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Turkey 2011 - Qualifying highlights - Follow along with each lap as the polesitter is decided

Published by Christine

Nick Heidfeld wows the crowds in the Renault
Nick Heidfeld wows the crowds in the RenaultCredit: Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic

Qualifying in Turkey was completely dry, with bright sunshine overhead. The big surprise in the first session came from Kamui Kobayashi who found his Sauber without power halfway through a lap. He couldn't quite make it back to the pitlane which meant he couldn't set a qualifying time.

Meanwhile, at the front, Sebastian Vettel made it look easy, as he always does, whilst Mark Webber and others tried to keep up, hanging on his coat tails.

Here's how qualifying unfolded, minute by minute.

As it happened: 2011 Turkey - Qualifying

  • 11:00

    Hello and welcome, this is the Factbyte Factbox for qualifying in Turkey.

  • 11:01

    I hope you are all well and looking forward to the action this weekend.

  • 11:02

    Let's get right into the admin, with commenting on Sidepodcast. There's a direct thread for you, with added poll:

  • 11:02

    Do you think HRT can qualify ahead of Virgin today? Go, go, go and have your say.

  • 11:03

    For a better commenting experience, why not try out the Sidepodcast Dashboard? It's got the comments, Twitter and this here FBFB baked right in.

  • 11:03

    The BBC coverage has begun, an hour's worth of build-up. It's not on BBC1 today, but on BBC2 or BBC HD. It'll also be streaming:

  • 11:05

    You'll probably be after some live timing, available here:

  • 11:05

    At the moment, it is still showing the results from Free Practice. Did you miss any of the action? I've got you covered.

  • 11:05

    FP1 and 2 summed up in 60 seconds via F1 Minute:

  • 11:06

    And the results from FP3:

  • 11:07

    FP1 suffered with heavy rain, but the other two sessions have been dry. It looks bright and sunny in Turkey today.

  • 11:10

    This weekend sees the return of the team's motorhomes, keep your eyes peeled in the paddock.

  • 11:11

    TweetTweet from @F1Photographer: Beautiful sunny day @ #F1 Turkey.This circuit is a joy to photograph when the weather is as it should be in Turkey!Looking forward to Qual.

  • 11:16

    Graeme Lowdon at Virgin: "These are races where we can start to develop quickly. We had a big upgrade, new front wing... the car is visually different at the front. New wing mirrors, new floor, new diffuser. Yesterday we tried a new exhaust system. The weather wasn't kind to us, we had a few problems... so we can't run it today."

  • 11:17

    He's showing the new exhaust, and it looks like some cracks appeared yesterday which is why they can't run it today.

  • 11:18

    Timo Glock: "Frustrating is the wrong word. We just thought we'd have a gain here, and it didn't work out. It's not an easy development and every team has struggled so far with it. We have to learn from the mistakes and try to improve it for the next race."

  • 11:21

    Pedro de la Rosa on the new tyres: "I think it's fantastic to have Pirelli this year. They've been very brave... but we have to think about the spectators. We need more overtaking. KERS has added some interesting overtaking, or DRS, but the biggest difference has been the tyres. We need to make sure the teams don't start getting on top of the tyres, or the races will become predictable and that's what we don't want."

  • 11:23

    TweetTweet from @adamcooperf1: #F1 Getting hotter all the time. Should be a mega qualy session, talking point will be teams attempting to save a set of new options

  • 11:27

    Jake and co are discussing the goings on at Williams. Pondering whether Sam Michael is being made a scapegoat.

  • 11:29

    Sebastian Vettel on his Free Practice crash: "There was nothing I could do to stop the car hitting the wall. The most important thing is that I'm fine. Unfortunately we couldn't get the car ready in time, there was a little bit too much damage, I'm sorry for the guys."

  • 11:30

    Jenson Button after practice: "My feet are hurting a little bit from turn 12 on the bumps. I don't know if you've watched the cars through there, but wow it's bumpy. It's like they've put a motocross jump in there."

  • 11:32

    TweetTweet from @InsideFerrari: There is hard work inside the Scuderia's garage. The mechanics are finishing to fit Massa's car with the new engine and....

    .... they are working also to rebuild Fernando's car after a very in-deep check.

  • 11:37

    Pastor Maldonado on the start of his F1 career: "Our start of the season was not so good. We had so many problems. Because I'm a rookie I was learning. I just concentrate in the car, giving the right comments to the engineers and to the team.

    The car this year is quite difficult to drive and find the balance between the quick corners and the slow corners. We have the rear wing move and it's not easy. The drivers must concentrate on many things during the laps."

  • 11:38

    Pastor again: "I don't feel any pressure, I'm just doing my best. It's not easy, but it's not easy for everyone."

  • 11:39

    That's a new version of "it's the same for everyone."

  • 11:45

    Felipe Massa and Rob are doing the track walk with Martin Brundle.

  • 11:45

    Live timing is reset.

  • 11:49

    Just over ten minutes to go until qualifying begins.

  • 11:49

    Don't forget to vote in the poll: We'll be closing it very soon.

  • 11:51

    A Jake fact - the pole sitter has won the race every time here in Turkey.

  • 11:52

    Martin Whitmarsh: "Ordinarily we're fighting to save option tyres to use not only in the race but in the rest of qualifying as well. In the quest to do that, it can be very easy to get it wrong."

  • 11:53

    More Martin: "Someone might try a two stop, I doubt it. Some will try three and some may even try four, given the nature of the circuit. At least part of the strategy is determined by the tyre used in Q3, assuming you get through to Q3. It's clear people will have to be on the option tyre when they get through to Q3 to have any meaningful performance."

  • 11:53

    QuoteComment from Adam: I think he said front row rather than pole.

    I got the Jake fact wrong! D'oh.

  • 11:55

    Still, being on pole looks to be pretty handy round Istanbul Park.

  • 11:56



    Wind speed4.4mps
  • 11:57

    TweetTweet from @InsideFerrari: Everything is ready inside Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's garage. The mechanics did a great job to repair the cars in time for Q session.

  • 11:59

    The McLaren drivers have new overalls again for this session, thanks to their competition winners. A red back with Turkish flag detail, white front with sponsor detail, and black bottom half. Interesting.

  • 12:00

    Green flagQualifying session 1 begins.

  • 12:00

    No one makes a leap for it, but Kobayashi is the first out of the garage.

  • 12:01

    Lewis HamiltonHamilton's new overalls.

  • 12:01

    Liuzzi and D'Ambrosio also join the Sauber out on track.

  • 12:02

    Jérôme will pick up a five place grid penalty from wherever he qualifies due to ignoring yellow flags in practice yesterday.

  • 12:03

    Pole position last year was Mark Webber with a 1:26.295.

  • 12:04

    Kobayashi has slowed to a crawl and is struggling to make it back to the pitlane.

  • 12:05

    The Sauber didn't make it back, so is being pushed by the marshals. That's parc ferme for Kobayashi, and no further part in qualifying.

  • 12:06
    Fastest Session Times
    Free Practice 1F Alonso1:38.670
    Free Practice 2J Button1:26.456
    Free Practice 3S Vettel1:26.037
  • 12:06

    Paul di Resta has the fastest time of the few posted, a 1:29.223.

  • 12:07

    All bar three drivers are out on track now - Heidfeld, Petrov and Pérez remain indoors.

  • 12:08

    Ted News: "Suspected problem with the engines or hydraulics for Sauber. Kobayashi was coming in on that lap anyone, but the engine cut out and Kobayashi came on the radio saying there was nothing he could do."

  • 12:08

    Vettel up to P1, 1:27.039.

  • 12:10

    With half the session gone, just two Renaults remain in the garage and just two Saubers are without a time.

  • 12:11

    Vettel and Webber are close on 1:27.0 with Rosberg almost half a second back in third.

  • 12:11

    Hamilton has closed the gap, just one thousandth off Webber, but still in third for now.

  • 12:12

    Assuming the Renaults can put in a decent time, the drop zone features Di Resta, Trulli, D'Ambrosio, Glock, Karthikeyan, Liuzzi, and Kobayashi.

  • 12:13

    Webber puts in a couple of speedy sectors but gives up the lap and returns to the pit lane.

  • 12:15

    Petrov jumps up to 5th. Heidfeld is on a lap now.

  • 12:15

    Heidfeld up to 11th.

  • 12:16

    Felipe Massa is down in 15th, Alonso 8th.

  • 12:19

    Maldonado moved up to 5th, whilst Paul di Resta hauled himself out of the drop zone by moving up to 10th.

  • 12:19

    That leaves the usual suspects in the drop, along with Kobayashi as the "big name."

  • 12:19

    Massa pops up to P1 - 1:27.013.

  • 12:20

    Chequered flagQualifying session 1 ends.

  • 12:21

    Kovalainen is 18th and finishes up a lap, he doesn't manage to move up, but he's just four tenths off getting through. Lotus will be there soon!

  • 12:23

    So, the results of the poll had the majority thinking HRT would have both cars behind Virgin.

  • 12:23

    If you ignore the penalty that D'Ambrosio will get, you've got Virgin, HRT, Virgin, HRT. Not bad, not bad!

  • 12:25
    Qualifying Position
    18Heikki KovalainenLotus
    19Jarno TrulliLotus
    20Jérôme D'AmbrosioVirgin
    21Tonio LiuzziHRT
    22Timo GlockVirgin
    23Narain KarthikeyanHRT
    24Kamui KobayashiSauber
  • 12:26

    TweetTweet from @autosportlive: Lotus says Trulli's DRS has not been working during this segment, so is happy with the Italian's efforts.

  • 12:27

    Green flagQualifying session 2 begins.

  • 12:28

    Schumacher is out first.

  • 12:29

    Ted News - he points out that Rosberg put in a same first sector as the Red Bull guys in Q1, plus both Mercedes cars are out on hard tyres at the moment, when others are choosing the softer compound already.

  • 12:30

    QuoteComment from rethymno racer: The gap between Massa in P1 and Kovi in P18 was ONLY 1.7 seconds. Very imppressive from Lotus.

  • 12:30

    First lap of Q2 to Schumacher: 1:27.458.

  • 12:31

    TweetTweet from @InsideFerrari: Fernando is out on new soft, Felipe on used soft tyres

  • 12:32

    All drivers out on track now except Jaime Alguersuari and Paul di Resta.

  • 12:32

    Schumacher pits, as both Webber and Barrichello top his time.

  • 12:32

    Button also pops up to P2.

  • 12:32

    Sebastian Vettel jumps above them all: 1:25.610.

  • 12:33

    That's almost half a second faster than everyone else.

  • 12:34
    Field Spread
  • 12:35

    A moment of interlude, as most cars return to the pitlane. Just three out on track.

  • 12:36

    Now they are all in the pitlane. All quiet.

  • 12:36

    Petrov is the first to break the peace, heading out from 12th place.

  • 12:37

    With just over five minutes remaining, the drop zone features Schumacher, Petrov, Maldonado, Alguersuari, Sutil, Heidfeld and Paul di Resta - who is the only man with no time yet.

  • 12:37

    Schumacher joins Petrov out on track.

  • 12:38

    Soft tyres bolted on the Mercedes now.

  • 12:39

    Petrov improves to 6th for now.

  • 12:39

    More and more cars are filing out onto the circuit now.

  • 12:39

    Paul di Resta is finally out for a lap.

  • 12:40

    RadioTeam radio to Schumacher: "Magic paddle, Michael. Magic paddle latched."

  • 12:40

    Magic paddle!

  • 12:41

    One minute of the session remains.

  • 12:41

    Barrichello moves to P8, Maldonado currently in 13th.

  • 12:41

    Pastor improves to 11th, Paul di Resta squeezes into 10th.

  • 12:42

    Massa up to 7th, which drops di Resta down again.

  • 12:42

    Chequered flagQualifying session 2 ends.

  • 12:44
    Qualifying Position
    11Rubens BarrichelloWilliams
    12Adrian SutilForce India
    13Paul di RestaForce India
    14Pastor MaldonadoWilliams
    15Sergio PérezSauber
    16Sébastien BuemiToro Rosso
    17Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso
  • 12:44

    Barrichello almost made it through to Q3 but was dropped out of P10 at the last moment. Still a better performance for them.

  • 12:44

    Toro Rosso seem to have lost the pace from their previous form. We've seen both drivers in Q3 before, but today they are last in Q2.

  • 12:45

    Well, Sutil has only gone and spoiled the game.

    Qualifying Battle
    Force IndiaQualified Ahead
    Paul di Resta3
    Adrian Sutil1
  • 12:45

    TweetTweet from @sarahholtf1: Schumacher climbs out of drop zone to fourth after Radio Mercedes tells him the 'magic paddle' is activated. I want one of those.. #bbcf1

  • 12:46

    Heikki Kovalainen: "We are on the right track and we've just got to keep pushing. We're nearly there. As a team we can be quite pleased, the lap was good, I'm on the money as well. I think the race pace will be better. We know we quite often struggle with the one lap performance... hopefully in the race it will give us a strategy advantage."

  • 12:48

    Jérôme D'Ambrosio: "In my position, it's not all about outqualifying Timo, it's about making progress... I still have a lot to learn but at the moment it's going pretty good. I'm looking forward to every time I can sit in the car and be in the paddock. I love being here. A Formula One start is always something very special. Our goal is to finish the race and then anything can happen."

  • 12:49

    TweetTweet from @autosportlive: The top ten are now preparing for the shootout, which may begin with a quiet track as teams try to conserve tyres for the race.

  • 12:50

    Green flagQualifying session 3 begins.

  • 12:50

    Bets on when the first car will come out?

  • 12:50

    Ooh, never mind. Petrov is out.

  • 12:51

    We're watching some Turn 8 analysis, a run of different cars attempting the tricky corner. Anyone think they might have been expecting a quiet start to Q3?

  • 12:51

    Webber, Button and Alonso are all taking to the track.

  • 12:52

    RadioTeam radio to Button: "Please don't deploy KERS on the outlap, we need to charge up the pack."

  • 12:53

    Ted News: "The second man out there was Jenson Button as he wasn't happy with his setup. He was four tenths of a second slower in Q2 than his teammate. Jenson still trying to find some speed around here. It's a track he always goes well on here."

  • 12:53

    Petrov puts in the first time - 1:26.411.

  • 12:54

    Button beats it and Alonso tops them both. 1:25.851.

  • 12:54

    Webber P1, Hamilton P2, but Vettel will jump to the top any second now.

  • 12:55

    Vettel manages a 1:25.049. Will he go again? Can he get into the 1:24s?

  • 12:56

    A quiet moment with all in the pits bar Vettel.

  • 12:56

    Vettel now in the pits too.

  • 12:57

    Heidfeld heads out. He has yet to set a time, just one lap from him. Schumacher, Rosberg and Massa taking similar strategies.

  • 12:58

    Vettel is climbing out of the car, confident of his time.

  • 12:59

    Webber also looks done for the day, in second.

  • 13:00

    Chequered flagQualifying session 3 ends.

  • 13:00

    Rosberg improves to 3rd place, Schumacher can only manage 8th.

  • 13:01

    Well... that was qualifying.

  • 13:01

    Everyone pretty much gave up towards the end. Rosberg was the only one trying, and was rewarded with third.

  • 13:03
    Qualifying Position
    1Sebastian VettelRed Bull
    2Mark WebberRed Bull
    3Nico RosbergMercedes
    4Lewis HamiltonMcLaren
    5Fernando AlonsoFerrari
    6Jenson ButtonMcLaren
    7Vitaly PetrovRenault
    8Michael SchumacherMercedes
    9Nick HeidfeldRenault
    10Felipe MassaFerrari
  • 13:03

    Felipe Massa didn't go out at all in Q3, no time set, and some tyres saved.

  • 13:04

    TweetTweet from @KatieLouM: Well on the bright side, last year quali was more interesting than the race. If one has to be boring, I'd prefer it to be quali! #f1

  • 13:05

    TweetTweet from @redbullf1spy: Seb takes pole (in a car they had to re-build yesterday) and Mark's in P2. Very nice work gentlemen.

  • 13:06

    TweetTweet from @lookingspiffy on Massa: @factbytefactbox @sidepodcast He did go out, and aborted the lap. #f1

  • 13:08

    That about sums up qualifying for today. Red Bull are supreme, even with all the problems they've had so far this weekend.

  • 13:08

    Mercedes do look stronger, well one half of the team anyway, with McLaren not quite on it yet.

  • 13:09

    Tomorrow we can look forward to seeing what Massa can do from 10th, and what Kobabyashi can do from way down the field.

  • 13:09

    It's set to be another sunny day, so tyre wear will be the key component again. Rain seems unlikely.

  • 13:10

    I hope you'll join me here for all the racing action. Until then, stay cool fact fans!

All content in the series Turkey 2011