Image credits: Sutton images & others
Mark Webber retains his third place grid slot in Austin, Texas but is reprimanded for missing weight check after Q1 in qualifying.
He was called summoned by the stewards as he missed weight checks during the first phase of qualifying (Q1) with the stewards then investigating the matter when the session had drawn to a close.
Having looked at the evidence and spoken to both Webber and a representative of the Red Bull team, the decision was taken to hand down a reprimand which means he will be able to start the race from the position in which he qualified after a solid showing in the session.
“The driver failed to proceed directly to the FIA garage for weighing when signalled to do so,” the stewards decision read. “However upon realising the error, the team brought the car back to the FIA garage immediately.”
Webber was pleased with his performance during qualifying as he secured a place on the clean side of the grid, although he said he was aiming to improve on race day as he seeks to help Red Bull wrap up the constructors’ championship.
“I’m pretty happy with qualifying actually,” he said. “It’s a very tricky venue in terms of tyres, circuit conditions, all those type of things together Seb touched on. It’s easy to be out of the window here and not be super competitive if you don’t get everything together. I was pretty happy with the last part of Q3. We had to manage a little problem in the car, which in the end I don’t think would have cost us a position because the guys obviously were pretty quick and both did very strong lap times. But I’d have liked to have had a little bit more pace.
“Overall I’m happy to the third on the grid. It’s certainly up there towards the front and we can have a very, very strong grand prix from there. So, it’s a great job from the team. I think Constructors’-wise we’ve got our eye firmly on that tomorrow, to try and put that to bed and that’ll be a huge result for everyone at Milton Keynes and at Renault.”
Ma Qinghua will “definitely” be on the grid in the HRT in next year’s Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai according to his agent Jin Yong who said so on Thursday.
Ma QingHua, HRT’s current test and Friday free practice driver in 2012, told the Fujian newspaper Southeastern Express that reports the Spanish team is for sale do not worry him.
The 24-year-old has been rumoured to partner Pedro de la Rosa next season since his first free practice outing at Italy this year., but Spanish press reports say there is a risk HRT will wind up after the season if they don’t find potential investors.
Jin Yong, said: “No matter who the boss is, Ma will definitely compete in next year’s F1 race in Shanghai.”
Ma QingHua added: “No matter who will be the boss, the team is still there. So what I need to focus on now is to improve myself through training.”
Sebastian Vettel drives to Pole with a 1:25.283 and drives to his 35th Pole in his career.
Mark Webber is second on the starting grid (+0.044), so the full front row is with yellow-red-blue energy drinks again.
Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button starting on P3 and P4.
Felipe Massa spun the third time this weekend in Q2 but he still managed to get P6 (+0.574) behind his teammate Alonso (+0.490) Than Raikkönnen (7th/+0.953), Perez (8th/+1.077), Maldonado who was fastest in Q1 9th (+1.430) and Rosberg didn’t drove a time so he is tenth.
Grosjean, Hülkenberg, Senna, Schumacher, Ricciardo, Di Resta and Kobayashi retired in Q2. Vergne had to fight for Q2 again and lost the fight- again, so P17 for the Frenchman.
Heikki Kovalainen has tried to do a drift with his Caterham but failed badly and spun into the graveltrap, P19 on the grid. De la Rosa ended in P22 and was faster than his Teammate again. Pic was on P24, his Teammate Glock ended on P20.
Full Results of the Qualifying:
|1||1||S. Vettel||Red Bull||1:25.283||5|
|2||2||M. Webber||Red Bull||1:25.327||+0:00.044||+0:00.044||5|
|12||12||N. Hülkenberg||Force India||1:26.241||+0:00.105||+0:00.105||8|
|15||16||D. Ricciardo||Toro Rosso||1:26.777||+0:00.641||+0:00.203||8|
|16||11||P. di Resta||Force India||1:26.989||+0:00.853||+0:00.212||8|
|18||17||J. Vergne||Toro Rosso||1:27.525||11|
|22||22||P. de la Rosa||HRT||1:30.592||+0:03.067||+0:00.979||8|
Daniel Ricciardo has been moved back to 21st place on the Korean Grand Prix grid as the result of a gearbox penalty.
The Australian stopped in Q2 because of a driveshaft problem and, because his team needed to open up the gearbox to check for damage, he knew he was going to get a five-place grid drop.
Having qualified 16th, he will now move back behind Marussia’s Timo Glock with a place on the 11th row of the grid.
The cars will line up for tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix in a very different order to that determined in qualifying after four drivers took penalties following the session.
Michael Schumacher carried a ten-place penalty over from Singapore while both Jenson Button and Nico Hulkenberg have taken five-place demotions as a result of gearbox changes. Stewards also deemed that Jean-Eric Vergne impeded Bruno Senna during the first phase of qualifying, handing the Frenchman a three-place penalty.
Pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel had been summoned to the stewards after he was alleged to have impeded Fernando Alonso in the dying moments of qualifying, though the German was let off with a reprimand.
The complicated way in which the FIA applies penalties has led to a number of different versions of the grid being published. While the FIA won’t finalise the order until an hour before the start of the race, Pitpass has made sense of it for you.
Penalties are applied in chronological order with the grid reshuffled after each is applied. Schumacher’s ten-place penalty was applied first before a new grid was then made. Button’s gearbox change, got applied before the process was repeated for both Hulkenberg’s and Vergne’s penalties.
It explains why Vergne will start 19th and not 16th, 17th or 20th, depending which version of the grid you happen to have seen. The Frenchman set the 17th fastest time in qualifying and was effectively promoted to 16th once Schumacher’s penalty was applied. Following the chronological rule his own three place penalty was applied and therefore drops him to 19th.
It leaves a grid which sees most drivers gain at least one spot, and in some instances two, with only four maintaining their original grid slot; Vettel, Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton and Narain Karthikeyan.
Pos Driver Team
1 Vettel Red Bull
2 Webber Red Bull
3 Kobayashi Sauber
4 Grosjean Lotus
5 Perez Sauber
6 Alonso Ferrari
7 Raikkonen Lotus
8 Button McLaren
9 Hamilton McLaren
10 Massa Ferrari
11 Di Resta Force India
12 Maldonado Williams
13 Rosberg Mercedes
14 Ricciardo Toro Rosso
15 Hulkenberg Force India
16 Senna Williams
17 Kovalainen Caterham
18 Glock Marussia
19 Vergne Toro Rosso
20 De la Rosa HRT
21 Pic Marussia
22 Petrov Caterham
23 Schumacher Mercedes
24 Karthikeyan HRT
Paul Di Resta
Jean Eric Vergne
Pedro de la Rosa
Red text indicates Penalties.
Pastor Maldonado has been handed two five-place grid penalties for next weekend’s Italian Grand Prix.
The Venezuelan was again punished by the stewards after it was ruled he had jumped the start at Spa-Francorchamps, venue for the twelfth round in the 2012 F1 World Championship. He was also punished for colliding with Timo Glock at the re-start, an incident that damaged his front-wing and put him out of the race just 5 laps in. Each incident earned him a five-place drop.
It was a disappointing end to the weekend for the Williams driver, especially as he had qualified sixth.
Sauber is a realistic contender for victory in today’s Belgian Grand Prix, according to team CEO Monisha Kaltenborn.
Kamui Kobayashi lines up second on the grid, the Sauber team’s first front row start as a fully-independent team since Jean Alesi at the 1999 French Grand Prix, with Sergio Perez fourth.
The Sauber-Ferrari C30 has shown consistently strong race pace over the season, but its results have often been compromised by disappointing qualifying performances, something that will not hold the Swiss team back at Spa.
“From this position, everything is realistic, even going right to the top,” Kaltenborn told AUTOSPORT. “But this is determined by many factors that are not under our control. “We will definitely try to make the most of it. It puts you at a very different starting point, where you don’t have to make your way through the field as you do if you start P15. If you start in front, you can really utilise the potential of the car.”
Kaltenborn believes that having both drivers potentially in the mix for victory will offer it a wider range of strategic options. Provided both drivers are still well-placed after the first lap, it would be possible to opt for alternative strategies with its two drivers. “This is something that we have not done often enough in the past,” said Kaltenborn. “Normally, we had one car somewhere further up and the other at the back. “But this will allow us to look at many different strategies with ideas of how to strategically place the cars.”
Kaltenborn is certain that Sauber has nothing to fear from drivers from the traditional top teams which start from lower grid positions. While she does not expect it to be easy, she believes that the car has shown representative speed relative to the rest. “We have now been able to make the most of this car and have a good qualifying,” said Kaltenborn. “But there are some very strong teams [starting behind] that are very good in the race. “They have also shown a good level of performance this year. We won’t be laying back and saying that with these positions, points are absolutely sure and we will have to be careful that they don’t come through and overtake us.”
Source: Autosport F1
Sauber’s 80 points so far in 2012 belies the true strength of the Swiss-made C31. In fact, Red Bull manager Dr Helmut Marko claims the single seater steered by Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi this year is “perhaps the best car in the field”.
However, the Ferrari-powered car has been on the podium just twice in 2012 so far, which has attracted criticism of the young driver duo. McLaren’s Jenson Button said: “It’s not Perez who is the ‘tyre whisperer’, it’s the car.
“If I was to drive my car as he drives his, then our tyres would wear out very quickly.” Peter Sauber recently described Sauber’s 2012 season so far as a “roller coaster ride”, although he did not specifically criticise Perez or Kobayashi. He told Blick: “We have a very fast car that works very well on almost every circuit. We have the speed to win. “We could have scored a lot more points.” With nine races to go, Hinwil based Sauber is ranked sixth of the 12 teams in the constructors’ championship.