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Webber edges out his teammate to take Barcelona pole

NEWS STORY
08/05/2010

Ahead of today's all-important qualifying session, the air temperature is 20 degrees, while the track temperature is 35 degrees. It remains bright and sunny.

Red Bull continued to set the pace this morning with Sebastian Vettel out-pacing his teammate by 0.704s. The McLaren duo of Hamilton and Button were third and fourth, both drivers feeling that their Milton Keynes rivals have even more in reserve.

Michael Schumacher appears far more comfortable with his updated car, complete with longer wheelbase, the Mercedes driver edging out former teammate Felipe Massa and current teammate Nico Rosberg.

Local hero Fernando Alonso finished a disappointing ninth - certainly in terms of the partisan crowd - ahead of Kubica and Sutil.

For the second successive race the Renault crew has its work cut out after Vitaly Petrov went off into the barriers this morning badly damaging his car. The Russian lost control of his car on the kerbs at Turn 4 which were still wet following overnight rain.

Tyre options this weekend are hard (prime) and soft (option), the soft only appearing to be good for one really fast lap. While Vettel set his fastest lap on the option tyre this morning, teammate Webber was on the harder compound.

Kamui Kobayashi went off at the same corner as Petrov this morning, though not sustaining any damage. Indeed, the Japanese driver was able to continue once the session was re-started after being red flagged. The Saubers are looking a lot better this weekend, no doubt beefed up by their new sponsor, Burger King.

Williams have been somewhat disappointing thus far, while force India is not looking as strong has it did in some of the previous rounds. Toro Rosso has also been looking stronger this weekend while Lotus continues to be best of the newcomers.

Having run its version of the F-duct yesterday, Ferrari is to continue with the controversial device today even though both drivers appeared to be having problems with it on Friday, Felipe Massa at one time being advised how best to use it from Rob Smedley… whilst on a hot lap.

After four races, it's worth noting that not once so far has the pole-sitter gone on to win the race. Based on the evidence thus far this weekend, its likely that this run is about to change with Vettel almost a shoe-in for pole and the top step of the podium. Time will tell.

Four drivers face grid penalties this afternoon. The Virgin duo of Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi are both penalised after their team failed to notify the FIA of its intended gear ratios in time while Karun Chandhok and Vital Petrov are punished for changing the gearboxes in their cars, the Russian damaging his in this morning's crash.

The lights go green for Q1, Kovalainen is straight out, much to the delight of the crowd which fills the air with its cheers and airhorn blasts. The Lotus driver is joined by his teammate, veteran Italian, Jarno Trulli.

Kovalainen crosses the line at 26.048, however, this is almost instantly beaten by Trulli who posts 25.527.

Massa is one of the first out on track, joined by his teammate, Fernando Alonso. The Brazilian posts 23.068 while his teammate crosses the line at 23.121.

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