Vettel’s back: the current champion takes pole in Bahrain

Well, maybe that’s what F1 needed. On a weekend where pretending everything was ‘normal’ has been the mandated MO, a qualifying session that could have come from any race in the last three seasons: Sebastian Vettel on pole, Felipe Massa not making Q3 and Michael Schumacher massively under-delivering… it’s just like it always was.

Unfortunately, while this particular Formula One event was going on, armoured cars were patrolling the streets outside and unconfirmed reports were coming in to suggest that a protestor was shot dead overnight.

As unverified news of the death in Shakkhoura began to circulate, on Twitter and then the BBC, it was hard to get too excited over what was actually an extremely exciting qualifying session. Maybe we’ll have to turn the Sunday Afternoon Club’s Twitter off during tomorrow’s race.

It was an odd session. Only yesterday we were quoting Michael Schumacher explaining just what it means to have so many cars running so close to the pace, that the slightest slip up can have the most catastrophic consequences. Oh blimey Michael, be careful what you say: your demise inside the first 20 mins could not have illustrated your point more perfectly.

At the start of the hour you were in contention for pole, but your team took their eyes of the ball, didn’t notice the track getting hotter and had to watch with you as Heikki Kovalainen wound up his Caterham right at the end of Q1 and dispatched the most successful F1 driver ever to the same shabby end of town as the HRTs and the Marussias. And Jean-Eric Vergne. Again. And that looked especially bad for the highly-rated Frenchman when his team mate, the gawky Daniel Ricciardo, possibly the least cool driver ever to take to the paddock, kept on through Q2 and Q3 and stuck his Toro Rosso on the outside of the third row.

Mind you, a tenth here or there from Schumacher or Vergne might have seen Jenson Button or Lewis Hamilton taking the drop. It was that close in Q1. And again in Q2, where Kimi Raikkonen joined Felipe Massa in the early exit group as both took killer punches from their respective team-mates. Massa’s used to that from Alonso, but it would be a brave man who’d say Raikkonen was making his experience over Grosjean count. It’s a little like Schumacher and Nico Rosberg all over.

Rosberg himself looked pretty hacked off not to have put his one and only quick lap together properly, but then after Schumacher’s exit you might have thought the team may have been less cocky and given him two runs in Q3. He lines up fifth behind Vettel, Hamilton, Webber and Button in an oddly 2011-style grid; the grid for the Bahrain GP that never was? Or, as some people are still arguing, the grid for the Bahrain GP that maybe never should have been.

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I suppose that we’ll see just how well Mercedes has solved their tyre issues….

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Just for info: Schumachers DRS was broken in Q1.

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just to be a smartass not the DRS was broken on schumachers car but the AFA-sytstem making it impossible to go out in Q1 again and costing more than 0.5sec on the lap he did…at least that is what mercedes is saying

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So, Bernie’s at it again it seems; excluded Force India entirely from the Qualifying coverage in response to their protests over petrol bombs being thrown around them.

The sooner that man, goes, the better we’ll all be, surely.

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Ha ha ha, mercedes’ rear wing lets them down in qualifying. How ironic!

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Well….its certainly gonna be a great race, too bad tsn here put ads during the best parts

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good luck schuy, hope you sort out the
problem on his car for tomorrow race.
Alonso i hope will, have a good race too.

leave Bernie alone, there trouble all over
the world.
there trouble spots, in England, Scotland,Wales
and Northern Ireland.

so F1 is not, ignoring Bahrin like the rest of
the world.
we should do more, but we do not as we only
care about ourselves nowdays.

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‘the gawky Daniel Ricciardo, possibly the least cool driver ever to take to the paddock, kept on through Q2 and Q3 and stuck his Toro Rosso on the outside of the third row’

Try concentrate more on analysing the qualifying session than driver’s personalities! This isn’t Sniffpetrol!

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Love the top gear show but they obviously have no idea about formula one. For one like anon said Schumey’s rear wing was broken for the last sector of his fast lap in Q3 which saw them only do one run as opposed to ruining a set of softs for a pointless lap without DRS. Also, the whole Bahrain situation is being blown out of perspective. Everyone needs to chill out and realize they don’t know exactly what goes on there and that the grand prix may well bring social and economic benefits to many people from that country that aren’t opposed to F1.

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Schui has had another bad start to the season. Mechanical failure on his car but his teammate has had no such issues. I look forward to him fighting through the pack.

The fight for pole was good, I was surprised RB had pace. The McLaren’s are the fastest team, I think they should oust the RB cars and take the 1st place from Vettel.

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What a BS article.So informal and talking more about stuff that revolves around F1 than F1 itself.Seriously i love Top Gear and its posts about F1 until now.But this one is as if some new kid wrote it.And there was too much unnecessary driver bashing in the article?.Firstly,those details are not true and why question the team and driver tactics as if the writer could have done better?.

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Ahhh.. the old Schumacher hate is back. Wondered were it was. Maybe it took a walk…

Seriously, I have to agree with the others above me. That was a bad article. Jokes are all nice and dandy, but they should reflect a bit of the truth.

-E

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schumis drs was broke,dopey tg. bernie ecclestone,to sum him up,is a money wanting idiot who tries to make force india run in p2 on friday,withdraws americas contract coz he does’nt have his precious money.then,to top it all off,hes adding so many hopeless tracks,bahrain,korea,abu dhabi and russia is highly unlikely to be any good,not just coz itll get called off every year coz of too much snow.

well done vettel,top gear are right,it would probably be LY’s grid top four,if it had gone ahead

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Congrats to:
Vettel – He showed why he’s the reigning world champ. Well done!
Raikkönen, Grosjean – Very, very good racing! Hopefully we see more of these guys.
Webber – Solid, good racing. Go, Marc!
Rosberg – Not a good start, but came back. Very good driving. Go, Nico!
Di Resta – Good result. Same as with Team Lotus. We see more of them.
Alonso, Massa – Both squeezed out of their lackluster cars what they could. Ferrari should be happy to have both of them.
Hamilton – Well, that could’ve ended a bit better, eh?
Schumacher – Solid driving after his bad luck in qualifying. Go, Schumi!

Still a very exciting, open season. Looking forward to the next races.

-E

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