Qualifying – Oops Vettel Does it again!!!

The Formula One fraternity will line-up for round four of 19 expected at the Shanghai International Circuit for the 2010 Chinese Grand Prix. Formula One has been racing at Shanghai since 2004, with the first event being won by Rubens Barrichello in a Ferrari. Although five of the previous six winners (minus Kimi Raikkonen – 2007) will line-up for Sunday’s event, no driver has ever won this event twice.

The track was build in 18 months on swampland in the shape of a Chinese Symbol and designed by F1 track designer Hermann Tilke. Most estimate that this is the most expensive Formula 1 circuit ever built – $240 million. The circuit is nearly 30 km outside of Shanghai and has the capacity to hold over 200,000 spectators, but has never been close to being sold out. Heading into this weekend, organizers were covering major portions of the grandstands to hide the aluminum that has become an embarrassment.

After a number of wet races, the track drainage system has been dramatically improved for 2010. And it appears that that new system will be tested during Sunday’s race.

The winning driver of the 2010 Chinese Grand Prix will complete 56 laps around the 16-turn 5.451km circuit for a total of 305.066km. Turns one through four are treacherous to start a race with a significantly decreasing radius that lures drivers into unimaginable lunges. While the track also has a banked entry onto the final long straight which will make for opportunities for those cars with F-duct systems. (F-duct systems change the flow of wind to the rear wing allowing for significant speed increases in a straight line).

The defending winner will be Red Bull F1 driver & 2010 pole sitter Sebastian Vettel who cruised to his front running position by over two tenths of a second. His teammate Mark Webber will start along-side. This is the second front-row lock-out by the Red Bull (F-duct-less) boys, and the team’s fourth straight Pole this season. Though their dominance in qualifying has not produced any sort of respect on race day. Vettel has just one win (Malaysian Grand Prix) in 2010 and is third in the F1 drivers points standings.

Lining-up third will be Fernando Alonso who snuck out a win at the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix. Alonso won the Chinese Grand Prix in a Renault in 2005.

The extraordinary 2010 season Nico Rosberg continues to be over-shadowed by pundits who would rather ridicule Michael Schumacher than recognize Rosberg’s amazing accomplishments. The Mercedes driver will start fourth, and is just fifth in the points standings – just four from the lead.

2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button will start on the clean side of the circuit in fifth, and will be looking for his first Chinese win. Lining up next to Button on Row Three will be his McLaren teammate and 2008 F1 World Drivers title Lewis Hamilton who won the Chinese Grand prix that same year.

Ferrari driver Felipe Massa is leading the 2010 points standings, but has never won in China. He’ll start seventh in the same row with Renault’s Robert Kubica who has been finding his way to the front in a car that has mid-field written all over it.

The aforementioned Michael Schumacher won the Chinese Grand Prix, attempted to qualify with the Mercedes version of the F-duct system, but will start ninth. He was out-qualified by his quicker teammate by near seven tenths of a second. Adrian Sutil will fill out Row 5.

Heading into tomorrow’s race, the prediction should be pretty clear as long as Webber can get a good jump on Fernando Alonso, we would expect Sebastian Vettel to cruise to victory in the sun or the rain.

But if Alonso can get past Webber and exit Turn four in second place, the Ferrari driver may be able to put enough pressure on Vettel and his fragile Red Bull that Alonso could sneak out another win before the F1 series returns to Europe. But the Alonso’s car hasn’t been much better having blown two engines in four race weekends, with penalties looming when he will most need those positions late in the season to challenger for the title.

We expect another exciting Grand Prix after a somewhat slow start to the season. Enjoy the race!

2010 Chinese GP: Formula One Qualifying Results
Pos No Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1 5 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:36.317 1:35.280 1:34.558
2 6 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:35.978 1:35.100 1:34.806
3 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:35.987 1:35.235 1:34.913
4 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:35.952 1:35.134 1:34.923
5 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:36.122 1:35.443 1:34.979
6 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:35.641 1:34.928 1:35.034
7 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:36.076 1:35.290 1:35.180
8 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1:36.348 1:35.550 1:35.364
9 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:36.484 1:35.715 1:35.646
10 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:36.671 1:35.665 1:35.963
11 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:36.664 1:35.748
12 17 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:36.618 1:36.047
13 16 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:36.793 1:36.149
14 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:37.031 1:36.311
15 23 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:37.044 1:36.422
16 10 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:37.049 1:36.647
17 22 Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:37.050 1:37.020
18 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:37.161
19 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:39.278
20 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:39.399
21 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:39.520
22 25 Lucas Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:39.783
23 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:40.469
24 20 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:40.578

Courtesy : http://paddocktalk.com/news/html/story-133378.html

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