If the Brits were hoping for a home hero to shine at Silverstone after Murray’s semi final triumph at Wimbledon, they kinda expected the wrong kind as it was the fickle British weather that dictated much of the Qualifying session for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso took pole position in an extended session delayed due to heavy rain during Q2 as he rode his luck throughout and pulled out fast laps right at the fag end of the session. Red Bull’s Mark Webber was second fastest with Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher third fastest.
Sebastian Vettel will start from fourth on the grid ahead of Felipe Massa in fifth, Kimi Raikkonen in sixth, Pastor Maldonado in seventh, Lewis Hamilton in eighth and Nico Hulkenberg in ninth. Romain Grosjean didn’t set a time in Q3 and will start from tenth on the grid.
Heavy rains were falling throughout the UK and it was no different at Silverstone a it affected much of the free practice sessions and indeed the qualifying sessions. Q1 was wet but not enough to warrant full wet weather tyres and all of the teams fitted intermediate tyres for their runs. Getting temperature into the Pirellis for them to be in their optimum running zone was challenging and it caught out Jenson Button as the first big casualty in failing to make into Q2; he will start 18th. Others to drop out included the two Marussias, the two Caterhams and the two HRTs.
Valencia has a history of producing boring processional races but that was not to be this year as an exhilarating grand prix saw Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso script a stunning victory from eleventh on the grid. He drove a stupendous race, passed those ahead of him like a champion and had lady luck smile upon him a tad, to become the first driver this season to win two races. Race leader Sebastian Vettel suffered an engine failure which ended his race just as Alonso had passed into second place after a race restart following a safety car period.
Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen finished in second place having bided his time in the closing laps before passing Lewis Hamilton into second place. Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher finished a surprised third, after he pitted for a fresh set of tyres and scythed through the field towards the latter part of the race.
Red Bull’s Mark Webber finished fourth having duplicated Schumacher’s tyre change and following him as they hunted down other drivers in pairs. Fifth place went to the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg ahead of Nico Rosberg in sixth and Paul Di Resta in seventh. Jenson Button finished eighth ahead of the Sauber of Sergio Perez in ninth and the Williams of Pastor Maldonado in tenth.
Apart from Alonso’s magnificent victory, the three other highlights of the race were the retirement of pole sitter and early leader Sebastian Vettel, ditto for Renault’s Romain Grosjean and a dodo move by Pastor Maldonado on Lewis Hamilton which wrecked the McLaren’s suspension as he banged into the wall whilst in third place.
The incidents were precipitated by a rookie mistake from Toro Rosso’s Jean Eric Vergne, who banged into the Caterham of Heikki Kovalainen as he was passing him – puncturing the rear-right tyre of the Toro Rosso and the front-left of the Caterham. Vergne drove back to the pits shredding bits and pieces of debris all along the track, which brought out the safety car.
Michael Schumacher showed he’s still got it as he set the fastest time in Saturday Qualifying for the Grand Prix of Monaco but he doesn’t get to reap the reward of his good work as a five-place grid penalty sees him drop down to sixth on the grid. That means Red Bull’s Mark Webber will start from pole with Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg in second place and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton in third.
Lotus’ Romain Grosjean starts fourth with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso on fifth and Schumacher sixth. Felipe Massa makes it to the top ten for the first time this season as he starts seventh ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in eighth, Sebastian Vettel in ninth and Nico Hulkenberg in tenth. Continue reading
McLaren continued their superb qualifying form this season as Lewis Hamilton secured pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang with teammate Jenson Button a shade behind in second place. Mercedes GP had a good showing at their title sponsor’s home grand prix as Michael Schumacher set the third fastest time.
Red Bull had a lacklustre qualifying with Mark Webber starting fourth and Sebastian Vettel sixth – but will start from fifth place on the grid. Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen set the fifth fastest time but will drop down to tenth on the grid as a result of a gearbox change. Romain Grosjean will start sixth ahead of a disappointed Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes in seventh. Ferrari got into the top ten for the first time this season with Fernando Alonso starting eighth as Sauber’s Sergio Perez will start ninth.