• Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying

Webber grabs pole for dominant Red Bull

ESPNF1 Staff
May 21, 2011

Mark Webber will start from pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix after pipping his Red Bull team-mate to the top spot in qualifying for the first time this season.

Webber, who took pole and the win at Barcelona last year, found a margin of 0.2 seconds over Vettel, although the latter set his lap without the use of KERS. Both Red Bulls used just two sets of the soft tyres over the three qualifying sessions, leaving a completely fresh set for the race on Sunday when degradation is expected to be high.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton took third on the same tyre strategy but was nearly a full second adrift of Webber's Red Bull. He also locked up his left front tyre into turn 10 on his hot lap, which means he will have to start the race with a flat spot. He was just 0.035 seconds faster than team-mate Jenson Button, but somehow Ferrari's Fernando Alonso managed to split the two McLarens at the end of the session to take fourth.

The jubilant Alonso was 0.003 seocnds off Hamilton's time as Ferrari appears to have closed its gap to McLaren over one-lap since Turkey two weeks ago. However, the Spaniard used all three sets of his soft tyres over the qualifying hour while both McLarens still have a fresh set available for the race.

Vitaly Petrov snuck into sixth with a good lap in the Renault ahead of Nico Rosberg's Mercedes and Felipe Massa's Ferrari. Williams' Pastor Maldonado produced his best qualifying performance of the season in ninth, while Michael Schumacher did not set a time in Q3 and will start 10th.

Sebastian Buemi will start 11th in the Toro Rosso ahead of Sergio Perez's Sauber, his team-mate Jaime Alguersuari and Kamui Kobayashi in the second Sauber. Lotus' Heikki Kovalainen impressed by taking 15th on the grid, although the two Force Indias behind him did not attempt a soft tyre lap in Q2, opting to save rubber for the race.

Rubens Barrichello went out in Q1 thanks to a gearbox problem that prevented him from attempting a soft tyre lap and saw him qualify behind the two Lotuses. Nick Heidfeld will start from the back of the grid because of a fire in final practice which meant his car did not get out in time to complete a lap. HRT closed the gap to rivals Virgin with both Tonio Liuzzi and Narain Karthikeyan 0.5 seconds off Timo Glock and ahead of Jerome d'Ambrosio.