September 25, 2010

F1 Quals: Singapore 2010

Those must have been some darn interesting emotional swings in the Ferrari pits today.  Let's take a look at the provisional grid for the 2010 Grand Prix of Singapore:

Pos Driver Team Q1Q2Q3
1 HWMNBN Ferrari 1:46.541 1:45.809 1:45.390
2 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:46.960 1:45.561 1:45.457
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:48.296 1:46.042 1:45.571
4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:48.032 1:46.490 1:45.944
5 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:47.088 1:45.908 1:45.977
6 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:48.183 1:47.019 1:46.236
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:48.554 1:46.783 1:46.443
8 Robert Kubica Renault 1:47.657 1:46.949 1:46.593
9 Slappy Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:48.425 1:47.160 1:46.702
10 Gandalf Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:48.908 1:47.599 1:47.884
11 NKOTT STR-Ferrari 1:48.127 1:47.666
12 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:47.984 1:47.674
13 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:48.906 1:48.165
14 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:49.063 1:48.502
15 Grizzly Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:48.696 1:48.557
16 Adrian F'n Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:48.496 1:48.899
17 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:48.988 1:48.961
18 Timo Glockenspiel Virgin-Cosworth 1:50.721

19 Heikki Kovalaineninnie Lotus-Cosworth 1:50.915

20 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:51.107

21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:51.641

22 Zoroastrian Klien HRT-Cosworth 1:52.946

23 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:54.174

24 Felipe Massa Ferrari No time

One has to wonder when the last time Ferrari qualified on pole and dead last in the same race, without penalties.  You'll note that Massa set no time... either a frozen gearbox or an electronic engine management problem, one of the two (I've seen conflicting reports), brought the Brazilian to a stop out on track, ending whatever hope he had of a good race.  I've also seen reports that he's going to have to change both his gearbox and the engine.  If so, he'll be starting the race from the vicinity of Palembang.  Anyway, Ferrari then had the exciting experience of having HWMNBN call in early in Q2 reporting problems with his engine.  The team brought him in, rebooted the electronics, then sent him back out, all fingers crossed.  Of course the problem disappeared, much like when you restart your computer after it can't find your keyboard.  After that, it became a matter of HWMNBN ripping off ridiculously fast laps in a car that people were saying would stink after Monza, and nobody being able to match him.  His pole lap wasn't even done in the final shootout, but on his first flying lap in Q3.  HWMNBN now has two consecutive poles, and has suddenly catapulted himself into legit discussion for the Driver's Championship.

The rest of the heavy hitters were pretty much as you'd expect.  The big surprises today had to be the two replacement drivers, Grizzly Nick Heidfeld and Taoist Klien.  Remember what happened with Luca Badoer and Ferrari in 2009?  He stepped into the car and was far and away the slowest man on the grid.  Well, Grizzly Nick qualified midpack, a respectable performance indeed.  Over at HRT meanwhile, Jainist Klien simply demolished his teammate Bruno Senna.  He was over a second faster than Senna, which makes me wonder what the HRT might actually be capable of in the hands of someone a) talented and 2) experienced in the car.  Lord knows that DJ DNF, Senna and Cowboy Karun Chandhok haven't exactly covered themselves in glory this season.

So there you have it.  The five drivers in contention for the Driver's Championship are in the top five grid slots, which makes me think that the run to Turn 1 might be somewhat exciting tomorrow.  Of course, F1Update! will be along with the usual coverage... see you then!

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