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Barrichello Crash Affects Singapore Grand Prix Qualifying

by F1Fan on September 26, 2009

Rubens Barrichello crashed into the wall coming out of turn 5 during the Q3 qualifying session at Singapore, bringing out the red flag with just 26 seconds to go, prematurely ending qualifying for the Grand Prix.

Rubens crash effectively handed Lewis Hamilton the pole position, Hamilton had been quick in practice and the earlier qualifying sessions and had just posted a time fast enough to claim provisional pole, but was under real threat from Nico Rosberg in the Williams and Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull, who both had just posted personal best times for the first sector of the track when Rubens crashed.

Rosberg had already set fastest la in Q2, with Hamilton almost half a second slower, Weber and Vettel were also faster than Hamilton in Q2 so it looked like it was going to be a fight between Rosberg and Vettel for pole and possibly Rosberg’s best chance of claiming pole all season, but it wasn’t to be.

While Barrichello had already set a time fast enough to finish 5th in Q3 but he will be penalized 5 positions because the team had to replace his gearbox earlier during the weekend due to a problem that could be traced back to Rubens bad start at SPA two races ago.

Singapore qualifying was a disaster for Championship leader Jenson Button, not only qualify way slower than his team mate Barrichello, his other closest competitors Vettel and Weber both qualifying well and showing a real return of pace this weekend. Starting 12th on the grid is not what he was hoping for and he will need real luck to end up with a good result.

Ferrari’s return to pace seems to have run out with Raikkonen being eliminated in Q2 and Fisichella not even making it out of Q1. The Singapore street circuit does not seem to suit the Ferrari F60 and KERS does not seem to give any large advantage, at least not in Ferrari’s case.

Singapore Grand Prix Grid Position

Grid PositionDriver/TeamGrid PositionDriver/Team
1Hamilton/McLAren2Vettel/Red Bull Racing
3Rosberg/Williams4Weber/Red Bull Racing
7Heidfeld/BMW Sauber8Kubica/BMW Sauber
9Kovalainen/McLaren10Barrichello/Brawn GP
11Nakajima/Wiliams12Button/Brawn GP
13Raikkonen/Ferrari14Buemi/Toro Rosso
15Trulli/Toyota16Sutil/Force India
17Alguersuari/Toro Rosso18Fisichella/Ferrari
19Grosjean/Renault20Liuzzi/Force India
September 26th, 2009

Heidfeld and Kubica both showed good pace and qualified well ending up 7th and 8th on the grid, the latest modifications to the BMW Sauber car definitely seem to be working.

Tomorrow will be an interesting race and unless an accident takes out the front runners the drivers championship may get a lot closer at the top.

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