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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Vettel takes record 15th pole in the season
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Darren Heath
Posted By: James Allen  |  26 Nov 2011   |  6:28 pm GMT  |  84 comments

World Champion Sebastian Vettel scored his 15th pole position of the season, setting a new record that beats the one set by Nigel Mansell which has stood for almost 20 years. It was Vettel’s 30th pole position in just 81 Grands Prix.

It was a scintillating lap by Vettel, only a tenth faster than team mate Mark Webber, but a perfect summing up of the season in many ways, as the German put everything together in one lap. The Red Bull’s prowess in the middle sector was the decisive factor in keeping them ahead of the McLaren of Jenson Button, who edged out team mate Hamilton with a very strong performance.

“These number are made for ever. I said to myself going into qualifying that I must get everything out of the car. It’s all about putting everything into one lap. Fortunately we had some great Saturdays and this feeling now is very special,” Vettel said.

Vettel acknowledged that he beat Mansell’s record with three more races in the season,
but it still clearly means a lot to him.

Rain showers had been forecast, but as the qualifying hour got underway the track was dry and the ambient temperature was high, but the wind was increasing in force.

Nevertheless everyone went out early to get a lap in as the weather was hard to predict.

Rubens Barrichello did a fantastic lap to get into Q2 half a second ahead of team mate Maldonado who was eliminated along with the new teams. Heikki Kovalainen was only 4/10ths of a second slower than the Williams, the best of the season, thanks to the new rear wing.

Meanwhile the HRT cars both outqualified the Virgin cars, Liuzzi ahead of Ricciardo for the first time since Korea.

In Q2 Paul Di Resta failed to make the most of a quick Force India car, ending up 11th three tenths behind team mate Sutil as he has been all weekend. “I really struggled. We have a top speed issue which gave away some lap time to the opposition,” he said.

Barrichello did an excellent job to get the Williams up to 12th when their expectation had been that they’d be in lower reaches of Q2. “The people pushed, I used the power of the people,” said a delighted Brazilian.

Bruno Senna did a great job to get his Renault into the top ten.

In Q3 Vettel set the pace in the first runs, three tenths ahead of Webber and four tenths up on Button. In his second run he broke through into the 1m 11s, with a perfect lap.

Button edged out Hamilton for the seventh time this season and the younger man was forced to admit he was beaten for pace,

“Jenson was massively quick today,” said Hamilton candidly. “I ended up a couple of tenths away from him, so clearly I could have gone a bit faster, but the fact is that although I didn’t make any mistakes on my best lap I just wasn’t quite quick enough on the day.”

Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos, Qualifying
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m11.918s
2. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m12.099s + 0.181
3. Jenson Button McLaren 1m12.283s + 0.365
4. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1m12.480s + 0.562
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m12.591s + 0.673
6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m13.050s + 1.132
7. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m13.068s + 1.150
8. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m13.298s + 1.380
9. Bruno Senna Renault 1m13.761s + 1.843
10. Michael Schumacher Mercedes

11. Paul di Resta Force India 1m13.584s + 1.138
12. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1m13.801s + 1.355
13. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1m13.804s + 1.358
14. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1m13.919s + 1.473
15. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m14.053s + 1.607
16. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1m14.129s + 1.683
17. Sergio Perez Sauber 1m14.182s + 1.736

18. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m14.625s + 1.344
19. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1m15.068s + 1.787
20. Jarno Trulli Lotus 1m15.358s + 2.077
21. Tonio Liuzzi HRT 1m16.631s + 3.350
22. Daniel Ricciardo HRT 1m16.890s + 3.609
23. Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin 1m17.019s + 3.738
24. Timo Glock Virgin 1m17.060s + 3.779

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84 Comments
  1. Rob Newman says:

    Fantastic pole by Vettel. Webber was genuinely happy with his own lap.

    Couldn’t understand what was wrong with Mercedes. Schumacher shouldn’t be qualifying so low. The car has potential but he is not doing enough. It is good to overtake but he shouldn’t be qualifying in 10th.

    I am happy for the HRT guys. They did a good job.

    McLaren is good on a wet track. If it rains, both Hamilton and Button will be doing well with Hamilton leading Button.

    Too bad we won’t see some of the drivers next season. Heard Kimi will not be joining Williams next season.

    1. Carl Craven says:

      Hamilton is supposed to be better in the dry than Button, yet he hasn’t really dominated that role for quite some time.

      If it’s a wet race my money would go on Button.

      1. Aezy_doc says:

        In a full wet race I anticipate Hamilton to outperform Button – if he can get past without incident! In changeable conditions I see Button outthinking Hamilton. In the dry, it’s 50/50 and will depend more on traffic etc. I don’t however see beyond the red bulls for the top step. A vettel win is inevitable after the first few corners. Alonso to be on podium if it rains, there or threabouts if it doesn’t. The man is relentless.
        I hope the mercs can put in a good show and embarrass massa, No excuses for his poor performance this season.

      2. Dan says:

        I agree, Hamilton is untouchable in the Wet, he just has a few to many incidents, Button in changeable conditions is superb. In the Dry Lewis is the fastest for out and out pace, but struggles more than Button on Looking after his tyres.

        For me Lewis is the fastest driver on the grid for raw pace.

      3. AA says:

        Since we are on the topic of Lewis Hamilton – which is not what this post is precisely about…..

        I don’t see Hamilton beating Button in tomorrow’s race. Button has very good race pace and Hamilton still needs to get by Alonso (who may wreck Lewis’s tyres if he can’t Lewis past).

        Honestly, Lewis’s poor qualifying result probably has a lot to do with Nicole. Didn’t he go visit her in LA in the last week or so? Whilst Lewis is in LA trying to save his relationship with his pop-star girlfriend, Vettel is in the Milton-Keynes trying to extract an extra tenth out the car.

        OK, so the scenario may not be entirely true, but it does seem that when you strip away Lewis’s glam life style (pop star girlfriend and hanging with rappers), you get a formidable racer. Under Uncle Ron’s vigilant gaze and his father’s management, he was a pure racer and was not allowed distractions. But now, under new management, Lewis is giving free reign and is like a kid in a lolly shop.

        I think he should eliminate these distractions from his life for the next 5 years – focusing only on racing. Then, like a lots of retired F1 drivers (eg Coulthard, Irvine), enjoy his money and fame for the rest of this days. If he keeps this up, he may never win another WDC – which is sad for someone with so much raw talent. Vettel’s approach should be the benchmark for F1 budding champions.

      4. AA says:

        Mod: I mean, Lewis “needs to get by Button” – not Alonso…..

      5. YUD says:

        from when lewis is a rainmister? if i recall vettle can perform in wet & even won is first car in rain in monza with a car that was 50% slower on dry then evrey car that lewis drove in maclern

      6. KRB says:

        From when YUD? See Silverstone 2008 & Fuji 2007, or the last few laps of Spa 2008. See his last qualifying lap at Spa last year.

        50% slower?!? Exaggeration is just dumb. His Monza win was well-earned, but he did benefit with the rain, and with having so many of the championship front-runners (Hamilton, Massa, Raikkonen) far back on the grid. The fates conspired to present him a good opportunity that weekend, and he took it.

      7. Andrew J says:

        Mine too.

      8. Douglas says:

        Didn’t Hamilton win Monaco, in the wet?

      9. Cliff says:

        And Silverstone in the same year (2008)

      10. Martin says:

        Yes, wet than dry, partly thanks to gently crashing and getting a puncture, forcing a strategy guess that paid off. That the guy he beat was Massa is more remarkable given Massa’s recent performances.

        In steady state rain with the tyres at the right temperature, the drivers are all pretty similar in race pace. Jenson tends to be a bit conservative early in a race with heavy fuel loads in the wet or dry, so Lewis tends to make big gains on him early on (Hungary being one example). At the end of the race they are pretty even, e.g China in 2010. Drying tracks seem easier to judge than new rain – usually more predictable, so the main thing is keeping tyre temperature.

        Vettel and Webber are closer in style, bur Sebastian generally seems to have a slightly greater edge in the wet than dry in race trim from what I’ve seen.

        Fernando generally seems pretty handy in the wet to me, although my primary memory goes back to Hungary in 2006. I didn’t see China in 2007, but acquaplanning off the circuit at Fuji could have happened to anyone if a river appears. The McLarens were stuck together at the first stint but then traffic split them at the stops.

      11. adi says:

        After hitting the barriers and pitting just before the safety car came out.

  2. Freddy says:

    Hi James

    Do you possibly have background info on who of the drivers is on a wet setup and who on dry or so-so?

    1. shane says:

      Nowadays there little or no difference between wet and dry setups.

      1. Alex_D says:

        There is a massive difference…

      2. Anil says:

        Only in wing levels and gear ratios. As they’ve said several times this season, there isn’t a massive difference in set ups anymore.

    2. Dan says:

      I have a very strong feeling Lewis has a set-up steered towards the wet.

      1. Martin says:

        Why?

        His comments suggest he didn’t do as good a job as Jenson. The main changes they make these days are to have a more rearward aero balance to reduce the likelihood of the drivers spinning off. With the aero loads the cars have now, the springs and dampers are left as they are. The biggest change is the ride height and that comes from the wet tyre having a greater diameter. There’s none of the old softening the roll stiffness for example.

        Also, looking at the wet vs dry performance of the Reb Bull and McLaren, why would McLaren bother?

      2. Dan says:

        I understand that, but it’s just a hunch, Add together the fact Jenson out qualified him with the comments Lewis was making on I think Friday about how good Mclaren are in the wet.

        I might be wrong but I actually hope it rains, because if it’s dry Vettel will just turn the engine mode up for the first few laps and cruise away. (for the last time I hope, with the new regulations coming in.)

      3. Karen says:

        I thought it was comments from one of the Mclaren engineers on the grid when Martin Brundle was doing his walk – he said that Mclaren hoped very much that it would rain as that would be good for their race, words to that effect ………..surely that is evidence enough both McLarens were set up towards rain

  3. Graham says:

    As it is the final chance to do so, I have to congratulate Vettel who is currently on a different level over one lap. I just hope next year the Mclarens and Alonso are closer from the off so we can see more good racing battles instead of Vettel running off and managing the gap.

    Bring on some rain tomorrow!

  4. Bazza says:

    Red bull’s dominence in putting Vettel on pole is now so predictable you almost don’t need to watch the qualies anymore. So what is it that makes this such a racing certainty? Well I think that Lewis out of pure frustration this season has questioned, How Do they Do That?. Well it could be of course that Seb is such a brilliant driver that when he and they great package RBR have thanks to the team that he is just unbeatable. It could also be some very clear race craft, Lewis may have been close when he also recently said, I don’t know what what they put on the car but it just makes the difference. But the truth is more likely to be what they take of!!! It won’t take much weight to make the difference of a 10th of a second now does it? So my take would would that in Qually 3 when it really matters the weight of the car is reduce by a small amount, I may be wrong but when you have 5 of the best drivers in the world all driving very closely matched equipment, the only way to be sure of success is to be certain of it.

    1. Paul H says:

      I think it is mostly to do with the overall aerodynamic package being so strong meaning that they are able to run with their DRS open more than other teams and as such gain more in qualifying when they can use it more.

      1. Aezy_doc says:

        Agreed. I don’t think they are running through q1 and q2 with added weight. They have a great aero. So great that it is of course possible that they turn the engine mode down to save wear through q1 and q2 and then turn it up in q3.

      2. Paul H says:

        I don’t think they’re turning it down during P1 and P2 so much as turning the settings up for the one special lap at end of P3 where they can push the limits for the short term.

    2. Alex W says:

      Vettel just holds back his last 10th so Webber can’t copy his traces.

  5. Seán Craddock says:

    I don’t understand why Schumacher didn’t set a time. Especially since there’s a 90% chance it will rain, so the tyres wouldn’t matter.

    He’s fighting Rosberg for 7th, he’s already at a disadvantage on 76 points. Why wouldn’t he try to get ahead of Rosberg on the grid?

    1. Cliff says:

      Schuey’s post-qualifying quote below:
      “The forecast says there is a high probability for rain during the race,” Schumacher said.

      “With this in mind, we have kept all of our options open for tomorrow and we had a strategic approach to qualifying today.

      Let’s hope Mercedes got it right, Sunday could be a good one.

      1. KRB says:

        I don’t get what the strategic advantage would be, but am open to hearing it. The softs are faster, so get the benefit of them before you have to change to inter’s, after which you don’t need to run the prime. You would also think that the softs would be better in the initial stages of any rain than the hards.

    2. Mitchel says:

      He’s maybe realised he’s a no.2 driver now?

    3. Erik says:

      Knew he couln’t do it I reckon, so he’s keeping his tyres/engine/himself fresh for the race.

    4. Tan Coul says:

      Seems he had no new soft tyres to use – presumably a used set would be too far off the pace in Q3 to be of any use?

  6. George says:

    This was sound proof of Vettel’s quality, not only as a race driver capable of beating the rest when it counts, but also proof of his mental power.

  7. Peter says:

    Sorry, for off topic: Disappointed by Williams not signing Kimi for 2012. I do not understand how and why the Robertson’s can not agree on a “re-entry fee ” of six millions or so. There are very few really stand out top drivers such as Raikkonen, Alonso, Hamilton and lots of good ones like Sutil and co. Also worrying that more and more drivers bringing money for a seat, it would be great to see the very best ones in F1 and not the ones who can collect sponsorship money the most efficiently. Raikkonen and Hulkenberg would be my ideal driver pairing for Williams, shame for all the money issues. Again sorry for going off-topic.

    1. tank says:

      I would have been shocked if kimi got the drive. Throughout this whole story, it felt as though people were clinging to straws. A team cash-strapped and near the back of the grid, signing a premium driver when they have been taking pay-drivers over talent in the past few seasons? It just didn’t make sense.

      Hope someone can enlighten me about how seriously all this kimi talk has been taken.

    2. mo kahn says:

      I was so thrilled about Kimi’s return with Williams… We the fans definitely needed Kimi… The F1 needed Kimi… The Gods of Logic needed Kimi… but alas it was not to be :(

      However, there is a fallout between Renault (Lotus) and Kubica with the recent statements issued by both the parties… and Eric stated that Kimi’s manager was in touch…. maybe just maybe the iceman might commeth :)

      With Ferrari struggling, Schuey struggling with his Mercedes, Hamilton sorting out the issues in his head… Sebastian wining everything… and DRS becoming predictable.. F1 desperately needs Kimi to ignite some awesomeness by coming back in 2012:)

      1. mo kahn says:

        YEEEEAAAAAASSSSSSSS !!!!! KIMI IS BACK…. MY COMMENT WAS SO ON THE BUCK !!!!!!!!!

        NOW I SUPPORT LOTUS RENAULT FOR TWO YEARS !!!!!

        THE REST CAN TAKE A FREAKING HIKE !!!!!!!

        KIMI n’ SCHUEY FOR 2012 AND 2013 FOR ME :)

  8. Becken says:

    James – any clue about someone gambling in a full wet set up for tomorrow’s race?

  9. mo kahn says:

    He is so far ahead o’ everyone that he is racing with himself.

    While the world is busy squabbling over Hamilton, Alonso,Mclaren and Ferrari.

    Vettel and his Redbull are taking the game to the level next.

  10. Luca says:

    was hoping for a bit of closer quail – going by FP. Still immense achievement by Vettel.

    Have to say – feel sorry for Bruno Senna – every time he is on the BBC all he gets is the constant introduction of ‘Aryton Senna’s nephew’, ‘is there pressure due to your name’, ‘I’m sure your uncle would be proud’…. ok we get it! now let the guy be he’s own man and create a name for himself.
    tedious – bruno deserves a trophy just for putting up with the same rubbish interview questions all the time.

    1. Ian says:

      +3468925486743

      1. snailtrail says:

        Have to take the good with the bad.
        His surname isnt Senna – he had it changed to help him get where he is.

    2. tank says:

      Agree that bruno needs to create a name for himself.

      Just a general comment about this race meeting, and the fact that there are 3 Ayrton Senna look-a-like helmets out there: Bruno’s (for obvious reasons), Hamilton’s, and Barrichello’s. I know it is to honour the great man, but really it looked a bit like an “in-fashion” trend or something. It looked silly.

  11. Ross Cameron says:

    Wondeful performences from Rubens, Sutil and Senna. Strange to think all three maybe without a drive next year.

  12. Dizzy says:

    any idea why we didn’t see any of that helmet camera today that vettel was wearing yesterday?

    1. Denise says:

      He took the camera off today.

  13. Jonathan Lodge says:

    Lies, dammed lies and statistics!

    Everyone keeps harping on about beating Mansell’s record. However it can easily be argued that he hasn’t. 15 from 19 races does not even equal 14 from 16 races in percentage or ratio terms. Vettel has been beaten to pole 4 times this year – Nigel only conceded 2.

    Yes it was an amazing lap but Vettel has not been as dominant as Nigel was – watching qualifying on those days was awesome. Watching Nigel or Senna sitting in their cars watching another driver just beat their previous best and simply believing they could do better and then delivering it was breathtaking.

    1. James Allen says:

      Vettel made the point that Mansell had fewer races. But “most poles in a season” is exactly what it says and Vettel has that record now.

      1. Paul Kirk says:

        That would be OK, James, except that people (comentators/journalists) always say he’s “beaten Nigel’s record”, which technically he hasen’t because the comparison is not equal!
        So as long as you guy say “Wetil now has achieved the most poles”, and NOT “Wettal has beaten Mansel’s record of poles”, then I/we will be happy!
        Thank you,
        PK.

      2. James Allen says:

        I refer to my comment elsewhere on the strand – to follow your logic all records in F1 are meaningless, because Senna, Prost Schumacher etc did many more GPs than Fangio, Clark and Stewart etc – they did as many races in one season as Fangio did in two seasons.

        So it’s all meaningless…

      3. Craig in SG says:

        James is still correct. The record is “most poles in a season”, not “greatest percentage of poles to races”. So he has beaten Mansel’s record. Not even Mansel’s would bemoan this. Get over it!

      4. Paul Kirk says:

        Yeah James, (in reply to your reply to my reply) I see your point re records, but you know what human nature is like, we tend to be sensitive to things that we care about and disregard other stuf. In our case we are great fans of Nigels to the point that my doughter’s favorite teddy’s name is Nigel Mansel and her racing kart number is 5!
        Regards, and keep up the good work.
        PK.

    2. Dave_F1 says:

      “Vettel has not been as dominant as Nigel was”

      Perhaps true, However the 1992 Williams was 1.5-2 seconds faster than the next fastest car, Vettel hasn’t had that sort of car advantage.

    3. Erik says:

      I’m with you Jonathan, Mansell managed a strike rate of 87% for that season, Vettel’s is only 79% for this season. ‘Most poles in a season’ yes but it’s a false statistic because Mansel did not have the same number of chances as Vetel has – and Mr Movember still managed a higher success rate.

      A false record for Vettel. For Vettel to have really beaten Nige, he would have needed 17 poles.. That would have given him ‘Most poles in a season’, that is, taking 89% of them on offer.

      1. James Allen says:

        To follow your reasoning all records in F1 are meaningless.

        Fangio did 8 races a year, JYS didn’t do many more and Schumacher, Senna etc surpassed them when the calendar grew. Should we not have any records in F1 then?

      2. KRB says:

        Of course we need records, but also perspective. It’s the same for any major sport … footballers didn’t use to play as many internationals per year that they do now … so present-day footballers can amass records faster and greater than their predecessors. It’s how it goes.

        In the Top 10 list for ‘Poles in a Season’, the cut-off number is 10, and everyone on that list raced in at least a 16-race season. Like I said, it’s how it goes.

        On percentage basis:

        Mansell – 88% (14/16: 1992)
        Senna – 81% (13/16: 1988)
        Senna – 81% (13/16: 1989)
        Prost – 81% (13/16: 1993)
        Vettel – 79% (15/19: 2011)

        One could say that if Vettel had his KERS working in Spain, he would’ve beaten Webber for pole there. That would’ve vaulted him to 2nd on the percentage list.

        Fangio won pole 56% of the time over his whole career, but his best over one season was 75%. Similarly, Clark was on pole 45% of the time in his career, but his best in one season was 70%.

        So it’s a big feat that will take some beating. I have no doubt that it will be broken eventually (records are made to be broken), but it’s up there.

        It’s crazy the number of poles Vettel already has. Barring Red Bull serving up a lemon next year, he will surpass Mansell, Prost & Clark on the all-time poles list next season. Then only Senna and Schumacher remain to be beaten.

      3. Glenn says:

        I dont know why you bother to reply to such rubbish James. It doesn’t matter if there are 50 GP in a season, a record is a record. If they change the points scoring to say 150 points for a win, then someone will undoubtably become the highest points scorer in a single GP season. Its just the way it is. Come on Fanboys give Sebastian the credit he thoroughly deserves. Whoever you are barracking for was smashed by Vettel this year. Get over it. The guy is a phenom. He is the current best driver in the current best car in the current best team AND he delivers. He’s not some out of form prima donna, going through the motions, picking up a pay cheque and blaming it on everything else.
        Having said that, GO WEBBER :)

      4. bearforce1 says:

        Yeah Mansell didn’t/couldn’t achieve 15 poles. Mansell just didn’t make it to 15 while Vettel did make it to 15.

      5. KRB says:

        Mansell did make 14 poles in the first 16 races though. It did take Vettel 18 races to equal Nigel’s 14. Who knows what Mansell could’ve achieved with 3 more races. It was a different F1 back then. Nigel won 9 from 16, while Vettel had won 10 in the first 16.

        No doubt Vettel would like to get that 12th win today, but it would be better jingle-wise to stay on 11 wins. Then we could all remember “Vettel’s 11 in ’11″.

    4. Martin says:

      Hi Jonathan,

      Percentage wise your are right, that Mansell’s year is better.

      However, when you consider that for the 80s and early 90s engine power dominated qualifying, it is not surprising that Mansell with an engine advantage, the best aerodynamic package and a teammate who couldn’t feel comfortable in quick corners with active suspension, it is hardly surprising that Mansell got 14 poles. Prost got thirteen the next year with a sharper team mate.

      Also, pole position had nowhere near the importance it does now. Getting to the front early is critical to Red Bull’s overall strategy. In 1992 Mansell had the race pace advantage to make up for a poor start and the longer sessions meant there was less overall pressure.

      In my view Vettel’s performance is almost incomparable to Mansell’s. On the team level, you can say the design staff made the best car. Operationally, Red Bull has been excellent, ensuring their drivers maximise qualifying (for a counter example, McLaren getting Hamilton out too late at Suzuka when he should have had pole). On a driving level, with real pressure to perform, Vettel has had only one poor effort, in Germany, and that was contributed to by a poor set up that was changed for Hungary. An when I say poor, it is only a couple of tenths. Mansell had a car advantage that meant he was usally well over a second clear of Senna.

      In 1992 Mansell got the job done, but it wasn’t vital, and it was relatively easy with the car advantage. Red Bull has had an edge that has varied this year, but there have been a few times where the Red Bull hasn’t been the quickest car in qualifying and Sebastian has still got the job done.

      In 1992 you couldn’t really say that Mansell was quicker than Senna, the cars were just too different in performance. In 2011, I think it is clear that Vettel has had an edge over his McLaren rivals in one lap performance and consistency.

      Cheers,

      Martin

  14. Left Philangie says:

    Happy for Webber and also that he has the award
    for the number of fastest laps in a season.

    1. Erik says:

      Surprising statistic. Goes against everything else compared to his team mate this season, and impressive too considering Vettel’s been going for fastest laps in the races all year. He’s clearly still fast enough, so what’s with the comparably bad race results?..

      1. Martin says:

        Quite simple really – the Red Bull car philosophy is based around dominating the first stint of the race and controlling things from there. Mark has had qualifying and starting problems that means that he doesn’t maximise the car’s potential. McLaren tends to have a car that is fast at the end of a race, but that isn’t the quickest way over a race.

        If you think through it, being in front after the first stops tends to mean that you can cover undercuts quite well. This has led to Red Bull gearing their cars in a way that favours acceleration with heavier fuel loads.

        Webber did make an odd comment recently about Sebastian having weight distribution advantage as he could put 10 kg of ballast where he wanted an that helped the starts. The odd thing is that the weight distribuation was fixed in a narrow band to control what Pirelli did, so I’m suprised that Red Bull are at the limit of this with Sebastian and can’t optimise Webber’s car.

        Cheers,

        Martin

      2. Ai says:

        “Vettel’s been going for fastest laps in the races all year” Where did you get that memo? It’s almost the opposite and he only chased the record at Korean and Indian GP. In other words, after nailing the 2nd WDC and even then he got reprimanded for it quite clearly. Not that I’m trying to say Mark’s record is any less significant or meaningful though.

      3. Left Philangie says:

        My Guess is his setup sucks and he’s driving the [mod].. out of it. I read that Mark is 10kg heavier so what does that do to weight distribution and car balance for MW ????

  15. goferet says:

    Hey who blew the rain clouds away. I hope this doesn’t mean we should get worried about tomorrow being another walk over into the sunset.

    Anyway congrats to Vettel on notching another record under his belt but seeing as Interlagos doesn’t favour the pole sitter, I guess it’s all worth it in his book.

    Good work by Jenson too for getting one over Hammy & good job by Sutil too for it appears all that is needed to motivate certain drivers to deliver their best is with a threat of being sacked.

    While Vettel is making records, surely Alonso must have made a couple himself for it must take extraordinary consistency for a driver to qualify 5th so many times in one season

    Uh, it seems like Sauber are losing out on the battle with Torro Rosso especially so since Buemi has been the most prolific overtaker this season but good work by Kobayshi for out qualifying Perez in a really long time.

    My prediction for tomorrow

    Jens
    Webber
    Alonso
    Vettel
    Hammy

    1. Brad says:

      GREAT! When you make these predictions it usually means another Vettel win… Thumbs up!

  16. goferet says:

    @ Rob Newman

    McLaren is good on a wet track. If it rains, both Hamilton and Button will be doing well
    ————————————————

    How’s this for a thought!

    It’s Hammy & Jens that are good on wet/damp tracks & not necessarily the car giving them the advantage.

    What you trying to say is if Hammy & Jens perform well then it was all down to the car & not their skill & yet the rain supposedly offers a level playing field.

  17. Frank says:

    If MS didn’t set a time he is allowed to chose his tires. Is he also allowed to change his set up? If that’s the case, then he can wait for the last minute to decide if he wants to go all dry or all wet, with just might be worth a couple of tenths.

    1. Craig in SG says:

      Hi Frank. No, he’s not allowed to change anything that any other driver can’t change under parc ferme, which isn’t much. Essentially only the front wing may be adjusted; under certain “change in climatic conditions” then brake cooling ducts and radiator ducts may be changed; and seatbelts, mirrors and pedals may be adjusted. Fluids etc may be changed, but specifically no other changes unless to repair accident damage.

      34.5 If a competitor modifies any part on the car or makes changes to the set up of the suspension whilst the car is being held under parc fermé conditions the relevant driver must start the race from the pit lane

      Something I found interesting while reading this reg, the driver’s drink bottle is limited to 1.5 litres

    2. Craig in SG says:

      Oh and one other interesting thing – I always though parc ferme started at the end of quali, but it actually starts the first time the car leaves the garage during quali, so the teams can’t even make adjustments between, say Q1 and Q2;

      34.1 Each car will be deemed to be in parc fermé from the time at which it leaves the pit lane for the first time during qualifying practice until the start of the race.

    3. KRB says:

      The set-up of the car cannot change in parc ferme, except for things like tire pressures, etc.

  18. micky streetsound says:

    i think hamilton will pull something out of the bag if it gets Wet. Dont forget about alonso who always gets good pace on race day!

    1. KRB says:

      Bad thing for Hamilton is he’s behind slow-starting Webber on the grid. Remember how Webber started slow in Singapore and then closed the door on Hamilton, putting him back behind Massa (and then we know what happened).

      Hopefully Webber can have a good start and drag Vettel to the first corner. Somehow I doubt it. I could see Alonso picking up spots by following Jenson thru the Senna S.

  19. vettelfan says:

    great to watch vettel great question james in the interview about how he can finds couple tenth in qauli everytime,thank you

    1. Brad says:

      Sorry missed it. What was vettel’s reply?

  20. Don Farrell says:

    The fact there were 19 races this season (which must be a record in itself?) kinda waters down the ‘most poles in a season’ record Vettel has set. But in fairness to Vettel he has had an exceptional season… but he’s also been blessed with reliability and mediocre McLaren’s & Ferrari’s.

    1. bearforce1 says:

      Not for me. vettel managed to bag 15 poles, Mansell could only achieve 14.Simples.

    2. KRB says:

      Hard to call the McLaren and Ferrari mediocre this year. They’re fast cars. It’s just that the RB7 has been a cut above all year. There’s perhaps been maybe 4-5 races where they were not a cut above the Mac and/or the Ferrari, and 0 races where they haven’t been in the mix.

      19 is the most ever, same as 2010. We’ll soon have a 20 and maybe a 21-race season.

  21. Thebe says:

    James

    The gap between Schumacher and Rosberg was for most of the season 2/3 tenths and now is has grown considerably Rosberg qualified in the last to grand prix over half a second ahead of Schumacher , is it a set up that Schumacher opts fo in qualifying or is this just a case of Nico being very good in qualyfying

  22. JohnBt says:

    By percentage Mansell wins. By most pole in a season Vettel wins. Tough one, many seemed unhappy. So it should be by percentage and by quantity too. Commentators should mention them clearly.

    Hope it rains, shine with some dramatic incidents and whacky.

  23. ruben says:

    Vettel is the best one lap racer

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