Webber storms to Spanish pole

on
F1 Grand Prix, GP Spain, Circuit de Catalunyaes

Red Bull Racing driver Mark Webber will start tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix from pole position. Webber was faster than his team mate Sebastian Vettel. Behind the Red Bull duo, Lewis Hamilton will start from 3rd, next to Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

At a sunny Circuit de Catalunya, the Spanish Grand Prix qualifying session kicked-off with Narain Karthikeyan setting the first lapped time of the afternoon. The Indian was joined by Liuzzi and Petrov in the opening stages of Q1.

While Petrov is working on track, the Renault team is very busy in the garage as they try to rebuild Nick Heidfeld's car as he suffered a cracked exhaust and fire during the third free practice session.

The Scuderia Ferrari has had a busy night as well as they were forced to make changes to their car by the FIA, who decided that the rear wing on the F150 was illegal.

At the half way mark of Q1, Red Bull Racing driver Mark Webber has set the fastest lap time on a set of primes. The World Championship leaders eye strong once more after dominating all three free practice sessions at Barcelona.

Lewis Hamilton is struggling with understeer with only 9minutes at the clock as Jaime Alguersuari is faster than World Champion Vettel. The Toro Rosso driver has set a lap of 1:24:049. 4 tenths slower than Mark Webber's time.

The updates on the Scuderia Toro Rosso car seem to pay off as Sebastian Buemi bumps his team mate from the second place with a time of 1:23:962.

Kamui Kobayashi, who set the fastest lap time in the second sector is and comes very close to Webber's time. Team mate Pérez has clocked a 6th lap time with only 5minutes left in Q1.

As we all started to think that the Lotus Renault GP Team was falling a bit behind compared to the earlier races, Petrov has set the fastest lap time on the soft tyres: 1:23:069. He is followed by Pastor Maldonado in his, what seemed, improved Williams car.

With one minute remaining in Q1, it is clear that Nick Heidfeld will start the Spanish Grand Prix from the last spot on the grid as the mechanics were unable to fix his car. In the meantime, Michael Schumacher looks reborn in the updated Mercedes car as he is the first driver to put down a lap time under 1:23.

Nick Heidfeld, Jérôme D'Ambrosio, Narain Karthikeyan, Tonio Liuzzi, Timo Glock, Rubens Barrichello and Jarno Trulli were not able to place themselves for Q2.

As the green light comes on for Q2, World Champion Sebastian Vettel is the first driver to take the track, joined by his team mate Mark Webber and Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari.

With 7 minutes left on the clock, Sebastian Vettel's first lap time remains the fastest one: 1:21:540. He is followed by Mark Webber and Jenson Button.

With only 30 seconds left, Felipe Massa is in the danger zone as Pastor Maldonado places himself in the top 10.

Heikki Kovalainen, who is the first Lotus driver to qualify for Q2, places his car in front of the Force India duo in 15th position. A great result for Team Lotus.

Adrian Sutil, Paul di Resta, Heikki Kovalainen, Kamui Kobayashi, Jaime Alguersuari, Sergio Pérez and Sebastian Buemi are the drivers who were unable to set a top 10 time and will not be participating in Q3.

Q3 begins with the silver McLaren duo on track, followed by the Red Bull's. Like in the previous qualfying sessions this season, we expect another battle between both teams. The big question is if there is another driver who can interfere with the batle for pole position.

Button sets the first timed lap in the final part of the spanish qualifying session: 1:21:996. Only seconds later, Sebastian Vettel crushes this time with a 1:21:181. Can Vettel stay ahead of Mark Webber who has been faster almost all weekend long? No, Webber crosses the finish line in a staggering 1:20:981.

With 3 minutes left on the clock, none of the other drivers have left the garage. Have they already thrown the towel and decided to save the tyres for tomorrow?

With 2 minutes left, Fernando Alonso takes the track on the soft tyre while Michael Schumacher decides to try it on the harder compound. Pastor Maldonado and Vitaly Petrov have joined the action as well. But it seems very unlikely that anyone can come near the time of the Red Bull duo. With still a minute left on the clock, Mark Webber has already stepped out of his car.

Fernando Alonso has managed to put his car in 4th position on the grid of his home Grand Prix. Button is fifth, followed by Petrov, Rosberg, Massa, Maldonado and Schumacher.

Results

Pos.No.DriverTeamQ1Q2Q3Laps
12Mark WebberRBR-Renault1:23.6191:21.7731:20.98112
21Sebastian VettelRBR-Renault1:24.1421:21.5401:21.18113
33Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1:24.3701:22.1481:21.96112
45Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:23.4851:22.8131:21.96415
54Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1:24.4281:22.0501:21.99612
610Vitaly PetrovRenault1:23.0691:22.9481:22.47114
78Nico RosbergMercedes AMG1:23.5071:22.5691:22.59914
86Felipe MassaFerrari1:23.5061:23.0261:22.88815
912Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1:23.4061:22.8541:22.95214
107Michael SchumacherMercedes AMG1:22.9601:22.67112
1118Sebastien BuemiSTR-Ferrari1:23.9621:23.2316
1217Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1:24.2091:23.3679
1319Jaime AlguersuariSTR-Ferrari1:24.0491:23.6949
1416Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1:23.6561:23.7028
1520Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1:25.8741:25.4036
1615Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1:24.3321:26.12613
1714Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1:24.6481:26.571
1821Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1:26.521
1911Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1:26.910
2024Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1:27.315
2123Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth1:27.809
2222Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1:27.908
2325Jerome d'AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1:28.556
249Nick HeidfeldRenault
Q1 107% Time1:28.767