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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-11-2009, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Webber claims first F1 pole in Germany

Webber claims first F1 pole in Germany

Saturday, 11 July 2009 14:13
Webber claims first F1 pole in Germany - F1 | ITV Sport

Red Bull’s Mark Webber brilliantly claimed his first Formula 1 pole position after coming through a frenetic rain-affected qualifying session at the Nurburgring.

After on-off light rain showers ensured Q2 simply became a battle of survival for the grid’s top runners, dry conditions returned for the crucial pole shootout and Webber fought off competition from four other drivers in a nail-biting finale.

The Australian – who had shown his intentions for the weekend from the very first practice session when he topped the times – outqualified team-mate Sebastian Vettel for the first time, delivering a faultless final 1m32.230s lap to claim pole by just over 0.1s from Brawn’s Rubens Barrichello.

With the weekend-long chilly conditions in the Eifel Mountains region favouring RBR again as they did at Silverstone three weeks ago, championship leader Brawn may well be delighted with its qualifying result after its two drivers both made late jumps up the grid to sandwich the two Red Bulls.

Barrichello appeared particularly chuffed in the post-race press conference after outqualifying his championship-leading team-mate Jenson Button for the second successive race weekend, the Brazilian capping an impressive hour with a time 0.116s faster than the Briton could manage.

Button in turn sneaked ahead of main title rival Vettel by a mere 0.007s in the closing seconds to head up the second row.

Lewis Hamilton and McLaren confirmed their astonishing Nurburgring progress by equalling their best qualifying result of a miserable season with fifth, the reigning world champion having even held provisional pole after his final run.

Even more surprising, however, was the sister car of Heikki Kovalainen netting sixth despite the Finn’s MP4-24 not carrying the same heavily upgraded aero package as Hamilton and the fact he earlier had clouted the barriers after sliding off in Q2.

But the shock of the session belonged to the upwardly-mobile Force India team, which made its maiden appearance in Q3 after Adrian Sutil had demonstrated his wet weather prowess to show up other more fancied runners in the rain-hit second stage.

The German then amazingly outqualified both Ferraris to claim seventh, Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen having to settle for eighth and ninth respectively as the F60 struggled in the chilly and drizzly conditions

And to cap an session of notable ‘firsts’, the ever under-pressure Nelson Piquet Jr outqualified Renault team-mate Fernando Alonso for the first time in 28 attempts after finally making Q3 for the first time in 2009.

After the majority of Q1 had taken place in straightforward fashion, drizzle started to fall around the Nurburgring in the closing stages of the opening session which meant the drivers below the cut line at the time couldn’t improve on their final timed laps.

With the rain predicted to worsen, the remaining 15 runners were naturally keen to get on with Q2 as quickly as possible and queued up at the end of the pit lane before the green light to start the session was given.

However, as drivers jostled for position around the first sector in a bid to find some clear air it soon became clear it was too slippery for the slick tyres they had gone out on.

Several cars subsequently ran off the road – including Massa, who was lucky not to swipe the barriers after running too wide over a kerb.

However, while all drivers except Webber tip-toed their way back to the pits to take on intermediate tyres, Barrichello opted to play a waiting game back in the Brawn garage.

Then, as the drizzle began to ease again, the canny Brazilian went back out on slick tyres and set a lap far quicker than any one else was doing to guarantee progression to Q3.

By the time his rivals realised they had to follow suit the rain intensified slightly again, which set up a thrilling conclusion to the session as drivers gave it everything to try and make the top 10.

With Barrichello’s time remaining untouchable (1.3s clear) Piquet slotted into second and Sutil third, while Button, and the Ferraris, McLarens and Red Bulls all also managed to scramble their way to safety.

BMW’s Nick Heidfeld was one of the unlucky ones to miss out after dropping from eighth to 11th in the closing seconds, while a rare error in a pressure situation meant Alonso unusually couldn’t match Piquet.

The Spaniard was on a lap that should have been his fastest to that point, but touched a white line under braking for the chicane at the end of the lap and slid into the gravel trap

And while the double world champion expertly navigated his way out of trouble, he couldn’t find enough speed in his final lap to bring and brought up Piquet’s milestone.

Williams’s Kazuki Nakajima had bee the first to spin in the early stages of Q2 and eventually found himself in 13th ahead of Toyota’s Jarno Trulli.

But the Japanese driver can at least be satisfied with outqualifying team-mate Nico Rosberg after the German driver missed the top 10 for the first time in 2009 in 15th.

Two of the drivers with vested home interest had already fallen at Q1, with German carmaker BMW losing one driver with Robert Kubica (17th) and one of the grid’s five local drivers Timo Glock dropping out too (19th) – the Toyota ace having made several mistakes before that point.

With the drizzle having started before the end of Q1, both Glock and Kubica went out for final laps but were fighting a losing battle and joined regular Q1 victims Giancarlo Fisichella (Force India) and both Toro Rosso drivers below the cut line.

Sebastien Bourdais did nothing to help his chances of holding onto his Toro Rosso seat beyond this weekend as he slumped to the slowest qualifying time for the second time in three races.

With rumours having intensified at the Nurburgring that he is set to be replaced by new 19-year-old Red Bull reserve Jaime Alguersuari from Hungary, being comprehensively outqualified once again by rookie Buemi may now mean he has to perform miraculously in the race to save his F1 career.

German GP starting grid

1. WEBBER Red Bull


3. BUTTON Brawn

4. VETTEL Red Bull



7. SUTIL Force India

8. MASSA Ferrari

9. RAIKKONEN Ferrari

10. PIQUET Renault


12. ALONSO Renault

13. NAKAJIMA Williams

14. TRULLI Toyota

15. ROSBERG Williams


17. BUEMI Toro Rosso

18. FISICHELLA Force India

19. GLOCK Toyota

20. BOURDAIS Toro Rosso
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-11-2009, 06:15 PM
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That was a great show this morning. Should be a good race, wish we didn't have that stupid Fox deal. Sunday mornings just aren't the same.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-11-2009, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Webber more than deserves this, and hopefully wins the race.
Webber and Vettel start with 661kg of fuel, and should have 5-6 more laps than the Brawn.
Red Bull 1 + 2?
Adrian Sutil's 7th is pretty strong considering his fuel load. His Ferrari powered Force India out qualifying the lighter Ferrari, ouch.
I am looking forward to the (hopefully dry) race.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-11-2009, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Brawn light, Red Bull strong in Germany

Brawn light, Red Bull strong in Germany
German GP - Qualifying weights
11/07/09 19:30


Red Bull should be able to dominate on race day...
Red Bull Renault look set to continue where they left off last time out at the British Grand Prix after Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel qualified first and fourth with significantly more fuel on board for the first stint of the German Grand Prix than rivals Brawn Mercedes.

Assuming that all 20 runners come in at the minimum weight of 605kg for the driver and chassis combined and also assuming that a lap around the Nurburgring burns off 2.4kg of fuel, pole sitter Webber should be able to complete five laps more than fellow front-row starter Rubens Barrichello and seven laps more than championship leader Jenson Button.

Brawn Mercedes have certainly gone very light on fuel to achieve their starting positions for tomorrow’s ninth round of the championship and as a result will be forced to make their first pit stop for fuel as early as lap 14 and 15 when adding in the installation lap to the grid and then the parade lap.

In contrast, pole sitter Webber can run until lap 20 as can team-mate Sebastian Vettel – although the team will probably stagger the stops by a lap - who lines up alongside Button on the second row of the grid.

As ever, those outside of the top ten are generally fuelled heavier than those on the first five rows, but notable exceptions include Giancarlo Fisichella in the Force India who will be pitting on a two stop strategy along with Vettel.

It is also a surprise to see that Adrian Sutil, who qualified a superb seventh in the leading Force India, has a significant fuel load and could if he chooses make it a one stop race as he can run as late as lap 28 of 60.

Red Bull has the fuel on board and as shown in Shanghai, the RB5 package is superb in the wet conditions.
It does seem that the Milton Keynes team has the advantage but as we all know, the run to turn one and the opening laps of the Grand Prix can change everything in a blink of an eye.

Nurburgring - Qualifying Weight (kg)
1 . M. Webber - Red Bull Renault RB5 - 661.0
2 . R. Barrichello - Brawn Mercedes BGP 001 - 647.0
3 . J. Button - Brawn Mercedes BGP 001 - 644.0
4 . S. Vettel - Red Bull Renault RB5 - 661.0
5 . L. Hamilton - McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 - 654.5
6 . H. Kovalainen - McLaren Mercedes MP4-24 - 664.0
7 . A. Sutil - Force India Mercedes VJM02 - 678.5
8 . F. Massa - Ferrari F60 - 673.5
9 . K. Raikkonen - Ferrari F60 - 674.0
10 . N. Piquet - Renault R29 - 676.0
11 . N. Heidfeld - BMW Sauber F1.09 - 681.0 *
12 . F. Alonso - Renault R29 - 668.2 *
13 . J. Trulli - Toyota TF109 - 683.7 *
14 . N. Rosberg - Williams Toyota FW31 - 689.6 *
15 . R. Kubica - BMW Sauber F1.09 - 673.5 *
16 . K. Nakajima - Williams Toyota FW31 - 683.6 *
17 . S. Buemi - Toro Rosso Ferrari STR4 - 674.5 *
18 . G. Fisichella - Force India Mercedes VJM02 - 662.5 *
19 . T. Glock - Toyota TF109 - 662.3 *
20 . S. Bourdais - Toro Rosso Ferrari STR4 - 689.5 *
* Declared weight (outside of top ten)

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