Webber secures third pole in a row in Turkey
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.
Vettel managed to hang onto third despite his problems thanks to a time of 1m26.760s, less than half a tenth quicker than Jenson Button in third who had to make do with a 1m26.781s after being forced to abort his final flying lap due to a yellow flag zone. That yellow flag was caused by Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher who spun at turn 8 on his final run, but the German nevertheless secured fifth on the grid thanks to his first time of 1m26.857s.
Schumacher’s team-mate Nico Rosberg continued to play second fiddle to the seven-times champion, lapping a tenth slower to go sixth (1m26.952s). Robert Kubica (1m27.039s), Felipe Massa (1m27.082s), Vitaly Petrov (1m27.430s) and Kamui Kobayashi (1m28.122s) made up the top ten qualifiers.
Force India’s Adrian Sutil failed to get a Q3 berth for the third race in a row, the German lapping in a time of 1m27.525s, but the major surprise of the Q2 session was the eviction of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso from the pole position shoot-out. The Spaniard was unable to find what was needed on Bridgestone’s soft tyres and finished just 12th on a time of 1m27.612s, just four tenths slower than team-mate Massa who finished fifth in that session. Pedro de la Rosa secured 13th on the grid for BMW Sauber (1m27.879s), followed by Sébastien Buemi (1m28.273s), Rubens Barrichello (1m28.392s), Jaime Alguersuari (1m28.540s) and Nico Hülkenberg (1m28.841s).
Force India’s Vitantonio Liuzzi joined the usual suspects in taking the plunge from qualifying in the first twenty minutes, with the Italian clocking a time of 1m28.958s to drop out at the first hurdle. He was over four tenths off making it into Q2, but still over a second clear of the new teams, led by Lotus’s Jarno Trulli (1m30.237s). He was followed by Heikki Kovalainen (1m30.519s), Timo Glock (1m30.744s), Bruno Senna (1m31.266s), Lucas Di Grassi (1m31.989s) and Karun Chandhok (1m32.060s).
Here are the full results;
Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 1. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:27.500 1:26.818 1:26.295 2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:27.667 1:27.013 1:26.433 3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:27.067 1:26.729 1:26.760 4. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:27.555 1:27.277 1:26.781 5. Schumacher Mercedes 1:27.756 1:27.438 1:26.857 6. Rosberg Mercedes 1:27.649 1:27.141 1:26.952 7. Kubica Renault 1:27.766 1:27.426 1:27.039 8. Massa Ferrari 1:27.993 1:27.200 1:27.082 9. Petrov Renault 1:27.620 1:27.387 1:27.430 10. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:28.158 1:27.434 1:28.122 11. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:27.951 1:27.525 12. Alonso Ferrari 1:27.857 1:27.612 13. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1:28.147 1:27.879 14. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:28.534 1:28.273 15. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:28.336 1:28.392 16. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:28.460 1:28.540 17. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:28.227 1:28.841 18. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:28.958 19. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:30.237 20. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:30.519 21. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:30.744 22. Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:31.266 23. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:31.989 24. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:32.060