June 06, 2009

F1 Quals: Turkey 2009!

Have we just seen a tiny chink appear in the Brawn's armor?  The provisional grid for the Grand Prix of Turkey will be as follows:

Pos Driver Team Q1Q2Q3
1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:27.330 1:27.016 1:28.316
2 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:27.355 1:27.230 1:28.421
3 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:27.371 1:27.418 1:28.579
4 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:27.466 1:27.416 1:28.613
5 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:27.529 1:27.195 1:28.666
6 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:27.556 1:27.387 1:28.815
7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:27.508 1:27.349 1:28.858
8 HWMNBN Renault 1:27.988 1:27.473 1:29.075
9 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:27.517 1:27.418 1:29.191
10 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:27.788 1:27.455 1:29.357
11 Grizzly Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:27.795 1:27.521
12 Kazoo Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:27.691 1:27.629
13 Timo Glockenspiel Toyota 1:28.160 1:27.795
14 Heikki Kovalaineninnie McLaren-Mercedes 1:28.199 1:28.207
15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:28.278 1:28.391
16 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:28.318

17 Nelson Piquet Jr
Renault 1:28.582

18 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:28.708

19 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:28.717

20 SeaBass STR-Ferrari 1:28.918


Sebastian gets the clean sweep of qualifying, having the fastest speed in all three sessions.  Of course, the Red Bull RB5 got its new double diffuser at Monaco but that's hardly a good place to shake down new equipment.  Now that it's out on the open road, so to speak, it may just be that the Brawn has been supplanted as the best car.

Not to say that's for sure, however, because as usual the Brawns have more fuel on board than Vettel.  The polesitter weighs in at 649.5kg, Button is at 655.5kg, and Barrichello 652.5kg.  That extra weight might equal another lap or two on the first stint, and that may very well be the entire difference between the two marques.

All hail Adrian Sutil and Force India!  For the second race in a row, they managed to get out of Q1... while Lewis Hamilton's McLaren failed to get out of Q1 for the second race in a row.  In Monaco, of course, Hamilton stuck it into the wall, but no such excuse here: the MP4/24 is just a dog.  Everywhere it went, the rear end was twitching like an burlesque dancer's.  To be blunt, Hamilton and Kovaleininninnie are too busy keeping the car from killing them to be competitively fast.

The Ferraris, which looked so promising yesterday,  will have quite a task ahead of them if they want to keep the title of "Turkish Grand Prix Victors" entirely in-house.  Not bloody likely, though, considering that Massa has less fuel that Button, and Kimi about 3kg more.  Not an impressive result.

Finally, BMW must be feeling a little bit better.  They didn't look too bad in quals, and at least one of their drivers made it to Q3.  It's the right direction, at least.

I'm not sure which version of the race I'll be watching tomorrow:  Fox'll have SPEED's coverage at 2pm central, but I should also have the BBC's broadcast in my possession by noon.   So, which I watch will determine when the F1 Update! will be posted.  See you then, whenever it is!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 02:00 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 508 words, total size 11 kb.

1

It's amazing to me that McLaren hasn't gotten their cars straightened out by now. What in hell is the problem?

Is this because of the wind tunnel rule?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 06, 2009 03:25 PM (+rSRq)

2 The wind-tunnel ban is big, yes, but I'd guess the teams miss the ability to turn real laps on a real tracks between races even more. 

Sometimes, though, a car is just so flawed, for one reason or another, that scrapping the chassis might be the only way to fix it (see the 2008 Honda for an example).

Now, mind you, we're not talking about much here.  After all, Hamilton was only a second slower than Vettel in Q1... A few years back, when F1 and the Champcar (or whatever they were called) series both ran on the circuit at Montreal, the worst car from the F1 grid was over four seconds off pole.

That car, that miserable performer, that dog, would have been on pole for the ChampCar race by two seconds.

After quals today, Hamilton went ballistic. 

"Welcome to my world. We probably should have scrapped this car a long time ago. It is too late now," he told News of the World.

"If we scrapped it, it would have been a waste of money and hard work from all the guys. And with the way the economy is it could take five or six months to rebuild a car. And who's to say we would get it right?"

Eesh.

Posted by: Wonderduck at June 06, 2009 06:55 PM (hlGBx)

3 You can't really blame the guy. It's gotta be frustrating as hell to be doing so badly. And I think it's obvious to everyone that it's the car, not the driver.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 06, 2009 07:09 PM (+rSRq)

4

I don't blame him at all.  I'm pretty sure it IS the car, but as an aside, the best drivers can get results out of a bad car too.  Not championship results, true, but useful ones... and can give input as to what's wrong with the car, not just "we should have scrapped it."

Now is when we find out if Lewis Hamilton really is as good as I thought he was last year.

Posted by: Wonderduck at June 06, 2009 08:36 PM (UdB9M)

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