Red Bulls beat Alonso to claim the front row (Korean Grand Prix qualifying)

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The circuit may be brand new but there’s nothing new about the front row of the grid: Sebastian Vettel leads another all-Red Bull front row.

The pair beat Fernando Alonso’s time in the dying moments of Q3 to grab the front row of the grid for the first Korean Grand Prix.


The first part of qualifying ended with the three fastest drivers – Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso – separated by just a few hundredths of a second.

The battle to escape the bottom seven was, as usual, contested mainly by the bottom three teams, of which Jarno Trulli was the fastest driver. Timo Glock took 20th behind him after a spin.

Nick Heidfeld was briefly in the bottom seven but improved his time by 2.5 seconds to grab a place in Q2.

That left the fight between the Force India and Toro Rosso drivers. It was Vitantonio Liuzzi who fell short, losing time in the final sector on his last run, condemning him to 18th.

Driver eliminated in Q1

18 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’38.955
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’40.521
20 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’40.748
21 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’41.768
22 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’42.325
23 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1’42.444
24 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’43.283


Red Bull showed their hand in the second part of qualifying with Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel taking over at the top of the times.

But it remained very close – Webber just four hundredths of a second quicker than his team mate, with Felipe Massa’s Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren within a tenth of a second.

The Sauber pair only did one run during the session and neither made it through to Q3.

Vitaly Petrov spun and ended the session 15th – he will take a five-place grid penalty following his Suzuka crash and start 20th.

The two Toro Rossos were eliminated along with Adrian Sutil.

Nico Hulkenberg was the last driver to be knocked out, one tenth of a second slower than team mate Rubens Barrichello.

Driver eliminated in Q2

11 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’37.620
12 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’37.643
13 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1’37.715
14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’37.783
15 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’37.799
16 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’37.853
17 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’38.594


Fernando Alonso led the way to begin with in qualifying after an astonishingly fast first sector time put him provisionally on pole position.

He improved on his second run but the Red Bulls left their final efforts as late as possible and beat his time to lock out the front row of the grid once again.

Having trailled his team mate in Q2, Vettel was a crucial seven hundredths of a second faster in Q3.

Hamilton could only manage fourth, three-tenths of a second slower than Alonso, after surviving a lurid slide on his way into the pits between laps.

A late improvement by Nico Rosberg knocked Massa back to sixth and left Button in seventh.

But Renault’s anticipated pace failed to materialise – Robert Kubica could only manage eighth.

Top ten in Q3

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’35.585
2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’35.659
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’35.766
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’36.062
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’36.535
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’36.571
7 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’36.731
8 Robert Kubica Renault 1’36.824
9 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’36.950
10 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’36.998

2010 Korean Grand Prix

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    135 comments on “Red Bulls beat Alonso to claim the front row (Korean Grand Prix qualifying)”

    1. Great qualifying, I think Alonso should be able to take Webber at the start since he is on the clean side.

      1. yeah there is a big chance webber will be intimidated by alonso n he’ll try to squeeze him n let sumone else pass both of them.

      2. I think Webber will be further down than that before T1. The dirty side + Webbers horrid starts wont do him any good.. Alonso will attack Vettel in T3.
        But in the speed trap from qualifying Vettel was couple of Km/h faster than both Ferraris and Webber so I don’t know what will happend.. I hope Vettel will hold his ground. And if he does, the rest of the field goes bye bye

        1. I honestly believe that Webber is having awful starts because Red Bull momentarily reduce his engine performance to favour vettel at the starts.

          1. They’re not allowed to manage the engine from the pit wall Ozzy, Webber would have to do that himself.

          2. I hope you’re not sincere. That’s the stupidest conspiracy theory to date.

          3. There is someting with the RPM setting for the start that can make or break a start.

            Remember how Barrichello was complaining last year about the team messing up his starts.

            They estimate the grip levels and set an RPM accordingly so the driver can drop the clutch without wheel spin or stalling.

            Perhaps they get it wrong when one driver is on the dirty side and the other on the clean side.

            1. yeah they set up the clutches and rpm and what not. And no matter what Webber is slow away most of the times. Not just from the line but he’s not good at the first lap in general it seems. At least the second half of this year.
              And I do think he will be more and more cautious on his first laps.. Until he’s no longer in the lead.. After that, I have no idea what he will do… He’s a pretty aggressive defender.. often over aggressive.. And that might be what will happen..

            2. Webber has never been a good starter. This isn’t a Red Bull thing, all through his F1 career he is usually slow off the line.

        2. Exactly.

          After T3 we might see ALO, VET, HAM, WEB/ROS, BUT, MAS

          I believe both VMM should gain places, and WEB & MAS will have a rough time

      3. Plus the Mclaren’s were several tenths faster through the first sector, more than enough to make up a place or two with a good tow. Should be a hectic first lap.

        1. the mercedes had a top speed that was even higher than the mclarens. i hate to say it but i think there will be a big smash at T3

    2. Disappointed by that qualifying for McLarens but overall it was very tense. I was really expecting Lewis on the front row. Anyway, I don’t think qualifying will mean much in the actual race. 60% chance of rain will wash away all that rubber laid down, Ferraris, McLarens have better race pace than RBR and Mercedes have a good engine.

      This can be anyone’s race.

      1. itz become a habit. they are always on pole.

        1. Younger Hamilton
          23rd October 2010, 8:17

          Yeah we all know its really messing up F1 we’re becoming sick of it now anyway its anyone’s race if it races even if it doesnt.

          1. $10 says you wouldn’t be complaining about it “messing up F1” if it was McLaren locking out front row most races.

            1. Actually, even tho tat wudve made me really happy, i wudve gotten bored if mclaren kept locking the front row.

          2. Yeah I’m sick of it. I would have been great to have Alonso or Lewis on pole.

    3. I think the difference in strategy for HRT was really interesting. While Senna opted to run the Monza Front/Rear Wing arrangement, Yamamoto ran the Singapore rig………..

      1. wasnt chandok supsd to drive in korea?

      2. When are people just going to admit that Yamamoto is at least as good as Senna—who was, by the way, comparable to Chandok? Senna has turned out to be the most overhyped driver to come in to the sport this year.

        1. MercedesBeanz
          23rd October 2010, 8:51

          Totally agree on Senna. He’s just there because he’s using his uncle’s surname.

          1. He isn’t having the best of seasons, Chandhok, Senna and Yamamoto appear to be pretty average at best at the moment.

            Senna did finish second in GP2 in 2008 so I wouldn’t say he is exclusively “using his uncles surname” only.

          2. But do you know for how long he wasn’t allowed to race? Others were racing go-karts for years when he started.

      3. thats hilarious. Methinks DaveW possibly didn’t get it.

    4. How many of the first 4 cars do you think will still be running after lap 1? :)

      1. What are you suggesting? That we’re going to have another RBR clash?

        1. I don’t think so. I think that ALO will try to take on WEB, and HAM will be right there trying to take on them. So, I’m just scared after the first lap any of WEB/ALO/HAM could be out. I hope not, but kind of scared of that!

          Specially since overtaking forces cars to drive through the dirty sides of the track, so overtaking is the best chance to spin…

          1. HAM is on the dirty side. So there is a good change he will be pipped.

            Then again, ALO has also been struggling with his starts lately.

            1. Front-rowers havent crashed in the start for a long time, so i believe all 4 will be running, but of course more action=more fun to watch :)

    5. great qualifying….enjoyed a lot……especially when redbulls blowed alonso in the dying times of q3,i nearly broke my laptop in excitement……..great guys….f1 forever….

    6. Barrichello claimed someone impeded him in Q2 on the radio. Channel 10 in Australia thought it was Vettel after their conversation at the weigh-in. I thought Brundle said it was Schumacher he was unhappy with though. Does anyone know? Is there a stewards inquiry/protest?

      1. It was Schumacher. The BBC coverage looked at this quite a lot and during the interviews with the press Schumy approached Barrichello to apologise or something, we didn’t hear what he said.

      2. Schumacher. Massive amount of blocking, as reported on the BBC post quali show. Schumacher did make a point of apologising in the media pen, and Rubens made a point of whinging about it afterwards anyway. :)

        1. MercedesBeanz
          23rd October 2010, 7:53

          Ruebens has not stopped whinging since 1998! he ought to stop playing victim all the time whenever he spots a camera! Frankly I think its a shame that he seems to be guaranteed a drive next year while new young drivers like Hulkenberg, Liuzzi and Petrov may have to leave the sport before they even they had a chance to develop :(

          1. Dunno what you’re on about here.

            Barrichello was clearly blocked and had every right to be upset about it.

            Secondly, he’s doing a really good job at Williams, regularly getting into Q3 and currently with more than twice the amount of points as his teammate.

          2. Liuzzi hasn’t had a chance to develop? He’s shown no improvement since his first drive back in about 2005. The guy is an absolute clown and deserves to lose his seat. He didn’t deserve to get a seat this year anyway.

            Barrichello is still very competitive and is showing a good number of drivers a clean set of heels, until his performances go south there is absolutely no reason for him to leave the sport.

            And if he was impeded by Schumacher he’s got a reason to be crabby. And if Schu apologised for it, its obvious that he was being impeded.

          3. Hülkenberg and Petrov I understand. Especially Hülkenberg who has done a really good job recently!
            But Liuzzi? Nothing good has come from his side since… ever? He’s terrible.

            1. MercedesBeanz
              23rd October 2010, 8:49

              Ok with Liuzzi, I maybe pushing it, although I think there is more to come from him. But its not just these examples, how many racing drivers outside of F1 who don’t have the money or the sponsorship are waiting for a vacant seat. I know its the nature of the sport, big money backing that is, but Reubens in my opinion is not that much of a talent that he should be around for so long, fresh young talent like Hulkenberg is exactly what teams like williams need; look at Kobayashi has done at Sauber!

            2. MercedesBeanz
              23rd October 2010, 8:51

              Not mention Chandouk of course

            3. MercedesBeanz, I don’t think Liuzzi is either good or fresh talent though. But yeah Barichello is pushing it a bit I think.. He should stop while he still has some form of speed left. He’s obviously still having a good time and does quite good sometimes. But yeah… There’s some really good young drivers who should get a chance!

          4. Liuzzi, really?
            The litmus test is this, if you changed the nationality of a driver to one with very little financial backing, would they still have their drive? I would say no for both Petrov and Liuzzi.

          5. I wonder how many people said Fangio should step aside and make room for younger drivers?

      3. I wouldn’t trust the Australian commentators – they’d say it was Vettel impeding someone even if Vettel had been the one to call it in. They want Webber to win, badly, and will do or say anyhting that they think will improve his chances.

        1. what is sad tho hulkerberg leavin n GP2 champion (fgot name) taking his seat probably cause he can get sum 15million dollars. F1 is more of a paid seat now! :P

        2. yeah, becuase EVERYONE takes notice of what Rust and Beattie have to say. Their opinions are held in quite high regard by …………………….. well I’m sure there might be someone.

          They’re absolute spanners.

          1. Well, that’s what I thought, but I wanted to be sure. The whole monkeys and typewriters thing lead me to believe they could be right this time.

        3. Sort of like what the BBC do for Lewis and Button!

      4. well, I just saw the Qualy again and at the weigh-in area Vettel runs towards Barrichello with a clear “I’m sorry face” (no sound)

    7. Great quals !
      Feel a bit disappointed for Kubica though.

      Very interesting grid for the head of championship.
      Vettel ahead of webber will make interesting the first turns between RedBulls, Alonso 3rd but on the clean side of the track for turn 1 and then he got speed advantage. And “straight speedy” Hamilton just behind all of them despite being on the dirty side.

      Can’t wait for the race to start.

      1. Kubica had problems with oversteering and balance, because of changed conditions beetwen training and qualifing sesion. Renault didnt figure it out – what was the main reason of unexplained car behaviour.

    8. Webber must be really hate starting on the dirty side of the grid again. I think Alonso should be able to jump him into turn 1, and whether Alonso can capitalise on S1 and jump Vettel, that remains to be seen. I think we are in for a stellar race tomorrow.

      1. But Webber has the inside line going into the first turn …

        1. The whole track is dirty… Webber isn’t know for great starts anyway. He needs a third, 4th or 5th to stay on top I think. If he pushes for a win and screws the pooch then he’s giving the WDC away.

    9. Can’t help but think, and then there were 4 (more likely 3, but I still believe Lewis has a shout ;) )

      1. I think you should wait till the end of the first corner before making that judgement.

        1. I think the last corner is the killer on this track :)

    10. Food for the conspiracy theorists :P
      Massa’s Q2 time: 1:36.169
      Massa’s Q3 time: 1:36.571

      1. For fans of the Mary Whitehouse Experience/Newman and Baddiel:

        “Oh no, what a personal disaster.”

      2. He used an extra set of options in Q2 (kind if dumb strategy IMHO), so he was short of them in Q3. But it’s curious nonetheless that he was the only driver to have a worse time in Q3 than in Q2 :)

    11. A shocking qualifying…looks like the Bulls are in for the title. Unbelievable performance all year. I really thought McLaren had at least the front row, Jense complained of the front tyres(big surprise of course)…Lewis says he got everything out of the chassis, will be an interesting race.
      Will Alonso try to squeeze Lewis on the inside?

      1. As soon as I heard “This weekend is all about the tyres” I thought “That’s the end of Massa and Button’s weekend, then.”

        1. How is it the end of Button’s weekend? He’s easier on his tyres than anyone else on the grid.

          1. I think he meant that Jense wont challenge any one up top, and may infact lose places based on his tyre issues and the need he has apparently to drive an absolutely perfect car in every sense of the word.

            1. Good point PM! I didn’t even think of that! :)

          2. Button claims he constantly lacks grip. I think that he constantly lacks new excuses.

          3. I think that I heard that Button was complaining about the tires during Q, He always winges about the tires. He did it at Brawn and he does it at Macca.

            It’s just Button speak for “I’m not fast enough. Beam me up to to the podium Scotty!”

            1. I wouldn’t be quite that harsh, he tends to be pretty upfront when he’s not fast enough.

              But there are certainly too many times when “the balance of the car” or “the tyres” mysteriously change between the no-pressure FP3 session and the high-pressure quali session an hour or two later. I don’t believe that he’s as fundamentally slow compared to Hamilton as people made out in the past, but I believe every driver has a chink in their armour, and Button’s got more difficulty driving around his than Alonso (temper) or Hamilton (throwing points away) have.

        2. I think there is nothing left to the Button Tire Management Theory. He burned his tires faster than Hamilton in Singapore. He failed to manage his tires into his strategy in Japan. A key element of tire management is knowing how to heat them properly so you don’t drop several tenths to your teammate in Saturday, requiring you to gamble or manage your way back into contention on Sunday. Button and Massa don’t get it. Massa had to use extra options in Q2 because he can’t use the primes, so he was doomed to struggle in Q3. Very disappointing showing from those two guys.

    12. MercedesBeanz
      23rd October 2010, 7:41

      Mclaren have disappointed again! There is something wrong in the Mclaren team structure, they have two outstanding world champions, massive technical resources, yet 2 years in a row they have worked hard screw it all up with silly politics, below standard cars, bad strategy decisions . I think they lack ‘heart’, their approach is too clinical.
      Maybe they miss the grassroots racing spirit that was personified by Ron Dennis and have?

      1. :-| what the…???

      2. Ron Dennis is about as far from “grassroots” racing spirit as you can get, that’s why Marlboro engineered his takeover of the ailing McLaren team in the first place.

        Errr.. the reason McLaren are the cold, clinical team they are is because Ron Dennis stamped that all over the team. He’s a perfectionist with OCD whose mother used to hoover the house at bedtime so it would be clean when they woke up. Martin Whitmarsh is the one who’s broken it down a bit, in fact.

        1. MercedesBeanz
          23rd October 2010, 8:06

          “broken it down” is just what Whitmarsh has done. He was given a championship winning team and look where they are today.

          Dennis started out as a mechanic. True he has brought a ultra ‘slick’ approach to racing, but there was passion at the heart of that “perfectionist” approach. No one has followed the sport could fail to have missed seeing Dennis’s passion for racing and that is what’s missing fom the current Mclaren setup and that is why the consistently have failed to utilise Hamilton’s prodigious talent.

          As for “Marlboro engineered his takeover of the ailing McLaren team ” :| what planet are you on! I don’t think you have understood the progression that led to Ron Dennis’s take over of Mclaren team. Sponsor’s, no matter how big, don’t “engineer” anything in F1

          1. Championship winning team?…..suppose it depends on your definition. From 2000 onwards they’ve won…..hmmmm…..let me see…… 1 WDC (by a point)and that’s it!! Considering their competitiveness in general….that’s not much. It’s much like Vettel’s 9 poles and 2 wins…

          2. Ron Dennis has spotted some true talents. Senna, Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Hamilton. I probably miss qute a few! Button is not a Dennis pick, I can tell you that! They would have been alot better of with Kimi this year.

            1. To be fair, Dennis didn’t spot Alonso Flavio did and Kimi chose not to take the Mclaren deal this year. He was the one who walked away. Button’s a good driver for the team and the best that was available to them.

            2. Yeah that’s true about Alonso.. But he still got Alonso on the team.. The way it worked out is another thing..
              Are there reeaally that clear sources that it was Kimi who walked away? I’m not so sure.. I don’t think Button is that great a driver.. He seems to be able to make the most of changing weather and deciding when to go on slicks and wets and so on.. But otherwise quite slow and timid. Not a winner.

          3. As for “Marlboro engineered his takeover of the ailing McLaren team ” :| what planet are you on! I don’t think you have understood the progression that led to Ron Dennis’s take over of Mclaren team. Sponsor’s, no matter how big, don’t “engineer” anything in F1

            You’re dead wrong. Marlboro did engineer the takeover. Read the book Senna versus Prost.

          4. Championship winning team? Brawn has won more championships in the last 10 years than McLaren has.

            Whilst McLaren have always been up there, they’ve never been able to put a winning season in, either for reliability or speed reasons. They’ve had a great last few seasons IMO, so I think Whitmarsh has done a good job.

          5. Dennis is a perfectionist with only one true passion: Lewis Hamilton (Ive heard he used to give Lewis the bottle when he was a baby). So he proved on how he managed the team in 2007 and so it ended up that season!

            @F1iLike: Dennis spotted Alonso!!! Started to watch F1 in 07?? Just a reminder, Alonso was 2 times WDC when he did the biggest error in his career, signing up for McLaren under Dennis managment

      3. There does seem to be something missing doesnt there? Of the top three teams, there’s always one thing McLaren are trying to figure out, to correct, to pinpoint….usually while the other are blowing them away in qualifying.
        They have one of the fastest(the fastest really) driver on the grid and one of the smartest(button, yet they seem to be wasting the former’s talents.
        Ferrari always seem to be one step ahead, albeit hiding their hand…Red Bull just edge them on technological knowhow (which is weird considering their relative newness to the sport.)

        1. the biggest shock was when they declared they were in the dark abt the flexing wings…

        2. I don’t think Whitmarsh is doing badly at all. They came with the F-duct but were well off the pace but then caught up in no time at all. They’ve struggled with some updates but Ferrari took an age with an F-duct and that’s just the way it is with the ban on testing.

          Last year they arrived with a dog but then they became race winners which was an amazing turn-around.

          The team didn’t always have success with Dennis 06 and 04 as recent examples. Dennis is a true company leader and he’ll know that the best thing he could have done is to make it so he wasn’t missed when he did leave and I think he’s got a great sucessor in Martin. Mclaren have regained a little soul for me although I confess I was never a massive Ron Dennis fan.

          1. MercedesBeanz
            23rd October 2010, 8:40

            The F-duct is exactly waht proves that Whitmarsh is doing badly! Its clear from that great piece of engineering that Mclaren has the technical talent and we also know of its driver talent, its how all this being utilised that is the issue. A team manager’s role is like that of an orchestra conductor, he/she takes all the elements at his disposal and creates a coherent whole; using that analogy, in my opinion, Whitmarsh is the equivalent of Astrix’s Cocophonix!!

            Dennis is not just a “company leader”, he’s a team builder and to look a 2 bad years out of 28 as an example of achievement is a tad blinkered; don’t you think ;)

            Mclaren in the hands of Whitmarsh is just bland, lacks passion and most importantly cohesion.

            1. As with most at the top Dennis saw what was coming and stepped aside, these people know when to move (Tony Blair etc for example)

              Whitmarsh is doing a decent job.

            2. I think you’ve taken what I said the wrong way. I never meant just two years (I could go on for many more) I simply said I picked recent times which are more relavant to show that Dennis wasn’t perfect and Whitmarash has steered Mclaren back on track in such a style in 09 that Dennis never achieved.

              I also never said he was just a company leader. I was crediting him with knowing exactly how to run a business which is what the team is. He knows how his best replacement is.

              The f duct doesn’t prove that Whitmasrh is bad to me. It shows he’s encouring engineering genius but that was never enough to save them anywhere. The Red Bull is a monster of a car and Mclaren have usually been there or there abouts. When the car arrived at bahrain it was slow but then it got fixed, the pitstops were poor but they’ve become a lot better recently I feel and they’re pushing development like mad still but for the testing ban and the nature of F1 they haven’t always worked.

              There are areas to improve and there’s always a teething period (look at Stefano and Ferrari) but he’s doing a good job I think and he’s a great people manager. There’s a beautiful harmony in the team at the moment and I think that’s a credit to Martin.

            3. The F-duct is exactly waht proves that Whitmarsh is doing badly! Its clear from that great piece of engineering that Mclaren has the technical talent and we also know of its driver talent, its how all this being utilised that is the issue.

              Again, the facts don’t back you up here – the engineer who developed the F Duct actually came up with it a few years ago, but Ron didn’t put it in the car. It was Whitmarsh who gave it the green light when it was suggested again. And it was Whitmarsh’s team who turned around a dog of a car (developed under Ron) into a race winner. The press all report that McLaren under Whitmarsh is a much more relaxed, friendlier, more open organisation both to the employees, the public, and the press. Simple things like the garage never used to have music playing in it while the engineers were working.

              Having said that, I don’t believe that there’s as much of a direct split between Ron’s regime and Martin’s – both were heavily involved in the company at the level they’re at now for the past 20 years.

          2. Steph I think that Whitmarsh should go. Truth is I despise Ron Dennis… but something in me loves the way he built the Macca ummm… empire. He managed to keep Macca afloat running
            Pugeot and Ford engines.

            I think his F1 savy is untouched, but I still hate his guts. I do like the way that he has the gravel in his driveway washed, meaning that he is on top of every aspect of his life. He’s the Senna of team managers.

            Ok… that’s my rant.

            Whitmarsh is a poser, show him the road.

        3. Maybe Alonso is just amazingly fast?

        4. “… despite their relative newness to the sport …” – I don’t understand the time frame you refer to. Let’s see – Red Bull bought Jaguar Racing in 2004. Ford (Jaguar Racing) bought Stewart GP in 1999. And Jackie Stewart formed Stewart GP in 1996. Jaguar even tried to hire Newey from McLaren in 2001. Do you think 100% of the experience was flushed down the toilet at each purchase?

      4. The problem in McLaren is the duo of drivers, they are very good, but there is a lack of being pilots, I believe they do not transmit properly to the engineers what the car needs to be the fastest. I´m sure they´ve got the resources to make it but dont know how to do it.

      5. I’m not a McLaren fan at all, but I don’t think McLaren have disappointed. I rather think that the problem is that with the ban on testing, big teams don’t have such an advantage anymore, since any update is a bit like a lottery. It might work or not. And McLaren have been unlucky with the last set of updates…

        I think that under normal circumstances (with testing allowed), both McLaren and Ferrari would have caught up to the Red Bulls in no time. But in this season apparently that’s not doable…

        The truth is that it’s not just McLaren struggling. Both Ferrari and McLaren are struggling, McLaren just got unlucky in the last 2 races, and Ferrari got better luck.

    13. Before first practices I was guessing that top 3 teams will be quite equal, but again Red Bulls showed their mirrors to everybody.

    14. McLaren had the least improvement from Q2 to Q3 which is what cost them. You could say that they showed more of their speed in Q2 but I doubt anyone was holding back in Q2. Renault is the biggest disappointment, and Petrov, what a disaster.

      Button had to rise to the occasion today but, had only more excuses. I guess he is hoping for mixed conditions so he can roll dice.

      Very impressive from Rosberg, again. Starting clean-side, and with his massive terminal speed, he could be the one to be watching at the start.

      1. Younger Hamilton
        23rd October 2010, 8:14

        Have you got a problem with McLaren because you’re biased all the time against them i didnt watch quai.Let me be harsh here Petrov is just beinbg poor lately Rosberg is a lucky driver thats it no talent from them

        1. I’ve never seen any evidence to suggest that DaveW is biased against McLaren. I think he’s one of the more balanced bloggers on this site – unlike yourself who keeps using the the collective pronoun ‘we’ when referring to McLaren.

          *NEWSFLASH* – you’re not part of the team dude!! Rise or fall, you have no part in it!!

          1. I fully agree with the “we” bit. It’s reminiscent of football fans. Unless you’re working at McLaren, you’re not part of the “we”.

        2. see u got a young hamilton fan all mad! :P
          na DaveW is right. The thing was Sector1 is the best for mclaren. the remainin 2 sectors are just lots of turns which is basically RBR territory. n Mclaren did their best laps in Q1 itself. so best was they hang on to it. no improvement.

        3. Have you got a problem with McLaren because you’re biased all the time against them i didnt watch quai.

          Suggestion: If you haven’t watched Quali I wouldn’t start picking holes in someone else’s analysis of it. There’s nothing off-balance at all about DaveW’s comment, and as a Button fan I agree with it. It’s harsh, but fair and backed up by what’s gone wrong for Jenson both this year and last year.

    15. Younger Hamilton
      23rd October 2010, 8:11

      Man the results gave me a epic Headshot because its the same story all over AGAIN!!! THE BULLS then Alonso then whoever if McLaren dont get a result tomorrow we’re finished

      1. It’s like deja vu after deja vu all over again.

        It might rain tomorrow, that might fall into McLaren’s hand.
        Can understand how feel.

    16. Dejavu time again. Martin whitmarsh ” disappointing qualifying but we have great race pace” arrrgghh!!! And also the f###### weather!!!

      1. Younger Hamilton
        23rd October 2010, 8:22

        De javu time again for Jenson ‘struggling with the balance’ all the time i know its his first year and he’s in a car designed for Lewis but can he find other reasons why he’s hasd poor qualis

    17. On a slightly different note I thought the BBC pre-quali coverage was excellent today. We got to see a lot from inside the MTC. It’s insanely professional and quiet there (even Whitmarash was whispering when he was talking from Korea to the MTC). It seems very, very well polished. Kuods to Dennis for organising such a place. It’s more like something out of a sci-fi movie or a fantasy by The Big Bang Theory guys than a real building. I have to admit though, it’s not really my style. It’s too strict and sterile for me but it was fascinating to see.

      Congrats to Seb, RBR, and Alo who I thought did the maximum. Mclaren and Kubica seemed to fade after all the hype but sure the race will be different. Nice to see Felipe have a better qualifying session.

      Hamilton’s moment where he went wild at the pit entry was quite mad. He was very lucky (or skillfull) not to have a huge crash.

      1. DeadManWoking
        23rd October 2010, 9:34

        Very skillful AND very lucky, just like at Spa this year.

        “Ah Lewis you may want to be a little careful, we’re getting reports of more rain on the circuit … Lewis? … Lewis?”

    18. senna out qualified by team mate again. where does this leave him for next year?? really gonna stuggle to get a half decent seat, even longterm.

    19. Predict Vettel to lead from start to finish. Webber and Alonso will have a good battle for 2nd.

      That will leave Webber with a much slimmer championship lead, which is exciting for the championship, but the race itself will be quite boring.

      1. I reckon Alonso will make mince meat of Webber at the start. I think Vettel’s likely to hang on okay- if he doesn’t mess up he should be reasonably safe.

        Realistically though, I think Webber may have to settle for 3rd, or even 4th if Hamilton gets passed.

        1. I was thinking the same. It seems to me that the most likely outcomes are: VET-ALO-WEB or VET-ALO-HAM

          I hope it’s the latter though, since that’d make a tighter championship :)

      2. Webber needs a 5th I think to keep the lead.

    20. Going by stastics a Red Bull 1-2 usually means some other team takes victory on Race day. Alonso might be able to capitalize on the red bull situation where both Vettel and Webber are potential title contenders.

      Could being so close to winning the title make Webber flinch or will Vettel be able to take the pressure. Should undeniably make for an interesting race.

    21. A great session whoever says that Saturday is boring well you should have seen those final one minutes.This has to be the best qualifying session of the season so far.

      Alonso given the fact that he had enough fuel could have done another flying lap as he crossed the line before one second to the chequered flag & that late charge for the Bull’s were great to watch.Dissapointing performance from Kubica I expected him to be in the top 5 & Button well he will have a very busy afternoon tomorrow.Webber starting on the dirty side will help Alonso to take P2 by turn 2 & with his straight line speed advantage he may also take the lead from Vettel in turn 3-4 by the end of first lap.Hamilton & Massa are too in a very bad position as off-line it’s very dirty here & good job by Roseberg,if he have a good start then he may fight for the podium come tomorrow.

      1. DeadManWoking
        23rd October 2010, 9:58

        Alonso was 2.3 kph slower than Vettel in qualifying trim, which is how they will have to run tomorrow. Vettel was second fastest to Alonso in Sector 1 by only .15 seconds in qualifying and faster than Hamilton. It’s all going to come down to who gets the better start off the line Sunday.

    22. Game over for hamilton, vettel for title?

      1. LOL. even if Vettel wins and Webber retires they will be so close…

        1. Early days we all know Hamilton will fightback but the question whether his car will be in one piece by the end of the race.

    23. Alonso will be managing his engine carefully as the horsepower would have dropped by now. Tightrope situation for Nando but will be interesting.

      Look forward to a spectacular race tomorrow. Forecast says there might be some rain.

    24. Actually after todays qualifying session I am happy that there are only 12 teams in F1. It would hae been dull if it was the same 8 persons getting eliminated every time. The aspect, that one of the established teams drivers gets eliminated makes Q3 exciting!

    25. i think the red bulls will be lucky to still be leading at the end of the 1st lap. those long straight at the start are perfect for mclaren and ferrari..

    26. Poor from McLaren once again. I really don’t see what advantage they get from talking up their chances every weekend, only to be consistently shown the way by Red Bull and Ferrari.

      I don’t think a Red Bull 1-2 in qualifying every race is “boring,” especially not when they have to work for it like today. You could clearly see how the strengths of the different cars played in each sector.

      1. Just a slight remark, the RBs and Alonso have shown the way…

      2. Yawn.

        Red Bull have had the best car in nearly every qualifying session and today Alonso-Ferrari did a better job than Hamilton-McLaren. That’s it. We don’t even know what the full circumstances are, McLaren were complaining about tyre temperatures, could be an excuse or a genuine reason.

        Yeh, “consistently”, who qualified net 3rd last time out and who nearly beat Alonso’s time on the inferior compound? Kinda sad how you have to be selective to suit your bias rather than it just be enough for some guys to have done a better job this time out.

        1. They have been close with Ferrari all the way through, but McLaren have for the last few races been putting out statements to the effect that “this track will suit our car.” And what is the result? No change to the status quo. Simply put, I don’t understand why they don’t just concentrate on doing the job on track rather than inflating everybody’s expectations.

    27. Whitmarsh really just DOESN’T KNOW what to do. McLaren will probably end up third in the constructors. The sooner he leaves the better…

      1. Whitmarsh knows exactly what to do – support his engineers, provide them with the right environment, keep the atmosphere relaxed and positive.

        It isn’t Whitmarsh developing the car, and it isn’t his fault if the McLaren engineers haven’t been able to close the gap this year.

        He proved last year that his leadership isn’t an inhibiting factor for car development.

    28. Disappointed that qualifying wasn’t closer than it could have been but Webber’s grid slot should make it interesting for the championship.

      1. That’s what I predicted, Webber on pole… but we got the “finger” instead. I still think it’s a Ferrari track.

        1. On seconded read I misread your post.

          Love your comments by the way.

    29. The spanish TV was surely wrong, but commentator said with only 100 seconds left to the end of Q3: Vettel is still in boxes! He wouldnt have had time for his last incredible lap. No comments thereafter, must be mistaken. Anybody heard anything similar?

      1. by the way, a very risky strategy by Vettel in Q3 waitning til the last moment to gain greater grip (the track has been improving from lap to lap). Any trafic, no pole options although it finally worked out for him

    30. Anyone else experience a lot of problems with the TV images? It would skip back to a few seconds before and then fast-forward to catch up with itself.

    31. Can someone help pls? I would like to know if they are allowed to make alterations to the car setting after Q3 and before the race.

      1. Only tyre pressures, the differential, and front wing angle. And tyres if it starts raining.

    32. Ninth Pole this season, at least this is his disciplin this year.

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