Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel qualifies on pole position ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen to make it a all Ferrari front row since 2008 with Mercedes Valterri Bottas lining up 3rd ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Vandoorne given 15-place grid penalty
McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne will be given a 15-place grid penalty. Honda is fitting a new engine to the Belgian’s car after a failure in first practice at Sochi on Friday. The Belgian is now on his fifth turbocharger and fifth heat motor generator unit (MGU-H) in three races. The rules allow each driver four power units, to last the full 20 round season.
Daniil Kvyat is the first car out on track, setting the first lap time of a 1:37:052. His teammate Carlos Sainz, goes quickest on a 1:36:575. Everyone is on the Ultrasoft tyre with the Ferrari’s of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen on the Supersoft tyre. Valterri Bottas goes quickest overall with a 1:34:177. Vettel and Lewis Hamilton are next on a 1:35:102 and a 1:34:409. With 5 minutes to go, Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne, Pascal Wehrlein, Romain Grosjean and Marcus Ericsson are in the drop-zone.
The flag falls and Alonso makes it through. The camera cuts to a car in the wall. Its Jolyon Palmer for Renault. He was pushing too hard to make it through and hit the inside kerb for turn 4 which unsettled the car. At the same time, Pascal Wehrlein spins as well. This ruins the laps for Grosjean and others. Valterri Bottas ends the session quickest ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.
Out: Grosjean – 20th, Ericsson – 19th, Wehrlein – 18th, Vandoorne – 17th and Palmer – 16th.
Lance Stroll is the first car out on track with his teammate, Felipe Massa setting the first time of a 1:35:677. This time, Kimi Raikkonen is the only car on the Ultrasoft tyre with everyone else on the Supersoft. Raikkonen goes quickest on a 1:34:053 but is then beaten by Valterri Bottas on a 1:33:264. Lewis Hamilton is next on a 1:33:760. With 5 minutes to go, Daniil Kvyat, Carlos Sainz, Kevin Magnussen, Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez are in the drop-zone.
Perez goes 9th quickest after his first lap of the second session. The flag falls and Alonso doesn’t make it through but Esteban Ocon make it through. Sainz and Stroll fail to make it through. Valterri Bottas ends the session quickest again ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton.
Out: Alonso – 15th, Magnussen – 14th, Kvyat – 13th, Stroll – 12th and Sainz – 11th.
Valterri Bottas is the first car out on track but its Nico Hulkenberg who sets the first lap time of a 1:35:412. Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel are next with Raikkonen getting the better of Vettel on a 1:33:253 and a 1:33:426. Bottas and Hamilton follow with a 1:33:289 and a 1:34:565.
Raikkonen starts his final lap and it a personal best in Sector 1. Hamilton is also quick in Sector 1. Raikkonen sets another personal best in Sector 2 while behind, Hamilton is also going very quickly. Raikkonen runs wide at the final corner but is still on pole. Vettel goes quickest on a 1:33:194 to grab pole. What can Bottas or Hamilton do? Bottas goes 3rd with Hamilton 4th. It’s a Ferrari front-row for the first time since 2008. It is also Ferrari’s first pole position since Singapore 2015.
Top 10: Vettel – 1st, Raikkonen – 2nd, Bottas – 3rd, Hamilton – 4th, Ricciardo – 5th, Massa – 6th, Verstappen – 7th, Hulkenberg – 8th, Perez – 9th and Ocon – 10th.
1.Vettel 2.Raikkonen 3.Bottas 4.Hamilton 5.Ricciardo 6.Massa 7.Verstappen 8.Hulkenberg 9.Perez 10.Ocon 11.Stroll 12. Kvyat 13.Magnussen 14.Sainz* 15.Alonso 16.Palmer 17.Wehrlein 18.Ericsson 19.Grosjean 20.Vandoorne
Sainz* was given a 3 place-grid penalty after a collision with Lance Stroll in Bahrain.
Vandoorne* was given a 15 place-grid penalty after a new engine fitted ahead of this weekend.