April 16, 2011
Chinese GP: Vettel on pole with fastest lap ever in Shanghai
1:33.706, another amazing performance by Sebastian Vettel and the RB7.
The previous qualifying lap record was by Barichello in 2004 with a 1:34.012 in a Ferrari which had much more power, weighed much less and had less restrictive aero (but grooved tires).
Vettel's time was a massive 7/10th faster than second place Jenson Button but other teams should be even more worried by the pace Vettel kept on a race stint simulation in practice where he went 18 laps on a set of tires at a steady 1:43 pace. That points to a two stopper. To top it off, he's not short on tires so he could change strategy if he needs to.
Of course it was high and low with Red Bull but frankly, it seems obvious that what happened to Webber is what happens to a #2 driver, just not the best out of the team.
Tomorrow, barring a mechanical or a first lap incident, I would expect a carbon copy of Sepang.
BTW, if you are still blasé about what these guys do, check out the still above. Vettel is at the end of the main straight heading into the curlycue decreasing radius turn 1.
He is well passed the 50M board and he is turning in at 313 km/h, 194.4mph in 7th gear. Less than 5 seconds later he is at the slowest part of the turn at 90km/h-55mph in 2nd. Check it out on the video after the jump, amazing.