Belgian GP: Nico Rosberg takes pole position at wet Spa
Nico Rosberg claimed his fourth consecutive Formula 1 pole position in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.
Rain meant that the majority of qualifying was run using intermediate tyres and Rosberg’s first flying lap at the start of Q3, a 2m05.591s, proved to be good enough for pole position.
Although Rosberg did switch to a fresh set of intermediates and made a small improvement, he had already done enough to be sure of top spot. He ended up just over two tenths clear of world championship rival and Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton, who set a slow time on his first flier, which was compromised by sliding wide at the first corner, leading him to ease off, before improving on his second.
He then pitted for fresh intermediates and got down to a 2m05.819s on his final flier, but it was only enough for second.
Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel was third fastest, over two seconds slower than Rosberg, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso fourth.
The pair had held third and fourth after the first runs, but improvements later on served only to defend their positions with the Mercedes pairing out of reach.
Daniel Ricciardo, who had an off-track moment on his final attempt, was fifth fastest ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the best of the Williams cars.
Kevin Magnussen outqualified McLaren team-mate Jenson Button, the duo ending up seventh and 10th.
In between them were Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa, with the Finn the biggest loser after the first runs and being bumped from fifth down to eighth.
Scuderia Toro Rosso pairing Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne were the fastest of those eliminated in Q2.
Kvyat put in a lap that temporarily put him eighth in the closing stages of the session, but he was shuffled down the order by improvements by Magnussen, Button and Vettel, all of which were in the drop zone at times late on.
Sergio Perez was 13th ahead of Sauber driver Adrian Sutil, with Romain Grosjean 15th.
Although Jules Bianchi was slowest in the middle part of qualifying, the Marussia driver was one of the stars of the afternoon after reaching Q2 at Spa for the second consecutive year.
Pastor Maldonado appeared to have made it through to Q2 by improving his time on his final flying lap in a Q1 session that started off wet but improved throughout.
But the Lotus driver was bumped back down to 17th when Sutil also improved in the dying moments, with all the runners by then using intermediate rubber.
This also led to Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg being eliminated as he slipped down to 18th ahead of Marussia’s Max Chilton having been ahead of both Maldonado and Sutil as they started their final laps.
Hulkenberg admitted to making a mistake at the end of his final lap, which cost him a couple of tenths, also complaining of a lack of braking feel.
Esteban Gutierrez did not have the chance for a proper qualifying attempt as his Sauber stopped on his fifth lap while he was still on wet tyres.
This meant that the Mexican did not get to run in the best of the conditions, ending up ahead of only the two Caterhams.
Remarkably, Andre Lotterer outpaced Caterham team-mate Marcus Ericsson to avoid starting his debut grand prix last, with the gap between the two almost one second.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 2m05.591s 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 2m05.819s +0.228s 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 2m07.717s +2.126s 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 2m07.786s +2.195s 5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 2m07.911s +2.320s 6. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 2m08.049s +2.458s 7. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 2m08.679s +3.088s 8. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 2m08.780s +3.189s 9. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 2m09.178s +3.587s 10. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 2m09.776s +4.185s Q2 cut-off time: 2m09.272s Gap ** 11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 2m09.377s +2.768s 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 2m09.805s +3.196s 13. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 2m10.084s +3.475s 14. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 2m10.238s +3.629s 15. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 2m11.087s +4.478s 16. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 2m12.470s +5.861s Q1 cut-off time: 2m11.081s Gap * 17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 2m11.261s +4.131s 18. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 2m11.267s +4.137s 19. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 2m12.566s +5.436s 20. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 2m13.414s +6.284s 21. Andre Lotterer Caterham-Renault 2m13.469s +6.339s 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 2m14.438s +7.308s 107% time: 2m16.029s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2
Belgian GP: Valtteri Bottas tops final practice for Williams
Valtteri Bottas went quickest for Williams in a frenzied final few minutes of third practice for Formula 1’s 2014 Belgian Grand Prix, outpacing Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo by 0.268 seconds.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was the best of the title contenders in third.
Many drivers only had the opportunity to run one or two flying laps on the soft Pirelli tyre at the end of the session, and were thwarted by traffic.
After overnight rain a dry line had already formed in some places, thanks to the preceding GP3 qualifying session, as the F1 cars took to the circuit for their installation laps.
With the track temperature still hovering around the 16C mark and the surface still mostly wet, there was little activity for the first 30 minutes as most teams – apart from the tail-enders – elected not to risk their machinery.
Thus Marussia annexed the top two positions for half the session as Jules Bianchi (2m01.823s), Max Chilton (2m05.120s) and Andre Lotterer (2m07.529s) each essayed a tentative lap before reporting back to the pits.
Esteban Gutierrez was the first driver out on slick tyres, half an hour into the session. He instantly took 1.581s out of Bianchi’s time, then improved again by over four seconds as his medium-compound Pirellis came up to temperature, and this provided the cue for others to join the fray.
The track evolved quickly over the final 20 minutes as increased activity broadened the dry line, and Ferrari fans will have been heartened by the sight of Kimi Raikkonen bolting on a set of soft tyres and briefly topping the timesheets with five minutes to go.
Bottas, Ricciardo and Rosberg then went faster using the same tyre choice, but Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were unable to eclipse their team-mates and finished fifth and sixth fastest.
Sebastian Vettel finished the session outside the top 10 having done all his running on the medium compound.
He has reverted to an older engine after an ignition problem in one cylinder set in motion a failure of his nominated power unit on Friday.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m49.465s 12 2. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m49.733s +0.268s 9 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m49.739s +0.274s 13 4. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m49.817s +0.352s 9 5. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m49.817s +0.352s 13 6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m49.890s +0.425s 9 7. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m49.893s +0.428s 11 8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m50.203s +0.738s 11 9. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m50.423s +0.958s 11 10. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m50.535s +1.070s 10 11. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m50.592s +1.127s 12 12. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m50.748s +1.283s 11 13. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m50.814s +1.349s 10 14. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m50.866s +1.401s 11 15. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m50.962s +1.497s 12 16. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m51.509s +2.044s 9 17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m51.610s +2.145s 10 18. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m51.898s +2.433s 15 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m52.457s +2.992s 14 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m52.984s +3.519s 14 21. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m54.294s +3.829s 11 22. Andre Lotterer Caterham-Renault 1m55.008s +5.543s 13
Kimi Raikkonen: “Not the best Friday”
Kimi Raikkonen: “A difficult day, complicated by a series of setbacks which cost us valuable track time. In the morning, I had a brake problem, but once it was sorted, we were able to get through our planned programme for the first session. The new components we brought for this race seem to be working, but only after we have cross-referenced all the data will we be able to work out what is the best package to use for the rest of the weekend. In the afternoon, an electrical problem complicated our work, preventing us from carrying out the race simulation. Tomorrow, we can expect a busy free practice session, in which we will do our best to prepare the car for qualifying and the race.”
You’ve worked with both the drivers that you’re with at the moment quite a lot through your career. Obviously what Fernando is doing this season is fairly clear but can you spell out or put your finger on what’s characterised Kimi’s season so far?
JA: Well, I would say that we have had a car that is not especially easy to drive – that’s certainly true. Particularly in Kimi’s case he doesn’t much like the front end of the car and Kimi’s a driver who likes to have a very strong and predictable front end to the car and then he’s able to make the most of the skill he had. That isn’t something he’s found yet in Ferrari and we haven’t yet provided for him. That’s, I think, what we’re looking at.
Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) James, as Fernando and Kimi, they have different kinds of driving style. Is it possible to build a car that suits both of them next year?
JA: Yeah, I think so. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t, put it that way. Any driver responds to more downforce, any driver responds to more horsepower, any driver responds to more mechanical grip. We’re putting all of those things into next year’s car and I hope that both the drivers will be satisfied with the outcome. […]
Belgian GP: Lewis Hamilton tops the times in second practice
Lewis Hamilton topped the opening day of practice for the Belgian Grand Prix, outpacing Formula 1 title rival Nico Rosberg by six tenths of a second in the afternoon.
The 90-minute session was interrupted by two red flags during the first half-hour of running, the first caused by a crash for Pastor Maldonado and the second by Esteban Gutierrez’s spin.
But Hamilton was not fazed by these brief stoppages and was already fastest, four tenths quicker than Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, before the second red flag.
He then switched to the soft rubber for his performance run, heading out at the halfway point of the session.
By the time Hamilton set his best time, on his first flying lap on the faster rubber, he had slid down to seventh, with Rosberg having bumped McLaren driver Jenson Button off top spot moments earlier.
Hamilton then outpaced Rosberg in all three sectors, a massive 0.445s of his advantage coming in the middle sector, helped by the German having a scruffy lap.
Alonso was third fastest ahead of old team-mate Felipe Massa, the Brazilian Williams driver showing that his team would again be a podium threat here.
Button ended up fifth fastest, 1.470s down, but he set the fastest overall time in sector one, suggesting he was trying a set-up that was low downforce, even by Spa standards.
Valtteri Bottas was sixth fastest in the second Williams, ahead of Daniil Kvyat, with both drivers briefly being classified as high as second thanks to completing their qualifying simulation laps before some of the frontrunners.
Daniel Ricciardo was down in eighth place after completing his first soft-tyre run later than most while work was being done on his front brakes in the pits, jumping from 15th and bumping Kevin Magnussen and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg down to ninth and 10th.
Adrian Sutil was 12th fastest in the improving Sauber, briefly running as high as fourth before being bumped down the order, behind Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso, with Sergio Perez down in 13th.
Lotus’ Romain Grosjean complained of the rear end of his car being unpredictable on his way to 14th, just ahead of Kimi Raikkonen.
The Ferrari driver endured a difficult session, with a misfire setting in early on and forcing a lengthy stay in the pits.
He returned to the track in the closing stages of the session, but the car was not able to do any better than 15th.
Marussia driver Jules Bianchi was up in 16th, just 3.587s off the pace, although his position was boosted by several others hitting trouble.
Gutierrez ended up 18th after managing only seven laps before he spun at Blanchimont and being unable to rejoin.
Andre Lotterer continued to impress, ending the session just half-a-tenth off team-mate Marcus Ericsson in 19th place.
Max Chilton, who had yesterday been replaced by Alexander Rossi before earning a reprieve this morning, had sat out the morning session and ended up 20th after his running was hindered by a turbo problem.
Maldonado did not set a time after causing an early red flag when he crashed just after the eight-minute mark.
The Lotus driver drifted onto the grass on the right-hand side of the track run-out of Rivage towards Pouhon and lost control, spearing across the track and heavily into the barrier on the opposite side of the circuit.
But he at least went further than Sebastian Vettel, who was forced to sit out the session as a result of an electrical problem related to the engine in the morning.
This has forced an engine change, which the team did not have the time to do before the afternoon’s running.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m49.189s 26 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m49.793s +0.604s 28 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m49.930s +0.741s 19 4. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m50.327s +1.138s 24 5. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m50.659s +1.470s 31 6. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m50.677s +1.488s 26 7. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m50.725s +1.536s 25 8. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m50.977s +1.788s 16 9. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m51.074s +1.885s 31 10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m51.077s +1.888s 26 11. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m51.383s +2.194s 26 12. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m51.450s +2.261s 29 13. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m51.573s +2.384s 28 14. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m52.196s +3.007s 25 15. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m52.234s +3.045s 18 16. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m52.776s +3.587s 23 17. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m53.955s +4.766s 7 18. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m54.040s +4.851s 18 19. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m54.050s +4.861s 30 20. Andre Lotterer Caterham-Renault 1m54.093s +4.904s 24 21. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault no time 2 22. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault no time
Belgian GP: Nico Rosberg quickest in opening practice session
Mercedes was fastest in first practice for the 2014 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix, with Nico Rosberg outpacing Lewis Hamilton by 0.097s.
As expected, Mercedes-engined cars dominated the top 10, with the ‘works’ cars trading quickest times in the final half hour.
Rosberg topped the timesheets for the first half of the session with a 1m51.724s lap before Hamilton edged ahead, but Rosberg hit back by going another tenth of a second faster.
Hamilton’s race engineer Peter Bonnington informed him that the time came from Rosberg being quicker through the chicane and picking up more mid-corner to exit speed at Pouhon.
Both Mercedes then returned to the circuit in the final minutes but did not improve their times.
Ferrari arrived at Spa with a revised low-downforce aero package and proved to be the fastest non-Mercedes team. Fernando Alonso was especially impressive, third fastest and just two tenths off Rosberg’s benchmark.
Kimi Raikkonen, so often a Spa specialist, continued to fight his F14 T but finished fifth fastest, albeit a second slower than his team-mate.
The Ferraris sandwiched the McLaren of fourth-placed Jenson Button, who survived a brief scare when his DRS stuck open. Button was a comfortable half second faster than team-mate Kevin Magnussen.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was the only other top 10 runner without a Mercedes engine, closing the session in ninth place, behind Magnussen and the two Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.
Ricciardo’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel was two places adrift after an eventful session. He reported gearshift problems and ran off track at Pouhon, then ran just another handful of laps before returning to the garage with a temperature-related exhaust failure.
Valtteri Bottas was the only Williams driver to finish inside the top 10, seven tenths quicker than team-mate Felipe Massa.
While 1.595s separated P1 from P10, the gap from fastest to slowest on the entire grid was a substantial 6.4s, with the usual suspects propping up the order.
Alexander Rossi, who will not now drive in the grand prix, was over a second slower than Marussia team-mate Jules Bianchi.
It only took F1 debutant Andre Lotterer 10 laps at the wheel of the newly upgraded Caterham to overhaul team-mate Marcus Ericsson, who spun at La Source in response.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m51.577s 25 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m51.674s +0.097s 24 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m51.805s +0.228s 16 4. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m52.404s +0.827s 21 5. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m52.818s +1.241s 17 6. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m52.903s +1.326s 24 7. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m52.922s +1.345s 23 8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m52.937s +1.360s 22 9. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m52.972s +1.395s 19 10. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m53.172s +1.595s 20 11. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m53.369s +1.792s 11 12. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m53.594s +2.017s 21 13. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m53.597s +2.020s 20 14. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m53.703s +2.126s 14 15. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m53.968s +2.391s 20 16. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m54.189s +2.612s 20 17. Giedo van der Garde Sauber-Ferrari 1m54.335s +2.758s 16 18. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m55.336s +3.759s 21 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m55.782s +4.205s 19 20. Alexander Rossi Marussia-Ferrari 1m57.232s +5.655s 20 21. Andre Lotterer Caterham-Renault 1m57.886s +6.309s 24 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m57.977s +6.400s 24
Hungarian GP: Rosberg on pole, fire puts Hamilton out in Q1
Nico Rosberg had a clear run to pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix after team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes caught fire early in qualifying.
Hamilton was the favourite for pole after topping all three free practice sessions, but he was eliminated just five minutes into Q1 when he stopped in the pit entry with the rear of his Mercedes ablaze thanks to a fuel leak.
But although this meant Rosberg’s main rival was not in contention, rain that struck at the start of Q3 made the world championship leader’s task difficult.
Rosberg was the first onto the track on slick tyres with conditions worsening, but with the first corner particularly wet he slid off into the runoff area on his first flier, ruining his lap.
But Kevin Magnussen, who was second on the road, also outbraked himself, hitting the tyre barrier on the outside of the corner and bringing out the red flag before anyone could set a time.
When qualifying resumed after an eight-minute delay, the rain had eased and while the track was slippery, everyone opted to continue on slicks.
With the track drying up, everyone went back out on slicks, with Rosberg going fastest on his second flying lap after a brief spell at the top of the times for Williams driver Valtteri Bottas.
But unlike Rosberg, who stayed out and used only one set of softs in Q3, Vettel pitted for new rubber and took top spot from the Mercedes driver on his final lap.
Moments later Rosberg improved, taking pole position by almost half-a-second.
Vettel held onto second ahead of Bottas, the latter also opting to pit for new tyres, with Daniel Ricciardo fourth fastest.
Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were fifth and sixth, both also having two runs in the restarted Q3 segment, with Jenson Button eighth ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne.
Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg was the slowest of those to set a time in Q3 in ninth, with Magnussen classified 10th having not set a time before his crash.
Daniil Kvyat was in contention for a top 10 slot, but he locked the rears at Turn 12 on his final lap in Q2 and spun, ending up 11th.
Sauber driver Adrian Sutil was 12th ahead of Sergio Perez, who suffered a hydraulic leak during Q2 and could only attempt one run.
Esteban Gutierrez took 14th ahead of Romain Grosjean, with Jules Bianchi ending up 16th after an excellent performance to make the second stage of qualifying.
Kimi Raikkonen was a shock casuality during Q1, ending the session 17th fastest.
With Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado, whose Lotus had stopped early in Q1, not running, most teams opted not to send their cars out for a second run on the basis that they only needed to finish ahead of the Caterhams and the Marussias to make the next phase.
But Raikkonen was the slowest of those who did not attempt a run on soft rubber and when Bianchi put in his final lap, the Finn was relegated to the dropzone while sat in the garage.
Caterham driver Kamui Kobayashi was 18th ahead of Max Chilton, who suffered a fuel pressure problem on his final run, with Marcus Ericsson slowest of those who set a lap.
Hamilton was classified 21st ahead of Maldonado thanks to starting a flying lap.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m22.715s 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m23.201s +0.486s 3. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m23.354s +0.639s 4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m23.391s +0.676s 5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m23.909s +1.194s 6. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m24.223s +1.508s 7. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m24.294s +1.579s 8. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m24.720s +2.005s 9. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m24.775s +2.060s 10. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes Q3 cut-off time: 1m24.647s 11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m24.706s +1.396s** 12. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m25.136s +1.826s 13. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m25.211s +1.901s 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m25.260s +1.950s 15. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m25.337s +2.027s 16. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m27.419s +4.109s Q2 cut-off time: 1m26.728s 17. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m26.792s +1.851s*** 18. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m27.139s +2.198s 19. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m27.819s +2.878s 20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m28.643s +3.702s 21. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 22. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 107 per cent time: 1m30.886s ** Gap to fastest in Q2 *** Gap to fastest in Q1
Hungarian GP: Lewis Hamilton edges Nico Rosberg in final practice
Lewis Hamilton cemented his status as favourite for pole position for the Hungarian Grand Prix by topping Saturday morning free practice.
The Mercedes driver had a quiet start to the session, not going for laptimes on his early laps on the slower medium-compound Pirellis.
Hamilton was down in 18th place when he went out for his third run, still on the mediums, jumping to eighth fastest on his 14th lap on the rubber and then knocking Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari off top spot by almost three-tenths of a second on his 16th lap.
But with a big step in performance between the medium and the soft-compound Pirellis, the fastest laps were always going to be set on that rubber.
Hamilton had slipped to seventh by the time he started his qualifying simulation, but he set the fastest times in the first two sectors of the lap and then a personal best in the final one to knock team-mate Nico Rosberg off top spot with four minutes remaining.
Rosberg subsequently improved on his second attempt after a cool-down lap, closing the deficit to Hamilton from 0.453s to 0.229s. He then improved again, cutting the deficit to just 47-thousandths.
Sebastian Vettel then went third fastest on his qualifying simulation, four-tenths off the pace, with Valtteri Bottas just shaded to fourth fastest by the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.
Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, who had been the first of the frontrunners to go out on the soft Pirellis with 10 minutes remaining were briefly first and second after lapping just 49-thousandths apart.
But they eventually slid to sixth and seventh in the final reckoning, just ahead of Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren.
Scuderia Toro Rosso proved it would be a threat for Q3 this afternoon, with Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat ninth and 10th ahead of Felipe Massa and Jenson Button.
Force India drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez were down in 17th and 18th place behind the Saubers and the two Lotus entries, both unable to extract a competitive laptime from the soft rubber.
Kamui Kobayashi continued Caterham’s improved weekend by outpacing the Marussias of Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi, with team-mate Marcus Ericsson 21st after a brief spin at Turn 13.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m24.048s 21 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m24.095s +0.047s 24 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m24.455s +0.407s 16 4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m24.678s +0.630s 15 5. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m24.685s +0.637s 21 6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m24.769s +0.721s 11 7. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m24.818s +0.770s 19 8. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m24.867s +0.819s 21 9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m25.162s +1.114s 17 10. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m25.170s +1.122s 19 11. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m25.231s +1.183s 18 12. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m25.468s +1.420s 14 13. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m25.829s +1.781s 22 14. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m25.859s +1.811s 19 15. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m25.934s +1.886s 21 16. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m26.023s +1.975s 23 17. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m26.035s +1.987s 19 18. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m26.142s +2.094s 17 19. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m27.560s +3.512s 23 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m28.083s +4.035s 17 21. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m28.605s +4.557s 22 22. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m28.821s +4.773s 14
Kimi Raikkonen: “Evaluate every detail”
Kimi Raikkonen: “In the first free practice session, we managed to do a good job, testing various solutions on the programme and I was feeling reasonably pleased with the handling of the car. Then, in the afternoon, I went out for a second run on the Medium tyres, because the behaviour of this compound seemed worse as the temperature went up and that affected the handling of the car, while on the Soft I had no problems. In the second part of the session I did a race simulation with both compounds: unfortunately when I fitted the Mediums I had a problem with the left rear and I had to pit earlier than planned. The telemetry didn’t show any problem on the car, so I hope that the data will point us in the right direction for the next two days.”
Hungarian GP: Lewis Hamilton stays on top in second practice
Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix, outpacing Formula 1 title rival Nico Rosberg.
The Mercedes driver, who earlier topped morning practice, was fastest during the early stages of the session when everyone ran on the slower medium-compound Pirelli tyres.
Red Bull pairing Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo briefly took first and second positions thanks to switching onto the faster softs before Mercedes just after the half-hour mark.
But Rosberg then put Mercedes back on top with his first flier on the faster rubber, while team-mate Hamilton had a scruffy start to his run.
Hamilton then put in two faster laps, first outpacing Rosberg by 0.207s and then improving his best mark by 61 thousandths on the sixth lap of his run.
This was despite complaining several times during the session of struggling with the brakes, saying over the radio early on that “I can’t seem to stop the car”.
Vettel, who had an off at the chicane in the early running, held on to end up the best non-Mercedes in third overall, six tenths off the pace and three tenths up on old title rival Fernando Alonso.
McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen, who ploughed through the gravel at the chicane in the early running, was fifth fastest ahead of Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen, with Ricciardo sliding to seventh as others improved on the soft rubber.
Williams was lower down the timesheets than usual, with Valtteri Bottas eighth ahead of the second McLaren of Jenson Button.
Felipe Massa was 10th after suffering a spin early in his soft-tyre run before a car problem forced him to return to the garage and miss out on some of the planned long-run track time.
Williams engineering boss Rob Smedley was seen examining the left-rear wheel in the garage, suggesting the problem might have been in that area.
Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne was 11th and 12th ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, who had briefly been third after being the first to try the soft rubber.
Adrian Sutil was the faster of the two Sauber’s ahead of Sergio Perez’s Force India.
Behind them were the two Lotus entries of Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean.
Maldonado suffered a quick spin on his first run, but recovered to complete a full programme, while Grosjean’s running was restricted by the team having to chase a cooling system leak.
Kamui Kobayashi, another to suffer a spin, was 19th fastest ahead of both Marussias and Caterham team-mate Marcus Ericsson.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m24.482s 38 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m24.720s +0.238s 38 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m25.111s +0.629s 33 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m25.437s +0.955s 26 5. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m25.580s +1.098s 34 6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m25.730s +1.248s 30 7. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m25.983s +1.501s 29 8. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m25.999s +1.517s 37 9. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m26.234s +1.752s 33 10. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m26.402s +1.920s 18 11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m26.689s +2.207s 42 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m26.703s +2.221s 37 13. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m26.789s +2.307s 39 14. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m26.919s +2.437s 41 15. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m27.013s +2.531s 39 16. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m27.019s +2.537s 40 17. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m27.021s +2.539s 14 18. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m27.480s +2.998s 32 19. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m28.370s +3.888s 35 20. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m28.469s +3.987s 26 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m28.586s +4.104s 35 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m29.036s +4.554s 34
Hungarian GP: Hamilton leads Rosberg in opening practice
Mercedes underlined its dominant position at the front of Formula 1 by comfortably leading the way in the first free practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton beat team-mate Nico Rosberg to the fastest time by just 0.183 seconds, after struggling with his brakes in the early part of the session.
The silver cars were the only ones to lap below 1m26s around the Hungaroring.
Kimi Raikkonen finished up best of the rest in third, six tenths of a second adrift of championship leader Rosberg.
The Finn matched Hamilton in the first sector but his Ferrari fell away across the rest of the circuit.
Raikkonen lapped four tenths clear of Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso, who was in turn four tenths faster than reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel in the best of the Red Bulls.
Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren rounded out the top six, ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso, the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo, and the sister McLaren of Jenson Button.
Felipe Massa was fastest of the two Williams drivers in 10th, while team-mate Valtteri Bottas was only 15th, behind Esteban Gutierrez in the best of the Saubers, Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India, Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso, and Pastor Maldonado in the best of the Lotus.
Hulkenberg’s Force India team-mate Sergio Perez was next, ahead of the troublesome second Lotus of Romain Grosjean, which stopped early with a technical issue related to the car’s water system.
Adrian Sutil was 18th fastest, more than a second slower than Sauber team-mate Gutierrez, but well ahead of the two Caterhams – led by Kamui Kobayashi – and the two Marussias.
There were a number of brake lock-ups and trips across the circuit run-off areas as drivers explored the track’s limits early on, but the most dramatic moment of the session befell Max Chilton as he returned to the pits after his installation lap.
Chilton is hoping his form will improve this weekend, after switching back to a chassis he used before June’s Austrian GP, but the Briton’s session was barely five minutes old when his Marussia caught fire in the pitlane when some oil leaked onto the car’s exhaust, requiring a change of gearbox on the MR03.
He returned to the track just in time to register a flying lap two tenths clear of his team-mate Bianchi.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m25.814s 27 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m25.997s +0.183s 31 3. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m26.421s +0.607s 29 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m26.872s +1.058s 23 5. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m27.220s +1.406s 28 6. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m27.357s +1.543s 28 7. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m27.683s +1.869s 30 8. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m27.782s +1.968s 16 9. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m27.804s +1.990s 27 10. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m27.960s +2.146s 24 11. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m27.967s +2.153s 25 12. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m28.101s +2.287s 28 13. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m28.208s +2.394s 32 14. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m28.266s +2.452s 28 15. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m28.330s +2.516s 21 16. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m28.376s +2.562s 24 17. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m28.593s +2.779s 24 18. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m29.025s +3.211s 23 19. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m30.363s +4.549s 30 20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m30.892s +5.078s 24 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m31.004s +5.190s 5 22. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m31.248s +5.434s 20
German GP: Rosberg on pole, Hamilton down in 15th
Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for the German Grand Prix after Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton crashed early in the session.
With Hamilton absent, Rosberg’s main challenge for pole position came from Williams driver Valtteri Bottas..
After setting the pace on the first runs in Q3, Rosberg was unable to improve his time on his second run thanks to a slow first sector, but although Bottas set a stunning pace in the middle sector he ended up 0.219s slower.
Hamilton’s shunt happened during Q1 when he locked up and went off at the Sachskurve after suffering what Mercedes confirmed was a right-front brake disc failure, forcing the session to be red-flagged.
The Mercedes driver was transferred to the medical centre complaining of pain in his knees, with the team subsequently reporting that he was “OK, but sore after the crash”.
Although he had already set a laptime good enough to make Q2, Hamilton was unable to take any further part in the session so was classified 16th overall.
Felipe Massa was third fastest for Williams, three tenths slower than team-mate Bottas, with Kevin Magnussen a superb fourth for McLaren.
Daniel Ricciardo again outqualified Sebastian Vettel, putting in a strong lap on his one remaining set of super-soft Pirellis in Q3 to beat his team-mate by three tenths.
Fernando Alonso was seventh, ahead of another star rookie, Daniil Kvyat, with Force India pairing Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez ninth and 10th.
Jenson Button failed to make Q3 after being relegated to 11th by Perez in the dying seconds on the second part of qualifying.
He was joined in being knocked out by fellow world champion Kimi Raikkonen, who was four tenths off Ferrari team-mate Alonso in Q2.
Jean-Eric Vergne was 13th after a late effort in Q2, which included a lairy oversteer moment at the exit of the final corner, ahead of Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez and Lotus driver Romain Grosjean.
But Gutierrez must serve a three-place grid penalty for his clash with Pastor Maldonado at Silverstone, meaning he will start 18th, meaning Hamilton’s 16th place will put him one place higher on the grid.
Adrian Sutil was the fastest of the six who failed to reach Q2 after being bumped down to 17th by Grosjean late in the first segment of qualifying, with his run on super-soft rubber interrupted by the red flag thrown for Hamilton’s accident.
Jules Bianchi was the faster of the Marussias, around half-a-second slower than the Sauber, with Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado 19th.
Kamui Kobayashi pipped Max Chilton to 20th, but the second Caterham of Marcus Ericsson was unable to run at all thanks to a hydraulic leak.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m16.540s 2. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m16.759s +0.219s 3. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m17.078s +0.538s 4. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m17.214s +0.674s 5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m17.273s +0.733s 6. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m17.577s +1.037s 7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m17.649s +1.109s 8. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m17.965s +1.425s 9. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m18.014s +1.474s 10. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m18.035s +1.495s Q2 cut-off time: 1m18.161s Gap ** 11. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m18.193s +1.084s 12. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m18.273s +1.164s 13. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m18.285s +1.176s 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m18.787s +1.678s 15. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m18.983s +1.874s 16. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes no time Q1 cut-off time: 1m18.927s Gap * 17. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m19.142s +1.511s 18. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m19.676s +2.045s 19. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m20.195s +2.564s 20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m20.408s +2.777s 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m20.489s +2.858s 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault no time
German GP: Nico Rosberg back on top in final practice
Nico Rosberg was 0.601s faster than Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in third practice for the 2014 Formula 1 German Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso was third quickest for Ferrari.
Both Mercedes went out on simulated qualifying runs in the closing minutes but Hamilton’s lap was scrappier than Rosberg’s.
Most teams focused on longer runs with higher fuel loads for the majority of the session, before sending their drivers out for simulated qualifying runs on the super-soft tyres in the final 10 minutes.
Williams was chasing lap time early in the session, which put Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa at the top of the timesheets for the first half hour until Kimi Raikkonen, the first driver to go out on the super-soft tyres, usurped them.
Times then tumbled in the final minutes as Mercedes returned to its customary 1-2 position.
Alonso had a spin at Turn 8 after overshooting the apex and running wide over the exit kerb, but his super-soft run was flawlessly committed and he closed out the session third fastest, 0.60s off Rosberg’s benchmark.
Team-mate Raikkonen did not improve on the 1m18.842s he set on his first super-soft run, eighth quickest overall.
Bottas had outpaced Massa on the longer runs, but in qualifying trim the Brazilian had the edge over his team-mate and they ended the session fourth and fifth just off Alonso’s pace.
It was Jenson Button’s turn to test McLaren’s new rear wing, but he struggled with locking brakes and ended the session slower than team-mate Kevin Magnussen, who was sixth fastest.
Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel were fighting their cars throughout and the Red Bull drivers could do no better than seventh and ninth.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m17.779s 24 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m18.380s +0.601s 20 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m18.384s +0.605s 11 4. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m18.575s +0.796s 18 5. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m18.611s +0.832s 19 6. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m18.756s +0.977s 16 7. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m18.769s +0.990s 13 8. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m18.842s +1.063s 8 9. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m18.890s +1.111s 17 10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m19.127s +1.348s 19 11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m19.131s +1.352s 19 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m19.470s +1.691s 20 13. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m19.489s +1.710s 15 14. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m19.505s +1.726s 21 15. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m19.601s +1.822s 23 16. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m20.078s +2.299s 23 17. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m20.198s +2.419s 21 18. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m20.466s +2.687s 19 19. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m20.844s +3.065s 6 20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m21.018s +3.239s 21 21. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m23.077s +5.298s 14 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m23.449s +5.670s 7