Chinese Grand Prix – Qualifying

Only a week after the Malaysian Grand Prix the circus moves to China.

Red Bull are still having problems with KERS; the team say MW most likely won’t have KERS in the race.

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
SP 1:38.295
JB 1:36.778
JA 1:36.156
LH 1:36.091
JB 1:35.924
SV 1:35.891
10mins left; only KK yet to set a time
SV 1:35.674
(KK on track … goes P5)
(PD P2)
3mins left; bottom 7 are VP, HK, JT, JD, TG, VL, NK
VP 1:35.370 … from P18, which relegates RB
(RB P8; MS=P18)
NR 1:35.272
Chequered flag
(MS P5; PM=P18)
(PM P15; MW=P18)
Wow, Webber out in Q1! Why didn’t Red Bull send him out on the softer tyre like Ferrari did?
Back of the grid will be: P18=MW, 19=HK, 20=JT, 21=JD, 22=TG, 23=VL, 24=NK
Fastest time in Q1 was NR’s 1:35.272 so the 107% cut off is 1:41.941, which means all 24 cars should be on the grid for the race.

Qualifying session 2 (Q2)
Replay of MW talking to the FIA official who manages the weighbridge – I guess he feels they held him up when he needed to be on track
JA 1:35.888
(SB P2)
(SV P3 on soft tyres but 2.5sec off JA’s time)
JB 1:34.662
LH 1:34.486
BBC report MW was checking if he needed to be weighed, not complaining
(SV P3)
3mins left; bottom 7 are SP, NR, RB, MS, KK, PM, NH* (*NH yet to set a time)
VP has stopped on track – that means VP will be in P10 because he won’t be able to get the car back to the pits in order to take part in Q3
Red flag with 2:02 left on the track
NH had just left the pits for his one flying lap, so he’ll be keen to be at the pit exit when the session restarts
Replay onboard with VP – looks like a gear problem just after he finished a lap
Marshals seem to be taking forever to move VP’s Renault off the track
Race control when Q2 will restart (about 90secs time) and there’s a stream of cars queueing up at the pit exit
SP is first back on track
Jockeying for position in order to get track position for the one flying lap
FA passes SP and heads the train
The only cars still in the pits are LH (P1), JB (2), SV (3), VP (4), SB (6) & JA (7) – the other 11 cars are all on track, pushing the cross the start line before the chequered flag falls
PD (at the back of the train) crosses the start line as the flag drops
NR is right behind SP, getting a tow down the straight
Some of the cars head for the pits as they decide they can’t / don’t need to improve on their times
So the middle of the grid will be: P11=AS, 12=SP, 13=KK, 14=MS, 15=RB, 16=NH, 17=PM

Qualifying session 3 (Q3)
VP will be P10; the remaining 9 will fight it out, including PD whose Force India sounded rough at the end of Q2 (It’s also his birthday!)
Just JB & SV on track; FA takes his gloves off – just 1 quick lap for the Ferrari?
JB 1:34.421
SV 1:33.706
(JA P3)
(SB P4)
2mins left; only 4 lap times so far
(PD P4)
Chequered flag
(FA P3)
(NR P3)
(FM P5)
(LH P3)
Front of the grid will be: P1=SV, 2=JB, 3=LH, 4=NR, 5=FA, 6=FM, 7=JA, 8=PD, 9=SB, 10=VP

Provisional grid: SV, JB, LH, NR, FA, FM, JA, PD, SB, VP, AS, SP, KK, MS, RB, NH, PM, MW, HK, JT, JD, TG, VL, NK.

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