Red Bull ease to yet another pole position in Turkey

Posted on May 7, 2011


Red Bull have locked out the front row of the grid in Turkey with another dominant performance in qualifying.

Vettel has again made himself the firm favourite. Credit: Red Bull/Getty

World champion Sebastian Vettel was four tenths clear of his team mate Mark Webber, with third place man Nico Rosberg a further tenth adrift in his Mercedes. Neither Red Bull driver ran twice in Q3, potentially crucially saving an extra set of tyres.

Rosberg’s performance was the eye catching event of the day. They’ve clearly made a step in the three week break – Michael Schumacher has looked decent in practice this weekend and will start eigth tomorrow. They’ve amusingly added something called a “magic paddle” – by the sounds of it, something on the moveable rear wing.

I would expect the McLaren cars to go well from fourth and sixth. Both cars have shown good race pace and I think McLaren will have leaned more towards race strategy than outright qualifying place. Fernando Alonso could also be well placed in fifth, splitting the British cars.

We should see another interesting race. Turkey is a tough track on the cars, both tyres and engines. It looks to me there is a number of strategies up at the sharp end of the grid so hopefully we’ll see another lively race tomorrow.

Turkey was a highlight in 2010. Red Bull and McLaren were at the top of their game on pace and the race was ferocious – until the Red Bull drivers collided. Lewis Hamilton was the victor then and he’ll fancy his chances from fourth.

Further down the field, Williams will be pleased to see Rubens Barrichello in 10th after a difficult couple of weeks. The team has had an appalling start to the year and while this is not good enough, challenging for points will be a good return to business as usual after the upheaval and controversy on the staffing front.

Kamui Kobayashi is starting at the back with lots of brand new tyres. Assuming he can keep his nose clean at the start, the Japanese is excitement waiting to happen.

It’s hard to pick a winner at a circuit we know lots of people go well at. However, I think Vettel is unlikely to repeat the strategic errors we saw last time out – he only did one run in Q3 – and this is a race traditionally won from the front.