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Qualifying analysis - Red Bull to reign? 08 May 2010

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing celebrates his pole position in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 8 May 2010 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 8 May 2010 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W01 and Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W01 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 8 May 2010 Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams FW32.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 7 May 2010 Bruno Senna (BRA) Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, 8 May 2010

Red Bull once again dominated qualifying on Saturday in Barcelona, with Mark Webber taking pole position ahead of team mate Sebastian Vettel. Behind the Red Bull duo, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button in the second McLaren make up the top five. We take a team-by-team look at how all the runners performed…

Red Bull
Mark Webber, 1m 19.995s, P1
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 20.101s, P2

Webber dominated qualifying, with Vettel riding shotgun, both of them comfortably ahead of their opposition. Webber was fastest in all three sessions, though on his final run, in Q3, Vettel momentarily went fastest until Webber redressed the issue. Despite attempts to downplay things, both are brimful of confidence for the race, and theirs is a one-two to lose.

Lewis Hamilton, 1m 20.829s, P3
Jenson Button, 1m 20.991s, P5

Hamilton was resigned to third place - McLaren’s best qualifying position thus far in 2010 - and tried to be as upbeat as possible despite what was almost a one-second deficit to the Red Bulls. He reported no problems. Button said they had not expected to be where they are on the grid while they were running in final practice, and that he hurt his chances in Q3 by running on to a patch of Astroturf and losing time with wheel spin as the Mercedes V8 hit the rev limiter.

Fernando Alonso, 1m 20.937s, P4
Felipe Massa, 1m 21.585s, P9

Alonso said he was happy with fourth place. He’d spent Saturday practice developing the blown rear wing concept but also picked up a puncture as he exited the garage. Later Ferrari got slammed with a $20,000 fine for unsafely releasing him right in front of Nico Rosberg. Massa said he had too much trouble finding grip, especially in the second and third sectors when it felt more like he was rallying with plenty of understeer.

Mercedes GP
Michael Schumacher, 1m 21.294s, P6
Nico Rosberg, 1m 21.408s, P8

An upbeat Schumacher said he felt much more comfortable with his car now, and that he felt he got the most from it. Rosberg was nonplussed to be slow when the improvements had clearly improved the MGP W01.

Robert Kubica, 1m 21.353s, P7
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 22.139s, P14, starts P19

Kubica said he had a good qualifying session, and that seventh was a strong place to start especially as Renault didn’t have a major upgrade here yet was ahead of one Ferrari and one Mercedes. Petrov missed Q3 by three hundredths of a second as he qualified 14th. However, the gearbox change he needed after his accident in final practice, when he spun after getting on water trapped in one of the corrugated kerbs in Turn Four, left him with a five place grid penalty.

BMW Sauber
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 21.984s, P10
Pedro de la Rosa, 1m 22.026s, P12

BMW Sauber had a much better time of it than they have had since Bahrain. Kobayashi knew the pace was there since final practice, even though he slid into gravel then after encountering the same water in Turn Four that caught out Petrov. He credited a change in direction in the car’s development for the sudden improvement that saw him qualifying 10th, together with the latest aero updates. De la Rosa wasn’t happy with 12th, having been sixth in Q2. He was at a loss to understand where that pace went; despite understeer he said his C29 wasn’t sliding around.

Force India
Adrian Sutil 1m 21.985s, P11
Vitantonio Liuzzi 1m 22.854s, P17, starts P16

Sutil really enjoyed his qualifying but said you needed the perfect lap to make the top 10 and he lost time behind one of the Renaults in the final sectors and lost a couple of tenths. Liuzzi was very unhappy with his new chassis. He lost most of final practice with a throttle problem which prevented him from running set-changes to cure yesterday’s ills, so ran in qualifying with the car oversteering the way it did on Friday.

Toro Rosso
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 22.191s, P15, starts P14
Jaime Alguersuari 1m 22.207s, P16, starts P15

Buemi said he expected to qualify higher than 15th, but that he lost time to traffic which made a big difference to his lap time and positions. Alguersuari said he was happy with 16th amid all the upgrades that other teams brought along.

Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 22.131s, P13
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 23.125s, P18, starts P17

Hulkenberg was happy with his laps in Q2 after going off briefly in Q1 and sustaining some minor damage. Barrichello complained that none of his outings was blessed with clear runs.

Jarno Trulli, 1m 24.674s, P19, starts P18
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 24.748s, P20

Trulli reported a good qualifying as Lotus was again comfortably the fastest new team, but was disappointed not to match Friday’s pace because the balance wasn’t quite so sharp. Kovalainen said he was happy too.

Timo Glock, 1m 25.475s, P21, starts P22
Lucas di Grassi, 1m 25.556s, P22, starts P23

Glock struggled to balance his longer wheelbase VR-01, but Di Grassi reported no particular problems. Unfortunately both lost their penultimate row starts and were moved to the back via five place grid penalties after the team failed to notify the FIA within two hours of the end of Practice Two of the gear ratios they intended to use on Saturday.

Karun Chandhok, 1m 26.750s, P23, starts P24
Bruno Senna, 1m 27.122s, P24, starts P21

Chandhok lost time in the morning with vibrations, as Senna encountered hydraulic problems, but both cars were fettled for the afternoon. Both found their qualifying sessions compromised by their setbacks, however. A gearbox change for Chandhok sees him move to the back of the grid for Sunday's race.

David Tremayne