In what proved to be more exciting than last year's Abu Dhabi GP, the 6 hr wait between the end of qualifying and the official decision to have Sebastian Vettel's red Bull start from pit lane because of a fuel violation was punctuated by a relentless twitter war between all the journalist present, and not, eager to give the news first. Amusingly a blogger won.
The sequence of events for Red Bull at the end of Q3 was identical to what had happened to Lewis Hamilton earlier in the season, including the frantic call from pit wall to shut down immediately.
It's interesting Red Bull would feel under such pressure to put Vettel on pole to take such a risk. Certainly confirms views that Red Bulls can only win if they can start in clear air.
Vettel will get a chance to show his stuff tomorrow and climb back into the points, tall order considering it's expected to be a one stop race. Alonso has to keep cool, he can let Hamilton go has to weigh how much to risk vs gain with Maldonado and of course keep an eye on Raikkonen who is still in the championship.
We as fans get a championship potentially going right down to the wire and somewhere Bernie is smiling.
Vettel now starts from Pit Lane.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.630s
2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m40.978s + 0.348
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m41.073s + 0.443
4. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m41.226s + 0.596
5. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m41.260s + 0.630
6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m41.290s + 0.660
7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m41.582s + 0.952
8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m41.603s + 0.973
9. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m41.723s + 1.093
10. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m41.778s + 1.148 Q2 cut-off time: 1m41.907s Gap ** 11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m42.019s + 1.118 12. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m42.084s + 1.183 13. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m42.218s + 1.317 14. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m42.289s + 1.388 15. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m42.330s + 1.429 16. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m42.606s + 1.705 17. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m42.765s + 1.864 Q1 cut-off time: 1m43.582s Gap * 18. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m44.058s + 2.561 19. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m44.956s + 3.459 20. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m45.089s + 3.592 21. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m45.151s + 3.654 22. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m45.426s + 3.929 23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m45.766s + 4.269 24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m46.382s + 4.885 107% time: 1m48.601s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2