The Red Bull duo exchanged fastest times all afternoon, and wound up over 0.7 seconds quicker than the best of the rest, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who vented his frustration at having to run his final hot lap in the wake of Rubens Barrichello’s Williams.
In its wake, chief rivals McLaren had a troublesome session to continue their general theme this weekend, with Lewis Hamilton staging a Hurculean effort to manage fourth on the grid, while team-mate Jenson Button wrestled an “undriveable” car to a disastrous 14th place.
Mercedes GP will have hoped to have turned a corner, after managing to get both cars into the final qualifying stage for the first time since the Turkish Grand Prix. Nico Rosberg starts from fifth place, while a somewhat frustrated Michael Schumacher could do not better than tenth in Q3.
Robert Kubica will line up alongside Rosberg on the third row, with the Pole managing to head off Felipe Massa, who heads an all-Brazilian fourth row alongside Barrichello, who is having yet another impressive weekend for Williams.
Pedro de la Rosa raised many eyebrows with a scintillating qualifying performance to crack into Q3 in the little-fancied (although continually improving) Sauber Ferrari. The Spaniard – not ever known as a qualifier of note – staged his most impressive qualifying performance in his comeback season and will start from ninth place for tomorrow’s race.
It looks as though Sauber’s pace is not a flash in the pan, as Kamui Kobayashi will start from twelfth place.
Button’s absence from Q3 was frankly the only surprise in qualifying, although Force India would have walked away from qualifying a trifle disappointed after missing out on having either car make it into Q3 for the second weekend running. Adrian Sutil could count himself unlucky not to make the Q3 cut by a single place, while Vitantonio Liuzzi’s 15th place was demoted a further five places when he was found guilty of impeding Nico Hülkenberg.
At the back of the field, Jaime Alguersuari was the unlucky man to be eliminated in Q1, and he will line up ahead of Lotus’ Heikki Kovalainen, who yet again proved the quickest of the six ‘rookie team’ drivers, although this time he was hard-pressed by Timo Glock in the Virgin.
Not surprisingly, Sakon Yamamoto will start bog last, but he should be quite pleased at getting to within 0.4s of team-mate Karun Chandhok.
2010 British GP Qualifying Times:
|1.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing||1:30.841||1:30.480||1:29.615|
|2.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing||1:30.858||1:30.114||1:29.758|
|5.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes GP||1:31.626||1:31.085||1:30.625|
|9.||Pedro de la Rosa||Sauber||1:31.533||1:31.327||1:31.274|
|10.||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes GP||1:32.058||1:31.022||1:31.430|
|11.||Adrian Sutil||Force India||1:31.109||1:31.399|
|15.||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India||1:32.226||1:31.708|
|17.||Sébastien Buemi||Toro Rosso||1:31.901||1:32.012|
|18.||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso||1:32.430|
|20.||Timo Glock||Virgin Racing||1:34.775|
|22.||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin Racing||1:35.212|
[Original image via AUTOSPORT]