After watching his teammate succeed at taking the fastest time in Friday practice, Mark Webber turned the tables in Saturday qualifying for Sunday's Formula One Grand Prix of Spain by recording a 1:19.995 best time for his second pole of the...
After watching his teammate succeed at taking the fastest time in Friday practice, Mark Webber turned the tables in Saturday qualifying for Sunday's Formula One Grand Prix of Spain by recording a 1:19.995 best time for his second pole of the season. That put both Red Bulls on the front row as Sebastian Vettel took second; McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who had the quickest time on Friday morning, was third.
"This pole is for the team," said Webber, "It was a sensational qualifying. (Team principal) Christian (Horner) said before qualifying that you probably won't get to drive a car like that around here very often so enjoy it. I did."
There were no big surprises in the first qualifying segment, as the newer teams, Hispania, Virgin Racing and Lotus all failed to advance any further. However, the biggest shock came in the next session, as 2009 runner up Rubens Barrichello could only manage a slow 1:23.125 on the Circuit de Catalunya, making this so far his worst qualifying performance in quite a while.
"The updates here in Spain simply have not worked," said Barrichello in a outspoken voice.
But while Barrichello was struggling in his Williams, the improvement of the day came in the form of the Sauber team, fresh with a new sponsor and upgrades. Pedro de la Rosa finished 12th in front of his home fans, and Kamui Kobyashi showed his best qualifying performance so far, with the Japanese advancing to the final session, but finishing with a time of 1:21:984, his best of the season, in tenth position.
After the final session ended, a total of five drivers were demoted five grid spots for tomorrow's start due to race infringements.
Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi of Virgin were found in violation of not notifying the FIA that they were going to change their gear ratios for the qualifying event, while Renault driver Vitaly Petrov , who crashed the previous day, had to change his gearbox, as well as Hispania's Karun Chandhok, who removed the same device on his car.
Fernando Alonso gave his home crowd a huge lift as he took fourth on the grid, while Jenson Button was satisfied with fifth place. Mercedes drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg were also in the top ten as both Germans finished sixth and eighth, respectively.
"The qualifying was easy but not perfect," stated the seven time World Champion. "But the car is simply suited to my needs."
Robert Kubica put his Renault between the two, taking seventh, while Felipe Massa had a relatively quiet qualifying period, finishing in ninth.
Considering that the Australian took his second pole of the season, Webber knows that Sunday's race could be even more challenging. "It is a good battle between both of us quite often," he said. "Seb has a great record, it is nice to get one the other way. It shows how well the team is working collectively as a group. "It is nice if you get it all together and get the result. We have a good long race tomorrow. I am happy with car in race situation. There are no points today so I am looking forward to tomorrow."