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Bahrain 2010 - Qualifying highlights - Lap by lap coverage of the first pole position shoot-out of the year

Published by Christine

The first qualifying of 2010 is complete, and it was quite the session. The slower teams were pretty far off the pace, but thankfully caused no significant problems. Towards the top, it was very tight. Full results are available, but here's what happened step by step.

As it happened: 2010 Bahrain - Qualifying

  • 10:30

    Hello everyone, welcome back - qualifying is just 30 minutes away!

  • 10:30

    The big news is that we were all wrong and Chandhok should be able to compete in qualifying, if he has the car to do so. The "three laps in practice" rule is correct, but qualifying counts as practice. @ManipeF1 called it as such hours ago.

  • 10:31

    Some weather info from @H_Kovalainen: Wind has made conditions different today, quite normal for #Bahrain, affecting braking, tailwind more difficult, headwind feels great!!

  • 10:32

    Lotus setting sights high, @MikeGascoyne: Need a good performance from both drivers and the whole team to qualify as best new team

  • 10:34

    Martin Brundle on quali: "We'll lose seven drivers in the first part of qualifying and we should know who those will be in Bahrain. In the past, we've seen some grandees fall out in Q1 but that shouldn't happen this time. Q2 should be super busy. Ringers like Force India and Sauber appear to have a seriously good turn of speed so we might see some shocks."

  • 10:35
  • 10:43

    Chandhok is philosophical about going out in quali. He says the expectations are less, he's just getting experience, even as far as just checking the seat works. He wants to keep out of everyone's way.

  • 10:45
  • 10:49

    From BBC Live: Did you know that since the Bahrain Grand Prix started in 2004, every driver that claimed pole after qualifying finished on the podium on race day? Great stat that.

  • 10:49

    From @MikeGascoyne: 10 mins to go to qualifying. Due to the long lap will be just 2 runs in Q1, both on the softer tyre

  • 10:52

    From @ToroRossoSpy: Jaime pays 400 euros for speeding in pit lane this morning. Just 1.2 km/h over limit. Ouch!

  • 10:54

    Ferrari not confident? @InsideFerrari: Engines are warming up. Few minutes to the start of quali session. It will be very tight and difficult...

  • 10:57

    Track temperature - 47. Air temperature - 34. Humidity 8%.

  • 10:58

    From @rf1paddockpass: Cars are ready to go, final fire ups underway and the drivers are strapped in. This is where it gets really interesting...

  • 10:59

    Heikki in the car:

  • 11:01

    Ferrari reply: "We`realistic...." @InsideFerrari Good to hear!

  • 11:01

    Session begins. Glock and di Grassi out on track.

  • 11:02

    From @EliGP: No prizes for guessing which six drivers will be out in Q1, but who will be the seventh...

  • 11:03

    No one in a major hurry to get out on track, despite the fact the lap will take longer and traffic is going to be an issue.

  • 11:05

    Di Grassi sets the first time of the session: 2:02.131, swiftly beaten by Glock by an entire second.

  • 11:06

    Alonso puts in the first realistic time: 1:55.972 for Ferrari.

  • 11:07

    Only two cars not out on track = Vettel and Webber.

  • 11:07

    That means Chandhok is out there somewhere.

  • 11:11

    Karun's first time: 2:21.793. Eek!

  • 11:11

    On McLaren radio, Button says: "Getting traffic at the end of the lap was a problem." Then: "Did people find time on their second lap?"

  • 11:13

    McLaren replied: "Some people have found time on their second lap but it's not a lot."

  • 11:13

    Chandhok improves to a 2:08.424. From 21 seconds off the pace to 13.

  • 11:14

    Only six drivers out on track right now, top three Massa, Vettel, Webber.

  • 11:14

    Kubica is complaining of too much understeer in the middle of the corner.

  • 11:15

    To confirm that, @rf1paddockpass: Vitaly P12 after his first soft tyre run. Balance a bit understeery but seems reasonable. More understeer.

  • 11:17

    The bottom seven at the moment: Kobayashi, Trulli, Glock, Kovalainen, Di Grassi, Senna, Chandhok.

  • 11:17

    David Croft on 5live saying only Kobayashi has a genuine chance of getting out of the bottom seven.

  • 11:18

    Top four are in the pits, job done. Vettel, Webber, Massa and Rosberg.

  • 11:19

    Alonso up in P1.

  • 11:20

    Kobayashi has not yet improved from 18th. Chandhok has returned to the pitlane.

  • 11:20

    Senna in pits, not Chandhok. Apologies.

  • 11:20

    Kobayashi moves up to 15th, dropping de la Rosa into the drop zone.

  • 11:21

    De la Rosa improves to 15th, dropping Alguersuari down into 15th.

  • 11:21


  • 11:22

    Fastest three: Alonso, Vettel, Sutil.

    Dropping out: Alguersuari, Glock, Trulli, Kovalainen, Di Grassi, Senna, Chandhok.

  • 11:22

    Chandhok finished the session 10 seconds off the pace.

  • 11:23

    From @VirginRacing: Best qualifying of the new teams. Fantastic job guys! :-)))

  • 11:24

    It looks as though Alguersuari did really badly, but @ManipeF1: Alg made a mistake in S2 on his final lap.

  • 11:27

    Q2 gets underway with Vettel out first, followed by Buemi.

  • 11:28

    Comment from Mr C: "Q2 is probably the important important session of the weekend. no red flags in Q1 either."

  • 11:29

    From BBC Live, Sir Jackie Stewart: "The most impressive driver in that session for me was Adrian Sutil, he has done very well to be in third..." As spotted by Iain.

  • 11:31

    All out on track bar Kobayashi and de la Rosa.

  • 11:32

    The Saubers have joined the pack - everyone out on track.

  • 11:33

    Vettel has returned to the pits from P1 - a 1:54.035.

  • 11:35

    From @Jamesallenonf1: We've already learned that the s/soft tyre is at least 1/2 sec faster than medium, but remember top 10 must race tyre they qualify on

  • 11:36

    All back in the pits bar DLR, KOB, PET.

  • 11:36

    Button on McLaren radio: "The tyres lasted better than they did this morning."

  • 11:37

    Hamilton on McLaren radio: "Car is sliding around a bit, it's very hot for the tyres."

  • 11:37

    All cars in the pits.

  • 11:38

    Renault hard at work:

  • 11:38

    Bottom seven at the moment, ahead of the final rush: Button, Liuzzi, Hulkenberg, De la Rosa, Kobayashi, Petrov, Buemi.

  • 11:40

    Buemi heads up this second wave of cars, followed by Sutil. It looks like the last man out was Barrichello, behind Massa.

  • 11:42

    Barrichello is just about to cross the line to start his final flying lap. Does he make it? With about five seconds to go!

  • 11:42

    Liuzzi not improved, will drop out.

  • 11:43

    Button into the top ten... tenth.

  • 11:44

    Fastest three - Vettel, Alonso, Webber.

    Dropping out - Barrichello, Liuzzi, Hulkenberg, De la Rosa, Buemi, Kobayashi, Petrov.

  • 11:45

    Kubica gets into the top ten - currently 7th. Petrov way down in 17th.

  • 11:48

    From @autosportlive: A very difficult decision for the race engineers now - do they go for pace on the softer tyres or race durability on the harder choice.

  • 11:49

    Hamilton on the radio: "Can I get an overlay of my times so I can see where I can improve."

  • 11:49

    McLaren response: "Printing one out for you now, Lewis."

  • 11:50

    Green light.

  • 11:50

    Massa out first, followed by Alonso.

  • 11:51

    From @InsideFerrari: For sure an improvement compared to last year` qualis...:-))

  • 11:51

    From @rf1paddockpass: Great job from Bobby K and more to come hopefully with a few tweaks to the balance.

  • 11:52

    Massa and Alonso on the super-soft compound.

  • 11:53

    From @eddstrawF1: Rosberg has been outpacing Schuey all weekend at Mercedes. Looking good to do it when it really counts in Q3.

  • 11:54

    Alonso beats Massa, Hamilton in third.

  • 11:56

    Sutil leaves the pitlane. Massa returns.

  • 11:56

    Button didn't set a lap time.

  • 11:57

    From @rf1paddockpass: So far track seems slower this session. Probably the rising temps, it's the hottest day of the weekend so far.

  • 11:57

    All cars now out on track.

  • 11:58

    Two minutes to go.

  • 11:58

    Steven has noted: "Schumacher last to leave the pits."

  • 11:59

    Sutil moves up to third. Final laps begin.

  • 11:59

    Vettel very fast through S1.

  • 12:00

    Vettel fastest through S2.

  • 12:00

    Vettel up to P1.

  • 12:00

    Webber into 4th.

  • 12:01

    Massa 2nd. Hamilton 4th.

  • 12:01

    Alonso 3rd.

  • 12:01

    Button 7th.

  • 12:01

    Schumacher 7th. Rosberg 5th.

  • 12:02


  • 12:02

    Missed off SUT.

  • 12:09
  • 12:12

    Thanks to everyone for joining the FBFB today. We'll be back tomorrow for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

All content in the series Bahrain 2010