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Vettel Takes the Final Pole of the Season

By Mav | 26 Nov 2011 | 2 Comments | 1,160 views

Sebastian Vettel rounded-off 2011 with a new record for the number of pole positions in one year, although it is fair to say that Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost all had shorter calendars during their qualification dominating seasons. A time of 1 minute 11.918s saw him edge out his team mate in an all-Red Bull front row as Mark Webber tries to avoid finishing the season without a victory. Just behind them, Jenson Button led an all-McLaren second-row.

On Pole

Vettel set a strong benchmark on his first run in Q3, however with the track improving a second run was always going to be needed to secure the front of the grid and he duly produced the goods with dominant first and second sectors at the heart of his pole position lap – his fifteenth of the season.
 
Red Bull Racing/Paul Gilham/Getty Images
   
Delight
After a disappointing season for Renault, Bruno Senna put a smile back on the faces of the team with a run through to Q3 in what will be the outfits last race before becoming Lotus next season. Mercedes will also be pleased to see Nico Rosberg outpace Ferrari’s Felipe Massa giving them a realistic prospect of a strong finish to the year. Will Sauber surrender seventh at the final hurdle?

Disappointment
The key battle remaining in 2011 is the fight for position between Sauber and Toro Rosso with millions in prize money at stake and Round 1 went to Toro Rosso as both cars qualified ahead of their rivals.

Disaster
No major disasters although all but the Red Bull pairing seem to be hoping for a wet race. However, Virgin appear to be having some problems preserving their tyres and find both cars lining up behind their HRT rivals. The Anglo-Russian outfit were hoping to claw their way off the bottom of the constructors’ standings with just one decent result but it’s now looking like a difficult task.

VGrid_Brazil_2011
 
Race Prediction
With the threat of rain around, all predictions may be up in the air although Red Bull’s strong pace in the first and second sectors points to them being the outfit with the downforce to tackle the worst that Brazil can throw at them. One chink in their armour may be their end-of-straight pace – Vettel was third slowest through the speed-trap – which could leave them vulnerable to being overtaken/unable to pass others.

1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:11.918
2. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:12.099
3. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:12.283
4. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:12.480
5. Alonso Ferrari 1:12.591
6. Rosberg Mercedes 1:13.050
7. Massa Ferrari 1:13.068
8. Sutil     Force India-Mercedes 1:13.298
9. Senna Renault 1:13.761
10. Schumacher Mercedes No time set
           
Q2 cut-off time: 1:13.571    
11. di Resta Force India-Mercedes     1:13.571
12. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:13.801
13. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:13.804
14. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:13.919
15. Petrov Renault 1:14.053
16. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari     1:14.129
17. Perez Sauber-Ferrari       1:14.182
           
Q1 cut-off time: 1:14.571    
18. Maldonado     Williams-Cosworth 1:14.625
19. Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1:15.068
20. Trulli Lotus-Renault 1:15.358
21. Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth     1:16.631
22. Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1:16.890
23. d’Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth 1:17.019
24. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:17.060

107% time: 1:18.410

Sector 1 Sector 2 Sector 3 Speed Trap
Vettel    18.239 s    Vettel 36.468 s Rosberg    17.043 s Alguersuari    316.2 km/h
Hamilton    18.270 s Webber 36.609 s Schumacher 17.100 s Perez    314.4 km/h
Alonso    18.317 s    Button    36.764 s    Webber    17.128 s    Kobayashi    314.0 km/h

 
What are your predictions for the race? Who will win the season finale? Who should have done better in qualifying? Who will come out on top between Sauber and Toro Rosso?

Photo: Red Bull Racing/Paul Gilham/Getty Images

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2 Comments »

  • saltire

    Love that photograph, it’s very mean and moody looking. I quite enjoyed quali, just a shame that only we couldn’t have all ten out in Q3, something really needs to be done about that for next season.

    I hope Rubens does well tomorrow, can’t see him being here next season so it would be sad to see him end his career with a retirement. I’m pining my hopes on Rosberg getting a podium. that would be lovely.

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  • Mav (author)

    …just a shame that only we couldn’t have all ten out in Q3, something really needs to be done about that for next season.

    It really, really doesn’t bother me that we don’t get to see drivers that wouldn’t be shown any way. Rosberg and Sutil went out on track – I only know this because there are a times recorded against their name. So what if Schumacher earned his 10th place in Q2, he still earned it. It really is a fuss about nothing as far as I am concerned.

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