Q1 started as expected with the cars doing their first times on Prime (hard) tyres at the start and towards the end of the session the boarderline drivers moving to the Option (soft) tyres to set better times. The Sky commentary particularly focused of Ferrari’s #2 man Felipe Massa who was one of the first to change to Options to get through to Q2! There was also an investigation of an incident between Pastor Maldonado and Heikki Kovalainen and after Kovalainen hinted at Maldonado obstructed him on a hot lap!
Drivers knocked out in Q1 were:
- Jean-Eric Vergne – 1:37.714
- Heikki Kovalainen – 1:38.463
- Vitaly Petrov – 1:38.667
- Timo Glock – 1:39.282
- Charles Pic – 1:39.717
- Pedro de la Rosa – 1:40.411
- Narain Karthikeyan – 1:41.000
Q2 was a tough struggle for a lot of the teams and Ferrari were no exception! Webber initially ran top of the board just ahead of both Mercedes. Massa was only three tenths off Alonso (who made it to Q1) but it was not his day though as Felipe’s three tenths put him qualifying 12th!
The final Q1 victors were Webber, Schumacher, Rosberg, Hamilton, Button, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Kobayashi, Perez and Alonso. Q1 was going to be interesting as all 10 were separated by just three tenths of a second!
Drivers knocked out in Q2 were:
- Sebastian Vettel – 1:36.031
- Felipe Massa – 1:36.255
- Pastor Maldonado – 1:36.283
- Brunno Senna – 1:36.289
- Paul Di Resta – 1:36.317
- Nico Hulkenberg – 1:36.745
- Daniel Ricciardo – 1:36.956
Kimi Räikkönen was first out for Q3 with his first lap being destroyed by Rosberg who set a 1:38.121 (the time he set for pole). We even heard Schumacher comment on Nico’s time as “nice” over the team radio!
Hamilton tried his best to beat Roseberg’s time but did not manage to top it putting him in second (plus a 5 spot penalty for a gearbox change). Schumacher managed to take the Mercedes superior straight line speed into a comfortable 3rd and Sauber man Kamui Kobayashi managed to pull a fine hot lap out of the bag last minute to grab fourth.
The final line up before Hamilton’s grid penalty is applied was:
- Nico Rosberg – 1:35.121
- Lewis Hamilton – 1:35.626
- Michael Schumacher – 1:35.691
- Kamui Kobayashi – 1:35,784
- Kimi Raikkonen – 1:35.898
- Jenson Buttonl – 1:36.191
- Mark Webber – 1:36.290
- Sergio Perez – 1:36.524
- Fernando Alonso – 1:36.622
- Romain Grosjean – No Time Set