Sunday 10 October 2010

Suzuka Qually: As advertised

Nothing can go wrong for them now, can it? The Red Bulls have locked out the front row as was expected from a dry session, with a clear pace advantage, approaching half a second a lap, over everyone else.

As also expected, Seb is the quicker of the two and takes pole, though Webber ran him a bit closer than practice times had indicated, being around seven hundredths slower. Given a trouble free run the Red Bulls should score a one-two later today, but this is Red Bull we're talking about!

It'll also be fascinating to see what Webber's approach will be in the race. Will he see following his team mate into second place, and reversing the momentum on Alonso, as a good day's work, or does he see his team mate as as much of a championship threat?

The McLarens look strong as well. Lewis did a fantastic job to take third fastest time, only three tenths slower than Webber, having had virtually no running so far this weekend. It's galling that he now takes a drop to line up eighth, but expect to see some fun as he comes through the field, particularly on a green track. Jenson also looks well-placed, and will line up fifth with harder tyres on. He could be in the box seat to be best of the rest. McLaren's upgrade may have worked after all.

Ferrari look a bit subdued, Alonso will be a net fourth on the grid, with Kubica confirming good practice pace with a stunning run to line up third. Massa didn't even make it out of qually two, and will line up 12th. Given everything else that's been going on off the track this week, and that rumours swirl about where he'll be driving next year, this underwhelming performance could be exceptionally ill-timed.

Now off to bed before the race - should be a good one (the race, that is).

Qually results in full, among other things, on the Autosport website

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