One thing is achingly obvious this season. No one is faster than Seb Vettel! Lacing up a fresh set of boots, three minutes before the end of the session, Vettel pulled out a stunner than turned the timing screen purple all over! Not even Seb could believe his luck, beating late season rival Button by a hard to say nine thousands of a second.
Q1 was full of the harder compound as teams tried to save as much rubber as they can for tomorrows race. Hydraulic failure kept Merc front runner Rosburg from setting a lap time while permanent speed hump Liuzzi avioded Q1 with a disgruntled Cosworth engine. In front of the home crowd, Kobayashi put in a hero time on a fresh set of softs, setting the fastest time in Q1. Jerome d’Ambrosio put in a rare performance, out-qualifying team mate Timo Glock.
Q2 was marked by late session times pushing a dejected Toro Rosso out of the top ten and into fifteenth and sixteenth on the grid, in front of the unused Sauber of Perez. Force India overshadowed Williams to claim eleventh and twelfth while Kobayashi took advantage of Rosburg's Q1 failure to grab the last spot for Q3.
Schumacher once again didn't set a time for Q3, joined by Kobayashi and the Renaults. The battle for the front heated up when times dropped into the thirties. Hamilton took an early session provisional pole but was unable to defend in late in the session as a slow out lap kept him from starting his hot lap before the session expired. Button quickly stole pole from Hamilton and was almost assure of the number one grid spot till Vettel turned up the wick on his Red Bull, astounding even himself!
Unable to make a splash, Ferrari quietly nabbed the third row with Massa ahead of Alonso. Webber almost joined Vettel o the front row, posting a quick first sector but lost time through the rest of the lap. Webber will start sixth, just ahead of the drivers who failed to post a Q3 time.