Nico Rosberg takes pole position ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo as a scrappy session including a crash in Q3 sees Lewis Hamilton starting 10th.
Perez carrying a hefty price
Force India’s Sergio Perez crashed in practice 3 and had to take a 5 place grid drop for changing his gearbox as it had to much damaged for Force India to use it in Qualifying and in the race. Perez has been quick this weekend so far and this grid drop would affect in qualifying.
Carlos Sainz is the first car out on track and sets a bench mark time of a 1:47:237. Lewis Hamilton comes round for his first lap and smashes Sainz’s lap of a 1:44:259. Nico Rosberg, who has been well of the pace of Hamilton so far this weekend, beats Hamilton’s time and goes quickest on a 1:44:136. With 10 minutes to go, Haas’s Romain Grosjean has been wide twice on his lap and reports back to the team of possible brake problems. With 8 minutes to go, Rosberg leads, now on a 1:43:685 ahead of Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg. With 6 minutes to go, both Ferrari cars of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen head on for their first laps. With under 1 minute to go, McLaren Honda’s Jenson Button is in danger of being knocked out and has one final lap to save himself. He has not done it and backs off in the middle sector and doesn’t sound happy on team radio. Nico Rosberg is quickest ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez.
Out: Palmer – 22nd, Magnussen – 21st, Ericsson – 20th, Button – 19th, Wehrlein – 18th and Haryanto – 17th.
Haas’s Esteban Gutierrez is the first car to start a a lap and sets a 1:45:349. With 10 minutes to go, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg spins but manages to keep it on the track and carriers on. Nico Rosberg posts the quickest lap of the session with a 1:42:520. With 5 minutes to go, Rosberg is 1st, Sebastian Vettel is 3rd with Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo 8th and 9th are close to being knocked out. Hamilton locks up at turn 7 and only has one final lap to save himself. His final lap is good enough and posts the 2nd quickest time pushing Romain Grosjean out. Nico Rosberg is quickest ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez.
Out: Nasr – 16th, Gutierrez – 15th, Alonso – 14th, Sainz – 13th, Hulkenberg – 12th and Grosjean – 11th.
Daniel Ricciardo is the first to set a lap on a 1:45:228. Sergio Perez comes round on a very quick 1:43:515. Another mistake by Lewis Hamilton with 6 minutes to go, he locks up and goes wide and causes Nico Rosberg to slow down. With 3 minutes to go, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton sit 8th and 9th with Sergio Perez on provisional pole position. That’s it, one mistake too much and Hamilton’s scrappy session comes to an end by hitting turn 11 and damaging his front right suspension. The red flag is out just as Nico Rosberg posts his first lap and it’s good enough for provisional pole position with a 1:42:758. The session is stopped with 2 minutes and 5 seconds to go as the crane lifts Hamilton’s car off the track. Hamilton’s car is removed and the session is started again for only one flying lap. But not Rosberg, he does not go out again as he and Mercedes are confident with his lap. Daniel Ricciardo is the only car to improve and goes 3rd.
Top 10: Hamilton – 10th, Verstappen – 9th, Bottas – 8th, Kvyat – 7th, Massa – 6th, Raikkonen – 5th, Vettel – 4th.
Top 3: Ricciardo – 3rd, Perez – 2nd and Rosberg 1st.
1.Rosberg 2.Ricciardo 3.Vettel 4.Raikkonen 5.Massa 6.Kvyat 7.Perez* 8.Bottas 9.Verstappen 10.Hamilton 11.Grosjean 12.Hulkenberg 13.Alonso 14.Gutierrez 15.Nasr 16.Haryanto 17.Wehrlein 18.Sainz* 19.Button 20.Ericsson 21.Magnussen* 22.Palmer
Perez* dropped 5 places due to his gearbox change after his crash in practice 3.
Both Sainz* and Magnussen* have been given a 5 place grid drop for unscheduled gearbox changes after qualifying.