Red Bull is now answering back to McLaren’s recent dominance with a front row lock down for tomorrow’s European Grand Prix in Valencia. The Red Bull front row is headed by Sebastian Vettel who scored his first pole position since this year’s Malaysian Grand Prix. Mark Webber is second ahead of McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton who made a mistake on his final run, which may have cost him second or possibly pole position.
Ferrari has improved following updates implemented on its cars as Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa managed fourth and fifth places respectively. Robert Kubica gave another strong performance for Renault with his sixth place ahead of Jenson Button in the other McLaren. Like his team mate Button also made a mistake on his last stint. The two Williams managed to get into the top ten and will start the race around a beautiful sea side setting in ninth and tenth positions.
Force India which is a familiar face in the top ten during qualifying only managed 13th and 14th places while Mercedes GP did not really shine either. Nico Rosberg had to settle with 12th while his 7-times World Champion team mate Michael Schumacher who made his debut in Valencia only managed 15th, his worst qualifying result thus far in the season. However it also has to be noted that Schuey was suffering from what believed to be a power steering problem.
Lotus will start the race from 19th and 20th positions with Jarno Trulli leading the way. He posted a lap time of 1.40.658 compared to 1.37.587 set by Vettel in Q3. This is a gap of about three seconds which is an improvement compared to the beginning of the season when the new teams were about five seconds off the pace. Furthermore Vettel set that lap time in Q3 meaning its after more rubber has been laid on the track. During Q1 which is when Trulli set his time, the fastest time was low 1 minute 38 seconds.
This is an important improvement especially since the FIA has decided to re-introduce the 107% qualifying rule starting from next year. The rule was last scene in 2002 and if I remember correctly Alex Yoong failed to make the cut a couple of times when he was racing for Minardi. The final four positions were taken up by Virgin and Hispania drivers. Expect a good tussle between the Red Bulls, McLarens and Ferraris during the 57-lap race around the 5.4 kilometers circuit. To view the results in full please click here.