Nico Rosberg takes pole position ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bulls Daniel Ricciardo as Renault make it through to Q2 for the first time since Australia.
No halo for 2017
Formula 1 bosses have voted against introducing the ‘halo’ head protection system for 2017. The strategy group of Bernie Ecclestone, six leading teams and Jean Todt, president of governing body the FIA, decided it needed more work. It would have been ideal to introduce it for 2017 when the new regulations but halo will be introduced for 2018.
Allison leaves Ferrari
Ferrari have confirmed that their technical chief, James Allison has left the team. Mattia Binotto, formerly the team’s head of engines, will replace Allison. Allison’s wife passed away in March and his departure means that he will be able to spend more time with his family in England. This is a huge blow for Ferrari as so far this season it hasn’t gone that great and Allison was a huge part of Ferrari.
Pascal Wehrlein is the first car out on track first but isn’t the first to set a lap, his team-mate Rio Haryanto on a 1:17:701. Nico Rosberg is the first of the big guns to set a lap and it is a 1:15:485 but then team-mate Lewis Hamilton comes round and goes 2 thousands quicker than his team-mate on a 1:15:243. Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen are next and it is Raikkonen who gets the better of them on a 1:15:752 compared to Vettel’s time of a 1:15:927. Daniel Ricciardo then comes round and makes sure that Red Bull are faster than Ferrari and goes 3rd on a 1:15:591.
Going into the final few minutes, the track looks like its improving as both Haas cars of Esteban Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean improve dramatically out of the drop zone and comfortably near the top 10. The Renault’s of Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen then improve and manage to get themselves just out of the drop zone and into 15th and 16th place. Torro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz will be the last car over the line and it is enough for him to improve and it pushes Kevin Magnussen out of the session. Lewis Hamilton is quickest ahead of Nico Rosberg and Daniel Ricciardo
Out: Ericsson – 22nd, Nasr – 21st, Haryanto – 20th, Kvyat – 19th, Wehrlein – 18th and Magnussen – 17th.
Nico Rosberg is the first car out on track and sets a lap time of 1:14:839. Again team-mate Lewis Hamilton comes round and manages to beat Rosberg’s time of a 1:14:748. The Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo are next and Verstappen manages beat his team-mate and go 3rd right behind the two Mercedes on a 1:15:124 meanwhile Ricciardo is more than half a second behind Verstappen on a 1:15:602.
With 2 minutes to go in the session, Carlos Sainz is under investigation for impeding Felipe Massa. The final runs are in and Jenson Button improves to 9th but Esteban Gutierrez puts in a better lap time and pushes Button to 10th. Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean cross the line but cannot improve and only manage 13th and 14th. Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez improves to 9th and 5th pushing Gutierrez and Button out of the top 10. Lewis Hamilton is quickest ahead of Nico Rosberg and Max Verstappen.
Out: Palmer – 16th, Grosjean – 15th, Alonso – 14th, Sainz – 13th, Button – 12th and Gutierrez – 11th.
Sebastian Vettel is the first car out on track and sets the initial pace of a 1:15:619. Nico Rosberg then comes round and pulls into the pits. That’s really odd from Mercedes as Rosberg was on a good lap. Kimi Raikkonen beats Vettel’s time on a 1:15:142. Raikkonen has stepped up his performance since signing his new Ferrari contract and has so far outpaced team-mate Sebastian Vettel this weekend. Lewis Hamilton comes round and takes provisional pole position on a 1:14:486. Then the two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo come round and its Ricciardo who has the upper hand this time as he puts in an impressive lap of a 1:14:726.
I’m glad to say that Nico Rosberg is back out on the track after what Mercedes are calling an “electronic error”. Rosberg comes round and takes provisional pole position off of Lewis Hamilton on a 1:14:363. Hamilton slightly improves on a 1:14:470 but its not enough to beat Rosberg and he is on pole!
Top 10: Massa – 10th, Perez – 9th, Bottas – 8th, Hulkenberg – 7th, Vettel – 6th, Raikkonen – 5th, Verstappen – 4th.
Top 3: Ricciardo – 3rd, Hamilton – 2nd and Rosberg – 1st.
1.Rosberg 2.Hamilton 3.Ricciardo 4.Verstappen 5.Raikkonen 6.Vettel 7.Bottas 8.Hulkenberg* 9.Perez 10.Massa 11.Gutierrez 12.Button 13.Alonso 14.Palmer 15.Sainz* 16.Magnussen 17.Wehrlein 18.Kvyat 19.Haryanto 20.Grosjean* 21.Nasr 22.Ericsson
Hulkenberg* received a 1 place grid drop due to a technical breach regarding the tyres they used in qualifying.
Sainz* was issued a 3 place grid penalty for impeding Felipe Massa during qualifying. He also was given 2 penalty points on his license.
Grosjean* was given a 5 place grid penalty for changing his gearbox between FP3 and qualifying.