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An incredible weekend. Sometimes you really do have to pinch
yourself and think, I'm in Formula One. I knew it would be in
incredibly tough race. The Ferrari's were very strong. Same
with the Red Bulls. The flag waves from the back of the field, the
Canadian Grand Prix about to start. I'm in position. Away we go, a good
start from the Red Bull. Sebastian Vettel surges into the lead. I was
surprised I could keep up with Vettel. He has closed the gap.
looked after my tyres really well. Hamilton has gone in front of
Vettel on the pit stop. I was thinking these guys were quite far
behind so I assumed one stop. I kept pushing and increasing the gap.
The second stop was slower than the first. When I release the clutch,
installed. It may have been my fault. I never had a doubt in my
mind that there was the possibility to win. Hamilton has grabbed second
place, just the Ferrari ahead. Passing the world champion is a
great feeling. Hamilton is in front. It is five years since I first won
hair, but it felt just as good. Lewis Hamilton becomes the 7th
different winner in 2012. It feels like one of the best races I've had
for a very, very long time. Lewis Hamilton was masterful today.
We all loved it! Beautiful music to accompany a quite beautiful drive.
It may not have had the drama of Jenson Button's winning Canada 12
months ago, but it was no less special and it means we have had
seven different winners and there are many reasons to think this
weekend we might have an 8th different winner. David Coulthard
and Eddie Jordan were with me. You interviewed Lewis after the race,
I'm intrigued by what drivers are like off-camera, how was? They tend
to be more relaxed when the camera is not on. We raced together as
well, or shared the same race track! He seems in a much happier
place. He wears his heart on his sleeve, you know when he is happy
or frustrated. But that was a perfect Lewis Hamilton race, coming
back and having to overtake the world champion. A stunning victory.
The car is being worked on. Jenson Button was the quickest man in
final practice ahead of qualifying. It is a tough qualifying session to
call. The cars are so close. Some people are now saying to
unpredictable. Really? It is too unpredictable. It wipes out the
opportunity for us to be gainfully employed because I have no idea who
will be on pole position. The form book has been thrown out of the
window and that is good for the sport, but not good for me because
I don't have a clue what will happen! Can I distance myself? I
have a feeling who might be on pole position. Do you think it is too
unpredictable? It is sport, by its nature it is unpredictable. You can
have a Premier League club against a newly promoted club and the first
batch formbook says they wouldn't have a chance. It wouldn't happen
seven times, though. Engines are pretty much the same as each other.
Pirelli have tyres which have different operating Windows and the
teams can get into that window and make it last. We said before, I
don't see why this is a bad thing for Formula One. You don't have any
idea winning a Grand Prix! They are worthy winners. -- An idiot.
think wattages is that Eddie is frustrated that his predictions are
not coming true. Let's talk about this weekend. If there's one thing
you should say about Valencia, it is that this circuit is predictable.
Can you understand a criticisms? One of the most outspoken people is
Mark Webber. He had a big accident here, maybe that is in the back of
his mind and he doesn't want the same thing again, needless to say.
But it is a street circuit. We seem to be going in that direction. We
have seen what is happening in New York. And what happens in Singapore.
People and racetracks are becoming more like this. A nice overview of
the old fish warehouses, which now house the cars in Formula One.
There are some nice things about this circuit. But what we have not
had over the years is unpredictable racing, but we get the sun, the sea,
the Spanish, and of course, the For now, this race has its place on
the calendar. We are here for the Behind us, the fans have turned out,
there's always interest when Fernando Alonso is involved in
Spain, but there's talk this race will not happen next year and a few
other bits of gossip surrounding next year's race for top the latest
bits of information is this race will alternate with Barcelona.
understand that is certain. We have had great talk during the week.
Bernie Ecclestone is in talks with people from the Olympic Commission
in London and it's possible we may have a European race, in addition
to Silverstone, in London. It could be unbelievable. Who knows what
will happen. But then we know New York will happen. All sorts of
intriguing opportunities. A race around the Olympic Park sound
special! Talk about something less exciting, the fact that spark may
be missing from the calendar. the nature of Formula One, it has
moved into new territories and it puts pressure on the traditional
European Grand Prix. Spark is a favourite, but financial restraints
make it difficult. Let's give some credit to Bernie Ecclestone because
his vision to go into the East, particularly in this moment of
crisis in Europe, who knows, motor- racing is stronger because of his
guile and making sure we are in the proper place. Giving credit to
Bernie for a change! Lewis Hamilton won last time out, a fantastic win
from him. We've seen it from his perspective, but what did David
Coulthard and Ben Edwards make of start from the Red Bull. Sebastian
Vettel surges into the lead. Hamilton is in second, Alonso in
third. Massa has spun on the exit of turn one. Raikkonen on Button
empty makes the move. Jenson Button on the heart of the two tyres, he
has decided to bail on those. Hamilton is going past on the DRS!
He read takes the lead from Alonso. Corsham, Corsham. -- Corish and.
Michael will have to retire. There's a problem! Away he goes.
Perez just sweeps past Felipe Massa and up into fifth place. Hamilton
is back in front and takes the lead. This is the story of, if you try
and keep tyres that are well past it, you have nothing left to fight
with. Here comes Romain Grosjean. The Lotus is now aiming at a
second-place finish. Perez, an easy pass with DRS. Lewis Hamilton
becomes the 7th different winner of 2012! Grosjean finishes in second
2012! Grosjean finishes in second place. Perez his third. Lewis
Hamilton was masterful today. Masterful indeed and that win for
McLaren edges them closer to Red Taking a look at this, Vettel's
lead was 60 points when we came here last year. Now 60 points
between the top 10. It is. Is this a dream or not? It is not a dream.
It is so close, any one of those top 10 could forge forward and win
the championship, but it does look like the top three are looking like
pulling away. Do you agree with that, David? You can start dropping
down to the likes of Rosberg and Raikkonen, there's a gap emerging.
There is, but Rosberg is within one victory of leading this
championship. It is not against what we expect during a normal
what we expect during a normal season. You would expect maybe one
mechanical failure. You definitely expect one incident, a driver to
get involved in something or drop the car in changing conditions. I
don't see that anyone is clearly moving ahead in the championship at
this stage. There's work going on on Mark Webber's car at the moment.
Only four laps in the final practice session because of an
issue with his brakes. He has raced here a lot and he has had a bird's-
eye view of this circuit when he had the airborne moment with Heikki
Kovalainen a couple of years ago. It will affect his tyres. He is
under pressure to run the faster tyres in qualifying because he
can't afford to get his eye in and then just sit there. I would expect
him to go out there on the primes straight away and then go to the
option tyres. We will discuss Mark Webber's future in a bit, we will
also talk about some of the young drivers, and we will see David
Coulthard going back to his roots, but first Lee McKenzie with all the
The Formula One roller-coasters or Lewis Hamilton becoming the 7th
different winner from as many races and if the championship looks
increasingly like a fairground, the driver contract merry-go-round has
also started turning. Sebastian Vettel has been linked with Ferrari
and Lewis Hamilton with most of the top teams. I'm happy, I'm proud to
still be a part of his team and to have the success we have, working
with the guys I'm with. Just excited about the next step. That
can come in time. Things will fall into place when the need to.
thing is for sure, Fernando Alonso is sticking with Ferrari and after
finishing second in Barcelona, he is looking to go one better at his
second home race of the season. Racing at home is always special.
In Valencia it is not only the race, it is also the team around the
Grand Prix with music concert that night and go-kart circuits for the
fans. In general the weekend is quite special and attractive for
the fans. Jenson Button has had a torrid time lately, finishing 16th
in the last two races and has scored only two points in the last
four Grand Prix. Every race, 18 cars on the grid fighting for
victory. It is no different for me. I come here hoping we have sorted
out the issues and we can go racing and make the best of what we have
over three days. Whilst Valencia might not be a favourite track for
the armchair spectators, it does split the opinions of the drivers.
Some love it here and others are not so sure. It is not in the top
five of tracks in the world, that's for sure. It is pretty repetitive,
a lot of low-speed corners, which is not extremely satisfying for the
car. The cars are pretty choked around here. You can't pick and
choose your golf course, you have to be good everywhere. The
challenge we have this weekend is that. The highlight of coming to
Valencia for Kobayashi is not only the on-track action, but also the
orange juice. Valencia orange juice is very famous. I'm always excited
to come here for the orange juice. This morning I woke up at 8am and I
went downstairs to get breakfast, but the first thing I get his
orange juice. If you get on the podium this weekend, you will want
to spray orange juice at night that That is a good idea! He is so
quirky, I love him. All the money spent on cars, all that effort and
they end up putting take on the driver's seat! They have to be able
to remove the whole drum to make changes. It is just the most
efficient system. It is able to withstand the heat and any Robing
from the inside of the wheel. You can see the hand-built nature of
Formula 1 car! A mention of Mark Webber and Ferrari, interestingly,
they chose to put up the story about Sebastian Vettel on their own
website. It is part of the game of Formula 1. Teams will
systematically inquire about other drivers even if they do not have a
particular interest in them, perhaps to destabilise that driver
by making them the big offer even if they have no intention of
actually honouring that. It is a distraction from their main job.
All the top teams will be doing exactly the same. Mark will be
hoping he does not end up upside down on this circuit as he did two
years ago. He would certainly love to stay at Red Bull another year?
It is testament to how strong these cars are. He was able to walk away
from that. But you have to imagine that the safe place for him to be
is in her Red Bull car. He knows the team, he is in a good situation
and to go somewhere new at his stage in his career, it is a risk.
He is in the twilight of his career in many ways. The older drivers
have been warned, there are many young bloods coming up eager to
Grosjean finishes in second place! Tell us about that race? It was
just amazing. It was crazy, it was a difficult start but then the
sunshine came out and we had a good strategy. The race was crazy and
then suddenly we saw that our strategy was a good one. And we got
second place on the podium which is my best result so far.
It is Pleistocene Europe and all these young people starting to show
what they can deal. We want to race and we are in
Formula 1. It is a long career and a lot of effort. It is just great
to be part of this. The you look round and think, we
are the future of Formula 1? It is difficult to say that. I'm just
concentrating on doing the best that I cannot and enjoying it.
Trying to get the best result for the team. We have a common goal
which is to become world champion one day. We have a common objective.
Would you be on happy not to get a win this year? Definitely. We need
to get ever think we perfect to win a race. But I think it is possible,
it could happen. We have consistency at the front.
We were on the podium in Barcelona, in Canada. We just need to find
that extra bit to get a win. We need to just keep going in the
same way and get some extra podiums. Well here I am, of and I will ask
the same question. Do you think you have joined the big boys? I think
we have. We know we have to keep the development stage going on and
manage to stay through the season. 25 years ago, Lotus last won a
Grand Prix. Can you do it again? do not know, we expect we can do it.
We have never been so close to doing it. It is our turn. What has
made a difference? The differences are tight this year, you just need
to be competitive in any session and not miss any opportunities to
make sure you can qualify it well and race well. Everyone is talking
about Sergio Perez. And we saw on the website at Ferrari that he is
too wild. Can you hang on to him next year? We have announced in for
this year and we always announce the drivers just for one year,
we're not going to change that. he is one you would like to keep?
We will see. I'm going to make an apology because at the start of the
season I did Romain Grosjean was good enough to be in Formula 1, but
he has been doing a remarkable job. I would love him to continue to win
and I'm definitely sure that he can do it. In the first five or six
races of the season and in Canada, I definitely saw that he is ready
to win. Let's get the thoughts of the only
man to have driven a Formula 1 car who can give us an idea of Grosjean
is. Did we judge him to have quickly first time around? I think
so. It is a lot to ask. We have seen even more experienced drivers
struggled to adapt to a different team. He came back into Formula 1
and no one would say that he has not shown great speed. He needs to
be a little more consistent and the next logical step would be to win a
Grand Prix. Consistency is the key. When he does race, he does a great
to job. Here he is at the start of the Chinese Grand Prix. This was
without DRS on the back straight. You do not see too many of those.
How hard is it to marry up the speed with the consistency? Because
to be fast enough to you have to be on the edge. You do indeed. And I
spoke with Gary Anderson earlier and she summed up the difference
between the drivers. Kimi Raikkonen uses his experience Grosjean just
wants to be quick around every corner. He needs to even that up.
He has the speed to be one of the graves in Formula 1. All of the
parts of his car being put together behind as as weak year up for
qualifying which is less than -- we gear up. It is all about learning
when you're young and you're learning. And I'm usually the one
that asks the questions. But David Coulthard has got a question for
you. Here is a question, what does Nigel
Mansell, Ayrton Senna, of Damon Hill, what do they all have in
common? I note what you're thinking, one of them was too good-looking to
be a racing car driver, but the answer is they all started in
Formula Ford. It was the first time I actually drove something that was
big and heavy. It is a grace -- a great place to learn race grafting.
You learn a lot of techniques. Driving in the wet and things like
that. It was cut-and-thrust, as close as you'll ever get in a
racing car or denying all your abilities. If you look at my
generation seven or eight of us came out of there and went to
Formula 1. It is not just a case of getting in and driving fast.
Formula 1 are looking for the driver that is the most complete.
It is incredible how much motorsport has moved on since I
started. Now they're getting the full briefing on how to interact
with the team, how to deal with engineers, the media.
Race craft is the area where it you really learn about it. We have got
driver coaches here who help us with that side of it. I do not
think you get that in any kind of car racing. It is important, it you
want those guys out there to work as hard for you as they possibly
can. I love this line, are you working harder than your
competitors? It is a great endorsement of how important it is
to serve your time in the lower quarters were stuck you definitely
have to go through the stepping stones, to learn the mechanics of
the car and how to work with people. I have been through at least five
workshops and they always help you. The standards now are just getting
higher and the guys need to be educated. How do they look after
themselves? How do they push themselves and get the most out of
the car and the team around them? It is where you start and there is
no one out there today who will not gain something. Then it was time to
put on the helmet and roll back the years.
It is a little bit heavier, more power. It is a lot quicker than I
remember. That is fantastic! The raw teaching that you get for the
young drivers is still there. Formula Ford, a fantastic proving
ground. A brilliant day for me. I feel like a young man a Kent! Does
that mean I can date young girl's?! It has not stopped you in the past
20 years! Good memories can smack it felt like home. I do some racing
in a touring car or right now and it always feels quite alien. But a
Formula Ford, of course the technology has improved, but it is
still the ultimate proving ground for young drivers. And how is the
dating going? Yes, well.... Let us move on and talk about some news
that has been unfolding. News about Timo Glock? He will not take part
in the qualifying session today. He has been suffering with the stomach
bug. He only managed to do is seven laps since Monday morning and it
has gradually been getting worse. I saw him at breakfast and tea did
not look very well. He tried to do some lapse in practice but it is
all too much and he will not take part in qualifying. The team says
no decision has been reached regarding the race tomorrow. There
is a board that he might get some dispensation, he is an experienced
Would you see them allowing him to raise even if he can't qualify?
What is important, and I think Lee is perfect, he's an experienced
driver, he will not do something silly. He knows his way around here,
he has done hugely competitive laps. He also knows what it is like to be
on the podium. He is a top driver. I would give him dispensation.
is quite straightforward. It is no different from if your car stalls
immediately in the pit lane. There's no question, he will take
part if he is fit enough. Regarding racing when you are not well, we
remember the famous radio commentary of Mark Webber trying to
talk to his team whilst being sick whilst racing in Japan. In this
heat, you can understand why he might not. I can and I can't. To my
mind, real fighters will be out in any conditions. I remember Heinz
Harald Frentzen was physically ill in a Jordan but managed to do the
Grand Prix. Unless you have something affecting your vision,
you get out there and tried. you race when Gail? Of course. I
was not fit for every of my 240 races. You see drivers having to be
lifted out of the car. I don't know the condition Timo Glock is in, but
it is unusual to see a driver not racing because of a tummy bug.
team are taking medical advice. At the moment, Timo Glock is not
involved in qualifying today. Hopefully he will be well enough
tomorrow. We saw David in his Formula Ford car. This car behind
us, Jean-Eric Vergne. He has never tested a Formula One car. David, in
the peace, regarding Formula Ford, that is where the young drivers
start. It starts a karting, Formula Ford, Formula Three, and if you are
really good enough, you go straight to Formula One. That was the
sequence. You get as much experience as you can at junior
level and you never lose it. Once you are able to ride a bike, you
can ride a bike forever, and these guys can do that. They say and an
Ricciardo are good enough to go into the Red Bull. -- Laverne and
Ricciardo. Is that now of a barometer? I think so. They are
both potential world champions, but because there's no can tuck in the
performance, no one is standing out as a clear leader of the team. They
might be a victim of their own success in many respects. It is
tricky when you come in to have made great team, you have to do
something remarkable. Some people to take notice. You can't say they
are not experienced enough because they have been part of the Red Bull
system for several years. Being part of the Toro Rosso or the Red
Bull system, there's no guarantee you will have a seat next season.
We were all shocked with the way drivers were dispensed with last
season. That is the way they want to operate. I thought you would say
it we were shocked with the way David Coulthard was dispensed with.
That was a natural progression. He lived his life. We are glad to have
him. David is lower number driving in Formula One, but it is a sport
that continues to move forward. When Gary Andersson was driving --
designing cars, you did things quicker than now. After a bit of
criticism of McLaren in the last race, he was invited to pop down
and see for himself what has changed in Formula One in the past
1991, 2011, two completely different concepts. 20 years of
development. A new gearbox. As opposed to a carbon composite
gearbox of 30 kilos. In Montreal, Jenson Button had oil in the
gearbox and I was a bit critical. Three hours and 45 minutes since
you started working on that car. I found it ridiculous that it has
taken that amount of time. It is something that should be done in 30
minutes. Do you think that is correct, does it take too long?
is the way development has gone now. Everything is so tightly packaged.
This is not really a gearbox any more, it is a chassis career. One
of the visuals things you see is the link. This gearbox does not
have any safety impact structured on it, whereas this one has a large
impact structure with the gearbox starting here and going to the back.
That is because of safety. This is a complete crushed stone to enable
the driver to go into an all -- into a walk backwards and not hurt
himself. The gearbox changed times are over an hour now and I do
remember them being fed five minutes when I started in Formula
One. We have to make sure things don't go wrong. That oil leak in
Montreal should never have happened. A massive number of centres, there
were only two sensors, this one has almost 30. For a whole car has a
lot of sensors. Has this made the driver a little bit more redundant
from the James Hunt days? Definitely. It means the driver
can't make up stories. They don't do it on purpose, but the driver
tries to interpret what is going on around him. Hamilton and Button's
mentality is to use data. I can't control it. They won't even try to
go down because they know it is all backed up by 25 engineers looking
at every single thing. Formula One still has a responsibility to make
sure it is a driver's sport. The driver has to remain a big part of
that. In 20 years' time we will ask you about that. I will be saying
that to some young guy. Thank you. All the best. Time never stands
still in Formula One and the same applies right now. 15 minutes to go
until the start of qualifying as we emerge from the back of the old
fish market. These days fighting of the points in Formula One.
Interesting to hear Sam and Gary chatting about the way cars have
changed. Are you sad to see there's no longer an onus as much on the
driver's skill? I'm one of the older guys. Sam and Gary and I
worked for -- worked together for a long time. They are missing it, too.
We just wanted to see the drivers do more things. I was against
paddle shift some stuff, but modern cars have that now. We have to move
with technology. You can't hold back the tide of technology it. We
except technology, we use it and it makes life easier. It is the same
with racing cars. I think they are very busy -- behind the wheel. KERS,
DRS, brake balance, engine loads. There's a lot going on we don't get
when we are watching. I don't think you'll find many drivers saying
they are not fully engaged. They call them the computer game
generation and he can use one of these already. That is the kind of
skill you need behind the wheel. It is more knowing about the buttons.
Fingers control of the thing. everything. What we were talking
about, gone are the days when you would see Mansell getting out of
the car, the same with Senna, dehydration and exhaustion. We
don't see that. Easier to drive. They are physically easier because
they are running six or seven seconds off the pace of qualifying.
If you look back, we had no Oumou refuelling, there was only one or
two seconds between qualifying pace and race pace. It is physically
chaff -- tough for the drivers and it is well over 25 degrees here.
Let's head back to the pit lane because Gary is there taking a look
at how the cars have changed for this weekend.
At Red Bull, they have come here with a raft of parts. This year's
championship will be won by the team with the best development
programme. Red Bull have done a few subtle changes. These turning
beans... This area gives you a lift. These help that airflow and reduce
the lift. It reduces the negative. In the could bottle area, much more
elaborate. The air flow comes in on top of the floor, but on the right
hand side, they've gotta ducked. The air flow goes into the duct and
comes out into the diffuser area. The airflow over the top is the
same, but the air is redirected into a double panel and detects its
Red Bull fighting for victories in the last few races. This is our
view for the afternoon. What is that you like from the commentary
box? We have a great view from the box. We overlook the main
contenders for the world championship. It is so tight and
you said earlier you think... think Vettel. Keep your eyes on
Sebastian Vettel. What about Felipe Massa? He is the only man to have
won on this track apart from Vettel. He was racing with David and we
thought it was time they shared a Down the top or off the bottom?
go up. Go down? How does that look? Looks good? I'm tied for time so
let's go. You won the inaugural winner here in 2008. It was a great
car, a great race, everything worked perfectly. That is what I
need now. Really struggling now, Massa. Bruno Senna and Massa
tangling. The first day I drove the car I was not very happy. It was
different to what I expected. And then I drove the day after, he also
came in the same direction as me. It is looking more promising now as
we get towards the middle part of the season. We are improving the
car now. From now to the end, I expect things will be different.
expect things will be different. This corner is more related to the
start. The normal laps, you don't see much overtaking here because
the Street is not very long, but at the start, it is very important
because you can gain a few positions. Turn two is coming
immediately and I can't remember, is it flat? It is flat. New tyres,
qualifying, it is flat. And then the race is another story when you
have 150 kilos. Everything changes in the race. At the beginning you
are six or seven seconds slower. have stopped at what is the only
swing bridge in Formula One and you can see, literally... That is a
six-inch gap. It doesn't look like a racetrack! Very unusual. Can you
feel the bump? Yes. This is the longest section on the track, but
it is not straight. You have a little kink. And then you get to
the straight. It is the longest straight. This is twentysomething...
I think there are 29 corners. 18 or 19? No, more. 22? We will ask
Michael. Do you know which corner No. This is? We are trying to work
out the corner number. I think it Thanks very much. What did he say?
19 and 20? 19... I am always get, I always think he will try to hit me.
He is going to have it out with David Coulthard! It is not 29
corners. I think I got confused. Here we are in the heart of 19 and
20. Officially verified by your former team mate. It is flat out.
You have very slow corners. What stands out on this track as being a
great corner? The bridge! At least you didn't say the exit from the
circuit when you go to the airport. We thank you for your time. 2000
and a winner here. We wish you all the best this weekend. If I win
Thanks to Michael for the man lesson. Felipe Massa has improved
in the last few races but is a winter much to ask? As much as he
as improved, he is not have the level of those guys that we talked
about. Just to make it totally clear, it is 25 corners and the
drivers do it in around 100 seconds. Time to find out how things will
determine the outcome of qualifying here in Valencia. As the sun beats
down temperatures are rising and not only on the track. The driver's
return to Spain for the second time this season. Pastor Maldonado took
his first pole position some weeks ago in Catalonia. This track has a
lining of concrete walls that look identical in different parts of the
circuit. Qualifying honours in the past have gone to Ferrari, McLaren
and Red Bull. Sebastian Vettel is looking for a hat trick of poll
positions around this circuit and to take his 33rd career pole to
bring him a joint third in the all- time list. That is the beach right
next to the circuit, around the marina. And the temperature now on
the track is up to 43 degrees and climbing. Therefore casting even
warmer temperatures at the weekend. And how that changes the
performance of the teams, that will only unfold as we go through the
three qualifying sessions that we are now looking forward to here.
Fastest this morning, Jensen Button set the pace in practice. But
Sebastian Vettel got the fastest sector of times. So he does look to
be one of the favourites to take pole position here today. But there
will be some competition. Button, Kimi Raikkonen, they are fast. And
the Force India looking competitive as well. The teams now have just
moments away from the first qualifying session. David, you
think that Sebastian will be the one to beat, but we could be in for
some surprises. Pastor Maldonado was in pole position in Barcelona.
Williams and Force India, a couple of teams could surprise the front
runners today. Indeed. And Sebastien fettled could beat the
one for pole. He was quickest in a Friday session for the first time
this year. He was fastest of all in the first couple of sectors. So I
just think he has the pace in hand if he can deliver the lap. Fernando
Alonso on home turf for the second time this year. There is great
support for him. Anti will try to do the best for his fans. He has
not won at this circuit in the past and has not yet qualified in the
front row. McLaren have had a poll position here in the past, that was
Lewis Hamilton. But race victory actually went to Rubens Barrichello.
RADIA Cologne front wing down half race engineer. The conversations
required for the change in temperature. Our technical man is
down in the pits. That was an interesting call, a front wing
change. You actually lose a little bit of downforce, the majority of
which is on the rear of the car. You lose a little bit of that
because the track temperature is working against you. So you take a
little bit of the front to balance the car. Well we have the soft and
the medium tyres here this weekend. But weather conditions are
absolutely stunning. With the soft target you get a faster lap time in
qualifying but we will see some of the top teams trying to stay on the
medium fires in this first part of qualifying because they want to
save the soft tyres for the last part of qualifying and that
ultimate battle. Where's the midfield and the slower teams will
Prom Belleek have to use the softer compounds to do the best they can
in this first qualifying sector. -- probably have to use.
All through Friday practice we saw some crazies beans. Lewis Hamilton
looking a bit frustrated with the balance of his car. It is more or
rally style than we had in Canada. Radio communications there saying
that they have a similar winter. Pastor Maldonado is 5 - 2 against
Bruno Senna in terms of competition with his team-mate.
Daniel Ricciardo out there currently. Problems this morning,
and some braking issues with Mark Webber was my car. They have to
give up on a session in the morning, he only completed four laps. But
the saving grace is that the track conditions are different now and
Mark Webber has experience of this track. He might be forced into
running a couple of sets of tyres. I would not be surprised to see him
taking to the track soon. Nico Rosberg heading out. And Mark
Webber will be out on track in the next few minutes. Daniel Ricciardo
is on the harder of the compound tyres. He had a brilliant
qualifying performance at the last event where this compound choice
was the same. It was a stunning effort of from the young Australian.
He started this season extremely impressively in Australia. Since
then he has not had quite the same level of success. Toro Rosso just
seemed to be slipping back down that midfield in the last couple of
events. Daniel Ricciardo coming through the fastest and most of
flowing part of this track. A tricky braking area coming into
this last bend. They often we can see the cars blocking up and the
reason is they arrived there at just over 190 mph. And you have a
different kind of feeling in the card burnt you would normally have
because of the braking. -- than you would normally have.
Pastor Maldonado locking up and that will mean he has to use the
rest of the lap for a trap -- track positioning.
Sergio Perez also struggling. We are seeing so much blogging with
the cars in 20 trough. Fernando Alonso their sliding around a
little. Gary, it just to bring you in, in the area part of the session
we see everyone going out on the harder tyres. That is what you
would expect. The softer tyres seem to be around half a second faster.
It is not going to be easy on the harder tyres to get into the top
rankings. I'm not sure they will make it on the harder tyres. We
will see at the end of the session will start Fernando Alonso
certainly got a bit sideways. Kobayashi moves out of the way as
Nico Rosberg comes past in the Mercedes. Felipe Massa is the
fastest. On board with Sergio Perez, one of
the stars are from Canada. Despite starting back in 15th position on
the grid. He qualified in 5th place on the
grid back in Catalonia but he was tricky last corner. Felipe Massa
still setting the pace in the early stages of qualifying. We will lose
six or seven cars from this but we have already lost Timo Glock was
not taking part in this session. He is not feeling well enough to
compete. So we will lose six cars that are active out on circuit.
Grosjean was very quick this morning. We go on board with
Michael Schumacher at. And this vast section at the end of the lap.
They have the wall. A bit of oversteer on exit of which we saw
from Michael this morning. It seems to be the nature of his car, but
that puts him fastest at this stage. Kobayashi going quickly here. He
had the fastest first sector of anyone and in fact he has been
going well all weekend. Fastest of anyone in the first sector and good
times in the second sector as well. But it is the lower order it that
really matters in his first and second parts of qualifying because
you have got to qualify through to the next stage and only 17 will do
that. Paul di Resta, a Force India have been looking good here and
they have a good record. Paul di Resta is the 5th fastest at the
moment. He was going well this morning. Jean-Eric Vergne, let us
have a look at what he is up to have.
There is a tail wind, a little more wind speed today then yesterday and
it is catching the drivers out. Pastor Maldonado is doing another
run on the harder compound tyres. I think he will have to come back out.
Let us ride with Lewis Hamilton. That unusual growl from the
Mercedes engine. A reasonable first section from Lewis Hamilton. It
should be enough if he just keeps it together. Sounding more like a
motorbike! Leaning on that front tyre. He is well under the mark for
getting 17th, but is he on the mark for going fastest of all? Not quite.
I think he is on target. He's nip and tuck with Felipe Massa. It all
depends on his last sector. And he is fast does, a very good luck for
Lewis Hamilton and he should be able to go through without having
to change to his softer tyres. He lap so he is going again. That will
cost him about a tenth of a second to carry that extra fuel, but I
think the drivers have seen through practice that they find more from
building speed and getting heat in the tyres and gaining confidence on
these medium tyres. Michael Schumacher has gone fastest in the
middle sector, which has moved him up to fourth place. Jenson is
coming to the last part of the swing bridge. A good drive into the
longest section. This will be the DRS overtaking section in the race
tomorrow. They are able to use DRS on the entire lap, 63% of the lap,
during qualifying. It gains them up to 20 mph depending on the system.
From Button point of view, the key is to get through to the final part
of qualifying and be in the hunt because he has struggled. Two of
the last three qualifying sessions... Trafficker head. --
traffic a head. He sounded hesitant in that turn. Something has given
him the feedback that either he is comfortable on a 39.6 with seven
minutes to go all he knew about the traffic ahead. Let's see if he
decides to have another lap or whether he comes in. He has taken a
very wide line to start the opening of his lap. That man really is that
all! No future as a Grand Prix driver! Sebastian Vettel is on the
track now. Let's see what he can do. And he has been very far as this
weekend. He will try to put himself safe on the harder compound tyre.
He heads out of turns four and five and heading through the sweeping
curves. They have corner numbers, but they are not really corners as
such. Threading his way over the bridge. Looking for a good exit.
His team-mate, Mark Webber, has gone out on a set of the soft tyres.
Sacrificing a set of the more gripping tyres at this stage. When
he went out earlier, he went straight back in. It was an
installation lap. We have got Lewis Hamilton up front doing a personal
best first sector, quickest of all in the middle sector. Hamilton is
still finding pace on medium tyres. Back on board with Vettel. This is
all about getting through the top 17. Three-tenths down on Hamilton
in the middle sector. This should be enough to comfortably getting
through. It should be enough, but behind the battle is beginning to
hot up for getting into that top group. Hamilton is currently
fastest. He had a mistake in the last sector. Two-tenths slower than
his previous best. McLaren are quick. Vettel is six fastest with
that. I'm surprised he has not gone a little quicker. Will Red Bull
have to put the softer tyre on? Maldonado and Perez have gone out
on softer tyres, as has Bruno Senna. Now we will see some real pace.
That is Mark Webber. You think he is on the softer tyre? We will get
an idea of what the Red Bull can do. He had no real running this morning
so it is important from his point of view that he goes for it on the
best available tyre. As Gary mentioned, they reckon there's
about half a second depending on your car to be gained from having
yellow tyres on. Mark Webber can expect to be around 39.1 if he is
driving like-for-like to his team- mate, Sebastian Vettel. He
completed all of the Saturday morning free practice. Expect him
to be a little bit cautious as he builds the flap. Both the Force
Indias going out on soft tyres as well. That is a very slow first
sector from Mark Webber. Currie about six-tenths off the first
sector. -- currently. He will have to complete another lap and hope
for a clear lap with only just over four minutes to go. The car is
looking a little bit snappy. will be getting feedback that he is
not on a great lap. He will be getting feedback from his race
engineer as well, telling him where he is losing time. They will know
exactly where he needs to improve. Inevitably, when you know you're
running out of time, pressure starts to build. You need a certain
amount of pressure to focus your mind, but too much and you can
start getting ragged behind the wheel. On the harder tyre you can
get a couple of good laps, but the soft tyre might be difficult to get
a second quick lap. Let's see what his time is. Has he made anything
up? Not really. Only in 16th place. He goes on to another lap. We saw
this morning, some cars were taking three laps to get the time out of
their tyres. He might not be too concerned, but he certainly would
not have expected to be eight- tenths slower than Vettel on the
harder tyre. It is coming down to the final few moments. It is
getting crucial for Senna, he is in the drop zone. Remember, Timo Glock
is not running in this one. Senna has not made it through to Q3 in
any of the qualifying sessions so far this year. Qualifying has been
his bugbear. He blew his chance in Spain when he spun when he was
trying to get through to the next part of qualifying. That was that
the Spanish Grand Prix. We are now back in Spain for the European
Grand Prix and Senna needs a decent qualifying performance to boost his
morale. At the moment, against the fastest time, looking like a
reasonable lap for Bruno Senna. Interestingly, behind, the man who
is just one place in front of him, Mark Webber, is on a cruel lap.
He's leaving it to one flying lap. should be enough to get him through
to Q2. Paul di Resta has just gone fastest of anybody in the middle
sector. He is absolutely on it in the Force India as he tries to move
up. Maldonado is also going quickly on his soft tyres. Now you will see
people moved down the order. Webber is in the drop so now. Di Resta
goes fastest in the Force India! 38.8. A good lap from Paul di Resta.
We have seen the performance from Force India, but this is now a
critical for Mark Webber. It is indeed. Paul di Resta has matched
his lap time from the morning session. That is a clear indication
that track conditions are good. Pressure on Mark Webber to deliver.
He is down on what he needs to be even to get into the top 17 at the
moment. He has got some traffic ahead of him. It is not ideal.
just doesn't seem to be doing it this qualifying session. But it is
not over yet. Will he get round before the chequered? My maths are
not good enough! I think it will be pretty close. We will keep an eye
on that. Maldonado is still on a good lap. Webber is hoping that he
can get one more... Maldonado has gone fastest! He has set the pace
in the first and third sectors. Maldonado, who got pole position in
Barcelona, but he has gone to the softer tyre, whereas some of the
other top runners have not done that in this session. What about
Mark Webber? He will not get another lap. I suspect he will come
in. What is the point of finishing this lap? He will get round.
mathematics... Don't panic! It is all down to this lap, the third lap
on the soft tyres. What about that for pressure? Mark Webber is
currently in 18th place. There's an alleged impeding of a car being
investigated as well by the stewards. Hulkenberg allegedly
impeded with Kobayashi. You can see the notice on the screen. The
drivers steered this weekend is Nika Salto. Mark has just said,
that's it, a game over. He will be the first of the big scalps to go
out. Mark Webber is not going any further in qualifying and that is a
massive surprise. The Monaco pole position man, and Red Bull are
looking for three successive pole positions this season, but it is
not going to come from Mark because he goes no further in this session.
He had problems this morning, but that is still a huge surprise.
is indeed. Maybe they were not able to rectify the problem. They did an
installation at the beginning of qualifying, which if you have
confidence in the car you would just go for it. I suspect he was
trying to qualify with the room did car. We will get more information
when Lee catches up with him. have got both Caterhams down there
at the moment. Kovalainen a fraction faster than Petrov. They
are racing each other hard. Only on one occasion this year has Petrov
out-qualified his team-mate and he is trying to do it again. A great
battle. They are both coming to the end of their laps. Does it move him
ahead? Yes. But Kovalainen is on a lap now as well and trying to get
it back. We are with Heikki Kovalainen now. He takes it back.
He is into Q2! He has pushed out Jean-Eric Vergne. Caterham faster
than Toro Rosso. We saw a bit of that in free practice yesterday,
but that is a brilliant performance from Caterham. They are expecting
even more at Silverstone. You are spot-on. An incredible performance,
less than a tenth away from Daniel Ricciardo in the other Toro Rosso.
Only four-tenths away from what Kobayashi managed on the prime tyre.
Mark Webber, frustration in his eyes. Lee will get a word from him
later, but I would suggest that she approaches with caution! He is not
a happy man. He is out of qualifying, along with Jean-Eric
Vergne, Vitaly Petrov, Pedro de la Rosa and Karthikeyan and Charles
Pic. And Timo Glock did not start this session.
While it is frustration at Red Bull... Yes! This is what we were
talking about. It is happiness at Caterham. Congratulations to
Kovalainen. They have made it through to the second part of
through to the second part of qualifying. They talked about
upgrades and Caterham have done what they said. They have to do
that because they made us a prommers at the beginning of the
year and I'm quite certain they signed Petrov on that basis. They
said they would make Q2 on a regular basis. Let's hope it
continues. At the front, we have got Red Bull celebrating, usually.
The last two races here, front row lock-up for Red Bull, but Mark
Webber is out. They will be very, very upset about theirs. It opens
the door in the Constructors' Championship to McLaren. McLaren
are looking good and they are making much more progress. They are
right on the tail of Red Bull and Red Bull's non- qualifying going
into the Q2 as far as Webber is concerned is a real boost to
McLaren. Give us an idea what it is like in a team. The team was saying,
despite all the effort, and so many sensors on these cars, they didn't
really know what the issue was. It is not solved. It has a wider
effect. This has implications with the mind of Mark Webber. They want
stability, they want calm, they want to be able to come into the
garage and see the car gleaming and ready to go. This was a problem for
them. He didn't know what the problem was. Nothing worse than
racing when you don't know what is happening. And it is at a circuit
which is so difficult to overtake on. This is the problem. Mark
himself is not tuned in. He has already said this is in there --
not in his top five race circuits. When you're into a race and you are
mentally attuned to what you want to achieve and you automatically
think, I don't like the place, and now this happens, it is going to be
a long weekend for him. Mark Webber out of the first part of qualifying.
Timo Glock did not even take part. He was not feeling well and it is a
hot and difficult circuit. 25 corners for the drivers to
negotiate. He decided he was not well enough. He has not taken part
in qualifying today. When Caterham first sign Petrov, they expected to
sign a driver who would fight to get into the second part of
Having come from bloaters, and we have seen the turnaround with Lotus
which has been phenomenal, I presume they see themselves in that
ilk. Here is a team that have invested and put a lot of things
together with a lot of pub dates and they would have come to it
driver like Vitali Petrov and told him they were in a position to get
him to 14, 15 on the grid. But they have not done that. Vitali Petrov
now joining as. Are you frustrated about the fact that you are not in
the second stage of qualifying? Or do you think they're building a car
here that is good enough to Challenge in Formula 1. The moment
I am focusing on myself and I think I made a couple of mistakes during
the lap. That is life. But we are working quite hard, and we are
working well. And we will try to pick up the pace and show better
results. Due see any comparison between yourself and Lotus, who
have come on great strides? Dean of gathering themselves,
pushing very hard to get to the target. We have some good update
and we will be better at Silverstone. Back to qualifying
times. Q2 now underway. Nico Rosberg was
fastest amongst those who did not fastest amongst those who did not
go for the softer tyres. What will happen in the second part of
qualifying? The battle to be into the top 10. And then you can really
tried to take pole position. Felipe Massa was saying that the
Ferrari has become a much easier car to drive. It is a remarkable
turnaround. There is a radical front suspension. They have turned
it around and they're standing among the drivers and constructors
is absolutely justified. Gary, what are we looking for in this stage?
Well the track must be slower than it was this money because the Times
really did not improve from this morning. The track got a bit slower
in net session. The only one to match his time, the ones are the
front. We're looking at a 38 to get into the top 10. Well as you said
the track temperatures are changing and that makes a difference that
took the lap times. Massive support of course for Fernando Alonso. And
also for Pastor Maldonado. He is getting a big old cheer every time
he goes past. Alonso going through bridge. This long back stretch is a
great shot when they show the overhead. The dual carriageway
running parallel to this section of the track. And you visibly see the
difference in speed between a Formula 1 car and normal traffic.
That looked much neater from Fernando Alonso Hill is setting the
deep you go over the front tyre and you start to have understeer. That
will have cost him some time. Ferrari quicker than the Williams
on harder of the compound tyres. That is significantly slower than
the first part of qualifying. Paul di Resta et is currently the
fastest. Force India are one and two at the moment. Nico Rosberg
fastest now. We are talking about how Force India are looking good. A
reasonable opening up their from Rosberg. We have seen a lot of
locking up from the McLaren. Great to see these cars bouncing over the
kerbs. Again, a lock up. And then this long drag down in to turn
number 12. Nice and tidy as he builds his way through understeer
through 14. Then the next big decision, when to brake into 17.
Heat gets away with it. Hamilton has been the top qualifier this
year in terms of qualifying performance, not always grid
position. He has been a top three qualifying driver in every race
this year. He just has to beat in the top 10 in this session. Jensen
Button is on a better lap than Lewis Hamilton. It all comes down
to this last sector. Third-fastest for Jensen Button. Felipe Massa
trying to get into that top 10, he is only on 14th at the moment.
No sign Bob Heikki Kovalainen coming out yet, he may not bother.
Heikki Kovalainen on track. It is all about saving your tyres for at
the race? I think he will just accept that he cannot do much more
at then 17. But I would be surprised if he did not go out for
one little run on the soft tyres. Perhaps they just decided to save
the tyres. It is a good thing to do it if you're one of the smaller
teams, to go out when the track is quieter. Commercially, you need air
time as well to get the investment. The circuit drops away a little bit
into the apex fare so it does not do as much damage as you would
imagine. But of course the next time around, it finds that same hot
spot. And is more likely to lock. Grosjean in the top ten. If you
look at the top 10 right now and say, who does not deserve to be
there based on the fact that we would expect Pastor Maldonado,
Fernando Alonso, to be in their, who will buy the three in the top
10 currently that are the most likely? This is all about the
incredible season we're having this year, so many guys have shown and
delivered great qualifying performances. We are going to see
differences and in some senses this is the most difficult part of
qualifying, to get into that top 10. Look at the margins there on the
graphic. Hundreds separate the cars. I think it sums up just how
competitive Formula 1 is this year. It is very tight indeed. His Nico
Rosberg going to come back out with that time he has done already?
Fernando Alonso has a personal best in the first sector and not far off
the best of all. But he will want more than just to be in the top 10.
He might be just down on Rosberg's best. Has he found something
special in this last sector? He is just 6th fastest. The current
president of Ferrari showing no favouritism there!
They have got great pace this weekend. They managed to develop
lightly in his last sector. If he can deliver it again now it should
secure his place in the top 10. No traffic ahead. Run for the line.
qualified well in Canada. He goes second fastest just behind Nico
Rosberg. That should put him into part of the lap, he could just make
the top 10, but he will not challenge the time we've just seen
from Paul di Resta. Massa is also on track in the Ferrari. Kovalainen
is still not coming out to play. Felipe Massa moving up. Maldonado
in fifth place. That might be enough for him. 1:38.5. We are on
board with Massa. Top five are all on a 38.5, incredibly close.
Astonishing. Massa is trying to get there. He is in 12th place, not
enough! The clock is ticking. He may well be running out of time.
These guys are trying to find tap - - track position. Massa is only
two-tenths from pole position and he is in 12th place. Tell me I'm
not imagining things! Incredible. Ricky Adar is out of his car.
Vettel is currently in tenth place. Vettel is not safe on his 1:38.7.
The times are so very, very close to one another. Grosjean has just
set a new fastest first sector. He is in 11th place. On board with
Vettel. Pole position winner here for the last two years. This is
right on the cusp. It comes down to the last sector. He is green in
both these sectors so he is on a better lap, but he is currently
about two-tenths down, maybe slightly less, on the current
fastest runner. That is right on the cusp of not going through to
the next section. He is third. 1:38.5. He goes ahead of Raikkonen.
Grosjean could still move up and that would push Alonso down. Alonso
is in trouble because he is currently in tenth place. Grosjean
is on a very quick lap. He has missed a bit in the middle sector.
That might give Alonso some breathing space. I don't think
Perez will threaten Alonso. Perez is not into the top 10. What about
Grosjean? He lost a bit of time on the lap. He goes fastest! Where did
that come from? Grosjean has pushed along so out of the top 10. Michael
Schumacher we are with now. Desperately trying to get into the
top 10. This is his last attempt. He is wide. Can he do it? Personal
best in the middle sector. No! Michael is out. Rosberg was second,
Michael 12th. Massa, 8 hundredths slower than Alonso. You can't say
that Massa hasn't up his game. Today, in a remarkable middle part
of qualifying, the run to get into the top 10 is 0.22 of the second.
That has to be one of thickos list -- closes qualifying sessions.
of the Ferraris are out. Michael Schumacher is gone. Senna is out,
as is Perez. And Kovalainen and Ricciardo. That shows you how
dramatic Formula One is at the moment. Hundredths of a second
preventing drivers going through. If that was Q2, stairway Wharfe of
Q3. The Ferrari doesn't quite limp Q3. The Ferrari doesn't quite limp
back, but it was not flying. Disappointing for that team.
much for the pushing and cajoling by their President. I don't think
it worked particularly well. That is one of the worst performances we
have seen in qualifying from Ferrari for a long time.
situation we are in it after qualifying, one of the Red Bulls
gone, one of the Mercedes gone. We have the likes of Sauber, Lotus and
Force India still in the fight for pole position. It is just theatre
at the highest level. You can't get your breath. We are redundant in
this job at the moment. There's no such thing as a punter, we don't
know what's going on! Absolutely fascinating stuff. You're never
redundant eight back I am redundant. How will Mark Webber feel? A little
bit of tonic with the Ferraris. He wants to put the weekend out of his
mind and salvage a couple of points. Nevertheless, he has a car where he
doesn't understand what is going on with it, and neither does his team.
But the whole effort is happening. We thought Red Bull would be flying.
This qualifying is not finished yet, but the gauntlet has been thrown
down. Red Bull are not the team they thought they were going to be
this weekend. It is not finished for Vettel, but it is finished for
Webber. He starts in 19th place. Really disappointing to see you
standing here now. He had the soft tyre on, what went wrong? We had no
DRS. About 1.3 seconds. It makes it very difficult when you don't have
DRS. The car put up a big fight today, we only did four laps all
day. Three of those were in qualifying. One lap on the Prime at
the start. The gearbox and hydraulics were playing up. We were
in a desperate situation to get through. It is very tight. The lap
time wasn't too bad with the DRS out, but it doesn't do anything to
help the situation. Now we have to do what we can tomorrow. It is a
big hit for us in terms of this one and Barcelona, through no fault of
my own. That is the way it can go over 20 races. How does the driver
react to that kind of situation? You have got issues with your DRS,
which has cost him the chance to get into Q2. How will he deal with
that? We don't want to stop you, lads! The problem is, he will have
to sit down, sit with his engineers and work out why. What has happened
to the Diarra as? This is not the first time they have had problems
with this. They were one of the last scenes to sort out DRS and
KERS. -- teams. Red Bull should be above this, they shouldn't have
this problem. Just to make it clear how close to tears, Michael
Schumacher out in Q2, less than three-tenths behind his team-mate
Nico Rosberg. Let's speak to a man with a smile on his face. Heikki
Kovalainen. The celebration, almost like you had won the Grand Prix.
What does it mean for you and the team to start in 16th place and
make it through to the second part of qualifying? It shows that the
effort everybody has put in it is paying off. We were targeting
higher and we were not happy with the beginning of the season, but
I'm very happy that everybody has kept their heads down and kept
working on the issues. It seems to be working. This is what we have to
carry on tomorrow and the next few races. The first time we are really
challenging the teams ahead of us. I'm very happy for everybody in the
team. Can we expect to see this on a frequent basis? Every race? You
have promised great things and we want to see you deliver them.
Absolutely. We still want to be cautious, but today was a genuine
performance. This circuit is not like Monte Carlo where you can
maybe sneak a good one in. Here, everybody is performing at their
maximum level and as a team we are working better than some of the
teams ahead of us. We still need to put more performance in the car,
but I hope this is a genuine trend. Bigger updates coming for
Silverstone as well. Is this the start of the resurgence of
Caterham? Hopefully. We need to wait and see how everything works
out. This weekend we have new parts and they are working. We have had
them in the past and they have not always worked. We shouldn't worry
about it too much yet. We are on the right track and what I see from
the team, we are focusing on the right areas. Thank you,
congratulations. You start in 16th place. Let's chat to David
Coulthard and Ben Edwards. Let's take the money -- Felipe Massa as
one example of a driver who has not qualified as well this season as in
previous years. It tends to be an example of how close to tears. If
you stay still, you have gone backwards. That's right. He is
eight hundredths slower than Fernando Alonso. The times are so
close. Can you say that Massa is no good because he's only eight
hundredths slower than Alonso? We have to think about a one
under way and it looks as though Kimi Raikkonen will be first out on
track. Pastor Maldonado following him out. Lotus are in good shape
because we believe Jimmy has two sets of the soft tyres still
available. We think Nico Rosberg has similar and may be Kobayashi as
well. Most of the others will have one set of the new softer tyre to
go out on. They might go out on a used set first. Gary, it will be
tricky. Having another set of soft tyres available has to be a big
advantage. Yes, that second set allows you to do two runs on new
tyres. Hulkenberg has gone out on a harder tyre for a lap. I think he
wants to use his new tyre after he has done a balance changed on the
front wing. A lot of time to do two runs around here. Two new sets of
tyres as the luxury of. I'm not sure about Kobayashi, whether he
has got one set or two sets. would not be surprised if Rosberg
tried to do one run and saved a set of options for the race. We will
keep an eye on what the strategy is this afternoon. We know qualifying
is very important this season. Nobody has won from lower down than
fourth place on the grid. With these high track temperatures and a
reasonable spread between the tyres, strategy could be crucial. Kimi
Raikkonen will have an eye on pole position glory. He might use both
his sets. You never know. Raikkonen enjoying the handling of the Lotus.
Back in Formula One this year, one of our six world champions on the
grid. One of two world champions yet to win a race this year. He and
Michael Schumacher, of course, joined a band of seven that have
won races this season. -- not joined. Turn one it is nothing,
really. Flat through there. Turn two is a bit more tricky, but he
spotted his braking well. The director decided a bit of pit lane
action will be more exciting than on track. We can question what he
might have been drinking! Back with what we want to see, a bit of track
action. The green flag being waved so it is the beginning of the
session. Common practice for the marshals to remind the race
director that they are still awake. A tidy laps so far from Raikkonen.
A reasonable first sector, 26.1. He has just been beaten by Rosberg,
26.0. We will watch the rest of the lap. We are not seeing any lock-ups
from Raikkonen. He has been a little bit slower than I was
suggesting. Maybe his team-mate is the man most likely to get
everything out of his Lotus this afternoon. As the track temperature
continues to grow, it is 46 degrees, air temperature 26 degrees, you
sometimes get the car coming in and out of an operating window. Let's
see if Raikkonen ends up with a smile on his face at the end of
this qualifying session. He has qualified best a fourth this year,
in China and Spain. He has had a couple of podium finishes as well.
We are still looking for that first victory on his comeback. Rosberg is
going quicker. Raikkonen sets the Mitchell pace. But Rosberg is
lapping faster. A bit of a lock-up from Rosberg! This is looking like
a good lap. He goes fastest, 1:38.6. And what can Hamilton do? I don't
think he is quite as fast but where will this put the McLaren? Hamilton
is in second, Button crosses the line, he does second! Button faster
than Hamilton! Jenson Button had a big debrief after the Canadian
Grand Prix and adopted some of the set up that Hamilton has been using.
Michael Schumacher is smiling. I doubt very much he is happy with
12th place. A lot to play for tomorrow. A replay of Maldonado
getting on the kerb in the last corner. An example of how not to do
it. He comes in the pits as a result. End of that lap for
Maldonado. We have only got four times having been set so far.
could have been a case of being how great you can be in keeping your
DRS Open and that is an example of a step too far for Maldonado. He
got on the kerb, which would have destabilised the car. We thought --
we saw Rosberg locking. That put him off line slightly in to turn 25.
I expect more time to come from McLaren trailing the Mercedes the
little bit. Have they got more to Pastor Maldonado going out on a new
set of the softer tyres. This is the big chance for him now.
Interesting that before he left the pits, they go through and the
procedure of finding the clutch biting point but it just seems to
me that that uses up vital seconds when you're sitting there in
qualifying. As a driver and I think I would say let us just get the car
out as quickly as possible. Gary, what is your prediction for pole
position time's based on what we have seen so far, I have got no
idea! It is just so close. Grosjean did a 38.48. Here comes Grosjean.
Let us watch as he goes for it here. He made his Formula 1 debut on this
very track. It was a difficult season for him but he has come back
with some mighty performances so far this year. He was nice and
early on the power on the exit of the second turn. He is fastest of
the second turn. He is fastest of all on that first sector. There's
still some time to be found there. But the opening of this lap not
looking too bad for him. He is avoiding those lock ups.
Let us see how this has affected this middle sector. Three-times
done it on the overall best from the previous part of qualifying. --
three times down. But it is still going to be close, if he can get a
good final sector as he did in Q2. Grosjean is quickest! Is that their
own to be enough for pole position? So the middle sector, he is leaving
some of that time behind. He is fastest of all in the first and the
last sectors which are quite contrasting sectors. So that shows
that the Lotus car is performing very well both at low and at high
there. That was Jensen Button making way for Pastor Maldonado.
Good, professional driving. A bit of traffic from Nico Rosberg,
hopefully that will not cost him too much. Pastor Maldonado quickest.
But Paul di Resta and has just set the fastest Mid sector time for the
Force India. It would be incredible if this could put him up into the
top three. It is seventh for him. A poor last sector there from Paul.
Let us see what Nico Hulkenberg can do it in this sister car? And he is
4th fastest, still a great effort for Force India.
Look at the time that Sebastian Vettel is doing! Half a second
faster than anyone else at just over the halfway point of the lap.
It all comes down to braking in this last corner. That is looking
so good. He is trying to take his third pole position here on the
bonanza street circuit. He goes fastest, four-tenths fastest than
anyone else. Lewis Hamilton now the second
quickest. The same as it was in Montreal. But perhaps Jensen Button
can change that? No, he is down in eighth place. A disappointing end
to the lap for Jensen Button. I think that is everybody. It is
Sebastian Vettel Fu has taken pole position. But Williams are happy
because Pastor Maldonado has qualified in third place. But
Sebastian Vettel has indeed match the greats, Alain Prost and Jim
Clarke, 33 Courier poll victories and he has done it in style while
everyone else was fighting, he took it fight over 3.5 tenths of a
second. In the end it came down to having the confidence in the
braking areas. So many of the cars were struggling and it just takes
away that confidence when you run at a very high speed. Such a young
man and a great record that you mentioned, matching the other
greats of the sport. A great performance for Williams and Pastor
Maldonado. He has only been in the top 10 on one other occasion. So he
has delivered on that promise. And do not forget that Lewis Hamilton
won at Caradak in spite of Sebastian Vettel been fastest in
qualifying. -- at Canada. That was a Challenge, thank you!
Sebastian Vettel's third pole position of the 2012 season. It is
all very close behind. Lotus in 4th and 5th position. Kobayashi is
superb 7th. Jensen Button will be a little disappointed with the 9th
position. The big surprise of course was Mark
Webber with problems with his car, starting down in 19th position.
Timo Glock unwell, he did not take part in qualifying. But this man
did come as Sebastian Vettel. Congratulations to him. 33 bull
positions in his young career. -- pole position us. This man loves to
break records. Well they made a strategic change
in the set-up of the car. He made reference to that on the radio. I'm
sure Mark Webber would like to know what that was. But to actually get
pole position by that margin, that is remarkable. The driver is being
weighed. Lewis Hamilton looking a little wilful, and well he might.
The idea was, let us get pole position but whatever else, I have
to make sure I'm in the front row. We know what happened in Canada and
he is looking for a repeat performance. And what does it mean
for Pastor Maldonado? Well we thought this was just a one-off
thing when he won the race. He was doing some impetuous things. I was
asking if he would ever find his form again? He has certainly found
it now. And the Williams car is very good. Paul di Resta made it
very good. Paul di Resta made it through at the final part of
qualifying. Congratulations. You start the race in 10th place. I
suppose we all thought there was a little more speed in the car?
think there was, I hold my hands after that. It locked up on 17. I
made a mistake when the car had a lot of potential which is a bit
gutting. But at the end of the date you have to be a bit on the edge. I
have a lot of work to do tomorrow. Great to think you're disappointed
by making it through to the third part of qualifying. But during that
mid-section, you were the fastest at that stage. We were all on the
edge of our seats, we thought you would get pole position. What
happened? Well, we probably lost a 10th of a second in the first
sector just trying a bit too much. But you always go into qualifying
on the edge and I just locked of wheel going into turn 17. It seems
to be a bit of a bogey in qualifying. But I'll take the
positives and reflect on that. positive is you have got good pace
in the car. We look forward to seeing him performing tomorrow. And
of course the British Grand Prix in a couple of weeks' time. Sebastian
Vettel the fastest man followed by Lewis Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado.
Red Bull will be happy to be on pole position. But it was a sweet
and sour question for them. A fantastic lap. You got the poll
position by Ford tense. It was remarkable. It was all about
stringing the perfect flat together and that was unbelievable from
Sebastian. He was inch-perfect. And the margin he got in the end
surprised all of us. But it is the same front row as it was in
Montreal. We have to try to make it stick tomorrow. And Mark Webber had
a problem with the DRS? We had a hydraulics issue with that which
meant to be -- meant that he could not use it. But he can be a
contender tomorrow for several points, for sure. We will keep
pushing and try to convert that into a big result. I think tomorrow
is supposed to be hotter again, track temperatures of something
like 50 degrees. So looking after the tyres is going to be critical.
It will be critical to make sure we do not oh we used the tyres. Good
luck for tomorrow. We have got people St Lotus will be
faster in the hot conditions. All eyes on Red Bull and forced India
who just appear and slap all that down. Well done to Sebastian. We
did not speak too much about him. Perhaps it is a bit like the
English football team, not too much expected but they provide the big
form at the end. Let us hear from Jensen Button. Out qualified by his
team-mate at every race so far this season for a DUP -- this season.
Are you scratching your head? really, it was how it was. The last
run in qualifying I had a massive amount of front locking. I just
could not slowed the car down. That is it, really. It will be an
interesting race tomorrow, quite a lot of the big names further back
down the grid. It is a long race here and a lot can happen. We're in
Valencia at! Not a lot happens here in the race. You cannot overtake
around here. And I think if you get it right on the strategy, maybe.
But the way that the tyres seem to hold on for most people, it is not
going to be the most exciting race I have ever seen. Perhaps the Lotus
could move up. We will tell the viewers to tune in anyway and
Mark Webber in 19th place, Massa in 13th, she Mackin 12th, Button 9th
and what of Fernando Alonso? Second was qualifying of the season and he
starts 11th. It was so tight. I'm sure going out
in Q2 was not what you hoped for. Definitely. Sad for not reaching Q3.
But that was the way it was today. Unfortunately we were not fast
enough. But the races tomorrow, hopefully we can score some good
points. We will see how the positions are at the end. What was
the Ferrari lacking? Was it just not fast enough? Yes, lacking top
speed on the long straights. We were two-tenths from pole position
so being that close you need a bit of luck as well. It can make a
completely different thing. Today we did not get the luck. Blaming
luck! Updates to the front wing, update to the floor, to the exhaust.
Fernando Alonso said he was delighted with the improvements
Ferrari had made. He will now know for sure the other teams got more
improvements. It is a big catch-up game for Ferrari yet again. They
just leave it too late to often. We all know what a star Alonso is. He
should not be outside the top 10. It is set up as it was in Canada.
Vettel from Hamilton. Tomorrow, keep your eyes on Pastor Maldonado.
Congratulations, Sebastian, a third pole position in a row at this race
and any one flying lap in Q3 to do it. Yes! I had one shot at the end
which turned out to be a very good lap and I was very happy. But Q1
and Q2 were not to our liking. We were struggling to find the balance
that we had earlier on this weekend. But a good recovery throughout
qualifying. Unfortunately we had to put on the second set of options in
Q2. It was the right call because it was very tight. My time would
not have been good enough with the first set. It was good to go again.
But in the last qualifying, I knew that if the track came in a little
bit more, tying de Laet together, it should be good enough to have a
look at pole position. In the end it was a surprising gap, but the
boys have been working incredibly hard in the garage, all of the
people in the factory as well, to make sure we bring a couple of new
parts to the car. They seem to work and I am looking forward to the
race tomorrow. Lewis, a front row for you. Sebastien said there was a
surprising gap in the end. Did you expect it to be much closer at the
end of Q3? I expected to be a lot further back. I struggled with set
up and going into Q3 to qualify and we had to make some guesses as to
what set-up we wanted to change. It seemed to work OK. Really, really
surprised, the guy's obviously did a good job, as always, to give me a
good gap. While the car still felt pretty good, the gap is still quite
big. It will be a tough race. that just the way it is in 2012?
You go from winning one Reece and then the next one you struggle. --
race. I think so. It appeared so when we first started practising
here yesterday. But generally, you look at the grid, because it is so
hot, you know that the Lotuses look massively competitive. I think they
will be the ones to watch out for tomorrow. I'm sure the Ferraris
will be quick on the long run as well. Who knows what will happen
tomorrow. We have to look after our tyres in tricky conditions. 2012 is
certainly unpredictable! One thing is for sure, you quite like Spain!
I think we've been working so hard. The car has been quite quick from
yesterday. We were struggling a bit with the option tyres. We were a
bit confused because the car was not the same. I didn't feel the
same feeling with the prime tyres. But then we have been working so
hard, trying to understand what happened in the car this morning,
still struggling, especially with the option tyres. Here we are. I
think we did a pretty good job. Williams is getting better and
better every time. I am pretty happy for the team, pretty happy
for my country and that is going to be a great opportunity to get the
job done. A good result for Williams in qualifying. This is the
Let's find out how the race will shape up. What do you think about
tomorrow? Looking at the tyres data we have got, I am sure a two-stop
strategy is the best solution. Some people will do a three, but we
thought a one stop in Montreal was good. With 25 Corners, one is not
the way to go. Get rid of the soft tyres as early as possible. Thank
you. It is so difficult to call the race because it has been so close
today. The weather can play a big part. I've just a sneaking feeling
that we might have the 8th winner in the eighth race. Romain Grosjean.
He is looking very dangerous, very quick, possibly should have had
pole position. He is looking very strong. Overtaking is not easy here.
He looks so good. The way he controls the car, even when it
steps away from him, he gets it back together. He has matured
enormously this season. Have you enjoyed that qualifying session? I
had a naysayer on twittered saying qualifying never delivers, but it
delivered today. For the first time, we've had some relative consistency.
The same qualifying as we had in the previous race. Maybe There's a
trend coming. David thought Sebastian would get pole position,
but I would not rule out Lewis. There's more Formula One coming
We will return tomorrow. A full weekend of live Formula One on the
It is a year of new faces and new records being broken. And despite