Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Qualifying

The four Championship contenders topped the timings chart in final practice: Vettel was fastest, followed by Webber, Hamilton and Alonso.

The Red Bull team, already Constructors’ Champion, still say they have no team orders and are letting SV & MW battle it out, which could make for an easier victory for FA.

Air temperature 28°C, track 33°C, wind 4.3m/s, humidity 50% – no rain today, unlike on Friday!

The tyre compound options are medium (prime) and super-soft (option).

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Lights turn green and two Toro Rosso cars are first to leave the pits and head down into the tunnel under the track to emerge just before Turn 2
JA 1:43.428
(SB P2)
NHu 1:43.221
LH 1:41.245
(JB P2)
Pit-car from JB complaining of a massive vibration
(SV P3)
(RB P2)
FA 1:40.991
LH 1:40.743
10mins left of Q1; bottom 7 are BS, LdG, TG, CK, NR, RK & KK (although RK & KK have yet to set a time)
SV 1:40.617
LH 1:40.335
SV 1:40.318
(MW P3)
(FA P3)
FA 1:40.170
3mins left of Q1; bottom 7 are JA, JT, TG, HK, BS, LDG, CK
Front runners are in the pits
Chequered flag falls on Q1 – current laps will count, of course
The back of the grid will be: SB, JT, HK, TG, LdG, BS, CK

Qualifying session 2 (Q2)
The Ferraris are first out of the pit lane – they’re still on prime tyres
FM 1:40.906
FA 1:40.475
JB 1:40.267
AS runs wide in the final turn
10mins left of Q2; everyone bar NH on track
JB 1:40.156
LH ran wide in Turn 11
(MW P3)
SV 1:39.874
5mins left; bottom 7 are NHu, VL, AS, JA, KK, LH, NH
3mins left; LH has only set one lap time and it was terrible (after running wide) so he’s got to put in a good one
Pit-car from LH asking why he wasn’t warned that FM was closing on him – they almost came together as LH picked up his pace ready for a fast lap
The stewards will no doubt look into that incident, and that could mean a grid penalty for LH
(LH P2)
Chequered flag
(JB P2)
(MW P3)
(NR P3)
Middle of the grid will be: RK, KK, AS, NHe, NHu, VL, JA
RK was one of only 3 drivers who had been in every Q3 this season (the others being MW & SV) but now only the Red Bull drivers can claim that

Qualifying session 3 (Q3)
The battle for the top 10 grid spots is between JB, LH, MS, NR, SV, MW, FM, FA, RB & VP
RB is first to hit the track, followed by the McLarens and Ferraris
RB 1:41.092
JB 1:39.823
LH 1:39.582
(FA P3)
5mins left = halfway through Q3; order is LH, JB, FA, FM, RB – MS, NR, SV, MW & VP yet to set a time
(MW P6)
(NR P6)
(MS P8)
3mins left; no time from SV & VP
(MW P3)
SV 1:39.448
(MS P7)
(MW P4)
SV 1:39.394
1min left; order is SV, LH, JB, MW, FA, FM, MS, VP, RB, NR
FM barely squeaks over the line before the chequered flag falls so this lap will count
MW can’t improve on P4
LH doesn’t improve on P2
(FA P3)
Front of the grid: SV, LH, FA, JB, MW, FM, RB, MW, NR, VP

Provisional grid: SV, LH, FA, JB, MW, FM, RB, MW, NR, VP, RK, KK, AS, NHe, NHu, VL, JA, SB, JT, HK, TG, LdG, BS, CK
It’s going to be a great race tomorrow!

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