Red Bull reign over land of the sacred cow

October 27, 2012 2:43 pm

It was a frustrating day for Britain’s Paul Di Resta

You guessed it…qualifying for the Indian Grand Prix this weekend produced what seems to be the status quo for Formula One in 2012; Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber demolished their rivals yet again for a Red Bull one-two on the grid.

British duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button locked out row two on the startline for Mclaren, while Fernando Alonso claimed he was racing Adrian Newey, Red Bull’s design genius, rather than driver Vettel for the championship, casting an obvious slur on his rival’s perceived driving talent. He starts 5th with teammate Felipe Massa alongside him.

It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that a Red Bull would top the timesheets come the end of the qualifying hour, lest a serious problem halt them in their tracks, but Alonso will gain some pleasure after seeing a slight error from Vettel ruin his first attempt at pole. The German rectified the mistake, however, and bested Webber by less than a tenth for yet another pole position. Kimi Raikkonen, the outside contender for the world title, did nothing to improve his chances and starts a despondent 7th place ahead of Sergio Perez, Pastor Maldonado and Nico Rosberg, who completed the third qualifying session without setting a laptime.

Q2 took the usual harvest of midfield runners, with Romain Grosjean describing his day as simply ‘bad’ after qualifying 11th only just ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, the highest placed Force India on what was a disappointing afternoon for the team at their home race. Bruno Senna outqualified Michael Schumacher for 13th, with Daniel Ricciardo and Paul Di Resta close behind. Kamui Kobayashi was 17th with only Jean Eric Vergne in his Toro Rosso and the new teams of Caterham, Marussia and HRT behind him.

It seems normal service has been resumed; after a blistering start to the 2012 season, Red Bull are in the prime position to snatch 2012 glory. Tomorrow’s race will not be so reliant on tyre strategy, however, and that may give Button and Hamilton (in their slightly faster Mclaren cars) the chance to put one over on the Milton Keynes-based squad. Equally, Alonso will be ready to pounce if he has even the slightest sniff of victory, as the indomitable Spaniard refuses to admit his chances might be over.

If you want something to spice up your Sunday afternoon, then the Indian Grand Prix is the one to watch.

Anthony French

 

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