Qualifying - Hamilton on pole as Barrichello crash halts Q3 26 Sep 2009
Rubens Barrichello may indirectly have helped Lewis Hamilton to pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix on Saturday evening. The world champion had lapped his McLaren in 1m 47.891s on his first run in the final qualifying session, when the Brazilian crashed his Brawn in Turn 5 on his second and final run. As the red flag came out, everyone behind Hamilton had reasoned to feel chagrined.
Sebastian Vettel had just set the fastest time in sector one for Red Bull, while Williams' Nico Rosberg had done likewise in sector two. Hamilton was also preparing to go quicker still as were Red Bull's Mark Webber, Renault's Fernando Alonso, Toyota's Timo Glock, BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica and McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen. But since Barrichello crashed 26 seconds before the chequered flag was due to fall, they were all out of luck. The grid would be formed on the basis of their first run times.
Behind Hamilton, Vettel had done 1m 48.204s for the other front row slot, followed by Rosberg on 1m 48.348s. Then came Webber on 1m 48.722s, Barrichello on 1m 48.828s, Alonso on 1m 49.054s, Glock on 1m 49.180s, Heidfeld on 1m 49.307s, Kubica on 1m 49.514s, and Kovalainen on 1m 49.778s.
Since Barrichello had his gearbox changed after the final practice session earlier this evening, however, he drops five grid places to 10th.
It wasn't a good day for Brawn. Team mate Jenson Button surprisingly failed to make it through Q2, his lap of 1m 47.141s being good enough only for 12th in the line-up behind Kazuki Nakajima's Williams on 1m 47.013s. That was a disappointment for the Japanese driver, whose team mate Rosberg had topped the Q2 times with 1m 46.197s, far and away the fastest lap of the weekend.
Kimi Raikkonen was another with a glum face after 1m 47.177s left his Ferrari only 13th, ahead of Sebastien Buemi's Toro Rosso on 1m 47.369s and Jarno Trulli's Toyota on 1m 47.413s.
The fallers in Q1 were the Force Indias of Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi which, at 1m 48.231s and 1m 48.792s book-ended Jaime Alguersuari's Toro Rosso (1m 48.340s), Giancarlo Fisichella's Ferrari (1m 48.350s) and Romain Grosjean's Renault (1m 48.544s. The Franco-Swiss driver caused a flutter by going down the escape road in Turn 7 on his out lap, but proceeded without hitting anything.