British Bull Dog ?

Formula One 2010 Rd.3 Malaysian GP: Mark Webbe...

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Not a noticeably doggish performance then as Red Bull lock out the front row for this weekend’s 2011 British Grand Prix despite challenges from Ferrari and the rule book. So much for the changes which should have held them back by banning the use of exhaust gases in managing aerodynamics. For the cognoscenti, this was a restriction permitting only 10% of off-throttle exhaust gases to be run through the diffuser. The performance was almost routine until you dig into the detail, with Mark Webber eclipsing his normally dominant teammate Vettel by 3 hundredths of a second, to snaffle pole position for today’s race. Ferrari’s Alonso was so close – third by only a tenth of a second, confirming that the Spaniard and the Prancing Horse are well within sight of the usual lockout by Red Bull.

“We are quite happy. Tomorrow, anything can happen. I think this circuit is quite tough on tyres, so we see what we get tomorrow.” – Sebastian Vettel

This leading group is over half a second in front of Ferrari also-ran Massa, and the McLaren of Jenson Button, back on home turf (Hamilton’s woes continuing as he managed to scrape onto the grid in 10th – clearly off his game). Bodes poorly for a home win at Silverstone. Revealing my McLaren bias, perhaps the British weather will throw a well-aimed spanner into the Renault engine – but it is hard to take anything away from either a brilliant Red Bull team, or the charging Alonso in a resurgent Ferrari.

Qualifying results (courtesy of the FIA) :

1 Mark Webber RBR-Renault
2 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari
5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes
6 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes
7 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth
8 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari
9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
10 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
11 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes
12 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari
13 Michael Schumacher Mercedes
14 Vitaly Petrov Renault
15 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth
16 Nick Heidfeld Renault
17 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault
18 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari
19 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari
20 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth
21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault
22 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth
23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth
24 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth