Qualifying at Interlagos
Thirty seconds into Q1 and it was clearly visible that the track was wet and slippery. The back teams were out on track and sliding everywhere, trying to avoid any collision. And the top teams sat in their respective garages watching what was going on.
Finally after quite a few laps, the tracks started to dry out and the racing line appeared. Once the racing line was visible, the times started to tumble. As the final minutes start ticking down, the drivers seemed to be pushing a little too hard and things happened. Romain Grosjean was taking a turn on the left-hand side of HRT’s Pedro de la Rosa. De la Rosa did not see the Frenchman and ran right into the side of him, taking Grosjean’s wing off and sending him back to the pits. Predictably, with the issue of having to replace his front wing, Grosjean did not make it out of Q1.
Q2 and the track was just getting better and better for running. It seemed that most fans started to cross their fingers and hold their breath. It was getting down to ‘crunch time’ for both Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. Being not only the last race of the season, but the deciding race for the Driver’s Title, the position in Brazil could be the deciding factor for who will win.
Q2 and all seemed to be going upside down: Vettel didn’t leave the pits till 6:06 left; Alonso was locking up while it seemed he was pushing too hard and if the rain started to fall, it would all be for naught. But Q2 finished and the only disappointment was from Schumacher’s camp. Being his final race for Mercedes and his final race in Formula One, the seven-time world champion failed to make it into the Q3 top ten shoot out.
The time reset and Q3 started. All eyes where on two drivers: Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. Both needed to secure pole to have a good start off the line. It was disappointment all around when the time finally counted down and the checkered flag fell. Both Mark Webber and Felipe Massa out-qualified their teammates – making the 2012 Brazil Grand Prix all that more interesting. Will Massa’s Ferrari need another gearbox as to advance his teammate up the grid? Or will Red Bull pull Webber in for another pitstop too early? Will the rain start to fall and everything that both teams worked on fall apart? There are so many variables that can happen in Brazil. The only thing that is for certain is that tomorrow is going to bring on one hell of a race!
Here are the variations that could happen: Vettel will be champion if he finishes in the top four, even if Alonso wins; if he finishes fifth, sixth or seventh if Alonso doesn’t win; if he finishes eighth or ninth if Alonso finishes third or lower; or no matter what his result, if Alonso isn’t on the podium.
Alonso will be champion if he wins and Vettel is fifth or lower; if he is second and Vettel is eighth or lower; or if he is third and Vettel is 10th or lower.
Much will depend on the weather. It’s due to rain on Sunday, and to stay wet all day. But as Button pointed out, the level of rain will also be important as that will decide just how much the drivers can race. A race like Canada 2011 may be Alonso’s only chance.
|Lewis Hamilton||P1 Fan’s Choice To Win|
|Paul di Resta||P11|
|Pedro de la Rosa||P24|
Q1 107% Time 1:20.330