Qualifying - Hulkenberg rises to the challenge 06 Nov 2010
Williams Nico Hulkenberg stunned the Formula One fraternity in the changeable conditions at Interlagos on Saturday afternoon as he fought and beat the Red Bulls, Ferraris and Lewis Hamiltons McLaren to take pole position for Williams.
As the weather showed signs of improving for Q3, the question arose whether anyone might get around to a run on slicks Sure enough, after Hamilton set the pace with 1m 17.212s on intermediate Bridgestones ahead of Schumacher, Vettel, Alonso and Webber, they ventured out on slicks for their final runs.
Hulkenberg was fast all through, and pasted everyone with a final lap of 1m 14.470s to put pole well beyond doubt. Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber crucially start second and third for Red Bull, in 1m 15.519s and 1m 15.637s respectively, and with Hamilton fourth on 1m 15.747s, Fernando Alonso is only fifth for Ferrari on 1m 15.989s.
Rubens Barrichello put the second Williams sixth with 1m 16.203s ahead of Renaults Robert Kubica on 1m 16.552s, Mercedes GPs Michael Schumacher on 1m 16.925s, Ferraris Felipe Massa on 1m 17.101s and Renaults Vitaly Petrov on 1m 17.656s. It was the qualifying session of the year!
The rain held off for Q2, in which Webber was fastest in 1m 18.516s as a tremendous scrap finally weeded out McLarens Jenson Button on 1m 19.288s as Massas 1m 19.200s in the final seconds bumped the reigning champion. Behind the McLaren, BMW Saubers Kamui Kobayashi was 12th on 1m 19.385s from Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes on 1m 19.486s, Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi in the Toro Rossos on 1m 19.581s and 1m 19.847s apiece, Nick Heidfeld in the second BMW Sauber on 1m 19.899s and Tonio Liuzzi in 1m 20.357s for Force India.
Heavy rain was expected soon after the start of Q1, so the session was a major league shoot-out as everyone went for times on the intermediate Bridgestones while light rain fell. As Alonso set the pace with 1m 18.987s from Webber and Vettel (1m 19.025s and 1m 19.160s), Adrian Sutil failed to beat Force India team mate Tonio Liuzzi and thus had to settle for 18th on 1m 20.830s to the Italians 1m 20.592s.
Joining the German among the first fallers were Timo Glock, who was the fastest of the new team runners for Virgin on 1m 22.130s, then the Lotus duo of Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen (1m 22.250s and 1m 22.378s) and Lucas di Grassi in the second Virgin on 1m 22.810s. At the back, Christian Klien beat HRT team mate Bruno Senna, 1m 23.083s to 1m 23.796s after the Brazilian spun.
With Buemi and Sutil both getting five-place penalties from Korea, the order from 15th downwards becomes: Heidfeld, Liuzzi; Glock, Trulli; Buemi, Kovalainen; Di Grassi, Sutil; Klien, Senna.
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