Wickens clinches second Spanish pole

Wickens clinches second Spanish pole

31 October 2009 – Robert Wickens has taken a second pole position in Barcelona ahead of Sunday's season finale at the Circuit de Catalunya. Having already driven to the top spot ahead of the first race on Saturday, the Canadian will start alongside Champion and crowd favourite Andy Soucek for the final encounter of the season.

A brief shower in the morning meant the track continued to dry and improve as the session wore on. Mikhail Aleshin made the most of the early conditions, dominating the opening ten minutes and bettering his own provisional pole time on three occasions.

Tobias Hegewald, Robert Wickens and Philipp Eng remained in close proximity to Aleshin, whilst De Marco and Jack Clarke both recovered from spins during an early flying lap.

Almost every car pitted for new tyres with a little over ten minutes remaining and the session would develop into a dramatic final dash for pole. Aleshin was the first to complete a flying lap on fresh rubber and the 22-year-old immediately improved to set a 1:38.470 lap time - the quickest of the weekend so far. The decision to come out early seemed to have cost Aleshin, however, as Soucek bettered the Red Bull-backed driver just a few moments later.

Almost every driver improved their times late on as De Marco, Hegewald and Kazim Vasiliauskas moved into fourth, fifth and sixth respectively. Wickens was the last man to bolt on new tyres and make a final attempt for pole, and the Canadian timed it perfectly to set a phenomenal time of 1:38.096 and clinch his fifth pole of the season.

"I am delighted," said Wickens. "It goes to show that the championship wasn't lost through my lack of speed. Since Donington Park the championship has been out of reach and since then I have just been trying to maintain second. It's good coming into the weekend with a nine point advantage and a win this afternoon will clinch it for me. I went for an aggressive strategy in qualifying and took my third pole position in a row, which is pretty good!"

Several drivers made another attempt on their second lap but none of the notable front-runners improved, as Soucek and Eng held on to take second and third.

"It reminds me a lot of Valencia when Robert took two pole positions and I couldn't get him," noted Soucek. "This time it is a lot closer however, I have much better pace and I'm sure I can challenge for the win."

"It was quite a crazy session actually," said Eng. "I had a lot of traffic on my second lap which would have been even quicker, but to finish just behind Robert and Andy is a good result."

Aleshin had been bumped down to seventh at the finish, ahead of further impressive runs from debutant Tristan Vautier and Indian pilot Armaan Ebrahim.

Julien Jousse rounded out the top ten although the Frenchman encountered traffic on his final run, as both Pietro Gandolfi and Jens Hoing were ahead of him on the track.

Jason Moore and Jolyon Palmer again showed well as the two young British drivers improved to take 11th and 12th - a fitting way of ending qualifying in their first campaign of international racing.

Mirko Bortolotti and Miloš Pavlovic; are still in the race for second and third in the championship, and the prize of qualification for an FIA Superlicense, but their hopes were seriously dented in qualifying two. The pair could only manage 13th and 14th, ahead of a spirited run from Natacha Gachnang.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Sunday 25 June 2017

  2. King excluded for tyre pressure infringement 21:21

    King excluded for tyre pressure infringement

    MP Motorsport driver Jordan King has been excluded from the results of the Formula 2 Sprint Race in Baku. King classified in…

    F2
  3. Dixon holds off Newgarden at Road America 20:37

    Dixon holds off Newgarden at Road America

    Scott Dixon held off a charging Josef Newgarden to win his first race of 2017 at Road America on Sunday. He had taken the lead…

    Indy
  4. Pérez: SFI was in position to take win 20:25

    Pérez: SFI was in position to take win

    Force India's Sergio Pérez believes he would have been in a position to triumph at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, had he not…

    F1
  5. 18:38

    Latest Formula 1 photos: Sunday in Baku

    F1
  6. Bottas 'never gave up' on recovery drive 18:36

    Bottas 'never gave up' on recovery drive

    Valtteri Bottas says his recovery from the back of the field to second position in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix showed the…

    F1
  7. Alonso: Podium, perhaps victory possible 17:47

    Alonso: Podium, perhaps victory possible

    Fernando Alonso reckons he could have won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with a more competitive car, as a dramatic afternoon…

    F1
  8. Stroll stunned by maiden Formula 1 podium 17:42

    Stroll stunned by maiden Formula 1 podium

    Williams rookie Lance Stroll expressed bewilderment as he captured his maiden Formula 1 podium finish during a wild Azerbaijan…

    F1
  9. Vettel: Hamilton should have got penalty 17:11

    Vettel: Hamilton should have got penalty

    Sebastian Vettel heaped criticism on title rival Lewis Hamilton and stewards at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, believing the Briton…

    F1
  10. Hamilton: Vettel has 'disgraced himself' 17:03

    Hamilton: Vettel has 'disgraced himself'

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton believes title rival Sebastian Vettel "disgraced himself" with his conduct at the Azerbaijan…

    F1
  11. 'Giggling' Ricciardo stunned by Baku win 16:48

    'Giggling' Ricciardo stunned by Baku win

    Daniel Ricciardo admitted he was "giggling like a schoolboy" on the cool-down lap after he triumphed at a crazy Azerbaijan Grand…

    F1
  12. 16:16

    In full: Azerbaijan Grand Prix race results

    F1
  13. Ricciardo wins chaotic Azerbaijan GP 16:15

    Ricciardo wins chaotic Azerbaijan GP

    Daniel Ricciardo claimed his and Red Bull's first victory of the season in an action-packed Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which…

    F1
  14. 13:34

    Follow the Azerbaijan Grand Prix live!

    F1
  15. 13:02

    Starting grid for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

    F1
  16. Rossi ends win drought in Assen thriller 12:44

    Rossi ends win drought in Assen thriller

    Yamaha's Valentino Rossi captured his first MotoGP victory in over a year as he fended off Pramac rival Danilo Petrucci during a…

    MotoGP
  17. 12:26

    Latest Formula 2 photos: Sunday at Baku

    F2
  18. Nato takes Baku win after Leclerc penalty 12:25

    Nato takes Baku win after Leclerc penalty

    Norman Nato claimed Arden's first victory since 2012 as title leader Charles Leclerc was denied a Baku double victory due to a…

    F2
  19. 11:30

    Starting grid for the Dutch Grand Prix

    MotoGP
  20. Hamilton: Ferrari will 'be there' in race 10:16

    Hamilton: Ferrari will 'be there' in race

    Lewis Hamilton expects rival Ferrari to pose a challenge in race spec, despite Mercedes' sizeable one-lap advantage at the…

    F1
  21. Grosjean getting 'no feedback' from tyres 09:12

    Grosjean getting 'no feedback' from tyres

    Romain Grosjean says he is braced for a long race at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after struggling for pace throughout the weekend…

    F1
  22. Morbidelli seals MotoGP deal with Marc VDS 08:35

    Morbidelli seals MotoGP deal with Marc VDS

    Moto2 championship leader Franco Morbidelli will step up to the premier class with Marc VDS in 2018, the team has confirmed…

    MotoGP
  23. Zarco targets podium from maiden pole 08:06

    Zarco targets podium from maiden pole

    Johann Zarco says a podium finish is his goal for the Dutch Grand Prix, having captured his maiden premier class pole position…

    MotoGP
  24. Overview: Formula 1 qualifying battles 07:34

    Overview: Formula 1 qualifying battles

    As often highlighted: a Formula 1 driver's main reference point is their team-mate. Although race results and the final…

    F1
  25. Video of the Day: Ferrari's local greetings 05:32

    Video of the Day: Ferrari's local greetings

    Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen attempt a local message to fans from Azerbaijan.

    F1
  26. 01:46

    IndyCar photos: Qualifying at Road America

    Indy
  27. Castroneves claims 50th career pole 01:45

    Castroneves claims 50th career pole

    Hélio Castroneves captured the 50th pole of his long IndyCar career on Saturday in qualifying at Road America. The Brazilian…

    Indy
  28. Saturday 24 June 2017

  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. 17:02

    Latest Formula 1 photos: Saturday in Baku

    F1
  32. 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
  33. 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
  34. 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
  35. 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
  36. 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
  37. 15:15

    In full: Azerbaijan GP qualifying results

    F1
  38. 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
  39. 14:00

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Assen

    MotoGP
  40. 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
  41. 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
  42. 13:42

    Follow qualifying for the Azerbaijan GP!

    F1
more news