Webber leads another Red Bull front row
Mark Webber has taken pole position, marginally ahead of his teammate. Red Bull have brought several updates and have in fact increased the gap to its competitors. Webber was a full second ahead of third fastest man, Lewis Hamilton.
At Barcelona many teams have brought considerable car upgrades, each o them hoping to move up the grid relative to the other teams.
Lotus are one of those teams bringing a major step which the drivers seem very happy with. There are also the first to take the track in Q1, followed by the Ferraris who choose to run on the harder tyres.
McLaren and Red Bull come out on track a bit later and also run on the harder compound. All of them are running several consecutive laps as it takes 2 or 3 laps before the prime compound is up to temperature and speed.
5 minutes before the end of the session, Webber is fastest, ahead of Vettel, Hamilton, Button, Kubica and Alonso. Interestingly, the cars between 8th and 17th position are within 4 tenths of each other, so they will have to keep running to get through to Q2.
As the clock hits 0, all new teams' cars are out, but none of them manage to move through to the second part of qualifying. Along with them is Rubens Barrichello in P18, a massive disappointment for Williams, especially because the Brazilian is running the only Williams with car updates compared to the Chinese GP.
Early on in Q2, Red Bull take the lead again, with better topping the sheets with a 1:21.112, just ahead of his teammate. Michael Schumacher is third fastest, ahead of the McLarens. Nico Rosberg meanwhile, the German who dominated Schumacher in the first 4 races is struggling to get to grips with the updated Mercedes GP W01.
A minute before the session's ending, Vettel improves and takes P1, only to be improved again by Webber 20 seconds later.
While Rosberg just managed to get through, Sutil, De La Rosa, Hulkenberg, Petrov, Buemi, Alguersuari and Liuzzi are out. Vitaly Petrov will be starting in 19th position tomorrow, as he will suffer a 5-place grid penalty for a gearbox change earlier today.
At the start of Q3, Alonso almost takes out Rosberg in the pitlane. Alonso was given the signal to leave his box and did so without looking left. Rosberg had to brake to a halt and was quick to call that penalty worthy in a conversation with his race engineer.
4 minutes ahead of the chequered flag and after first attempts, Webber is one tenth ahead of his teammate, and both are jointly almost a second faster than Lewis Hamilton. Kobayashi didn't put in an early lap like the others but chose to enjoy a clear track in between his rivals.
Vettel is the first to complete his final flying lap, topping Webber with one tenth, again only to be topped by Webber again. Hamilton is third, Alonso fourth and Button in 5th place. Michael Schumacher is 6th and for the first time ahead of his teammate in qualifying.