Qualifying analysis - who can ruin Vettels party? 24 Sep 2011
Sebastian Vettel was understandably very pleased with his 11th pole position of the season for Red Bull. But while he will start exactly where he wanted to, with team mate Mark Webber, the McLarens of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton and the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso right behind, it remains to be seen whether the young German will finish where he needs to in order to wrap up the title with five races to spare. We take a team-by-team look at how all the runners performed in Singapore on Saturday
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 44.381s, P1
Mark Webber, 1m 44.732s, P2
Vettel only needed one run to take his 11th pole of the season, and he described his lap as perfect as he pretty much maintained the half second advantage held had in each session. Webber was much happier with his car, and his lap, after overnight changes, and both are confident of strong races. They couldnt be starting in better positions with their front row lock-out.
Jenson Button, 1m 44.804s, P3
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 44.809s, P4
Button was happy with third after his dramas on Friday and said that overnight changes had made his McLaren less hard on its rear tyres. But he has yet to run on high fuel. So may have a problem looking after his rubber on Sunday. If anyone can nurse tyres, however, he can. Hamilton was desperately unlucky, having been second to Vettel after the first runs but having to sit out the second due to some finger trouble in the camp; the guy fuelling his car thought he was putting some in when he was actually pumping it out, and by the time the mistake was uncovered it was too late to resolve it.
Fernando Alonso, 1m 44.874s, P5
Felipe Massa, 1m 45.800s, P6
Alonso was in brilliant form all through qualifying and said his 120 per cent effort was probably his best Q3 performance of the year. He goes into the race convinced a podium position is possible, and he needs it to keep his superslim title chances theoretically alive. Massa had a bit of a territorial dispute with Hamilton on their out laps and aborted his first effort. His main problem was oversteer as his rear tyres overheated by the second and third sectors of the lap.
Nico Rosberg, 1m 46.013s, P7
Michael Schumacher, No time, P8
Rosberg pushed for all he was worth to depose Massa and just came up short, but Schumacher opted to save tyres and didnt go for a time. Both he and Rosberg will have two sets of new soft tyres and one set of new supersofts for the race, which could be very important.
Adrian Sutil, No time, P9
Paul di Resta, No time, P10
Sutil was strong all day, while Di Resta snatched back the all-important 10th place in Q2 from Perez with his final lap, thus ensuring both cars made it to Q3. Neither ran them, however, as the team preferred to save rubber for the race.
Sergio Perez, 1m 47.616s, P11
Kamui Kobayashi, No time, P17
Perez again did a fine job for Sauber, and so nearly made it to Q3. Kobayashi got the Turn 10 kerbs all wrong at the start of Q2 and aviated into the wall.
Rubens Barrichello, 1m 48.082s, P12
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 48.270s, P13
Williams were cautiously happy with 12th, though Barrichello said he hoped for better, but Maldonado had trouble generating sufficient heat in his tyres, especially the primes.
Sebastien Buemi, 1m 48.634s, P14
Jaime Alguersuari, 1m 49.862s, P16
Buemi was happy that he managed to save a set of supersoft tyres for the race, but Alguersuari was left wondering where the grips levels of Friday had gone as he struggled throughout the day with his STR06. The team put that down to an unidentified technical solution theyd used Friday but which Giorgio Ascanelli ruled could no longer be relied upon.
Bruno Senna, 1m 48.662s, P15
Vitaly Petrov, 1m 49.835s, P18
Renault reverted to standard specification bodywork overnight after Petrovs problems with overheating with the new engine cover and sidepods on Friday. As they had feared, the R31s were slow here, but Senna was able to maintain his momentum by bumping Petrov from Q2 right at the end of Q1. The pace of Monza was but a memory, however.
Heikki Kovalainen, 1m 50.948s, P19
Jarno Trulli, 1m 51.012s, P20
Kovalainen was happy with his performance and his tyre wear rate, which bodes well for the race, but sending him out for his second run right behind Liuzzi definitely compromised his chances. Trulli admitted that he struggled with his T128 all day.
Timo Glock, 1m 52.154s, P21
Jerome DAmbrosio, 1m 52.363s, P22
Both drivers complained of braking problems. Glock said his VR02 was unstable under heavy retardation and DAmbrosio that his balance was too far rearwards initially. They both managed to move ahead of the HRTs on their final runs, however, to take their usual places.
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 52.404s, P23
Vitantonio Liuzzi, 1m 52.810s, P24
Ricciardo only planned to do one lap in Q1, but for a while was ahead of the Virgins. Liuzzi said his F111 lost grip by the third sector of the lap, which cost him his chance of beating the red and black cars. It was academic for him, however, as he has his five-place grid penalty from Monza to serve.
With a difference of 0.8-1.0 seconds per lap between the soft and the supersoft tyres, Pirelli expect most runners to adopt a three-stop strategy but believe some teams may choose to stop twice.
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