Qualifying - Hamilton heads a McLaren one-two 22 Aug 2009
McLaren confirmed their re-emergence in Valencia on Saturday afternoon as Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen set the fastest times to wrap up the front row of the grid for the European Grand Prix. Kovalainen was on course to take pole but made a small error on the last corner and failed to beat Hamiltons 1m 39.498s best. The Finn's earlier 1m 39.532s was enough for second, however.
Rubens Barrichello confirmed Brawn GPs return to form with the third fastest time of 1m 39.563s, with team mate Jenson Button fifth on 1m 39.821s. It was Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel who found himself the meat in the Brawn sandwich. After his engine failure this morning, the German was able to lap his Red Bull in 1m 39.789s for the other second-row slot.
Kimi Raikkonen made a late improvement to sixth for Ferrari on 1m 40.144s, and will be a dangerman at the start with his KERS.
Behind the Finn, Nico Rosberg took seventh for Williams with 1m 40.185s, ahead of Renaults Fernando Alonso on 1m 40.236s, Red Bulls Mark Webber on 1m 40.239s and BMW Saubers Robert Kubica on 1m 40.512s.
Q2 weeded out Nick Heidfeld in the second BMW Sauber, who lapped in 1m 38.826s (Barrichello was quickest in 1m 38.076s so the times were very close), and Adrian Sutil was on his tail in the Force India with 1m 38.846s. Timo Glock was 13th for Toyota with 1m 38.991s. Romain Grosjean looked promising on his Formula One debut and was 14th in the second Renault on 1m 39.040s, comfortably ahead of Sebastien Buemi who wheeled the lead Toro Rosso round in 1m 39.514s for 15th.
Q1 accounted for Force Indias Giancarlo Fisichella, Williams Kazuki Nakajima, Toyotas Jarno Trulli, Toro Rossos Jaime Alguersuari and Ferraris Luca Badoer, as Button set the pace with 1m 39.531s.
Fisichella lapped in 1m 39.531s, while Nakajima had worked down to 1m 39.795s before going off the road. Trullis best was 1m 39.807s, and Alguersuari lapped in 1m 39.925s (a second off Buemis time in the session). At the back, Badoers return was not impressive. The oldest man in the field lapped the second Ferrari in 1m 41.413s.