Vettel takes third Valencia pole position in a row

2012 European Grand Prix qualifying

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Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton share the front row of the grid in Valencia as they did last time out in Canada.

But it was a disappointing qualifying session for Ferrari, with neither Fernando Alonso nor Felipe Massa reaching the top ten.


Marussia’s session hit a setback before qualifying had even begun: Timo Glock had been suffering from a stomach complaint all weekend and it ruled him out of competing.

Despite that Q1 still had a surprise in store. Mark Webber, who had been delayed by a technical fault in final practice, had further problems after returning to the track and failed to make the cut for Q2. A DRS glitch accounted for at least part of his troubles.

That gave Jean-Eric Vergne a chance to make it through but that was denied him by Heikki Kovalainen, who got the Caterham into Q2 once again, beating the Toro Rosso by over a tenth of a second.

Lewis Hamilton was fastest to begin with on medium tyres, though his mark was beaten by a succession of midfield drivers using the soft tyres to ensure their progression to the next stage of qualifying.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’40.203
19 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’40.395
20 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’40.457
21 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’42.171
22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’42.527
23 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’42.675
24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth


All the drivers bar the Ferraris and Kovalainen began Q2 on the soft tyres. Nico Rosberg led the first runners, following by Kimi Raikkonen and the two McLarens.

Ferrari’s medium tyre runs left their drivers outside the top ten. Fernando Alonso went sixth once he put the soft tyres on.

McLaren sat tight to begin with and finally sent their two drivers out for a second run as Paul di Resta jumped up to second in his Force India. Rosberg and Raikkonen remained in the pits.

All five of them made it in but as the others improved Ferrair found themselves under increased pressure. Grosjean’s last effort put him fastest of all and squeezed Alonso out of the top ten.

But the margin of defeat was incredibly small: Alonso was just four-thousandths of a second slower than tenth-place Kobayashi and 0.218s off Grosjean’s session-topping effort.

Felipe Massa made it both Ferraris out in Q2 and Michael Schumacher joined him, only able to manage 12th.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’38.707
12 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’38.770
13 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’38.780
14 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’39.207
15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.358
16 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’40.295
17 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’40.358


Vettel was not among the drivers who set times at the beginning of Q3. It was Rosberg who set the pace initially, followed by the two McLarens.

Like Vettel, Grosjean elected to do a single lap. His effort put him at the top of the times, despite a moment of oversteer at turn 13.

Maldonado also did a single effort and he beat Grosjean time to put the Williams ahead.

But Vettel’s time blew them both away by three-tenths of a second – more than the gap covering the entire top ten in Q2. Hamilton scraped into second by less than a tenth of a second from Maldonado.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner hailed Vettel’s effort as “probably his best lap this year”. Vettel claimed pole position for the third year in a row in Valencia – and goes into tomorrow’s race looking for his third consecutive win.

Top ten in Q3

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’38.086
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’38.410
3 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’38.475
4 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’38.505
5 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’38.513
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’38.623
7 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’38.741
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’38.752
9 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’38.801
10 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’38.992

2012 European Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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146 comments on “Vettel takes third Valencia pole position in a row”

  1. Great qualy. Very exciting… it’s getting closer and closer at every Q2 this year.

    So many dissapointmets though! I expected di Resta to be much higher than that!

    1. Agree, I think di Resta had the possibly of top 6 in him but didn’t deliver (braked too late in S3)
      Button messed up his Q3 as well after doing so well in Q1 and Q2.

      ~I think we’ll have our first double winner tomorrow, unless Grosjean can pull off something very special.

      1. Yes, disappointment for di Resta. He was lightning in Q1 and Q2 but one mistake in Q3, S3 made all the difference.

        Hopefully the Force India won’t have the tyre degredation problems they had in Canada and he can score some good points tomorrow.

    2. Agree, I think di Resta had possibly of top 6 in him but didn’t deliver (braked too late in S3)
      Button messed up his Q3 as well after doing so well in Q1 and Q2.

      ~I think we’ll have our first double winner tomorrow, unless Grosjean can pull off something very special.

      1. Or Kimi… Lotus generally look better in the race than in qualy, so maybe, JUST MAYBE, they could pull out a good one.

        In any case, I hope tomorrow’s race turns out to be a good one, instead of the usual snorefest at Valencia. Even if Vettel wins again… please, be it a good one! Maybe a couple of Safety Cars… or the complete track being destroyed by a meteorite… something like that would do good.

        1. Raikkonen generally look better in the race than in quali, Grosjean not.

        2. If Fer no.65 get his wish about the meteorite fulfilled, I hope it will be during the night, causing a minimum of casualties. But I agree that it would be a spectacular end to the “usual snorefest at Valencia”;-)

    3. @fer-no65 Certainly! Just as good as Q3 at times.

    4. @fer-no65 Had he improved his Q2 time by half a tenth in Q3, he’d have been 3rd!

  2. Q2 was amazing. I should say Q3 was also unbelievable when Vettel finds stunning 0.3 sec. but I expected more from Ferrari. They looked good but I think first run with the prime in Q2 spoiled it.

  3. Boy oh boy, I don’t like him, but Vettel’s lap was a masterpiece. I followed it onboard and like Horner said it was “inch perfect”.

    Hopefully it will be an interesting race tomorrow, but seeing as it is Valencia, I highly doubt it. Here’s for a Lotus 1-2.

    P.s. Did anyone notice the tyre graphic that came up when Gary Anderson spoke about possible tyre strategies??? It didn’t make any sense at all!! A couple numbers, a few tyres (indicating the strategy) but nothing explaining what it all meant!!

    1. I didn’t understand the tyre graphic either.
      I’m guessing that it showed 2-stop to be the fastest method, with the numbers underneath the yellow bars to be showing how much slower over a race distance it would be
      Am i correct?

      1. Yes @xjr15jaaag you are correct

    2. Theoretically its 38 second slower for a one stop than a two stop
      Two stops is the fastest.
      Three stops is something like 16 seconds (I forget the exact number) slower than two stops
      Four stops is not a good way to go, can’t remember how much slower.

      1. @xjr15jaaag @bbt Ahh thanks guys. I was dumbfounded, and I like to think I know a lot about F1. I wonder what the casual viewers thought it was?! It was more like an exercise in perception, than actually seeing the differences in strategies haha

  4. Glad to see the Hulk beat DIR. Shame they couldn’t both have been a bit higher up. Pretty poor from Ferrari, they must be looking to start on Mediums tomorrow and run a one stop.

    1. Paul out braked himself :-( in S3 he was looking good for the top 5 – 6 until that.

  5. Last year we often saw Red Bull’s performance margin increase between Q2 and Q3. I wonder if we’re seeing the return of that? 0.218s covered the top 11 in Q2, then Vettel’s ahead by 0.322s in Q3.

    1. Good point, I’d forgot about that, interesting thought.

    2. Precisely! My thought too. And they must have been sure they had something up the sleeve because they were waiting for the last four minutes to get out. It is very entertaining to see a dozen of drivers within couple of tenths. That’s the reason I wouldn’t like this to be the result of some artificial tool again!

    3. Not forgetting that mystery comment from Vettel on his in lap “We did the right thing boys” I believe it was? Whatever it was they didn’t do it to Webbers’ car.

      1. Horner said he made a small adjustment to his front wing before Q3.

        1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
          23rd June 2012, 15:11

          I think Horner may have made a small adjustment to Webber’s rear wing (with a hammer). :-)

          1. LOL, killed me with that one!

    4. Vettel is the best modern day qualifier, but Newey’s engine mapping has a lot to do with his Q3 advantage (in the last 3 years). The advantage he finds in Q3 is not matched at any other time in the weekend and certainly not in the race on Sunday – as it was in Montreal so it shall be in Valencia.

      1. The stopped switching engine maps between sessions last year, exactly at the same venue

        1. That’s the official position, but Newey has always found ways to circumvent the FIA restrictions. Vettel’s talent is undoubted, but if a Driver is .4 or 1 sec faster than another he should be able to keep that pace over race distance or will have shown it throughout the race weekend. Vettel does not show that even in the past years of red bull dominance we see his qualifying margins far out-strip his practice laps or race pace.

          1. Strange, had it been some other driver its always labelled as a superlative performance

          2. @miamibase
            No not at all. Qualifying pace has never equaled race pace, nor has the relative gap in qualifying been the same as the relative gap in the race.
            Lets start with the DRS.
            You can set the gear ratio to suit qualifying, i.e long gears to suit the low drag nature, or you can set it up so that the DRS only aids acceleration, but top speed stays the same with or without DRS.
            The short gear ratio will make it hard to overtake, but the car will accelerate like a bat out of hell with high fuel.
            Then there are the tyres, which has a narrow window of operation in terms of temperature.
            Then there is overall setup which can be good for a single lap, but you will risk overheating your tyres on long runs, or can be slow on one lap but maintain performance for longer. The trick is to find the right balance.
            Then there is the fuel consumption where a powerful engine will work good in qualifying, but if the fuel consumption is too high then it will only come to life at the end of the race. Albeit these days it isn’t that big a differentiator.
            Its about finding the balance in all this, both in terms of setup, but also the overall design of the car, also in terms of heat management both in the engine, KERS and brakes.
            A difference in qualifying advantage and race advantage can never be put down to something as simple as a trick engine map. The cars are a lot more alive then that.

          3. @Mads If we stick to the point of margin of increase between Q2 and Q3 you will find that, if everything you mentioned above regarding the car excludes engine mapping it will present itself across the Qualifying series and large parts of the practice series and also in parts during the race. Vettel’s qualifying margin in Q3 is so great that he cannot be a good driver for 99 percent of a race weekend then God like great for 1% of the weekend. If the margin is consistent then it’s all driver – he hooks it up metronomically. If he is there or thereabouts with the field all weekend then in Q3 finds half a second to a second consistently q3 after q3 like he does – then think engine mapping. Also engine mapping for qualifying was enhanced by Newey (and his crew of renegade engineers) all other engineers are playing catch-up in that space.

            @Karthikeyen – stick to the point of Keith’s tread margin increase – Vettel is exceptional because he has the ability to delver the half second to a second q3 margin when the car has been configured at that moment to produce that margin. His teammate does not do that consistently and therefore is not superlative. I am not tripped by the margin increase from Vettel because I know a qualifying package when I see one. But as stated earlier IMO he is the best modern day qualifier because consistently he gives the engineers exactly the return for the car given to him.

          4. @miamibase
            Yeah sure he improves a lot from Q2 to Q3, but what tells you that, that improvement isn’t just down to not pushing vs. pushing?
            Pretty much all drivers in the fast end will drive to target laptimes in Q1, to not push more then necessary. Vettel and others, are probably doing the same in Q2 if they feel that things are in the right place.
            That could easily explain that half a second he suddenly pulls out of nowhere.
            There is no need for him to push like a mad man and risk loosing the car or wrecking the tyres in Q2 if the car is fast enough to get him though.
            Basically everything above 10th in Q2 is a waste of tyres, but of cause to have a good margin in case others suddenly improve they are probably looking to be around top 5 with just a minute or so to go.
            Its in Q3 that it matters, so first there will he show his hand.
            There is no need for it to be trick engine maps, it can just be the way he likes to tackle a qualifying session.

      2. William Brierty
        23rd June 2012, 15:49

        Vettel is the best modern qualifier? I think you’re forgeting Hamilton, who dragged a car that is slower than the Red Bull, Lotus, Mercedes and Ferrari, to 2nd on the grid, and all the while wrestling to prevent the evil McLaren from locking its fronts. Vettel has simply been flattered by an excellent car, although it must be said that he is fantastically controlled whilst he is on the ragged edge, probably earning him the title of 2nd best qualifier.

        1. dragged a car that is slower than the Red Bull, Lotus, Mercedes and Ferrari, to 2nd on the grid

          Red Bull, yes. Lotus, maybe. Ferrari and Mercedes? No.

          1. Drop Valencia!
            28th June 2012, 12:42

            Keith, no way Hamiltons Macca was slower than Webber’s RB8 this session!

        2. You can say that again, mate.

          1. The Ferrari and Mercedes WERE better in practice than the MacLaren from what I noticed. Look where Button is. Hamilton DID a fantastic job dragging that lump of a car without any significant updates to the front row!

        3. I think you’re forgeting Hamilton, who dragged a car that is slower than the Red Bull, Lotus, Mercedes and Ferrari, to 2nd on the grid

          I’m surprised you didn’t mention Sauber, Williams and Force India. Clearly hamilton is getting so much out of a rubbish Mclaren.

          1. William Brierty
            23rd June 2012, 16:35

            Less of it. If you look at the onboards of the Ferrari and the Mercedes they don’t lock up at high speed everytime they touch the brakes, and none of their drivers had to fight in order to maintain momentum through the corner by feathering the throttle too early like the McLaren guys have to. The only reason that both McLaren drivers outqualified both Ferraris is because the Ferrari has an aversion to the soft tyre at this track, their medium tyre race pace was much better than McLaren’s. And I know you’re taking the biscuit, but if you look at the steering input of the Force India, it is MUCH more progessive than the McLaren’s. McLaren have been left behind in the development race, fundementally so, and they have brought what can only be described as a poor car to this weekend’s race. I think Button’s lap is quite representative of were McLaren are in terms of pace, but Hamilton’s lap is just insane. Throughout practice the gap between the McLaren drivers was minimal, but come Q3 it shoots up to 4/10ths, so I think that was one of Hamilton’s best laps of this year so far.

          2. I think you’re forgetting Hamilton, who dragged a car that is slower than the Red Bull, Lotus, Mercedes and Ferrari

            I’m surprised you didn’t mention Sauber, Williams and Force India. Clearly Hamilton is getting so much out of a rubbish Mclaren

            Have we been watching the same world championship? The Mclaren may not be the quickest round this particular cicuit (that title falls to Red Bull) as Keith correctly pointed out, but it is far from rubbish. You seem to have forgotten Hamilton’s what could fairly be called dominance of the race a fortnight ago, and the Mclaren being consistently one of the fastest cars throughout the season. The Ferrari & Mercedes have been particularly leisurely this weekend, along with the Sauber – and the Williams of Maldonado and the Force India’s weren’t exactly half a second faster (in actual fact I believe the Force India may have been slower in qualifying trim).
            And @william brierty, that is the definition of over-exaggeration. It hardly locked up every time they touched the brakes, and the reason the Ferrari/Mercedes driver’s “didn’t have to fight the car” (which is in itself largely untrue) is due to the fact that they simply weren’t able to push; their car just wasn’t quick enough. Nico Rosberg did very well to qualify that far up.

          3. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
            23rd June 2012, 17:35

            That is what separates Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel from the rest of the field. They’re the only drivers on the grid that can push a car beyond what was expected.

          4. Traverse Mark Senior & Max Jacobson – well said

          5. I’m clearly not too good at making sarcastic comments

          6. To be fair the last significant update to the Mclaren was the last time they were in Spain. Mclaren are losing ground quicker than a land-side. Yes OK, Hamilton won in Canada, but its one of his best tracks (and the others hit the self destruct Button (not J Button)), and lets not forget they started the season with a decent advantage.

            If I was Hamilton and Button I’d be a bit worried that they are currently losing the development race, which is normally Mclarens strong point.

            I agree with the point that Hamilton was second in a car that had no right being on the front row. Mclaren have at best the third fastest car and in my opnion after RBR, Lotus and Merc.

        4. It’s rather myopic to talk about how supposedly slow Mclaren are. They clearly have a very good car, and have had one for a long time.

          Vettel is the best modern day qualifier- 33 poles, including ones like today are nothing to argue with. LH has started 2nd for the 2nd race in succession, maybe he’s earner himself the title of 2nd best qualifier on the grid.

          1. @david a yh macca are very quick not have you watched this weekend vettel is a legend the stats spk for them selves but he’s had the biggest car advantage for years and his teammate is the great mark webber who could’nt finish 2nd in the champoinship last season look were button as been for 4 races ham is clearly outperforming the car vettel’s most impressive win in my oponion is bahrain this yr because the car wasn’t the quickest lotus was.and if you know f1 youd probably say fernando is the best well remember 2007 hamilton alo and vettel are all class acts but vettel’s teammates in f1 bourdais webber lol lol lol

          2. And apart from Alonso, Hamiton has to deal with Kovalainen and Button

          3. Yes they are all class acts. But at the same time, too many people give Vettel zero credit for his results, which have been great since his STR days.

          4. And Button is currently performing worse than Webber while Massa is worse than Button and Webber, so your Webber Bourdais thing falls flat.

        5. the McLaren slowest of the top 5 teams in Valencia? I don’t think so. Wasn’t Button fastest in FP3 when it’s all about set up for qualifying? Take Canada, and Hamilton was in the fastest car and looked a good bet to take pole. Vettel pulls out a monster lap in Canada and today in Valencia. And not by hundredths of a second, but by tenths.

          His 33 poles is not a fluke. I’d give Hamilton second best barely over Alonso. All 3 are quick and know how to put a complete lap together.

        6. nonsense. Yeah right the macca is slower than the Ferrari, the dauber, the Mercedes , the for e India, the Williams, etc. that’s why they have 4-5 pole positions this years. Tell me another joke!!! Now it seems that Hamilton is dragging a car that is more unstable than the Ferrari. Good one give me a break!! Stop over-exaggerating . Hamilton has had the fastest and the second fastest car this season. He has 3-4 pole position yet only one win because of him and be wise of the team’s mistakes. One thing is for sure. The red bulk and the macclaren Are the best cars out there and the most. Insistent in every racetrack. Something that cN’t. E say about the Ferrari. Yet Alonso is 2 points behind. The leader. Last but not least let’s not forget that this season is more about the tires than anything else. The red ill Nd the macclaren are good a taking care of the tyres but for tomorrow there are a few drivers that have more brand new set tyres than others like Lonsk that has 2 sets of super soft and a set of soft and vettel that has one set of super soft while Hamilton none. We will see who’s strategy will work the best. But my money is on the one that saved tyres because of the temperature Nd how fast the tyres especially the super soft are degrading. I think grosjean is the only driver with a realistic shot of taking the race from vettel. Hamilton will end up 4-6 . Mark my words.

          1. I advise you learn to spell.

      3. @mads I agree with you he is “not pushing – q2 vs pushing q3” – I just realised that the likes of Alonso, Hamilton, Schumacher, Raikkenon are thinking about their girl friends in many q3’s over the years that is why their own version of “pushing” results in .2 second increase in performance from q2.

        1. @miamibase
          I am not sure what you are telling me?
          Are you suggesting that they are not concentrating or what?
          In that case, then that is not what I am saying. I say that Vettel drives to what his car can deliver quite easily in Q1 and Q2 (if he isn’t in trouble) and then he gives it everything in Q3.
          The others might push more in Q2 and then only see a slight improvement in Q3, or they might not be able to find the same sort of pace that Vettel is.
          Or Vettel is driving a faster car and is just using less of it in Q2 compared to what the others are.
          Vettel is rarely the quickest in the two first qualifying sessions, but thats not because the car is slow (usually). Its because he is taking it easier.
          What I am saying is that it doesn’t have to be down to a tricks and cheats.
          It can just be a different approach to qualifying.

          1. @Mads it is not a trick or cheat. It is not a different qualifying approach either. It is a setting that is used in q3, which other teams are yet to establish. Vettel still struggles to overtake in races where his car has shown to be 1 sec faster than its nearest competitor in q3. We can go back and forth about how the car is setup for a race, but the elite drivers with a less than one second advantage in qualifying do not struggle like Vettel to overtake (especially in the new DRS era). A second is not something to sniff at so if Vettel was so quick in Montreal qualifying why did he not find a way to pass Alonso, just like hamiltion did in Montreal on new rubber after the first pit stop. The difference between Alonso and Vettle after q3 in Canada – .369; the difference between Alonso and Hamilton after q3 -.064 ; one could pass the other could follow and don’t tell me its engine power or DRS the margin from q3 needs to count for something if that is how the car is setup in q3 and remains in parc ferme.
            In races where the other guys have a faster car than redbull in qualifying in a dog fight situation they pass Vettel, so my point is the redbull is a car that is equal or a match for its competition, but in q3 the competition is not a match for redbull and only in q3.

          2. @miamibase
            Comparing one lap pace and overtake-ablity is like comparing one lap pace and race pace. Impossible.
            And you are again completely ignoring setup differences.
            If you look at Vettel’s gearing he is always short of Hamilton and Alonso, with or without DRS he wont be quicker because the top gear is too short. It works for laps in clean air, but for defending and attacking it is horrible. DRS on Vettel’s car basically doesn’t work. It increases acceleration, but top speed isn’t increased, thus making overtaking extremely hard down the straights.
            The Red Bull is faster in the corners, which is where it is usually very hard to overtake. His one lap pace might be great, but if he isn’t fast where its possible to overtake, then it doesn’t matter.
            And when has Vettel been 1 full second faster then anyone else? I don’t remember it.

    5. Same thoughts here. I’m afraid they’ve cracked it, but if Vettels fails to build a gap on Lewis early on with McLaren’s “now super fast pit stops” he will be beaten [LOL]

      1. @max are you being serious ham has been slow all wkend and puts his car were it shouldn’t be we all no your a fan of vettel who’s lap was great by the way,but just like canada vettel used his tyre’s up and was no were.
        look were button finished i think ham outperformed the car defo button’s looked quicker all wkend.Youre not suddenly thinking maldonado is better than hamilton now because if pastor is 3rd the williams must be 1 quick car macca are slow at this track

        1. Mclaren have the best car on the grid. Hamilton’s just been very unlucky, while Button is overrated.

  6. Dear Sauber,

    Please make use of Kobayashi’s starting position and give him a strategy to move up the field, not backwards. I’m a Kamui fan but I’m not blind, I have to admit that Pérez is beating him this year by quite a big margin, but sometimes I don’t get why Sauber split their strategies so much and why Kamui gets the short end of the deal. I really hope Kobayashi has a strong race tomorrow, maybe a 5th or 4th!

    1. Sometimes Sauber’s strategies seem self-defeatingly conservative, sometimes KK has no luck on his side (getting stuck in traffic, getting squeezed out after a good start like in Canada, or even getting hit).

      However, in this qualifying he managed to progress by lucky escapes: reach the top 17 in 16th position, the top 10 in 10th, then putting in a 7th as a last-gasp effort. So perhaps luck will favor him this weekend.

      1. reach the top 17 in 16th position

        I might be wrong, but it seemed to me that Kobayashi got through Q1 on the primes.

        Somes of Sauber’s strategies have been questionable. In Malaysia, if they pitted Kobayashi closer to when Perez pitted, he could have been at the top also. They also pitted Perez a lap too late later on in the race.

      2. Yeah, but it’s hard to talk about “luck” in a field this close. He was there in 10th while Pérez was 14th, and his time in Q3 was on softs while everyone around him was on softs, so I’d say he wasn’t that lucky to progress through qualifying :)

        1. By luck (and lucky escapes) I meant that he put in a quick lap early in each session, then sat out the rest, which could have gone either way in the end, with everyone around him frantically trying to improve.

  7. ….groan……sorry guys an gals, I know everyone loved qualy and so did i……dont want to put a damper on it but the same things many have been moaning about recently all over the forums are still in place and yes i know its still the same for everbody. DRS zone could be tricky to overtake in, but lets wait and see now Seb starts out front. #:)

  8. Sebastian vettel, a true legend of the sport!

    And still at the age of 24!

    1. Adrian Newey is the true Legend

      1. That’s like saying that the only reason for sennas success at mclaren was down to Gordon Murray, and that Senna had very little influence in the result. They are all legends: Vettel, newey, senna, and Murray

      2. RedBullaway!!!!
        23rd June 2012, 15:43

        I guess the Mass damper was the “true legend” for Alonso’s success eh Tifoso? That and the Michelin tyres etc..

    2. Vettel is only 24 yet has more pole positions than Nigel Mansell & now Alain Prost. Dare I say it that he may be able to beat Ayrton’s record?

      1. That’s simply because he has had the best car for the last 3 yrs and Webber is No.2 so should obey rules and grit his teeth as they focus all their attention on Seb’s car!

        1. I am so, so tired of this argument against Vettel, and I don’t even support him!

          If success in F1 was purely down to whoever has the best car then a Championship would not be needed. Have one test session, see who made the fastest car and give them the trophy.

          You can’t separate Vettel’s success from the car or the car’s speed from Vettel. He uses what he has to great effect. If you think that being fastest in quali or winning a race is simply due to having the fastest car then I don’t think you fully appreciate most of the things that make this sport so compelling.

          1. @colossal-squid – I couldn’t agree more with what you just said! Sure he has the fastest car, but unlike his teammate he has utilised it effectively and so has two world championships at age 24! Many seem to forget that in order to get into a top team you have to prove yourself worthy of driving for a top team, which he did when he won in a Toro Rosso in his first full season.

          2. To be fair, it is very rare that the a driver in the best car doesn’t win the championship, sad but true. After all there are two drivers in each team and both have to throw away the advantage.

            @colossal-squid: If success in F1 was purely down to whoever has the best car then a Championship would not be needed

            … has no validity at all. It the best car that wins the championship 9/10.

          3. ….so in your opinion it follow that the championship is not needed.

        2. @blackmamba
          Oh yeah, as Mansell was always driving rubbish cars. Especially the “2 sec a lap quicker then everything else” FW14B
          And don’t forget Senna’s useless and hateful MP4/4 and the MP4/5 oh and don’t forget the worst of all F1 cars, EVER! The MP4/6.
          But Vettel’s cars, yes they were miles more dominant then the cars above! Its a known fact that the RB7 actually qualified a whole minute ahead of everything else, the timing screens just can’t show sub 1 minute lap times, thats why it looked quite close at times.

      2. I’m pretty sure he willl surpass Senna’s and Schumacher’s record in qualifying

        1. as long as Adrian is still working with him

          1. Not necessarily; Ferrari and Mclaren don’t have Newey, and the last time, pre Red Bull, that a Newey car atually won a title was in 1999

      3. William Brierty
        23rd June 2012, 16:17

        A legend? Vettel is fast, yes, and certainly has a hopeful career ahead of him, but “legends” are drivers that win races and championships in cars that aren’t the fastest on track, like Alonso in 2005, Senna in 1991, Prost in 1986, Hamilton in 2008 and Hakkinen in 1999. Ever since the 2009 British Grand Prix Vettel has had undeniably the fastest car on track, of course excluding the first 3 races of this season. “Legends” are drivers that win against the odds, with mechanical issues like Senna in Brazil ’91, despite poor cars like Alonso’s 2008 Renault that earned him two wins and in spite of poor qualifying spots, like Button’s win from 14th at 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix. The lowest grid spot Vettel has ever won from is 3rd, at the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix, and he lead by the 1st corner anyway. I can think of only a handfull of Vettel wins that he has actually had any competition whatsoever, them being Spain ’11, Monaco ’11 and Bahrain ’12. So instead of Vettel, I think it more likely – Adrian Newey: A True Legend of Formula 1.

        1. Steady William Brierty, whoa there! Whoa! You are a true Formula 1 fan!!!

          1. William Brierty
            23rd June 2012, 16:44

            What do you mean?

          2. I really like your comment and share your views (sorry about the long winded exaggeration at the beginning).

        2. This is mostly garbage. So what if Vettel usually wins from the front? He starts from the front because he is a great qualifier. That’s why he took STR to pole. That’s why he set the record for most poles in a season. How do you win from the back when you put ytour car at or ahead of where it belongs? That’s why he is so high on the all-time list. Being consistently great is what makes you a legend, and Vettel is practically there. Oh and FYI, Hamilton, the legend in your blinkered view, never win from lower than 4th.

          And I don’t know where you got the idea that LH and FA won the title in cars that weren’t the best. The 05 Renault was the fastest car in the first half of the year, and far more reliable than Kimi’s Mclaren. The 08 Mclaren was equally fast as the Ferrari, but LH had no mechanical issues, compared to quite a few for the Ferraris. All Vettel did is what every champ does- make the best use of their machinery.

          1. @david
            take the blinkers off pal vettel as had the biggest car advantage in yrs also you lot make me laugh saying that vettel as made the advantage, just look at last yrs standings Mark webber is woeful no offense he’s been past it since 2010 that broke him even then he was lucky because vettel had so many mechanicals that year vettel as had no competiton really ask Fernando who he rates as the strongest challenger and he’ll say hamilton,did you watch 2007.i hope ham joins rbull or vettel goes to ferrari and we will see,ill gladly be proved wrong but plz look at last yr webber could’nt even get 2nd in the standings and had 1 win hamilton had 3 wins in his worst ever year in f1 in a much worse car i can only count on 1 hand the time’s mclaren were quicker than rbull canada,china,aus,nurburgring surely you get this.and this year webber has had 1 podium which was a good win in monaco but that’s it vettel and alo have had 3 and ham 4

          2. Woeful!!!!!!!!!!
            thatr’s ridiculous!!!!
            At monaco 2010, and Spain 2010, he was utterly dominant.
            Anyway, all the drivers are world-class drivers, as they have to be. You do’t get a superlicence for nothing.

          3. well have you watched f1 if he isnt woeful how come he won 1 race in the best car in history thats woeful and vettel gave im it ham won 3 in an inferior car in his worst year.if it want for webber the myth about vettel being the best would be sorted

          4. he just isn’t; a race win is a massive achievement. Some people might see it differently, but it is difficult to reach the pinnacle of performance, and then stay there.

          5. Red Bull themsekves believed the RB7 did not have such a great performance advantage as Vettel demonstrated. The Mclaren in 2011 was hardly a bad car when an underperforming driver took three wins, so if anything, the RB7/MP4-26 were closer in performance than the results showed. Therefore it is fair to say that while the RB7 may have been fast, SV won the championship in the manner he did because he was the best driver of that season.

            Yes, I did watch 2007, which to date is considered Hamilton’s best season. Doesn’t say much for his rate of progression does it?

          6. Also danclapp, best car in history? Exaggeration much?

  9. If things finish this way Hamilton and vettel could break away from the pack in the wdc table.

  10. *still remains speechless*

    That lap from Vettel must have been something perfect if you are going to go clear of the ever tightening field by half a second, after two sectors. I feel like it ruined the intensity of Q3 a little but nonetheless I must give a lot of credit to Vettel where it is due, Hamilton to break free of the field as well was perhaps damage limitation considering the gap between him and Button is just under 4 tenths but the latter is a further 9 positions down the grid, just incredible. Grosjean & Raikkonen lining up in P4 & P5 respectively for tomorrow’s race is a little bit disappointing on Lotus’ behalf but that just makes Vettel’s lap truly surprising but exceptional at the same time.

    It is early days to say that Caterham have joined the midfield but I have been watching them closely, particularly their times, in all free practice sessions, they have been genuinely quicker than Toro Rosso or Vettel, Alonso or Hamilton was driving a Caterham for both Q1 & Q2, Kovalainen’s qualifying performances especially have been great since joining Caterham (Formerly Team Lotus), F1 fanatics will know every race weekend when they watch the team, that Kovalainen is always getting the maximum out of that car & the net result is always encouraging. I’m really delighted that Caterham have made this step-forward, I suppose it was inevitable, Silverstone will be a better reflection of the car’s newly-found raw performance because maybe it is mainly due to the nature of Valencia, that has made the field so far this weekend closer than ever.

    Hopefully, the race hopefully will be something great compared to the previous races in Valencia Having mentioned the ever tightening field, If this is how qualifying is going to be for the remainder for the season then the uncertainty, the unpredictability of the season so far has just grown more substantially & we are really in the ‘Golden Era’, I have never ever seen a tighter field than this in my 3 years of watching this sport.

  11. Good qualifying session, really enjoyed it!

    Really disappointing from Ferrari but don’t they usually struggle in high temperatures? Not sure if that is the problem but I think that’s the case. Well, I say disappointing but as far as the stopwatch goes things are still very very close. Another respectable time from Massa with regards to Alonso.

    Vergne isn’t much of a qualifier so Kovalainen beating him isn’t that much of a surprise but to beat Ricciardo as well is cool. Good work from Caterham there.

    Good effort from FI, they delivered on their performance advantage. Pretty disappointed with Mercedes.

  12. I think we are definately seeing a qualifying resurgence from Sebastian Vettel & Red Bull, although the majority of the field is still largely unpredictable. Force India with two cars in the top ten, Ferrari falling back, Mercedes not performing particularly well, Button rediscovering some form…I for one hope that we begin to see some stability in the results soon.

    1. Max what kind of stability do you want? One car being faster than all the rest?
      We currently have the top 13 cars covered by just 0.3secs in Q2. Its unbelievable racing! Trully amazing and long may it continue.
      Surely you want to see every driver having to give absolute best on every lap and if they make a smalll mistake they are punished!
      For so many cars to be so close meaning that if any driver gets a perfect lap they are fastest is a fantastic spectical. Tomorrow we actually have the prospect of a terrific race in Valancia (although Jenson will probably be right) with the Lotuses looking like the best race car this weekend but down in p4 & 5. Id love Lewis to be the first 2 time winner this year but i really think Romain can make it happen tomorrow!
      The winner of the 2012 championship will be one of the greatest drivers of all time!

      1. What kind of stability do you want?

        The stability I want is so that the top teams can emerge as top teams, not so that a Sauber could realistically go into a weekend with a chance of winning. Don’t get me wrong, I like how tight the pack is, but there is a threshold wherein F1 remains a creditable racing series…if anyone can (and probably will) win it becomes slightly ridiculous. After all F1 isn’t GP2; it is as much about the team’s engineering prowess as driver skill, and if no one team can find a performance advantage then it rather defeats the purpose.

        1. @ Max
          The stability I want is so that the top teams can emerge as top teams, not so that a Sauber could realistically go into a weekend with a chance of winning.

          That is utter rubbish mate! So they might as well not bother turning up then, ha? Seriously astounded by that statement, and the only advice I can give you mate is to find some other sport to watch. I recommend the 100m men’s race in the olympics!

          1. @blackmamba – my point is that they could end up winning not on merit, but due to the fact that they’ve managed to switch on the tyres at that particular event. That is what allowed Williams to win in Spain. Sure they have a quick car, but not one which is likely to win the world championship: that likelihood falls to Red Bull/Mclaren/Lotus/Ferrari (the first two being the most likely in my opinion). By this point in the season a pattern should be emerging as to the likely order for the rest of the season; as of yet that hasn’t happened, be it Sauber or Red Bull.

        2. @vettel1 I do understand your point, and I partially agree with you, but I think the reason we’ve seen “other” teams be so competitive is because the top teams HAVEN’T been able to get the tyres working at certain races when the “other” teams have, rather than the “other” teams wandering into some fortune because they managed to get the tyres working with some seemingly blessed advantage.
          Hard to explain, but I’m sure sure you can see the merit in the fact that every team on that grid is there to be competitive. And if one “middle-order” team have engineered a set-up and a car to manage it’s tyres better at certain races and therefore have an advantage over a “front-running” team, then so be it. That is just highlighting the technical prowess of a team, just like you mentioned. I can see how you’re against instability but realistically apart from the four top teams you mentioned, there are only really another 2, maybe 3, teams that could win a race. The developmental disadvantage of those teams means there would have to be a large amount of luck involved in that, i.e. a lot of cars retiring or a good strategic fluke. And there’s nothing wrong with a Sauber or Force India winning a race or a Williams 1-2. Even though it may be contributing to upsetting the ‘hierarchy’ and historical integrity of the sport, it still creates excitement and a sense of chance that Formula One was missing for a long time. I’d rather see the middle-order drivers have a chance of realistically winning, and wouldn’t want the merit of their performance discredited just because a top order team couldn’t get their act together. Besides, cracks can form anywhere. And the pressure to maintain a front-running F1 team is bound to cause some.

  13. Vettel was untouchable… unfortunatelly. I think that kimi had the pace for second place, that last stint messed up his lap.

  14. I beleive Vettel got the life out of those tyres in that last lap, so he will struggle to contain Hamilton in the first few laps like in Canada.

    1. Not this time. He only used those tires for four laps including the in and out laps and he has a new set of options for the race. I don’t know what Lewis’s situation is with his options but I think he will have to drive his a@se off to beat Vettel tomorrow. A used set of options vs a new set in the last stint means he won’t be competative by the end of the race.

    2. I *believe Vettel *took the life out of those tyres in that last lap, so he will struggle to contain Hamilton in the first few laps like in Canada

      Canada & Valencia are completely different styles of track; Canada is a very fast circuit with not too many turns, Valencia is much slower and has many turns. The Red Bull relies on downforce to generate its pace through the corners, so this track will favour the RB8.
      Also, Vettel has a great record on this track, and with a heavily updated Red Bull that record doesn’t look set to change. He has been fairly consistent during the long runs and to the best of my knowledge hasn’t suffered from tyre degradation problems.
      In all honesty I think it’ll be Hamilton that’ll come under pressure from the Lotus’ of Räikkonen & Grosjean; they have great pace and favour these warmer conditions – both drivers could try a two-stop strategy and jump Hamilton in the pits or overtake him legitimately on track.

      1. max you say that but bahrain and canada are similar,ham was bad in bahrain but in canada hunted vettel down,vettel even had to pit first and vettel couldnt stay with hamilton and alonso in canada after 1st stint and it was hot.
        If you look at the gap in qually in canada and valencia,its the same gap so i would not rule hamilton out at all.I agree lotuses are favs well grosjean is but i think vettel and hamilton could do an extra stop than them and beat them not every race will be like canada cuz its real hot i think if lotuses do 1 less stop they will be under threat at the end.i hope vettel and ham can get good points cuz alonso is 11th its a good oppertunity i think.may the best man win.

        1. @danclap – Bahrain & Canada similar? The track layouts may bear a slight resemblance in that they both have a mixture of fast straights & slow corners, but climactic conditions can be drastically different and also Sakhir is a permanent racing facility, unlike Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.
          In general, Mclaren were uncompetitive in Bahrain, not so in Canada. I am not ruling out Hamilton for tomorrow’s race but as was proven in Bahrain the RB8 & the E20 favour warmer ambient temperatures; the Lotus especially having great race pace. Primarily this is a very twisty circuit which requires good downforce & traction; the later Mclaren appear to be lacking. I believe that because of that Vettel will be able to pull away and prevent degradation through wheel spin & lock-ups.
          He does have the advantage of track position however, and there is a Williams to contend with between Hamilton and the pair of Lotuses. With this circuit being notoriously difficult to overtake in (rather unlike Canada) Hamilton may mantain his position, although most likely in my opinion behind Vettel.

  15. I’m starting to believe that Williams, don’t work on Senna’s car as much as they do on Maldonado’s, or Senna’s just outright slow compared to his team mate. I could be wrong though.

    1. I still maintain that missing out on FP1 (especially when Bottas has a different enough driving style as to have been pointed out) is only hurting him as well, but there’s nothing to be done for that. He showed very good pace in FP2 and FP3, but the middle sector seemed to catch him out on both quick laps in quali.

      1. It certainly does not help Senna get the best out of the car @leucocrystal, a bit of a shame, as I would really like to be able to see Bruno show what he’s got.

        1. Same. I’m also at a loss as to the team’s strategy, now they’ve come out and said they changed Bruno’s setup for quali to focus more on the race/saving tires. If it were any other track but Valencia, I could see the point, but here it’s essentially giving up a chance to really fight for points. Considering Sauber just jumped them in the constructor’s standings (and Force India may be poised to soon do the same), it strikes me as a pretty backwards strategy.

  16. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
    23rd June 2012, 15:08

    I loved watching Luca Di Montezemolo’s disgust at Ferrari’s lacklustre performance.

    1. @tmcs88 this must have been awkward for Pat Fry.

      1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
        23rd June 2012, 15:44

        @icemangrins Indeed. Also, I can’t work out whether Massa raised is game or if Alonso under performed?.

        1. Massa raised his game but I don’t think Alonso underperformed. I think Ferrari happened to both of them, this weekend. That and the Pirelli-induced cramming in the midfield in Q2.

          1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
            23rd June 2012, 17:22

            Pirelli-induced cramming in the midfield in Q2

            It was amazing that there was only 2 tenths separating p1 & p13.

          2. I have no problem with it. Not so sure about Ferrari though. :)

          3. Watch the qualifying again. Alonso did just a few laps in comparion to massa, vettel , Hamilton , etc. that is why he has a few sets of brand new tyres at his disposal for the race while drivers like massa and Hamilton does not.

        2. he has a few sets of brand new tyres at his disposal for the race

          I’m sorry but I don’t see how that’s gonna turn out to be an advantage for him in Valencia. Ok, I admit, pitting him at the right moment combined with two stints on fresh options might gain him a couple of extra track positions but that’s it. I still don’t see how he could climb higher than 5th – if he’s lucky.

          Remember, we’re dealing with a track where it’s almost impossible to overtake and where a good quali session combined with a fairly quick car can sort out half the job for you.

          If he deliberately chose to save tyres…I still think pushing for Q3 and maybe a 5th or 6th position on the grid would have been a much better idea. Imho.

    2. There’s something in Di Montezemolo’s manner that would make me as a Ferrari employee kind of freeze, or at least feel very awkward in his presence.

      1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
        23rd June 2012, 15:48

        Something Vampire(ish)…….Maybe?

  17. Well, it was a great qualifying session! Very close, and although I’d have liked to see JB up near the front, I knew that the McLarens wouldn’t be quite as competitive. That being said, Hamilton did a great job for second, but I think he’ll fall back in the race. I fully expect the Lotuses to have a very strong race, and will be the only cars that will be capable of Vettel becoming the second winner this year. It’ll also be interesting to see the pace of the Force India compared to that of the Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari in the race, to see if they’re capable of maintaining the form that has been hinted at in practice.

  18. What a lap from Vettel. The qualimaster is back. Royal Flush.

    1. Oh, I guess you haven’t heard: Newey did that lap. ;-)

      1. He did it with the extra weight of Newey onboard????

        1. Actually LOlL’d at that! :-D

  19. If Grosjean doesnt crash on the first lap like a few times, he will get a podium, i predicted a RAI, VET,GRO as top 3

    1. i think gro will be so desperate not to crash that he in the end will crash again :)
      but i hope not cos it could get nasty for all cars behind-no runoffs

  20. That was a very good qualifying, I have to say I’m a tiny bit disappointed with Vettel’s pole position when I was expecting a bit more from the likes of Lotus, Force India and Williams. I still think that in the race, Grosjean will be a serious contender if he doesn’t total his car on the first lap.

  21. My guess was Pole: Vettel, time: 1:38.123 – only 0.04 off. But I’m amazed over this close field. But my prediction of Button finishing second in the race and Alonso finishing in 4th, doesn’t seem very smart right now. As Fer no.65 I hope for either an exiting Valencia race – or a meteorite;-)

  22. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
    23rd June 2012, 16:33

    The last time there was a international football tournament on (World Cup 2010), Vettel won the Valencia GP, Hamilton finished second, Germany won their first knock out game and England lost our first. Also a goal was disallowed (even though it clearly crossed the line).

      1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
        23rd June 2012, 21:59

        admittedly my comment is pointless, unless England lose, Vettel wins and Hamilton finishes Second.

        1. f1tooslownowadays
          24th June 2012, 1:28

          I hope you’re not correct but I’ve a funny feeling you will be…

  23. Were is @Tetelo the ferrari fan who since canad has been very quiet he always say’s ham is slow and that he chews tyres etc where are you know,hamiltons had 4 podiums this season the only person to do so. It would be 5 if not for spain i think hams driving better than ever look at button quicker all weekend than hamilton gets 2nd come crunch time ham wins same as people saying webber as done well really he has 1 podium which was a win at monaco but still alo and vettel av had 3 and ham 4 the cream always rises to the top.

    1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
      23rd June 2012, 16:44

      I think @Tetelo is baking up a tasty, scrumptious, gooey humble pie. :-)

    2. Who’s Tetelo? I haven’t seen him around here…

      But yeah, I agree about those three drivers being the cream.

  24. I think Kimi’s changes to win or at least make it to podium look pretty good. He is starting from the clean side of the track, which should be an advantage in Valencia. Kimi also has unused set of option tires, unlike anyone else in TOP-5. It’s gonna be hot day tomorrow, which should suit Lotuses well. Lotus’ pace looked competent in long stints they practiced at Friday free practices.
    If he gets at least decent start to race it will look good for him.

    1. *chances

      1. He doesn’t have a set of unused options.

        He had 2 sets going into q3, and had 2 runs… so he’s used all three. The benefit is that he probably has 2 slightly fresher sets than the majority of the rest of the grid.

        Rosberg is in the same boat.

        Everyone else, including Vettel, used softs in Q1, and Q2, and then used the third set in Q3.

        Vettel may have aligned himself with Rosberg / Kimi’s tyre advantage, by not doing a run on scrubbed Options in Q3, and just doing the one run at the end…

        1. actually Vettel used 2 sets of options in Q2. Webber needed to use an option tire in Q1 because his DRS wasn’t working.

        2. I don’t think they changed tires for him during Q3. He used the same set for both flying laps in Q3 and saved one set for tomorrow.

  25. Non-sensical quali session if anything, but…I’m gonna face it. I’m more excited than I ever thought I would be in anticipation of a Valencian Grand Prix. Having Webber, Alonso, Massa, Schumacher and Perez starting in the pack can only make things more interesting as I’m expecting all of them to drive like madmen and take risks with both overtaking and strategies tomorrow.

    At the front, if Lotus up their game we’re in for a treat. Otherwise…this is Vettel’s race from start to finish, imho. I wouldn’t trust Hamilton with delivering a brilliant drive here, despite his good quali lap. Maldonado seems doomed to drop back and the Force Indias made too much of a mess out of Q3 to be podium contenders anymore.

    Of, course, all this is just one theory. I’ve learned not to take anything for granted this season.

    Oh, and biggles to Kovalainen for P16. Well earned for Catheram and, may I say: “finally!”

  26. Paul di Resta & Nico Hülkenberg on podium, asking to much, it possible

  27. @PrisonerMonkey – I forgot to reply to your post in the earlier thread. Care to comment now? I believe my assumption was well justified. I like being realistic.

  28. Rosberg found his last run of Q3 compromised when he was held up behind Hamilton – who had been driving slowly in the final sector of the lap to try and build himself a good buffer to the cars ahead of him.

    Hamilton managed to deliver a lap that secured him second on the grid, while Rosberg was left ruing what might have been – as he was left down in P6 with the time from his first run.

    Speaking about how much Hamilton’s situation had cost him, Rosberg said: “It had a big impact. But that’s beside the point really. The point is that there is a rule, stating very clearly that you are not allowed to slow down in those last couple of corners unnecessarily. That is the rule, it is very clear, because it is dangerous.

    “In this case, me and [Pastor] Maldonado were arriving flat out, and Lewis was driving extremely slowly all of a sudden. It’s just a very dangerous situation, and that’s what the rule is there for.

    “At the same time, as a side point, it did ruin my lap because I started the lap stuck behind him.”

    Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn believes that Rosberg had had the potential to be fighting for a front row start if he had got a clean run on that final lap.

    “Nico had a good balance and was looking as if he could challenge for the front row,” he said. “And he got caught up with Lewis.

    “He had Maldonado behind him so he was conscious of making sure he gave Maldonado clearance to finish his lap, and Lewis backed him up into Maldonado. So that was the end of our qualifying.”

    McLaren confirmed on Saturday evening that Hamilton had been summoned to see the stewards to discuss the matter.

    Rosberg found his last run of Q3 compromised when he was held up behind Hamilton – who had been driving slowly in the final sector of the lap to try and build himself a good buffer to the cars ahead of him.

    Hamilton managed to deliver a lap that secured him second on the grid, while Rosberg was left ruing what might have been – as he was left down in P6 with the time from his first run.

    Speaking about how much Hamilton’s situation had cost him, Rosberg said: “It had a big impact. But that’s beside the point really. The point is that there is a rule, stating very clearly that you are not allowed to slow down in those last couple of corners unnecessarily. That is the rule, it is very clear, because it is dangerous.

    “In this case, me and [Pastor] Maldonado were arriving flat out, and Lewis was driving extremely slowly all of a sudden. It’s just a very dangerous situation, and that’s what the rule is there for.

    “At the same time, as a side point, it did ruin my lap because I started the lap stuck behind him.”

    Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn believes that Rosberg had had the potential to be fighting for a front row start if he had got a clean run on that final lap.

    “Nico had a good balance and was looking as if he could challenge for the front row,” he said. “And he got caught up with Lewis.

    “He had Maldonado behind him so he was conscious of making sure he gave Maldonado clearance to finish his lap, and Lewis backed him up into Maldonado. So that was the end of our qualifying.”

    McLaren confirmed on Saturday evening that Hamilton had been summoned to see the stewards to discuss the matter.

  29. Thn the flexi wings, the blown diffuser, the whole in the diffuser, the brakes, the engine maps? Are the reason for vettel’s success. And the Ferrari designs stole by ( they had a competitive car the following two seasons), the f-duct, and all the time hamilton’s has broken the law whether he was penilized or not.

  30. Nonsense to all the hamilton’s fans that are saying that vettel will have to be very careful of Hamilton. Let’s be real here. Hamilton used more set is tyres than many of the top 15 drivers. Alonso save three set of 2ss and 1 soft, massa saved some and vettel saved 1ss , while Hamilton did not. So in reality it is Hamilton who has to be very careful of Maldonado , grosjean, etc. this race is for vettel’s to win and lose.

  31. Honestly, I’m disappointed by this. We had a really good fight on our hands with half a dozen drivers all challenging for pole … and then Vettel shows up, does one lap, and takes pole by four-tenths of a second. It just doesn’t seem fair.

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