Photo: Omer Bin Ishaq
Sebastian Vettel does it! With pole in Abu Dhabi.
Mark Webber could not do it and only managed fifth place.
Lewis Hamilton puts his McLaren on the front row.
Fernando Alonso in perfect position with third on the grid.
“I think we are more or less in the same situation as we were two days ago before first practice,” he said. “We know the situation, we know the four contenders.
everything is on tomorrow’s race, anything can happen and we saw in last few events things changed – in Korea the Red Bulls were very strong and lost the race with mechanical issues, in Brazil we saw some problems with pitstops.
In the race anything can happen, we need to complete 55 laps without any problems. It will be a tough race, a long race, but we are in a position where we are very strong.
Obviously it was a tough qualifying for everyone, changing positions in Q2 and Q3, you never know how competitive you are until Q3 finishes.
The first attempt was not great, traffic in the first sector so I knew with the second tyres there was some potential to come so I pushed to the limit and third place is great.”
Pos Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3 1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m40.318s 1m39.874s 1m39.394s 2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.335s 1m40.119s 1m39.425s 3. Alonso Ferrari 1m40.170s 1m40.311s 1m39.792s 4. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.877s 1m40.014s 1m39.823s 5. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m40.690s 1m40.074s 1m39.925s 6. Massa Ferrari 1m40.942s 1m40.323s 1m40.202s 7. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m40.904s 1m40.476s 1m40.203s 8. Schumacher Mercedes 1m41.222s 1m40.452s 1m40.516s 9. Rosberg Mercedes 1m40.231s 1m40.060s 1m40.589s 10. Petrov Renault 1m41.018s 1m40.658s 1m40.901s 11. Kubica Renault 1m41.336s 1m40.780s 12. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m41.045s 1m40.783s 13. Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1m41.473s 1m40.914s 14. Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1m41.409s 1m41.113s 15. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1m41.015s 1m41.418s 16. Liuzzi Force India-Ferrari 1m41.681s 1m41.642s 17. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m41.707s 1m41.738s 18. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m41.824s 19. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1m43.516s 20. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1m43.712s 21. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m44.095s 22. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1m44.510s 23. Senna Hispania-Cosworth 1m45.085s 24. Klien Hispania-Cosworth 1m45.296s
Perez dominates Abu Dhabi feature race Mexican secures second in championship Sergio Perez crushed his rivals with an unmatched display of speed on his way to a dominant win in today’s feature race in Abu Dhabi, securing second place in the championship as he easily led the way home, greeting the chequered flag over twenty seconds ahead of Oliver Turvey and Sam Bird. The Mexican’s victory was set up when the lights went out: polesitter Turvey bogged down slightly as he got away, allowing Perez an easily line into the lead at turn one.
Teammate Davide Valsecchi was also slow to get away, handing Romain Grosjean a simple line inside and through for P4, which improved by one when Fabio Leimer and Turvey touched wheels at the first corner, with the Swiss driver coming off worse. Further back Giedo van der Garde and Jules Bianchi came together too: the Dutchman was left stranded on the outside of turn one, and when Adrian Zaugg also tipped into a spin a few corners later there was no choice but to bring out the safety car. Further back Bird was lying in tenth after an incredible start from P18 on the grid, and when teammate Bianchi and Max Chilton came together one lap after the restart the Briton was up to an amazing P6: the team made a sharp call into the pits on lap 6 to see what they could do to help. Back on track Luiz Razia was pushing Grosjean hard for third, while Dani Clos and Valsecchi were squabbling over the positions behind: the pit call for Bird was the right one, with his rivals losing time fighting as Bird flew in clear air after his stop. Razia, Valsecchi and Clos stopped together on lap nine, with Bird slotting in ahead of the Spaniard, and a left rear tyre problem for Grosjean at his stop a lap later gave him another free position.
At the front of the field Perez sailed serenely on, with Turvey unable to challenge and stopping for fresh rubber, with the Mexican finally coming in on lap 12. Champion elect Pastor Maldonado was the only man left to stop, but a message from the stewards stated that he was going to have to make a drive through too, ruining any chance of a fight for points.
A clearly annoyed Maldonado left his stops until the last few laps, but Perez wasn’t waiting around: he reclaimed the lead on track on lap 18 and was gone, while behind him Turvey drove a strong race for second. Razia and Valsecchi’s races started to unravel under the harsh sun as they were unable to contain the pace of Bird and Clos: the pair had a fierce battle for the final podium position, with the Briton holding on by less than a second. Valsecchi managed to hold on for fifth place ahead of a fast charging Grosjean, with Razia just hanging on in front of tomorrow’s poleman Josef Kral, who secured a splendid P8 on his return to the series.
Abu Dhabi. Defending champion Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal started the new season in style today, grabbing pole position for the opening round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi.
The Saudi driver, who won nine out of 12 rounds last season, was fastest in qualifying with a time of 2:15.447, edging out Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa, 2:15.620, the 2009-10 championship runner-up.
Teenager Fahad Algosaibi was third fastest in 2:16.320, with fellow Saudi Bandar Alesayi, 2:16.643, Abu Dhabi’s Khaled Al Qubaisi, 2:17.074, and Faisal Binladen, 2:17:871, completing the top six.
Dutch newcomer to the series, Oscar Slingerland, secured a top ten finish with the name of his team owner’s four-day old grand daughter, Karlijn, proudly displayed on the bonnet of his new Porsche GT3 Cup car inside a pink heart.
1. Abdulaziz Al Faisal (KSA) Al Faisal Racing Team 2:15.447
2. Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa (BAH) 2:15.620
3. Fahad Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing 2:16.320
4. Bandar Alesayi (KSA) 2:16.643
5. Khaled Al Qubaisi (UAE) tolimit Arabia 2:17.074
6. Faisal Binladen (KSA) Saudi Falcon Racing 2:17:871
7. Musaed Al Murar (UAE) tolimit arabia 2:18.887
8. Ibrahim Salloum (UAE) Abu Dhabi Falcon Racing 2:18.979
9. Oscar Slingerland (NL) Speedlover NL 2:23.223
10. Fawaz Algosaibi (KSA) ClassicArabia Racing 2:23.577