Lewis Hamilton takes pole position ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo as McLaren Honda’s Fernando Alonso finally makes it through to Q3.
Lewis Hamilton hoping for a change in fortune and sets a competitive time of a 1:23:214. Nico Rosberg tries to beat his team-mates time but goes slower on a 1:23:002. McLaren Honda are hoping to get at least one car into Q3 today as they have been close in the previous attempts and Jenson Button running a new front wing this session might just help. Into the final minutes and Romain Grosjean manages to drag himself out of the drop zone and safely through to Q2. William’s Felipe Massa is out of qualifying after being knocked out. Renault’s Jolyon Palmer is sitting on the edge of being pushed out and eliminated and a good lap for Jenson Button pushes Palmer out. Nico Rosberg is quickest ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.
An interview with Felipe Massa after Q1 shows he encountered traffic on the 1st lap and didn’t get the timing right to get out for a final run.
Out: Haryanto – 22nd, Wehrlein – 21st, Nasr – 20th, Ericsson – 19th, Massa – 18th and Palmer – 17th.
Lewis Hamilton is the first car again out on track and puts another competitive lap time of a 1:22:159. Nico Rosberg doesn’t beat it and sets a lap time of 1:22:759. Into the final minutes and Jenson Button scraps into the top 10 but is then beaten by Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and is then beaten by team-mate Sergio Perez. Lewis Hamilton is quickest ahead of Nico Rosberg and Max Verstappen.
Out: Gutierrez – 16th, Magnussen – 15th, Grosjean – 14th, Kvyat – 13th, Button – 12th and Hulkenberg – 11th.
So far Mercedes lead the way with Red Bull ahead of Ferrari. This is a surprise as Ferrari looked to challenge Mercedes a lot more than just the third row of the grid.
Lewis Hamilton’s first lap is not competitive as he had a massive lock-up into turn 10 which causes the lap to be slow as it is a 1:23:227. Nico Rosberg’s first lap is clean but he could go faster as he sets the initial pace of a 1:22:475. The second and final laps are in a epic lap from Lewis Hamilton on a 1:22:000 is just than enough for pole position. Another epic lap from Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo moves him above Max Verstappen into 3rd place behind Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Top 10: Alonso – 10th, Perez – 9th, Sainz – 8th, Bottas – 7th, Vettel – 6th, Raikkonen – 5th, Verstappen – 4th.
Top 3: Ricciardo – 3rd, Rosberg – 2nd and Hamilton – 1st.
1.Hamilton 2.Rosberg 3.Ricciardo 4.Verstappen 5.Raikkonen 6.Vettel 7.Bottas 8.Sainz 9.Perez 10.Alonso 11.Hulkenberg 12.Button 13.Kvyat 14.Grosjean 15.Magnussen 16.Gutierrez 17.Palmer 18.Massa 19.Ericsson 20.Nasr 21.Wehrlein 22.Haryanto
A break through for McLaren and Alonso
Finally, something good has happened to McLaren Honda and Fernando Alonso as they got into Q3 for the first time since the partnership reunited back in 2015. After a strong race in Russia last time out with both Alonso and Jenson Button in the points, could more points be on offer on Sunday?