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Webber makes it a pole hat trick in Turkish Grand Prix qualifying
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Webber makes it a pole hat trick in Turkish Grand Prix qualifying
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 May 2010   |  1:29 pm GMT  |  122 comments

Mark Webber’s incredible momentum continued in Istanbul with his third pole position in a row, his fourth of the season.


It continued the clean sweep of seven pole positions from seven races for Red Bull, but they were under real pressure today from the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton, who split the dark blue cars in qualifying, setting a time just 15/100ths of a second slower than Webber. It was a great result for McLaren, for whom Jenson Button qualified fourth.

“You always try to push the car a little bit faster,” said Hamilton. “We were able to put together a good lap, I couldn’t have asked for more. These guys (Red Bull) have been untouchable on pure pace, so its a real boost for me and my team to know we have good baseline pace and the race pace is even better.”

Sebastian Vettel finished behind Hamilton and went straight on in Turn 1 on his final lap, losing 8/10ths in the process.

He had been fastest in Q1 and Q2, but then a problem with a roll bar linkage emerged in Q3, which lost him a chance of pole.

“The inside front kept on locking, ” said Vettel. “The car didn’t seem to stop I went straight. Then same thing on scodn run. First lap when I hit the brakes, I lost abilty to stop car, inside wheel didn’t do its job properly. It’s a bit frustrating, we were on top in Q1 and Q2.”

But the session saw another mistake by Fernando Alonso, which meant that his missed the cut for the top ten shoot out and starts the race in 12th place on the grid. On Ferrari’s 800th Grand Prix celebration weekend, this was an uncomfortable moment. Alonso said that the Ferrari wasn’t competitive and that his mistake was not the reason he missed the cut, he was already not on target to get through and was having to push to catch up.

“Saturday has been one of my strongest point,’ said Alonso. “I stay calm. We weren’t quick enough, it was very on the limit. We were 12th and we deserve it. I pushed very hard in that lap.”

Red Bull mechanics fitted new parts right up to the final moments before qualifying, illustrating how tight the fight is becoming. The temperatures were much higher in the session than they had been in the morning session and some drivers preferred the hard tyre over the soft.

In the first part of qualifying the usual suspects from the three new teams were eliminated, with Jarno Trulli the fastest in the Lotus. Lucas di Grassi, despite several attempts, could not beat the Hispania of Bruno Senna. Hispania split with chassis partner Dallara this week, as the car has not been developed since the start of the season. From now on the car will be developed by HRT’s own engineers under a team headed by Geoff Willis.

Also eliminated at this early stage was Tonio Liuzzi, for the 2nd time this season. He was a second slower than team mate Adrian Sutil and although they had different specification cars, with Sutil choosing not to use the new drag reducing rear wing for qualifying, Liuzzi’s drive must now be under pressure from reserve driver Paul di Resta. That said, consistency seems to be his biggest problem as he has also been in Q3 twice.

In quali two the margins were very tight between the front runners, with Vettel only a few hundredths ahead of Hamilton. After the first runs, both Alonso and Rosberg found themselves outside the top ten after the first runs.

The Ferrari was struggling on the soft tyres and on his second run Alonso made a mistake in the final sector. He needed to do an extra lap but he didn’t make it. Another expensive mistake for Ferrari’s new driver. Felipe Massa in contrast managed to get through, four tenths faster than Alonso. But it wasn’t a great session for Ferrari and even Istanbul specialist Massa could only manage 8th.

It was another poor session for the Williams team, who didn’t look fast all weekend, having been forced to go back to the old specification front wing after the problems in Monaco.

Kobayashi made it through to Q3 for the third time this season, but had used up many sets of tyres in getting there so he only did one run in Q3.

Meanwhile Michael Schumacher’s rehabilitation into Formula 1 took another step forward as he again outqualified his team mate Nico Rosberg. The pair line up fifth and sixth on the grid.

After the first runs in Q3, Hamilton was ahead of Vettel and Button, but Mark Webber took provisional pole with two tenths over Hamilton.

Vettel’s problem at Turn 1 left the door open for Webber who found another two tenths. But he was pressured by Lewis Hamilton all the way and the McLaren with its straight line speed advantage will pose a major threat in the race tomorrow.

Make sure to follow all the Tweets from teams, drivers and media during tomorrow’s race on our Live Tweets site. It also runs between sessions with goings on and news from the Paddock. JA Tweets Site

Turkish Grand Prix Qualifying

1. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:27.500 1:26.818 1:26.295
2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:27.667 1:27.013 1:26.433
3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:27.067 1:26.729 1:26.760
4. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:27.555 1:27.277 1:26.781
5. Schumacher Mercedes 1:27.756 1:27.438 1:26.857
6. Rosberg Mercedes 1:27.649 1:27.141 1:26.952
7. Kubica Renault 1:27.766 1:27.426 1:27.039
8. Massa Ferrari 1:27.993 1:27.200 1:27.082
9. Petrov Renault 1:27.620 1:27.387 1:27.430
10. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:28.158 1:27.434 1:28.122
11. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:27.951 1:27.525
12. Alonso Ferrari 1:27.857 1:27.612
13. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1:28.147 1:27.879
14. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:28.534 1:28.273
15. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:28.336 1:28.392
16. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:28.460 1:28.540
17. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:28.227 1:28.841
18. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:28.958
19. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:30.237
20. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:30.519
21. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:30.744
22. Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:31.266
23. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:31.989
24. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:32.060

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122 Comments
  1. Steve McGill says:

    I noticed Jenson started complaining immediately after, while Hammy stayed truly positive. Think they’ve taken a big step forward to red bull, particularly if their race pace form continues. Nice to see Mercs form improve but have Ferrari dropped that far back really?!? There must be some intra team tensions going off surely…

    1. madjon88 says:

      I think Jenson was entitled to tart “complaining immediately afterwards” as his last lap was ruined by the yellow flags for Schumachers spin. Especially as he had just done a personal best in the first sector, and would have got third and possibly challenged Hamilton.

      1. Eric says:

        Of course, however, his first sector was the slowest of the top four.

        And don’t worry, I’m more a Button than a Lewis guy.

      2. Steve McGill says:

        I was referring more to the car set up

      3. madjon88 says:

        That wasn’t really complaining, more admiting that he got it abit wrong.

    2. mmt says:

      so he had a perfectly valid reason why he didn’t set a time on his final run and apparently this is ‘complaining’ these days…

    3. Cliff says:

      There was no complaint, he pointed out that he lifted off because because of a yellow flag following MS running wide at T8. He just decided to abort the lap!

      The least you can do is state the facts.

      1. Steve McGill says:

        I was referring to him complaining about his car setup. That he decided on. Immaterial as it all turns out. I think he showed complete disrepect to the McLaren team today.

  2. Mar says:

    Yet again Webber got it because Vettel had problems.

    And yet again Button fanatics will not mention his ‘raw pace’ anymore now on Saturday he was again beaten by Hamilton. It seems to them the practice is more important.

    Vettel wins the race….if yet again he won’t get technical problems.

    1. BeenDun says:

      How many races has Hamilton won this year? Button?

      1. Phil says:

        How many times has Button done this on the track versus via lucky calls?

      2. miso says:

        Twice. He did actually have to drive well enough to make those risky calls work.

      3. Prof Bolshaviks says:

        Who was it that said, “the more I practice the luckier I get”?

      4. Amritraj says:

        What was lucky about those calls? Button read the condition better than Hamilton and took those calls. I don’t think there was any element of luck involved because Hamilton could have done the same as well. And if the roles were reveresed, would we dub Hamilton as lucky ?

      5. Phil says:

        Well, I guess I’m just going to have to disagree with the lot of you – one was a good drive, and one was because he’d just gotten overtaken by his team mate so rolled the dice.

        What the lot of you are unwilling to acknowledge is that both of those drives revolved around changeable conditions and luck in the conditions turning out as desired at the time. Maybe he’d make a great weatherman, but head to head beyond all the b.s. he’s shown to be unable to compete with Lewis *on the track*.

  3. Liam says:

    Can’t see any reason why this race won’t be a McLaren 1-2… Hamilton 1st, Button 2nd and Webber 3rd provided he has no reliability issues!

    1. A.K. says:

      Can’t see any reason it wont be a RB one-two either.

      1. Liam says:

        I can, it’s called stalling the rear wing on a straight… Plus McLarens race pace is as strong as red bull on this kind of circuit.

      2. A.K. says:

        Yes but will he be close enough going into the straight to make a pass, that is the question?

        He could easily get jumped by Vettel at the start, as he’s on the dirtier line and then lose tenths on the all important Turn 8 that feeds into the back straights area.

        If he’s two or three tenths behind going into the back straight, the slipstream is not going to work so well.

    2. Paul says:

      i can see you are in dreamland we all wish otherwise but either hamilton bins it as usual or redbull wins so its a win win situation for redbull i would mostly tip button

  4. Brace says:

    So i suppose Vettel gets new chassis for the next race?

    1. Lame says:

      Brakes broke, what do you Vettel haters expect? With failing brakes to get pole by a 2 second margin?

      1. Prof Bolshaviks says:

        Yeah, no brakes. He should be flat out through all corners nothing to slow him down :-)

  5. Tomek says:

    I must say that I am a little bit disappointed that you didn’t write even half a word about performance of Renault. For two reasons mainly:
    - firstly – Kubica outqualified both Ferraris
    - secondly – for the first time both drivers made it into q3 and moreover, Petrov looked pretty strong so the gap between them wasn’t that big.

    I’ve got also one question – do the drivers that made it into q3 have to start the race on the exactly same set of tires or just on the same compound? My question is asked mainly due to Schumacher’s mistakie in turn 8. If his tires are damaged, will he nevertheless need to start the race on them or can the team change them, as long as it is the same compound? It should be exactly the same compund, right?

    1. James Allen says:

      The very set on which they set their grid time

    2. S.J.M says:

      Someone needs to correct me if im wrong, but they start on the set of tyres they got the quickest lap in, I believe. So if Schumacher did his fastest in another set of tyres, he’l change to those otherwise its not a good start to the weekend for him.

    3. williams4ever says:

      @Tomek – Good catch!! I guess people are “too busy” playing Gods with careers of Drivers and there are more important topics to stress upon e.g. this report and BBC coverage of Luizzi, Alonso, Senna resting neck, Di-Resta Promotion.

      Renault’s strong showing is of no help as it cannot help execute “agenda”

  6. Kenny says:

    Great performance by Webber. Can’t wait for the race. Fingers crossed for a hat trick!! :)

  7. Rev says:

    Did Massa have to back off because of Schumi running wide at 8????

    1. Proesterchen says:

      Only Button was behind Schumacher on the last lap, so he was the only possible victim of the spin and ensuing yellow flag zone.

  8. S.J.M says:

    One of, if not the closest “Dry” qualifying days this season, and Im hoping it gets closer in future races as we can see the chances of more then just 2 cars fighting it out for P1.

    Credit to Hamilton & Mclaren for pushing it today and getting on the front row, Lewis must surely fancy his chances in getting to the 1st corner in front of the pack? Shame that Button’s run happened with a Yellow flag. I’l admit i feared tomorrow’s race would be a Redbull led precession, but Im now optimistic that it can be a good race.

  9. Mickha says:

    Sector 2. superior speed for redbull. .4 sec faster than other drivers. looking forward tmr.

    James, any issue for Shumacher’s tomorrow race in terms of his spin?

    1. James Allen says:

      No, he didn’t set his time on those tyres

      1. A.K. says:

        But what would happen if he HAD set his time on those tyres and they were unusable for the race?

      2. Owen.C says:

        I’m not fully sure on this but since the tyres were broken and dangerous he is allowed to change them. Same as Vettel can change the suspension because it broke.

  10. Edgas Mutute says:

    Good result for Mclaren. Definitly Mclaren is the second force in the grid. Iam very happy, because today we can see that the gap betwen Red Bull and Mclaren is a litle bit comparing to Monaco and Spanish.
    Att: Guys sorry my english is not so good because i live in Angola so here we speak Portuguese.

    Thanks for evrybody.

  11. Malcom says:

    Absolute brilliant performance by Hamilton, and hopefully Red Bull’s complete domination of qualifying is over.

  12. Edgas Mutute says:

    James do you believe that is possible in normall condition tomorrow Mclaren winning??

    1. James Allen says:

      I think it’s possible for Hamilton to pass Webber on the straight, maybe, but he’d have to get a good exit from the corner which is tough with Red Bull’s downforce level. If Webber makes a mistake, Hamilton has the speed to pass him then it might get interesting

  13. Liam says:

    Hi James,
    I seemed to notice some ‘un-pleasantness’ between the two Red Bull boys (Webber & Vettel) during the post-qualifying press conference. Did you notice this at all? Or rather, do you think there is anything to make out of this? Sebastian has, to me, quite obviously shown his frustrations- do you think there is a possibility of some infighting beginning at the Red Bull camp?

    Cheers, Liam

    1. James Allen says:

      THere was some little exchange over the order they went out, but I don’t think it was unpleasantness. Vettel wasn’t happy that he’d had the braking issue, whatever that was caused by.

      1. Jeff Doununder says:

        Vettel’s comment “It’s a bit frustrating, we were on top in Q1 and Q2″ was telling, given he wasn’t on top overall; I assume he is referring to the two Red Bulls.

        Could there be an issue with how he uses his brakes? This seems to be his 4th brake-related problem this year. Or maybe he’s somehow inherited Webber’s bad luck!

        Fingers crossed for a good race, and if I’m really lucky, another Aussie win!

      2. Dave Roberts says:

        I think the press conference simply reflected the difference in one guy who is enjoying his luck of form against another guy who is generally considered the quicker driver who is having a run of bad luck.

        Whilst I don’t particularly like Vettel I think he is a fair sportsman. But it must be galling for him to see Webber who he eclipsed last year make such strong performances.

      3. James Allen says:

        I agree with that

      4. Amritraj says:

        This is the 1st season in which Webber has a truly competitive car under him. Last year, the RB was a very good car but slow speed tracks and tracks like Monza were their Achilles heel. Plus, Webber was even close to 100% post his horrific accident. His physical fitness did contribute to Vettel dominating him in 2009.

        Vettel has a huge fight at his hands with Webber this year. It will not be easy.

    2. Andrew Myers says:

      I think Vettel was just disappointed in his result full stop. I don’t really think it was directed at Mark though.

      It looks like he had reason to be disappointed too. Like he said – fastest in Q1 and Q2, then what appears to be a problem with the brakes locking compromised his Q3.

      I actually have enjoyed watching Sebastian in the press conference in Spain after the brake issues he had there again today. He showed his frustrations but managed a smile about it too.

      1. A.K. says:

        He was 4 tenths up going into the last sector on his first run in Q3 and then stuffed the last three turns… no wonder he was frustrated as the pole position was in sight

      2. tylau says:

        There was definitely some tension & animosity between the two Red Bull drivers! Look at their body language. Webber was questioning the order of leaving the pits in Q3(it sounded as if it was his turn to leave the pits later & hence get the best timed lap before the end of Q3 session) & Vettel looked as if he had been accused of doing something unsporting …. rolling his eyes in disgust during the accusation in the post race interviews!

  14. michael says:

    So, what exactly happened to the Red Bull qualifying dominance? We were made to believe that this track is made for Red Bulls strength. Have they been caught out?

    Also, is Lewis now beating Jenson through and through Or, is it just expected that he qualifies ahead of Jenson? So far no comments anywhere on that matter compared to Jensons early successes. Was Mansell correct in arguing that Lewis is just manufactured?

    2mrw
    HAM
    MSC
    ROS

    1. Prof Bolshaviks says:

      I don’t think he argued Lewis was manufactured. I think he was referring to his path to formula 1 being made easy. Possibly because Lewis is super and made it look easy, maybe because uncle Ron has a lot of money and a lot of influence.
      I think Nigel meant that it has all come a bit easy, lewis has always won the championships he entered, but he always walked into the best teams.
      Not Lewis’ fault, but I think Nigel doesn’t feel Lewis has paid his dues yet.

      1. Phil says:

        I like Mansell, but that just smacks of bitterness.

        It’s getting really tired and old, the worlds not a utopia of exactly equal opportunities. Deal with it. Lewis got the opportunity, made the best of it, and proved he deserved the drive.

        There is zero chance that Lewis will move into a crap team to make those people happy who think that he has not ‘had it easy’. And, so they will continue to bemoan this, and ignore all his achievements.

        This being the case, says far more about the people who focus on this, than it does about Lewis.

        And, I’d also hazard to guess, that in any case, they know little about Lewis’s life or the sacrifices he or his family had to make to get where he is.

        What is left, then, that Lewis maybe had it hard, but not as hard as others…. Pathetic.

    2. senzo says:

      yes Button is being beaten through and through
      as it would have been expected, his early success
      this season has been down to luck he hasn’t
      ONCE dominated lewis over a race weekend.

      The point made about lewis by Nigel is
      100 per cent true, he was basically nursed into
      his f1 career and spent a large part of his teens
      sitting in a Mclaren simulator which enabled him to
      acclamatise to a f1 car quietly behind the scenes
      under no pressure what so ever, which is why
      he has had the kind of start he’s had in the sport

      1. PeteJ says:

        What do you think motivated Ron Dennis to part with his money and back Lewis to start with? – pure raw talent, and the balls (a 10 year old) to approach him.

  15. Jon says:

    Very good laps by Hamilton and Webber.

    I love in F1 when results go against the hype. Webber is one. Button was one last year (and Rubens to an extent who also won some races). Vettel was unlucky in Q3 but what about Alonso? Massa wouldn’t get away with that, without getting a big bollocking in the press and everyone’s perceptions. Another mistake for Alonso, which adds up to a long list.

    The Alonso that shocked me was the 2005-2006 Alonso that was near faultless. One error in Canada 2005 and two scruffy races in Hockenheim and Indy 2006, other then that he was perfect. It’s clear now that looking back he had special combination with Michelin grooves and also those Renault cars. He hasn’t been as dominant ever since, and we mustn’t forget that was with a hopeless teammate and strong number 1 status.

    Now that team orders and favourtism aren’t used as much anymore, combined with the regulations always changing.. it brings all the drivers onto a level playing field. They are all human and vulnerable to errors.

    The hype for Hamilton, Alonso, Kimi etc. Kimi faded. Alonso is fading. Hamilton is still strong. They are all good drivers, I am only saying that they don’t deserve this tag of “clearly better then the rest”. The top 10 drivers in F1 are all very close. Their machinery is the biggest factor.

    We also must not forget that when Schumacher and Alonso were dominating, their cars were so fast that they would have a bad day and still be 3rd or 4th. Now they have a bad day and they are 8th or 12.

    McLaren will be very hard to beat in Canada and virtually unbeatable in Monza.

    Go Webber prove the doubters wrong.

    1. Jon says:

      Saying “Alonso could well have overtaken Vettel in Bahrain even without his engine problem” is an example of the perception I am talking about. That is words, but the facts from the other races say differently, because it’s virtually impossible to overtake cars even if you are 5 tenths quicker.

      The drivers job is to maximise the machinery they have under them. Alonso isn’t doing that in the last two races, despite driving what he called in the winter, the best car he has ever driven.

      I am not saying to bash Alonso repeatedly and say he is crap, I am saying to treat all drivers equally in terms of the perception of their ability, and all of the factors that account for results etc.

      1. Prof Bolshaviks says:

        Where would be the fun in that? Then F1 is reduced to a technical exercise and it becomes souless.
        I agree Alonso “could” well have passed Vettel. Note the importance of “could” not “would”. I think in most cases drivers don’t drop back three seconds to bide their time for a final ten lap assault. Afterwards they can say that is what they were doing, but noone will ever know.

  16. Azz from OZ says:

    GO WEBBERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR..

    Vettel had a good sook again in the press conference!!

    1. Lame says:

      Only time Webber is faster is when Vettel has a mechanical problem. Fact.

      1. Prof Bolshaviks says:

        Only time Vettel has a mechanical problem is when Webber is faster. Fact.

      2. Martin says:

        That might be a bit extreme, but the cracked chassis was self-inflicted, unlike the spark plug failure.

      3. Steve Earle says:

        Fact????? are you for real? Didn’t you watch Bahrain and the Oz gp this year?

  17. mael says:

    I found it interesting that in the post qualy conference that Webber said it was supposed to be his turn to go out last for the final fast lap and Vettel smirked.

    I think Webber is in Vettels head and he is going to try anything including going against team plans to get one up on his team mate.

    It’s getting interesting race fans.

    1. murray says:

      Yep. There’s some mind games going on both sides of that garage.

  18. Andrew Myers says:

    Definitely a qualifying I enjoyed as an Aussie McLaren fan. Always good to see Webber doing well, and a great result for Lewis as well.

    In terms of the new teams, HRT will be happy to have a Virgin car behind them on the grid. Did di Grassi have any excuses?

    And Kobayashi showed a glimpse of last season’s brilliance again too. Sauber can hopefully start to get some reliability.

    And Alonso – another major oops there.

    1. David says:

      To be fair to Alonso I think he really was trying to salvage something from a worrying situation for Ferrari – they’re clearly starting to drift away from RBR and McLaren at a critical part of the season and are now being sucked into a ‘third team’ battle with Mercedes and Renault (!!). Imagine how that feels, having spent a lot of time in a useless lump of a car at Renault only for Petrov and Kubica to be up ahead of him on the grid. Ouch.

      The season’s hotting up in team mate battle terms. Webber and Vettel getting a bit tense, Button starting to look hassled by his inability to keep up with Lewis in terms of pace. Schu and Nico now evened up (thanks to a Ross Brawn help out for the former). The quiet enigma is Massa. Has he lost his edge after his crash and with Alonso’s arrival, or will he start to close the gap and even eventually outperform Fred as he did with Kimi?

      1. swayze says:

        Well said David agree with every word.

    2. TM says:

      On the Kobayashi front; I didn’t understand something Brundle eluded to in his commentary; I think (unless I misheard) something like “I’m becoming more and more cynical about Kobayashi’s great performances in the Toyota last year”.

      What did he mean? Sort of sounds like he was insinuating Kobayashi had some extra help in his drives last year. Anyone have any ideas?

      1. Lame says:

        It was a lame comment by Brundle. I want to see him drive that dog of a car Sauber has and see where he finishes with his big mouth.

      2. swayze says:

        Both Brundle and Coultard had to eat humble pie on the BBC as they both predicted that he would go out in q1

      3. Paul Kirk says:

        I agree, Lame, Brundle is quick to criticise and I don’t personally enjoy his style!!!
        Actually, I quite like Damon Hill’s commentry style. (Last year).
        PK.

      4. Steve W says:

        Was glad to see both Kobayashi and Petrov get into the top 10 after the unfair criticism both were given in BBC’s build up. Both have done well in their rookie seasons, and in the case of Kobayashi, he hasn’t exactly had a great car so far this season, yet is making a habit of dragging it into the top 10.

  19. Steve W says:

    I’m shocked at the performance of Ferrari. Where has all that speed gone that they had at the start of the season?!

    1. James Allen says:

      And particularly in testing.

      1. Sandeep says:

        I guess the MYTH that ALONSO is the most “complete driver” has been finally proved wrong

      1. Martin says:

        No. Ferrari were doing long runs that were very impressive and this was backed up Bahrain where it was about even with Red Bull in race pace. The answer is in the rate the other four big teams (I’m including Renault) have been able to add downforce.

    2. FemiA says:

      If a team has depth in talents along with required resources as Ferrari obviously does and still don’t do well, the issues are usually with the management. If there are internal issues between teams, drivers, power struggle at any level, poor communication e.t.c, all these are still managment problems.

      1. Ben Miller says:

        I see Ferrari really struggling to come to terms with the new regulations still, ie no testing mid season in particular. With their test tracks, they were able to manufacture parts and have them on the car and on the track in no time at all. That gave them an advantage and something MS has struggled to adjust to with Mercedes in the current format.

        From what I understand Ferrari had quite an outdated wind tunnel (correct me if im wrong) and only recently added a top spec simulator. With the regulations how they are, they penalise a team like Ferrari more, than perhaps a Mclaren with a state of the art HQ or Red Bull with a genius like Newey at the helm.

        Ferrari once had an advantage with the old regs but now theres a levelling of the playing field, whether its right or wrong Ferrari just need to adapt quicker. Whether they are being out developed or not getting the cars set up, they need to sort it out soon … I hope they do as F1 needs a competitive Ferrari, and Mclaren competing with the RB’s.

  20. Foobar says:

    Just one question: What has happened to Ferrari?

    More specifically, where are the benefits Alonso was s’posed to bring to the team?

    1. Lame says:

      They went with Flavio, the cheater.

      Alonso is a better than average driver yes (because he is a well balanced driver strong in many areas), but people seem to forget he won 2 championships with a car that was later labeled ‘illegal’. He won 1 race at Renault because of Flavio’s scheme (which Alonso knew about, at least if he wasn’t a complete idiot) and one other race with luck.

      Now we are seeing what Alonos is really like. A good driver but not the best….unless he gets ‘help’ from people who bend the rules.

    2. TM says:

      Yeah 6 tenths of benefits! Lol

    3. Sandeep says:

      looks like alonso forgot his .7sec back at renault!!
      and all that stuff of alonso being a driver who develops a car better than anybody is complete hogwash!!

  21. sixtenths says:

    Just hours ago I was despondent, expecting another RBR Whitewash with their devastating Quali speed, and a processional race, tedious Championship.

    It seems McLaren have closed the gap and we might actually have a real Championship battle on our hands.

    Everybody with money on Lewis for the WDC is suddenly sitting a lot happier and F1 may well have had a lucky escape.

    1. Lame says:

      If vettel didnt have the brake problem he would be ahead 2 tenths of Webber, and Mclaren benefits from the long straights where they win up to 5 tenths (!) per lap.

      So Mclaren is still way behind RBR, its just this track and Vettel’s problems that mke it look like it is close.

      If anything, RBR made a huge step forward yet again…

  22. Roadslave says:

    Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi oi oi!!!

  23. TM says:

    Perhaps ‘for the good of the sport and especially the fans’, pole shootout should now be the top 12 drivers!
    LOL!

    1. paddy says:

      Good one.hahaha Go Webber Go.

  24. bones says:

    James in case Vettel’s car has a brake problem,which can cause him a big accident,is the team allowed to fix it now?

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes, they can replace damaged parts in parc ferme. A sheet goes out at around 1pm with the list of parts that have been changed

  25. mugerwa francis says:

    The problems that ferrari have now is I think domenicali and his team bse since he took over ferrari have been in a steep decline even kimis championship was a fluke and I think I speak for many ferrari fans wen I say we need new people up there if we are to regain our standing.for gods sake we forgave him last season not again we are tired.

    1. Andy says:

      Kimi’s championship came with Todt in charge still, so things really have been getting worse since Todt left.

      1. Alberto Dietz says:

        Exactly. And now it’s Forza Felipe time all over again. Bye Fred.

  26. Rafael says:

    I am a big Alonso fan, but I have to admit even I am disappointed with him after this. He’s beginning to remind me of Michael Schumacer during his early years with Ferrari (late 90′s) and of Juan Pablo Montoya: High potential, yet extremely vulnerable and mistake prone. Fernando certainly looks more vulnerable now than he did back in the McLaren days.

    1. mo says:

      care to remind us of the countless mistakes schumacher used to make in the late 90′s with ferrari?

      as far as i’m aware he was fighting drivers in mclarens/williams’ in far superior cars and beating them, taking championships to the wire.

      don’t see much mistakes happening there?

      1. Prof Bolshaviks says:

        He hit the wrong part of Villeneuve in Jerez.
        Should have made sure.

  27. mugerwa francis says:

    The problem that ferrari have is stefano domenicali and his engineers they are not innovative hence they are producing stupid slow cars I think am not alone in demanding that ferrari change and bring in new innovative bosses enough is enough.

  28. Ammo says:

    I’m worried about Lewis’ tyre management skills: thinking about this year so far and ’07 his tyre failed plus in ’08 he had to run a 3 stop strategy to ensure the tyres lasted.

    1. Phil says:

      You’ve got to remember that the drivers are constantly learning and adapting, just as anyone does in their jobs.

      To assume automatically that because early in his career he had some tire management problems in a few races that he therefore will have them now ignores the possibility (and I’d argue probability) that he has changed and improved on tire management. These guys are not stupid.

      1. Ammo says:

        I could not agree with you more as Lewis is only in his 4th season, but I’m sure I didn’t imply he was stupid.

        Lewis is harder on his tyres than his team-mate (our only true basis for comparison), this is how he extracts 110% out of his car and gives us the racing we love. Jenson’s style allows him to extract maximum performance while preserving them but the prerequisite for this requires a set-up that is spot on.

        If Lewis is pursuit from the start, chasing hard as he does, I fear that he will be one of this first to pit for new tyres. I hope I’m very wrong and that he will win tomorrow earning the what he should already have for his efforts this year.

      2. Phil says:

        I know you weren’t meaning that Ammo, but you gotta remember a lot of anti-hamilton people like to harp on about it.

        And, even this year, against Button, I think it’s another bunch of b.s. that has just become a touchstone for lazy assumptions…

        The reason Lewis has *sometimes* taken more out of the tires than Jenson is more than easily accounted for by the fact that Lewis has had to make up more ground via overtaking. If you look at the races where Lewis did not have to do as much overtaking, his tires were as good as Buttons.

        I find it amazing that people point to Lewis’s tires as a weakpoint when he has had to overtake ton’s of people.

        IMO, in actuality, his only real weak point this year has been in failing to maximize his Q3 performances and falling back in this crucial qualifying session. This has then put him on the back foot, meaning he’s had to do lots of overtakes. The result of this is extra tire wear and idiots pointing to this as if it’s the tire wear is a weakness.

        I’ll just say it… weak minded, ill thought out reasoning.

  29. Irish conor says:

    Maybe it is just me but everytime I look at ferraris front wing I can’t help thinking it’s very basic and not highly developed if your look at the rest of established better good teams. The engine at low speed always sounds very dead when reving also. What do the rest of you guys think

    1. James Allen says:

      Look at the story we did a few days ago on a photo of Alonso’s car on a crane. It might explain a few things

  30. DK says:

    It’s time Lewis win a race but he will have to beat the Red Bulls and look after his tyres tomorrow.

    Mark will have to keep the Lewis and Seb behind to prove he is on form to become WDC.

    It is also time for Seb to prove he can overtake other than first corner in a race to win.

    It will be interesting to see the top three fight it out tomorrow.

  31. onyx says:

    Does anyone know what exactly Sam Michael is doing at Williams…?I mean their performance is truly shocking and they are wasting having the Hulk.Have they achieved anything under Michael?Surely they need to get someone decent or just pack it in.The car looks the same as it has for the last three years!
    On a separate note cant believe people are slating Alonso…yea he screwed up but he’s still in the top bracket with Hamilton…

  32. Vivek says:

    James, do you think that the pressure of not making any further errors has made Alonso drop out of Q2 with another mistake in Qualy?

    I admit he did make some errors this season but most of the time he made up for that in the race. Had Ferrari given him a reliable car, he should be leading the championship now.

    Don’t you think he is being criticised unfairly or is it because the team thinks he is capable of achieving more and isn’t actually doing it.

    1. James Allen says:

      Well he is right to say that he wasn’t going to make it anyway. The Ferrari struggled today. But he has made mistakes, no doubt

      1. A.K. says:

        What I find interesting is that he wont admit that he made mistakes on his runs, that he simply was pushing the limits of a inherently slow car too much, whilst the Ferrari management are saying he made mistakes and implying he didn’t get the most out of the car, a view supported by the fact that Massa was in 5th place in Q2.

  33. J says:

    Lewis may well need to go full out to get ahead of Webber, either first few laps or try and get a jump somehow over the pitstop. Once ahead the general consensus seems to be that the Red bulls struggle to follow a car. If ahead he can manage his tyres better … hopefully!
    Vettel did get unlucky, although there looked to be errors in the last few corners at one point as well? Should be a good race. I hope Button can show good pace and not end up frustrated following a car all afternoon (the McLaren should keep up with the Rb if Spain is anything to go by with Hamilton on Vettel)

  34. Fausto Cunha says:

    Even Alonso comments after qualifying are strange, saying that even without the mistake he couldn´t do more and for the race tomorrow he will be worrying about keeping the position.

    Alonso:”Tomorrow will be tough and we will be racing defensively, but we will try and get the best result possible,”

  35. Rafael says:

    I wonder how Massa feels right now. Did he do what was needed?

    On the one hand, he qualified a low 8th, behind Mercedes and Renault.

    But on the other hand, he managed to set a time 0.4s faster than Alonso in Q2 passing on to Q3 while Alonso stayed in Q2. According to ITV’s website, Alonso claims that Ferrari “didn’t deserve to be in Q3″.

    After that comment, if I was Massa I suppose I’d feel pretty satisfied since, according to my teammate, I managed to do something which my car was not supposed to be able to do.

    So overall I guess a positive qualifying session for Felipe?

    Yes/No/Comments?

    1. James Allen says:

      Well he qualified 7th last year in an uncompetitive car. So he’s worse off this year in what was the pace setting car at the start of the year

      1. Rafael says:

        Valid benchmark James.

        However, if we’re going to settle with that then surely Alonso should be getting more heat for his comments than he’s getting.

        Seems like a contradiction of sorts.

  36. Kenny says:

    I think the reply from Dallara after HRT asked them for when the next upgrade was coming almost gave the impression that Dallara didn’t quite have the grasp of F1. Namely that they said the next upgrade was next year when in F1, the cars have to be constantly developed lest the team does the gamble of abandoning the current season and then focusing on next year.
    Other than that, there has to be development.

    Alonso seems to be VERY accident or mistake prone! I think he needs to go back to being able to take a step back and relax. Then the results will come to him as they did during his Renault and some of Mclaren days.

  37. M. Hayward says:

    @DK Totally agree with all your points there. All good calls. I must say, as an Aussie, I am loving Mark’s current form, but as someone who also appreciates new talent coming through, I am quite disappointed by Vettel’s bottom lip protrusion.
    He would do well to take a leaf out of his team mate’s book and employ a little more grace in the hard times. He can come across as a moody brat at times.

  38. M. Hayward says:

    This from another website’s post article comments section made me laugh . . . but I don’t disagree. The tone’s a tad strident but the sentiment . . .

    zildog says…

    * Recommend (1)

    I couldn’t give a stuff what problem Vettel had or the problems the team says he had. Bottom line? Vettel was SLOWER and starts from THIRD. That’s it as far as I am concerned. And how! Webber’s engine blew up on Friday, then he had mechanical problems on Saturday and STILL managed to smash everyone for pole. Vettel? Whinging and crying about another mechanical problem that wasn’t his fault. His post quali glares and slights so obvious to all of us watching – you could see his hatred for Mark getting this pole position and all I can say is, “Suck it up, mate.” Vettel is supposedly the wunderkind of F1 ( how ignominious those words are now! ) and yet he can’t beat a second rate, over the hill driver from Australia – if he is the wunderkind and Mark has him beaten black and blue on poles and wins this early, then what is Webber? Cannon fodder?

    Posted: 29/05/10 7:14pm

    1. mael says:

      Needlessly harsh, but having a whinge when things aren’t going well seems to grate on most observers including journalists if the following questions from the floor are anything to go by.

      Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo) Sebastian, you used to qualify in front of Webber and in the last few races you were always in the back…

      SV: Pretty bad, isn’t it? In the back… we’re still third.

      Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo) What’s your interpretation for that? You have always had problems to justify it or maybe you have to admit that Webber is faster than you at the moment?

      LOL.

      James did you happen to see the look on his face when he was asked these questions?

  39. Bruce says:

    Go Mark!

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