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Singapore 2009: Qualifying Live Notes

Singapore 2009: Qualifying Live Notes

With only four races to go the 2009 Formula One Championship is heating up to a grand finale in around six weeks time. right now though, the circus is in downtown Singapore and dealing with artificial light and strange sleeping schedules as the sport enjoys it’s second night race. Qualifying is as important as ever and Jenson Button will be desperate to get ahead of his main championship rival and team mate, Rubens Barrichello*. Here are the notes taken from qualifying as the session unfolds before our eyes.

More information on the Marina Bay Street Circuit can be found on BlogF1’s sister site, Google Circuits, including a map of the track and results from last year’s race.

Build-Up

  • *Rubens Barrichello has changed his gear box. Following a near-stall in Belgium, there were concerns about the box but amazingly it survived Monza. However, the Brawn team have just changed it and therefore Barrichello will now take a 5-place grid penalty no matter where he qualifies in an hour’s time.
  • Jenson Button has been complaining about the balance of his car, so perhaps Brawn aren’t looking as great as I initially thought.
  • Concerns over Romain Grosjean have been allayed. The French pilot was ill earlier in the week and Renault were preparing an alternative pilot. Thankfully, Grosjean is driving this weekend, although he has had to learn the track and hasn’t been setting the track alight in free practice.

Q1

  • FIS out early.
  • ALG out early
  • SUT out early.
  • Ferrari saying FIS struggling with braking and may not get out of Q1.
  • GRO ran off track on his outlap. Managed to recover and doesn’t appear to have damaged the car.
  • GRO says on the radio he has no brakes.
  • FIS sets opening lap: 51.028.
  • ALG immediately beats FIS: 50.169
  • RAI: 49.905
  • BUE: 49.078
  • BUT: 48.632
  • WEB: 49.123
  • BAR: 47.939
  • KOV: 48.473
  • VET: 48.168
  • ROS: 47.636
  • HAM: 47.241
  • VET improves: 47.541
  • BUT: 47.559
  • KOV flying in S2.
  • KOV: 47.542
  • ALG improves but still in dropzone.
  • LIU, GRO, ALG, HEI, TRU in dropzone currently.
  • HAM improves his own fastest time: 46.977.
  • GRO P12, but still may not be enough.
  • RAI and FIS, P14 and P15.
  • RAI on super soft tyres already.
  • RAI up in S1.
  • RAI down in S2 by 0.2s.
  • RAI: 47.293, P2.
  • HEI: 47.347, P3.
  • KUB: 47.615, P8.
  • SUT improves.
  • ALO improves.
  • TRU improves.
  • BAR: Was P15. Now P6 with 47.397.
  • SUT: Was in the dropzone in P16. Still in P16.
  • LIU, GRO, FIS, ALG, SUT out.

Q2

  • VET out early.
  • BUT, BAR and RAI also on track.
  • BUT says inside unloaded wheel-spin on acceleration.
  • VET: 51.995
  • BUT: 47.412
  • BUE: 48.233
  • BAR: 47.126
  • WEB: 47.030
  • ROS: 46.197
  • KOV: 46.842
  • HAM: 46.657
  • GLO: 46.707
  • VET: 46.642
  • ALO waiting and will only do one run.
  • ALO: On track now.
  • ALO could squeeze in another run actually.
  • HEI: 46.832
  • Brundle has decided to call that corner “Piquet’s Corner”.
  • ALO: P5 with 46.767
  • RAI: Made errors and managed a 47.954. May have backed off despite having enough time for another run.
  • BUT: Didn’t improve. P11.
  • BAR: Backed off as well, but has another run. He ran wide at T10.
  • KUB: 46.813. P6.
  • VET: 46.362. P2.
  • BAR: 46.787. P6 and in.
  • WEB: 46.328. P2.
  • TRU, BUE, RAI, BUT, NAK out.
  • BAR apparently has floor damage from when he ran wide over the kerbs on his penultimate lap.

Q3

  • ROS and VET out early.
  • All out with the exception of HAM.
  • All out on track now.
  • ROS: 48.348
  • VET: 48.204
  • BAR: 48.828
  • WEB: 48.722
  • KOV: 49.778
  • HAM: 47.891
  • HAM timing it to be the last to set a time.
  • BAR: Hit the wall. Damaged front-left tyre.
  • Red Flag.
  • Qualifying is over.
  • HAM on pole.

Oliver White

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