November 06, 2010

F1 Quals: Brazil 2010

Pundits always say that rain is the great equalizer in Formula 1.  Guess what the weather was doing at the Autodromo Juan Carlos Pace during Qualifying today?  Let's take a look at the provisional grid for Sunday's Grand Prix of Brazil:

Pos Driver Team Q1Q2Q3
1 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:20.050 1:19.144 1:14.470
2 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:19.160 1:18.691 1:15.519
3 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:19.025 1:18.516 1:15.637
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:19.931 1:18.921 1:15.747
5 HWMNBN Ferrari 1:18.987 1:19.010 1:15.989
6 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:19.799 1:18.925 1:16.203
7 Robert Kubica Renault 1:19.249 1:18.877 1:16.552
8 Slappy Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:19.879 1:18.923 1:16.925
9 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:19.778 1:19.200 1:17.101
10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:20.189 1:19.153 1:17.656
11 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:19.905 1:19.288
12 Gandalf Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:19.741 1:19.385
13 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:20.153 1:19.486
14 NKOTT STR-Ferrari 1:20.158 1:19.581
15 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:20.096 1:19.847
16 Grizzly Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:20.174 1:19.899
17 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:20.592 1:20.357
18 Adrian F'n Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:20.830

19 Timo Glockenspiel Virgin-Cosworth 1:22.130

20 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:22.250

21 Heikki Kovalaineninnie Lotus-Cosworth 1:22.378

22 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:22.810

23 Zoroastrian Klien HRT-Cosworth 1:23.083

24 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:23.796

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you, that really is Nico "The Incredible" Hulkenberg on pole.  That's Williams' first pole position in 100 races, the 2005 European Grand Prix.  It's Cosworth's first pole since 1999. 

The rain was pelting down in Q1, stopped just after the beginning of Q2, and a dry line emerged with only a few minutes left in Q3.  The first hotlaps in Q3 were done on the Intermediate tires, with the final run for pole being the land of the super-softs and the incredibly brave.

If you take the lap of Hulkenberg's life off the board, his second-fastest lap still would have had him on pole.  He and the team just got it absolutely right... which doesn't mean that he's going to have a fast race tomorrow.  See, the weather was crappy today but the forecast for tomorrow is for clear skies and dry tracks.  The teams had to decide if they were going to go for a wet setup to help them qualify but which would hurt them in the race, or sacrifice qualifying pace and go for the race.  Because of the changing conditions today though, it's hard to judge how everybody is set-up.  My guess is that the Red Bulls and Lewis Hamilton split the difference, HWMNBN has a mostly dry setup... and as great a story as Hulkenberg is, he's essentially irrelevant to tomorrow.  The Williams just doesn't have the grunt to be a contender for a podium slot in the race.

But darn, it's cool to see someone in a car that isn't red, silver or dark blue up at the top of the time-sheet!  Rain changes everything.

See you tomorrow for the Brazilian Grand Prix F1U!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 01:35 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 Awesome pole win by Hulkenburg!  It would probably be too much to hope that he'll have another awesome day and win the race, too, but still--it's nice to see there are other drivers in F1. 

Posted by: Mallory at November 07, 2010 09:03 AM (WJ2qy)

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