Let me just say there’s nothing like waking up and finding out the Pastor Maldonado of last season is back and purposely crashing into people.
Maldonado hit Sergio Perez, barely giving him any room, during final practice. Maldonado eventually also just crashed out of the practice session. He has a ten grid spot penalty for the race, joining Michael Schumacher’s five spot for his incident last race.
So, not surprising that not even 5 minutes into Q1, Sergio Perez crashed out of qualifying. Perez looked completely unable to steer his car.
Drivers had to switch onto the supersoft tires, as the usual cars who qualify in the top ten were way down the charts, not even meeting the 107% rule! But all was well in the end, unless you were in a McLaren.
Knocked out in Q1: Heikki Kovalainen, Vitaly Petrov, Timo Glock, Pedro de la Rosa, Charles Pic, Narain Karthikeyan, Sergio Perez
Many cars started off on the supersofts for Q2. Jean-Eric Vergne lost his car and took off his front wing, knocking it under the front of his car. He limped his car back to the pits, probably ruining many a fast lap for cars that had to pass him.
With under 3 minutes left, Felipe Massa pulled off a time under 1 minute, 15 seconds, finally dethroning Nico Rosberg’s time. With that time, it was the first Q3 appearance of Massa this season. Finally.
Kimi Raikkonen barely squeaked through to Q3, but Jenson Button failed to make it out of Q2. Button joins the Force Indias, Toro Rossos, Kamui Kobayashi, and Bruno Senna. That’s two races in a row where Button has failed to get out of Q2.
Knocked out in Q2: Nico Hulkenberg, Kamui Kobayashi, Jenson Button, Bruno Senna, Paul di Resta, Daniel Ricciardo, Jean-Eric Vergne
During Q3, more cars posted times in the 1:14 range. All cars were out on track for the last 90 seconds.
Mark Webber looked to be taking pole, and then Michael Schumacher went fastest.
…And while he held up a finger to indicate his number one status, and his engineer said pole position!…you’ve got that five grid spot penalty.
So, Schumacher will start sixth, and Mark Webber is actually on pole. That makes two races in a row where the driver who actually qualifies for first doesn’t start first. You are all terrible people.
Starting grid with two current grid penalties (hopefully no more come along):
01. Mark Webber, Red Bull
02. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes
03. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren
04. Romain Grosjean, Lotus F1
05. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari
06. Michael Schumacher, Mercedes
07. Felipe Massa, Ferrari
08. Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus F1
09. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
10. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India (was not in Q3, starts P10 because of Maldonado’s penalty)
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