Red Bull continue complete qualifying dominance

Posted on May 8, 2010

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Red Bull have continued their complete domination of qualifying in 2010, Mark Webber taking the fifth consecutive pole position for the team with a scintillating 1m 19.995s lap.

The updates brought to the Spanish Grand Prix by Christian Horner’s outfit have ensured they remain the fastest car on the grid and both Red Bull drivers will be hoping to turn P1 and P2 on the grid into the team’s second win of the season. Based on history at the Circuit de Catalunya it’s tough to see anyone else having a chance tomorrow unless there is rain or a reliability issue.

McLaren haven’t done enough to catch up. Lewis Hamilton will be happy enough with third but Jenson Button will be frustrated to have come up just half a tenth behind the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. The championship leader is going to struggle to stay at the top of the table. He’s told the BBC the gap between Red Bull and McLaren is “massive” and he’s got to be concerned the Red Bull’s will disappear into the distance.

Michael Schumacher starts sixth after beating his teammate in a race session for the first time this year and it was great to see the wise old master pulling out of the garage last in Q3. The time didn’t materialise – Schumacher had a poor first sector – but he’s clearly in a better place in his head. Nico Rosberg must be furious Mercedes is building behind Schumacher.

Further down the field, Williams continue to have a frustrating season. Rubens Barrichello said the team have taken the new upgrades off the car because they weren’t working and he went out in Q1 anyway. Force India will be disappointed after Adrian Sutil failed to make Q3 for the first time this year. Kamui Kobayashi did well to make it into Q3 in his Sauber and it’s time for him to start looking like the driver who made such a sensational debut last year.

Timo Glock said publicly today his Virgin Racing team must make a step forward. Nick Wirth’s car is going backwards despite his faith in computational fluid dynamics. The massive rebuild needed to put a bigger fuel tank in made that inevitable and something needs to happen at the team. Hispania Racing are in a similar position with a car which is just not up to speed. Lotus are showing it is perfectly possible for these teams to run  professionally and to have useful development curve.

Ahead of tomorrow’s race, I’m going to tweak my prediction – I think Vettel will take the win, followed by Hamilton and Alonso.

FULL QUALIFYING RESULTS

Pos No Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 6 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:21.412 1:20.655 1:19.995 18
2 5 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:21.680 1:20.772 1:20.101 20
3 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.723 1:21.415 1:20.829 17
4 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:21.957 1:21.549 1:20.937 23
5 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.915 1:21.168 1:20.991 18
6 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:22.528 1:21.557 1:21.294 18
7 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1:22.488 1:21.599 1:21.353 16
8 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:22.419 1:21.867 1:21.408 22
9 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:22.564 1:21.841 1:21.585 24
10 23 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:22.577 1:21.725 1:21.984 20
11 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:22.628 1:21.985 17
12 22 Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:22.211 1:22.026 17
13 10 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:22.857 1:22.131 14
14 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:22.976 1:22.139 14
15 16 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:22.699 1:22.191 16
16 17 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:22.593 1:22.207 15
17 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:23.084 1:22.854 18
18 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:23.125 9
19 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:24.674 10
20 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:24.748 10
21 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:25.475 8
22 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:25.556 7
23 20 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:26.750 8
24 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:27.122 9
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