Summarising rather than recapping, for several reasons.  It’s late.  I ate quite a lot earlier and feel somewhat lethargic.  I played the guitar for a couple of hours and keep getting cramps in my hand and forearm.  Most importantly of all, I’ve been at the cider.

Still, we should probably say something, right?

  • Another race, another Vettel pole position.  Not even losing most of Friday to a heavy crash in the rain slowed him down.  This represents Sebastian’s 8th consecutive front row start.  The last man to manage more was Damon Hill, never outside the first 2 places on the grid from the last race of 1995 to the last race of 1996.
  • Next door to him, though still 4 tenths away from being ahead, the other Red Bull.  Last year, as you’ll doubtless recall, Vettel and Webber completed 40 harmonious laps of Istanbul Park and then crashed into each other.  While a repeat performance tomorrow would do the championship fight no end of good, one suspects it wouldn’t be received quite so well by the team.  It’s a start for Mark, but there’s still quite a gap to bridge before he can really begin to threaten his team mate.
  • Mercedes have a Magic Paddle in their car.  It’s a device that gives the drivers quick, easy access to various settings on the car, though nobody’s prepared to say which ones.  Whatever it does, it’s situated next to the Curiously Ineffective Q3 lever, which Michael Schumacher pulled in error.  Rosberg has outqualified both McLarens and starts 3rd, while Schumi has been as quick as or quicker than Nico all weekend and is clearly mystified by how he’s ended up 8th, 1.1 seconds slower.  At least he made it to Q3, though.
  • Rubens Barrichello didn’t, but 11th is a step forward for Williams and he was within 24 thousandths of pipping Heidfeld to the last Q3 spot.  Signs of life from a sleeping giant?
  • They’ll be hoping so, as the scrap to avoid being embarrassed by Lotus heats up.  Heikki Kovalainen, trouncing Jarno Trulli yet again, is inching ever closer to the back of the midfield pack in qualifying.  Williams, Force India and Toro Rosso in particular must now be casting a nervous glance over their shoulders in the final seconds of Q1.
  • Kamui Kobayashi, who isn’t exactly backward in coming forward when there’s overtaking to be done, starts last after his Sauber’s wheels ceased to turn before he’d recorded a flying lap.  The idea of Kamui, a garage full of fresh tyres, KERS and DRS on a track which has always allowed some overtaking is a mouth-watering one.  Judging from his BBC interview earlier today, a wide-eyed affair in which a grin was never once off his face, Kobayashi thinks so too.  Keep your eyes on him tomorrow.

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