Please note that our Privacy policy has changed. By continuing to use this website, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to the terms of the updated Privacy policy. Accept
Hamilton Grabs Pole in Valencia as McLaren lock out Front row

Hamilton Grabs Pole in Valencia as McLaren lock out Front row

With a new chassis at his disposal, Hungary GP winner Lewis Hamilton on Saturday netted his first pole of the 2009 season, while his McLaren teammate Heikki Kovalainen completed a front row lock-out for the resurgent British outfit.

With a new chassis at his disposal, Hungary GP winner Lewis Hamilton on Saturday netted his first pole of the 2009 season, while his McLaren teammate Heikki Kovalainen completed a front row lock-out for the resurgent British outfit.

"The McLarens were very quick and impossible to catch," said championship leader Jenson Button, just fifth and two places behind his Brawn teammate Rubens Barrichello after qualifying at Valencia.

Kovalainen, in more of a Budapest-spec McLaren, actually should have had pole but he made a mistake on the final corner in Q3, leaving McLaren patting themselves on the back for deciding to go with a new shorter-wheelbase version of the MP4-24 in Hamilton's hands.

Team boss Martin Whitmarsh said the new car is really designed for higher speed circuits like Spa and Monza. "We are still pushing hard on this year's car," he confirmed.

It was a less impressive day for title chasers Red Bull, but boss Christian Horner said they were not expecting to have a stellar weekend on the stop-start Spanish streets.

"This (track) should play to their (Brawn's) strengths. So we think if we can hang on to them and potentially beat them here, then we are looking in really strong shape," he told the BBC.

Sebastian Vettel is fourth on the grid after a morning engine failure, meaning the German is now using his sixth out of a maximum allocation of eight Renault V8s for the 2009 season.

His teammate Mark Webber, second in the championship behind Button, qualified a lowly ninth, in the midst of a bad weekend for the Australian.

Horner said Webber "has not been too happy" at Valencia, and when asked if he likes this urban layout, the 32-year-old driver answered plainly: "No."

None fared worse than Luca Badoer, however, who had F1 statisticians in overdrive to determine if a Ferrari has ever been qualified dead last on the grid on merit.

Felipe Massa's Italian replacement was nearly 3 seconds slower than the sister car of Kimi Raikkonen, and 1.5 seconds off the pace of the nearest car, driven by teenage newcomer Jaime Alguersuari.

Debutant Romain Grosjean did a much better job in axed Nelson Piquet's place, as he looked only a couple of tenths off Renault teammate Fernando Alonso as he sped into the Q2 session.

Qualifying results

01 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:39.498
02 H. Kovalainen McLaren 1:39.532
03 R. Barrichello Brawn GP 1:39.563
04 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:39.789
05 J. Button Brawn GP 1:39.821
06 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:40.144
07 N. Rosberg Williams 1:40.185
08 F. Alonso Renault 1:40.236
09 M. Webber Red Bull 1:40.239
10 R. Kubica BMW 1:40.512
11 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:38.826
12 A. Sutil Force India F1 1:38.846
13 T. Glock Toyota 1:38.991
14 R. Grosjean Renault 1:39.040
15 S. Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:39.514
16 G. Fisichella Force India F1 1:39.531
17 K. Nakajima Williams 1:39.795
18 J. Trulli Toyota 1:39.807
19 J. Alguersuari Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:39.925
20 L. Badoer Ferrari 1:41.413

Be part of something big

Hamilton Grabs Pole in Valencia as McLaren lock out Front row

Research a new car

Buy a used car

Research a new car

Buy a used car

Search by vehicle type

  • Convertible Convertible
  • Coupe Coupe
  • Hatchback Hatchback
  • Minivan Minivan
  • Sedan Sedan
  • SUV/Crossover SUV/Crossover
  • Truck Truck
  • Van Van
  • Wagon Wagon
USA / Global
Our International Editions