Saturday, June 26, 2010

Vettel Jets to European GP Pole; Ferrari Strong, Mercedes GP Falters

Photo Credit: Mercedes GP

Landing back in Europe after a one-race trip, the 2010 Formula 1 tour leaves North America after running the Canadian Grand Prix where the Red Bull Racing team lost some of their recent magic For some of the Formula 1 teams, the Valencia track is a form of homecoming to their efforts in 2010. Renault F1, Ferrari, Williams and Mercedes GP logged shake-down laps around the Spanish race track at the beginning of the year as they ironed out bugs from their 2010 packages. As more than half the 2010 grand prix season is now a memory, teams only need to look at the last race to establish their standing on the world open-wheel tour.

Proceeding with the 9th qualifying session of the 2010 Formula 1 season, Red Bull Racing stands unseated from a streak where team drivers captured 7 straight grand prix poles as Lewis Hamilton broke through in Canada with his McLaren-Mercedes. Arriving on the 3.367 mile track of Valencia saw a stronger Red Bull Racing team show up evident in final practice on Saturday. In qualifying for the European Grand Prix, the Red Bull-Renaults prevailed supreme again as Sebastian Vettel took pole through the session thanks to a 1 minute, 37.587 second lap time. Another Red Bull Racing 1-2, Mark Webber was 0.075 seconds slower than his teammate in the latest inner-team rivalry between Webber and Vettel.

After being a bit nervous about their speed in the season opening round of Bahrain, McLaren F1 has revealed themselves to be better than pre-season expectation. Lewis Hamilton backed up his victory in the Canadian Grand Prix with a close 3rd place qualifying effort in the European Grand Prix. Also showing a strong effort at Bahrain Grand Prix, Ferrari rested with a question mark on their 2010 season following several inconsistent runs. At Valencia, native Spaniard Fernando Alonso pleased his country's fan placing 4th tomorrow just ahead of fellow Ferrari runner Felipe Massa.

For another race, the factory Mercedes GP team continues to struggle for qualifying speed. Rosberg summed up the lackluster effort of the Formula 1 team saying "There was just no more performance to get out of the car. We had a few issues this morning so we had to make a compromise on our upgrade package and that made the difference of being in the top ten." Starting the season as a podium-contending team within the framework of the former Brawn GP organization, the Mercedes GP team have been losing ground as the season has progressed. Resurgent efforts from Renault, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing could be contributing to the fallback of the revived 'Silver Arrows' team. For the European Grand Prix, both Mercedes GP cars broke into the Q3 session as Nico Rosberg starts 12th while Michael Schumacher is found in 15th place.

The start of the 2010 European Grand Prix will commence at 8:00 A.M. Eastern Time on TSN or Speed channel.

2010 Formula 1

European Grand Prix

Starting Grid

1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault
3. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari
5. Felipe Massa Ferrari
6. Robert Kubica Renault F1
7. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes
8. Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth
9. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth
10. Vitaly Petrov Renault
11. Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari
12. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP
13. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes
14. Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes
15. Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP
16. Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari
17. Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari
18. Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari
19. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth
20. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth
21. Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth
22. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth
23. Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth
24. Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth

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