Is The [Bad] Luck For Mark Finally Over. Let’s Hope So.
Qualifying is complete and I thought I might throw up a little post. Nothing too serious, no ranting, no crazy hypothesis, just a few thoughts about Saturday in Suzuka.
Vettel did not get his forty-third pole at a track that he has virtually own since joining Red Bull. Well that is the way it goes sometimes. Vettel’s car developed a KERS issue (he had a major KERS rebuild in FP3, so apparently the issue still persists). I guess that is just unlucky. And speaking of luck, or bad luck as it would be, Mark Webber has been having quite a bit of it lately. Personally I am of the opinion that his run of bad luck started the day Sebastian Vettel joined the team (oops some ranting just slipped in, ok back on point).
Scratch that last thought. What I meant to say was, it is nice to see Webber in super quick form. He has not really been the same as a driver since the defeating 2010 year when he lead his younger team Vettel, the entire season right up to the point that he didn’t, which turned out to be the last race in Abu Dhabi, and the end to his championship. (Ok that was a little rant as well. Sorry for that).
What I really mean to say is, we will see some kind of meaningful race tomorrow between the two Red Bull drivers? Hopefully Webber’s luck will change for this race and the team won’t select the wrong clutch program for his start, or will make sure to secure all four wheels to his car while in pitstop, oh and also make sure they don’t run out of the proper tires for him to finish the race on. Did that seem like a mini rant. Shucks, It won’t happen again. Promise.
Ok some other thoughts:
It is great to see Jenson Button hanging in there this season with a dog of a car to drive. It must be the worst to have won regularly and then have car that can do no better than mid field. Things are looking up however with a RB aero guru member on his way to McLaren.
Congrats to both Felipe Massa who I have been extremely critical in the past, and Roman Grosjean for out performing both of their more senior and former champion team mates. Of course I don’t think for one carbon fiber second that either of these drivers will be in front of their team mates come the checkered flag, you only have to look at the past race in the case of Kimi and Grosjean and don’t get me started about Massa. I feel that could have been misinterpreted as a rant, but trust me I was just stating the facts. Lol.
Lets see what else to rant about, I mean comment on. Of course, the Mercedes boys. Well Lewis Hamilton is, as I predicted a long time ago he has taken the lead at his new team. It is not that surprising. He is one of the best, and is now comfortable in his new silver overalls and is consistently showing why he was pursued by Niki Lauda. And by the way I love his new Mercedes Team Cap, similar to the Kimi and Fernando’s cap with a wide flat bill, has flavor and style written all over it. The only question I have is what took so long?
One last shout out to Nico Hulkenberg. “You just qualified in front of THREE WORLD CHAMPIONS, with a Sauber [no disrespect Peter] how does that feel?” My guess is F’n great. I was pulling for him in the last laps of Korea to stay in front of Alonso (and if you know me then you know that would never happen under any other circumstance) but I love good racing just that much more that I love seeing my guy win. Not by much, though. 😉
That said, hope Alonso disposes of him and the next five drivers to make it to the podium, seeing as Ferrari still can’t do anything with their miserable no down force, can’t heat its tires up quick enough to qualify better car. And with that last rant, my apologies, here is your starting grid for the the Japanese Grand Prix.
-jp- (btw if Vettel wins and Alonso is 9th or worse, the ranting will be in full affect, ha ha)
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m30.915s
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m31.089s +0.174s
3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m31.253s +0.338s
4. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m31.365s +0.450s
5. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m31.378s +0.463s
6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m31.397s +0.482s
7. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m31.644s +0.729s
8. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m31.665s +0.750s
9. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m31.684s +0.769s
10. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m31.827s +0.912s
Q2 cut-off time: 1m31.848s Gap **
11. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m31.989s +0.699s
12. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m31.992s +0.702s
13. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m32.013s +0.723s
14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m32.063s +0.773s
15. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m32.093s +0.803s
16. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m32.485s +1.195s
Q1 cut-off time: 1m32.875s Gap *
17. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m32.890s +1.066s
18. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m33.357s +1.533s
19. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m34.320s +2.496s
20. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m34.556s +2.732s
21. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m34.879s +3.055s
22. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m34.958s +3.134s