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European Grand Prix – Valencia Qualifying

August 22, 2009

After the mixed up results of third practice, we have a chance to get back to normal this afternoon. Will Luca Badoer get up to racing speed? Have Brawn fixed their issues, or will the McLarens still be trying to spoil the party at the front?


Out – Badoer, Alguersuari, Trulli, Nakajima, Fisichella. Badoer was 1.5 seconds behind Alguersuari. The gap covering the rest of the field in Q1 was 1.4 seconds. He really is that slow. Even the lovely Rob Smedley was hard pushed to find something positive to say about the performance.


Out – Buemi, Grosjean, Glock, Sutil, Heidfeld. Grosjean acquitted himself well, no-one really expected him to be up with Alonso, who is no doubt running light, but he’s done better than the other new boys. Sutil still looking for his first points, this is probably not going to be his weekend.


So, what I really want to see is Webber, Button, Alonso, or Webber, Raikkonen, Alonso as the top three. I don’t really think it will happen though. And I am proved right, as the McLarens go fastest (yes, both of them!) – if Heikki hadn’t messed up slightly, he might have got pole, but I’m still not convinced he’d be allowed. Sadly Webber and Alonso look like they’ll spend most of the race scrapping over the last couple of points-paying places, but this might give us some excitement. The final grid is as follows:

Pos  Driver       Team                       Q1        Q2        Q3     
 1.  Hamilton     McLaren-Mercedes      (B)  1:38.649  1:38.182  1:39.498
 2.  Kovalainen   McLaren-Mercedes      (B)  1:38.816  1:38.230  1:39.532
 3.  Barrichello  Brawn-Mercedes        (B)  1:39.019  1:38.076  1:39.563
 4.  Vettel       Red Bull-Renault      (B)  1:39.295  1:38.273  1:39.789
 5.  Button       Brawn-Mercedes        (B)  1:38.531  1:38.601  1:39.821
 6.  Raikkonen    Ferrari               (B)  1:38.843  1:38.782  1:40.144
 7.  Rosberg      Williams-Toyota       (B)  1:39.039  1:38.346  1:40.185
 8.  Alonso       Renault               (B)  1:39.155  1:38.717  1:40.236
 9.  Webber       Red Bull-Renault      (B)  1:38.983  1:38.625  1:40.239
10.  Kubica       BMW-Sauber            (B)  1:38.806  1:38.747  1:40.512
11.  Heidfeld     BMW-Sauber            (B)  1:39.032  1:38.826
12.  Sutil        Force India-Mercedes  (B)  1:39.145  1:38.846
13.  Glock        Toyota                (B)  1:39.459  1:38.991
14.  Grosjean     Renault               (B)  1:39.322  1:39.040
15.  Buemi        Toro Rosso-Ferrari    (B)  1:38.912  1:39.514
16.  Fisichella   Force India-Mercedes  (B)  1:39.531
17.  Nakajima     Williams-Toyota       (B)  1:39.795
18.  Trulli       Toyota                (B)  1:39.807
19.  Alguersuari  Toro Rosso-Ferrari    (B)  1:39.925
20.  Badoer       Ferrari               (B)  1:41.413

With the post-qualifying weights released, there is some hope after all. Hamilton is lightest, with Vettel probably stopping on the same lap. Good news for Webber, he and Rosberg are the heaviest in the top 10, so if he can get a good start, he may be able to steal a few places. Raikkonen, Button and Barrichello all look to be in with a chance at the podium too.

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