Red Bull strikes back in Bahrain Qualifying

One of these Germans is happy this afternoon, the other...not so

One of these Germans is happy this afternoon, the other...not so

Red Bull Racing is back is the message that Sebastian Vettel sent the world in qualifying fastest for tomorrow’s Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix, however the huge story was that Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1’s Michael Schumacher was eliminated in the first sector of qualifying.

The nail-biting qualifying session came down to the very last seconds of the top 10 shootout in Q3. Nico Rosberg’s chance at making it two consecutive poles was negated when he clamoured over the final turn curbs. Right behind him was Mark Webber who took his Red Bull fastest, only to be pipped by Vettel.

Lewis Hamilton managed to split the Red Bulls in his Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes, whilst Jenson Button made it a Red Bull and McLaren only first two rows in sneaking past Rosberg. Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo set a personal best for his Formula 1 career, taking his Scuderia Toro Rosso to sixth. The young West Aussie was positively beaming upon exiting the cockpit of the blue machine.

Schumacher, though, was the big talking point. He was unseated at the end of the first period of qualifying. Leaving his final run until late in the session, Schumacher was eliminated by a stunning lap from Caterham’s Heikki Kovalainen. After Q1, Schumacher admitted the Mercedes had an issue with its controversial Drag Reduction System (DRS) rear wing and he had to complete his best time and hope for the best. It does mean, however, he can strap new tyres on for tomorrow’s race start.

The notable eliminations from the second period of qualifying were both the Williamses, with Pastor Maldonado copping a double dose with a five place grid penalty for a new gearbox. Felipe Massa’s run of outs continued down in 14th – whilst his team-mate finished the same session fourth.

The good qualifying form of Romain Grosjean continued, qualifying seventh with the other star of 2012, Sergio Perez eighth for Sauber.

Fernando Alonso didn’t set a time – despite being fourth quickest at the conclusion of Q2 and Paul Di Resta shrugged off yesterday’s dramas to bring his Force India into the top 10 – not completing a quick lap, however he was fifth fastest in his Mercedes powered machine in the second stanza of the session.

QUALIFYING – 2012 FORMULA 1 GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX:

1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m32.422s
2. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m32.520s
3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m32.637s
4. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m32.711s
5. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m32.821s
6. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m32.912s
7. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m33.008s
8. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m33.394s
9. Fernando Alonso Ferrari No time
10. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes No time
11. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m33.789s
12. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m33.806s
13. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m33.807s
14. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m33.912s
15. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m34.017s
16. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m36.132s
17. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m34.865s
18. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m35.014s
19. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m35.823s
20. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m37.683s
21. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m37.883s
22. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault No time
23. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m37.905s
24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m38.314s

 

 

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