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Old 04-09-2011, 08:26 PM   #1
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Post McLaren, Red Bull go Head to Head During Malaysian GP Qualifying; Schumacher Edged Out

By Mike Lawrence, AutomotiveForums.com

During the first of three knock-out qualifying sessions at Sepang International Circuit in Kuala, Lampur, HRT Cosworth was determined to qualify fast enough to be eligible for the Malaysian Grand Prix Sunday afternoon after missing placement in the field for the Australian Grand Prix.

Seven-time world champion and Mercedes’ driver, Michael Schumacher, was also determined to make it into the second qualifying session, hoping to prove that he is still the excellent driver he once was.

The intensity was turned up during the second qualifying session as drivers were continuously shuffled around the order as they continued to improve their lap times. Schumacher, who had originally set his personal best lap at a time of 1:37.086, landing him in the sixth spot during the second qualifying session, was quickly moved back to eighth as other teams began to make a push to make it into the third and final qualifying session.


Photo Courtesy Motorsport-Magazin.com
Mercedes' Driver Michael Schumacher Fighting to make it into Q3

Schumacher’s teammate Nico Rosberg ended up edging him out of the 10 drivers who would advance to the third qualifying session.

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap time right out of the gate of the final qualifying session with a time of 1:35.00, hoping to prove McLaren could keep up with Red Bull Racing. In an effort to conserve tires, Red Bull waited to respond to McLaren’s pace.

Ferrari showed a commitment to tire conservation, running only one lap to qualify before the session was over, believing that the tire conservation would give them an edge over the McLaren and Red Bull teams. During the final lap of the qualifying session Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel challenged Hamilton’s performance with the fastest lap of the weekend, a blistering 1:34.870.

With less than one second separating the pace of the top five qualifiers, tomorrow’s race is expected to divide the hunters from the hunted. McLaren have their sights set on Red Bull, regaling to make up their 22.2 second loss to Vettel in the Australian Grand Prix.

When the green flag waves at 16:00 (04:00 a.m. EST/03:00 a.m. CST) local time Sunday afternoon, the battle of tire degradation and performance will be just one of the many battles fought. However, with rain in the forecast, tire degradation may be the least of the teams’ worries. Stay tuned for coverage of the 2011 Formula 1 Malaysia Grand Prix!

Here are the qualifying times for the Malaysian Grand Prix:



1. Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing 1:34.870
2. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1:34.974
3. Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing 1:35.179
4. Jenson Button (GBR) Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1:35.200
5. Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 1:35.802
6. Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP 1:36.124
7. Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro 1:36.251
8. Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Lotus Renault GP 1:36.324
9. Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team 1:36.809
10. Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber F1 Team 1:36.820
11. Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team 1:37.035
12. Sebastien Buemi (SUI) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:37.160
13. Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:37.347
14. Paul di Resta (SCO) Force India F1 Team 1:37.370
15. Rubens Barrichello (BRA) AT&T Williams 1:37.496
16. Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team 1:37.528
17. Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1 Team 1:37.593
18. Pastor Maldonado (VEN) AT&T Williams 1:38.276
19. Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Team Lotus 1:38.645
20. Jarno Trulli (ITA) Team Lotus 1:38.791
21. Timo Glock (GER) Marussia Virgin Racing 1:40.648
22. Jerome d''Ambrosio (BEL) Marussia Virgin Racing 1:41.001
23. Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) HRT F1 Team 1:41.549
24. Narain Karthikeyan (IND) HRT F1 Team 1:42.574
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