F1 Brazil Quali Results & Full Report: Hulkenberg Wins Pole in Surprising Saturday


What Happens When Rain Brings Drama and Surprise

1:07pm EST — Nico Hulkenberg took Williams to it’s first pole of the season and his maiden pole during a damp and drying qualifying session for the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix, beating Sebastian Vettel to the position by nearly a second. mark Webber will start third, Lewis Hamilton fourth, and Fernando Alonso fifth. Despite the damp, there were no incidents, just lots of times traded back and forth. Alonso and Webber led Q1 and Q2, respectively, but the drying conditions that put options tires on all the Q3 starters at the end of the session made for furious position changes, as Hulkenberg kept his pole time through the final laps after the flag and bettered his own time to put a stamp on his first-place start for Sunday’s race and the quiet resurgence of Williams through the latter half of the season. Jenson Button was knocked out in Q2 and will start eleventh, while Felipe Massa nearly was and will start ninth.

Kubica took the fastest lap (1:19.191) from Vettel as the final practice session on Saturday morning ended. It was a damp session, with rain falling as it began, but the track attempted to dry out, leaving the drivers on inters as the session ended. Hamilton, Massa, and Alonso rounded out the fastest five, with Button ninth and Webber eleventh. Vettel was fastest in the second practice session on Friday, the only driver of the weekend to post a time under 1:12s, with his 1:11.968 lap time. He led teammate Webber, though Alonso was third fastest, with Hamilton and Massa, who stopped about two-thirds of the way through the session with a clutch issue rounding out the fastest five. Vettel was fastest (1:12.328) in the first practice session Friday, leading teammate and title rival Webber, Hamilton, Button, and Kubica as the fastest five. Vettel’s time was set about two-thirds through a generally uneventful session, though the real drama came at the end. Petrov lost his Renault heavily into a tire barrier after over-compensating for a serious wiggle, causing extensive damage. Alonso, who ended the session thirteenth fastest, stopped on the side of the track in the final seconds with a suspected (and anticipated) engine failure, while Kobayashi also lost his Sauber at the same turn as Petrov, though a bit later and without hitting the tire barrier. HRT had announced Thursday that Christian Klien would replace Sakon Yamamoto for the entire weekend.

Q1:
According to Mike Gascoyne on Twitter, “Rain forecast between 14.05 and 14.10 lasting 20 mins so expect it to be busy at the start of the session.” It was true, as Buemi led a number of cars onto the track as the pit exit opened. Just over one minute into the twenty minutes session had every driver out, and all on inters. Buemi’s was the first time, of course, a 1:22.744, one that interestingly stayed on top until Webber’s time, a second and a half quicker. Massa joined his as second fastest on his first timed lap, with Petrov soon taking that position, then ALguersuari, while Hulkenberg went faster than Webber. Five minutes in and it was Hulkenberg, Webber, Hamilton, Algueruari, and Petrov as the top five. It didn’t last, with Schumacher displacing the younger German and Petrov, Webber. Then Hulenberg responded. Liuzzi nearly ran into Sutil while coming back onto the circuit after a big slide in the heavy spray, but both continued on unscathed. Of course, the mission then was not necessarily to be fastest, but not to be knocked out, with Heidfeld, Trulli, di Grassi, Kovalainen, Senna, Sutil, and Klien in that position with thirteen minutes left in the session.

Vettel led Webber, Rosberg, Hulkenberg, Barrichello, Massa, Schumacher, Alguersuari, Petrov and Buemi as the top ten a minute later, with Alonso, Kubica, and Hamilton eleventh through thirteenth. That also didn’t last, as Alonso went fastest (1:19.842) on his next lap, and Hamilton moved up to fifth. Halfway through the session, Sutil was the only non-new team driver to be in the relegation area. Glock was the first driver to pit, and the only one to do so with nine minutes remaining, until he was joined by Liuzzi, and Sutil. Vettel then improved on Alonso’s time by nearly seven tenths, with Hamilton third, Webber, fourth, and Hulkenberg fifth fastest.

Others began pitting as some sprinkling arrived, as predicted. With just five minutes left, Webber (1:19.025) led Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, and Barrichello while Sutil was still in the knockout zone. Barrichello then went faster than Hamilton. Both Red Bulls, Buemi, Massa, Rosberg, Alguersuari, and di Grassi were all in the garage with four minutes left. Kubica slid into third fastest as the track began drying again, as Sutil dropped Liuzzi into the knockout zone. Only Webber and Vettel (who still led) were in the garage with one minute left and no danger they would be knocked out. Kobayashi also went fourth fastest, with Alonso dropping down, but still well ahead of Button and Hamilton, who was complaining of graining sue to his tire pressure being too high. As Q1 ended, it was Alonso’s final fast time (1:18.987) that led the session over Webber, Vettel, Kubica, Kobayashi, Massa, Barrichello, Schumacher, Button, and Hamilton as the fastest ten. Liuzzi forced his teammate out, meaning Sutil will start 23rd after his five-place penalty from Korea.

Drivers Knocked Out at the End of Q1:
18. Sutil 1:20.830*
19. Glock 1:22.130
20. Trulli 1:22.250
21. Kovalainen 1:22.378
22. di Grassi 1:22.810
23. Klien 1:23.083
24. Senna 1:23.796
*will start 23rd after 5-place grid penalty assessed after the Korean Grand Prix

Q2:
Q2 began under a rain shower, as it began during the small break between the sessions. That still did not stop a line of drivers from forming at the pit exit and streaming onto the circuit to post a time before it got truly wet. Vettel, though, was not out with the rest of his championship rivals until a bit later. Three minutes in, Buemi was the first to post a time, 1:20.257, overtaken by Kubica’s first time, who then lost the top spot to Hamilton, then Alonso, then Webber. Schumacher slotted into second fastest. There was no particular amount of rain, as Kubia went fastest again. Vettel was the fastest man in the knockout zone with ten minutes left, leading Button, Kobayashi, Rosberg, Massa, and Liuzzi, as drivers changed positions dramatically. Barrichello went fastest, only to lose the position seconds later to Vettel.

At the halfway point of the fifteen minute session, Webber led Vettel, Barrichello, Kubica, Schumakcher, Alonso, Button, Massa, Hamilton, and Kobayashi as the top ten while Hulkenberg, Petrov, Buemi, Alguersuari, Liuzzi, Heidfeld, and Rosberg were in the knockout zone. Kubica was fast again, second fastest while Webber, then Vettel was fastest, a tenth faster than Alonso’s best time in Q1. Vettel looked to better his own time with fastest of all in sector one as Alonso was stuck down in ninth with just over five minutes to go. Many drivers were back in for new inters as Alonso dropped to tenth. Alguersuari dropped him to the knockout zone, but Alonso responded with the third fastest time, though Massa was in the knockout zone in fourteenth.

Everyone was on track with three minutes left. Vettel led Webber, Alonso, Kubica, and Barrichello while Button, petrove, Buemi, Massa, Heidfeld, Kobayashi, and Liuzzi were in the knockout zone at that point. Webber then went faster than Vettel with a 1:18.516. Hamilton and Alonso then switched positions as Massa went ninth fastest, htough that soon turned into eleventh. Button was up to ninth with a minute left as Schumacher and Barrichello knocked Alonso down to sixth. Webber pitted from the top position before the flag fell, as did Vettel and Hamilton, and Button down in eleventh and the knockout zone. Barrichello was content enough with fifth, though Kubica was third fastest on his final lap. At the end of Q2, Webber (1:18.516) led Vettel, Kubica, Hamilton, Schumacher, Barrichello, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Petrov, and Massa, who dueled with Button to continue on, as the top ten.

Drivers Knocked Out at the End of Q2:
11. Button 1:19.288
12. Kobayashi 1:19.385
13. Rosberg 1:19.486
14. Alguersuari 1:19.581
15. Buemi 1:19.847
16. Heidfeld 1:19.899
17. Liuzzi 1:20.357

Q3:
Alonso led the way when the ten minute Q3 began, with all the drivers but Schumacher out in the first thirty seconds of the session. Everyone was on inters, a good choice for the current track conditions but an interesting one for a projected dry track for Sunday’s race. Alonso’s first lap was a 1:17.794, the fastest all day. Petrove was the first to join him under 1:18, then Webber, Hamilton, and Vettel went faster than the Spaniard. Four minutes in, Hamilton (1:17.212) led Schumacher, Vettel, Webber, and Alonso as the top five with times dropping dramatically and the possibility of drys becoming more likely. Alonso and Webber switched with multiple drivers pitting for the options, notably Alonso and Vettel, with just four minutes to go.

Hamilton’s first sector on slicks is the best of the session for anyone as everyone was on the track with two and a half minutes to go. Kubica, on options, slid off the track but rejoined without damage or hitting anyone. Hamilton’s first alp did not improve, but he did do better on his second in the first sector, as Hulkenberg has a fastest of all second sector to take provisional pole with a 1:16.373, nearly a second faster than the Briton. Hamilton takes it back by a tenth, with Vettel fourth and Alonso fifth with seconds remaining. Alonso’s next to final lap (finished with seconds left) takes him to pole, only to be beaten by Hulkenberg with a 1:15.642, then Hamilton takes second on his final attempt. Webber goes second, then Vettel does. Alonso does not improve on his final lap, though Hulkenberg does, sealing his first pole with a 1:14.470, nearly a second faster than Vettel.

Final Qualifying Times for the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix:
1. Hulkenberg 1:14.470
2. Vettel 1:15.519
3. Webber 1:15.637
4. Hamilton 1:15.747
5. Alonso 1:15.989
6. Barrichello 1:16.203
7. Kubica 1:16.552
8. Schumacher 1:16.925
9. Massa 1:17.101
10. Petrov 1:17.656

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1 Comment

  1. Admit it, rain makes things more interesting 🙂


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