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Chinese Grand Prix - Qualifying 
18th-Oct-2008 08:25 am
f1
I agree with Mark Blundell's verdict on the stewards at the Japanese GP - there's no justification for penalising Bourdais.


Practice 1: LH (1:35.630), FM, KR, HK, RK, FA, NH, SB
Practice 2: LH (1:35.750), FA, NP, JT, MW, FM, SB, KR

MW has had an engine change, so he has a 10 grid spot penalty

Qualifying session 1 (Q1):
NP 1:37.511
(RB P2)
TG 1:37.369
TG 1:37.074
SV 1:36.318
FM 1:36.089
(SB P2)
(HK P2)
(KR P5!)
LH 1:35.566
10mins left; bottom 5 are JB, KN, GF, AS, FA (on track now)
(JB P15 but immediately relegated to P17 by KN & RK)
(FM P2)
(NP P3)
5mins left; bottom 5 are KN, RK, JB, AS, GF
(FM runs wide in the final corner and can't improve)
(KR P4)
Only LH and NP remain in the pits - 18 cars on a final flier
Chequered flag is out
Bottom 5 are: P16=DC, 17=KN, 18=JB, 19=AS, 20=GF
Replay shows DC blocked by NH on his flying lap; DC says NH is "not a sportsman"

Qualifying session 2 (Q2):
KR 1:35.355 on the softer, option tyre
(TG P2)
(JT P2)
(SV P2)
HK 1:35.216 - soft tyres
FM 1:35.135 - soft tyres
(LH P5 on the harder, prime tyre)
5mins left; bottom 5 are RK, TG, NP, RB, NR
2mins left; top 4 remain in the garage - other 11 (LH down) on track
Chequered flag out; bottom 5 are RK, TG, NP, RB, NR
LH 1:34.947
Mid-grid positions are: P11=NP, 12=RK, 13=TG, 4=RB, 15=NR
Why did they send LH again? He was safely through to Q3 - being P1 in Q2 is no better than P10 because those positions count for nothing!

Qualifying session 3 (Q3):
SV 1:38.053
(JT P2)
(SB P3)
KR 1:36.989
(LH P2)
(MW P2)
(FM P3)
HK 1:36.978
After 1 lap, order is HK, KR, MW*, FM, LH, FA, NH, SV, JT, SB
*Remember MW will get a 10 grid spot penalty for an engine change
Time for 1 flying lap
(SV P8)
Chequered flag out
KR 1:36.645
LH 1:36.303
(MW P4)
(FM P3)
(FA P4)
(NH P7)
(JT P9)
(HK P5)
Pre-penalty order: P1=LH, 2=KR, 3=FM, 4=FA, 5=HK, 6=MW*, 7=NH, 8=SV, 9=JT, 10=SB

Post-qualifying news: "BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld will drop three places on the Shanghai grid as penalty for impeding Red Bull’s David Coulthard during qualifying." [source: FIA]

Fortunately the story headlined "Lewis penalised five places for blocking Massa!" is a joke.

Provisional Grid: LH, KR, FM, FA, HK, SV, JT, SB, NH (P7 + 3 spot penalty), NP; RK, TG, RB, NR, DC; MW (P6 + 10 spot penalty), KN, JB, AS, GF.
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