Valencia 2009: Live Qualifying Notes

Valencia 2009: Live Qualifying Notes

With the return of Formula One action come the regular posting schedule over the course of the race weekend. Below are the notes from qualifying for the European Grand Prix, taken down live as the sessions unfold in front of us all. From the free practice runs yesterday and this morning, we can see that Brawn are looking quite pacey, as are McLaren who are running an updated chassis. Red Bull are also in the mix, although an engine/gear box failure for Sebastian Vettel in the morning run will not have helped the squad.

Q1

  • Have BMW always had a shark fin engine cover?
  • The answer is no, it is a new part.
  • Will Alonso take a corporate pole, or does he actually have decent pace anyway. Remember, he did well in Germany, taken the pole position and ran his race well until the wheel came off.
  • Force India might be able to get through to Q3 as well with one of their drivers; they look pacey having been in the top ten in Friday practice and SUT headed Saturday morning practice.
  • Also, we might see Massa’s lap record from last year broken. SUT set a 39.143s this morning, and the record is 38.989s.
  • BAD (softer compound) and BUE on track. Smedley implies that BAD’s pace is as bad as it looks. Hehe, bad BAD.
  • BAD: 42.957s.
  • SUT: 41.222s.
  • ALG: 41.444s
  • NAK: 40.339s
  • BUE: 40.203s
  • KOV: 39.997s
  • GRO ran wide after looking front brakes.
  • RAI: 39.718s
  • HAM: Spun after braking on the kerb. Recovered.
  • KOV: 39.562s
  • BUT yet to set lap.
  • VET P2, WEB P6.
  • ROS: 39.416s
  • FIS: P2, 39.531s
  • BUT: P8
  • HAM: 39.198s
  • BAR: 39.019s
  • BUT: P12
  • KOV: P2, HAM: P3
  • SUT: P5, FIS: P6
  • HAM: 38.649s (that’s a new record)
  • ALO: P8
  • GRO: P4
  • WEB, ALG, GLO, TRU, BAD in dropzone at moment.
  • BAD is 0.9s slower that TRU.
  • NAK off track. Engine cut out. Qualifying over.
  • WEB: Back-end of car not happy. 39.408s, P5
  • BUT: 39.088s, P4
  • BUE: P3
  • RAI: P3
  • KUB: P2
  • KOV: P3
  • BUT: 38.531, P1
  • BAD, ALG, TRU, NAK, FIS out.
  • All 3 Italian drivers out in Q1.

Q2

  • RAI first out in Q2.
  • RAI: 38.823s
  • BAR: 38.645s
  • BUT: 38.601s
  • KOV: 38.579s
  • VET: P3
  • ROS: 38.541s
  • BAR: 38.231s
  • HAM: 38.182s
  • WEB: 38.625s – P6
  • GRO: P14
  • HAM: Complaining of rear tyres overheating by S2 on the lap.
  • ALO: 38.853s – P11
  • GRO: 39.040s – P12
  • WEB ruined lap. Backed off to save tyres for second run.
  • RAI: 38.782s – P8
  • HAM does not go again.
  • SUT: P14
  • BAR: 38.581s – No improvement.
  • VET: P3
  • ALO and GRO still in dropzone.
  • BAR: 38/076s – P1
  • ALO: 38.717s – P8
  • GRO – out
  • BUE, GRO, GLO, SUT, HEI out.

Q3

  • The BBC reckon this is the first time a Ferrari has ever qualified last. Absolute last. Plum last. Awaiting confirmation, and if it doesn’t come I will look into it later this evening. But if correct, that is astonishing.
  • KUB, KOV, RAI and ROS on track. KOV waited at end of pitlane, possibly for green light. KUB overtook and exited pitlane first.
  • HAM and ALO are out.
  • VET leaves garage.
  • KOV looks to be heavy on fuel, as usual.
  • HAM: 39.498s
  • HAM ran to deep into T1 after setting quick lap.
  • BUT: Locked up a bit. 39.905s – P2
  • RAI: P3
  • ALO: P4
  • HAM remained on track for another run. But now he’s out of sequence and will only just get another run in.
  • HAM pitted for new tyres. Released with 2:07 on the clock for a final run.
  • BAR: 39.563s
  • KUB: 40.719s
  • WEB: P4
  • KOV: P2
  • ROS: P5
  • VET: P4
  • RAI: P8
  • ALO: P7
  • KOV: Purple S1.
  • BUT: P5
  • KOV: Purple S2
  • KOV: P2. Blew it in last 2 corners.
  • RAI: P6
  • HAM: Aborts lap. Already on pole.
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