Mark Webber continued Red Bull’s run of dominance in qualifying with his third consecutive pole position at Istanbul.
But Lewis Hamilton prevented a Red Bull lock-out of the front row.
Last year’s front row occupants Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button share the second row.
Sebastian Vettel signalled his intention in Q1 with a lap almost half a second faster than his team mate’s. The two Red Bulls ended the session on top with Jenson Button third in the McLaren.
As usual the three new teams failed to progress beyond the first stage of qualifying. Jarno Trulli was the quickest of the six cars, beating team mate Heikki Kovalainen by three tenths of a second.
Vitantonio Liuzzi was the only driver from the established teams to fail to reach Q2. Unlike team mate Adrian Sutil, who missed almost all of final practice, Liuzzi was running Force India’s F-duct on his car.
But he wasn’t able to improve his time on his second effort and, not for the first time in 2010, his qualifying session was over in the first 20 minutes.
A tight second part of qualifying brought a surprise elimination – Fernando Alonso.
Just three tenths of a second covered Button in fourth to Rosberg in 12th as the drivers began their final laps. Alonso was already in the drop zone and a mistake at turn 12 on his penultimate lap left followed by a failure to improve on his final effort left him out of Q3.
Once again it was the two Red Bull cars at the top of the times, with Hamilton in close attendance. Vitaly Petrov made it through to Q3 along with team mate Kubica.
Webber went fastest on the drivers’ first runs, edging Hamilton by three hundredths of a second.
Behind them their team mates were even closer – Vettel just two hundredths faster than Button.
Webber found even more time on his final run and although Hamilton improved as well, Webber held on to pole position.
Vettel, however, made a mistake at the first corner and instantly spoiled his lap. That gave an opportunity for Button to get ahead but he wasn’t able to capitalise.
Button had dropped back and let Schumacher past before they started their final laps. But that backfired when Schumacher spun off at turn eight and Button had to back off because of the yellow flags.
Schumacher stayed fifth and will share the third row with team mate Nico Rosberg.
Full qualifying result
|1||6||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’27.500||1’26.818||1’26.295|
|3||5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’27.067||1’26.729||1’26.760|
|11||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’27.951||1’27.525|
|13||22||Pedro de la Rosa||Sauber-Ferrari||1’28.147||1’27.879|
|14||16||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’28.534||1’28.273|
|16||17||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’28.460||1’28.540|
|18||15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||1’28.958|
|23||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||1’31.989|
2010 Turkish Grand Prix
Image (C) Red Bull/Getty images