Unbeatable Red Bull claim front row in Valencia

2011 European GP qualifying

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Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Valencia, 2011
Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Valencia, 2011

The change in the engine mapping rules didn’t stop Red Bull dominating qualifying again.

The pair locked out the front row of the grid with Lewis Hamilton third ahead of Fernando Alonso.


With the soft tyres offering a significant reduction in lap time compared to the mediums, the front-running drivers had to make some difficult decisions to avoid using a set of softs in Q1.

Felipe Massa opted to do a run on soft tyres and ended up quickest of all as a result.

Team mate Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber took the risky move of doing a second run on medium tyres, but were able to scrape through despite slipping through the order.

But they earned the benefit of saving a fresh set of soft tyres, as did Sebastian Vettel and, surprisingly, the two McLaren driver,s who had struggled on the medium tyres in practice.

It was the ‘usual suspects’ who failed to get through to Q2 – both the Lotuses, Virgins and HRTS plus, once again, Jaime Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

18Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’40.232
19Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’41.664
20Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1’42.234
21Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’42.553
22Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth1’43.584
23Jerome d’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’43.735
24Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’44.363


Sebastian Vettel went straight to the top of the times with his first lap on soft tyres. His effort was four-tenths of a second faster than the two closely-matched McLarens.

Fernando Alonso went fourth and was poised to improve his time when the red flags came out.

Pastor Maldonado had come to a stop with a technical problem on his Williams, and the session had to be stopped so the car could be recovered.

As Q2 restarted Vitaly Petrov and Sebastien Buemi were among the first out, having not done a time at the beginning of the session.

A late improvement by Adrian Sutil enabled him to knocked Petorv out of the last place in the top ten.

Paul di Resta was out-qualified for his team mate for the second time this year after a mistake in the final sector.

The other four drivers to be eliminated were Rubens Barrichello, Sebastien Buemi and the Sauber pair.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11Vitaly PetrovRenault1’39.068
12Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’39.422
13Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’39.489
14Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’39.525
15Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’39.645
16Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’39.657
17Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’39.711


Vettel remained untouchable in the final part of qualifying, four-tenths of a second quicker than the McLaren drivers.

The Red Bulls, McLarens and Ferraris all did two runs but few improved with their second efforts – Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel all aborted their second laps.

Webber did improve and jumped up to take second on the grid alongside his team mate.

Nick Heidfeld and Adrian Sutil didn’t set times at all, preferring to save tyres, and will start on row five.

Top ten in Q3

1Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’36.975
2Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’37.163
3Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’37.380
4Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’37.454
5Felipe MassaFerrari1’37.535
6Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’37.645
7Nico RosbergMercedes1’38.231
8Michael SchumacherMercedes1’38.240
9Nick HeidfeldRenaultNo time
10Adrian SutilForce India-MercedesNo time

2011 European Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    160 comments on “Unbeatable Red Bull claim front row in Valencia”

    1. ferranmclaren
      25th June 2011, 14:15

      redbull yet again

      1. vettel yet again. stop hogging pole position!

        1. btw fantastic laps from vettel and webber. great stuff.

          1. I doubt that, no offence to the redbull drivers but i dont think they deserve this.

            1. +1, just because they are at the front doesn’t necessarily mean there laps were fantastic…although i’m not suggesting they weren’t fantastic

            2. Why not?

              It’s not like the team performances are random, Their team built that car to allow them to dominate. And that’s what they are doing.

          2. Quick laps for sure by the RBR boys, but I wouldn’t go as far as to call them fantastic. Their car certainly is fantastic though: anybody pay close attention to the replay of Vettel’s pole lap? He’s barely doing anything in the car! Not knocking young Vettel as a driver (especially since he consistently blows his teammate out of the water), but he’ll continue to be just smooth (& devastatingly quick) because the RB7 handles like it’s on rails… & IMO, you’d have to be an absolute clot to qualify outside of the front row with one. They’re COMFORTABLY a few tenths up (at least) on McLaren in qualy trim. Qualifying used to be a joyous affair for me… now, it’s not even worth watching anymore because I already know who’s gonna be on pole. Quite boring, to be honest. Great times for Red Bull fans, but for the rest of us it’s more like watching paint dry. Again though, not knocking them for it.

            1. Constantly blows his teammate out of the water?

              In Canada the gap between the two was less than what Webber lost by not having KERS for quali for a start and last year it was less than a tenth at many of the circuits including this very track.

              Interesting to see that Massa is once again less than 1 tenth shy of Alonso

            2. There’s something not quite right about the way Vettel “consistently blows his team mate out of the water”.

              They were evenly matched last year and as Martin Brundle said, Webber is not lacking in pace as his fastest race laps show. So why the difference in quali?

              Also wasn’t there a feature (can’t remember where)that showed Vettel and Webber’s lap traces were identical?

              So how does Vettel manage to edge ahead? What’s going on here?

            3. Vettel is simply the better qualifier, and the naturally faster driver. That’s why he blows Webber out of the water. Fastest laps don’t matter so much when Mark’s having to push towards the end of a race on a light fuel tank against slower cars when for Vettel it’s already job done. And last year, when they were “evenly matched” Webber only finished ahead in 6 races, losing out by 14 points despite Vettel’s three lost wins to car failure.

        2. I think that Seb is just better with DRS, he might be more daring then Webber, but he probably has a better hang of it. It’s a video game type of technology and he’s from the video game generation. He didn’t complain for having too many buttons, like many other drivers did. I think that’s the whole secret: Vettel is simply good with DRS. That, and the fact that Red Bulls have a really fast car.

          1. Remember that Mark is one of the tallest drivers and Seb one of the smallest, the ballast advantage alone that Seb enjoys is enough to explain the mostly hundredths of a second faster times he posts.

            1. Huh? Hundredths? We are talking about qualifying times, where use of the DRS is free for all. Here are the qualifying time differences between Webber and Vettel so far:

              Melbourne 0,866
              Sepang 0,309
              Shanghai 0,794 (Webber didn’t make it to Q2, so it’s a Q1 difference)
              Istanbul 0,405
              Barcelona -0,2 (that’s the only time Webber was ahead in Q3)
              Monte Carlo 0,463
              Montreal 0,415
              Valencia 0,188

              Again: hundredths? On average it’s over four tenths. It’s more than just ballast distribution.

            2. @ HoHum – I agree that vettel has always had an advantage because of ballast distribution. It probably gives Vettel a more balanced car and could explain why Webber (who was expected to be the smoother driver of the two) has problems keeping his tyres in shape.

              I wonder why commentators don’t address or acknowledge this difference at all?

              I also agree that Vettel probably found it easier to get to grips with all the new controls, but I think Webber would work hard to get up speed if he acknowledged it was his weak point.

            3. I wonder why commentators don’t address or acknowledge this difference at all?

              Because if the gap’s an average of 4 tenths, it can’t be blamed entirely on ballast.

    2. I do think the gap has come down. Red Bull just generally have a good car for qualifying – earlier DRS and switching on the tyres better. The real test will come at Silverstone.

      1. The real test for who? I’d have thought Silverstone would suit the Red Bulls more! Or are you referring the the EBDs?

        1. The diffusers yes. Particularly in the race, as it’s a prime Red Bull circuit.

          1. I’m expecting to see the difference mostly in qualifying. In race trim, they do not seem to be using any special setting as their lap times, at times are actually slower than McLaren and Ferrari.

            I agree that the gap has come down too.

            1. The gap to Vettel is now .4 of a second in the qualifing. Which is .1 closer than the average so far. And that on a circuit that isn’t a Red Bull aero-wonderland.

      2. And I think Mclaren n ferrari didnt try hard. Cause they are usually faster when it comes to race pace.

    3. kenneth Ntulume
      25th June 2011, 14:15

      All Red Bull front row. Yet again we are going to see the finger…” damnnnn


      2. Don’t think so. Red Bull will come under big pressure in the race I think. Also with the number of tyre changes and DRS swapping driver positions round, could well see a safety car.

        1. I too think they will be under pressure in the race. Story of the season so far. Wouldn’t surprise me if we saw Hamilton on the top step of the podium at the end of the race.

    4. Stop giving penalties to Hamilton, he is the only one remotely capable of challenging the Red Bulls!

      1. Jenson Button proved perfectly capable of beating Vettel in Canada.

        1. button is rarely able to beat lewis.he needs lewis to have a bad luck to beat him.
          last season he beat lewis 5 times.4 of those times were when lewis got a dnf.
          this season he’s relied on more lewis bad luck to beat him.
          in malaysia lewis didnt have enough good tyres for the race-button beat him.
          in monaco hamiltons race was ruined in quali-button beat him.
          in canada lewis got a dnf-button beat him.
          so buttons best races have been hamiltons worst this season.
          but in quali its 6-2 to lewis.and since they became team mates lewis has beat button twice as many times.
          button is capable of great races,like the 2 he had last season,and the one he had this season(all 3 wins in the same conditions).but he’s not capable of driving well enough consistently to beat lewis over a season.so he has less chance of beating vettel than lewis does.
          sorry button fans.

          1. button is rarely able to beat lewis.

            And yet, Button is ahead of Hamilton in this year’s WCC standings.

            1. As was the case last year early on. Who would you put your money on to be ahead by the end of the season?

              Both Mclaren drivers are capable of finishing ahead of each other, but Lewis has proven to have the edge over a whole season in equal machinary (even with a more cavalier attitude).

            2. Bigbadderboom
              25th June 2011, 15:28

              Yep, it’s ok being flamboyant, aggressive and have an attacking style, but there are no points for these things, only your finishing position. The old tortoise and the hare fable comes to mind with Jenson and Lewis.

            3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
              25th June 2011, 15:48

              Not necesary to be worried about Button beating Ham or not. Last year (and this one) Lewis is beating himself, and finishing races has proved to be Button’s best skill against Mad Lewis

            4. Hamilton’s driving has always been a bit faster. But Button’s driving has always been a bit smarter. This, year, Button’s driving has been a lot smarter than Hamilton’s. If that stays the same over the rest of the season (which is seems likely it will), then Button will be comfortably ahead at the end of the season. If Hamilton gets smarter (or, more accurately, less dumb), then he might get ahead of Button.

            5. @Geoff332 – I can only assume you’ve formed that opinion over the last 2 races? What about the previous 5 races of this year, not to mention last season?

              Too many people are far too quick to make assumptions based on what’s happened in the very recent past (both positives and negatives).

          2. mattr your arguments are directly opposed to your conclusions

          3. @ mattr.

            That’s pretty much it. Button doesn’t appear to be quite there in terms of raw pace in comparison to Hamilton (though it’s close). However when difficult decisions have to be made in variable conditions, he invariably trumps. Trouble is that, on balance, that’s just not going to be enough for a sustained championship challenge. I should also add that I would love for him to prove me wrong!

        2. …with major thanks to bernd maylander and the safetycar for coming out everytime jenson fell back.

        3. He is quick, but too inconsitent over the course of a season.

      2. Also, when did Hamilton get penalised in Valencia?

        He shouldn’t be allowed to get away with breaking the rules just because he’s fast.

        1. I will tell you when they are done in Valencia :). Most of his penalties are too debatable and caused by unnecessary hard defending from much slower cars. Jenson Button was being chased like a turtle by a cat in Canada before he forced Hamilton into the wall.

          1. Yes. F1 would be much better if all those slow cars stopped trying to defend position and let Lord Hamilton through.

            1. lol, nice one Stevo

          2. Jenson Button was being chased like a turtle by a cat in Canada before he forced Hamilton into the wall.

            The stewards disagreed with you. When they released details of the verdict after the race, they said Button did not change his racing line from previous laps, and nor did he change it from the previous driver through. The line he took was the line he would be expected to take.

            Lewis Hamilton’s greatest enemy is not the stewards (whatever you might like to think). Lewis Hamilton’s greatest enemy is Lewis Hamilton. He needs to calm down, get his act together and start using his head – his incidents in Monaco and Canada were clearly a direct result of him simply trying too hard and over-driving the car.

            Take Monaco for exmple: everyone was up in arms because Hamilton got a drive-through for the contact with Massa. But Paul di Resta had done exactly the same thing a few laps previously, and no-one batted an eyelid at the verdict. Hamilton doesn’t get a free pass because he’s Hamilton, whatever the fans think.

            1. The stewards (lead by Fittipaldi who said prior to the Canadian grand prix that Lewis was too aggressive) apparently think it is ok to squeeze an opponent up against a wall with 250 km/h if you can excuse yourself with not having seen him. Hamilton had a wheel alongside Button and couldn’t go left. How can it not be Button’s fault? Is it okay to weave into another car if he is in your racing line?

              You quote me on “Jenson Button was being chased like a turtle by a cat”, that he was, just look at the laptimes. Button is no match for Hamilton as has been proved so many times.

            2. You must be bored with Vettel´s pole to create a pointless debate around Lewis and Jenson form.

              Everybody knows who will be in front in the end of the season.

            3. makes Jenson look even worse that Hamilton is not using his head and is still going to beat him again this season doesn’t it?

            4. Hamilton had a wheel alongside Button and couldn’t go left. How can it not be Button’s fault? Is it okay to weave into another car if he is in your racing line?

              Because Hamilton put a wheel alongside him, knowing that he couldn’t go left.

          3. remember valencia last year. he got away with it big time!

            if it wasnt for fernando(rightly) kicking off they wouldnt even bothered to give him a penalty.

        2. But the thing is, Jenson was allowed to get away with breaking the rules in Canada. If, perchance, it had been Sebastien Vettel who had ended the races of Hamilton and Alonso, I think he would’ve recieved 1, if not 2 post race penalties.

          The outcome is obvious:

          Jenson wins: Vettel 161, Button 101 (60 point gap)
          Jenson penalised: Vettel 168, Webber 97 (71 points gap) (not sure of the maths).

          The post race decision was made to improve the ‘show’.

          To a certain extent, I can pardon the Monaco penalties (at least the Massa one) because they were in the heat of the moment.

          Can you explain to me how Hamilton got a dangerous driving penalty for slightly weaving on a 22m wide track because it could provoke an accident, then Maldonado weaves in front of Hamilton on the tightest track in F1 which does lead to an accident, and again Hamilton gets penalised?

          Also, I fail to understand how Hamilton weaving in front of Alonso in Malaysia was more dangerous than Button hitting Alonso in Canada (remembering that both of these were decisions taken by stewards after the race had finished).

          Sometimes, F1 needs to remember it is a sport first, and a show second; at least for the sake of its integrity.

          1. But the thing is, Jenson was allowed to get away with breaking the rules in Canada.

            Sorry, but this just reeks of a conspiracy theory concocted by Hamilton fans because Lord Lewis of Hamilton can do no wrong. If Hamilton smothered a puppy on live television tomorrow and announced to the world his deep-seeded hatred of all puppies, I’m sure the fans would be able to explain it away. Hamilton needs to start taking responsibility for his action on track, and his fans need to accept the fact that he is repsonsible.

            Like I said, the stewards explained their actions in issuing certain penaltied in Montreal, explanations that are supported by video evidence.

            1. I know you live in Oz, but resorting to Straw Men is ridiculous.

              I don’t agree with Kodongo that Jenson has been treated specially. I think he was treated correctly – unlike Hamilton or di Resta, in my HUMBLE opinion. But come up with something better than name-calling and ridiculous scenarios.

          2. well said kodongo.

            Lewis gets quickly penalised when other drivers who pull similar moves get away scot free. The FIA are punishing the guys who make f1 exciting (the Hamiltons & kobayashis) and instead rewarding the drivers who prefer bottling out and following the others around waiting for the guy ahead to take himself and his oponents out.

            -well I guess some people prefer things to be handed on a plate to them.

            The FIA are discouraging drivers to push themselves by capping the driver’s skill levels – remarkably instead, the FIA are encouraging the use of fake gimmicks and button-pressing to beat the guys ahead.

            2 DRS zones let alone one is totally ridiculous and farcicle – Canada was ruined for it.

            Take everything away & just leave it to the pirellis!

        3. Didn’t Hamilton get a drive-through last year after the safety car made an error coming over the pit exit line?

          1. The safety car didn’t make an error, Hamilton did. He passed the safety car after the first SC line, which he isn’t allowed to do.

            Seem as Lewis fans are rather keen on forgetting the facts… Maybe that’s why, he is never to blame…

            1. Dont be ridiculous mate – as a Hamilton fan I certainly acknowledge that all drivers (inc Lewis) and all people can make mistakes – have you ever made any mistakes? Especially when you are racing at 200mph with mili-seconds to make decisions and quick reaction times.

              As a Hamilton fan I love the guy cos he doesnt play the safe option all the time and trundle around behind others – he fights cos he has that fire in him. And hes right – he wouldnt be the phenomenon he is if he wasnt like that and off course it goes without saying that a driver who makes more overtakes and moves will inevitably have a slightly higher rate than others to be involved in incidences – In Hamilton’s case he pulls of the majority and its certainly been worth it.

              I think alot of other fans tend to have alot of gripe with Hamilton fans as Hamilton fans except the positives AND also the negatives. They are not like most fans who are only there during the glory times but when things dont go right…they become petulant and shoot their own favorite driver down.

              I also dont like bullies and people who continually pick on individuals and Hamilton certainly has recieved some nasty abuse – this makes me even more defensive of Lewis as I never side with bullies – I fight them instead.

              However the OTT levels of scrutiny on Lewis is also a big confirmation of Lewis’ massive status as the best F1 driver – senna went through it so has schumacher. And the following words were from another massive F1 legend….fangio on what makes a real racer:

              “There are those who keep out of mischief and there are the adventurers. Racers are adventurers – the more difficult something is the greater the attraction. He said this when talking with schumacher.

              As anthony davidson said on friday…its easy for people like us to sit back in our armchairs and critisize & call things in black and white…but if you were in that car you wouldnt even be able to keep it idling.

              Bottom line is that if Lewis was as bad as the haters say he is – then (A) why are they constantly needing to talk about him. & (B) why is he always the biggest news in F1??

              -Because he IS the best.

            2. I think alot of other fans tend to have alot of gripe with Hamilton fans as Hamilton fans except the positives AND also the negatives. They are not like most fans who are only there during the glory times but when things dont go right…they become petulant and shoot their own favorite driver down.

              That’s a poor attempt to bash fans of other drivers. Let’s face it, all drivers have similar proportions of “glory” fans and true fans.

    5. This is shaping up to be a good race.

      1. We’ll see if tyre strategy will throw up a few surprises. Any guesses?

    6. Much, much smaller gap than usual. Promising for Silverstone!

      1. The gap will be much bigger at Silverstone. This track does not suit the RB7.

      2. Last year RB had 4 tenths in Valencia and this year again.

        1. We will see. They seem a little tentative over the rule changes of late.

        2. But in the races it seems closer. Let’s hope for a lack of well-timed to mess up a real fight for podiums Safety Car this year, so we have talk about an on track battle between HAM and Alonso (for the lead, let Vettel have a flat or something) instead of punishment comparisons.

          1. I would love for Webber to be able to overtake Vettel soon and then Hamilton or Alonso getting good for a look in as well!

            Lets hope it will be the first really exiting Valencia race (I wanted to say memorable, but last year already was, but not for the best of reasons).

      3. If you look at the gaps from Qualifying last year and compare it with this year, it’s actually remarkably similar.

    7. Just over a tenth slower than my pole prediction… :( At least I picked the right guy this time! :P

      1. It was not *that* difficult to pick the right guy, was it?… :D

        1. Maybe not, but can’t you just let me be proud of myself? :P

          1. Oh, I’m sorry. Now where did I put that tub of ego polish? ;)

            1. I’m struggling to believe you’re French with such a grasp of the English language!

            2. Mon très cher, ça s’appelle être multilingue.
              My dearest, it’s called being multilingual.

              I even have online evidence of my rather not too poor British-ish accent. :)

            3. I even have online evidence of my rather not too poor British-ish accent.

              Well… Show us!

            4. This is getting so off topic…
              But here you go.

      2. I was 1.1 second faster on my estimate. But yeah, it just had to be Vettel again. Almost a safe bet.

    8. Oh, please!! Anyway I estimated pole time as 01:35.967 and it’s the closest ever I’ve made! in mind I hope Alonso pole but my brain chose Vettel. Instead I chose Alonso as winner. Go!

    9. It’s so annoying when only 8 drivers set a time to save tyres…anyone else cheesed off about it?!

      1. Pirelli is. They want to for anyone who does not set a time to start the race on the last set of tyres they qualified on. So Heidfeld and Sutil would have to start the race on their tyres from Q2.

        1. Good! Tactics are great if it means more or better action, not less.

          Although to be honest I’d rather they have unlimited tyres, numerous engines blowing up, waste left right and centre etc in the world’s fastest and most innovative formula like the old days but anyway…that’s an entirely different argument.

        2. Seems like a consistent idea. We want to see them on track. As long as the start-race-on-tyres-used-to-qualify stays, might as well have them starting on them even if that time was from Q2.

        3. I must say, that while I don’t like the starting on tyres from Q3 fastest time, this is consistent with it and would make really sense to get people to at least have a go.

      2. You can’t blame them for trying.

    10. utterly awful

    11. How come Vettel leaves the pits last?
      He’s got the best car and the best conditions (running last), why don’t McLaren or Ferrari send theri drivers after Vettel?

      1. It’s a matter of the amount of risk you take. If Vettel stays in but you don’t have at least a hot lap in, you could find yourself in the unfortunate position of not even being able to set a time should something happen on track since you’d been waiting to go out after him, for example.

        The drivers are not just fighting Vettel. They are also battling it out to be as close to the top as possible and everyone wants to make it to P2 if P1 appears out of reach.

      2. Only to make sure Mark doesn’t get pole.

    12. Vettel’s career percentage of pole position starts is now 5th highest of all time. There are some pretty illustrious names ahead of him.


      1. Most illuminating statistic – Most races before first win.

        Just goes to show what a difference a competitive car makes.

      2. stuart crooks
        25th June 2011, 17:23

        5 british guys on this list, shows that british drivers including lewis hamilton are the best in the world
        (or maybe just used to be with 5 germans in the top 10 this weekend)

        1. Talent is not a national characteristic, it just means that Brits were more involved in F1 than other nationalities.

    13. I think the mapping changes will take more effect during the race. should be good.

      high hopes for McLaren :)

      1. I think the mapping changes will take more effect during the race.

        I don’t think so. The ban prevents teams from running different engine maps in qualifying and the race. They run extreme maps in qualifying to get better lap times, but turn them down for the race because running those extreme maps for an extended period of time is dangerous and can damage the engine. So we won’t see any ripple effects in the race.

        1. just thought maybe red bull knowing they have the car for qualifying had the mapping swinging slightly more towards the qualifying setting just because it would be easier for them to defend from the front rather than fight from the back.. if you get me?

          1. They can still change the engine mapping from the cockpit though.

          2. No, because the difference between qualifying and race maps is extreme. The race maps will be as close to the limit as the teams will dare to run them; even if they only do twelve to fifteen laps on a higher setting, it can damage the engine.

        2. Who says that it is dangerous and can damage the engine? I highly doubt that it does. With limited engines I doubt that even for qualifying they would risk damaging the engine for a couple of tenths when they are ahead by more than enough not to use it, as we have seen today on a track that doesn’t suit the car. My bet would be that if it didn’t use a lot more fuel they would run the same mapping during the race.

          1. Also you, nor I, nor anybody that’s not an RBR mechanic know the details of what they are actually doing with the timing retardation so everything that is said about it is merely speculation.

          2. Who says that it is dangerous and can damage the engine? I highly doubt that it does.

            What other explanation do you have for it? If the most extreme engine maps are perfectly sae to run for extended periods, why don’t the teams run them for entire races, given the obvious advantages?

            1. Simple. Fuel. Renault said they used 10% more fuel in the race than they did the previous year in Australia running their race off throttle setup. Don’t really have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that it would take more than 10% fuel if they run the setup they run in Q3. I doubt the teams could even fit that much fuel in their cars.

            2. fullthrottle
              25th June 2011, 15:23

              My bet would be that if it didn’t use a lot more fuel they would run the same mapping during the race.

            3. PM,I believe it’s mainly because of excessive fuel consumption.

    14. 0.009 difference betwenn Micheal and Rosberg.
      i believe the time had come to start seeing Shumy in front of Rosberg.
      tomorrow its gonna be a tough race for everybody.
      I’m expecting Red Bull to have some bad luck, they cant have perfect races all the season!!!

      1. They haven’t had perfect races all season long, though, mind you… They even got some major pit stop issues in Monaco, if you remember.

        1. In a few months/years people will look back and think that vettels’s victories were easy, as he did not have to fight for them.

      2. Well MS mentioned he made a mistake on his lap so would have been faster but for that, ROS didn’t mention any mistakes he just said they were both where the car should be…

    15. Business as usual.

      1. boris the one-eyed chamois
        25th June 2011, 14:41

        Indeed. Same top 5 as last year…

    16. Pole for Vettel but they are not miles ahead like they were a few races ago. only .4 ahead of lewis instead of upto a second in Q3. Mapping hurt them but npt by enough to make a difference in position (as apposed to time).
      Looking forward to seeing Lewis get ahead in the race! (without touching anyone please!)

      1. Only .4 ahead :D:D

        .4 is enormous in F1 :-

    17. Button continues to dissapoint in qualifying.

      Recently though, it has been the only frustrating aspect of his driving during the weekend.

      I hope that overtaking is not impossible amongst the top cars at Valencia this year.

      Also hoping NOT to see a repeat of Australia where Button gets stuck behind a slow defensive Massa for half the race.

      Mclaren currently looks to be the only team capable of bringing the fight to the Red Bulls in races so hopefully Hamilton doesn’t crash out again and Button can get past both Ferrari’s before the gap to Vettel becomes too big.

      Basically then, lots of hope required for a Mclaren win tomorrow.

      1. fullthrottle
        25th June 2011, 15:29

        Also hoping NOT to see a repeat of Australia where Button gets stuck behind a slow defensive Massa for half the race.

        That’s my favorite battle from this year.

      2. Button continues to dissapoint in qualifying.

        I wouldn’t really call it a disappointment, but instead, I think Button starting on row 3 is kind of expected of him. Jenson isn’t capable of taking another pole position for the rest of his career.

        1. So long as Red Bull continue to dominate qualifying as they have been and Button isn’t driving for them, possibly at a stretch but the same could be said for all the other drivers, Hamilton included :D

          Otherwise I think that’s an incredibly harsh estimation of Button’s capabilities.

          1. Come on. Lewis took pole position in Canada last year, and Alonso managed to take 2 poles last year as well. I agree that the Red Bulls will dominate qualifying, but if there is a Mclaren driver to pull off a surprise pole position, it would definitely be Lewis.

            1. Yep, and Lewis appeared quite the qualifying speciallist before Vettel dominance, with 17 poles in his first 3 seasons. Button’s not had one for Mclaren, and only had 4 for Brawn.

    18. Congrats to Seb and Mark. Lewis put in a great job too and Massa was close to Fernando again. I hoped for maybe p3 for Ferrari but this is still good.

      Ferrari are annoyingly the life out of me with making the same mistakes over and over. They’re just burning through tyres for no reason it’s like they’ve forgotten that there’s been a change from Bridgestone. The track was improving every lap so why not just send Felipe out on a set of mediums or do an extra lap at the end of that run? They’re the oldest team in F1 they should be used to having to adapt.

      1. Old people are usually the ones least likely to adapt.

        1. Yes but you have to adapt to get old.

      2. It was a bit of a panick backstage, I think. Or Massa could have demanded those soft tyres (panick, again)…

        What RBR has over the other teams at the moment seems to be that sort of general confidence in each other and in their drivers. As evidenced this morning in FP3 when VET was told by his engineer sector 1 was his weak sector and immediately responded by going purple.
        Ferrari needs to find that magic glue to stick it all together. It’s not always as easy as it sounds as it’s also a human matter.

      3. As a critic of Massa, yes I have to say good job well done.

        Ferrari do seem a little clueless with strategy at the moment.

        1. I was hoping they would put Massa on the Medium compound tyre in Q3, just to diversify the strategy for Ferrari. Its not like Massa is going to have much of an impact in the race anyways, so might as well use him as a strategic experiment.

    19. Same top 5 as last year, hopefully Lewis can go one better and jump Seb as well as Mark this year.

      1. boris the one-eyed chamois
        25th June 2011, 14:55

        Everybody jumped Mark last year on those first few corners (he saved his jumping for later)

    20. c`mon people.the headline is broad and covers all the drivers,can people stop debating hamilton`s negative or positives etc.he`s only 26 yrs or so and we all do strange things when we are younger.let the young man be.he`s trying to entertain us.whether he`s doing it right or wrong at least give the man his due.he tries.

    21. Well, the engine mapping rule changes weren’t enough to stop RBR…

      Wonder what they’ll try next time? ;)

      1. Flexi-wing perhaps?

        1. I has been sad a few weeks ago, the RBR wing is is even stiffer then the ML or F front wing when the FIA tests it

          1. The wing load test is a flap test not a pitch test. The Redbull wing pitches forward. It doesn’t flap.

    22. I really like to see Webber to WIN tommorow!! coz I dislike Vettel,specially when he is on pole…for sure will point the finger or maybe after win the race,he will use words like full of bull to thank his mechanics,that make me sick!! Dont get me wrong…I’ve been following F1 since Prost-Senna 1988,but I never dislike or dont respect F1 champ like Vettel!!he just make me wanna puke….i go for Webber or Alonso for tomorrow…

      1. Vettel is dominating, but no need to hate the guy because his ‘finger’ celebration seems arrogant to you. He is a kid, what else would you expect a 24 year old to do?

        1. I see in the photo with this article Seb’s giving a “thumbs up” gesture. Next we’ll have people whining about this.

        2. Grow Up?

          He’s no kid, he’s 24, & you are treated as an adult by the law when you are 18.

          The (repeated) finger is just arrogant & rude, I was so glad to see Jenson doing it mockingly up on the podium with Vettel right beside him at Canada, especially as it was a Vettel mistake that handed Jenson the win… hahahaha karma is a real pain sometimes eh Vettel?

          1. I think you’re reading way too much into it. Maybe some people find Alonso’s hand gestures offensive, and others find might find Lewis’ constant Senna comparisons offensive. If you hear Vettel talk in interviews or press conferences, he defnitely sounds more humble than Lewis and Alonso.

          2. Vettel wins a race, so it can hardly be considered controversial when he celebrates in a manner that says that he finished first.

          3. I hope you were glad to see Vettel run away with another win, with Button absolutely nowhere! That’s karma.

    23. the fact is that redbull have more money than any other team and can throw vast resources at any problem. I also think they cheat. we have all seen the flexi wing and I am sure they have found a way to get past the mapping ban

      1. Maybe they dont need a qualifing mapping, Renault has said RBR is doing something else to generate downforce because they use the same engines

      2. Ferrari have the most money, mate. And Red Bull don’t have much more than Mclaren, who have a faster race car anyway.

        1. True, before Toyota left F1 it was them spending the most money (and not getting anything out of it) followed by Ferrari and McLaren a close 3rd

          1. Yep, and Honda and BMW (partnered with Williams and/or Sauber) were there or there-abouts too.

      3. While Red Bull do have one of the best budgets in F1 they most certainly do not have the biggest budget.

        Ferrari beats all other teams there by a country mile.

      4. Really, you saw them cheating with a flexiwing,better tell the FIA they apparently missed it.

    24. The New Pope
      25th June 2011, 16:03

      Just as long as Weebz doesn’t win, its cool.

      1. great contribution!

        Isn’t it the worldwide opinion that the previous Pope was better than the new one?

        1. The New Pope
          26th June 2011, 5:59

          Does that matter?

          1. not really its all a crock of old wives tales anyway… :-)

    25. Overall, no surprises. Although it was a great lap by Hamilton to jump both Ferraris!

      Thumbs up to the Red Bulls! Pretty pleased that Webbo managed to get close to Vettel but that last bit is still missing, Vettel is winning all of those 2 tenths in the first sector.

    26. Felipe Massa opted to do a run on soft tyres and ended up quickest of all as a result.

      When 10 minutes were left I said to myself it was useless for Massa to go out on the softs, and he would have finished 17th without using them, so I was right.

    27. Has anyone else noticed that the top 5 are in exactly the same positions on the grid as last year? Just a funny little observation.

      1. not just positions but the gaps are also pretty similar.

    28. Something is not right here
      Just wondering how possible it is to tinker with the timing transponders and gps unit in each car such that clock adjusts each time and sets or calculates the time using a predetermined formula for car crossing the finishing line.
      Such a program can be made to ensure a certain car Only appears on top.
      Can the computer nerds here come up with an explanation?
      otherwise why is it that some cars are hot on poll settings but poor on race pace?
      anyway just curious here and also sick of this redbull dominance. i imagine there is more than meets the eye. here..

      1. So you think the FIA might manipulating the times so that Red Bull will always be on top? What reason could they possibly have to do that?

        In any case, qualifying pace and race pace are two different things. In qualifying cars can be pushed to the limit, but in the race things like tyres, fuel, the engine, the gearbox etc all need to be conserved.

      2. Right, perhaps they are not really racing at all, it’s all a computer simulation from Bernies basement.

      3. Yeah, Vettel’s lap was clearly 15 minutes long.

    29. No surprises there then. No points for qualifying, however. First one to pass the chequered flag comes away with the big ‘W’. But I have a feeling that the Red Bull’s and the Ferrari’s will take all the places on the podium.

    30. Interesting to see Alonso’s strategy involving Lewis to cause mayhem at the start.

      1. LOL. I saw that too.. cheeky comment.

    31. Bit of an anti-climatic end to qualifying but impressive stuff from RBR.

      Really hope Alguersuari manages to pull something out of the bag like he did on Canada.

    32. US Williams Fan
      25th June 2011, 22:23

      I think that Adrian Sutil will have a good race…. we’ll see.

      This Red Bull dominance is getting a little boring… I didn’t start following F1 until after the “Schumacher Era” of dominance…. so don’t really know what its like to see one team or driver seem to have a hold early on in the season.

      Here’s to hoping that Lewis wins from 3rd and the Williams cars are in the points!

    33. I really don´t get all the Vettel hate. He is a good driver, there is no denying that. Who cares about how he celebrates, I care about how he drives, and this year he is superb. Like Coulthard said in Australia, Vettel, and Red Bull in general, have a new found confidence and steely nature that is just dominating the season. People expect RBR to make mistakes while all the other teams are making terrible ones. I don´t care if Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso, Button whoever wins. What´s important is that the best team overall will win, and one of the best drivers without doubt. If anyone doesn´t think Vettel is a good driver, they should see the end of the 2008 season, where he took Toro Rosso´s only win and pole position.

    34. I think Sutil should have run in Q3 as he would have started on the clean side of the track given the fact whatever lap time he would have posted,as this is a street circuit offline will be very dusty.

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