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Vettel on pole again in Valencia

On numerous occasions this season, the McLaren's of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton and even occasionally Ferrari's Fernando Alonso have appeared close to the qualifying pace of Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel during the first two stages of qualifying, but then in Q3, Vettel would drive out of the pit lane and brush aside his opposition.

With Formula One teams no longer allowed to change engine maps between qualifying and the race, everyone (a part from Red Bull) was hoping that the tweak in regulations would close the gap between Red Bull and the opposition in qualifying.

Well in Q1 there was no evidence of it making any difference with Sebastian Vettel the fastest man in Spain until Ferrari's Felipe Massa set a time on the soft Pirelli tyre after both he and Red Bull's Mark Webber had a little scare that they would fall over at the first hurdle.

They both however did get through and the drivers eliminated from Q1 were Jamie Alguersuari (Toro Rosso), Heikki Kovalainen (Lotus), Jarno Trulli (Lotus), Timo Glock (Virgin), Tonio Liuzzi (Hispania), Jerome D'Ambrosio (Virgin), Narain Karthikeyan (Hispania).

The second session saw a red flag after Pastor Maldonado stopped his Williams in the middle of the track and the marshals were enable to clear the track without the help of a crane. It was a short stoppage and with 8 minutes of the session remaining, no-one was adversely affected with plenty of time to get a quick lap in.

Vettel once again was the fastest man on the track with both the McLaren's closest to him heading into Q3, but the middle session was pretty uneventful until the final few seconds when Vitaly Petrov's Renault was knocked out by Force India's Adrian Sutil.

The drivers eliminated at this stage were: Vitaly Petrov (Renault) who was knocked out in the final stages by Force India's Adrian Sutil. Paul di Resta (Force India), Rubens Barrichello (Williams), Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber), Pastor Maldonado (Williams), Sergio Perez (Sauber) and Sebastien Buemi (Toro Rosso).

In the top ten shoot-out Fernando Alonso was the first to set a time with team-mate Felipe Massa going second soon after, before Hamilton took a tenth out of Alonso's time to go fastest, while Webber was only good enough for third.

But once again Vettel brushed aside the opposition fourth-tenths faster than Hamilton to take provisional pole position with five minutes of the session remaining.

Mercedes Nico Rosberg was the next to set a time, but the German was 1.2seconds off of Vettel's time in seventh.

With less than three minutes remaining it was time for everyone to have a second run in a final attempt to knock Vettel off the top perch.

Webber was first to give it a go but he could only get within a tenth to go second, while everyone else seemingly gave up and didn't even bother to finish their laps, with Red Bull locking out the front row.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton will start third, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa finished fourth and fifth with McLaren's Jenson Button sixth.

Schumacher was once again beaten by his Mercedes team-mate with Rosberg seventh and Schumacher eighth. Neither Renault's Nick Heidfeld or Force India's Adrian Sutil set a time in Q3.








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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday June 25 2011

Time: 2:05PM

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