By Tamhas Woods at Motorsport24.com Any complacency that Mercedes might have felt at the close of the Melbourne event one month ago has now been expunged with considerable force. Sebastian Vettel’s victory – his...
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel got his championship challenge back on-track after a commanding victory in Valencia this afternoon. The German led every lap of the action-packed race from pole position to record his second win of the season and promote him to third in the championship, behind fellow podium finishes Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. Team-mate Mark Webber failed to finish after a colossal crash with Heikki Kovalainen early in the race.
Vettel kept the lead from pole position at the start despite a strong challenge from Hamilton who damaged his front wing slightly after making contact with the German. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso leaped into third at the end of the first lap, while Webber dropped to ninth after a dismal opening tour. Things went from bad to worse for the Australian after pitting for a fresh set of rubber on lap 7. After rejoining Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus, he tried to overtake the Finn going into turn 12 but hit the rear of his rival and was catapulted into the air.
Sebastian Vettel came to the fore in a thrilling qualifying session at Valencia this afternoon as the German returned to the very front of the grid to take his fourth pole position of the season and his first since April. Team-mate Mark Webber made it Red Bull’s fourth front row lock-out of the year, while mistakes by both McLaren drivers cost them the chance of challenging their rivals.
After the first round of runs, it was Webber who had set the fastest time on a 1m37.852s, over a tenth clear of Hamilton and Vettel. But once the serious work was to be done, Vettel just got the edge. The German was the first front-runner to set his grid time (1m37.587s), with Webber following soon after with his 1m37.662s, just three quarters of a tenth shy of his team-mate. Lewis Hamilton (1m37.969s) took third despite having to abort his final lap after a mistake, while home hero Fernando Alonso (1m38.075s) only managed fourth.
McLaren racked up their second consecutive 1-2 finish as Lewis Hamilton led home team-mate Jenson Button in Montreal this afternoon in a mouth-watering 70 laps of racing at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. As expected, tyre performance played a huge role in the outcome, with Red Bull’s differing strategy ultimately failing to bring the results as Fernando Alonso took the final podium place for Ferrari in third.
After leading away from pole, severe tyre degradation on the super-soft tyre forced many of the front-runners to pit early on laps 5, 6 and 7. Hamilton pitted on lap 7 but lost a place to Alonso in a battle in the pitlane, before regaining it eight laps later with an overtaking manoeuvre into the final chicane. That handed the lead back to Hamilton once both Red Bulls had pitted from the lead, but poor tyre wear forced another pitstop for both Hamilton and Alonso soon after.
Lewis Hamilton took his first pole position of 2010 in Canada this afternoon, ending Red Bull’s run of seven straight pole positions this season. Different tyre choices by the top teams resulted in a thrilling battle between for top spot between Hamilton and Webber, with a late lap by the former handing him pole position by over two tenths of a second.
Tyre graining had been a major problem for teams throughout the weekend’s practice sessions, and expectations had been high that at least one team would opt for an alternative tyre strategy. With all Q3 drivers being forced to start the race on their qualifying tyre, an exciting qualifying was in prospect.
McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton took his maiden victory of 2010 after leading team-mate Jenson Button home in a thrilling race at the Istanbul Park this afternoon. Red Bull’s Mark Webber looked set for a third consecutive victory until a controversial collision with Sebastian Vettel going into turn 12 on lap 40 as the German came through to take the lead handed McLaren an easy 1-2 finish.
After keeping his lead away from pole position at the start, Webber was unable to open a gap to second-placed Lewis Hamilton who managed to hold onto second place on the first lap despite starting on the dirty side of the grid. A quick pitstop by third-placed Vettel allowed the German to leapfrog the Briton into second, and although the Red Bulls were unable to open any gap to Hamilton they looked set for another 1-2 finish.
Red Bull’s Mark Webber scored a third consecutive pole position after fending off a stern challenge from McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton in qualifying for tomorrow’s Turkish Grand Prix. The Australian lapped in a time of 1m26.295s to go over a tenth quicker than Hamilton, while Webber’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel completed the top three almost half a second behind.
Going into Q3, both Red Bull drivers looked set to battle it out for pole position and secure an easy front-row lock-out, with Vettel holding the upper hand by setting the pace in Q1 and Q2, but a brake problem on the German’s car allowed McLaren’s Hamilton through to steal an unlikely second place. Webber never looked threatened at the very front however and will start tomorrow’s race from the front of the grid, keeping Red Bull’s 100% record of 2010 pole positions going.
Mark Webber won the Monaco Grand Prix today in dominating fashion, from flag-to-flag, in his Red Bull-Renault, leading a Red Bull 1-2 with his team-mate Sebastian Vettel finishing second.
Front row starter Robert Kubica, after getting beaten to the first corner by Vettel, finished in third place in his Renault – the engine manufacturer sweeping the podium for the first time since the Luxembourg GP in 1997.
The race ended under the Safety Car, when Jarno Trulli and Karun Chandhok collided with three laps to go – the race being interrupted by four Safety Car periods in total.
Following straight on from his victory in Barcelona, Mark Webber (1:13.826) took a superb pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix, the only driver to dip below 1m14s. Team mate Sebastian Vettel (1:14.227) pulled out a lap right at the end to go third quickest, the Red Bull pair split by the impressive Robert Kubica (1:14.120) in the Renault.
As ever the Monte Carlo qualifying session was hard fought and spectacular, with just over a second covering the top 10 on the grid.
There was little change at the sharp end of the field in the second free practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix this afternoon as Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso continued to lead the way, setting down a firm marker to his rivals for the rest of the weekend. The Spaniard improved on his morning laptime by over a second and lapped over a tenth quicker than his nearest rival.
There was little delay in first laptime getting on the board at the start of the session, with Hispania’s Bruno Senna setting the benchmark at 1m25.830s. A barrage of improvements followed with McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton lowering the target to a 1m17.709s just six minutes later, before Tonio Liuzzi, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber all took to the front briefly. Renault’s Robert Kubica then made himself one to watch by beating them all with a 1m15.935s, before cutting a further four tenths off his time on the following lap to set a 1m15.589s.