Chinese Grand Prix – Qualifying

Lots of news to catch up on – the diffuser decision and a few other tidbits.

Both Brawn GP drivers did well in practice, as did Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Jarno Trulli. (Fastest in all 3 sessions was JB @ 1:35.679)

Timo Glock has got a 5 grid-spot penalty for an engine change.

Qualifying session 1 (Q1):
First on track are Fisichella and Buemi, followed by Sutil, Rosberg and Bourdais
GF 1:39.502
SBu 1:38.394
NR 1:37.646
15mins of Q1 left
NR 1:37.518
(JT P2)
NR 1:37.513
SV 1:37.351
RB has aborted his first flying lap
JB 1:37.231
MW 1:37.100
FM 1:36.780
(FA P4)
SV 1:36.633
JB 1:36.578
(RB P3)
10mins left – yet to set a time are LH, RK, NH, HK
LH 1:36.381
(KR P2)
RB 1:36.374
HK is finally taking to the track
Replay of MW running wide into the gravel trap in the pit entrance – NR did it in practice earlier, and famously LH beached himself there 2 years ago
5mins left; bottom 5 are NR, TG, AS, GF, HK
(HK goes P7 on his first flying lap)
(NR P3)
3mins left; bottom 5 are JT, NH, TG, AS, GF
NR 1:35.941
(FM P2)
(TG P3)
1min left; bottom 5 are RK, JT, NH, AS, GF
(JT P4)
JB 1:35.533 – that’s faster than the best practice time
Chequered flag falls – remember drivers can finish their current lap
RK can’t improve on P16
SBo creeps up to P15
NH jumps to P12
The bottom 5 grid spots are: P16=SBo, 17=NP, 18=RK, 19=AS, 20=GF

Qualifying session 2 (Q2):
No-one’s rushing to start Q2
The two Williams cars are on track, followed by JB
KR on track … but moving very slowly – seems he was just leaving a gap
KN 1:36.193
NR 1:35.941
(JB P2)
NR 1:35.809
RB 1:35.784
MW 1:35.632
(LH P2)
5mins left; bottom 5 are TG, KN, SBu, HK, SV – HK & SV yet to set a time – HK is on track but SV hasn’t left the garage in Q2 yet
If SV doesn’t leave the pits soon, he’ll be in P15
3mins left; bottom 5 are JT, TG, KN, SBu, SV
SV finally leaves his garage with 2:25 left on the clock – he should get 1 timed lap
RB quite slow; lets teammate JB through
JB 1:35.556
Chequered flag falls on Q2
MW 1:35.173 – that’s a big lead over JB
FM is in the Ferrari garage, so he won’t improve on P12
SV 1:35.130
So the midfield grid spots are: P11=NH, 12=HK, 13=FM, 14=TG*, 15=KN
*Remember TG has a penalty for an engine change, so he’ll drop to P19

Qualifying session 3 (Q3):
FA, JT & NR are first out of the pit lane
Apparently FA’s team were working on his car until 5am (local time) fitting the new diffuser, which had been flown over in Flavio Briattore’s private plane!
NR 1:39.131
FA 1:37.586
(JT P2)
MW 1:37.188
(JB P2)
RB 1:37.146
5mins left; no times yet for LH, SBu, SV
BBC report that SV will only make 1 flying lap, which they suggest could mean he’s light on fuel, but it could be he’s saving tyres or there’s a problem with the car
3mins left
Everyone’s on track
LH seems to have a very hard setup – the McLaren is lifting a rear wheel
(NR P4)
(LH P7)
Chequered flag out for Q3
MW 1:36.466
(JB P2)
SV 1:36.184
(R P3)
(FA P2)
And that means SV has taken his 2nd ever pole and Red Bull Racing’s first
P1=SV, 2=FA, 3=MW, 4=RB, 5=JB, 6=JT, 7=NR, 8=KR, 9=LH, 10=SBu
That’s the top 3 positions for Renault engines

So the provisional grid is SV, FA, MW, RB, JB, JT, NR, KR, LH, SBu, NH, HK, FM, (TG*) KN, SB, NP, RK, AS, TG, GF
*TG’s engine penalty drops him from P14 to P19

The race starts at 3am EST (that’s 24 hours from now); I’ll be getting up to watch it – will you?

2 thoughts on “Chinese Grand Prix – Qualifying

  1. There is talk that Vettel may be penalised. On one of his in-laps, SV blocked Heikki Kovalainen hot’s lap. I’ve not seen anything official (on the FIA site or any of the news sites quoting the FIA) but many of the F1 sites have people asking if anything will happen.

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