Posted on March 13, 2014


The FIA has made some subtle last minute changes to the F1 qualifying rules for this season, to ensure that cars go out in the third and final part of the session. And FIA Race Director has cleared up some important details about how other aspects of the racing this year will be policed. All cars will be given an extra set of the softest tyres brought by Pirelli. The cars which qualify between P11 and P22 are allowed to use them in the race, but the cars which qualify in the top ten have to use them in Q3 More…

Posted on October 5, 2013


Sebastian Vettel took pole position for a Korean Grand Prix in an anticlimactic qualifying session, by two tenths of a second ahead of Lewis Hamilton. The German set the pole lap on his first run and was able to cruise back to the pits on the second run, knowing that the Mercedes cars had not beaten him. It was the 42nd pole position of his career, his 6th of the season and the third race in a row. The threat from the Mercedes was there, but Vettel had it all under control with a lap which got the maximum out More…

Posted on May 13, 2013


The Spanish Grand Prix threw up a few interesting comparisons from last year to this, not least in the relative pace of the cars and the improvement in speed of the pit stops. At one end of the spectrum the Mercedes was 2.3 seconds faster in qualifying than in 2012, while the Williams was a second slower than Pastor Maldonado’s pole time from last year. But in the pits there has also been progress; Ferrari set the fastest stop on Sunday, a clear second faster than its best time last year (when it was again fastest) thanks to the many More…

Posted on April 20, 2013


Nico Rosberg made it two Mercedes pole positions in as many weeks as he produced a sensational final lap to take the spoils in Bahrain, ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. It was the second pole position of his career and means that Mercedes and Red Bull have both taken half the pole positions this season. But the race could be a different story. After being off the ultimate pace throughout the weekend’s practice sessions Rosberg showed his speed from the outset of qualifying, although he only topped the times in Q3. And after coming close already this year More…

Posted on November 12, 2012


Pastor Maldonado may have endured a season of wildly fluctuating fortunes but one area in which the Williams driver has consistently impressed has been in qualifying. Whereas team-mate Bruno Senna has only made Q3 once in 18 attempts, Maldonado has reached the top 10 on 11 occasions, burnishing his reputation as a one-lap specialist by starting inside the front two rows four times. The most noticeable thing about his two most recent top-four starts, in Singapore and Abu Dhabi, was his lap-time improvement between Q2 and Q3:  the Venezuelan finding the best part of seven and eight tenths in the More…

Posted on June 9, 2012


Sebastian Vettel gave himself the best chance of becoming the first driver to win a second race in 2012, by taking pole by 3/10ths of a second from Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso. If he could do it, it would be the first win for Red Bull in Canada, which has been something of a bogey circuit for the team. Vettel made a mistake on the last lap in 2011, losing the win to Jenson Button. It was Vettel’s second pole in a row in Canada and the 32nd of his career in just 88 Grands Prix. It was Vettel’s More…

Posted on April 14, 2012


Mercedes will have an all Silver Arrows front row in tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix, the first time this has happened since their comeback as a constructor in 2010. Nico Rosberg took an emotional first F1 pole position, in his 111th Grand Prix, while Michael Schumacher moves up to join him on the front row after Lewis Hamilton is demoted five places on the grid tomorrow, from second to seventh, due to a forced gearbox change penalty. “It went really well and it’s a very special feeling,” Rosberg said. “Now obviously l am looking forward to starting first in the race! More…

Posted on September 10, 2011


Sebastian Vettel’s rivals are again scratching their heads tonight about where he found half a second in the final part of qualifying after he took his 10th pole position of the season for the Italian Grand Prix, ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. It had looked like he would face a closer challenge from the McLarens, but in the end Hamilton and Button couldn’t get close. Hamilton’s final lap started badly and he aborted it. However both McLaren drivers point to the fact that Vettel has chosen to run with quite a short top gear and has the lowest More…

Posted on June 25, 2011


Sebastian Vettel took his seventh pole position of the season, ahead of team mate Mark Webber, showing that the FIA’s mid season rule changes to engine maps have had little effect on his or Red Bull’s competitiveness. It was the 22nd pole position of his career and the ninth in the last 11 races. Lewis Hamilton qualified third. The German was on imperious form, setting the fastest time in both the second and final parts of qualifying. But after a tricky start to the session, it was a strong finish by Webber who ended up only a tenth and a More…

Posted on May 28, 2011


Sebastian Vettel took his first pole position at Monaco and the fifth of the season ahead of Jenson Button and Mark Webber. It is Vettel’s 20th career pole in just 68 races, equalling the total of Fernando Alonso, who has done 163 races. His time was 3/10ths of a second faster than last year’s pole at Monaco, set by Vettel’s team mate, Mark Webber. Once again it came about because of a massive step up in performance from Q2 to Q3, where Vettel found 7/10ths of a second from his Red Bull car. But qualifying was dominated by the accident More…

Posted on March 4, 2011


When I was at the Barcelona test recently I had a few discussions with engineers about some of the ramifications of the behaviour of the new Pirelli tyres. The Italian firm has said that its brief is to create more short-lived tyres, prompting more pit stops, but one of the interesting possible side effects of that is that drivers will spend less time on track during practice and qualifying, despite needing time to perfect adjustable wing and KERS usage. There is always a trade off in practice between saving tyres and getting enough set up time. Also with testing being More…

Posted on November 6, 2010


Today was one of those days that live long in the memory. On a rapidly drying track 23 year Nico Hulkenberg gave Williams its first pole position for 100 races ahead of the main championship protagonists. And he did so by a huge margin – over a second. Sebastian Vettel was second with Mark Webber third. Lewis Hamilton starts fourth on the grid tomorrow, one place ahead of championship leader Fernando Alonso. It was a swashbuckling performance by Hulkenberg, who has been getting progressively stronger in the second half of the season. For a driver to take a pole position More…

Posted on May 8, 2010


Mark Webber took a dramatic pole position in qualifying for Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix ahead of team mate Sebastian Vettel, with the next fastest car almost a second behind. Webber was fastest in the eliminator stages of qualifying, as he often is, but when it counted this time he held on to the advantage, beating Vettel by a tenth of a second. “Both of us have done thousands of kilometres around here, so it´s hard to get an advantage over him, plus he´s got a great record for pulling a lap out. Today I had to do something special to More…



COUNTDOWN TO NEXT RACE
Strategy Report
Innovation and Technology brought to you by TATA Communications
Senna DVD
Download the Chequered Flag Podcast here
MTS
Darren Heath
Sport Right Now