July 31, 2010

F1 Quals: Hungary 2010

Welcome back to the Bad Old Days.  Let's take a look at the provisional grid:

Pos Driver Team Q1Q2Q3
1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:20.417 1:19.573 1:18.773
2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:21.132 1:19.531 1:19.184
3 HWMNBN Ferrari 1:21.278 1:20.237 1:19.987
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:21.299 1:20.857 1:20.331
5 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.455 1:20.877 1:20.499
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:21.212 1:20.811 1:21.082
7 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:21.558 1:20.797 1:21.229
8 Robert Kubica Renault 1:21.159 1:20.867 1:21.328
9 Pete Rose
BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:21.891 1:21.273 1:21.411
10 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:21.598 1:21.275 1:21.710
11 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.422 1:21.292
12 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:21.478 1:21.331
13 Adrian F'n Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:22.080 1:21.517
14 Slappy Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:21.840 1:21.630
15 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:21.982 1:21.897
16 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:21.789 1:21.927
17 NKOTT STR-Ferrari 1:21.978 1:21.998
18 Gandalf Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:22.222

19 Timo Glockenspiel Virgin-Cosworth 1:24.050

20 Heikki Kovalaineninnie Lotus-Cosworth 1:24.120

21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:24.199

22 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:25.118

23 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:26.391

24 Sakon "DJ DNF" Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1:26.453

The Red Bull of Seb Vettel was over a second faster than the nearest non-RB6 competitor, the Ferrari of HWMNBN, and nearly half a second quicker than his teammate Mark Webber.  To make matters worse, that time was set on his first flying lap in Q3; usually the second flying lap has the faster time.  Certainly it was for everybody else.

It may be no coincidence that the first four slots are occupied by cars running what sure appears to be a flexible front wing.  Race Director Charlie Whiting has tested the front wings of both the Red Bulls and the Ferraris and declared them race-legal.  For all four cars though, video shows the endplates of the front wings nearly touching the ground on the high-speed sections of the track, instead of staying three inches clear as the regulations state.  This would have the effect of increasing downforce, thereby allowing the cars to brake later into a turn.  It seems telling that the fastest cars through the speed traps were the Force Indias at 186mph, while the Red Bulls were the slowest, nearly 11mph off the pace... yet they're still turning the fastest laps.

And not by a little bit either, but by a dominating amount... just like Ferrari used to during the dark days when Slappy, Rubens and Ross Brawn were making every race into one for third place.  As if Hungary wasn't boring enough.

In other news, Jensen Button was the shocker elimination in Q2, just unable to kick himself into the final session.  More surprising than that would have to be the Sauber of Pete Rose getting into Q3 for the first time this season.  In what is also a first for the year, Vitaly Petrov outqualified his teammate Robert Kubica. 

The "duh" moment of the qualifying period has to go to Gandalf.  At the end of Q2, he was supposed to pull into the FIA scrutineering garage so his car could be weighed and checked.  This happens randomly during quals, and is mandatory.  As he pulled into the pit lane, the red light at the entry was on, a FIA marshal was waving and pointing where he was supposed to go... and he drove right on through.  "I didn't see him at all," said Gandalf afterwards.  "I don't care," said Whiting in reply, "here's a five grid-spot penalty."  Which is lucky, because he could have been excluded from the race.

Race is tomorrow morning, F1U! will be along sometime.  See you then!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 12:00 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 The top five qualifiers are not particularly surprising, are they? (snore)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 31, 2010 03:11 PM (+rSRq)

2 And yet I watch... the things I do for you guys. 

There's still only been one race this season that didn't have a Red Bull on the pole.  I think it's safe to say that, barring any major technical changes or rain on Quals day, they'll be pole-sitters for the rest of the season.

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 31, 2010 10:28 PM (iJfPN)

3 Please know that we appreciate the things you do for us.  :-)

Posted by: Mallory at August 01, 2010 05:23 PM (WJ2qy)

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