McLaren MP4-24 at Valencia

Hamilton/McLaren on Pole for European Grand Prix

by F1Fan on August 22, 2009

Lewis Hamilton and his team mate Heiki Kovalainen locked up the top two starting grid positions for tomorrows European Grand Prix during qualifying today at the new Valencia road circuit in Spain.

Less than seven hundredths of a second covered the top three grid positions in a closely fought final qualifying session which saw Rubens Barrichello narrowly miss claiming pole position, and then being bumped to third when Kovalainen completed a blistering lap which would have been good enough for pole except for a small mistake in the final corner which cost him some time.

Rubens performance signals a return of performance to Brawn GP, the nature of the Valencia Circuit as a relatively high speed track and the high track temperature so far this weekend definitely suits the Brawn Chassis, Rubens performance is even more impressive with the release of the Post Qualifying car weights which give a good indication of fuel load for the race. Of the top six cars Rubens Barrichello was the heaviest with Jenson Button his team mate being only slightly lighter.

Romain Grosjean, replacement for Nelshino Piquet made a great showing for Renault in his first Formula One outing, making it into the Q2 qualifying session before being eliminated in stark contrast to Ferrari’s Luca Bodoer who was the slowest of the field by a large margin, it just goes to show that an experienced Test Driver will not necessarily have a good race pace.

BMW Sauber also had a much improved qualifying session ending up as 10th and 11th on the grid a massive improvement on recent Grand Prix races. The new light weight monocoque chassis and aero improvements introduced by the team at this race seem to be a large step in the right direction.

European Grand Prix Grid Position

Grid PositionDriver/TeamGrid PositionDriver/Team
1Hamilton/Mclaren2Kovalainen/Mclaren
3Barrichello/Brawn GP4Vettel/Red Bull Racing
5Button/Brawn GP6Raikkonen/Ferrari
7Rosberg/Williams8Alonso/Renault
9Webber/Red Bull Racing10Kubica/BMW Sauber
11Heidfeld/BMW Sauber12Sutil/Force India
13Glock/Toyota14Grosjean/Renault
15Buemi/Toro Rosso16Fisichella/Force India
17Nakajima/Williams18Trulli/Toyota
19Alguersuari/Toro Rosso20Badoer/Ferrari
Aug 22nd, 2009

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