of Button’s poor performance?

        • dkpioe said on 12th May 2012, 16:40

          because they probably thought it was going to be closer, in q2 maldonado in a williams was faster then him, so they deliberatly underfueled the car.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 12th May 2012, 14:42

        Keith, small error re Red Bulls in Q1, they went out on softs, not hards .

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 12th May 2012, 15:10

        How come drivers weren’t penalised or reprimanded after running out of fuel in the race in Bahrain? I remember at least 2 drivers pulling up straight after the line. How come that’s okay?

      • Asif (@) said on 12th May 2012, 15:23

        I thought Withmarsh’s reaction was more like “on darn, we just missed another 1-2, mistakes like these will lose us the championship”

        Any idea when a decision on whether Lewis will be penalised will be made?

        • Asif (@) said on 12th May 2012, 15:27


          I thought Withmarsh’s reaction was more like “on oh darn, we just missed another 1-2, mistakes like these will lose us the championship”

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th May 2012, 16:32

        Andrew Benson just Tweeted the following:

        Little bird tells me McLaren have admitted Lewis Hamilton stopped on track cos no fuel. Not allowed. May well get sporting penalty

        • Asif (@) said on 12th May 2012, 16:41

          That would be unfortunate for someone who has 0.5 second in hand. These mistakes from Mclaren are unfortunate to say the least….

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th May 2012, 16:38

        And a bit more:

        McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh admits fuel shortage caused stop. Says a “technical problem led to that situation”. Hoping for force majeure


      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th May 2012, 16:44

        More info from Ted Kravitz:

        Hamilton’s car had 1.3 litres of fuel remaining in tank after he stopped. You need 1lt for FIA sample and approx 2lt for in lap.


        • GeorgeDaviesF1 (@georgedaviesf1) said on 12th May 2012, 16:47

          So would he of been able to still get pole with 1.7 litres more fuel given his 0.6 advantage

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 12th May 2012, 16:51

            Considering 1 lap is apparently only worth 0.1 or 0.2 seconds- yes.

          • Asif (@) said on 12th May 2012, 17:01

            Yes what @matt99 said. That might not save him though. He has either violated the regs or he hasn’t. If they allow him to keep P1, everyone can then start doing the same thing and blame equipment malfunction.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 12th May 2012, 17:53

            Very easily so.

        • Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 12th May 2012, 17:34

          To provide more clarity Keith, it was the FIA taking a sample of 1.3L of fuel, not the McLaren having 1.3L remaining when Hamilton stopped out on track.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 12th May 2012, 17:54


            Kravitz clearly said that Hamilton had 1.3L left in the tank when he stopped.

      • Franton said on 12th May 2012, 18:31

        The problem is Keith, they’re more likely to use Article 6.6.2 of technical regulations which state:

        “Competitors must ensure that a one litre sample of fuel may be taken from the car at any time during the event.

        “Except in cases of force majeure (accepted as such by the stewards of the meeting), if a sample of fuel is required after a practice session the car concerned must have first been driven back to the pits under its own power.”

      • kowalsky is back said on 12th May 2012, 19:20

        good catch keith, on witmarsh face. i think dennis must have a different face alltogether. Could anybody describe how it looks like?

  2. Bigbadderboom (@bigbadderboom) said on 12th May 2012, 14:16

    Oh yes correct prediction for Pole! And I think Jenson will do well fro 11th, gives him the angle for the alternate strategy!

    • sorin (@) said on 12th May 2012, 14:40

      If Raikk from 11, finished 2, this not mean that every driver who quali 11 will finish 2.

      • LexBlair (@lexblair) said on 12th May 2012, 15:45

        yeah but i hardly believe Button is just “any driver”….. and to be honest nobody, who is familiar with this sport, would say otherwise…

    • Snafu (@snafu) said on 12th May 2012, 16:00

      let’s not forget that this is Barcelona…a track in which overtaking is hard! drivers starting from middle of the grid will get stuck in traffic in every stint, damaging their tyres in dirty air!

      • Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 12th May 2012, 16:46

        and also Jenson has been struggling with understeer and balance issues all through the weekend. Now with perc ferme imposed, I doubt he will make a lot of positions. He can aim for some good points but I’ll be surprised if he is anywhere near the top 3.

        • Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 12th May 2012, 17:59

          Not necessarily true, track & air temperatures & the effect they have on tyre temperatures as well as how the car being set up for both qualifying & the race could all have major influences, so the issues Button has had throughout the weekend may be minimized in the race.

          As for his strategy, well historically Barcelona is a track quite difficult to make some overtaking plus given the competitiveness of the cars he’s got out in front of him, don’t expect JB & Webbo (and Vettel) to be able to make full use of their strategies but who really knows how the race is going to pan out, especially how the Pirelli tyres have contributed to the variation in strategies and the amount of overtaking done without the use of DRS. Don’t need to mention the intensity of the race.

          • suka (@suka) said on 12th May 2012, 18:43

            I hope it rains so the dry tyre stategy games have less effect on the racing. It’s becoming all about tyres now, don’t like it.

    • bag0 (@bag0) said on 12th May 2012, 16:59

      I think Mark and Jenson are in a good position to make a 4 stopper, and it just might work.

  3. Guilherme (@guilherme) said on 12th May 2012, 14:17

    Wasn’t there a rule introduced in 2011 stipulating that drivers should get back to the pits after qualifying in a certain time frame, in order to prevent them from deliberately running out of fuel on the in-lap? I won’t be surprised if Hamilton is penalized (although I don’t hope so, as I’m not looking forward to the drama such a penalty would unleash)

    • juan fanger (@juan-fanger) said on 12th May 2012, 14:20

      After Lewis ran out of fuel in Canada 2010:

      The situation was discussed on Sunday during a meeting of team bosses and race director Charlie Whiting. Whiting reportedly clarified that, in future, any car that runs out of fuel at the end of qualifying will be summoned to the stewards, risking penalties if the reason for the stoppage is not ‘force majeure’.

    • lee1 said on 12th May 2012, 15:44

      I thought the same but many cars have stopped both last season and I think every race this year,so clearly that rule got dropped.

      • Faca said on 12th May 2012, 16:02

        No . Don’t write lies. During the race ,after the race is ok to stop but not after qualifying. He is the only one I have seen has done it , and coincidentally in both of those he has gotten the pole.

        • Snafu (@snafu) said on 12th May 2012, 16:26

          Any team whose car stops on the slowing down lap after the race will be asked by the stewards to explain why this happened. If they [the stewards] are not satisfied that the reasons were beyond the control of the driver or team and feel that this has been done deliberately to gain a competitive advantage, appropriate action will be taken.

          that rule is actually about the race and not quali…

        • Blackmamba (@blackmamba) said on 12th May 2012, 17:15

          Calm down Faca, you sound like you are going to pop a vein if lewis does not get a penalty. Goodness gracious, how do you even enjoy F1 if you hate Lewis,s successes so much?

          • Faca said on 13th May 2012, 1:11

            Wasn’t I asking for fairness. The real fan just got fairness. If he wouldn’t have done it cheating, I would have congratulated him.

        • lee1 said on 12th May 2012, 19:43

          Well asas far as I know the rule applies to the race and also the race is not over until the last car on the lap has finished

  4. zicasso (@zicasso) said on 12th May 2012, 14:18

    Great lap time, Lewis (sorry about JB). Hopefully Lewis’s car does not have a serious problem. What a breathtaking end of qualifying.

    PS: I don’t mean to offend/hate anyone because of my avatar. Thanks

  5. sunnymir (@sunnymir) said on 12th May 2012, 14:19

    Classical Front 2 Rows:
    Mclaren Williams
    Ferrari Lotus

  6. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 12th May 2012, 14:21

    And there I was playing tenis with my “no-f1-fans” mates, telling them practice pace means nothing and Maldonado wouldn’t qualify 2nd.

  7. RichyRich said on 12th May 2012, 14:22

    Maldanado’s starts have been traditionally been very poor indeed. So could be interesting to see the front of the field bunch up towards the braking zone to Turn 1, swarming around him, or whatever may take place.

  8. F1_Dave1 said on 12th May 2012, 14:23

    These crappy tyres are not only ruining the racing in the races but they have also killed qualifying.

    Once again all you ever hear is tyres, tyres, tyres, tyres.
    Im sick of hearing about these stupid, artificial crappy tyres!

    • Skett (@skett) said on 12th May 2012, 14:26

      And I’m getting sick of people moaning about it.

      Great to see Maldonado up there, I put a cheeky ÂŁ5 on him to get a podium here at 100/1! Can’t say I’m really expecting that to pan out but it would be pretty amazing.

      I’m guessing that particular headline isn’t one you had ready in your stockpile though Keith!

      • nackavich (@nackavich) said on 12th May 2012, 14:32

        @skett Hey, you never know. If that rain shows up it could be Malaysia all over again

      • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 12th May 2012, 14:38

        Me too. Tyres are always fundamental in racing. Simply because it’s the connection between track and car.

        I rather have challenging tyres than consistent rubber than only drops its pace after 50000 laps, thus giving no chance to the others to catch the best car on the grid, like in 2007.

        Back in the day, managing the tyres was also one of the skills needed to win. I remember people trying to do a whole race without stopping, chosing the harder compound instead of the softer one.

        People always complain…

        • Simon999 (@simon999) said on 12th May 2012, 14:41

          LOL I don’t think many people want tyres that last 50,000 laps!

          Shock horror, there might actually be a happy medium between what we have now and your extreme example. ;)

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 12th May 2012, 14:41

        Success with that bet @skett, would love to see him pull it off. I agree this session wasn’t boring, it looked like it could have been but then the others came out and put real laps in, and HAM kept going for pole, and made it interesting. Spain with ALO, MAL on podium would be great.

        In fact, even if VET,WEB,BUT are on podium, they have a hell of a race ahead to make it happen, so I think I’d love to see that race tomorrow too!

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th May 2012, 14:41

      I think that’s a complete overreaction. We had an exciting qualifiyng session with pole position in doubt until the end. It’s not great seeing some drivers not set times but that is as much a product of the rules forcing those in Q3 to start on the tyres they qualifying on, which is something Pirelli have no control over.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 12th May 2012, 14:57

        Well Keith, lets get a campaign going to change the rules, giving the teams the choice of which tyres to use and when to use them would cure most of my complaints.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th May 2012, 15:59

        Exactly. Actually i found it quite an interesting session, seeing how Red Bull got Vettel doing 2 runs but not setting a time, and a couple of others doing laps but seeming not really to push. Hamilton in the middle of it doing his thing and focusing on pole. Then the mad dash in the end getting Maldonado on the front row and Alonso right behind in his home race.

        Interesting to see the different approaches, makes for a fascinating race tomorrow and we had a surprise top 3. Not bad for an often predictable and boring Barcelona, I would say.

      • favomodo (@favomodo) said on 12th May 2012, 18:48

        While I enjoyed the qualifying session, it is disappointing to see teams skip Q3 to save tires. That’s not good for the F1 sport.

        Proposed favomodo rule: Unless there is a technical reason not to drive, teams must do a complete run in Q3 (within 107% of pole time). Penalty: back at the grid.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 12th May 2012, 14:51

      Do like I do, draw drivers out of a hat, it’s really exciting, results are varied and you get extra time for other things.

    • Rails (@rjessalt) said on 12th May 2012, 16:25

      There has been way too much emphasis on tyres. In my opinion, it has completely taken away the drivers ability to display their talent. Tyres are all you hear about this year’s season. What happened to drivers not driving to their best ability because of talent, not tyres?……….

      Hamilton was very good on the soft but not so much on the hard tyres whereas Button was doing worse on the soft……

      • Zecks (@zecks) said on 12th May 2012, 16:39

        I’m not sure sure. On Friday Button struggled to get enough heat into the hards. Either way, if it rains, it makes no difference.

    • dkpioe said on 12th May 2012, 16:43

      i for one am not sick of 1 second seperating like 12 drivers or more during q2 each race, its brilliant, and the only thing the tyres are hurting are the drivers who are not 100% in form for a whole lap in qualifying.

    • BBT (@bbt) said on 12th May 2012, 17:17

      and I’m sick of people praising the tyres for the teams being so close together when it is the regulations NOT the tyres that are causing the closeness.

  9. Bleeps_and_Tweaks (@bleeps_and_tweaks) said on 12th May 2012, 14:23

    Awesome pace from Hamilton. It looked to me like he managed to switch on the tyres much better than other people today, but unfortunately with the way F1 is at the moment that could mean he then shreds them tomorrow.
    It was encouraging to hear Martin Whitmarsh just say on Sky F1 that it does not sound like an engine or gearbox problem that made Hamilton stop on his in lap.
    Maldonado?!?! Where the hell did that come from?
    Where did Red Bull’s pace disappear to?!?!
    Have Ferrari made that big of a step?!?!
    So many questions in F1 at the moment, love it! Watch out for Button, Webber and Vettel tomorrow though I reckon.

    • Asif (@) said on 12th May 2012, 15:43

      Mclaren’s race pace has been suspect thus far this season so Lewis on pole doesn’t mean much. Let’s see if those upgrades work as well in race conditions.

      I am with you on there being more questions than answers in F1 at the moment. How can Vettel be winning from pole 3 weeks ago and not being competitive in Q3 today.

      Should be fun tomorrow. My vote is for a 5th winner out of 5.

    • Snafu (@snafu) said on 12th May 2012, 15:46

      actually Mclaren’s race pace on options was very good on friday.

  10. nackavich (@nackavich) said on 12th May 2012, 14:26

    Wow, I missed qualifying because of a gig but wow, I didn’t see that coming?!?

  11. Faca said on 12th May 2012, 14:26

    Hamilton needs to be penilized if they run out of fuel. The rule was introduced after he and that cheater team did it a few years back in Canada. Impressed by Maldonado and Alonso who didn’t have new tyres and did his best lap with a set of used. Last but not least the mclaren in race pace goes backwards while the Ferrari is better.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 12th May 2012, 14:29

      Don’t think they ran out of fuel. They had some other sort of problem that Whitmarsh claims isn’t a gearbox/engine.

    • sketchyterry (@sketchyterry) said on 12th May 2012, 14:35

      Sounds like a problem and not fuel. But if it was fuel then it would be harsh to penalise him due to others running out of fuel at other recent quali’s and not getting any penalty

    • vet4 said on 12th May 2012, 14:38

      agree with Faca 100%. They can’t use the same trick twice. if this goes on, who knows, maybe every team to have their car stop right after the fastest lap. and as we all know, less fuel = faster time. might as well park the car right at the pit exit. do hope mclaren gets a penalty

      • Lemon (@lemon) said on 12th May 2012, 14:55

        to pull such as stunt on purpose would be beyond idiotic, given the inevitable penalty and relatively minimal advantage from half a laps less fuel….I think its likely, that if he was under fueled it was a mistake, which is becoming quite characteristic of Mclaren in recent races!

        • Asif (@) said on 12th May 2012, 15:53

          I am with you on that assessment. Mclaren do seem to be able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory so it was likely an error if it is related to low fuel.

      • sketchyterry (@sketchyterry) said on 12th May 2012, 15:02

        It wasn’t fuel though so what on earth are you going on about!

      • lee1 said on 12th May 2012, 15:48

        What about all the other cars that have stopped this season and last season?

      • luigismen (@luigismen) said on 12th May 2012, 16:09

        Really? it is really that big of a problem it now every car do a fastest lap and ran out of fuel? please… I understand it is illegal, but c’mon, that “who knows what will happen now” is just ridiculous.
        Your are all overreacting.
        Beside of all that, great to see Maldonado grab a P2, now maybe people will stop trashing him as “just” a pay driver

      • minnis (@minnis) said on 12th May 2012, 16:24

        and as we all know, less fuel = faster time.

        And if you know that, then you should know that 1lap of fuel = 0.1s.
        So, supposing the average driver uses an extra 1 lap for an “in” lap, and 1 extra laps worth of fuel for scrutineering, that would imply that either Hamilton is still fastest by 3 tenths, or the other teams put in an extra 3 laps worth of fuel – which only an idiot would do.

    • Young One said on 12th May 2012, 14:43

      Don’t you get that they are also conserving tyres like the guys who went out and just drove into the pit like Vettel?

    • dapena3 said on 12th May 2012, 15:30

      According to the images and the broadcast on Spanish TV ALO used a new set of tyres for his amazing lap on Q3.

  12. BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th May 2012, 14:33

    I must say that I AM normally not really into giving penalties for things like running out of fuel. But when I think about having Maldonado on pole tomorrow and Alonso completing the first row, in Spain … Just imagine Maldonado being that fifth driver and team to win!
    I am sure the action behind him would still make it a thrilling race and to have Williams winning again, would be just incredible.

  13. Eggry (@eggry) said on 12th May 2012, 14:37

    Stunning!! Fantastic return of Alonso and an amazing lap from Maldonado!

  14. Txizzle (@txizzle) said on 12th May 2012, 14:37

    Can’t help wondering when ferrari is finally going to sack Massa.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th May 2012, 14:46

      @txizzle – I’ve heard that he has been guaranteed ten races. Which, if true, would mean being replaced after Hockenheim.

      And given Bruno Senna’s performances, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are two Brazilians at the employment centre later this year (which would mean no Brazilians in Formula 1 …).

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 12th May 2012, 14:55

        I think Senna’s drives at Malaysia and China were satisfying enough to let him be himself for at least a couple of more races. In other words, slow and erratic.

      • Txizzle (@txizzle) said on 12th May 2012, 14:55

        If you compare Senna’s performance to Maldonado’s, you just might be right (never thought I say that).

        Either way, something has to be done about Massa. I’ve never been a fan, but this is just getting painfull to watch!

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th May 2012, 16:06

          And if you compare Senna’s performance to Massa’s so far, you might even offer one Brazilian the role of replacing the other. Or take Maldonado to Ferrari instead?

          Just joking there guys.

    • dkpioe said on 12th May 2012, 16:49

      massas performance isnt that great at the moment, but exagerated by how close the field is during qualifying 2 these days, and needing to be out on track in the last minute of q2. if he can make a tiny step up, he will be back in the top 10s, especially with ferrari improving.

  15. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 12th May 2012, 14:38

    Don’t want to jump to conclusions, but it seems like Ferrari are back in the game. At least with Alonso. I won’t be surprised if he wins it tomorrow.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 12th May 2012, 15:12

      I remember his brilliant start last year…and now Ferrari don’t look like struggling with the prime tyres.

      • sunnymir (@sunnymir) said on 12th May 2012, 15:33

        Yup,they have cured that problem and I think they are 1 of the fastest on the Prime tyre if not the fastest.look at Fernando’s lap in FP1 and FP2 for evidance.He was the fastest man on Prime tyres before every1 changed to options

  16. DVC (@dvc) said on 12th May 2012, 14:44

    The tyres are the what connects the car to the race track. They are the most important part of most categories of racing.

  17. Ken (@myxomatosis) said on 12th May 2012, 14:45

    He has a point, he just didn’t articulate it well. When top drivers are doing sight-seeing laps in what is supposed to be the most intense qualifying session because they want to preserve tyres then surely that’s something that should be looked into, right?

    The tyres could be better, that’s all.

  18. Ciaran (@ciaran) said on 12th May 2012, 14:47

    What an excellent quali session – I thought it would be awful after the first few minutes of Q3.
    Awesome pace from Hamilton and Maldonado, as long as the pit crew don’t mess up I wouldn’t doubt Lewis for the win tomorrow, he certainly has the pace to do it.
    And as for Massa… I won’t say anything.

    • zicasso (@zicasso) said on 12th May 2012, 14:57

      Poor Massa, I cannot even imagine what’s on his head at the moment. I totally agree, Hamilton has been unlucky with his pit stops this season. If that goes well he is in with a good chance. BUT, Alonso has a strong race pace, is motivated and will have the crowd inciting in his home circuit. Tomorrow’s race promises excitement.

  19. Rahim.RG (@rahim-rg) said on 12th May 2012, 15:00

    Raikkonen for Win:)

  20. Adam Blocker (@blockwall2) said on 12th May 2012, 15:04

    This race could be chaotic, especially considering the chance of rain. I predict Maldonado causes a big accident at turn one (hopefully not taking out Hamilton)

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