June 25, 2011

F1 Quals: Valencia 2011

A beautiful day at Valencia for the Qualifying round of the 2011 Grand Prix of Europe.  Would the rules changes make a difference, would it be much ado about nothing?  Let's take a look at the provisional grid:

Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:39.116 1:37.305 1:36.975
2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:39.956 1:38.058 1:37.163
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:39.244 1:37.727 1:37.380
4 HWMNBN Ferrari 1:39.725 1:37.930 1:37.454
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:38.413 1:38.566 1:37.535
6 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:39.453 1:37.749 1:37.645
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:39.266 1:38.373 1:38.231
8 Slappy Schumacher Mercedes 1:39.198 1:38.365 1:38.240
9 Grizzly Nick Heidfeld Renault 1:39.877 1:38.781 No time
10 Adrian F'n Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:39.329 1:39.034 No time
11 The Red Menace
Renault 1:39.690 1:39.068
12 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:39.852 1:39.422
13 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:39.602 1:39.489
14 Gandalf Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:40.131 1:39.525
15 Bhikshu Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1:39.690 1:39.645
16 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:39.494 1:39.657
17 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:39.679 1:39.711
18 NKOTT STR-Ferrari 1:40.232

19 Heikki Kovalaineninnie Lotus-Renault 1:41.664

20 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1:42.234

21 Timo Glockenspiel Virgin-Cosworth 1:42.553

22 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1:43.584

23 Custard d'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1:43.735

24 Narain Kittylitter HRT-Cosworth 1:44.363

Q1 107% Time

A surprisingly undramatic Qualifying session today, to be honest.  There was a red flag in the middle of Q2 when Bhikshu Maldonado's Williams had a gearbox failure of some type, bringing him to a halt in the middle of the track.  Since they had to crane him off the course, the flag was thrown, but it was only for a couple of minutes and did not appear to disrupt anybody's qualifying plans.  Even Q3 felt unexciting: the most tension involved was wondering if Heidfeld and Sutil would come out for a lap in the session.  Neither did, realizing that the best they could likely do is ninth place.  By not coming out, they've protected a set of soft tires.  Kinda sad when that becomes more important than trying to improve your slot on the grid, but there you are.

The high point of Quals was undoubtedly Vettel's pole-winning lap, as it was the fastest a car has gone around the Valencia Street Circuit ever.  Nobody has broken into the 1:36s before the Red Bull did today.  So much for engine mapping restraints leashing the Bulls.

We don't know what the race will bring of course, but one would be a fool if you didn't think we'd have a Red Bull runaway.  Of course, Vettel has been hard-pushed the last two races and cracked under the pressure in Montreal, so it's not impossible that we'll have a good race.

We'll see tomorrow, and F1U! will be there as soon as we can... since the race is tape-delayed here in the US, it won't be starting until 11am Central.  See ya then!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:01 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 475 words, total size 16 kb.

1 Vettel is really having a hell of a year.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 25, 2011 01:44 PM (+rSRq)

2 Even with the change to the diffuser/exhaust this is the fastest quals ever.  I find it hopeful that the top 6 are within .7 seconds & no one, even HRT & Virgin ran into the 107% rule. I think Button will again suprise, his time even w/severe over-steer showed why he's a world champ. Really looking forward to the race, it should be a good one... I hope.

Posted by: von Krag at June 25, 2011 03:33 PM (VGXAE)

3 Even with the change to the diffuser/exhaust...

Actually, that change occurs at Silverstone.  Today was the engine mapping.

Posted by: Wonderduck at June 25, 2011 05:37 PM (n0k6M)

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