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F1 2011 Launch Catch Up – McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull, Sauber, Toro Rosso, Renault…

Catching up on the launches in one mega post.  Here in you’ll find quick interviews with senior members of the team and photos from the Red Bull, Sauber, Renault Lotus, Toro Rosso, Mercedes and McLaren launches.

Apologies for being somewhat late, the whole blog isn’t running at full power until the season starts again.

Red Bull RB7

The world champions launched their new car, named the RB7.  A clear advancement on the hugely successful RB6, hopes are high that this machine can deliver once again.

“This year is no different to any other,” said Christian Horner, team principal of Red Bull.

“I think if we had not have won either championship last year there would have been that expectation and obviously the pressure that comes with that. We’ve achieved that and achieved that in a short space of time and I think it is like winning your first grand prix.

“Out of that comes confidence but not arrogance, but the team goes into this year very, very motivated and very committed but you have to remember we are still an independent team with a customer engine that achieved some remarkable things last year and that is our target again, again, obviously this year.”

 

Sauber C30

The independent Swiss team pulled the covers of their new car, the C30 marking the second incarnation of the team in its modern era.  The new car is backed heavily by Mexican giants Telmex and will be raced by Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez.

Former Force India but now Sauber technical director James Key said: “Our aim in the development of the Sauber C30-Ferrari has been to build on the strengths of the C29 and to eliminate its weak points.

“In addition, it is also important for us to go into winter testing with a car we understand, and we have worked hard on ensuring the characteristics of the car are heading in a direction we believe in. There will be much to learn about the new Pirelli tyres and in this respect we want to ensure there are no surprises with the way the car is handling.”

“My rookie season was a very challenging, very exciting period,” Kamui Kobayashi commented at the launch as he enters his second full season of racing.

“Now it’s still exciting but it’s a different role. It’s more the experienced driver in the team. I am thinking how I can bring a good level to the team.

“I have to be ready to lead the team. That’s why Peter Sauber and the team chose me for this year. This is definitely my challenge and let’s say I am ready to be the leader for the team.”

 

Renault Lotus R31

Newly backed by Group Lotus, Renault pulled the covers off their new car – the R31 – to a mass of media wondering what the final paint scheme would look like, and wondering how the Lotus name debate would go on.  The debate on the name may still be rumbling, but there is no debate over how fabulous the car looks in classic JPS brown and gold.

Featuring front blown exhausts, it looks fast and could be a title contender.  And with Bruno Senna as a spare driver, it harks back wonderful memories seeing the yellow helmet inside a JPS liveried Lotus.

“I’m happy that we had some creative designs on the car. We clearly back our team and definitely our technical team because we want to be fast, we want to be at the front.” said team principal Eric Boullier

“We know it takes time. You have to be creative. You have to find different ways of creating downforce or performance points. We have been taking this path because we believed, quite early in 2010, that we could find more gains going this way.

“In the wind tunnel, or on paper shall we say, the car already has more performance than 12 months ago. If it’s on the car it’s because we believe it works. But we will see on the track.”

Meanwhile Robert Kubica, the number 1 driver was somewhat cautious on their chances “I think realistically speaking is far too early to say what will be possible to achieve this year,”

“Last season was quite disappointing and let’s hope this year will be different. I think definitely we are more prepared this year, because of the more stable situation in the team than last winter, when I joined the team.

“The winter of 2009 and 2010 was very difficult for Renault and I think this year the engineers and designers had a much easier time and much more time to design the car and I think they have done a really good job.”

 

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR6

Toro Rosso, always in their senior brothers shadow has brought a new design to the table and hopes it will deliver them more success this season in the capable hands of Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi.

The pairing are aiming for 6th place in the Ferrari powered beast.

“My expectations are to do a decent year and we have to have the target to be eighth and as I said, we are good to be ninth but we have to do better. And at the end of the year we have to bring back an eighth place,” said Giorgio Ascanelli.

“Last year we didn’t have a wind-tunnel, the CFD was not mature in order to define the car,” he added. “Therefore, we did not change very much apart from those elements linked to the change of regulation between 2009 and 2010.

“This year the tools which design the car in its performance aspect, which are again the wind tunnel and CFD, are more mature, which means that although we are still learning how to make the best of them I think we have started using them properly.

“For this year, we have to aim for eighth place, because that is our target and I didn’t think that was possible if we had gone with some sort of conventional car.”

 

Mercedes Benz WO2

Mercedes Benz will be hoping that their second modern F1 car can deliver them some more success than last season.  With Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg behind the wheel they have plenty of potential.  A well sponsor backed car now features the light green of Petronas merging into the brushes silver paintwork.  Ross Brawn, the technical mastertmind behind multiple drivers world championship wins will be eager to deliver the German squad some success.

“It is always a thrill to see a new car ready to take the track for the first time and this year is no exception,” said Brawn. “After our first year as the Mercedes-Benz works team, we are now seeing the benefits of our chassis and engine groups working well together.

“With a good technical structure and a strengthened race engineering organisation, both at the factory and the race track, I am confident that we have done and will continue to do a better job this year in all key areas.

“We want to be setting the standard right from the start but if we are not, we will respond very strongly to get ourselves into the game. Everyone is excitedly waiting to see what the new season will reveal.”

Meanwhile top driver Michael Schumacher was upbeat on the chances of the car delivering him a record breaking 8th world championship.

“I very much look forward to the new season. We have said it several times already but again, we are really to building up something big together. I am very confident that this season we will be standing on the podium much more regularly; ideally in the middle!”

 

McLaren MP4-26

McLaren launched their radical new car in Berlin in a ceremony hosted by lead sponsors Vodafone.  The car will be raced by two former world champions, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.

The new car features L-Shaped sidepods, and a two tier floor amongst other technical advancements.  The squad are already looking at incorporating a front blown exhaust similar to the Renault Lotus’ design.

Lewis Hamilton was very happy with the machine on launch day.

“I hope the car proves just as innovative once we take to the track next week,” said Hamilton. “I head into 2011 in a relaxed but determined frame of mind.

“I’ve spared nothing during my winter fitness preparations and, in many ways, I feel as fit, focused and refreshed as I did ahead of my first season in Formula 1 in 2007.

“Having spent the past few weeks talking with our designers and engineers, I feel extremely happy that we’ve created a car that will once again allow us to fight at the front.”

 

 

 


Why Michael Schumacher Could Win The 2011 World Championship

Michael Schumacher’s 2010 comeback was somewhat abortive.  The results, the driving standard and the overtakes were well below par for the former champion.  He even let his team mate beat him for the first time in his career.  So why can Schumacher, the fallen Ferrari hero, win the world championship for an 8th time?

It’s still the same Michael Schumacher

Indeed, we saw glimpses of it last season.  The passion, and the desire to do well.  He was racing on the ragged edge, braking as late – if not later – than anyone else.  The trouble was, he didn’t have the car underneath him to be able to win.  It took him a while to get reacquainted, but in truth it would take anyone a while to get used to be these new cars.

The 2011 car will be built around him

Sorry Rosberg fans, the fact is – Schumacher & Brawn will be running the show at Mercedes Benz.  Let’s not forget, they are paying Michael an arm and a leg to race for them.  He will design the car around him, something he didn’t get chance to do last season.  He also has an entire year of racing with the wide nosed, tall winged cars so has plenty of data and ideas to call upon when constructing the new vehicle.  An insider has already said that downforce and grip levels on the simulator are exceeding expectations.  Not a bad start?

Pirelli Tyres

Yep, the great big unknown means it’s all a level playing field this season.  No-one knows much about Pirelli just yet, so it’s a fair and even start for all the drivers.  It’s about adaptability, and we know deep down inside the 42 year old he can adapt.  He also looked quick in the 2010 car on 2011 rubber.

Less expectation than last year

At the start of 2010, we all expected the Schumacher from 2006 to jump behind the wheel and immediately win.  Let’s not forget here, 2005 and 2006 were barren seasons for Schumacher – he walked away with nothing.  He was in decline, so why did we expect him to be immediately brilliant?  I was and still am a Schumacher fan, but I knew he was not as good as he used to be.  This year he will have less expectation than before.  We’re all used to him driving and Germany has a new world champion to thrust under the spotlight at every opportunity in Sebastian Vettel.

Other drivers still fear him


When the red baron’s helmet is filling your wing mirrors, surely it must make your heart beat twice as fast.  Fernando Alonso has already said he fears Schumacher the most for 2011

“There will be five world champions on the track and the most dangerous champion for me is always Michael.  Now in January if I have to choose one name I have to say Michael. He is seven-time champion, he has nothing to prove. He had a difficult season but he is still a champion. N He is still super class and if the car is right he will be a contender,”

BUT

Its not all going in Schumacher’s favour.   Michael is a lot older than any of the other title contenders now, and that could be his downfall.  Not suggesting he isn’t fit, he is probably more athletic now than he was before – but age is still a factor.  Red Bull are not suddenly going to be slow, they just aren’t.  Not with Vettel and Newey onboard.  Ferrari and Alonso will be desperate for the title.  McLaren have two world champions driving for them.  Oh and there’s the small matter of the fact Nico Rosberg was better than Michael last season.

Nevertheless, as an outside bet – you could do a lot worse than Michael.


Race Of Champions Round Up: Germany & Albuquerque Win, Kovalainen Drama

Team Germany ran away to success in the Race of Champions Nation Cup last weekend, a victory on home soil in Dusseldorf for the pairing of Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher.

The pair overcame stiff competition from top motorsport countries of the world, as drivers from all motorsport disciplines tried their hand in a variety of cars on the circuit.

Meanwhile in the individual classification there was a surprise winner in Filipe Albuquerque, the relative unknown driver who has spent the last two seasons racing GT cars in Italy.  He previously raced in Gp2 and Formula Renault 3.5.

“I was not really expecting to win. I just came here to do my best. I don’t know if it will open doors. I think I know what I want. But let’s see, take it day by day.

“I came here, did my best, when it counted it was good. Even if I had not won, even being so close to Sebastien [Loeb] in the end was already really good for me.”

Meanwhile there was drama for 2004 champion and Lotus F1 driver Heikki Kovalainen.  Following victory in an Audi R8 race, the Finn crashed and knocked himself unconscious.

“Hardcore shunt with throttle jammed and rear suspension damaged, got knocked out, now some medical checkups,” he wrote on his Twitter page.

“Head’s a bit sore, I was unconscious for 30 seconds”

 


Alonso Fastest On Final Day Of Pirelli Tests

Fernando Alonso was the fastest man on the second and final day of the Pirelli tyre tests at Abu Dhabi.

The Spaniard, who came close to winning the 2010 World Championship, set a fastest time of 1.40.529.  That was around a tenth quicker than second placed man Michael Schumacher who has clearly taken to the Pirelli tyres better than team mate Nico Rosberg.

World Champion Sebastian Vettel was third, while McLaren testers Gary Paffett and Oliver Turvey were 6th and 7th.

Pastor Maldonado, linked heavily with a 2011 Williams drive, was out for Hispania once again and finished in 14th place just ahead of Virgin’s Timo Glock.

Pos  Driver              Team         Time       Laps
 1.  Fernando Alonso     Ferrari      1m40.529s  105
 2.  Michael Schumacher  Mercedes     1m40.685s  74
 3.  Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull     1m40.825s  66
 4.  Rubens Barrichello  Williams     1m41.294s  100
 5.  Robert Kubica       Renault      1m41.614s  91
 6.  Gary Paffett        McLaren      1m41.622s  46
 7.  Oliver Turvey       McLaren      1m41.740s  30
 8.  Paul di Resta       Force India  1m41.869s  35
 9.  Kamui Kobayashi     Sauber       1m42.110s  43
10.  Sebastien Buemi     Toro Rosso   1m42.145s  97
11.  Tonio Liuzzi        Force India  1m42.416s  46
12.  Sergio Perez        Sauber       1m42.777s  46
13.  Jarno Trulli        Lotus        1m44.521s  83
14.  Pastor Maldonado    Hispania     1m44.768s  65
15.  Timo Glock          Virgin       1m44.783s  82

 


Schumacher Says First Test Will Be Key To 2011 Hopes

Michael Schumacher has declared that he will know from the first time he drives Mercedes Benz’s 2011 car if it is to be competitive or not.

The former 7 time world champion made a comeback this season with the German based outfit following three years on the sidelines, and says that the initial testing will be key to future development, race wins and importantly whether the team will be able to compete for the titles.

Schumacher added that he knew from the first test with the 2010 car that it was not competitive enough.

“What we want to see is we have a feeling with the car, especially with what I know from now,” he said of his hopes for the first test next year.

“I could jump into the car and get a reasonable feeling, although the rules will change and not be 100 per cent precise, but you do get an input.

“At the [first] test this year, even though I had not driven for three years, I got a warning that was later confirmed.

“I hope we have no warnings, that we have a competitive car, one we can develop, and very importantly it will be what you see towards the end of the tests to the first race [that counts].

“That’s my main focus, so when I drive it I hope I get a good read of it.”

Meanwhile, looking back at his somewhat disappointing 2010 season, Michael said he was satisifed.

“Looking back at certain events there are reasons to be happy with certain things,” he said.

“Looking at the development over the year, particularly with what I take out of it, the team, Mercedes, asked me to come back because of who and what I am, and what contribution I can make.

“From all these factors we are happy to keep on working together, and most importantly I am happy to keep on working together because I have fun.”

 

 


I’m Fine And Looking Forward To 2011 – Schumacher

Michael Schumacher reassured fans that he was totally fine following a horrific accident at yesterday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The former 7 time world champion was lucky to escape serious injury following an incident with Force India driver Vitantonio Liuzzi.  Schumacher spun early on into the first lap of the Grand Prix, and Liuzzi came flying around the corner to be greeted with Schumacher stranded in the middle of the circuit.  The Italian drivers car bounced up onto the Mercedes Benz narrowly missing Schumacher’s helmet.  The German was helpless inside the cockpit.

Both drivers emerged unscathed, and shook hands on their way back to the pitlane.

Schumacher said: “I went off the line, spun and because of the dirt there, the back of the car just came around.

“I had to go to the medical centre just for a precautionary check, but I am totally fine and was not hit by anything in the incident.”

It was a sad end to a poor come back year for Schumacher.  He had shown good pace towards the end of the season, and said he was looking forward to competing again next year with his German backed Mercedes Benz outfit.

“What happened is a shame as obviously I would have liked to have finished the season with a more positive ending,” he added.

“But I am already looking forward to fighting again next year.”

 

 


Reaction To Sebastian Vettel’s 2010 World Championship Win

Here’s a selection of comments and quotes to Sebastian Vettel’s World Championship win today at Abu Dhabi.

Sebastian Vettel: “I am a bit speechless to be honest, I don’t know what you’re supposed to say in this moment. It is unbelievable. I went to bed and kept thinking about the race, about what might happen. I had some good imaginations and a good feeling.”

“We have seen incredible fights and a tight season.”   don’t know how many times we have had a different leader. Some people got written off very early and then came back, like Fernando, they came back hard. Lewis [Hamilton] came back and was leading all of us.  For some reason it does not feel like it is happening. It’s strange, but it will sink in when I finally go to sleep – but I think we will have daylight before that happens.”

Michael Schumacher (former 7 time world champion): “I’m quite happy for him because we are friends and it has been a tough year for him.  He’s had up and downs he has had to go through, probably more on the mechanical side than on the driving side so he really deserves this championship.  Well done to him, well done to the team, a great job from them all.

“My time was different time from his time, I just feel very happy for him. I think he deserves all the credit. He is a great driver, he is a fantastic guy, so I am more than happy for him.”

Christian Horner (Red Bull team principal): “It’s unbelievable.  It’s been a very emotional week for this team. I’m just so proud of the team. It’s just an amazing feeling to be double world champions, it’s the icing on the cake with the drivers’ [title]. This team is the best team in the world.  Sebastian, it’s the first time he’s led the world championship and he’s done it at the last race of the year. Unbelievable. A great job, he drove a perfect race when the pressure was on.

“He has had ups and downs, he’s had bad luck, he’s had some mechanical problems, some engine failures but he never lost his focus and belief – and now he is a champion. A great season.”

Mark Webber (Red Bull team mate): “I fully congratulate Seb on the world championship.”

Nico Rosberg (Mercedes Benz): “Congratulations to Sebastian today and he deserved the title.”

Jenson Button (McLaren): “Sebastian’s had some great races this year.  We’ve all had up and down races this year, but for the last few races Sebastian has done a great job, and he deserves to be world champion of course.”

Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber): “I also want to congratulate Sebastian (Vettel) for his great success!”

Rob @TheF1FanaticsBlog: “I was always confident that Vettel would win a title someday, but I really thought Alonso would win today.  Well done to him, but as a Ferrari fan I am highly disappointed!”

 


Bye Bye Bridgestone!

At this afternoon’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Bridgestone will officially say sayonara to Formula One.  The Japanese tyre manufacturer has been working in the sport tirelessly (geddit?) since 1997, being the sole supplier of rubber since 2007.

They will have completed 242 Grand Prix by the time they have finished the race this afternoon.

“Abu Dhabi is likely to be an emotional weekend for everyone at Bridgestone Motorsport as this will be our final race” said Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Bridgestone Motorsport.

“I have been involved in Bridgestone’s motorsport operations since our very first limited entry in the 1976 and 1977 Japanese Grands Prix and pushed hard for our full time entry which finally came in 1997.

“In this time Bridgestone has grown enormously as a company, with Formula 1 showcasing our company’s strength and qualities on a world stage to an enormous audience.

“I have attended well over 200 races myself and have made so many good relationships with the participants in this wonderful sport. Next year will be very different for me and for all of my Bridgestone Motorsport colleagues.”

Bridgestone joined at the Australian Grand Prix of 1997, producing tyres for Prost, Lola, Stewart and Minardi.

“We entered the sport in 1997 against a very experienced competitor in Goodyear, who had contested so many races before, yet we were able to be competitive in our first season, even when most of the front-running teams were running on our rival’s products.” Hirohide Hamashima, head of tyre development said,

“We scored points in our first race and the first Bridgestone podium came in our second race. We even came very close to a win with Damon Hill in the Arrows Yamaha at Hungary so this was a very good debut for us.”

At the end of the season, Goodyear walked away from F1 and Bridgestone became the sole tyre supplier.  They would remain in this position until 2001, when Michelin came into the sport.

“From 2001 to 2006 we battled hard with Michelin,” continued Hamashima.“Our engineers in Japan and at the track were dedicated to winning and we learnt so many things in this period.”

Many top teams left the supply of Bridgestone for Michelin who had percieved to have created better tyres.  Ferrari stuck with the Japanese manufacturer and delivered drivers and constructors titles between 2000 and 2004 with Michael Schumacher at the wheel.  In 2005 and 2006 however Fernando Alonso, Michelin and Renault would be the success story.

The tyre war saw increasing budgets and controversy.  At the 2005 United States Grand Prix the tyre war came to a head.  The cars on Michelin tyres all completed the parade lap of the race and returned to the garages leaving just 6 cars on the starting grid for the race.  Nothing like this had been seen before, or thankfully since.  Fans were outraged, Bernie Ecclestone too was fuming.  The reason behind it was the Michelin tyre sidewalls were alleged to be not strong enough to cope with the banking at the Indianapolis circuit, so in order to keep within safety regulations they pulled out of the race.

At the end of 2006, Michelin walked away from F1 and Bridgestone once again became the sole tyre supplier.  It was at this time, the soft/hard compound tyre rules came in and the white stripe was added to the grooved tyres to show which driver was on which compound.  The move, designed to spark greater creativity in pit stop strategy and spice up the spectacle with fans remains with us today.  At the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix, green stripes were added to the tyres in order to make greater awareness that Bridgestone were being a “green” and “carbon friendly” company.

For 2009, the big news was that grooved tyres were gone and slick tyres were returning.  A big hit with the fans, the soft and hard tyre compounds have provided two seasons of classic racing and championships.

Pirelli are set to take over from the start of next season, so its farewell and thanks to the Bridgestone Tyre Company for all the time, money and effort they put into creating such a vital part of our sport.

Thanks, and goodbye Bridgestone!


Brazilian GP 2010: Vettel Wins At Interlagos As Red Bull Crowned Constructors Champions

Sebastian Vettel won the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, ahead of team mate Mark Webber.  The pairs 1-2 means that Red Bull are now the constructors world champions.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was 3rd, picking up more points as he looks to shore up the drivers championship.

Race Review

We had a new pole sitter at the start of the race inn Nico Hulkenberg.  However the glory was short lived for the German, who didn’t have a great start and was immediately over taken by Sebastian Vettel.

On the way down to turn 3, Webber took 2nd from the Williams driver while it took Fernando Alonso another lap to dispatch the former GP2 Champion.  Alonso had managed to sneak past Lewis Hamilton for 4th, when the British driver made a mistake at the end of the straight into turn 3.

From then on, the Red Bull’s significantly pulled away and Fernando Alonso attempted to catch them up.  Lewis Hamilton got stuck behind Hulkenberg, complaining of a poor amount of grip.  He would eventually pit for harder tyres, set a few fastest laps and once again begin complaining of a lack of grip.  This years McLaren seems to be struggling with the tyre degradation.

Further back, Michael Schumacher had a good start but got force onto the grass at turn 2, but got moved back to 10th when he rejoined.  He slipped passed Jenson Button, but after his pit stop he got stranded behind Adrian Sutil.

Many drivers, including Jenson Button and Felipe Massa pitted for tyres early on to get out of the train that had formed behind Hulkenberg’s Williams.  Both Massa and Barrichello had problems at their stops, no luck for the Brazilian’s today.  Massa had to make a second stop, he seemingly had an issue with the front right tyre.

There was relatively little action in the middle half of the race, with the action coming from Webber trying to catch Vettel.  Massa was making his way through the field, and Jenson Button too had thrown himself into contention.

On lap 51, Vitantonio Liuzzi got it all wrong into turns 1 and 2, had he slammed into the barriers by the pitlane.  The safety car had to come out, and both McLaren drivers pitted for tyres as they had been complaining of a lack of grip.  It left them with a lot of overtaking to do.

The safety car also threw Nico Rosberg into the pits, and a horrible pit stop where the front tyre changers appeared to have no idea which Bridgestone’s had been taken off the car and which ones were supposed to be going on.  Nightmare stuff from the silver arrow mechanics.  Rosberg pitted again a lap later changing his mind from harder prime tyres to super soft option tyres.

When the safety car returned to the pits, Vettel pulled away with the fastest lap of the race.  Further back, drivers struggled to work their way through the traffic.  Alonso was held up for far too long by Alguersuari, meanwhile the two McLaren’s couldn’t free themselves from a brace of fast cars in the midfield with their new tyres.

On lap 60, Massa went around the outside of Buemi at turn 3.  The Swiss driver wasn’t happy so rammed Massa off the road.  More bad luck for the Brazilian who is having oen of the worst seasons of his Ferrari career.  Adrian Sutil also had contact with Buemi, but managed to get passed to secure 12th.

Nick Heidfeld was unlucky to be given a drive through penalty for ignoring blue flags at the restart.  In all honesty, everyone in that pack wasn’t concentrating on the flags – either penalise none or all.

From there on it was a relatively easy race, and Sebastian Vettel took the race win ahead of Mark Webber.   Red Bull are now the constructors World Champions.

Race Results

Pos Driver Team Time
1 S. Vettel Red Bull Renault 1.33.11.803
2 M. Webber Red Bull Renault +4.243
3 F. Alonso Ferrari +6.807
4 L. Hamilton McLaren Mercedes +14.634
5 J. Button McLaren Mercedes +15.593
6 N. Rosberg Mercedes +33.300
7 M. Schumacher Mercedes +43.400
8 N. Hulkenberg Williams Cosworth + 1 lap
9 R. Kubica Renault + 1 lap
10 K. Kobayashi Sauber Ferrari + 1 lap
11 J. Alguersuari Toro Rosso Ferrari + 1 lap
12 A Sutil Force India Mercedes + 1 lap
13 S. Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari + 1 lap
14 F. Massa Ferrari + 1 lap
15 V. Petrov Renault + 1 lap
16 R. Barrichello Williams Cosworth + 1 lap
17 N. Heidfeld Sauber Ferrari + 1 lap
18 H. Kovalainen Lotus Cosworth + 2 laps
19 J. Trulli Lotus Cosworth + 2 laps
20 T. Glock Virgin Cosworth + 2 laps
21 B. Senna Hispania Cosworth + 2 laps
22 C. Klien Hispania Cosworth + 6 laps


Retirements

Driver Team Lap Reason
L. Di Grassi Virgin Cosworth 63 Unknown
V. Liuzzi Force India Mercedes 50 Accident



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Brazilian GP 2010: Hulkenberg Takes Surprise Maiden Pole Position

Nico Hulkenberg took a surprise pole position for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix, the German rookie’s first ever pole.

His Williams team were delighted with the performance, which marks their first pole position since 2005.  Their last win came at this circuit in 2004, with Colombian driver Juan Pablo Montoya at the wheel.

Hulkenberg used the changing conditions to his advantage, slipping through into Q3 then using the slick bridgestone tyres to set a flawless lap time that was over 1 second faster than the nearest opponent.

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber will start 2nd and 3rd respectively, while the other two title contenders Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso will start 4th and 5th.

Michael Schumacher will start only 8th, the German driver showed good pace at Interlagos today getting into Q3 unlike his team mate Nico Rosberg who will start only 13th tomorrow.

Rosberg isn’t the only big name to be low on the time screen’s today.  Jenson Button, the 2009 World Champion starts only 11th and Adrian Sutil is down in 18th.

With changeable conditions, and a surprise man on pole we are certainly set for an exciting Brazilian Grand Prix tomorrow!

Pos  Driver         Team                   Q1        Q2        Q3
 1.  Hulkenberg     Williams-Cosworth      1:20.050  1:19.144  1:14.470
 2.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault       1:19.160  1:18.691  1:15.519
 3.  Webber         Red Bull-Renault       1:19.025  1:18.516  1:15.637
 4.  Hamilton       McLaren-Mercedes       1:19.931  1:18.921  1:15.747
 5.  Alonso         Ferrari                1:18.987  1:19.010  1:15.989
 6.  Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1:19.799  1:18.925  1:16.203
 7.  Kubica         Renault                1:19.249  1:18.877  1:16.552
 8.  Schumacher     Mercedes               1:19.879  1:18.923  1:16.925
 9.  Massa          Ferrari                1:19.778  1:19.200  1:17.101
10.  Petrov         Renault                1:20.189  1:19.153  1:17.656
11.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:19.905  1:19.288
12.  Kobayashi      Sauber-Ferrari         1:19.741  1:19.385
13.  Rosberg        Mercedes               1:20.153  1:19.486
14.  Alguersuari    Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:20.158  1:19.581
15.  Buemi          Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:20.096  1:19.847
16.  Heidfeld       Sauber-Ferrari         1:20.174  1:19.899
17.  Liuzzi         Force India-Mercedes   1:20.592  1:20.357
18.  Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1:20.830
19.  Glock          Virgin-Cosworth        1:22.130
20.  Trulli         Lotus-Cosworth         1:22.250
21.  Kovalainen     Lotus-Cosworth         1:22.378
22.  di Grassi      Virgin-Cosworth        1:22.810
23.  Klien          HRT-Cosworth           1:23.083
24.  Senna          HRT-Cosworth           1:23.796

HULK