Sunday, April 19, 2009

Formula 1: Vettel on pole in today's Chinese GP

German Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel stormed his way through round 2 and 3 of qualifying yesterday to snatch pole position in this afternoon's Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai. Vettel, 21, the youngest driver ever to win a grand prix will be joined in the front row by Spanish Renault driver double World Champion and this blogger's sentimental favorite, Fernando Alonso. On the 2nd row will be Vettel's teammate, Australian Mark Webber followed by the two Brawn GP cars of Button and Barrichello on 4th and 5th place.

Interestingly, the British-based team Red Bull uses Renault engines while sister team Toro Rosso uses Ferrari.

The race will be the first time a Formula 1 car with a non double-decker diffuser design occupying the the first 3 positions on the grid as drivers race around this low to medium downforce, 5.451-km track shaped like a "shang" with the exact number of right and left turns.

But analysts say Brawn GP cars will catch up with the frontrunners in today's race as both Button and Barrichello qualified yesterday with heavy fuel loads. Ferrari and McLaren, still reeling from the FIA's ruling on the legality of split diffusers will be starting in the middle of the pack as engineers burn the midnight candle redesigning their own double-decker diffusers.

Both BMW cars of Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld were a disappointment as both failed to earn respectable places in the grid.

But finishes, not poles make up points. So for today's race, it's anybody's game.

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