Mark Webber Takes Pole In Session Dominated By Red Bull


Mark Webber took pole position from his teammate Sebastian Vettel in the final moments of qualifying for tomorrow's Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.

Red Bull dominated the session, with Vettel's lap time over a second faster than that of third place man Lewis Hamilton. Home favourite Fernando Alonso will start alongside his old teammate in fourth. Jenson Button qualified fifth.

Michael Schumacher out-qualified Nico Rosberg for the first time this season and will start tomorrow's race sixth. Robert Kubica was also ahead of Rosberg who could only manage eighth. Felipa Massa and Kamui Kobayashi make up the top ten.

Red Bull and Mark Webber signalled their pole position intentions right from the start. Webber set the fastest lap time of Q1 with Vettel was second, while Hamilton came third just ahead of his teammate.

Rubens Barrichello was the surprise casualty of Q1, going out of qualifying with the drivers from the three new teams. Trulli and Kovalainen were 19th and 20th for Lotus Racing, qualifying comfortably ahead of the other new teams but in no way troubling the teams in front.

The Virgin Racing cars of Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi qualified on the next row, but both face 5-place grid penalties after the team were late in informing the FIA of their gear ratios. Karun Chandhok finished ahead of his teammate Bruno Senna, but the Indian also faces a grid penalty after the gearbox in his HRT needed changing.

Webber and Vettel again showed their domination in Q2, while Button got the better of his teammate this time as McLaren were third and fourth again. There were no big surprises in bottom seven this time, although Adrian Sutil will be disappointed to only have qualified eleventh.

Pedro de la Rosa will start alongside Sutil's Force India on the sixth row while Nico Hulkenberg out-qualified his unfortunate teammate by taking the 13th spot. Vitaly Petrov took 14th but is another driver punished with a five-place grid penalty for changing his gear box. Sebastien Buemi, Jaime Alguersuari, and Tonio Liuzzi, who qualified just behind Petrov, will be among the drivers who benefit from the Russian's penalty. Kamui Kobayashi did well to get his Sauber into Q3.

There was an incident in pit lane during P3 involving the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso and the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg. Rosberg was minding his own business, heading down the pit lane, when the home favourite flew out of the garage, not looking where he was going, straight into Rosberg's path. The German was forced to swerve in the pit lane, almost tagging the pit wall with his Mercedes.

Meanwhile, on the track, the fight for pole position was a private battle between the two Red Bull drivers, who had more than a second-a-lap advantage over the rest of the field. Vettel crossed the line first, but Webber responded with time of 1:19.995, one tenth faster than his young German teammate.

Michael Schumacher was the last runner to cross the line, but could only take sixth place after a poor first sector on his final flying lap. He was still faster than his teammate though, as he was in all three practice sessions this weekend.

This race has been won by the pole-sitter for the last nine seasons. However, no driver starting on pole position this season has won a race. One of these streaks will be ended tomorrow, and Mark Webber will be hoping it will be the latter.

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