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Spain 2011 - Qualifying highlights - Which Red Bull driver took pole position in Barcelona?

Published by Christine

Paul di Resta on Saturday on Barcelona
Paul di Resta on Saturday on BarcelonaCredit: Force India/Sutton Motorsport Images

It would have been a stretch for a Red Bull not to have snatched pole position, but this time out Mark Webber has taken the glory for the team, leaving Sebastian Vettel in second place. McLaren are there or thereabouts, whilst further down the order, some interesting things are occurring.

If you missed any of the action in Barcelona today, or are keen for a reminder of what happened out on track, here's a step-by-step guide through qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.

As it happened: 2011 Spain - Qualifying

  • 12:00

    Hello and welcome, lovely fact fans. This is the Factbyte Factbox coverage for qualifying in Spain.

  • 12:01

    Already we have seen some fascinating action today, with Nick Heidfeld's Renault catching fire in Free Practice 3.

  • 12:02

    Heidfeld described it as the biggest fire he'd experienced, and was quickly out of the car unharmed, but the team have been busy rebuilding.

  • 12:02

    TweetTweet from @OfficialLRGP: A hairdrier is being used to remove the final damaged stickers. Not sure if it's Nick's personal drier, or a team one

  • 12:02

    Thankfully, they're keeping their sense of humour!

  • 12:03

    Fernando Alonso also had trouble this morning, as his car got stuck in sixth gear.

  • 12:04

    And Sebastian Vettel was in the garage until late in the session. He only completed 6 laps in the 60 minutes available, but managed to top the session in one attempt right at the end.

  • 12:04

    You can see the full results here:

  • 12:04

    Also, catch up with yesterday's action in just 60 seconds:

  • 12:05

    Now, we have an hour of build-up before the action begins in Barcelona. If you're watching, why not join the comments?

  • 12:06

    Make sure you vote on the qualifying poll as well: Who will be the fastest non-Red Bull car?

  • 12:06

    TweetTweet from @ianparkesf1: Hole in the exhaust was the cause of Heidfeld's fire. Renault say engine will be replaced and he should be okay for quali.

  • 12:11

    The BBC coverage has begun, a stream is available for UK viewers:

  • 12:11

    QuoteComment from Alex Andronov: I voted McLaren... nobody has voted Ferrari!

  • 12:12

    Some other useful bits and bobs you might need. Live timing:

  • 12:12

    Autosport's live text will be here:

  • 12:13

    So, who is your favourite driver and how are they getting on this weekend? Are you expecting great things in Spain?

  • 12:17
    Fastest Session Times
    Free Practice 1Webber1:25.142
    Free Practice 2Webber1:22.470
    Free Practice 3Vettel1:21.707
  • 12:21

    Ted News on Renault: "If you have a look at the car right now, they've changed the engine... and they're putting in a new gearbox as well. Still working on it, and it's quite a big job, so touch and go whether they make it into qualifying or not."

  • 12:24

    TweetTweet from @OfficialMGP: Not long to go until Qualifying... @nico_rosberg seems keen to get on with it!

  • 12:30

    Thirty minutes to go until qualifying begins.

  • 12:32

    TweetTweet from @MBrundleF1: Quali one going to be especially interesting. Who can get through on hard tyres which are 2 secs slower. Who can survive the 107% rule

  • 12:36

    Don't forget to vote in the poll: Can Mercedes be the fastest car, not counting Red Bull? Or perhaps Ferrari can find some speed?

  • 12:43

    TweetTweet from @karunchandhok: Heading to the comms box for quali - tune in on @5LiveF1 , fanvision and red button on BBC ! Mark vs Seb for pole will be epic I think !!

  • 12:49

    Lewis Hamilton makes a brief appearance on the BBC, walking past the pundits chatting. He seems cool and calm.

  • 12:54

    Eric Boullier on Heidfeld's car in qualifying: "We hope so, the guys are pushing very hard to fix his car. We have to be safe, it's qualifying and afterwards it's parc ferme. We'll see. I think it's going to be tough."

  • 12:56



    Wind speed2.0mps
  • 12:56

    Live timing has reset, less than five minutes to go.

  • 12:58

    Ross Brawn on the new harder tyre: "It's quite a lot slower than the option so I think the margin for getting through Q1 is further down the grid. We're going to run a prime tyre to begin with and see what the time looks like. A Lotus on an option could do a similar time to us on a prime, so it's going to be closer than normal."

  • 13:00

    TweetTweet from @BaronVonClutch: DRS zone for this weekend is the 830m Front Straight. Drivers may use the entire length of the front straight, the longest so far. #F1

  • 13:00

    Green flagQualifying session 1 begins.

  • 13:01

    Karthikeyan, Petrov, Liuzzi and D'Ambrosio out on track first.

  • 13:02

    The poll is now closed, and McLaren got 56% of the votes for the fastest non-Red Bull team.

  • 13:02

    Nobody voted for Renault, which isn't a surprise given the flames!

  • 13:03

    Button, Sutil and Glock join the action.

  • 13:03

    Karthikeyan sets the first time a 1:28.981, beaten by Liuzzi immediately, but of course, not representative of what we're expecting.

  • 13:04

    TweetTweet from @EliGP: Last time the winner didn't start from pole in Spain was in 2000

  • 13:05

    Five minutes gone, three times on the board. Petrov in the lead at the moment.

  • 13:06

    Petrov improves to a 1:26.107.

  • 13:06

    Jenson Button's first lap is slow, a 1:30.180 leaving him sixth and currently last.

  • 13:07

    Ron Dennis watches on from the McLaren garage as Button knocks six seconds off his own time for P1.

  • 13:09

    Webber jumps Button by almost an entire second.

  • 13:09

    Vettel slips into second, a 1:24.276 compared to Webber's 1:23.619.

  • 13:09

    Alguersuari has popped up to second now, 1:24.049.

  • 13:10

    Ted News suggests Heidfeld's car is still not ready so it's looking unlikely he'll be out.

  • 13:10

    RadioTeam radio from Hamilton: "Massive understeer."

  • 13:10

    Less than ten minutes of this first session les.

  • 13:10


  • 13:11

    The two Saubers leave it late again, with Kobayashi just leaving the garage, followed by Pérez.

  • 13:13

    Buemi knocks his teammate out of second, the tyres allowing Toro Rosso just a couple of tenths off Red Bull.

  • 13:13

    If Heidfeld doesn't get out for a lap, we probably already know what the drop zone will look like.

  • 13:14

    Kobayashi jumps up to P2, and Pérez up to P6.

  • 13:14

    Along with Heidfeld, only D'Ambrosio and Trulli are without times.

  • 13:15

    TweetTweet from @tonyfernandes: problem with jarno gearbox

  • 13:16

    QuoteComment from rethymno racer: Force India cars not very quick. P17 and 18

  • 13:17

    Petrov improves to P1, a 1:23.069.

  • 13:17

    With three minutes left the drop zone looks like Di Resta, Liuzzi, Karthikeyan, Glock, D'Ambrosio, Trulli, and Heidfeld.

  • 13:17

    Massa is down in 15th, close to the drop zone, with Alonso up in 12th at the moment.

  • 13:18

    TweetTweet from @OfficialLRGP: Still frantic bolting together around the rear end of Nick's car. F1 precision means there shouldn't be 'extra' bolts left over and end

  • 13:18

    Michael Schumacher goes fastest with a 1:22.960.

  • 13:19

    That brings the 107% time down to 1:28.767, but those with times are still just a couple of tenths within that.

  • 13:19

    Paul di Resta improves to tenth place.

  • 13:20

    Trulli has left the garage.

  • 13:20

    Chequered flagQualifying session 1 ends.

  • 13:20

    Ted News: Rubens had suspected gearbox problems.

  • 13:21
    Qualifying Position
    18Rubens BarrichelloWilliams
    19Jarno TrulliLotus
    20Timo GlockVirgin
    21Tonio LiuzziHRT
    22Narain KarthikeyanHRT
    23Jérôme D'AmbrosioVirgin
    24Nick HeidfeldRenault
  • 13:22

    Heikki Kovalainen gets his Lotus through to Q2, beating the Williams of Barrichello.

  • 13:22

    TweetTweet from @MyTeamLotus: YES!!!!!!!!!!!! Q2 for Heikki!!!!!!!!!!

  • 13:25

    Bruno Senna on Heidfeld: "Tomorrow the tyres are going to play a really big role in the race, so he could have a good race from the back even if he didn't get a chance to qualify."

  • 13:26

    A very glum Rubens Barrichello: "We had a gearbox problem but the car was not doing well when I was running. When I came back they already said I couldn't go out again. It's very frustrating because the car is not very competitive and it's never running... the only positive is that we did save tyres."

  • 13:27

    Green flagQualifying session 2 begins.

  • 13:28
    Qualifying Battle
    WilliamsQualified Ahead
    Rubens Barrichello3
    Pastor Maldonado2
  • 13:28

    No cars going out yet.

  • 13:28

    An unusual collection of people here.

    Top Speeds
    Sector 1Vettel289kph
    Sector 2Pérez290kph
    Sector 3Maldonado288kph
    Speed trapSutil325kph
  • 13:29

    Who's going to be first?

  • 13:29

    Sebastian Vettel! He leaves the garage for the first lap of Q2.

  • 13:31

    Ted News: "Change of tactic from Red Bull to everyone else, everyone else is planning to do one run... some people considering to get a move on whilst the track is still in good condition."

  • 13:32

    TweetTweet from @autosportlive: The top teams will look to secure a place in the shootout with a single flying lap on the soft tyres.

  • 13:32

    Vettel sets the first time, 1 :21.540 on the soft tyres.

  • 13:33

    Webber comes in behind, just a couple of tenths off.

  • 13:33

    Ten cars out on track, three with times so far. The other time is Alguersuari with 1:24.091.

  • 13:34

    Button and Hamilton set their first times, both in the low 1:22s. Alonso has a 1:22.8 with Massa on a 1:23.0.

  • 13:35

    Plenty of debate on whether Kovalainen will attempt a flying lap, or be happy with his position and save tyres.

  • 13:35

    Both Red Bulls have returned to the pitlane. They probably won't come out again until Q3.

  • 13:36

    TweetTweet from @Jamesallenonf1: #f1 If Vettel has KERS issue and Webber doesn't could be the difference Webber needs to get on top

  • 13:37

    Currently ten cars have set times, and have all returned to the pits.

  • 13:37

    Rosberg, Petrov, Schumi, Sutil, di Resta, Maldonado and Kovi all with work to do.

  • 13:37

    RadioTeam radio to Hamilton: "Middle sector was very competitive. We lost a bit of time in the first and third sectors."

  • 13:38

    TweetTweet from @OfficialLRGP: Less than 7 mins to go, a set of new softs bolted on to Vitaly's car, blankets off and out to set a time

  • 13:39

    Ted News: Red Bull saying KERS is not available for Vettel to use at the moment, and they may not be able to fix it before the car goes into parc ferme. KERS on Webber's car is working fine.

  • 13:39

    Kovalainen has exited the garage to attempt a time.

  • 13:40

    TweetTweet from @MikeGascoyne: Heikki going out on the soft tyres, both Force Indias on prime so we have a chance to get them

  • 13:41

    One minute left to go.

  • 13:41

    Maldonado jumps to P8, pushing Massa down to tenth.

  • 13:42

    Drop Zone features Buemi, Kobayashi, Alguersuari, Pérez, Di Resta, Sutil and Kovalainen.

  • 13:42

    Chequered flagQualifying session 2 ends.

  • 13:42

    Kovalainen beats both Force Indias, up to 15th.

  • 13:44
    Qualifying Position
    11Sébastien BuemiToro Rosso
    12Sergio PérezSauber
    13Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso
    14Kamui KobayashiSauber
    15Heikki KovalainenLotus
    16Paul di Resta
    Force India
    17Adrian SutilForce India
  • 13:44
    Qualifying Battle
    Force IndiaQualified Ahead
    Paul di Resta4
    Adrian Sutil1
  • 13:45

    Good show by Maldonado to get into Q3.

  • 13:45

    Kovalainen's time was completed on soft tyres, whilst the Force India guys remained on harder tyres.

  • 13:48

    Heikki Kovalainen: "It was to go for the qualifying time and maximise our performance. Everyone agreed on the pitwall, I think it was the right choice. I don't like calculations, I don't like playing the safe game. We've still got tyres for tomorrow."

  • 13:49

    TweetTweet from @sparkteamlotus: Tony has just bounced round the garage hi-fiveing everyone :)

  • 13:50

    Green flagQualifying session 3 begins.

  • 13:50

    No one is lining up at the end of the pitlane to head out.

  • 13:51

    One minute gone.

  • 13:51

    Gerhard Berger spotted in the Red Bull garage, chatting to Dietrich Mateschitz.

  • 13:51

    Hamilton and Button break cover.

  • 13:52

    Vettel also leaves the pitlane, with two minutes gone.

  • 13:54

    Button sets the first time 1:21.996. Hamilton beats it with a .961.

  • 13:55

    Vettel - 1:21.181.

  • 13:55

    Webber beats it with a 1:20.981.

  • 13:55

    Still four and a half minutes to go, but Red Bull are probably job done.

  • 13:56

    Replays show Lewis Hamilton locking up seriously on a fast lap, ruining a tyre so that you can see the flat spot circling.

  • 13:57

    Vettel is still sitting in his car, unlike at the last race.

  • 13:58

    Schumacher has headed out on hard tyres.

  • 13:58

    Ah, Vettel is climbing from the car now. Webber also done.

  • 13:59

    Just one minute to go now.

  • 13:59

    The McLaren boys have also remained in the garage, settling for third and fourth.

  • 13:59

    Schumacher returns to the pits without a time.

  • 14:00

    Chequered flagQualifying session 3 ends.

  • 14:00

    Alonso has jumped up to P4, ahead of Button and splitting the McLarens.

  • 14:02
    Qualifying Position
    1Mark WebberRed Bull
    2Sebastian VettelRed Bull
    3Lewis HamiltonMcLaren
    4Fernando AlonsoFerrari
    5Jenson ButtonMcLaren
    6Vitaly Petrov
    7Nico RosbergMercedes
    8Felipe MassaFerrari
    9Pastor MaldonadoWilliams
    10Michael SchumacherMercedes
  • 14:02
    Qualifying Battle
    MercedesQualified Ahead
    Nico Rosberg5
    Michael Schumacher0
  • 14:03

    Fernando Alonso sounds very happy on the team radio with fourth position. "Great lap," he says.

  • 14:05

    This is worth looking at too. Webber finally gets ahead.

    Qualifying Battle
    Red BullQualified Ahead
    Mark Webber1
    Sebastian Vettel4
  • 14:07

    Paul di Resta: "I think that was the safest option for us, and the most productive going to tomorrow. Given our performance, we've struggled towards the end of options. As a team, we felt this was the best option. I knew when Heikki got through to Q2 he would go for an option run... hopefully we'll get him off the line and from then on think about the last remaining points."

  • 14:07

    Top threeTop three.

  • 14:08

    Jenson Button: "It was pretty good. I felt pretty good out there. The car got better and better through qualifying with the soft tyres, and the setup. I was three hundredths behind Lewis and disappointed not to be third on the grid. It's so, so close. The positive side is I'm on the clean side of the grid and that makes quite a difference here."

  • 14:10

    Press Conference Quotes - Mark Webber: "It was a good session, it was pretty clear going into qualifying that we might have had a bit of a margin. You never can underestimate these guys but we thought we'd battle for pole between ourselves. We got through on the first set of hards.

    "Coming to the crucial part of qualifying was just getting the lap right for Q3. I was just praying my number went above number one, and it did, so it was a nice lap. It was a good battle with Seb and today was my day."

  • 14:12

    Press Conference Quotes - Sebastian Vettel: "I don't think we can speak of big disappointment at the end of the day. We made a good step forward, Barcelona is usually the place where everyone brings a lot of parts. You're here to find out if they work.

    "We like this track, our car feels comfortable. In Q1 I didn't get into the rhythm immediately. Q2 I felt much happier on the soft compound, then unfortunately in the last qualifying I lost a little bit too much. We had some problems, so Mark did a good job. It was up between us and he did a better job today. We'll see what we can do tomorrow."

  • 14:13

    Press Conference Quotes - Lewis Hamilton: "I do have a slight flat-spot, but fortunately we can rebalance so it shouldn't be a problem for the race. Very happy with today's result. You can see the gap between ourselves and the Red Bulls has increased, however we have been working really hard."

  • 14:18
    Gap Analysis
  • 14:19

    So, Red Bull are still massively ahead of everyone else, but a change of face at the front with Webber getting pole position.

  • 14:20

    Alonso finished just three thousandths of a second off Hamilton's third place, whilst Massa seemed to struggle more.

  • 14:20

    Further down the order, the battle between Kovalainen and the Force Indias will be a key part of the first race stint.

  • 14:20

    It'll also be interesting to see how far Heidfeld can make it through the field from the back.

  • 14:21

    Until tomorrow then, fact fans. Enjoy your day and I'll see you back here for racing action at 12pm BST.

All content in the series Spain 2011