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Qualifying analysis - Red Bull ready to ride any storm 26 Nov 2011

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, 26 November 2011 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing with James Allen (GBR) Journalist (Left).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, 26 November 2011 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4/26.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, 26 November 2011 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 150 Italia. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, 26 November 2011 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, 26 November 2011 Adrian Sutil (GER) Sahara Force India Formula One Team VJM04. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, 26 November 2011 Bruno Senna (BRA) Lotus Renault GP R31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, 26 November 2011 Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams FW33.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, 26 November 2011 Sebastien Buemi (SUI) Scuderia Toro Rosso.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, 26 November 2011 Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber C30. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, 26 November 2011 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Team Lotus T128.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, 26 November 2011 HRT Formula 1 Team, Team Photo. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, 26 November 2011 Timo Glock (GER) Virgin Racing MVR-02. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, 26 November 2011

Red Bull stamped their authority on qualifying at Interlagos on Saturday, leaving some rivals to cling to possible rain on Sunday as their main hope of a route to victory. Trouble is, given the huge amounts of downforce the RB7 generates, even in damp conditions on a full-dry set-up, front-row men Vettel and Webber could still prove very hard to beat. We take a team-by-team look at form…

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 11.918s, P1
Mark Webber, 1m 12.099s, P2

Vettel’s latest pole position created a new seasonal record of 15, after he had equalled Nigel Mansell’s 1992 tally in Abu Dhabi. He said he got everything out of his Red Bull that it had to give, as did Webber who was very little slower. Vettel is the favourite to win tomorrow even if it rains, but don’t discount a repeat from Webber of his 2009 success here.

McLaren
Jenson Button, 1m 12.283s, P3
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 12.480s, P4

Button was very happy to get past Q2 here for the first time since the current knock-out format was introduced in 2006. The balance of his MP4-26 was much better than yesterday, and though his lap was uncharacteristically ragged as he made aggressive use of the throttle, he said he thought he’d have been higher than third. Hamilton said that he wasn’t quick enough on the day, simple as that, but that he took heart from Button’s pace.

Ferrari
Fernando Alonso, 1m 12.591s, P5
Felipe Massa, 1m 13.068s, P7

Alonso said that his subscription to P5 had been extended for one more Saturday. Ferrari had expected Mercedes to be quicker in Q3 so he was happy to see that he was closer to the McLarens than he had thought he would be. Massa was very disappointed with seventh, and suffered understeer in the slow corners and lack of traction and oversteer in the fast ones.

Mercedes
Nico Rosberg, 1m 13.050s, P6
Michael Schumacher, 1m 13.571s (Q2), P10

Rosberg said he was very happy to split the Ferraris, and blamed a poor out-lap in Q3 for his failure to match his Q2 time and thus get closer to Alonso. Schumacher said he took a ‘strategic approach’ to qualifying, opting not to set a Q3 time, and thus left all his options open, bearing in mind the likelihood of rain tomorrow.

Force India
Adrian Sutil, 1m 13.298s, P8
Paul di Resta, 1m 13.584s, P11

Sutil was on fire all through qualifying and was very happy with his performance and the balance of his car as he took an excellent eighth place. Di Resta set a good time early in Q2 but then twice failed to better it as he ran into a high-speed delta problem on the straights and lost valuable tenths that would have made all the difference to breaking into Q3.

Renault
Bruno Senna, 1m 13.761s, P9
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 14.053s, P15

Senna did a great job to set the ninth-quickest time on old tyres, and was delighted to give his countrymen two Brazilians in the top 10. Petrov was very quick in Q1 but was unable to repeat the performance in Q2 and subsequently starts only 15th.

Williams
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 13.801s, P12
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 14.625s, P18

Barrichello did a great job in what may be his final F1 appearance to take 12th on the grid for Williams, but Maldonado disappointed with only 18th.

Toro Rosso
Jaime Alguersuari, 1m 13.804s, P13
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 13.919s, P14

Two different views here. Alguersuari was philosophical and pleased to be ahead of the Saubers on the grid as they are locked in battle for seventh overall in the constructors’ championship. Buemi was unhappy, and said he got very few laps all weekend after having to give his car to Vergne in FP1 and then having a hydraulic problem in FP3. In the circumstances, he did a pretty good job.

Sauber
Kamui Kobayashi, 1m 14.129s, P16
Sergio Perez 1m 14.182s, P17

Kobayashi said he’d had a constant battle for grip all through practice, while Perez said that his C30 was simply inconsistent in its behaviour. Both struggled, and were disappointed to start behind the Toro Rossos.

Lotus
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 15.068s, P19
Jarno Trulli, 1m 15.358s, P20

Kovalainen came from behind to beat Trulli, and really got the best out of the car yet again. Trulli said that his second set of Pirellis was not as good as the first, and that he was still struggling to balance his T128.

HRT
Tonio Liuzzi, 1m 16.631s, P21
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 16.890s, P22

Liuzzi did an excellent job to fight back from lost track time and beat team mate Ricciardo. He reported that his F111 was much better balanced than it had been yesterday. Ricciardo’s qualifying session began well, but the balance went away for his second run.

Virgin
Jerome D'Ambrosio, 1m 17.019s, P23
Timo Glock, 1m 17.060s, P24

D’Ambrosio said he had a better feel in his MVR-02 in the morning, while Glock reported that his lost its stability from one morning run to the other. As a result he lacked confidence in qualifying until his second afternoon lap, when he got a good run through the first three corners but then lost time behind a Toro Rosso.

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