Today’s Chinese Grand Prix qualifying was fairly predictable but exciting nonetheless. Q1 was all about avoiding falling into the bottom 7 along with the 6 new cars who couldn’t really do anything to propel themselves out of that first session apart from hoping that as many of the established teams as possible experience some form of problem which halts their progress like in Malaysia where the weather played a massive part in qualifying.
The unlucky driver who occupied that last elimination spot of the 7 was Vizantonio Liuzzi. This was not a good result for him when you consider that his team mate Adrian Sutil qualified in the top 10. He cited traffic problems as the reason for his early departure, but in the end, traffic or not, it seems fairly obvious that Paul Di Resta is eyeing up that Force India drive and Liuzzi didn’t do himself any favours with this result.
In Q2, there weren’t really any huge surprises. Rubens Barrichello couldn’t quite make it through after he got bumped down by Michael Schumacher into 11th. In Q2, the depressingly under-performing Saubers, both Toro Rosso cars and the Williams of Niko Hulkenburg also went out along with the sole Renault of Vitaly Petrov.
Q3 was another similar story of Red Bull domination. This time on a dry track, the pair sealed a 1-2 start for tomorrows race. The McLarens, after looking very strong to challenge Red Bull and Ferrari were 5th and 6th, with Jenson ahead of Lewis despite the order being reversed for most of the weekend up to that point.
Fernando Alonso came in 3rd after Mark Webber and surprisingly, and clearly very disappointingly for McLaren, Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes was ahead of Jenson in 4th.
Massa was 7th, Robert Kubica continues to get what appears to be close to the most out of the Renault in 8th. Schumacher was 9th and Sutil rounded out the top 10.
The race should be good tomorrow. You would expect a Red Bull winner and possibly a 1-2 again, but we all know about Vettel’s reliability issues in particular, as well as Mark Webber’s plain bad luck and uncanny ability for things to go wrong in races.
McLaren will be dangerous along the straights and Ferrari will have strong race-pace if their engines hold out. It should be an intriguing race. Catch it tomorrow. Coverage starts on BBC1 in the UK at 7.00am.