Saturday, 10 July 2010

Vettel wings pole position

Red Bull did what most expected them to do and took another crushing Saturday victory as Sebastian Vettel took pole position with Mark Webber again pipped into 2nd. The Australian was unhappy afterwards after it turned out that the new front wing on his car was given to his team mate after Vettel had problems in practice. Coming into Abbey the wing on the German's car came loose. Red Bull only had 2 with them so decided, based on practice times and championship standings which Vettel has the edge in both, to give the Valencia race winner the remaining new front wing. This will do little to dispel the feelings amongst some that Vettel is the favoured driver within the team. Fernando Alonso was 3rd but over half a second off pole while Lewis Hamilton declared himself delighted to have hauled his McLaren to 4th after a difficult day. Nico Rosberg was an impressive 5th, well ahead of Michael Schumacher who was 10th. Robert Kubica put his Renault 6th ahead of Felipe Massa. Rubens Barrichello continued the Williams improvement in 8th and Pedro de La Rosa was a surprise 9th.

It was a terrible qualifying for reigning world champion who ended up 14th and described his car as undrivable after feeling good in the morning. Conditions and particularly the wind was quite changable. Add in the lack of setup time and disruptive changes McLaren have had this weekend and it is perhaps not surprisng that Button, who is certainly somebody who really needs the car working to get the best out of his package, struggled to make a positive impression. He will need to pull something special off to get a good result tomorrow and it may well be a case of damage limitation.

Another man to watch out for early on is Vitantonio Liuzzi who qualified 15th but will start 20th after being penalised for what was a clear block of Nico Hulkenberg in the Becketts section. Toro Rosso were fined for a unsafe release when Jaime Alguersuari came out in front of another car. He was the main victim of Q1 while Lotus were still best of the new teams though Virgin's updates have brought them closer. HRT take up the back row with Sakon Yamamoto 4 tenths off Karun Chandhok. Will he be able to see the 52 laps out tomorrow?

Red Bull look set for a dominating display but it has looked that way before and they have failed to deliver. On a track like this, they really need to maximise the opprtunity before them. They did dominate Barcelona qualifying and Hamilton kept in Vettel's wheel tracks on raceday. Fernando Alonso will really want to get the jump on Webber at the start and the Australian will not want a repeat of his Valencia nightmare where he lost 7 positions on the opening lap. Everybody is on the soft tyre in the top ten so expect the usual early stop when there is a gap to drop into. This may differ with a safety car but they are pretty rare for Silverstone though not improbable. It could be a key swing in the championship. Can Sebastian Vettel make it 2 wins in a row. Will Jenson Button be able to charge through the field? What colour of trousers will Eddie Jordan wear on the BBC tomorrow? All will be revealed tomorrow, race start is 1pm BST

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