Because folk are observing: Chinese GP qualifying

Posted: April 16, 2011 in F1 qualifying, Formula 1
Tags: , , , , , , ,

WordPress, the fine bunch of chaps responsible for letting this particular idiot have his own web space, tell me that people have been visiting in reasonable numbers all week, even though I’ve written nothing.  This, I assume, means you’re expecting some reasoned, rational analysis of events in Shanghai.  Failing that, perhaps the usual drivel will do.

Here, we have a problem, because the medical issue I’ve been referring to as ‘just a little cough’ for the last few days is now just a little cough in the same way that the Great War was just a little argument.  One of the consequences of whatever’s currently attacking me is that, ridiculously, it’s a bit tricky to type for any great length of time.  Hopefully we can give tomorrow the usual treatment, but today…:

  • Vettel on pole by a mile.  Nothing like a shock result, eh?  Kinky Kylie clearly enjoys the spotlight.
  • Webber in 18th with broken KERS?  Nothing like a etc.  This should be more surprising than it is, but given how close he got to dropping out early in Malaysia, it’s somehow almost reasonable.  Webbo carried a huge amount of understeer with him through Q1, suggesting he’s not got a handle on the RB7 or on how to get the best from a set of hard Pirellis.
  • This di Resta fellow is really quite good.
  • This Schumacher fellow…the man and the team say he had a recurrence of the DRS trouble that hampered his Malaysian qualifying.  That’s supported by his run through the braking zone for the hairpin at the end of Q2, twinned with the town of Sideways-on-the-Lockstops.  He’s been slightly down on Rosberg all weekend, as is standard for Michael on a track where he’s never really excelled, but even so, starting 14th when the other Merc is up in 4th is going to sting.
  • Ferrari continue to have fairly dismal qualifying pace, 1.4 seconds away from pole.  Alonso and Massa are separated by 0.026 seconds, which would suggest that we’re seeing two drivers at the very limit of what the car will offer this weekend.  Their good fortune, as Alonso would have demonstrated last weekend had he not been crashing into old friends, is that the car is solid in race trim during a year in which the rules allow them to take full advantage of that.
  • The good news for Renault is that the car seems quick again this weekend.  The bad news is that Vitaly Petrov’s R31 broke down immediately after setting a fine lap in Q2, reasoning that whatever happened next in life couldn’t possibly be any better, while Nick Heidfeld has crashed his way through an entire supply of current-spec front wings and starts 16th.
The Grid
1. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), 1:33.706
2. Jenson Button (McLaren), +0.715 seconds
3. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), +0.757 seconds
4. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), +0.964 seconds
5. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), +1.413 seconds
6. Felipe Massa (Ferrari), +1.439 seconds
7. Jaime Alguersuari (Scuderia Toro Rosso), +2.452 seconds
8. Paul di Resta (Force India), +2.484 seconds
9. Sebastien Buemi (Scuderia Toro Rosso), +2.497 seconds
10. Vitaly Petrov (Renault), no time, car failure after posting Q2 lap time

Eliminated in Q2:

11. Adrian Sutil (Force India)
12. Sergio Perez (Sauber)
13. Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber)
14. Michael Schumacher (Mercedes)
15. Rubens Barrichello (Williams)
16. Nick Heidfeld (Renault)
17. Pastor Maldonado (Williams)

Eliminated in Q1:

18. Mark Webber (Red Bull)
19. Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus)
20. Jarno Trulli (Lotus)
21. Jerome d’Ambrosio (Virgin)
22. Timo Glock (Virgin)
23. Vitantonio Liuzzi (HRT)
24. Narain Karthikeyan (HRT)

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