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Qualifying - Hamilton heads a McLaren one-two 22 Aug 2009

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren celebrates his pole position in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Valencia Spain, Saturday, 22 August 2009 Qualifying parc ferme (L to R): Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) McLaren, second; Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren, pole position; Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Brawn Grand Prix, third.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Valencia Spain, Saturday, 22 August 2009 Jenson Button (GBR) Brawn Grand Prix BGP 001.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Valencia Spain, Saturday, 22 August 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 Hamilton’s 1m 39.498s best. The Finn's earlier 1m 39.532s was enough for second, however.

Rubens Barrichello confirmed Brawn GP’s 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 Bull’s 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 Renault’s Fernando Alonso on 1m 40.236s, Red Bull’s Mark Webber on 1m 40.239s and BMW Sauber’s 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 India’s Giancarlo Fisichella, Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima, Toyota’s Jarno Trulli, Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari and Ferrari’s 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. Trulli’s best was 1m 39.807s, and Alguersuari lapped in 1m 39.925s (a second off Buemi’s time in the session). At the back, Badoer’s return was not impressive. The oldest man in the field lapped the second Ferrari in 1m 41.413s.