F1 News, Views and Reviews

Bahrain GP 2010: Vettel Takes Pole On Scintillating Saturday In Bahrain

Sebastian Vettel did just enough with an excellent flying lap in Bahrain to take pole position for tomorrow’s first Grand Prix of 2010.

The German racer started where he left off for Red Bull Racing after a quality session where Red Bull really showed their pace after a poor Friday practice.

“In winter testing no one really knew where he was. It was clear there were four teams were pretty strong, but close to each other.” Vettel said post qualifying,

“To be honest yesterday was a tough day for us, we had not as much running as we hoped for. Another long night, especially mechanics with not much sleep and a lot of long faces, but they were keen this morning to keep pushing.

“I knew we had a great car, but obviously first of all we had to get it together.”

Felipe Massa managed to grab 2nd ahead of Fernando Alonso who will have to settle for third despite having a greater pace over the first two sessions.  The Spaniard was satisfied with Ferrari’s pace.

“I am very happy obviously,” said Alonso. “At is the first race, there are many things to answer in the first race with a long winter with a big difference in fuel loads, in all the tests and yesterday in practice, you never know what the competitors are running.

“We were excited about the first qualifying of the season, so now to have both drivers in the top three means we have a very competitive car. We thought so, but you need to confirm and it has been great, a great day and I think it is some kind of nice feeling to realise that we are in the fight because you never know until qualifying.”

Lewis Hamilton managed 4th place after a poor first lap in Q3, but was significantly faster than Jenson Button his new team mate who had to settle for 8th, behind Rosberg, Webber and Michael Schumacher who didn’t make any big surprises on his race comeback with Mercedes Benz.

It was Kubica and Sutil who rounded out the top 10, the latter along with his team mate Tonio Liuzzi (12th) who made the big surprises with the Force India showing excellent pace – definitely one to watch for the season.

Rubens Barrichello in 11th will get to select his tyre compound andget a set of fresh rubber ahead of the race, giving him a potential advantage at the start of tomorrow’s GP over the top 10.  Team mate Nico Hulkenberg looked to have the measure over Rubens in practice but the old master beat the young German who will start in 13th tomorrw.

The Sauber’s didn’t continue their successful test pace, down in 13th and 16th respectively, jostling with the Toro Rosso’s.

The new teams didn’t make ground but had a fairly successful day considering that it was their first ever qualifying sessions.  Virgin took first blood over Lotus, but the green and yellow Cosworth powered machines looked to be more consistent than Virgin’s racers.  Hispania got both cars out, and despite only a handful of laps they look ok for tomorrow – Karun Chandhok finally getting behind the wheel of an F1 car competitively.

Pos  Driver         Team                   Q1        Q2        Q3       
 1.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault       1:55.029  1:53.883  1:54.101  
 2.  Massa          Ferrari                1:55.313  1:54.331  1:54.242 
 3.  Alonso         Ferrari                1:54.612  1:54.172  1:54.608 
 4.  Hamilton       McLaren-Mercedes       1:55.341  1:54.707  1:55.217 
 5.  Rosberg        Mercedes               1:55.463  1:54.682  1:55.241 
 6.  Webber         Red Bull-Renault       1:55.298  1:54.318  1:55.284 
 7.  Schumacher     Mercedes               1:55.593  1:55.105  1:55.524 
 8.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:55.715  1:55.168  1:55.672 
 9.  Kubica         Renault                1:55.511  1:54.963  1:55.885 
10.  Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1:55.213  1:54.996  1:56.309 
11.  Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1:55.969  1:55.330 
12.  Liuzzi         Force India-Mercedes   1:55.628  1:55.653 
13.  Hulkenberg     Williams-Cosworth      1:56.375  1:55.857 
14.  de la Rosa     Sauber-Ferrari         1:56.428  1:56.237 
15.  Buemi          Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:56.189  1:56.265 
16.  Kobayashi      Sauber-Ferrari         1:56.541  1:56.270 
17.  Petrov         Renault                1:56.167  1:56.619 
18.  Alguersuari    Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:57.071
19.  Glock          Virgin-Cosworth        1:59.728
20.  Trulli         Lotus-Cosworth         1:59.852
21.  Kovalainen     Lotus-Cosworth         2:00.313
22.  di Grassi      Virgin-Cosworth        2:00.587
23.  Senna          HRT-Cosworth           2:03.240
24.  Chandhok       HRT-Cosworth           2:04.904

Seb Vet

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