June 23, 2012

F1 Quals: Europe/Valencia 2012

A beautiful day dawned over the harbor and docks of Valencia as the F1 Circus headed out to figure out who would start where for the 2012 Grand Prix of Europe.  What was the result?  Let's take a look at the provisional grid:

Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:39.626 1:38.530 1:38.086
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:39.169 1:38.616 1:38.410
3 Metropolitan Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:38.825 1:38.570 1:38.475
4 Lettuce Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:39.530 1:38.489 1:38.505
5 Mumbles Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:39.464 1:38.531 1:38.513
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:39.061 1:38.504 1:38.623
7 Gandalf Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:39.651 1:38.703 1:38.741
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:39.009 1:38.689 1:38.752
9 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:39.622 1:38.563 1:38.801
10 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:38.858 1:38.519 1:38.992
11 HWMNBN Ferrari 1:39.409 1:38.707
12 Slappy Schumacher Mercedes 1:39.447 1:38.770
13 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:39.388 1:38.780
14 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:39.449 1:39.207
15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:39.353 1:39.358
16 Heikki Kovalaineninnie Caterham-Renault 1:40.087 1:40.295
17 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:39.924 1:40.358
18 Jules Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:40.203

19 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:40.395

20 The Red Menace Caterham-Renault 1:40.457

21 Pete Rose
HRT-Cosworth 1:42.171

22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:42.527

23 Charles ToothPic Marussia-Cosworth 1:42.675

DNS Tim O'Glockenspiel Marussia-Cosworth No time

Q1 107% Time

Yup, Sebby Vettel is on pole, joining Lewis Hamilton as the only drivers this season who have headed the timesheet twice.  It's his third consecutive Valencia pole to boot.  Lewis Hamilton joins him on the front row, making it look like nothing's changed.  But that's where it all begins to go pear-shaped, at least as far as history goes.  Only Jenson Button could have been expected to have been one of the top runners last year, and he's but ninth.  Around him are both Force Indias, and ahead of him are the likes of Gandalf, Lettuce, Metropolitan, Wonderboy and Mumbles.  Names like HWMNBN, Slappy and Mark Webber didn't even make it to Q3, and a technical difficulty meant the latter didn't even make it to Q2.

Yes, it's a weird grid, which is good.  However, the front of the grid is the same as it often is, and that's not good.  With passing at a premium here, seeing Vettel up at the front of the grid puts a chill in the heart, and puts the Different Winner streak in jeopardy.  We can only hope that Lettuce makes the leap!

You may notice that Tim O'Glockenspiel has an ugly "DNS" before his name.  Unfortunately, he was taken to a hospital overnight with a stomach ailment.  There's some question as to whether he'll be okay to race on Sunday.  If he is, he may not be allowed to start; that'll be up to the stewards.  Darn shame.

Race is tomorrow morning, but we won't get to see it here in the US until 11am on FOX.  Ah, the wonders of tape-delay.  See you then!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 09:06 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 484 words, total size 16 kb.

1 So we all have to root for Grosjean this time, right? The top three have each won once, so it's Grosjean's turn.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 23, 2012 09:49 AM (+rSRq)

2 Or Mumbles, yeah.  I guess it's "Root for Renault Lotus" week.

Posted by: Wonderduck at June 23, 2012 10:48 AM (2L1Hk)

3 Speed's commentators said the same thing about Vettel joining Hamilton in winning a second pole, but by my count he was on pole in Bahrain, Canada, and now Valencia, so that's his third.

I like Vettel, but I do hope that Lotus can keep the streak of different winners rolling.

Posted by: flatdarkmars at June 24, 2012 12:58 AM (I55Es)

4 I'm looking forward to reading your description of the race. I looked at the result this morning, and concluded that it must have been really, really strange, approaching utterly bizarre. It was something of a "How in hell did that happen?" moment.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 24, 2012 09:50 PM (+rSRq)

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