Qualifying For The Bahrain GP -What Is The Take Away-

Well not to but to fine a point on it but that qualifying session delivered the goods. It had a little of everything. Some fast laps, a penalty, a tire issue (again). an aborted lap, and a nice surprise.

I’ll be the first one to say it, “Not to sure anyone was betting on Mercedes or for that matter Nico Rosberg sticking his car on the pole, given how the weekend has gone so far for them.

I always like when there are different drivers on pole, and it is great that we have a different driver this year on this pole for the Bahrain GP.

I just posted about number 1 and number 2 drivers and it looked as though Nico was getting the short end of the stick over at Mercedes. I mentioned that Rosberg was not going acquiesce so easily and no matter that Lewis had a problem with is car today at the end of practice 3 (and a penalty due to a gearbox change), Nico drew his own line in the sand and produce a great lap for pole position.

Sebastian Vettel shows why he is the best qualifier currently in F1 and possibly in the history of the sport as time goes on. I have always pointed out why I still rate Fernando above Vettel. Simple  fact that he [Vettel] has had the best machinery in F1 for the last 3 years and until I see him qualify and race a midfield car and produce results I will still feel this way. However, today Vettlel proved me wrong. I am pretty sure that he produced a lap that the RB9 was not capable of. so cudos to him. Sebastian will be very strong in the race, and the smart money is with him.

The Ferrari’s look very good to me, super consistent and in Fernando’s hands very fast. All things being equal you have to say a podium looks good and the top step does not seem to far away either. Listening to Sky’s Johnny Herbert and Damon Hill, they have given Alonso the nod for the win. I hope so. We will see.

Kimi and Lotus who looked so good on Friday could not put it together today and Grosjean did not even make it into Q3. It just goes to show, at this level it is very very difficult to have a perfect weekend. It also shows how incredible the job that Red Bull have been doing and at what level they have been performing at over the last 60+ races.

Force India managed to produce solid results for Di Resta and Sutil, so look for them to capitalize on this tomorrow and see the their cars to a good result.

As always tomorrow is another day and anything could happen. For me the best result would be to see good solid racing, not compromised by the appearance of a tire issue or worse a delimitation (maybe the cause of Lewis’s rear suspension issue). Even if the tires degrade, lets concentrate on the fact that the tires are the same for everyone. Lights out in 23 hours, 10 minutes, and 29 seconds at the time of this posting.

Qualifying Result, Bahrain International Circuit – Saturday, 20 April 2013

Pos No Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:33.364 1:32.867 1:32.330 14
2 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:33.327 1:32.746 1:32.584 12
3 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:32.878 1:33.316 1:32.667 11
4 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:33.498 1:33.346 1:32.762 13
5 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:33.966 1:33.098 1:33.078 13
6 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:33.780 1:33.358 1:33.207 13
7 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:33.762 1:33.335 1:33.235 14
8 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:34.048 1:33.378 1:33.246 16
9 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:33.827 1:33.146 1:33.327 13
10 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:34.071 1:33.702 11
11 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:33.498 1:33.762 7
12 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:34.310 1:33.914 9
13 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:34.120 1:33.974 14
14 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:34.409 1:33.976 14
15 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:34.425 1:34.105 13
16 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:34.314 1:34.284 13
17 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:34.425 6
18 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:34.730 9
19 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:35.283 6
20 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:36.178 6
21 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:36.304 7
22 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:36.476 6
Q1 107% Time 1:39.379

Note – Webber, Gutierrez dropped 3 and 5 grid places respectively for collisions at previous round. Hamilton dropped 5 for unscheduled gearbox change

P.S. I believe Pireli just re-signed to be F1 official tire supplier…

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