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Webber makes it a pole hat trick in Turkish Grand Prix qualifying
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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Go Mark!


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


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?


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


@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.


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.


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?



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


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.


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,”


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)


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.


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


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.


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…


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.

mugerwa francis

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.


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.


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?

Prof Bolshaviks

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

mugerwa francis

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.


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

Alberto Dietz

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


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?


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


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



Good one.hahaha Go Webber Go.


Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi oi oi!!!


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.


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…


Just one question: What has happened to Ferrari?

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


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!!


Yeah 6 tenths of benefits! Lol


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


And particularly in testing.


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

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