Quali

Wet Wonder Webber

Three for three. The charge of the Red Bull continues in Kuala Lumpur in qualifying for round three of the 2010 World Championship, the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix.

Heavy downpour was already falling by the time Robert Kubica led nine other drivers to start Q3. The session was red flagged before the end of the first timed lap, and Race Control announced “Indefinite delay”.

Michael Schumacher asked his Mercedes team for a seat change and Vettel was left wondering why his Red Bull was cold inside the cockpit despite a hot driver at the wheel.


When the spray had settled Webber’s gamble on intermediates paid off as he secured his second career pole position, a stunning 1.3 seconds faster than Nico Rosberg, who will start alongside on the front row in his Mercedes. More importantly, this is the third straight race in which he has out qualified his renowned “Rain Meister” teammate, Michael Schumacher.

The seven times world champion will start eighth alongside a very familiar face, Rubens Barrichello in his Williams.

Sebastian Vettel, the moral winner of the first two races, qualified third, same as last year at Sepang. His German compatriot Adrian Sutil will start fourth for Force India.

Starting fifth and making it four Germans in the top six of the grid, and in only his third F1 start is the next Willi Weber wunderkind, Nico Hulkenberg for Williams.

Robert Kubica, who was on the podium a week ago in Australia, will start sixth.

The top ten was completed by Kamui Kobayashi in a Sauber and the second Force India car of Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Could have been contenders. Three world champions, Button, Alonso and Hamilton, plus Massa, paid the price for staying in the pits for the first eight minutes of Q1. Their hopes for conditions to improve were drowned as the downpour intensified.

Button, winner of last year’s rain shortened Malaysian Grand Prix, will start 17th in his McLaren, behind the Virgin of Timo Glock.

Ferrari’s new signing Fernando Alonso, championship leader and winner of season opener in Bahrain, will start 19th, behind the Lotus of Jarno Trulli.

The second McLaren of Hamilton will start 20th ahead of the second Ferrari of Massa.

— Nasir Hameed

Showers in Sepang regards.