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Qualifying analysis - can Hamilton halt Webber's winning streak? 29 May 2010

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB6.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday, 29 May 2010 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday, 29 May 2010 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari with the media after an early exit from qualifying.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday, 29 May 2010 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W01 crashes out at turn 8 at the end of qualifying.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday, 29 May 2010 Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR5 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Saturday, 29 May 2010

Red Bull’s Mark Webber once again took the top grid slot during qualifying for Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix. But with McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton in second, Sebastian Vettel found himself down in third in the other RB6. Reigning world champion Jenson Button and Mercedes GP’s Michael Schumacher make up the top five. We take a team-by-team look at how all the runners performed…

Red Bull
Mark Webber, 1m 26.295s, P1
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 26.760s, P3

Webber said he was delighted with his third consecutive pole and Red Bull’s seventh from the seven 2010 races. He admitted that he’d gone into Q1 slightly on his back foot after Saturday’s engine blow-up and some small technical issues on Saturday morning, but that the car got better with each session. At the end, a great lap was enough to pip Hamilton. Vettel was fastest in Q1 and Q2, but suffered a brake locking problem with the inside front wheel in Turns 12 and 14 on his best lap, and on a subsequent attempt to go quicker.

Lewis Hamilton, 1m 26.433s, P3
Jenson Button, 1m 26.781s, P4

Hamilton was very happy with a great lap that gave him his best-ever qualifying position here. He set purple times in Sector One and Sector Three of his best Q3 lap, but in comparison with the Red Bulls his Sector Two time, through Turn Eight, was four-tenths down. Button was the last fast runner out for the final Q3 runs, but lost the lap when Schumacher went off in Turn Eight and brought out the yellows. Nevertheless, he was happy with fourth on the grid.

Mercedes GP
Michael Schumacher, 1m 26.857s, P5
Nico Rosberg, 1m 26.952s, P6

Schumacher looked strong in qualifying and admitted that he was pushing extra hard in Turn Eight when he spun there on his final effort in Q3, because he knew he’d already got a decent lap in the bag from his first run. Rosberg said he was satisfied with sixth, even though he failed to improve on his second Q3 run. Both felt that the MGP W01 had taken a good step forward here.

Robert Kubica, 1m 27.039s, P7
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 27.430s, P9

Having been pushed hard by Petrov all through practice and in Q1 and Q2, Kubica put it over team mate Petrov in Q3. He reported that seventh was about what they’d expected after free practice, and that the only issue he had was with the option tyre, on which he didn’t feel totally comfortable. Petrov did a convincingly good job and said he’d had a nice, smooth weekend thus far thanks to a car that was easy to drive.

Felipe Massa, 1m 27.082s, P8
Fernando Alonso, 1m 27.612s, P12

Massa loves this track, but it was still a surprise to see the best-placed Ferrari only eighth. Alonso screwed his chances of beating his team mate’s time when he got into a little oversteer slide at the end of a good lap and ruined it. The subsequent one wasn’t any better. Interestingly, the Spaniard said that 12th was what they deserved! And that he expects a very tough race.

BMW Sauber
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 28.122s, P10
Pedro de la Rosa, 1m 27.879s, P13

Kobayashi was very pleased to get through to Q3 for the first time, and that it was a significant boost for the team after Monaco. He said he was driving much better than he had on Friday, and that set-up changes had also been beneficial. But once he got to Q3 he couldn’t fight for better than 10th because he’d used up all his option tyres getting there. De la Rosa said the balance of his C29 was generally good, but that his had been at its best on the prime tyre. He admitted that his last lap wasn’t brilliant as he lost time in the final sector.

Force India
Adrian Sutil 1m 27.525s, P11
Vitantonio Liuzzi 1m 28.958s, P18

After missing all of FP3 with a hydraulic problem Sutil was unlucky to get squeezed out of Q3 by Schumacher, having done a great job for Force India. Liuzzi was again completely mystified by his car’s lack of traction and snap oversteer, and reported that while he lost four-tenths to Sutil in the first few corners, he was quicker through Turn Eight. Only Liuzzi used the SRW today.

Toro Rosso
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 28.273s, P14
Jaime Alguersuari 1m 28.540s, P16

Buemi said that Q3 was beyond the team’s reach here, but that he’d expected better than 14th as he’d been ahead of the BMW Saubers in FP3. Alguersuari also felt there had been potential to do better, especially as he’d been blocked by De la Rosa in Turn Seven and had to change his line in a hurry.

Rubens Barrichello, 1m 28.392s, P15
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 28.841s, P17

After playing second fiddle to Hulkenberg through practice, Barrichello jumped ahead when it mattered but said that the FW32 seriously lacked straightline speed here and that the car was less suited to Istanbul Park than it had been Monaco. Hulkenberg reported a tough day, with oversteer on the exit to Turn 7 his second Q2 run.

Jarno Trulli, 1m 30.237s, P19
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 30.519s, P20

Yet again, Lotus were top of the new teams, and they keep moving closer to the established midfield runners. Trulli had a few minor problems on Saturday morning, but was happy with the way he used his two sets of prime Bridgestone’s. Kovalainen found the track too slippery for his first run on the option tyre, but was happy with his second go on the prime and especially praised the balance and stability in the high-speed corners.

Timo Glock, 1m 30.744s, P21
Lucas di Grassi, 1m 31.989, P23

After their difficult day yesterday, a lot of overnight data analysis put Virgin right back on track and Glock was very close to the Lotuses and described the difference in his car as ‘night and day’. But for a mistake in the second sector, he felt he should have split the green and yellow cars. Di Grassi, however, had a tough day, a power loss in Q1 frustrating his efforts to do better than 23rd.

Bruno Senna, 1m 31.266s, P22
Karun Chandhok, 1m 32.060s, P24

Senna was fairly happy with his performance as he was able to split the Virgins. Chandhok said that his car was slower than his team mate’s on the straight, and that using the prime tyre instead of the option that Senna went for cost him another chunk of time.

David Tremayne