Spanish GP – Qualifying – Alonso on front row

Kimi Raikkonen will start the Spanish GP from pole position confirming the strength of the Ferrari package in Barcelona. It is also the first pole position of the season for Raikkonen. He will however have an unexpected neighbour on front row – Renault with Fernando Alonso in the cockpit. Felipe Massa missed out on front row and will start from P3.

Robert Kubica qualified well again – P4  ahead of both McLarens. The silver cars have exclusive rights to row 3 in Barcelona and they will not be too happy about that. Mark Webber and Jarno Trulli proved again they are masters of qualifying – P7 and P8 are great results for Red Bull and Toyota. Nick Heidfeld may be heavier than his team mate but still, P9 is hardly a starting position he would have hoped for. Nelson Piquet made it to Q3 adding his bit to what definitelly was a very good day for Renault.

The midfield is extremely even. Only few tenths separate 11th from 15th.

This was a disapointing session for Coulthard (eliminated in Q1), Vettel (beaten by his team mate again), Sutil (7 tenths behind Fisichella and less than a tenth ahead of Davidson in pennyless Super Aguri…).

Is Renault that good all of a sudden or did Alonso only go for home qualifying glory in a lightly fueled car ? We will see tomorrow.

Spanish GP Qualifying Results:

1. Kimi Räikkönen – Ferrari – 1:21.813
2. Fernando Alonso – Renault – 1:21.904
3. Felipe Massa – Ferrari – 1:22.058
4. Robert Kubica – BMW Sauber – 1:22.065
5. Lewis Hamilton – McLaren – 1:22.096
6. Heikki Kovalainen – McLaren – 1:22.231
7. Mark Webber – Red Bull – 1:22.429
8. Jarno Trulli – Toyota – 1:22.529
9. Nick Heidfeld – BMW Sauber – 1:22.542
10. Nelson Piquet – Renault – 1:22.699

11. Rubens Barrichello – Honda – 1:21.049
12. Kazuki Nakajima – Williams – 1:21.117
13. Jenson Button – Honda – 1:21.211
14. Timo Glock – Toyota – 1:21.230
15. Nico Rosberg – Williams – 1:21.349
16. Sebastien Bourdais – Toro Rosso – 1:21.724

17. David Coulthard – Red Bull – 1:21.810
18. Sebastian Vettel – Toro Rosso – 1:22.108
19. Giancarlo Fisichella – Force India – 1:22.516
20. Adrian Sutil – Force India – 1:23.224
21. Anthony Davidson – Super Aguri – 1:23.318
22. Takuma Sato – Super Aguri – 1:23.496

Photo: Renault F1

3 Comments Post a Comment
  1. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    Woo Hoo!

    Didn’t look today’s qualify a little bit amazing? HAHA This was a big battle on top, I’m amazed from some good times achived by Williams drivers in Q1, but then in Q2 when was needed, they couldn’t manage to get more from the car or other drivers had much more better luck and setup.

    By the way, the first row position for Alonso in P2 is surprising, that’s all, everybody in all teams didn’t give any bet for him. It’s clear the forces didn’t change this way still! He might have not the proper strategy as he told live on press conference. But he situated the car in front of the McLarens when they all drove without fuel, that was amazing! Such a bad car can be driven to the limits as well and catch something.

    Ferrari is terrific, driving low fuel charged could take about 1.4s to McLaren!!! I think today Heiki and Lewis remained with white faces with such difference asking themselves: “how is it???”.

    I guess I predicted really bad the result, but as for now I’m happy with the pole change I did! HAHA That was intuition, I saw Heiki had bad feeling with the car and even broke a motor in the Free Practice session.

  2. marcNo Gravatar says:

    So, what’s the over/under bet on when Alonzo pits for fuel? Lap 3!

    This is a prime example why they need to set as rule how much fuel must be carried during qual runs. It wouldn’t matter whether it was a full tank (the best solution) or some percentage of it the end result would be less “stunt driving” to please a home crowd.

    marc’s last blog post..The Good Old Old Days of NASCAR in ‘Bama

    • KotenokNo Gravatar says:

      Hi all!

      Well, they had nothing to lose and nothing to win. So, I think even Renault strategy is correct. They try to move the cars ahead the group to maybe avoid something: incidents or overtaking?… Well, in Barcelona, the track offers less overtaking possibilities than Monaco! It’s an aerodynamic track which doesn’t allow to see many of these golden moments over the race. So, starting in the top means to drop less positions and also have some possibility to remain ahead (of course not much time if he pit in! HEHE). I guess this isn’t lap 3, that’s not GP2 Marc! I guess early, between lap 17 and lap 9 (having a safety on track, which would be strange in Spanish GP… This could help Renault).

      Anyway, why they did? Maybe to please the crowd yes, or maybe because computers said this is the best strategy? Usually it is it!! A Formula One team doesn’t lack of brain (well, some teams lack of good ideas HEHE).
      The teams analyze everything during so much time that there aren’t big mistakes with their strategy, but such strategy is conditioned by the remaining teams strategy, a team have to be really smart and intuitive to choose a variant, and that’s why they usually use computers to calculate it on numbers and have an idea how might a strategy work. Only bad luck can provide the defeat, traffic, change on track conditions, bad grip, non working devices, wind… That’s what provoke it, that a strategy became useless, and became a reason of smiles and laughs.

      I guess, Renault engineers saw such prediction on their simulation. They chose surely a short stint with soft option, to follow the head, then don’t drop too many places on start. Second stint should be long, to use the free way without their rivals, using hard tires. The last part from the race should take between 14 laps and 20 laps, to be competitive following the head of the race. Which position he could get with such strategy? Alonso commented he doesn’t expect better than 6th, and that’s it! A strategy which allow him to lead the group ahead!

      In any case, this is an aggressive strategy. Far from what we’re used to with McLaren, Williams, Toyota and Ferrari last times, they use the called conservative strategies. Many years before, when Ferrari wasn’t winning championships, as we’re used nowadays, they used many times more aggressive strategy. Maybe they went on the pole, but finished 7th and 9th. And this wasn’t a great result, but not a defeat, only the car wasn’t enough developed to be fighting from the pole until the end in 1st place. Nowadays, who’s becoming aggressive is BMW and to them the strategy is working! The car is enough developed to be able to stay following the head closer. Will be able Renault? I don’t know, it’s the first weekend after the latest update. It will be a surprise, but I guess they haven’t 5 tenths by lap as they need. No, in one week that’s impossible.

      What I mean, strategy from Renault is to bring them where they have planned, not a podium, but leading the group. Having bad luck they could drop a lot of places, because of such aggressive race strategy. But if the computers say this is the best way… Who won’t believe it? :P But they can lose a lot tomorrow, you’ may be right with your thoughts. They can find traffic and convert their strategy in useless.

      I guess the first stop for Alonso will be on lap 12, if I guess correct I want an extra point on the race prediction results for Round 4!!! HAHAHA I’m joking!

2014 Teams and Drivers

Red Bull
Sebastian VETTEL
Fernando ALONSO
Adrian SUTIL
Force India
Sergio PEREZ
Felipe MASSA
Valtteri BOTTAS
Toro Rosso
Daniil KVYAT
Jean Eric VERGNE

2014 F1 Calendar

14-16 March - Australia
28-30 March - Malaysia
4-6 April - Bahrain
18-20 April - China
9-11 May - Spain
22-25 May - Monaco
6-8 June - Canada
20-22 June - Austria
4-6 July - Great Britain
18-20 July - Germany
25-27 July - Hungary
22-24 August - Belgium
5-7 September - Italy
19-21 September - Singapore
3-5 October - Japan
10-12 October - Russia
31 October-2 November - USA
7-9 November - Brazil
21-23 November - Abu Dhabi


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