Hamilton takes victory after Red Bull crash

Lewis Hamilton scored his first victory of the season after a thrilling race at the Istanbul Park circuit. His McLaren team-mate Jenson Button finished in second scoring a perfect result for the team following a crash between the Red Bull drivers.

Mark Webber was driving faultlessly from the front, resisting huge pressure from the faster McLaren of Hamilton initially. But then a crash involving his own Red Bull Racing team-mate Sebastian Vettel meant the team threw away victory in the Turkish Grand Prix.

The pair had been leading comfortably following the first round of pit stops, but on lap 40 Vettel tried a move past the leading car of Webber on the run down to Turn 12.

Vettel drafted alongside out of the Turn 11 kink and drew level down the inside approaching the final complex. The pair suddenly made high-speed contact, the German appeared to move across slightly on the Australian – with the Vettel’s right-rear tyre tagging with Webber’s left-front.

The accident forced Vettel out on the spot with heavy damage to his right-rear tyre, while Webber was able to continue before coming into the pits on lap 42 for a new nosecone on the RB6.

The clash of team-mates, which left team principal Christian Horner and technical director Adrian Newey holding their heads in the hands on the pit wall, handed the lead to McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, with the former taking his first victory since Singapore 2009.

There was another tense moment between team-mates as the McLarens began some close racing of their own. As light drizzle started, Button got a run on Hamilton towards Turn 12 with nine laps left to the flag. With Hamilton defending the inside, Button went right around the outside – giving him the racing line and the lead at Turn 13.

But Button’s lead lasted only the length of the pit straight, with Hamilton diving back to the inside into Turn 1 and through a narrowing gap to take the lead. With McLaren frantically urging its drivers to conserve fuel thereafter as it kept an eye on some consumption issues, that was the end of the battle.

Michael Schumacher held onto fourth place with his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, Renault’s Robert Kubica plus the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso chasing the seven-time champion home to the chequered flag.

A slightly early tyre stop and quick laps thereafter allowed Alonso to at least gain some ground following his disastrous qualifying. He then spent most of the race trying to get around Vitaly Petrov’s Renault, finally succeeding around the outside at Turn 3 in the closing laps – with a brush between giving Petrov a right-front puncture. He rejoined to grab fastest lap at the end.

A late pass by Adrian Sutil in the Force India on the Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi resolved a race-long battle for what eventually became ninth, and left the Japanese to fend off his team-mate Pedro de la Rosa to take the final championship point.

Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi and the Williams of Nico Hulkenberg were both delayed by first lap damage, while a poor start dropped Rubens Barrichello down among the new teams in the second Williams.

As for the battle between the new teams, Lotus F1 Racing was comfortably clear over Virgin and Hispania until both Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen suffered hydraulic failures within moments of each other, allowing Timo Glock to take unofficial class honours.

So a great result for Lewis Hamilton and the McLaren team. For the 2008 world champion, this race victory was well deserved following Hamilton’s sheer determination to race and beat his Red Bull rivals.

In scoring a one-two finish, the Woking-based outfit jumps into the lead in the constructors’ standing by a single point over their rivals. Mark Webber retains his lead in the drivers’ championship with 93 points although Jenson Button is only five points behind with Turkish Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton only nine adrift.

Race results from Istanbul Park:

1.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           1h28:47.620
2.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +2.645
3.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +24.285
4.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +31.110
5.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +32.266
6.  Kubica        Renault                    +32.824
7.  Massa         Ferrari                    +36.635
8.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +46.544
9.  Sutil         Force India-Mercedes       +49.029
10. Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +1:05.650
11. De la Rosa    Sauber-Ferrari             +1:05.944
12. Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +1:07.800
13. Liuzzi        Force India-Mercedes       +1 lap
14. Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth          +1 lap
15. Petrov        Renault                    +1 lap
16. Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +1 lap
17. Hulkenberg    Williams-Cosworth          +1 lap
18. Glock         Virgin-Cosworth            +2 laps
19. Di Grassi     Virgin-Cosworth            +3 laps

Fastest lap: Petrov, 1:29.165

Not classified/retirements:
Chandhok      HRT-Cosworth                 53 laps
Senna         HRT-Cosworth                 47 laps
Vettel        Red Bull-Renault             40 laps
Kovalainen    Lotus-Cosworth               34 laps
Trulli        Lotus-Cosworth               33 laps

World Championship standings, round 7:

1.  Webber        93
2.  Button        88
3.  Hamilton      84
4.  Alonso        79
5.  Vettel        78
6.  Massa         67
7.  Kubica        67
8.  Rosberg       66
9.  Schumacher    34
10. Sutil         22
11. Liuzzi        10
12. Barrichello    7
13. Petrov         6
14. Alguersuari    3
15. Hulkenberg     1
16. Buemi          1
17. Kobayashi      1

1. McLaren-Mercedes          172
2. Red Bull-Renault          171
3. Ferrari                   146
4. Mercedes                  100
5. Renault                    73
6. Force India-Mercedes       32
7. Williams-Cosworth           8
8. Toro Rosso-Ferrari          4
9. Sauber-Ferrari              1

Next race: Canadian Grand Prix, Montreal. June 11-13.

Webber claims third consecutive pole position

Red Bull Racing maintain their qualifying form this season with yet another pole position for Mark Webber at the Istanbul Park circuit.

The championship leader secured his third consecutive pole after fending off a strong challenge from McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton. The sector times between the RB6 and MP4-25 is very close and with a margin of 0.138 seconds to take the top slot, it showcase that the McLaren is beginning to reduce the performance gap over the faster Red Bull in qualifying.

Sebastian Vettel was again the slower Red Bull in qualifying and took third in his Randy Mandy – the new name for his chassis! Jenson Button was fourth for McLaren.

As for Ferrari, competing in their 800th grand prix, the qualifying session proved to be disastrous for the two drivers. Fernando Alonso will start the Turkish Grand Prix in a disappointing P12 after making a mistake under braking into Turn 12, loosing the back end on the slippery white line. Team-mate Felipe Massa at least reached Q3 but could only managed eighth around seven tenths of a second slower over Mark Webber.

Despite spinning off at the challenging Turn 8 and getting stuck in the gravel at the end of Q3, Michael Schumacher outqualified Nico Rosberg as the Silver Arrows shared row three.

Renault’s Robert Kubica took seventh while team-mate Vitaly Petrov made his first Q3 appearance with ninth.

And completing the top ten is Kamui Kobayashi for Sauber, although the Japanese used up his share of Bridgestone tyres in Q2 trying to get through and was left on the sidelines during the main shoot-out event.

Force India’s Adrian Sutil missed out on the top ten again as Kobayashi’s late jump into Q3 pushed him back to P11. While Sauber’s Pedro de la Rosa couldn’t emulate his team-mate performance and will start in P13, ahead of the Toro Rossos and Williams – Sebastien Buemi, Rubens Barrichello, Jaime Alguersuari and Nico Hülkenberg respectively.

Meanwhile in division two, the battle of the new Formula One teams, it was Lotus who was again the fastest. Jarno Trulli lines up in P19 ahead of team-mate Heikki Kovalainen, with the Virgin of Timo Glock and the HRT of Bruno Senna next. Taking the last row of the grid is Lucas di Grassi and Karun Chandhok.

Qualifying times from Istanbul:

1.  Webber         Red Bull-Renault       1:26.295
2.  Hamilton       McLaren-Mercedes       1:26.433
3.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault       1:26.760
4.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:26.781
5.  Schumacher     Mercedes               1:26.857
6.  Rosberg        Mercedes               1:26.952
7.  Kubica         Renault                1:27.039
8.  Massa          Ferrari                1:27.082
9.  Petrov         Renault                1:27.430
10. Kobayashi      Sauber-Ferrari         1:28.122
11. Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1:27.525
12. Alonso         Ferrari                1:27.612
13. de la Rosa     Sauber-Ferrari         1:27.879
14. Buemi          Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:28.273
15. Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1:28.392
16. Alguersuari    Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:28.540
17. Hülkenberg     Williams-Cosworth      1:28.841
18. Liuzzi         Force India-Mercedes   1:28.958
19. Trulli         Lotus-Cosworth         1:30.237
20. Kovalainen     Lotus-Cosworth         1:30.519
21. Glock          Virgin-Cosworth        1:30.744
22. Senna          HRT-Cosworth           1:31.266
23. di Grassi      Virgin-Cosworth        1:31.989
24. Chandhok       HRT-Cosworth           1:32.060

From Heroes to zeroes

The once-popular television drama Heroes has been officially cancelled. After four seasons the NBC drama has been axed and as reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the American television network made the decision following disappointing ratings and high production costs.

It’s official. NBC has cancelled “Heroes.”

The network seriously mulled bringing back “Heroes” for a shortened final season to wrap up the serialized show.

In the end, given the fairly high cost of the drama, the show’s consistently declining ratings and the number of new hour-longs coming to NBC next season, the network decided the UMS-produced series wasn’t worth an additional season. Sources say the network is still leaving the door open to conclude the show with a special or movie.

The show has long had a rocky relationship with its fans. Out of the gate, “Heroes” was a big hit for the network – an ethnically diverse big-concept ensemble that performed well overseas. It was NBC’s “Lost.”

But the show’s writers struggled to keep the show’s twisting narrative on track. Characters were killed off and resurrected with regularity. Narrative threads were started, then abandoned. Unlike “Lost,” there didn’t seem to be series-long central questions driving the show that needed to be resolved with a final season.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

So sad to hear it’s all over but I must admit the writers were to blame. The lack of consistency in the character development and story-telling made the show frustrating to watch. A real shame, as I was a fan when it was first premiered back in 2006 to a staggering number of television audience.

But after the first season, the hype surrounding the next season made it difficult to retain that high standards and the writers strike of 2007-08 didn’t help in making season two a major disappointment. Not surprisingly, the audience lost patience and switched off in there millions.

Heroes dragged on for two further seasons but by then, the show’s twisting narrative had too many loose ends and it was difficult to care much with the characters.

Sorry Claire, you special ability to heal hasn’t work to save the show! And so ends Heroes.

Now my attention focuses on the excellent Mad Men, Breaking Bad and True Blood. Proper classy television dramas!

Victorious Webber leads Red Bull one-two in Monaco

Mark Webber took his second victory of the season with a dominant drive at the Monaco Grand Prix. Red Bull Racing team-mate Sebastian Vettel finished in a close second while Robert Kubica took a solid third for Renault.

Webber’s win on the streets of the Principality means he now leads the drivers’ championship with 78 points, sharing the top honour with Vettel although on count back the Australian edges ahead with back-to-back victories.

His race pace was impressive and despite four safety car periods caused by crashes and a loose drain cover at Massenet, Mark Webber was inch-perfect around the tight, narrow and twisty street circuit.

This was the perfect result for the Australian and Red Bull Racing. It follows on from his great weekend at Barcelona seven days ago with pole position and race win. To take the top honours in the jewel event of the Formula One World Championship was a superb achievement.

Equally impressive was Robert Kubica. Despite Sebastian Vettel taking the track position right at the start and into Sainte Devote, the determination from the Renault driver was strong. The Polish driver was pushing his R30 to the limit to keep on tabs from the charging Red Bulls, but third was the best result he could do.

Felipe Massa took fourth for Ferrari followed by Lewis Hamilton in the sole remaining McLaren. His team-mate Jenson Button was forced to retire as early as lap three due to overheating. The team had accidentally left a blanking plate across the MP4-25’s sidepod on the way to the grid, which Button suspected had caused overheating.

Despite starting from the pitlane, the first safety car gave an opportunity for Fernando Alonso. He was able to make up the lost ground caused by Nico Hulkenberg’s Williams crashing into the wall in the tunnel on the opening lap. The Ferrari driver took advantage of a ‘free’ pitstop and came in to switch to the medium compound for the rest of the 78-lap race.

With a fresh set of Bridgestone, better downforce and speed in the F60, Alonso was able to carve past the Virgins, Lotuses and Hispanias with some superb overtaking moves.

He was set to finish in sixth until the final yards of the Monaco Grand Prix, when he got sideways out of Rascasse as the safety car came in to allow a final sprint to the line, and accidentally let Michael Schumacher slip through.

That move on the final lap into Anthony Noghes corner is a major talking point for the race stewards whether Schumacher’s pass was legit or not under the safety car rules. After a few hours the race stewards have decided to penalise Michael Schumacher with a twenty-second penalty and the Mercedes GP driver moves down to P12 with Alonso taking back his sixth position.

Schumacher got in front of his Mercedes GP team-mate Nico Rosberg at the start, although the fast-starting Rubens Barrichello was able to slip his Williams ahead of both as they battled. Despite Rosberg staying out until lap 28 on the soft Bridgestone and setting several fastest laps, he was unable to get back ahead in the stops.

Stopping later worked for Adrian Sutil as the German jumped past Force India team-mate Tonio Liuzzi. By finishing in the top ten, the pair gave the Vijay Mallya’s team its first double points finish.

Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi took the remaining point with tenth following the Michael Schumacher’s penalty. Renault’s Vitaly Petrov finished the race four laps down in P13.

As for Barrichello, who lost ground in the pits and was running tenth until a problem at the left rear (possibly a slow puncture) caused him to crash at Massenet on lap 31, prompting the second safety car caution. The third followed 12 laps later while a suspected loose drain cover at the same location was swiftly checked.

All the new teams’ cars retired, the last of them when Lotus’s Jarno Trulli, who had been delayed by a slow pitstop, vaulted over Hispania’s Karun Chandhok at Rascasse near the finish. The crash, which happened right in front of race leader Webber, prompted the final safety car.

So the perfect weekend for Mark Webber and Red Bull Racing. After playing down its chances going into the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, the RB6 and the drivers delivered the result with a one-two finish in Monte Carlo. Leading both championships as well. It will be deeply fascinating whether anyone can catch the charging Red Bulls as Formula One heads to Istanbul in two weeks’ time.

Race results from Monte Caro, 78 laps:

1.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault          1h:50:13.355
2.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault          +0.448 seconds
3.  Kubica        Renault                   +1.675 seconds
4.  Massa         Ferrari                   +2.666 seconds
5.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes          +4.363 seconds
6.  Alonso        Ferrari                   +6.341 seconds
7.  Rosberg       Mercedes                  +6.651 seconds
8.  Sutil         Force India-Mercedes      +6.970 seconds
9. Liuzzi        Force India-Mercedes      +7.305 seconds
10. Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari        +8.199 seconds
11. Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari        +9.135 seconds
12.  Schumacher    Mercedes                  +25.712 seconds*
13. Petrov        Renault                   +4 laps

*Twenty-second penalty for overtaking under the safety car

Fastest lap: Vettel, 1:15.192

Not classified/retirements:

Chandhok      HRT-Cosworth                 71 laps
Trulli        Lotus-Cosworth               71 laps
Kovalainen    Lotus-Cosworth               59 laps
Senna         HRT-Cosworth                 59 laps
Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth            28 laps
Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari               27 laps
Di Grassi     Virgin-Cosworth              26 laps
Glock         Virgin-Cosworth              23 laps
De la Rosa    Sauber-Ferrari               22 laps
Button        McLaren-Mercedes             3 laps
Hulkenberg    Williams-Cosworth            1 lap

World Championship standings, round 6:

1.  Webber        78
2.  Vettel        78
3.  Alonso        75
4.  Button        70
5.  Massa         61
6.  Hamilton      59
7.  Kubica        59
8.  Rosberg       54
9.  Schumacher    22
10. Sutil         20
11. Liuzzi         10
12. Barrichello    7
13. Petrov         6
14. Alguersuari    3
15. Hulkenberg     1

1. Red Bull-Renault          156
2. Ferrari                   136
3. McLaren-Mercedes          129
4. Mercedes                   78
5. Renault                    65
6. Force India-Mercedes       30
7. Williams-Cosworth           8
8. Toro Rosso-Ferrari          4

Next race: Turkish Grand Prix, May 28-30.

Webber snatches pole over Kubica in Monaco

Mark Webber took a sensational pole position at the Monaco Grand Prix maintaining Red Bull Racing’s qualifying record this season.

The Australian fended off a solid challenge from Robert Kubica to take his third pole position of 2010 and with overtaking extremely difficult at this street circuit, the Red Bull driver is looking good for the race.

Kubica was unlucky to miss out on the top spot and the Renault driver was tipped as a strong favourite after setting some competitive lap times in the practice sessions.

It would have been a shock to the Formula One field with a Renault at the front and Kubica’s early Q3 lap time was spectacular. A massive 1.1 seconds advantage! Robert improved this on his second qualifying run, but Mark was even faster and sneaked in a lap time around the 2.075-mile street circuit with one minute, 14.104 seconds.

Kubica’s response was only one minute, 14.120 seconds leaving him second with Webber securing the top spot with a time of one minute, 13.826 seconds. Despite this Robert should be satisfied with this result as he has a good opportunity to challenge Red Bull for the victory come race day.

Sebastian Vettel took third in the second Red Bull, ahead of Q1 leader Felipe Massa, who was the Scuderia’s only representative in the session following a practice crash that left Fernando Alonso on the sidelines with a damaged chassis.

The Spaniard was the race favourite following his impressive lap times in the two opening practice sessions on Thursday, but that crash at Massenet – locking his brake and careered into the armco barrier on the outside – has now dented his chances in scoring a decent result in the Monaco Grand Prix. The Ferrari driver will start Sunday’s race from the pitlane in the repaired F60.

McLaren-Mercedes suffered a disappointing qualifying session with Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button down in fifth and eighth respectively. This was a frustrating result and Jenson in particular complained about the car’s balance and the traffic.

As for the Silver Arrows, Nico Rosberg beat his team-mate Michael Schumacher by a small margin of 0.046 seconds to take sixth. It would have been higher but he too was hit by the traffic around the narrow, tight street circuit.

The Williams of Rubens Barrichello will start the Monaco Grand Prix in ninth with his rookie team-mate Nico Hulkenberg two places behind.

Tonio Liuzzi cast aside his qualifying troubles by completing the top ten, while his Force India team-mate Adrian Sutil missed out on Q3 and will line up P12 on the grid.

Vitaly Petrov slewed into the Sainte Devote barriers late in Q2 and will start in P14, ahead of the Sauber pair and Jaime Alguersuari – the latter four positions and 0.7 seconds adrift of Toro Rosso team-mate Sebastien Buemi on his first Monaco Formula One appearance.

And as for the battle between the new teams competing this season, the Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen leads the second division of Formula One with P18, despite pushing his car to the limit and spinning twice (at Mirabeau and Loews on consecutive laps)! Team-mate Jarno Trulli is one place behind followed by the Virgin Racing pair of Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi while the HRT of Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok take up P22 and P23.

So, a Renault one-two-three in qualifying. Yet again the RB6 remains the car to beat in qualifying as the Milton Keynes-based squad maintain their 100 per cent record with a sixth consecutive pole position. Can Mark Webber follow up his Spanish Grand Prix success with victory at the Principality? Or will we see Robert Kubica challenging for the race win in the Renault? With overtaking so difficult, it seems certain the speed and the confidence of Webber we will see another victory headed to the Australian.

Qualifying times from Monte Carlo:

1.  Webber         Red Bull-Renault       1:13.826
2.  Kubica         Renault                1:14.120
3.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault       1:14.227
4.  Massa          Ferrari                1:14.283
5.  Hamilton       McLaren-Mercedes       1:14.432
6.  Rosberg        Mercedes               1:14.544
7.  Schumacher     Mercedes               1:14.590
8.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:14.637
9.  Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1:14.901
10. Liuzzi         Force India-Mercedes   1:15.170
11. Hulkenberg     Williams-Cosworth      1:15.317
12. Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1:15.318
13. Buemi          Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:15.413
14. Petrov         Renault                1:15.576
15. de la Rosa     Sauber-Ferrari         1:15.692
16. Kobayashi      Sauber-Ferrari         1:15.992
17. Alguersuari    Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:16.176
18. Kovalainen     Lotus-Cosworth         1:17.094
19. Trulli         Lotus-Cosworth         1:17.134
20. Glock          Virgin-Cosworth        1:17.377
21. di Grassi      Virgin-Cosworth        1:17.864
22. Senna          HRT-Cosworth           1:18.509
23. Chandhok       HRT-Cosworth           1:19.559
24. Alonso         Ferrari                No time

Webber charges to victory in Spain

Mark Webber took a lights-to-flag win at the Circuit de Catalunya for Red Bull Racing, leading home local hero Fernando Alonso and team-mate Sebastian Vettel to the chequered flag.

It was a straightforward drive for the Australian after leading the field from pole position. Despite the problems affecting team-mate Sebastian Vettel including fading brakes in the late stages of the Spanish Grand Prix, there were no technical issues with Webber’s car. This was paid back for Mark Webber after missing out in Sepang and he takes his first victory of this season since Brazil in 2009.

Home crowd favourite Fernando Alonso finished in a popular second place although the Ferrari driver inherited the place due to a late tyre puncture from McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton. It would have been a well-deserved result from the 2008 world champion after gaining the initiative with a decisive pass on rival Sebastian Vettel after making a single pit-stop. Hamilton just managed to avoid the backmarker of Virgin Racing’s Lucas di Grassi as he exited the pitlane, exactly the same moment when Vettel was approaching the first corner.

Hamilton complained to the race stewards about the backmarker afterwards but that moment into Turn 1, with Vettel forced off the track to avoid making contact was the key moment for McLaren. What a real shame with two laps to the end Hamilton suffered a front-left tyre failure resulting him to crash at Turn 3 and lose second place.

Yet again reliability problems affected Sebastian Vettel despite the performance advantage from the RB6. With fading brakes in the late stages of the Grand Prix, the German still had enough of a time margin to finish in third. But the team really needs to stamp out these problems to prevent Vettel in losing yet more championship points.

With an upgraded car from Mercedes, Michael Schumacher drove his most impressive race this season to finish in fourth. The seven-time world champion did a solid job in defending his track position against the reigning world champion Jenson Button, despite the McLaren being quicker. Jenson might feel frustrated at not be able to get pass Schumacher in the race due to the lack of overtaking opportunities at the Circuit de Catalunya, but he still leads the drivers’ championship with a three-point advantage over Fernando Alonso.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa finished in sixth despite damaging his front-wing after tagging the back of Karun Chandhok’s HRT as the Indian was being lapped.

Force India’s Adrian Sutil took an impressive seventh, ahead of Renault’s Robert Kubica who was unable to make up for a poor opening lap and had to settle for eighth behind the young German.

Rubens Barrichello finished in ninth for Williams while Jamie Alguersuari, taking part in his home race, scored the final point of the day after an eventful race. He made an exceptional start, gaining six positions to run ninth in the early stages. But he picked up a drive-through penalty after clipping Chandhok’s car, knocking the front wing off the HRT.

Outside of the points, it was a disappointing race for Nico Rosberg and the two Sauber drivers in particular.

The Mercedes driver, who came into this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix second in the championship, was forced onto the grass at the start and dropped back, and then suffered a problem at his pitstop which cost him even more time.

Both Saubers had incidents on the opening lap, which dropped Kamui Kobayashi and Pedro de la Rosa out of contention straight away. While the Spaniard retired early on with a damaged car, his Japanese team-mate eventually recovered to 12th.

As for Lotus, Heikki Kovalainen’s race never started, with the Finn’s car being wheeled into the pits before the start of the Grand Prix.

So not the greatest race this season but in terms of the world championship, it sets up another tense battle in particular the drivers’ standings. Jenson Button still leads with 70 points, three ahead of Fernando Alonso and ten over Sebastian Vettel. While in the constructors’ McLaren leads over Ferrari by just three points with Red Bull Racing a further three.

Race results from the Circuit de Catalunya, 66 laps:

1.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           1h35:44.101
2.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +24.065
3.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           +51.338
4.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +1:02.195
5.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +1:03.728
6.  Massa         Ferrari                    +1:05.767
7.  Sutil         Force India-Mercedes       +1:12.941
8.  Kubica        Renault                    +1:13.677
9.  Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth          +1 lap
10. Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +1 lap
11. Petrov        Renault                    +1 lap
12. Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +1 lap
13. Rosberg       Mercedes                   +1 lap
14. Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +2 laps
15. Liuzzi        Force India-Mercedes       +2 laps
16. Hulkenberg    Williams-Cosworth          +2 laps
17. Trulli        Lotus-Cosworth             +3 laps
18. Glock         Virgin-Cosworth            +3 laps
19. Di Grassi     Virgin-Cosworth            +4 laps

Fastest lap: Hamilton, 1:24.357

Not classified/retirements:

Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari           43 laps
Chandhok      HRT-Cosworth                 28 laps
De la Rosa    Sauber-Ferrari               19 laps
Senna         HRT-Cosworth                 1 lap
Kovalainen    Lotus-Cosworth               1 lap

World Championship standings, round 5:

1.  Button        70
2.  Alonso        67
3.  Vettel        60
4.  Webber        53
5.  Rosberg       50
6.  Massa         49
7.  Hamilton      49
8.  Kubica        44
9.  Schumacher    22
10. Sutil         16
11. Liuzzi         8
12. Barrichello    7
13. Petrov         6
14. Alguersuari    3
15. Hulkenberg     1

1.  McLaren-Mercedes          119
2.  Ferrari                   116
3.  Red Bull-Renault          113
4.  Mercedes                   72
5.  Renault                    50
6.  Force India-Mercedes       24
7.  Williams-Cosworth           8
8.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari          3

Next race: Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo. May 13-16.

Webber leads Red Bull front row in Spain

Red Bull Racing maintain their dominance in qualifying this season with Mark Webber leading Sebastian Vettel to yet another front row at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The aerodynamic updates to the RB6 has made it ever quicker compared to the rivals and Webber’s pole lap at one minute, 19.995 seconds around the 2.875-mile track was impressive. The Australian hopes he can turn this result into race victory on Sunday unlike in Sepang.

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton will start in third place but the 2008 world champion was 0.8 seconds adrift of Webber’s pole lap. Home crowd favourite Fernando Alonso, racing in the F-duct F60, lines up fourth for Ferrari while championship leader McLaren’s Jenson Button completed the top five.

And for the first-time ever, Michael Schumacher has outqualified his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg and will start the Spanish Grand Prix in sixth. The seven-time world champion feels more comfortable in the new longer wheelbase car, which also features a unique airbox intake. These updates has certainly improved his performance behind the wheel and to qualify in sixth with a margin of two-tenths of a second over Rosberg, it seems the old Michael Schumacher form is back in Formula One.

Renault’s Robert Kubica splits the Silver Arrows pair with seventh while Felipe Massa was only ninth for the Scuderia. Kamui Kobayashi completed the top ten as Sauber put in a stronger all-round performance when compared to the four flyway races earlier this season. Team-mate Pedro de la Rosa will be starting his home race in P12.

The Force India of Adrian Sutil lines up in P11, six places ahead of team-mate Vitantonio Liuzzi.

As for Rubens Barrichello, who decided against running the Williams aero updates after trying it in free practice, was the high-profile casualty in Q1. The Brazilian complained about traffic and the lack of significant performance with the new upgrades to the FW32. He will start the race down in a frustrating P18.

Behind the Brazilian, Jarno Trulli led the battle of the new Formula One teams as the Lotus upgrades enabled the outfit to comfortably defeat Virgin Racing, while Karun Chandhok was the quicker of the HRT drivers on the back row of the grid.

Can anyone stop the flying Red Bulls on Sunday? The pace of the RB6 this season has been highly impressive with a lock-out on pole position after five races. Yes, the reliability is still a major issue plus the weather element playing its part to level out the field, but if the 66-laps plays out according without any incidents (including rain), then expect to see a straightforward victory for the Milton Keynes-based team on race day.

Qualifying times from the Circuit de Catalunya:

1.  Webber         Red Bull-Renault       1:19.995
2.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault       1:20.101
3.  Hamilton       McLaren-Mercedes       1:20.829
4.  Alonso         Ferrari                1:20.937
5.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:20.991
6.  Schumacher     Mercedes               1:21.294
7.  Kubica         Renault                1:21.353
8.  Rosberg        Mercedes               1:21.408
9.  Massa          Ferrari                1:21.585
10. Kobayashi      Sauber-Ferrari         1:21.984
11. Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1:21.985
12. de la Rosa     Sauber-Ferrari         1:22.026
13. Hulkenberg     Williams-Cosworth      1:22.131
14. Petrov         Renault                1:22.139
15. Buemi          Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:22.191
16. Alguersuari    Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:22.207
17. Liuzzi         Force India-Mercedes   1:22.854
18. Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1:23.125
19. Trulli         Lotus-Cosworth         1:24.674
20. Kovalainen     Lotus-Cosworth         1:24.748
21. Glock          Virgin-Cosworth        1:25.475
22. di Grassi      Virgin-Cosworth        1:25.556
23. Chandhok       HRT-Cosworth           1:26.750
24. Senna          HRT-Cosworth           1:27.122