Qualifying for the Chinese GP was an interesting affair with lots of 'surprises' – not least the McLaren race suits*. Q1 casualties were the likely bunch of Hispanias, Virgins, Team-Lotus and …..a Red Bull? Mark Webber's car had been plagued with technical problems with KERS and just didn't have the pace on the day to get out of Q3. This meant both Williams' and Saubers (and 3 F1 rookies) made it past Q1.
Q2 also threw up some anomalies with Heidfeld, Sutil and Schumacher being outshined by their 'less experienced' team-mates. Renault's Petrov developed problems with his gear-box in Q2 and the session was red-flagged (stopped) with 2mins 2sec remaining.
This could have inadvertently ruined his team-mate's (Heidfeld's) Qualifying session as he hadn't set a time by then. The session resumed with Perez first out of the pits and several other drivers raring to get a good lap in before the end of Q2. However Heidfeld needn't have bothered because his best time was only enough to move him from 17th to 16th. Drivers who failed to progress into Q3 were SUT(11), PER(12), KOB(13), SCH(14), BARR(15), HEI(16) and MAL(17).
With Petrov's car out of action, it was left to 9 drivers in Q3 to populate the top 9 positions on the starting grid for tomorrow's race.
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