McLaren have a bad day behind rampaging Red Bull

Posted on July 10, 2010

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The Battle of Britain in Silverstone has failed to get off the ground after Red Bull locked out the front row for the fifth time in 2010.

Lewis Hamilton made the best of a bad day for McLaren. Credit: McLaren.com

Sebastian Vettel was unbeatable today and absent mechanical problems tomorrow I can’t see anyone else taking the chequered flag. Fernando Alonso may hope to split the Red Bulls from third but it seems unlikely.

But McLaren had a terrible day, with world champion Jenson Button failing to get out of Q2 and qualifying 14th. The team has some faint hope of a challenge after Lewis Hamilton qualified 4th but it is not what was in the script for the British Grand Prix.

The weekend has gone from bad to worse for McLaren after the new blown diffuser didn’t work yesterday.

But Red Bull are still so much faster than everyone else in the field. Were it not for the problems earlier in the season, the Milton Keynes-based squad would have run away with this season already and McLaren are fortunate to still be in the hunt.

Pedro de la Rosa and Sauber have made a good step forward. Credit: Sauber Motorsport

Having a bad weekend here will not be the end of McLaren’s 2010 challenge by any means but it will be a big blow. They had a genuine expectation that they could beat Red Bull on a type of track they faced a big disadvantage earlier in the season. But it was not to be.

Down the order, Nico Rosberg has comfortably beaten Michael Schumacher again to qualify fifth. Robert Kubica will be pleased to start sixth.

Heikki Kovaleinen's Lotus was further off the pack than usual today. Credit: Lotus Racing

Sauber look to have made a good step, with Pedro de la Rosa in Q3 and Kamui Kobayashi qualifying in 12th. Introducing versions of the f-duct and the blown diffuser seems to have really helped them.

The new teams were way off the pace today, further back than they have been for a while now. This is the sort of circuit which will hurt them because the average speed is so high and so dependent on the aero package.

Vettel should win from pole position and stands a chance of returning to the top of the standings.

FULL RESULTS:

Pos No Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 5 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:30.841 1:30.480 1:29.615 18
2 6 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:30.858 1:30.114 1:29.758 18
3 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:30.997 1:30.700 1:30.426 23
4 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:31.297 1:31.118 1:30.556 17
5 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:31.626 1:31.085 1:30.625 23
6 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1:31.680 1:31.344 1:31.040 22
7 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:31.313 1:31.010 1:31.172 26
8 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:31.424 1:31.126 1:31.175 20
9 22 Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:31.533 1:31.327 1:31.274 16
10 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:32.058 1:31.022 1:31.430 20
11 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:31.109 1:31.399 15
12 23 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:31.851 1:31.421 14
13 10 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:32.144 1:31.635 17
14 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:31.435 1:31.699 17
15 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:32.226 1:31.708 14
16 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:31.638 1:31.796 14
17 16 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:31.901 1:32.012 14
18 17 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:32.430 7
19 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:34.405 9
20 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:34.775 10
21 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:34.864 10
22 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:35.212 10
23 20 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:36.576 7
24 21 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1:36.968 9
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