Mercedes Lewis Hamilton takes pole position ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and teammate Valterri Bottas as McLaren’s Fernando Alonso makes it into Q3 for the first time this season.
Q1 starts with Stoffel Vandoorne emerging as the first driver on the track. His first lap is a 1:23:219. Sebastian Vettel is also out on track. He’s slowing. It’s bad news for the championship leader. Ferrari tell him to stop but Vettel keeps going. He is next told to box but he keeps on going. Romain Grosjean spins at turn 13 with the rear of the car stepping out which sent him into the spin. He switches a couple of dials on his steering wheel and goes quickest on a 1:20:939. Valterri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton are next on a 1:20:991 and a 1:20:511. Both Red Bulls are off the pace of Ferrari and Mercedes but Max Verstappen wins the intra team battle with Daniel Ricciardo to 4th. Kimi Raikkonen takes 4th on a 1:21:120.
With 1 minute to go, Marcus Ericsson, Stoffel Vandoorne, Lance Stroll, Jolyon Palmer and Daniil Kvyat are in the drop-zone. The chequered flag falls with Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg are safe. The same cannot be said for Vandoorne or Stroll. Carlos Sainz gets through but Kvyat and Palmer are out. Lewis Hamilton ends the session quickest ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.
Out: Kvyat – 20th, Vandoorne – 19th, Stroll – 18th, Palmer – 17th and Ericsson – 16th
Q2 starts with Valterri Bottas emerging as the first driver out on track. He locks-up into turn 1 on his flying lap and back off. Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen set their lap times of a 1:20:210 and a 1:20:621. Bottas makes it round for another lap and goes 2nd on a 1:20:300. Both Red Bulls are next with Daniel Ricciardo on a 1:20:855 and Max Verstappen on a 1:20:722. Sebastian Vettel goes 2nd on a 1:20:295.
With 2 minutes to go, Romain Grosjean, Felipe Massa, Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez and Pascal Wehrlein are in the drop-zone. The flag falls with Fernando putting in a great lap to make it into the top 10. Will he be able to make it through to Q3. Nico Hulkenberg, Esteban Ocon, Carlos Sainz and Felipe Massa put in good laps. Wehrlein improves but fails to get into the top 10. Kevin Magnussen goes 10th but Perez pushes him out. Lewis Hamilton ends the session quickest ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Valterri Bottas.
Out: Wehrlein – 15th, Grosjean – 14th, Hulkenberg – 13th, Sainz – 12th and Magnussen – 11th.
Q3 starts with Valterri Bottas emerging as the first driver out on track once again. His first lap is a 1:19:390 with Lewis Hamilton on a 1:19:149. Sebastian Vettel’s first lap is quite off the pace on a 1:19:661 with Kimi Raikkonen beating Vettel on a 1:19:439.
With 3 minutes and 20 seconds to go, Fernando Alonso pulls out of the pits and goes onto his flying lap. Valterri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton start their laps with both equally matched in Sector 1. Sebastian Vettel is purple in Sector 1 with Bottas and Hamilton still matched as they exit Sector 2. Bottas comes across the line and can’t get pole with a 1:19:373. Hamilton is next and he doesn’t improve on a 1:19:174. Vettel goes 2nd on a 1:19:200, splitting the Mercedes cars. Kimi Raikkonen goes 4th with the star of the day, Fernando Alonso going 7th.
Top 10: Ocon – 10th, Massa – 9th, Perez – 8th, Alonso – 7th, Ricciardo – 6th, Verstappen – 5th, Raikkonen – 4th, Bottas – 3rd, Vettel – 2nd and Hamilton – 1st.
1.Hamilton 2.Vettel 3.Bottas 4.Raikkonen 5.Verstappen 6.Ricciardo 7.Alonso 8.Perez 9.Massa 10.Ocon 11.Magnussen 12.Sainz 13.Hulkenberg 14.Grosjean 15.Wehrlein 16.Ericsson 17.Palmer 18.Stroll 19.Vandoorne 20.Kvyat
- Kevin Magnussen’s best qualifying of the year in 11th, previous 12th.
- Nico Hulkenberg’s worst qualifying of the year in 13th.
- Fernando Alonso’s best qualifying of the year in 7th, previous 13th.