Race No4 and the Red Bulls lock out for the 3rd time in the row.
But this time it was Sebastian Vettel leading from Mark Webber by just a margin of 0.248 seconds and both led Fernando Alonso by 0.335 seconds. Now we saw the McLarens of Hamilton and current champion Jenson Button initially set the pace at the start of the weekend ; but that eventually deteoriated under the tension of the final qualifying session. They both qualified 5th and 6th on the grid respectively and both admitted that they were fairly disappointed at the result.
“The car started bottoming a lot in Q3, I really don’t know what was wrong. I couldn’t get any more time out of it; that was me on the limit.”said Lewis Hamilton.
Current championship leader Felipe Massa will start 7th while the Renault drivers seemed to be the opposite of each other. Kubica continued his form and qualified a reasonable 8th while Russian Petrov qualified a respectable 14th. The shock of the day , came in the shape of Vitantonio Luizzi who was knocked out in the first of the 3 sessions after what seemed to be a promising start for the Force India.Michael Schumacher, once again was out-qualified by his team-mate Nico Rosberg by qualifying 9th and Rosberg on 4th.
The casualities of the 1st sesion, included the usual new teams and their drivers with Glock leading the way for the newbies. While, Bmw-Sauber-Ferrari… well they continued on with their season as bad as they had for the last 3 races. Michael Schumacher, also had a close call not even making it into the last session as his old teammate Rubens Barrichello made a desperate scramble to get into the final session but to no avail.
On his drivers’ success Christian Horner had to say this “I have no idea where Sebastian produced that last lap from, it was quite phenomenal. Mark was in great shape throughout qualifying today and got pipped right at the end there. So, both cars at the front of the grid again for another Red Bull one two. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s race.” ”
And Vettel said “The second run was better – it was a fantastic lap. We got a fourth consecutive pole position for Red Bull. We’re proving that we have a very good car, no matter what the circuit. I’m very pleased with today. Thanks to the mechanics, as they had zero lunch due to all the changes that were required between free practice and qualifying.”
So, it was a close call in qualifying but the Red Bulls proved why they are the team to be feared. Can Red Bull translate this 1-2 start to an 1-2 finish? We’ll see tomorrow 🙂
Pole lap Sebastian Vettel Shangai 2010