Which drivers won the qualy head-to-head

Comparing team-mates in qualifying this season

By William Esler.   Last Updated: 27/11/12 12:32pm

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The drivers all want to beat their team-mates

The drivers all want to beat their team-mates

The tell-tale marker every driver uses to determine how he is performing is his team-mate. And every driver knows how important it is to be the number one driver in their team.

So we've decided to take a look at how the 24 men on the F1 grid this season fared in intra-team battles during the the 2012 Championship.

Please note: for the purpose of this exercise, we are NOT counting grid demotions for gearbox changes or demotions for dangerous driving against a driver as this feature is focused on determining who has been quickest on a Saturday. However, technical infringements where the car was declared illegal are counted.

Red Bull

Vettel v Webber

Sebastian Vettel - 11
Mark Webber - 9

After enduring a difficult 2011 and watching Vettel dominate the year, Webber seemed to have rediscovered his Saturday mojo this season.

The Australian started the year in fine style, out-qualifying Vettel in Australia, Malaysia and China, but a mid-season lull was reminiscent of last year as Vettel challenged for pole while Webber struggled to make Q3.

Towards the end of the season Vettel made the headlines as he stormed to the top of Drivers' Championship, but Webber kept him honest with the last six races split three-a-piece.


Button v Hamilton

Jenson Button - 4
Lewis Hamilton - 16

Hamilton was the dominant force at McLaren this season, getting the single-lap pace from the car whilst Button struggled to generate enough heat in his front tyres.

With the exception of Spain, where Hamilton was disqualified, Button's first qualifying victory over his McLaren team-mate of the year only occurred in July at a wet Hockenheim.

In Spa, Button ruled the roost as he secured pole position far ahead of Hamilton, and the updates for the MP4-27 in Japan also seemed to Button, where he was over a second quicker than Lewis. After that, however, the 2008 World Champion took five consecutive 'victories' over his soon-to-be-ex-team-mate.


Alonso v Massa

Fernando Alonso - 17
Felipe Massa - 3

There was no doubt who the number one driver at Ferrari was this season, with Alonso dominating on Saturdays.

Ferrari openly admitted ahead of the season that their F2012 was not the easiest car to drive, but the Spaniard made the most of the tools at his disposal to stay in the Championship fight early on, whilst for Massa Q2 often seemed a battle.

The Brazilian gave the Tifosi a timely reminder of his pace in Italy, out-qualifying Alonso for the first time all season, although it was something of a hollow 'victory' given that the Spaniard's car was suffering with a broken roll bar in Q3.

A new contract seemed to give Massa a boost as his form improved, finishing the season as the quickest Ferrari driver with 'wins' in the United States and Brazil.


Schumacher v Rosberg

Michael Schumacher - 10
Nico Rosberg - 10

The qualifying advantage at Mercedes seemed to swing a couple of races at a time, depending on the upgrades the team bring to their car.

Michael Schumacher started the season with the upper hand, before slipping behind Nico Rosberg, whose season seemed to be kick-started in China with a pole lap that was over half-a-second quicker than the rest of the field.

Schumacher's experience showed around the streets of Monaco when he set the fastest time, before his younger team-mate headed the Mercedes battle in Montreal and Valencia

During the wet qualifying sessions at Silverstone and Hockenheim, the momentum swung back to the seven-times World Champion, but, in dry conditions in Hungary, Rosberg was eight-tenths quicker.

After the summer break though, Schumacher was dominant, out-qualifying his team-mate three times in-a-row, although in Singapore, with neither driver setting a timed lap in Q3, it was by dint of the fact he has the lower car number.

After Michael's retirement was announced his form went dramatically downhill, with Rosberg on top in Korea, India and Abu Dhabi.

Schumacher showed glimpses of a late recovery in Austin, qualifying sixth whilst Rosberg toiled in 17th, but the younger of the two Germans was back on top in Brazil.


Raikkonen v Grosjean

Kimi Raikkonen - 10
Romain Grosjean - 10

Lotus looked to be the surprise of the season with young Frenchman Grosjean holding the upper hand over Raikkonen when it came to single-lap pace during the first part of the season - he reached the top-ten shoot-out during the first nine rounds.

Grosjean's spin at the end of Q2 at Silverstone eliminated him from the session, despite being quick enough to take part in Q3, and handed Raikkonen the score, whilst heavy rain during Q2 in Germany caught out a host of drivers and left Grosjean a second off the Finn's pace. That was also the first time Romain has failed to reach the final part of qualifying this season.

When F1 arrived in Korea, the flying Finn rediscovered his mojo becoming the dominant force at the Enstone team as the season neared its climax - leaving the two Lotus drivers evenly matched overall.

Force India

Di Resta v Hulkenberg

Paul di Resta - 8
Nico Hulkenberg - 12

The battle at Force India ebbed and flowed all season, but it was Hulkenberg who held the advantage at the end of the season as Di Resta's challenge faded.

Di Resta boasted a 5-2 qualifying advantage after the first seven events, but there wasn't much to choose between the Force India team-mates with the pair regularly within a couple of places of each other on the grid.

From Valencia to Hungary, Hulkenberg had the upper hand, reaching Q3 at each event and moving ahead in the standings with 10th in Budapest.

But after the summer break the Scot was back on form, out-qualifying his team-mate three times in-a-row. However, after F1 headed to Suzuka, it was the Sauber-bound driver who had the edge, departing Force India with a comfortable advantage.


Kobayashi v Perez

Kamui Kobayashi - 9
Sergio Perez - 11

The topsy-turvy battle at Sauber fascinated throughout the season with the aggressive Kobayashi jousting with the smoother Perez.

With generating the correct tyre temperature key this season, Kobayashi's aggressive driving style seemed to help him switch the tyres on early in the year, but as the team understood the tyres better, the Mexican's performances improved.

With his future at the team in doubt, the Japanese driver upped his game in Belgium and Italy, but around the tight twists of Singapore he struggled, going out in Q1, before bouncing back with a second-row start in Japan. However, after Kobayashi's home soil heroics, it was McLaren-bound Perez who was comfortably quickest as it became clear Kobayashi was to lose his seat at the Swiss team.

Toro Rosso

Ricciardo v Vergne

Daniel Ricciardo - 16
Jean-Eric Vergne - 4

The battle of the rookies at Toro Rosso saw Ricciardo emerge with a clear advantage this season - with the Australian even managing to make it into Q3 on two occasions.

By contrast, Vergne dropped out of Saturday's running during the first part of qualifying eight times, and even fell behind the Caterhams on occasion.

However, Vergne's race craft has proved the Frenchman's underlying pace, and perhaps with a season under his belt, he will be able to deliver single-lap speed on a more consistent basis in 2013.


Maldonado v Senna

Pastor Maldonado - 18
Bruno Senna - 2

Maldonado was the dominant force in qualifying for Williams, enjoying a clear advantage over Senna.

Bahrain and Canada represented the only two races Senna qualified higher than his team-mate. In Bahrain, Maldonado was forced out after Q1 with technical issues and took no further part, whilst in Canada the South American was on course for a top-ten spot before an error at the final corner.

Maldonado became a regular feature in Q3 after the summer break, whilst Senna failed to deliver on practice pace, finishing at the lower end of Q2. It should be noted, however, that the Brazilian missed first practice at 15 of the 20 races, as the team opted to run reserve driver Valtteri Bottas.


Kovalainen v Petrov

Heikki Kovalainen - 12
Vitaly Petrov - 8

Kovalainen may have finished the season as the lead driver at Caterham in 2012 according to the standings, but after a slow start Petrov upped his game and was arguably the quicker of the pair at the end of the season.

There was usually only a couple of tenths to choose between the pair, but in the early part of the season it was the Finn who held the advantage. But as Petrov adjusted to his new surroundings (remember he was signed after the first pre-season test) his form improved.

Indeed, the Russian won the battle in the last six races four-two.


De la Rosa v Karthikeyan

Pedro de la Rosa - 17
Narian Karthikeyan - 3

Karthikeyan did nothing to help shake the tag of being a pay driver this season, struggling to qualify within the 107% time at the start of the season, let alone keep pace with De la Rosa.

De la Rosa out-qualified the Indian at the first 12 races but Karthikeyan improved dramatically in Italy and Singapore, despite sitting out first practice at both events.

In Japan normal service was resumed with the Spaniard 1.4 seconds quicker than his team-mate - an advantage he continued to hold until the final race of the season when he was pipped by a tenth of a second.


Glock v Pic

Timo Glock - 13
Charles Pic - 7

Although rookie Charles Pic was out-qualified by his team-mate during the first three rounds of the season, the youngster quickly found his feet, impressing many in his debut season.

In Spain, the Frenchman was far ahead of Glock, qualifying nearly half a second ahead of his experienced team-mate.

However, on the tight twists of Monaco, Glock's extra experience showed as Pic slipped not only back behind his team-mate, but also De la Rosa's HRT.

Glock missed the European GP, whilst Pic sat out qualifying at Silverstone, handing each a free score.

Pic showed potential as he gained more experience and edging the qualifying battle in Germany and Hungary, but fell behind again after the summer break.

The battle was close as the season reached its climax, with Glock ahead in Japan and India, whilst Pic headed the battle in Korea and Abu Dhabi, before the experienced German won the fights in the United States and Brazil.

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