March 13, 2010

F1 Quals: Bahrain 2010!

So the first qualifying session of the 2010 season is in the books, and while some things have changed, the results sure look the same.  Let's take a look at the grid:

Pos Driver Team Q1

1 Sebastian Vettel

2 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:55.313

1:54.331 1:54.242
3 HWMNBN Ferrari 1:54.612

1:54.172 1:54.608
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes

1:54.707 1:55.217
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes Benz GP Ltd

1:54.682 1:55.241
6 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:55.298

1:54.318 1:55.284
7 Slappy Schumacher
Mercedes Benz GP Ltd 1:55.593

1:55.105 1:55.524
8 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:55.715

1:55.168 1:55.672
9 Robert Kubica Renault 1:55.511

1:54.963 1:55.885
10 Adrian F'n Sutil
Force India-Mercedes 1:55.213

1:54.996 1:56.309
11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:55.969

12 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:55.628

13 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:56.375

14 Pete Rose
BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:56.428

15 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:56.189

16 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:56.541

17 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:56.167

18 NKOTT STR-Ferrari 1:57.071

19 Timo Glockenspiel Virgin-Cosworth 1:59.728

20 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:59.852

21 Heikki Kovalaininninninnie Lotus-Cosworth 2:00.313

22 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 2:00.587

23 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 2:03.240

24 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 2:04.904

A bunch of new rules changes that we need to talk about before we get around to discussing the grid.  First off, all qualifying sessions are now done on low fuel.  Prior to this year, teams had to declare how much gas they'd start with in the race, and carry that in Q3.  Since there's no refuelling in-race now, everybody gets the same amount of gas (more or less).  Another switch is that the cars in Q3 have to start the race on the tires with which they set their fast lap.  In other words, if they used (say) soft tires to qualify, that very same set must be on the car to begin the race.  Finally, teams are limited to 11 sets of dry tires for the entire weekend, and can only use six sets during the race itself, three of each compound. 

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's look at how the cars'll line up for the race!  No shock at the top of the grid, what with Seb Vettel and Luscious Liz on the pole.  Perhaps a small surprise in Massa beating his teammate, HWMNBN, particularly considering the rumors that Felipe is a little twitchy being back in the cockpit.  No surprise at all is that Nico Rosberg handily beat his teammate, Slappy Schumacher.  Schumi's been unhappy with his car all weekend, and has been right around 8th on the timesheets the whole time.  World Champion Jenson Button must be disappointed to be picking up right where he left off last season with a lukewarm qualifying session.  His teammate, Lewis Hamilton, is probably also disappointed, despite ending up fourth on the grid... he always expects to be on pole when he's got a halfway decent car under him.  And a big 'attaboy' to Force India for their 10th-12th qualys.  I'm amazed, but we might have to consider them halfway serious contenders!

Really, though, we need to give the techies at HRT a round of applause.  Despite a major gearbox problem that prevented Karun Chandhok from getting any track time in the three practice sessions, the team pulled an overnighter to get the car in running order.  Of course, Chandhok ended up 24th, but he got seven laps under his belt, each one faster than the one before it.  His first flying lap was 2:11, and taking six seconds off the time is pretty good.  Okay, yes, he's nearly 11 seconds off the pace, but good job anyways!  None of the new teams could be considered quick, however.  Actually, "quick" isn't in their vocabulary... yet.

So here we go!  The first race is right around the corner, and I can't wait!  See you tomorrow!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:20 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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It's going to take a race or two to be able to put the teams and drivers together.

Seems to me that practice time ought to be expanded rather than rationed, considering how expensive those cars are. 

Looking forward to the race tomorrow!!!



Posted by: Mallory at March 13, 2010 01:09 PM (WJ2qy)

2 That "three of each kind" rule scares me a bit. It seems like accident bait, at least when you're on a track that eats tires, like this one does.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 13, 2010 01:50 PM (+rSRq)

3 Another problem with it is that it may put more of a premium on "preserving tires" than on "driving fast". Isn't "driving fast" supposed to be the main point?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 13, 2010 04:22 PM (+rSRq)

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