F1: Webber breaks Vettel spell
Mark Webber finally ended Sebastian Vettel's monopoly on pole positions after securing pole position in Barcelona, Spain.
Just when you thought Vettel had become a banker for qualification at 4/11, the 9/4 Aussie steamed in and clinched the top spot for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix honouring his backers with a flying lap of 1m 20.981.
In Red Bull's second successive front-row lock down, qualification favourite Sebastian Vettel was forced back to P2 in a session where the Red Bull team dominated the circuit.
Lewis Hamilton (9/1 for the race win) rounded out the top three, though the fact that the quicker of the McLaren cars was almost a second down on the leader over only one flying lap has to be a concern for the Woking based team.
'The gap between us and the Red Bulls has increased. Red Bull have a second in qualifying but we will push as hard as we can,' said Hamilton
Fresh from signing his new five-year contract, Fernando Alonso (12/1 for the Spanish Grand Prix victory) waved from the cockpit after securing P4 in Barcelona , the hordes of adoring Spanish fans happy to see their favourite split the McLaren pairing with Jenson Button (25/1) pushed back to P5.
The man with the most experience at the Circuit de Catalunya - Michael Schumacher - didn't manage to make it on track in Q3 meaning Vitaly Petrov, Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado all preceded the German in qualification.
"Unfortunately in Q3, my KERS system did not work but we reacted in the best possible way," said Schumacher. "We took the decision to go out on prime tyres to be able to react if other cars did the same. As no one did, we came in without setting a time so we can now choose our strategy for tomorrow.'
"I will certainly try to have another of the good starts that I have made recently, make up some positions right at the beginning, and take it from there. With DRS and KERS, overtaking is possible even in Barcelona, so it is important to use your tyres well, and I still have a set of fresh tyres left. I will definitely try to make the best out of it."
Looking ahead to getting some returns on the Spanish Grand Prix, I'm a McLaren fan but don't see much of a return coming by way of the silver team, and failing that my support lies with Webber, BUT with Sebastian Vettel not starting the Spanish Grand Prix in pole position, I tend to think he's actually worth a back and the price of 11/8 about the German reigning in Spain could be the biggest Vettel price you'll see for some time.
Spanish Grand Prix Outright: Sebastian Vettel @ 11/8
Winning Constructor: very short - but it has to be Red Bull @ 1/7
Winning Margin: Red Bulls' pace would suggest the winning margin of Over 8.5000s @ 17/20 has to be worth covering with £20.
Spanish Grand Prix - Qualification Results
Driver Team Time Laps 1. Mark Webber Red Bull 1:20.981 12 2. Sebastien Vettel Red Bull 1:21.181 13 3. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:21.961 12 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:21.964 15 5. Jenson Button McLaren 1:21.996 12 6. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:22.471 14 7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:22.599 14 8. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:22.888 15 9. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:22.952 14 10. Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP N/T (in Q3) 12 11. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1:23.231 6 12. Sergio Perez Sauber 1:23.367 9 13. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1:23.694 9 14. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:23.702 8 15. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1:25.403 6 16. Paul di Resta Force India 1:26.126 13 17. Adrian Sutil Force India 1:26.571 13 18. Jarno Trulli Lotus 1:26.521 4 19. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1:26.910 5 20. Timo Glock Virgin Racing 1:27.315 8 21. Tonio Liuzzi HRT 1:27.809 9 22. Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:27.908 9 23. Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin Racing 1:28.556 5 24. Nick Heidfeld Renault N/T N/T