Glock hoping to run strongly in Malaysian race

Timo Glock believes that he can take alot of heart from his qualifying performance, after the German driver successfully made it through to Q2 for Virgin.

Glock will line up sixteenth for tomorrow’s race and believes that the team will be highly motivated, with rain giving the team a chance to pick up some points, if results go their way.

However, it was a challenging day for team-mate Luca di Grassi who had his session delayed after his team opted to change a fuel-filter between practice and qualifying. He will start twenty-fourth.

Timo Glock – 16th: “It’s been a very good weekend for us so far. We’ve had no real problems with the car and we’ve been able to do proper work during every session. Qualifying went quite smoothly considering the rain at the start of the session. It was critical to get out on time and my lap in Q1 was really good, getting me into Q2. It was good to see us do a better job than some of the top teams and as a result they will be starting behind us. Q2 wasn’t perfect though as we came in too early and that cost us the place against Heikki. In general though we have to be happy with what we have achieved today. It’s great for the team and there is now a lot of motivation for tomorrow. It looks like it could be a crazy race tomorrow, so we have to stay focused – and stay on the track – and we’ll see how it all ends.”

Lucas di Grassi – 24th: “Once more some problems affected us today and we had to rebuild parts of the car between free practice and qualifying. It was touch and go whether we would even get the car out at all for qualifying, but the mechanics did an incredible job and because of that we were able to do at least a couple of laps to make sure the car was working well. While it has been a disappointing day for me personally, it has been a good day for the team so we all have to be pleased for that. We look forward to the race tomorrow and hope that brings better things, including achieving our target of finishing our first race.”

Nick Wirth, Virgin technical director: “Today has been a great day for everyone involved in Virgin Racing – a clear step forward for the team. P3 this morning was yet another smooth session with both cars, during which we continued set-up work with encouraging results. Despite still not running qualifying fuel loads, it was nice to again demonstrate the underlying potential of this car and its unique design process. At the end of P3 we were unhappy with the consistency of fuel pressure on Lucas’ car and we elected to perform a very challenging fuel filter change before qualifying in order to maximise our chances on Sunday. Lucas’ crew did a great job in getting the car out to record at least some timed laps in Q1. I’m just sorry for Lucas that we didn’t get him out at the beginning of the session when the track was drier. Timo continued to demonstrate our potential in Q1 and whilst some of our more experienced competitors elected to stay in the garage at the optimum time, Timo made it through to Q2. The Q2 session was tricky. We were running with all our weather prediction services warning us of an imminent downpour, so unfortunately we ran our last set of Intermediates a little bit early, which costs us a place. Looking at our times from earlier today though, that won’t matter in the race.”

Webber makes perfect tyre call to take pole

Mark Webber judged the weather conditions perfectly to snatch pole for the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix.

While the rest of the remaining field opted for full wet weather tyres, ahead of the final segment of qualifying, the Australian decided to take a gamble and use the intermediate compound.

Ultimately this paid off as the 33-year-old set a blistering time to leave his nearest rivals seconds adrift.

Webber’s efforts meant that Sebastian Vettel’s run of pole positions was abruptly brought to an end. Despite this the German was pleased with his performance and expects to challenge for the victory from third on the grid.

Mark Webber – 1st: “It was tricky today. When you look at the amount of standing water there was in places during Q1 and Q2, trying to get everything right and a clear lap was difficult, especially as there is a fair difference in pace between some of the cars. My Q2 lap on intermediate tyres was a bit of a three point turn round Pedro (de la Rosa) and that was my quickest, so you knew you had to keep pushing; the conditions were changing so quickly. A few big names went out in the first session, which was a surprise, but it just goes to show how sensitive everything is to timing. The pole goes to Ciaron, my engineer, as he made the call for inters in Q3. I said have a look at the track, what do you think?’ and he said yeah let’s go for it’. It was tricky in places, in the last corner there was a bit of aquaplaning, but I kept it on the black stuff and got the job done.”

Sebastian Vettel – 3rd: “Good job to Mark today. It was very tricky at the start of Q3, there was a lot of water and it was the right thing to call the red flag – it was just impossible. I think there was too much water – the cars are quite low, so you end up swimming more than driving. In Q3 I think we did the right thing putting on extremes. The water disappeared quicker than the majority of people thought and Mark was on the better tyre in the end, but I think third is a good result for the team. It was a tricky session it was important to get into the next round and then qualify as high up as we could, which we did. It’s a shame as I had some moments on my fastest lap – I was close to Nico (Rosberg), only about one tenth off I think, but if you look back there wasn’t that much margin. I think we can be very pleased with third today and everything is possible tomorrow.”

Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal:“A very tricky qualifying, as there was a lot of opportunity to get it wrong rather than right, but both drivers kept cool heads, along with their engineers and car crews. In the end there was quite a lot of risk associated with splitting the strategy for the last run in Q3, but it was the right thing to do. The option of the intermediate tyre had a one lap window that Mark fully exploited and first and third is a great job from both drivers.”

Ferrari pay the price for late weather call

Stefano Domenicali has admitted that Ferrari made “an error of judgement” during the first segment of qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Both Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa had to settle for lowly grid slots, as the Italian team waited too long to attempt to set a quick lap in Q1 – paying the penalty as the weather worsened.

Fernando Alonso will start nineteenth for the Scuderia, after suffering a torrid session, which featured a double 360-degrees spin while out on track. Despite this the Spaniard remains optimistic ahead of tomorrow’s race and will be hoping to repeat his performance in Australia by surging through the grid.

Felipe Massa will start in twenty-first and is also hoping to score points in tomorrow’s race.

Fernando Alonso – 19th: “We were expecting the rain to stop and that’s why we stayed in the garage longer than the others. When we went out, in fact the conditions got worse and even on the extreme wets, we were unable to improve our time. Rain might make things more spectacular, but the session just turns into a lottery. Today, it went badly for us and we found ourselves in the wrong place – the track at the wrong time. However, the result of qualifying is only worth the paper on which it is written, because the points are assigned at the end of the race. Of course, starting from the back puts us in a difficult position but, as we saw last Sunday in Melbourne, anything can happen and we have to trust in our abilities. We must do our best to bring home a points finish.”

Felipe Massa – 21st: “We are very sorry about what happened. We waited a bit before going out, because it was raining hard and the forecast was for an improvement, however we found ourselves out on track where there was more water than predicted. We made a mistake and we were caught out by the weather forecast. Now we must do our best for tomorrow’s race. It will be tough, as always when you start from the back of the grid, but we will have to try and score at least a few points. It’s hard to say whether it’s better to hope for rain or sunshine: maybe with the former there might be more chance of the tables being turned, but it’s equally true that there are more chances of ending up out of the race.”

Stefano Domenicali: “We are very disappointed with the way qualifying went. We made an error of judgement in trusting the weather forecast: when we went out on track the rain, rather than dying down, suddenly got even stronger. With hindsight, it is easy to say we should have gone out immediately. It’s a real shame because all the signs were that we could have done well and now we will have to prepare for an uphill fight in the race. But there’s no point in crying about things before they have even happened, because the race is not until tomorrow. And as we saw today, anything could happen. We will try and pick up as many points as possible, making the most of any opportunity that presents itself.”

Chris Dyer: “Obviously, we are very disappointed. Yesterday, we did a good job of preparing for the weekend and this morning, the F10 was clearly very competitive in the dry and we therefore hoped for a good result this afternoon. The way the weather changed caught us on the back foot. An improvement had been predicted up to the end of Q1 and, in those circumstances it made sense to go out in the late stages. We went out at the mid point and after a few laps, some of them spoiled by yellow flags, the rain got heavier and we could no longer improve our performance, even if Fernando got very close right at the end. A real shame, as tomorrow’s race now becomes a case of damage limitation because of our grid positions. All the same, we are confident that we have a competitive car and we also have faith in our drivers, therefore we will try and make the most of this situation.”

Rosberg: Intermediate call may have won me pole

Nico Rosberg believes that he might have taken pole for the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix if he had trusted his instincts and made the switch to intermediates in Q3.

Unlike pole-man Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg followed the lead of the majority of the remaining field and stuck with his full-wet tyres – forcing him to settle for second on the grid.

Despite this, the young German is confident ahead of tomorrow’s race and will hope to call upon memories of last season where he led into first corner.

Rosberg will also have something else to be happy about, after he once again outqualified his team-mate, Michael Schumacher.

The seven-times champion will start eighth for tomorrow’s race and although he was admittedly disappointed, the German is confident that the wet weather running will stand him in good stead for tomorrow’s race.

Nico Rosberg – 2nd: “I’m really pleased with my first front row start and it’s great for me, the whole team and PETRONAS to have such a good qualifying result in Sepang for one of our home races. It was very difficult out there today and hard to keep it on the road at times. My run in Q3 was definitely my best of the day and I put in a good time on the first quick lap. By the second lap, the tyres started to degrade so it just wasn’t possible to go any quicker from there. As soon as we went out, I thought intermediates were the way to go and maybe I should have come in but in the end it worked out well for us. I’m confident that we can have a strong race from here tomorrow, if it is wet or dry, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Michael Schumacher – 8th: “I am obviously a little disappointed with my result today as it was evident from the earlier qualifying sessions that we looked pretty good and I clearly could have achieved more. On my last run in Q3, I wanted to secure a lap time and then go for the second lap but after I finished my first quick lap, the tyres were already gone so I could not go for it anymore. Though it is good to know the limits of the wet tyres for tomorrow, now I have to concentrate fully on the race. Congratulations to Nico today for scoring our first front row qualifying result.”

Ross Brawn: “An excellent performance from Nico today to achieve his first front row grid start in what were very challenging conditions for all of the drivers. In these situations, it is important to keep a cool and calm head and I’m very pleased with how the team worked together to ensure that we competed in all three sessions. It was a bit close on occasion but we reacted well and the drivers did the most important job of keeping the car on the track. In Q3, Nico had a great first lap to achieve his time for second position, however the wet tyres degraded very quickly and Michael suffered particularly on his second quick lap and was not able to improve. It’s very pleasing to have achieved our best grid position of the season here in Sepang for PETRONAS’s home race.”

Norbert Haug: “Today was a qualifying session where anything was possible and we saw some surprising results like three World Champions starting the race from 17th, 19th and 20th positions. Michael did the best job amongst the Champions finishing in eighth place whilst Nico was superb in posting the fastest time of the drivers on wet tyres in Q3 and finishing the session in second position on the front row. Michael decided to do a ‘safe’ lap and wanted to push hard on the lap afterwards but the wet tyres unfortunately only lasted one lap at their peak. I am particularly pleased that five German drivers finished this thrilling and challenging qualifying session in the top eight. All of them have, in one form or another, been supported by Mercedes-Benz during their junior careers, be it in karting like Nico and sportcars like Michael, or in the Formula 3 Euro Series. Well done to all of them! It gives everybody in our team great pleasure to start from the front row for the PETRONAS Malaysian Grand Prix and our target is to achieve a similar result tomorrow.”

Renault enjoy strong qualifying performance

Robert Kubica says that he is happy with his sixth place gridslot for tomorrow’s Malaysian Grand Prix, as Renault recorded its best qualifying effort of the season.

The Pole continued to build on the form shown in Australian and was able to cope with the wet conditions to shine once more. Furthermore the 25-year-old believes that he might well have qualified higher if he had judged the track conditions better and had not pushed so hard on his first timed lap in Q3.

Vitaly Petrov also produced a strong showing for the Enstone-based team, with the Russian-rookie just missing out on a place in the top-ten shootout in eleventh.

Robert Kubica – 6th: “Today’s weather made for quite a challenging qualifying session, but the car felt good in the wet and I made it easily through Q1 and Q2. For the final part of qualifying we thought the rain would get heavier so I pushed really hard on my first timed lap in Q3, which destroyed the tyres and made it difficult to improve as the track continued to dry. However, sixth place is a good place to start and I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow. I think the weather could play a big role, and if it’s like today the race could become a lottery.”

Vitaly Petrov – 11th: “It was difficult to predict the weather today, so we decided to go out as early as possible, which was the right decision because the rain kept getting heavier in Q1. In Q2 the car felt good on the intermediates and I pushed hard throughout the session, but I just missed out on Q3, which is a shame. Still, 11th is a good place to start and if we get more rain tomorrow, anything could happen. I will be aiming to finish the race and hopefully score some points.”

Eric Boullier, Team Principal: “With the changeable weather today it was a difficult session to call with lots of possible strategies going through our minds. Overall the team made the right decisions with the tyres for both cars and the drivers did a great job. For the race tomorrow the forecast suggests we can expect some more rain so it’s good to be starting towards the front of the grid. This is our best qualifying performance as a team this year and I think we have a good opportunity to get both cars in the points tomorrow.”

Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: “Today’s session was great fun from the pit wall and I’m pleased that we got the tyre choice right for both Robert and Vitaly in the first two sessions. Robert made it easily through to Q3, but Vitaly just missed out, which is a shame because he has been quick today. With quite a mixed up grid for tomorrow, we should be in for an interesting race and I think we are well placed to score some good points. The weather could play its part again, but as we have seen today our car works well in the wet and the dry, and the team has reacted well to the conditions. We’re probably a bit more competitive in the wet, but I don’t mind if it’s wet or dry.”

Mallya: We could take a serious points haul from Malaysia

Dr Vijay Mallya praised his entire team’s efforts as both Force India drivers will start in the top-ten in tomorrow’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

The team prinicpal was overjoyed with the performance of the Silverstone-based squad and expects both of his drivers to score points on Sunday.

Adrian Sutil was able to master the wet conditions and take a well deserved fourth place for the team. Following qualifying the German expressed satisfaction with his efforts and praised his team for making the right calls when necessary.

Team-mate Tonio Liuzzi will start tenth for tomorrow’s race after a locking front brake, on his final lap, prevented him from going any faster.

Adrian Sutil – 4th: It was a great qualifying again for us. As I expected it rained at 4pm, I said that yesterday I think! It was challenging and the conditions changed a lot over the sessions. Sometimes it was a lot of rain, sometimes half wet, half dry so it was very important to choose the right tyres. I think we did a great job in those conditions and every session we did the optimum. I am so happy to be in this position now. It’s a great achievement and my team really deserved it. They did a fantastic job: being there on the right time on the right tyre was very important. My time in the end was good for P4: a great job all round.

Tonio Liuzzi – 10th: We can be happy about getting through to Q3 as this was our target for this weekend. It was a good qualifying, Q3 started very wet, very similar to Brazil last year, and then it dried up very quickly at the end. I had a problem on the last lap with a locking front brake and lost the last run but that’s how it is in these conditions: you have to get the right spot at the right time. Tomorrow will be a tough race from where we are. We have a lot of quick cars around us but as we’ve seen today we are strong in all conditions. I’m looking forward to it.

Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal: Today was a really brilliant team performance, not just from the drivers but from the pit wall and the garage. The interpretation of the data and weather forecast, the implementation in the garage and the calls from the drivers all came together beautifully to give our best qualifying performance this season. It sets us up well for the race, but as we know tomorrow’s result is all that counts. We’ve got to keep this spirit up, keep our heads down and go for the maximum we can. I don’t want to tempt fate with predictions, but I would hope we could convert this into a serious points haul.

Kobayashi happy with qualifying effort and expects points

Kamui Kobayashi was delighted to make the final segement of qualifying for the first time, after the Japanese driver battled against the challenging conditions to secure ninth place.

However, team-mate Pedro de la Rosa could not repeat the 23-year-old’s feat after encountering traffic on his final hot lap in Q2.

Despite this, both drivers are encouraged by their performance and expect to challenge for points in tomorrow’s race.

Kamui Kobayashi – 9th: “I am very happy to have made it into Q3 for the first time. Last year in Brazil, also in wet conditions, I was close but then I spun on my last lap in Q2. I learnt this lesson. In dry conditions our performance seemed to be rather difficult, therefore I am even happier with my position. It is not easy to drive in the wet because of aquaplaning, which obviously will get worse if it rains tomorrow because of the heavy cars for the race start. But I am determined to score points tomorrow.”

Pedro de la Rosa – 12th: “It was a quite difficult qualifying because of the changeable conditions. You never knew how much water to expect when braking into a corner. The car was pretty good in the wet, and I could have made it into the top ten if I just had a single clear lap. But even on my fastest lap I had to overtake two cars in the last sector. However, certainly we can look forward to a very exciting race tomorrow!”

Peter Sauber, Team Principal: “It’s nice to have one car in 12th and the other one in the top ten. The engineers and drivers did a good job today. This result is motivating for the whole team. We are looking forward to a thrilling race.”

Willy Rampf, Technical Director: “After free practice three we made some changes to the cars. We decided not to run the new rear wing system on Kamui’s car. Due to the constantly changing weather conditions it was an exciting qualifying in which we made the best decisions with regard to strategy and timing. The team was rewarded with a solid result. Kamui’s performance was strong and he managed to make it into the top ten.”

Malaysian Grand Prix: Qualifying report

Mark Webber takes pole position in today’s rain-soaked qualifying session for the Malaysian Grand Prix

Australian’s tyre gamble pays off as he chooses intermediates over full wets when final seven minutes of delayed final session commences

Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa all fall prey to conditions in first qualifying and are to start from the back of the field tomorrow

Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel and Adrian Sutil take second, third and fourth spots respectively

Mark Webber today took a superb pole position in a rain-affected qualifying session for the Malaysian Grand Prix. Unlike the other final ten runners, the Australian elected to put intermediate tyres on for his final run, a gamble which paid off as he stormed to the front of the grid with a time more than a second quicker than Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes.
The final session had been delayed for ten minutes by the sodden conditions and the rivers that were forming on parts of the track. It was a microcosm of the day’s events as a whole, with the track being treacherous throughout, and many runners experiencing aquaplaning.

The rain had held off until a judicious seven minutes before Q1 was due to start, and as the track was not yet wet enough to warrant the appearance of the extreme wet tyres, everybody opted for intermediates. Vitaly Petrov was first to spin at Turn 2 as the conditions deteriorated, but as yet the big guns of Ferrari and McLaren had not gone out. They were waiting for the rain to clear, as they thought it would be a short shower, and the track would be faster towards the end of the first session.

Sebastian Buemi set the early pace, with a 1m 48.945s, that preceded the arrival of his stable-mate Sebastian Vettel. Vettel was expected swiftly to better Buemi’s time, but he could not, and it rapidly became obvious that the big names were in serious danger here. Bruno Senna was then in the gravel trap, as water began to make the track extremely tricky. Lewis Hamilton, an acknowledged wet weather specialist, spun at the last corner on an early run and thereafter was always in trouble there, tiptoeing round. It was beginning to be the time for full wets, and Schumacher and Rosberg were the first to change.

It was at this point that Jenson Button aquaplaned clean off the track in the middle sector, promptly bouncing into the gravel. His wheels spun ineffectually and he was beached. The long sweeping corners of the Sepang track now had torrents of water running across them, spelling danger for all the drivers out there. Button, as the rules stated, would play no further part in qualifying, although he had set a reasonably quick time on his previous run.

“We got it wrong, basically,” said Button to the press. “Some parts of the track are completely dry, and others…I aquaplaned off and couldn’t do anything.”

Worse was to come for McLaren, and Ferrari were in no happier a place. Lewis Hamilton could not hook his McLaren into a competitive time in the dreadful conditions, and Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were having off-track excursions of their own. Meanwhile, Robert Kubica was somehow making the Renault work for him – its good traction a massive bonus when the race track is wet. He set a 1m 46.283 with a minute left in the session, ensuring that his name would be at the top of the board going into Q2.

But all eyes were on Hamilton and Alonso, struggling to make it round for a final lap. Both managed, but were unable to get any significant gains on past efforts. Alonso pipped Hamilton just, but to 19th place, something of which he will not be proud. Even Jarno Trulli in the lowly Lotus managed to scrape into 18th ahead of the pair, and Felipe Massa will start from 21st. The other casualties from the first round were the two HRTs, Chandhok pipping Senna to 22nd, and Lucas di Grassi, whose Virgin had been in intensive care just prior to the session’s start. The world champions at the back, however, had been undone by their own and their teams’ bad decision-making and timing.

“We went in the wrong moment,” said Alonso, by way of explanation. “We’ve been unlucky, we made mistakes,” he clarified. Massa was similarly dejected. “It was not the right strategy, it was definitely the wrong decision, and it will be a difficult race.”

Hamilton wryly smiled about the whole affair. “I had yellow flags and I just couldn’t nail it. You just have to laugh about it, it’s just one of those things. Tomorrow I’ll race my heart out again and we’ll see what happens,” he told the BBC.

Meanwhile, Q2 was getting under way. Vitaly Petrov was turning in some nice-looking times, even if he did look, as Martin Brundle immortally remarked, as if he was “fighting an octopus” in the Renault. Michael Schumacher promptly broke Petrov’s time by a second, but Robert Kubica was never far away from the action. Petrov was not finished yet, though, setting a time that bettered Schumacher’s by two seconds. The two Williamses were also competitive, Barrichello and Hulkenberg revelling in the slippery conditions even though the rain seemed for the moment to have stopped.

Sebastian Vettel had woken up by now and was setting faster times. But the rain came back with two minutes of the session left, and it was back with a vengeance. Mark Webber got into the top ten before the track became a swimming pool, but Schumacher had slid down to tenth and only scraped into the final shootout. For all his heroics Petrov was eliminated in 11th, followed by de la Rosa (12th), Buemi, Alguersuari, Heikki Kovalainen with an excellent job in the Lotus Racing team’s home race, Timo Glock and Jenson Button in 17th, although of course he had not played any part in Q2. “In front of three of my championship rivals – that’s the best way of looking at it,” Button remarked.

The third and final session, the shootout, was on us already. But the rain showed no signs of abating, coming down in great sheets. Three minutes was all the drivers managed on track before race director Charlie Whiting called a stop to proceedings. The red flag was shown for reasons of safety – with marshals tending to any aquaplaned car, it would be madness to allow other cars to continue at racing speed.

It was a delay of perhaps ten minutes, with seven minutes and seventeen seconds remaining on the timer. But the rain had stopped and the track was rapidly drying. Webber chose this moment to change his tyres to the intermediate rubber, a brave decision that had echoes of Jenson Button’s call the week before in Australia. In Webber’s hands and after one or two dodgy sector times, the Red Bull went quicker and quicker, and there could be no real doubt about who would take the pole. His time was a 1m 49.327, he was a massive 1.346 seconds ahead of Rosberg as the chequered flag fell and will sit in the best possible position for tomorrow’s race.

His boss Christian Horner confirmed that it had been Mark’s decision. “It was something he wanted to have a crack at,” said the avuncular Englishman. “We were only too happy to split the cars,” he added. Vettel was indeed on the full wets, and had turned in a very respectable third fastest time.

Adrian Sutil profited from the conditions to take an excellent fourth spot in his Force India, and rookie Nico Hulkenberg will be chuffed with fifth place on the grid. Kubica took sixth, with Barrichello seventh, Schumacher eighth, Kobayashi a creditable ninth and Liuzzi tenth. It remains to be seen whether the pace of the top ten can be turned into results tomorrow, and it seems entirely possible that the crazy Malaysian weather will continue to play a massive part.

But tyre gambles are paying off at the moment.

Full qualifying results:
Pos Driver Car Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Mark Webber 6 Red Bull-Renault 1:51.886 1:48.210 1:49.327
2 Nico Rosberg 4 Mercedes GP 1:52.560 1:47.417 1:50.673
3 Sebastian Vettel 5 Red Bull-Renault 1:47.632 1:46.828 1:50.789
4 Adrian Sutil 14 Force India-Mercedes 1:49.479 1:47.085 1:50.914
5 Nico Hulkenberg 10 Williams-Cosworth 1:49.664 1:47.346 1:51.001
6 Robert Kubica 11 Renault 1:46.283 1:46.951 1:51.051
7 Rubens Barrichello 9 Williams-Cosworth 1:50.301 1:48.371 1:51.511
8 Michael Schumacher 3 Mercedes GP 1:52.239 1:48.400 1:51.717
9 Kamui Kobayashi 23 BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:48.467 1:47.792 1:51.767
10 Vitantonio Liuzzi 15 Force India-Mercedes 1:49.922 1:48.238 1:52.254
11 Vitaly Petrov 12 Renault 1:47.952 1:48.760
12 Pedro de la Rosa 22 BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:47.153 1:48.771
13 Sebastien Buemi 16 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:48.945 1:49.207
14 Jaime Alguersuari 17 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:48.655 1:49.464
15 Heikki Kovalainen 19 Lotus-Cosworth 1:52.875 1:52.270
16 Timo Glock 24 Virgin-Cosworth 1:52.398 1:52.520
17 Jenson Button 1 McLaren-Mercedes 1:52.211 1:52.211
18 Jarno Trulli 18 Lotus-Cosworth 1:52.884
19 Fernando Alonso 8 Ferrari 1:53.044
20 Lewis Hamilton 2 McLaren-Mercedes 1:53.050
21 Felipe Massa 7 Ferrari 1:53.283
22 Karun Chandhok 20 Hispania-Cosworth 1:56.299
23 Bruno Senna 21 Hispania-Cosworth 1:57.269
24 Lucas di Grassi 25 Virgin-Cosworth 1:59.977

Buemi rues Q2 tyre tactics

Sebastien Buemi was left ruing his tactics in Q2 as the Swiss driver failed to make the top-ten shootout.

The 21-year-old will start thirteenth after staying out on the full wet tyres for too long, during the session, and failing to make the switch to intermediates in time.

Despite this Buemi will start one place better than his team-mate, Jaime Alguersuari, who was also too late to change tyres and ultimately failed to make it into Q3.

Sebastien Buemi – 13th: “I’m angry because I did not make the most of Q2. But there’s nothing I can do about it and so we will have to tackle the race from where we are. I started Q2 on full wets because we felt the conditions demanded it, but I stayed on track too long and then, after I came in and switched to the Intermediates, it was too late because the rain had started to get stronger again.”

Jaime Alguersuari – 14th: “When you look at what happened to some of the quicker guys, I would say this qualifying result is reasonably okay for me. However, maybe if I had come in earlier in Q2 to switch from full wets to intermediates, then maybe I could have had a chance of seeing Q3. If the conditions are similar to this tomorrow and I believe that is the forecast, then you never know what could happen, although personally I would prefer a dry race.”

Giorgio Ascanelli: “Malaysian rain is like English tea: it comes around five and it’s the same temperature. Seriously though, we got our tactics right in going out immediately in Q1. But in Q2, if we had more confidence in the forecast, we should have gone out earlier on Intermediates, but we thought it was too risky. We called Sebastien in at the right minute, but he did not come in and we missed the best slot. Jaime was very lucky not to run out of fuel in Q1 as he stayed out for one lap too long and in Q2, I would say he is pretty much where we would have expected. Therefore, something of a missed opportunity today.”

Lotus wow home crowd as Kovalainen makes Q2

Tony Fernandes has hailed Heikki Kovalainen’s qualifying effort, as Lotus made another significant step forward in its debut season.

Kovalainen was once again best of all the new teams and managed to beat the drop zone in Q1, taking a superb fifteenth place.

Jarno Trulli might also have joined the Finn in Q2 had it not been for a car spinning infront of the Italian, while on a quick lap. As a result he was start eighteenth.

Heikki Kovalainen – 15th: “I’m so pleased! I really like these conditions – it’s very hard to judge your speed and you really have to take some risks, and all the time you’re feeling like you might lose the car, but that’s the challenge and I love it! On some parts of the track it was very wet and raining hard, and on others it wasn’t so much. Getting to Q2 really exceeds expectations for me and the whole team yes of course we’ve been a little bit lucky today for sure, but it means we beat the other new teams, again! Although we were lucky, we played our strategy just right -if you look at the McLarens and Ferraris they didn’t think it was going to rain that much and look what happened. They missed their window at the beginning of the session and we took full advantage of it. Now I can’t wait to race tomorrow!”

Jarno Trulli – 18th: “It was disappointing because I was doing very well. Unfortunately on my quickest lap a car spun in front of me, which impeded me through the second and third sector so I couldn’t close my fast lap; and then the rain was getting worse, so there was no chance to improve on lap time. Still we’ll do our best tomorrow and we’ll see what happens.”

Mike Gascoyne: “Obviously we’re all very very pleased to get a car into Q2 and Heikki did a tremendous job to get us there! I’m disappointed for Jarno as he got traffic on the lap that would have got him in. I think we got all the calls on the tyres right on the pit wall and in Q2 we ran the whole session on intermediates, which was clearly the thing to do. We made a change five minutes before the end, and Heikki got in a good clear lap to get P15. Well done to the whole team, and especially to Tony, for such success at one of our two home races I know he’s very very proud.”

Team Principal Tony Fernandes: “I’m speechless! What a day! To get 15th place in our home country, in front of our home crowd is amazing. I’m over the moon and just so excited. We gave the Toro Rossos a run for their money today and Jarno was just unfortunate to get blocked, otherwise he’d have been in Q2 as well. Tomorrow’s another day, and we’ll see what happens, but it’s a good step forward. Today we’ll enjoy it, and we’ll live for the day, and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”