Vettel destroys rivals to seize Valencia hat-trick

Vettel destroys rivals to seize Valencia hat-trick

23 June 2012 – Sebastian Vettel has won a third consecutive pole position at the Valencia Street Circuit following a hotly-contested qualifying on Saturday afternoon. Lewis Hamilton will share the front row ahead of Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean. There were a number of surprises earlier in the session, such as Mark Webber being eliminated in Q1 before Michael Schumacher and both Ferraris dropped out of the running in Q2.

Unwell Glock missed qualifying
Today’s qualifying threw up a number of sensational news stories and a large difference in temperatures is expected for the race, which could bring a further reshuffle. The first drama came 20 minutes before Q1, as Marussia announced that Timo Glock would be missing the session due to a stomach bug; should he be well enough to race tomorrow, the German will still require a special dispensation from Formula 1 governing body the FIA.

As HRT out-qualified Marussia, Heikki Kovalainen impressed by passing through to Q2 for Caterham, helped by a new rear wing; he beat Jean-Éric Vergne and, notably, Mark Webber. Following an installation run to check his car after brake problems in practice, the Australian lost over a full second due to a hydraulic problem which caused his DRS to jam shut. He will start from a very disappointing 19th place on the tight street venue.

The first big shock was Mark Webber's elimination from Q1
Kovalainen went on to impress further in Q2, jumping ahead of leading Toro Rosso man Daniel Ricciardo to seal 16th spot. Amazingly, just two tenths of a second separated first place from the drop zone, which contributed to the fact that Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa could manage no more than 11th and 13th positions; between the Ferrari drivers, Michael Schumacher struggled his way to 12th as the stewards investigated the Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi for impeding Nico Hülkenberg’s Force India in Q1.

Following on from the extremely tight Q2, predicting a pole-sitter was anybody’s guess. That is why Vettel’s superb lap time of 1:38.086, four tenths of a second quicker than Hamilton, came as such a surprise. The Red Bull man now hopes to convert a third successive Valencia pole into as many race victories since 2010. Behind, Hamilton confirmed that the front row is the same as that in Montreal two weeks ago, but admitted that he expected worse.

Maldonado looked to have spoiled his chances by running wide at the final corner, but recovered on his final lap to miss out on second place by just 65 thousandths of a second; on the other hand, Paul di Resta made the same qualifying mistake as last year, throwing away a very good chance of a front row placing and ending up tenth, behind Jenson Button. Positions six to eight are occupied by Nico Rosberg, Kobayashi and Hülkenberg, but Lotus have been tipped for success all week-long and start fourth and fifth - with Grosjean ahead of Räikkönen.

Sebastian Vettel’s third pole position of 2012 leaves him joint third in the all-time rankings, matching former Champions Jim Clark and Alain Prost on 33 poles. Only Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna now remain ahead of him in the record books.


Sunday’s 2012 European Grand Prix begins at 2pm local time (BST +1) and begins can also be tracked through the interactive GPUpdate.net Live Report

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Saturday 24 June 2017

  2. Video: Bizarre WTCC crash into fire truck 17:44

    Video: Bizarre WTCC crash into fire truck

    Tom Coronel crashes into a fire truck at the Portuguese round of the World Touring Car Championship.

    Misc
  3. Rowland demoted to seventh after penalty 17:06

    Rowland demoted to seventh after penalty

    DAMS driver Oliver Rowland has been handed a time penalty after he failed to slow sufficiently for yellow flags during the…

    F2
  4. 17:02

    Latest Formula 1 photos: Saturday in Baku

    F1
  5. Stroll: Set-up key to improved Baku display 16:50

    Stroll: Set-up key to improved Baku display

    Williams rookie Lance Stroll says that reverting to an older set-up is one of the main reasons behind his so far confident…

    F1
  6. Alonso: Rivals think we're on slow-down laps 16:49

    Alonso: Rivals think we're on slow-down laps

    Fernando Alonso believes McLaren-Honda's speed deficit is so pronounced that his rivals think he is on a slow lap when he is…

    F1
  7. Verstappen: P3 possible without problems 16:03

    Verstappen: P3 possible without problems

    Red Bull driver Max Verstappen reckons technical glitches cost him third on the grid for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, describing a…

    F1
  8. Vettel: 'No excuses' over worst 2017 Q3 15:51

    Vettel: 'No excuses' over worst 2017 Q3

    Championship leader Sebastian Vettel accepts there are "no excuses" over his worst qualifying result of the campaign, though…

    F1
  9. Hamilton: Last gasp effort 'all or nothing' 15:32

    Hamilton: Last gasp effort 'all or nothing'

    Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton described his pole position lap as an "all or nothing" effort as he overhauled team-mate Valtteri…

    F1
  10. 15:15

    In full: Azerbaijan GP qualifying results

    F1
  11. Hamilton beats Bottas to Azerbaijan pole 15:14

    Hamilton beats Bottas to Azerbaijan pole

    Lewis Hamilton delivered another stunning qualifying performance to claim pole position for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, ahead of…

    F1
  12. 14:00

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Assen

    MotoGP
  13. Zarco edges Márquez for maiden pole 13:58

    Zarco edges Márquez for maiden pole

    Tech 3 rookie Johann Zarco claimed his maiden MotoGP pole position during a wet qualifying session for the Dutch Grand Prix at…

    MotoGP
  14. Palmer out of qualifying after practice fire 13:56

    Palmer out of qualifying after practice fire

    Jolyon Palmer has been ruled out of qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Palmer ground to a halt early in final…

    F1
  15. 13:42

    Follow qualifying for the Azerbaijan GP!

    F1
  16. 12:08

    Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Full Practice 3 results

    F1
  17. Bottas on top, Vettel, Verstappen hit trouble 12:04

    Bottas on top, Vettel, Verstappen hit trouble

    Valtteri Bottas set the pace during Saturday's final practice session for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, ahead of Kimi Räikkönen…

    F1
  18. 11:10

    Latest Formula 2 photos: Saturday at Baku

    F2
  19. Leclerc extends lead with commanding win 11:09

    Leclerc extends lead with commanding win

    Prema' Charles Leclerc took his third win of the Formula 2 season in the Baku Feature Race to extend his championship lead to 22…

    F2
  20. Mercedes' Russell given Hungary test 10:43

    Mercedes' Russell given Hungary test

    Mercedes protégé George Russell will carry out in-season testing for the manufacturer in Hungary. Russell joined Mercedes…

    F1
  21. 10:43

    Follow final practice for the Azerbaijan GP!

    F1
  22. Alonso's grid penalty now up to 40 places 10:31

    Alonso's grid penalty now up to 40 places

    McLaren-Honda has confirmed that Fernando Alonso's grid penalty for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix is now up to 40 places, after…

    F1
  23. Video: Kanaan Visor Cam at Road America 10:16

    Video: Kanaan Visor Cam at Road America

    Ride onboard with Tony Kanaan during IndyCar practice for the Kohler Grand Prix at Road America.

    Indy
  24. Redding tops wet third session at Assen 09:54

    Redding tops wet third session at Assen

    Pramac's Scott Redding clocked the quickest time during a rain-hit third practice session for the Dutch Grand Prix at…

    MotoGP
  25. Kerb shortened at Turn 8 after incidents 09:39

    Kerb shortened at Turn 8 after incidents

    Modifications have been made at and around Turn 8 of the Baku City Circuit after incidents during Friday practice for the…

    F1
  26. Renault's Baku gains worth 0.2s per lap 09:32

    Renault's Baku gains worth 0.2s per lap

    Renault's engine upgrades introduced for this weekend's Azerbaijan Grand Prix have led to a gain of 0.2s per lap, according to…

    F1
  27. Boullier: McLaren/Honda friction exaggerated 08:04

    Boullier: McLaren/Honda friction exaggerated

    McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier says that the "friction" between the team and power unit partner Honda has been…

    F1
  28. Sauber hopes to announce new boss 'soon' 07:12

    Sauber hopes to announce new boss 'soon'

    Sauber should be in a position to announce a new Team Principal "soon", following Monisha Kaltenborn's exit, according to Team…

    F1
  29. Video of the Day: Dixon meets young fan 05:38

    Video of the Day: Dixon meets young fan

    Scott Dixon visits a young fan, called Lucy, who wrote him a letter after his accident at the Indy 500.

    Indy
  30. Friday 23 June 2017

  31. 17:32

    Latest Formula 1 photos: Friday in Baku

    F1
  32. Hamilton says he has 'lots of work to do' 17:23

    Hamilton says he has 'lots of work to do'

    Lewis Hamilton says he and Mercedes have "lots of work to do" following a difficult first day of practice for the Azerbaijan…

    F1
  33. Verstappen describes 'very weird' crash 16:56

    Verstappen describes 'very weird' crash

    Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has labelled his crash in the closing stages of Friday's second practice session for the…

    F1
  34. Renault rejects Kubica Italy FP1 rumours 16:31

    Renault rejects Kubica Italy FP1 rumours

    Renault Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul has shot down rumours linking Robert Kubica to a Friday practice outing at September's…

    F1
  35. 16:10

    Latest Formula 2 photos: Friday in Baku

    F2
  36. Leclerc dedicates F2 pole to late father 15:58

    Leclerc dedicates F2 pole to late father

    Formula 2 championship leader Charles Leclerc dedicated his pole position for the Baku Feature Race to his father, Hervé, who…

    F2
  37. 15:36

    Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Full Practice 2 results

    F1
  38. Verstappen fastest in FP2 before crashing 15:34

    Verstappen fastest in FP2 before crashing

    Red Bull driver Max Verstappen again set the pace during second practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, before crashing out at…

    F1
  39. 14:19

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Assen

    MotoGP
  40. Viñales moves ahead in second practice 14:10

    Viñales moves ahead in second practice

    Championship leader Maverick Viñales vaulted to the top of the times during the second practice session for the Dutch Grand…

    MotoGP
  41. 13:44

    Follow second practice for the Azerbaijan GP!

    F1
  42. Red Bull rules out signing Alonso for '18 13:26

    Red Bull rules out signing Alonso for '18

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has ruled out signing Fernando Alonso, insisting that both Daniel Ricciardo and Max…

    F1
more news