April 13, 2013

Hamilton On Pole For Mercedes After Just Three Races.

A number people must be scratching their heads today.

Michael Schumacher is probably drowning his sorrows beating up on kids with his kart after watching Lewis put  Mercedes on pole in just his third race with the team.

Jenson Button must be wondering why Mclaren decided to follow Ferrari's lead with the new front suspension and maybe wishing he had not said some things about Hamilton's choice to leave the team.

Webber is certainly wondering why things always seem to happen to him.   This time, despite what you may read elsewhere, it was actually a banal human error  (...or was it?  conspiracy theorists go at it!).  He will start at the back but tonight Red Bull mechanics will be
very busy essentially rebuilding the car,  starting with the fuel pump which is garbage once it runs dry.    It's possible RBR will reconfigure Webber's car and take the penalty free opportunity to change the gearbox.

You get the sense there was something odd going on at Red Bull,   Certainly Vettel giving up in Q3 is not a "Plan A" strategy but rather one to cover some issue.   Even his last lap where he apparently lost his brakes and ended up possibly flat spotting a precious set of Pirelli primes was quite strange.

Speaking of tires,  you have to wonder if Pirelli is finally realizing there's a problem.   Granted, the Italian company was given a brief to produce tires that, in a sense, fail by design  but this is getting silly.
The option tires and expected to last between 4 and 10 laps and resulted in all the teams staying in the garages to then just do one flying lap on them in qualifying,  I'm not sure that's the kind of "show" anyone had in mind.   On the other hand, Lewis, Fernando and Kimi at the front should make for an very interesting first couple of corners tomorrow.

Of note, Ricciardo's performance taking the Toro Rosso to P7 and keep your eye in the future on Bianchi who almost managed to get a Marussia into Q2 which would have been almost like getting on pole!

Pos Driver                Team                 Time           Gap   
 1. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes             1m34.484s    
2. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault        1m34.761s  + 0.277
3. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m34.788s  + 0.304
4. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m34.861s  + 0.377
5. Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m34.933s  + 0.449
6. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault        1m35.364s  + 0.880
7. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m35.998s  + 1.514
8. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     2m05.673s  + 31.189
9. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     no time
10. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber-Ferrari       no time
Q2 cut-off time: 1m36.261s                                   Gap **
11. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 1m36.287s  + 1.209s
12. Sergio Perez          McLaren-Mercedes     1m36.314s  + 1.236s
13. Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes 1m36.405s  + 1.327s
14. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m36.679s  + 1.601s DSQ
15. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault     1m37.139s  + 2.061s
16. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m37.199s  + 2.121s
Q1 cut-off time: 1m37.508s                                    Gap *
17. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault     1m37.769s  + 1.976
18. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari       1m37.990s  + 2.197
19. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Cosworth    1m38.780s  + 2.987
20. Max Chilton           Marussia-Cosworth    1m39.537s  + 3.744
21. Charles Pic           Caterham-Renault     1m39.614s  + 3.821
22. Giedo van der Garde   Caterham-Renault     1m39.660s  + 3.867

107% time: 1m42.489s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2


  1. I'll say one thing, Lewis sure shut me up. I thought he was nuts for leaving McLaren, but he seems to be going swimmingly at Merc. Im sure Nicole is helping him keep his driving skills razor sharp.

  2. Mercedes haven't had race pace as much as they've had qualifying pace.


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