• European Grand Prix - Qualifying

Vettel takes pole in Valencia

ESPNF1 Staff
June 26, 2010

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber locked out the front row of the grid at the European Grand Prix, as Red Bull resumed its qualifying dominance on the streets of Valencia.

Vettel's lap was faultless and pipped Webber by just 0.075 seconds, to take his first pole position since the Chinese Grand Prix and Red Bull's eighth in nine races. Hamilton was nearly 0.4 seconds adrift but could have got closer had it not been for a mistake on his final lap entering the turn 17 hairpin.

Home hero Fernando Alonso could only manage fourth place in the updated Ferrari, as he failed to get the most from a fresh set of soft tyres when it mattered. The F10 has been one of the quickest cars on the hard tyres this weekend and Alonso will be hoping he can get a good enough start to make the most of the car's long-run pace on Sunday. The second Ferrari of Felipe Massa will start just behind Alonso in fifth after a confidence boosting performance.

Robert Kubica also put in a very impressive lap, qualifying sixth fastest, just 0.6 seconds off the Red Bulls. Kubica had set the fastest time in Q1 and, like the two Ferraris ahead of him, will be looking forward to the first pit stops when he can bolt on the hard tyres and maximise the car's performance.

One man who failed to live up to expectations was Jenson Button who qualified well down the order in seventh. He locked his brakes heading into the final corner ruining his final sector time. After qualifying Martin Whitmarsh said that mistake probably cost him fourth place on the grid.

Behind Button the two Williams impressed, setting identical Q3 times to qualify eighth and ninth. Nico Hulkenberg will start ahead of Rubens Barrichello because he registered his lap first. The second Renault of Vitaly Petrov rounded out the top ten.

But those impressive performances proved costly for Mercedes, with both Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher registering their worst qualifying results of the season. Schumacher qualified 15th but it could have been worse as he came perilously close to dropping out of Q1 and was only saved by a last gasp, but very scruffy, lap. Rosberg was six tenths faster than his illustrious team-mate in 12th, but the failings of the car were evident as his time wasn't good enough to beat the Toro Rosso of Sebastien Buemi in 11th.

The Force Indias also failed to live up to expectations with Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi qualifying 13th and 14th. At the back of the grid Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen led the battle of the new teams and were over a second up on the Virgins and HRT.