Red Bull have scored their first ever pole position in their fifth year of F1, thanks to the talents of young German charge Sebastian Vettel.
It’s a good sign for the 22 year old, as last time he was on pole – for RBR sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso – at the Italian Grand Prix, he lead from the front to take his maiden victory.
Showing a Michael Schumacher style of qualifying, Vettel only did one run in each of the three sessions today, setting the fastest time in both Q2 and Q3. Impressive stuff.
Fernando Alonso made the most of his aero upgrades to land second place, after his team worked through the night to build a double-deck rear diffuser onto his car, that team boss Flavio Briatore reportedly had flown over yesterday in his jet.
“If you add any new part to the car it makes a big difference in terms of position and we proved it today,” Alonso said. “Suddenly we are competitive.”
Which is a good sign for all of the other teams working on double-deck diffusers.
Vettel’s teammate Mark Webber did enough for third, but admitted he was surprised by the RB5’s pace: “I expected it to be a bit tighter,” he said of the pole battle.
As the BBC Sport team seemed to rather gleefully report, Brawn GP’s Rubens Barrichello out qualified teammate Jenson Button for the first time this season.
The Brit Button seemed genuinely miffed with his fifth place, and looked somewhat surprised not to have gone quicker.
It will be interesting to see how much fuel he has onboard compared to the others though, and as Ross Brawn is a tenacious strategist, I wouldn’t be surprised if both his cars are heavier than those around them.
Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren showed the first signs of improvement, doubtless thanks to his halfway-house rear-diffuser and other aero upgrades, seeing him through to ninth, one spot behind Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Kimi’s not happy with the Scuderia’s pace however, saying: “I hope we get some developments quickly but, in the meantime, we try to do the best with what we’ve got. I hope we have a good race and pick up a few points.”
It was generally not a good day again for Ferrari, with 2008 title challenger Felipe Massa obviously struggling with his car, only managing to get 13th spot.
I’d love to see Vettel grab another win tomorrow, but, as I said, I have a sneaking suspicion about the Brawns. Who’s your money on?