Hungarian GP: Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari should not make Q1 errors
Kimi Raikkonen says that his Ferrari Formula 1 team should not be making the kind of strategic error that led to him being eliminated in Q1 at the Hungaroring.
The 2007 world champion missed the cut in the first segment of qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix when Ferrari decided to keep him in the pits in the closing stages, and his time was beaten by the Marussia of Ferrari protege Jules Bianchi.
Raikkonen admitted that he was unsure if it was the right decision to not run as he felt happier on the softer tyre compound, but the team believed it had made the right call.
“The plan was to do another run but we never did,” the Finn told reporters after the session.
“The team told me, ‘we are fine, we don’t need to go out’.
“I questioned it a few times but they said there was no need, and obviously we can see the end result.
“As a team in Formula 1, as Ferrari, we shouldn’t make these kind of things. We are not in our first year, any of us.
“It’s not good for me, not good for the team, but mistakes have been made.
“People make mistakes, but obviously there are things we need to change to make it better.”
Raikkonen and team-mate Fernando Alonso were knocked out in the first part of qualifying for the British Grand Prix, with the Spaniard saying afterwards the Scuderia needed to “speed up” its decisions.
When asked if he could have simply overruled the team and demanded to go out, Raikkonen said that he placed his faith in Ferrari to make the right calls.
“I’ve got trust in the team and I believe in the people,” he added. “I questioned it but I cannot go against advice.
“We are here as a team, we make decisions as a team and today the outcome was this.
“I don’t really see the point in shouting around. I’ve done mistakes in the past and will make more in the future.”
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
“Exploiting any opportunity”
Kimi Raikkonen: “This weekend, a few technical problems meant I spent more time in the garage than usual, but already, as from yesterday afternoon, my feeling with the car had improved. Today, in Q1 things went reasonably well, but then in Q2, when I fitted the second set of new Supersofts, my car was sliding all over the place and I lost the back end in turn 2. After that, it was impossible to put a good lap together. I’m not happy with my grid position, but I hope things can go better in tomorrow’s race. It’s likely the weather could be different tomorrow and the temperatures will be lower. We will try and make the most of any opportunity because we want to have a nice race and bring home a good number of points.”
Raikkonen frustrated by Q2 mistakes
Kimi Raikkonen has admitted that several mistakes during his final Q2 lap cost him a chance of progressing to the final qualifying segment.
The Finn had felt more comfortable at the wheel of the F14 T at the Hockenheimring but failed to put a clean lap together in the second session.
He was eventually knocked down to 12th place and will start tomorrow’s German Grand Prix from the sixth row of the grid.
“On the second run, for some reason, I lost the rear in corner two, lost a lot of time and it was difficult to gain back the time after that,” admitted the 2007 champion.
“I also lost time in the last sector, so I couldn’t put the lap together. It had felt pretty okay up to that point. We had a problem yesterday morning and a problem this morning, which doesn’t help, but the car was feeling pretty good yesterday morning and this morning so it was an unfortunate thing, but it happens.”
When asked why he has struggled more in qualifying, he replied: “It’s just different things [affecting qualifying]. In the races, it hasn’t been that good either, so it’s just things going wrong or I’m making mistakes and haven’t been able to put a proper lap together for a long time.
“But it’s been feeling much better here, more like it should. It’s not exactly as I want as it feels good for one run then, on the next, you lose the rear for no reason, but I’m not trying anything stupid.
“It’s so on edge that it’s difficult to predict what it’s going to do and one slip, like I had on corner two, and you lose all the speed on the straight. When it happens in moments like that, it makes a big difference.”
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
Kimi Raikkonen: “Make up ground”
Kimi Raikkonen: “We knew the changeable weather would make this qualifying very unpredictable, but I definitely didn’t expect this sort of result. On my first run, I did four laps on Intermediate tyres because the track was still wet, but then when it stopped raining we decided to switch to slicks. On the first part of the track, the conditions were acceptable, but in the second sector, it began raining again and this prevented us from setting a good enough time to get into Q2. Tomorrow, it won’t be easy moving up the order, but we will do our best to make up ground, also because today I had a better feeling than yesterday and I see no reason why I shouldn’t try and have a good race.”
British GP: Rosberg on pole as team-mate Hamilton finishes sixth
Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for the British Grand Prix, with Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton down in sixth.
With rain coming and going throughout the qualifying hour, the first runs in Q3 were all affected to varying degrees by rain in the final sector, with Hamilton initially going fastest on slicks.
But conditions had dramatically improved by the final seconds of qualifying as drivers attempted their second runs and with Hamilton abandoning his lap after complaining that it was too slippery, he tumbled down the order late on as others improved.
Rosberg’s pole lap was 1.6s faster than second-placed Sebastian Vettel, who had not set a time on his first run after abandoning his lap because of the rain.
Jenson Button was third fastest thanks to his late lap ahead of the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg, the German briefly taking top spot after being the first to improve on the second runs.
Kevin Magnussen, the last of the five drivers who did improve on their second runs, was fifth fastest ahead of Hamilton.
Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne had held positions third-to-seventh until moments before the end of the session thanks to their first run times, but plummeted as other drivers completed their final laps.
Romain Grosjean was the fastest of those to drop out in Q2, ending up 11th.
But the big surprise in the middle segment of qualifying, which started in intermediate conditions before everyone switched to slicks, was Marussia.
Having both escaped Q1 after good performances in mixed conditions, Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton produced the best qualifying performance for the team since it came into F1 in 2010, finishing 12th and 13th.
Esteban Gutierrez was 14th after losing his Sauber on the exit kerb at Brooklands corner and being spat onto the grass at the entry to Luffield and backing into the wall.
Behind him was Pastor Maldonado, who was forced to stop late in the session after suffering an engine problem.
Adrian Sutil was 16th fastest, making Q2 but being unable to participate as he had spun into the gravel.
Ferrari and Williams suffered Q1 disasters, with Valtteri Bottas, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen all being knocked out.
Q1 had started in intermediate conditions, but all four were unable to put together good enough laps having switched to medium-compound Pirellis.
Bottas and Massa, who were among the latest drivers to take slick rubber, ended up 17th and 18th thanks to a combination of yellow flags and light rain returning late on.
Alonso was 19th after losing the rear on turn-in to Brooklands and having to take to the runoff area on what should have been his best lap.
Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was 20th, ahead only of the Caterhams of Marcus Ericsson and Kamui Kobayashi.
Neither Caterham driver set a time on slicks, with Kobayashi suffering a car problem after a single lap on mediums and Ericsson suffering a couple of offs during the session.
The stewards will investigate an impeding incident involving Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Perez, which occurred during Q2, after the session..
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m35.766s 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m37.386s +1.620s 3. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m38.200s +2.434s 4. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m38.329s +2.563s 5. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m38.417s +2.651s 6. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m39.232s +3.466s 7. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m40.457s +4.691s 8. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m40.606s +4.840s 9. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m40.707s +4.941s 10. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m40.855s +5.089s Q2 cut-off time: 1m38.166s Gap ** 11. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m38.496s +3.626s 12. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m38.709s +3.839s 13. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m39.800s +4.930s 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.912s +6.042s 15. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m44.018s +9.148s 16. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari no time Q1 cut-off time: 1m45.086s Gap * 17. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m45.318s +4.938s 18. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m45.695s +5.315s 19. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m45.935s +5.555s 20. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m46.684s +6.304s 21. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m49.421s +9.041s 22. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m49.625s +9.245s 107% time: 1m47.406s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2
British GP: Sebastian Vettel leads Red Bull 1-2 in final practice
Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo topped the timesheets for Red Bull during a damp third Formula 1 practice session for the 2014 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Vettel, who had a moment at Becketts shortly after setting his session-topping 1m52.522s, edged his team-mate by 0.109s. Both drivers completed just six laps.
Running conditions were very different after overnight rain, and the only consistent factor was the gusting nature of the wind, now blowing from the northwest rather than the south.
The track briefly began to dry during the opening minutes of the session before a fresh bank of rain blew in, and most teams therefore took a conservative approach.
Neither Williams drivers set a time until the final minutes, and both Mercedes drivers aborted potentially quick laps before ducking back in to the pits. Lewis Hamilton was provisionally half a second quicker than Vettel before running off-track at Stowe and heading immediately to the garage.
Lotus drivers Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean were third and fourth fastest, Maldonado completing 10 laps while Grosjean called it a day after spinning at the exit of Club and nearly hitting the pit wall.
Adrian Sutil was fifth quickest, setting his best lap on intermediate tyres just before the end of the session. Sauber team-mate Esteban Gutierrez struggled to match Sutil’s enterprise under braking and finished outside the top 10.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was an impressive sixth fastest and ran the most number of laps (15), encountering a wide variety of track conditions and testing the limits of his car on a number of occasions.
Kimi Raikkonen was the only Ferrari driver to set a time, though he completed just five laps, with Fernando Alonso and both Mercedes at the foot of the timing screens without a flying lap to their names.
Max Chilton was another not to set a time, the Briton suffering a terminal gearbox problem on his installation lap that required the team to fit a new gearbox, which will mean a five-place grid penalty.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m52.522s 6 2. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m52.631s +0.109s 6 3. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m53.044s +0.522s 10 4. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m53.566s +1.044s 6 5. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m53.585s +1.063s 12 6. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m53.654s +1.132s 15 7. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m53.911s +1.389s 5 8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m54.041s +1.519s 6 9. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m54.217s +1.695s 4 10. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m54.558s +2.036s 5 11. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m54.602s +2.080s 6 12. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m54.761s +2.239s 13 13. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m55.003s +2.481s 4 14. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m55.688s +3.166s 6 15. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m56.918s +4.396s 7 16. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m57.091s +4.569s 10 17. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m57.566s +5.044s 6 18. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m57.914s +5.392s 10 19. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1 20. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 4 21. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 4 22. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen had another difficult qualifying and finished in eighth position, over 1.5s off Alonso’s pace.
The Finn said he was unable to put a good lap together.
"I had been struggling at the first corner a lot and couldn’t get it right," he said. "I locked up and had a flat-spot at the first corner and lost a lot of time because there were a lot of vibrations. It was difficult to get one lap together.
"I think speed-wise it wasn’t too bad if I could have put a lap together, but I just really struggled to do that."
Austrian GP: Felipe Massa leads all-Williams front row
Felipe Massa led a shock Williams one-two in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix.
The Brazilian’s last-gasp effort knocked team-mate Valtteri Bottas off top spot in the final seconds of qualifying, giving him pole by just under a tenth of a second.
It was Massa’s first pole since the 2008 Brazilian GP and the first for Williams since the 2012 Spanish GP.
World championship leader Nico Rosberg was third fastest after failing to improve on his final attempt, but while he missed out on top spot he will be happy to see title rival Lewis Hamilton down in ninth.
Hamilton’s first run in Q3, which would have been good enough for fifth on the grid, was disallowed for exceeding track limits at the exit of Turn 8 after the rear stepped out.
His second attempt was ruined by a spin at Turn 2, meaning that he did not set a time, putting him ahead of only the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg.
Fernando Alonso was just over half-a-second off the pace in fourth place.
Daniel Ricciardo was fifth fastest ahead of McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen, with Daniil Kvyat a superb seventh.
Kimi Raikkonen was the slowest of those actually to register a lap time in Q2, ending up eighth.
Sergio Perez was 11th after being bumped out of a Q3 position late on, missing out by just under a tenth of a second.
But he will start 16th thanks to the five-place grid penalty he received for causing a collision with Massa in the Canadian GP two weeks ago.
The Mexican’s former team-mate Jenson Button, whose morning practice session was ruined by a rear brake problem, and Sebastian Vettel, whose lack of pace in the final sector cost him, were just behind Perez.
Pastor Maldonado outqualified Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean for the first time this year, the pair sandwiching 15th-placed Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso.
Adrian Sutil was the fastest of those to be knocked out in Q1, ending up just four-thousandths slower than Maldonado.
He was comfortably ahead of Sauber team-mate Esteban Gutierrez, with Jules Bianchi 19th fastest.
Kamui Kobayashi did a good job to split the Marussias, a tenth faster than Max Chilton, with Marcus Ericsson unable to improve on his second run and ending up last.
Numerous drivers had lap times automatically disallowed during the session for running wide beyond track limits at the exit of Turn 8.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m08.759s 2. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m08.846s +0.087 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m08.944s +0.185 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m09.285s +0.526 5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m09.466s +0.707 6. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m09.515s +0.756 7. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m09.619s +0.860 8. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m10.795s +2.036 9. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes Q2 cut-off time: 1m09.657s Gap ** 11. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m09.754s +0.780s 12. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m09.780s +0.806s 13. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m09.801s +0.827s 14. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m09.939s +0.965s 15. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m10.073s +1.099s 16. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m10.642s +1.668s Q1 cut-off time: 1m10.821s Gap * 17. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m10.825s +1.311s 18. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m11.349s +1.835s 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m11.412s +1.898s 20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m11.673s +2.159s 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m11.775s +2.261s 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m12.673s +3.159s 107% time: 1m14.379s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2
Austrian GP: Valtteri Bottas grabs practice top spot for Williams
Williams driver Valtteri Bottas topped Saturday morning’s final free practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix with a stunning last-lap effort.
The Finn had shown well during the early stages of the session, ending up second-fastest on soft-compound pace on a strong weekend for Williams.
But Lewis Hamilton had looked set to top the times for Mercedes when he knocked the other Williams of Felipe Massa off top spot by three thousandths of a second with four minutes of the hour remaining.
Bottas then strung together a superb final lap, including the fastest final sector of the session, to go fastest by just five hundredths of a second.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat also put in an impressive late lap to go fourth-fastest, with Nico Rosberg ending up fifth having earlier set the pace when the field was running on the soft-compound Pirellis.
A tight qualifying session is expected this afternoon, with Fernando Alonso down in sixth but only two tenths slower than Bottas.
Red Bull’s taxing weekend continued, with Daniel Ricciardo half a second off the pace in sixth place, while team-mate Sebastian Vettel was 10th, seven tenths down.
Sandwiched by the Red Bulls were Kevin Magnussen and Kimi Raikkonen.
Jenson Button had a frustrating session, running off track at Turn 1 and complaining about a lack of engine braking.
McLaren discovered that he had a problem with the right-rear brakes, meaning it had to change the calliper as well as replacing the floor, which was damaged when Button went off.
The 2009 Formula 1 world champion managed only four laps during the session and was unable to post a serious time, meaning he ended up slowest.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m09.848s 22 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m09.898s +0.050s 25 3. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m09.901s +0.053s 21 4. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m09.927s +0.079s 25 5. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m09.999s +0.151s 31 6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m10.054s +0.206s 17 7. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m10.392s +0.544s 19 8. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m10.449s +0.601s 23 9. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m10.488s +0.640s 22 10. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m10.562s +0.714s 21 11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m10.683s +0.835s 22 12. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m10.776s +0.928s 26 13. Jean-Rric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m11.043s +1.195s 22 14. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m11.103s +1.255s 22 15. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m11.235s +1.387s 18 16. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m11.294s +1.446s 24 17. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m11.558s +1.710s 23 18. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m11.848s +2.000s 21 19. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m12.320s +2.472s 23 20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m12.892s +3.044s 27 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m12.915s +3.067s 14 22. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m14.237s +4.389s 4
Da Sky F1:
Canadian GP – Kimi Raikkonen: “I’ll give it my all”
Kimi Raikkonen: “All weekend, I haven’t been completely satisfied with the handling of my car and again today in qualifying I found it difficult. On my only run in Q3, I went out on a new set of Supersofts, but my F14 T was sliding a lot and I couldn’t put together a good lap. Maybe I could have been one or two places higher up, but I don’t think it would have changed much. Even if the updates we tried yesterday worked, we knew it wouldn’t be easy: probably this is one of the tracks that least suits the characteristics of our car. I expect a very long race tomorrow, in which anything could happen. We will try and get a good start and then give it our all.” -
Canadian GP: Nico Rosberg beats Lewis Hamilton to pole position
Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix after a stellar performance in the top 10 qualifying shootout.
Rosberg’s Mercedes team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, had dominated practice, setting the fastest time of Friday and then going quickest on Saturday morning, meaning he went into qualifying as the hot favourite at a track where he thrives.
Hamilton had topped both Q1 and Q2 but was outpaced by Mercedes team-mate Rosberg by 68 thousandths of a second on their first runs in Q3 after hitting traffic in the final sector.
Rosberg then made a small improvement on his second run, but it was not necessary as a poor middle sector meant that Hamilton was unable to better the German’s earlier time.
Sebastian Vettel was best-of-the-rest, jumping from sixth to third with a strong final lap.
Williams had looked set to be the closest challenger to Mercedes, but Valtteri Bottas was unable to improve on his final run and ended up fourth.
His team-mate Felipe Massa was fifth fastest, just ahead of the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.
Fernando Alonso was seventh, his Ferrari not quite showing the pace to threaten the top six.
Jean-Eric Vergne was fastest of those who only attempted one run in Q3, shading McLaren’s Jenson Button to eighth place by two-hundredths of a second.
Kimi Raikkonen was the slowest of the Q3 runners, securing 10th place on the grid.
All of the top 10 will start the race on super-soft rubber thanks to new-for-2014 rules dictating that drivers must use the set they set their best Q2 time on.
Nico Hulkenberg missed out on a place in the top 10 shootout by just under half-a-tenth and will start 11th.
The second McLaren of Kevin Magnussen was 12th after failing to improve on his second run.
Sergio Perez, Romain Grosjean, Daniil Kvyat were 13th, 14th and 15th, with Sauber driver Adrian Sutil attempting only one run in Q2 as he had used two sets of super-softs in Q1, ending up 16th.
Pastor Maldonado was the fastest of those to be eliminated in Q1 after his Lotus ground to a halt in the closing stages.
He had just jumped Marussia pairing Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi before he hit trouble.
Bianchi was unable to attempt a second run in Q1 thanks to a car problem, while Chilton had to rely on the time posted on his first run because of incidents late in the session.
Kamui Kobayashi was the faster of the two Caterhams in 20th place after making a good improvement on his final run, although he will be hit with a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.
Team-mate Marcus Ericsson brought out a red flag with 16 seconds of Q1 remaining after crashing at the exit of the first chicane.
Esteban Gutierrez was unable to participate in qualifying thanks to chassis damage sustained in a crash during Saturday morning’s free practice session.
The Sauber team is building up a car around a spare chassis for the Mexican for tomorrow’s race.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m14.874s 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m14.953s +0.079s 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m15.548s +0.674s 4. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m15.550s +0.676s 5. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m15.578s +0.704s 6. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m15.589s +0.715s 7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m15.814s +0.940s 8. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m16.162s +1.288s 9. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m16.182s +1.308s 10. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m16.214s +1.340s Q2 cut-off time: 1m16.255s Gap ** 11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m16.300s +1.246s 12. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m16.310s +1.256s 13. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m16.472s +1.418s 14. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m16.687s +1.633s 15. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m16.713s +1.659s 16. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m17.314s +2.260s Q1 cut-off time: 1m18.235s Gap * 17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m18.328s +2.578s 18. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m18.348s +2.598s 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m18.359s +2.609s 20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m19.278s +3.528s 21. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m19.820s +4.070s 22. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari no time 107% time: 1m21.052s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2
Canadian GP: Lewis Hamilton on top again in final practice
Lewis Hamilton marked himself out as one of the favourites for pole position as he set the pace in the final practice session for Formula 1’s Canadian Grand Prix.
The Briton was just under half a second quicker than Felipe Massa as the Brazilian raised the hopes of a strong weekend for the Williams team.
Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg was third quickest at the end of the final one-hour practice session on Saturday morning ahead of qualifying.
The Mercedes both set their best times on the soft tyre and were unable to improve on super-softs, unlike the majority of the field.
The top three were trailed by the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and sixth placed Kimi Raikkonen, as the Italian team maintained its impressive practice pace at a hot and sunny Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.
They were split by Daniel Ricciardo in his Red Bull in fifth, while his world champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top 10.
The two Toro Rossos of Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne were eighth and ninth fastest respectively, just one position behind Valtteri Bottas’s Williams
A number of drivers were struggling on the brakes into the tight Turn 10 hairpin and locked up into the run-off area unharmed. There were also a few spins into the tricky Turn 8/9 chicane, as both Sergio Perez and Marcus Ericsson made errors there.
The session was red-flagged 15 minutes into the session after Esteban Gutierrez spun his Sauber under braking for Turn 3 and clattered into the outside wall.
At that stage, only eight cars had managed to set a laptime with Kevin Magnussen quickest in his McLaren at the interruption. The Dane lost control of his car later in the session with a spin under braking for Turn 1.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m15.610s 18 2. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m16.086s +0.476s 16 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m16.120s +0.510s 20 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m16.488s +0.878s 15 5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m16.504s +0.894s 15 6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m16.528s +0.918s 22 7. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m16.684s +1.074s 20 8. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m16.820s +1.210s 21 9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m16.824s +1.214s 19 10. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m16.884s +1.274s 15 11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m16.944s +1.334s 17 12. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m16.993s +1.383s 19 13. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m17.121s +1.511s 21 14. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m17.188s +1.578s 19 15. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m17.224s +1.614s 21 16. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m17.360s +1.750s 23 17. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m17.900s +2.290s 23 18. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m18.518s +2.908s 25 19. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m18.525s +2.915s 19 20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m19.865s +4.255s 23 21. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m20.227s +4.617s 14 22. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m22.388s +6.778s 6
Raikkonen was less happy with his F14 T.
"It just seemed to be more difficult – at the beginning of qualifying it was a bit better and then it seemed to get more tricky," he said.
"It’s been a difficult weekend so far again, just fighting with the car all the time. It’s not really set-up, we don’t seem to get the tyres working very well and are struggling with the fronts on this circuit."
The Finn believes the nature of Monaco has exacerbated his balance issues.
"It’s difficult to resolve because obviously on a normal circuit you can push," he added.
"On a normal circuit you can run wide [and] it’s fine, here there’s no second chance."
Kimi Raikkonen: “A question of feeling”
Kimi Raikkonen: “I’m not happy with this qualifying, because even though we worked hard on the set-up, making several changes, my feeling with the car didn’t improve much. Right from Thursday I had to fight to find the best solution and the time lost during the second free practice session certainly didn’t help. On top of that, we are not able to make the tyres work well here and in that situation, it’s not easy to put together a good lap, especially on a track where you don’t get a second chance. Sixth place is not ideal, but neither is it a disaster and tomorrow we will do our best to get the most out of it all.”
Monaco GP: Nico Rosberg beats Lewis Hamilton to pole despite error
Nico Rosberg claimed his second successive Monaco Grand Prix pole position despite going off on his final flying lap.
The German was the faster of the Mercedes duo on the first runs in the Q3 top 10 shootout, shading Lewis Hamilton by 59 thousandths of a second.
He then made a mistake on his final flier, locking up and sliding up the escape road at Mirabeau.
But as Hamilton, who was behind Rosberg on track, was slow in the middle sector of his final lap because of the resulting yellow flags, the Briton was unable to attempt to defeat Rosberg.
Daniel Ricciardo continued his strong weekend by beating Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel to third, with the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen claiming the third row.
Jean-Eric Vergne qualified seventh after winning his personal battle with Monaco GP debutant Kevin Magnussen.
The second Toro Rosso driver, Daniil Kvyat, impressed by surviving a crash in Q1 at the chicane that ripped off his front wing by making it to Q3 in ninth, ending up ahead of Sergio Perez.
Jenson Button, winner in Monaco in 2009, was the biggest-name casualty in Q2, ending up 12th behind Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg.
Williams driver Valtteri Bottas was 13th, with Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado behind him as the Lotus team continued to have a difficult weekend.
Felipe Massa ended up only 16th after being unable to participate in Q2.
The Williams driver let Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson through at Mirabeau in the closing stages of Q1, but the Swede had to correct a rear-end slide under braking for the right-hander and hit Massa, who was holding a wide line.
Both cars nosed into the barrier and neither was able to get back to the pits, although Massa did get his car going again but then ground to a halt.
The tangle will be investigated by the stewards after the session.
This incident meant that the battle to avoid elimination in Q1 was interrupted and there were few late changes, with Sauber pairing Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil ending up 17th and 18th.
Marussia pairing Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton filled the 10th row, with the Caterhams of Kamui Kobayashi and Ericsson at the back.
The stewards are also investigating several cases of impeding from Q1, one involving Perez and Gutierrez and the other involving Maldonado and Kvyat.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m15.989s 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m16.048s +0.059s 3. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m16.384s +0.395s 4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m16.547s +0.558s 5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m16.686s +0.697s 6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m17.389s +1.400s 7. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m17.540s +1.551s 8. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m17.555s +1.566s 9. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m18.090s +2.101s 10. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m18.327s +2.338s Q3 cut-off time: 1m17.755s ** 11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m17.846s +1.492s 12. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m17.988s +1.634s 13. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m18.082s +1.728s 14. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m18.196s +1.842s 15. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m18.356s +2.002s 16. Felipe Massa Williams-Renault Q2 cut-off time: 1m18.616s* 17. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m18.741s +1.184s 18. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m18.745s +1.188s 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m19.332s +1.775s 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m19.928s +2.371s 21. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m20.133s +2.576s 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m21.732s +4.175s 107 per cent time: 1m22.985s * Gap to fastest in Q1 ** Gap to fastest in Q2
Monaco GP: Lewis Hamilton leads Daniel Ricciardo in practice three
Lewis Hamilton established himself as favourite for his fifth Formula 1 pole position of 2014 by topping Saturday morning practice in Monaco.
The Briton lagged 0.130 seconds behind Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in the first part of the session, when all drivers were lapping on the slower soft-compound Pirellis.
But Hamilton was the first of the pair to head out on super-soft rubber for his qualifying simulation, doing so with 10 minutes to go.
By then, Red Bull pairing Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel had already jumped to first and second place respective on their option tyre runs.
The Australian was four tenths faster than Vettel, although the latter had looked set to improve on a later lap before being held up by having to pass Felipe Massa’s Williams at Rascasse.
Hamilton then went fastest with five minutes to go, albeit just half a tenth faster than Ricciardo, and appeared likely to improve again before locking up and straightlining the chicane.
Rosberg, who was the last driver to head out on super-softs, left his best lap until late in the session.
He looked set to retake top spot on his penultimate lap, setting the fastest time of all in sector one and then a personal best in sector two, but a slow final sector meant he ended up third behind Ricciardo, 0.116s slower than Hamilton.
Vettel held on to fourth place ahead of Fernando Alonso, the latter lapping just two hundredths of a second quicker than Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Force India opted to sit out the first part of the session and was the last to hit the track, with Sergio Perez ending up a strong seventh fastest ahead of team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.
Jean-Eric Vergne, who made visits to the run-off area at both Ste Devote and Mirabeau in the closing stages of the session, was ninth ahead of Toro Rosso team-mate and Monaco rookie Daniil Kvyat.
McLaren’s troubles continued, with Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button 11th and 12th, while Williams also disappointed with Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa 13th and 14th.
Lotus struggled too, with Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado 16th and 18th, sandwiching Jules Bianchi’s Marussia, which showed impressive pace that potentially gives him the chance to challenge for a Q2 position.
Marcus Ericsson was slowest after a difficult session during which he visited the Ste Devote escape road, having to reverse onto the track, and also survived a brush with the barrier.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m16.758s 27 2. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m16.808s +0.050s 26 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m16.874s +0.116s 24 4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m17.184s +0.426s 23 5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m17.428s +0.670s 22 6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m17.448s +0.690s 24 7. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m17.725s +0.967s 23 8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m18.074s +1.316s 21 9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m18.136s +1.378s 19 10. Danil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m18.166s +1.408s 26 11. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m18.249s +1.491s 28 12. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m18.262s +1.504s 21 13. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m18.430s +1.672s 31 14. Felipe Massa Williams-Renault 1m18.542s +1.784s 30 15. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m18.598s +1.840s 24 16. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m18.776s +2.018s 26 17. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m18.872s +2.114s 23 18. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m19.118s +2.360s 28 19. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m19.149s +2.391s 28 20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m20.271s +3.513s 32 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m20.394s +3.636s 25 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m20.589s +3.831s 30
Spanish GP: Lewis Hamilton denies Nico Rosberg pole
Lewis Hamilton claimed his fourth pole position of the 2014 Formula 1 season by topping qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.
Hamilton was outpaced by Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg during the first two segments of qualifying, but delivered when it counted in Q3 to take pole by 0.168 seconds in a tense final-lap battle.
With Mercedes continuing to dominate, the rest were battling for third and it was Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo who emerged as best of the rest, albeit a second off Hamilton.
Valtteri Bottas qualified fourth for Williams, comfortably ahead of Romain Grosjean, who continued the recent upward trend for the twin-tusk Lotus E22 with a season’s best fifth place.
The two Ferraris lapped at a similar pace, ending up sixth and seventh with Kimi Raikkonen shading team-mate Fernando Alonso.
Jenson Button was eighth ahead of Felipe Massa, the latter looking set for a stronger grid position but for a disappointing Q3 lap.
Sebastian Vettel qualified 10th after being unable to complete a lap during Q3 thanks to his Red Bull grinding to a halt early in his run, prompting a brief red flag stoppage.
Nico Hulkenberg was fastest of the drivers to fail to make the top 10 shootout. He was bumped out of the Q3 slots by Bottas late on, albeit less than a tenth slower than home hero Alonso, who just scraped through.
The second Force India of Sergio Perez was 13th ahead of Daniil Kvyat and Esteban Gutierrez.
Behind them, Kevin Magnussen was classified 15th despite not running in Q2 with an engine problem striking his McLaren-Mercedes.
Jean-Eric Vergne was 16th after also not running, but he will start from the back of the grid thanks to a 10-place grid penalty for shedding a wheel during Friday afternoon practice.
Adrian Sutil, who complained about a problem with his Sauber over the radio, was the fastest of those who failed to escape Q1.
He was bumped down to 17th in the dying seconds of the first segment of qualifying by Button, who put on the quicker medium Pirelli in order to ensure he was not knocked out.
Max Chilton was 18th, outqualifying Marussia team-mate Jules Bianchi by six tenths of a second, with Marcus Ericsson doing a good job in the lead Caterham to end up just ahead of Kamui Kobayashi.
Pastor Maldonado will start last after failing to complete a flying lap before crashing.
He lost the rear end of his Lotus at the exit of Turn 3 after drifting wide on his first flying lap in Q1, spinning into the inside wall and bringing out the red flag for seven minutes.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m25.232s 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m25.400s +0.168s 3. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m26.285s +1.053s 4. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m26.632s +1.400s 5. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m26.960s +1.728s 6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m27.104s +1.872s 7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m27.140s +1.908s 8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m27.335s +2.103s 9. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m27.402s +2.170s 10. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault Q3 cut-off time: 1m27.602s ** 11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m27.685s +1.597s 12. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m28.002s +1.914s 13. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m28.039s +1.951s 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m28.280s +2.192s 15. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 16. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault Q2 cut-off time: 1m28.472s * 17. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m28.563s +1.799s 18. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m29.586s +2.822s 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m30.177s +3.413s 20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m30.312s +3.548s 21. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m30.375s +3.611s 22. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 107 per cent time: 1m32.837s * Gap to fastest in Q1 ** Gap to fastest in Q2
Spanish GP: Nico Rosberg leads Lewis Hamilton in final practice
Mercedes continued its dominance of Formula 1 as Nico Rosberg topped the third practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix ahead of his team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Qualifying this afternoon will most likely be another personal duel between the two Silver Arrows machines. They were split by 0.869 seconds in Saturday morning practice.
Local hero Fernando Alonso was third quickest in his Ferrari, more than 1.3s behind Rosberg and just fractionally ahead of Felipe Massa’s Williams.
Frenchman Romain Grosjean was fifth quickest for Lotus ahead of Kevin Magnussen (McLaren), Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) and the other McLaren of Jenson Button.
Pastor Maldonado was ninth quickest in the second Lotus, while Sebastian Vettel made up for the time he lost on Friday by completing 20 laps in his Red Bull and finishing with the 10th fastest time.
At the beginning of the hour the Ferraris set the early pace, with firstly Kimi Raikkonen, then his team-mate Alonso going fastest on the hard tyres in the first 20 minutes.
As the half hour mark approached the Mercedes drivers emerged from the pits and started lighting up the timesheets. Rosberg was first to post the quickest time, over a second faster than Alonso’s Ferrari.
Rosberg and his team-mate Hamilton then traded fastest lap times at the top of the order, but it was clear that a number of drivers continued to struggle with the low grip on a dry but overcast day in Barcelona.
Several drivers, including the spectacular Alonso, battled with rear grip issues and once again Max Chilton’s session ended in the gravel trap, this time after he locked up his front left heading into Turn 5 and slid wide into the gravel on the outside of the corner.
Kamui Kobayashi also had a late off-track excursion in his Caterham but was able to continue unharmed.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m25.887s 16 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m26.756s +0.869s 9 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m27.188s +1.301s 15 4. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m27.223s +1.336s 10 5. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m27.682s +1.795s 18 6. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m27.806s +1.919s 16 7. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m27.808s +1.921s 12 8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m28.006s +2.119s 11 9. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m28.076s +2.189s 19 10. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m28.085s +2.198s 20 11. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m28.101s +2.214s 12 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m28.242s +2.355s 16 13. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m28.298s +2.411s 16 14. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m28.419s +2.532s 16 15. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m28.571s +2.684s 13 16. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m28.668s +2.781s 13 17. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m28.715s +2.828s 16 18. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m28.865s +2.978s 18 19. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m30.169s +4.282s 15 20. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m30.670s +4.783s 12 21. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m30.712s +4.825s 18 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m31.559s +5.672s 19
Da Sky (pw leavemealone9):
Raikkonen bemoans ‘inconsistent’ Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen said his Ferrari’s unpredictable handling was to blame for his poor showing during qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix.
Raikkonen will start from 11th on the grid in Sunday’s race after failing to make the top-ten shootout at the Shanghai International Circuit. He said the car was catching him out and that he lost too much time in the final sector of the lap on his final run in Q2.
"The car’s handling was inconsistent, as it was stable in some parts of the track and less so in others," Raikkonen said. "I had some problems with the balance and this had an effect on my performance. The past two days have been difficult, because after yesterday’s technical problem, this morning I also only did a single run, but overall, I felt more comfortable in the car.
"Unfortunately, on my last run in Q2, when I was on my quick lap, I lost a lot of time in the final sector and that meant I didn’t make the cut to Q3. It’s too early to say what happened, but the time lost yesterday definitely didn’t help. Now I want to concentrate on tomorrow’s race and try my best to end this weekend with a good result."
Raikkonen has struggled to put a solid weekend together since returning to Ferrari this year, but said his last season with the team in 2009, in which he still managed to win a race, was even worse.
"I have had difficult years with other teams and with Ferrari. I think 2009 was even more worse. It’s not ideal but there is only one way that we can go. I’m sure we can make things better and make me happier and make better results."
Chinese GP: Kimi Raikkonen finding weekend ‘painful’
Kimi Raikkonen described his Chinese Grand Prix weekend as "painful" thus far, after failing to make it into the top 10 in qualifying.
The Finn lost most of Friday’s dry free practice sessions to technical problems with his Ferrari and failed to graduate to the final segment of qualifying for the second time in four races on Saturday.
He will start 11th for Sunday’s race at Shanghai, after struggling with the gearshifts on his F14 T.
"It’s been a pretty painful couple of days," said Raikkonen.
"In the morning [free practice] it felt a bit better but obviously it didn’t turn out to be a very good day. But that’s how it goes.
"[I had] some issues upsetting things with the gearshift. It felt OK at some points but I lost quite a lot of time in the last sector.
"It’s been a pretty bad weekend so far. I didn’t get much running yesterday and it seems to get more difficult all the time. I don’t really understand why.
"There are moments it feels pretty good but then days like this.
"I’m sure there is something we can do to get things running nicely all the time, but obviously the issues we had yesterday didn’t help to start with.
"[It's] not easy with the weather to pick it up and turn it around. It looks pretty bad right now, but I have had difficult years with other teams and with Ferrari – I think 2009 was even worse.
"[It's] not ideal, but there’s only one way we can go and I’m sure we can turn it around."
Chinese GP: Lewis Hamilton continues Mercedes’ pole run in damp
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton claimed his third pole position of the 2014 Formula 1 season by setting the pace in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix.
With qualifying held in wet conditions, initially with most running on wets before the intermediates became the tyre of choice, Hamilton went fastest on his first run in Q3 then improved by almost half a second on his second run to consolidate his position.
It is the 34th pole position of Hamilton’s F1 career, meaning he has broken Jim Clark’s British record, with only Michael Schumacher (68), Ayrton Senna (65) and Sebastian Vettel (45) still ahead of him overall.
Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo will start second, setting a time six tenths slower than Hamilton on his final attempt.
This means he outqualifies team-mate Sebastian Vettel for the third time this season, with Vettel third ahead of the second Mercedes of Nico Rosberg.
Rosberg had looked set to take provisional pole away from Hamilton on his second run, but he carried too much speed into the hairpin, running wide and preventing him from improving.
A spin at the final corner on his final attempt ensured that Rosberg could do no better than fourth.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was fifth fastest having never threatened the top positions during qualifying, with Williams pairing Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas closely matched in sixth and seventh.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg qualified eighth, ahead of Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne.
Romain Grosjean put a Lotus into Q3 for the first time since 2013, ending up slowest in the top 10 shootout.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and McLaren driver Jenson Button were the big-name casualties during Q2.
Both were unable to set a good enough pace on their second set of intermediates to break into the top 10 after being bumped out of it by well-timed improvements by Vergne, Massa, Hulkenberg.
Button, who complained of a lack of front tyre temperature, and Raikkonen both lapped quickly enough in the first two sectors to make Q3 on their final laps, but worsening conditions in the final sector made it impossible to improve overall.
Daniil Kvyat was 13th ahead of Adrian Sutil, Kevin Magnussen and Sergio Perez.
Esteban Gutierrez was the fastest of those to fall in Q1. He had looked set to seal a place in the second stage of qualifying with a late run on intermediates before a very poor final sector, including a wide moment at the final corner, ruined his attempt.
Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi beat Jules Bianchi to 18th, with team-mate Marcus Ericsson outpacing the second Marussia of Max Chilton.
Pastor Maldonado was classified 22nd as he was unable to participate thanks to an engine problem that forced him to stop on track during morning practice.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m53.860s 2. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m54.455s +0.595s 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m54.960s +1.100s 4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m55.143s +1.283s 5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m55.637s +1.777s 6. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m56.147s +2.287s 7. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m56.282s +2.422s 8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m56.366s +2.506s 9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m56.773s +2.913s 10. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m57.079s +3.219s Q3 cut-off time: 1m56.847s 11. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m56.860s +2.831s* 12. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m56.963s +2.934s* 13. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m57.289s +3.260s* 14. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m57.393s +3.364s* 15. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m57.675s +3.646s* 16. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m58.264s +4.235s* Q2 cut-off time: 1m58.411s 17. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m58.988s +3.472s** 18. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m59.260s +3.744s** 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m59.326s +3.810s** 20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 2m00.646s +5.130s** 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 2m00.865s +5.349s** 22. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 107 per cent time: 2m03.602s * Gap to 1st in Q2 ** Gap to 1st in Q1
Chinese GP: Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo leads damp final practice
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo recorded the fastest time in a wet practice session on Saturday morning ahead of qualifying for the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix.
The Australian driver was quickest in the damp, slippery conditions ahead of the Williams of Felipe Massa.
Rain started to fall at the beginning of the session and intermittently throughout the hour. More rain is expected for qualifying later on Saturday afternoon.
The bad weather meant running was limited, with the Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren teams sitting out most of the session.
In the late stages, both Nico Rosberg and Kevin Magnussen emerged in the last 10 minutes for a run but did not complete a timed lap.
Romain Grosjean was third quickest in his Lotus, but there were more problems for his team-mate Pastor Maldonado.
Despite setting the sixth fastest time he was ordered by his team to stop his car with 20 minutes of the session remaining and pulled to the side of the track at Turn 10.
Just ahead of Maldonado on the timesheets was Kimi Raikkonen, who emerged from his garage for a late run to set the fifth fastest time overall in his Ferrari.
Nico Hulkenberg was fourth fastest in his Force India, while Daniil Kvyat was seventh in his Toro Rosso.
Next up was Valtteri Bottas who was one of the drivers who was caught out in the tricky conditions, spinning his Williams on the exit of Turn 10 in the mid-stage of the hour, but able to continue unharmed.
On his installation lap Jean-Eric Vergne was complaining about a problem with his Renault power unit in the back of the Toro Rosso, but managed five laps in total.
Track temperatures were particularly low – 14 degrees C air and 15 degrees on track. Qualifying commences at 2pm local time.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m53.958s 5 2. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m54.492s +0.534s 5 3. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m54.514s +0.556s 4 4. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m55.032s +1.074s 6 5. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m55.062s +1.104s 4 6. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m55.228s +1.27 s 12 7. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m55.235s +1.277s 7 8. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m55.381s +1.423s 5 9. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m55.673s +1.715s 4 10. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m56.019s +2.061s 6 11. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m56.233s +2.275s 8 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m56.380s +2.422s 9 13. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m56.760s +2.802s 8 14. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m56.841s +2.883s 13 15. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m57.468s +3.51 s 9 16. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m57.812s +3.854s 12 17. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m57.976s +4.018s 14 18. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m59.507s +5.549s 6 19. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 4 20. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 3 21. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1 22. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 3
Bahrain GP: Raikkonen now more comfortable with Ferrari’s car
Kimi Raikkonen believes that the changes Ferrari has made to its 2014 Formula 1 challenger have helped him feel more comfortable on track.
The Finn will start Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix from fifth place on the grid, having qualified sixth with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo taking a 10-place grid penalty.
Raikkonen has struggled to feel at home with the Ferrari F14 T this season, but after outqualifying team-mate Fernando Alonso for the first time this season, he said he was happier in the cockpit.
"The feeling is a bit better with the car," Raikkonen told reporters in the Sakhir paddock.
"I think the parts I wanted have definitely helped.
"In qualifying it felt more like we expected and wanted. It’s definitely the right direction.
"We’re still not where we want to be but we know what we’re doing. It will just take time to get where we want."
The 2007 world champion said there is no specific area that needs improvement on the Ferrari, as the team needs to make gains in every department.
"We need to go forward with all areas of the car," he added. "Obviously we need more.
"Understanding on engines and electronics to improve those small things that make a lot of improvement.
"We improved a lot of things in the first three races, all areas. [And] I improved a little with the front end."
Raikkonen said that he has not really suffered many problems with the new brake-by-wire system in the last two race weekends, after it proved troublesome earlier in the year.
"[Brake-by-wire] wasn’t really a problem," he said. "We had some issues in testing, there were some odd things in Australia.
"It’s all really to do with front end, and if you have a good feeling with the brake it gets easier. We’ve improved in that area."
Da SkyF1 (pw leavemealone9)
Bahrain GP: Rosberg beats Hamilton to pole as Mercedes dominates
Nico Rosberg claimed his first pole position of the 2014 Formula 1 season, leading a Mercedes front row lockout.
Lewis Hamilton had set the pace throughout practice and headed into the session as favourite for pole position, but after being outpaced by Rosberg on their first runs in Q3 had a big lockup on his second lap at Turn 1 and ran wide, preventing him from mounting a challenge for pole.
Rosberg aborted his final run having been informed Hamilton made a mistake, earning the fifth pole position of his F1 career.
Daniel Ricciardo was one of the few drivers to improve on his second run in Q3, jumping to third on the grid.
This relegated Valtteri Bottas to fourth, the Finn proving that the Williams team’s pace during pre-season testing here was no fluke with a place on the second row.
Force India driver Sergio Perez has been strong all weekend and was fifth fastest, only a tenth slower than Bottas.
He shaded Kimi Raikkonen, who had only one run in Q3 because he had only one set of fresh rubber remaining, by 22 thousandths of a second.
McLaren pairing Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen ended up seventh and eight, split by the second Williams of Felipe Massa, with both making late improvements as they also had only one set of new softs for the session.
Fernando Alonso was slowest in Q3 after a disappointing final lap, ending up six tenths slower than team-mate Raikkonen.
World champion Sebastian Vettel failed to make Q3 for the second time in three races.
Red Bull opted to complete just one run in Q2 and Vettel complained about downshift problems after missing the cut by six-hundredths of a second.
Nico Hulkenberg, who has struggled to match Force India team-mate Perez all weekend, also failed to hook up a good enough lap to make Q3 after running wide onto the kerb at Turn 11, ending up 12th ahead of the Toro Rossos of Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne.
Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez shaded Lotus driver Romain Grosjean for 15th place by just 17 thousandths of a second.
Pastor Maldonado was the fastest driver to fall in Q1 in 17th place. He was pipped by Grosjean, who set a time just nine thousandths of a second faster than his team-mate in the dying moments of the first part of qualifying.
Grosjean was impeded by Adrian Sutil’s Sauber late in the session, an incident which will be investigated by the stewards tonight.
The German was also knocked out in Q1, while Caterham continued its recent upward curve in terms of performance, with Kamui Kobayashi 19th fastest, lapping within a quarter of a second of Sutil, and Marcus Ericsson 21st.
Jules Bianchi split the two Caterhams, with Max Chilton slowest.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m33.185s 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m33.464s +0.279s 3. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m34.051s +0.866s 4. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m34.247s +1.062s 5. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m34.346s +1.161s 6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m34.368s +1.183s 7. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m34.387s +1.202s 8. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m34.511s +1.326s 9. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m34.712s +1.527s 10. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m34.992s +1.807s Q2 cut-off time: 1m34.925s Gap ** 11. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m34.985s +1.277s 12. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m35.116s +1.408s 13. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m35.145s +1.437s 14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m35.286s +1.578s 15. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m35.891s +2.183s 16. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m35.908s +2.200s Q1 cut-off time: 1m36.654s Gap * 17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m36.663s +1.789s 18. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m36.840s +1.966s 19. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m37.085s +2.211s 20. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m37.310s +2.436s 21. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m37.875s +3.001s 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m37.913s +3.039s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2
Bahrain GP: Lewis Hamilton completes practice sweep for Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton continued Mercedes’ domination as he set the fastest time in final practice for Formula 1’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Briton, who was fastest in both Friday sessions at the Sakhir circuit, headed his team-mate Nico Rosberg by 0.115 seconds.
They finished ahead of Sergio Perez, who was half a second adrift of Hamilton’s best lap, but the pace of the Force India indicates that it is looking good for a strong qualifying performance later on Saturday.
Valtteri Bottas was fourth fastest in his Williams ahead of his team-mate Felipe Massa.
Like Friday, Williams chose to save mileage by sitting out much of the practice period. But when both they first appeared on the medium compound tyre they were the second fastest runners behind the Mercedes pair at the mid-way stage of the hour.
Sebastian Vettel sat out the final 20 minutes of the session after he spun his Red Bull off the track. The world champion seemingly lost control of his car on the exit of Turn 2 and looped his car around into the gravel trap. He had only completed eight laps when he spun off.
Jenson Button was sixth fastest in his McLaren, just ahead of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari and the other Force India of Nico Hulkenberg.
Hamilton was the first of the frontrunners to head the timesheets, putting in a 1m37.340s lap halfway through the session on the medium compound tyre.
A few minutes later his team-mate beat him by less than a tenth of a second. At that stage they were quicker than Jenson Button’s McLaren by over a second.
A number of drivers were caught out at the end of the back straight and ran wide entering Turn 11 – including the Mercedes runners – thanks to the gusty tail wind at the Sakhir circuit.
There was further problems for Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson, who complained that his Renault was not delivering full power in the opening minutes of the hour.
Qualifying takes place under floodlights at 6pm local time.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m35.324s 12 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m35.439s +0.115s 12 3. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m35.868s +0.544s 10 4. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m36.116s +0.792s 10 5. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m36.364s +1.040s 8 6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m36.394s +1.070s 8 7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m36.454s +1.130s 12 8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m36.455s +1.131s 11 9. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m36.680s +1.356s 16 10. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m36.772s +1.448s 13 11. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m36.822s +1.498s 8 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m37.030s +1.706s 11 13. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m37.119s +1.795s 11 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m37.325s +2.001s 18 15. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m38.089s +2.765s 24 16. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m38.400s +3.076s 17 17. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m38.736s +3.412s 15 18. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m38.880s +3.556s 21 19. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m38.971s +3.647s 18 20. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m39.208s +3.884s 17 21. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m39.225s +3.901s 8 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m39.597s +4.273s 14
Raikkonen: “A question of feeling”
Kimi Raikkonen: “The rain made this qualifying very difficult. I knew that in the wet it would not be easy, but I didn’t expect to have so many problems. I had poor traction and on top of that, with the Extreme Wet, for some reason I was losing grip after the first lap. Now we have to find out why, as it will be useful for the coming races. Cleary, I’m not happy with sixth place, but given the circumstances, I cannot say I’m surprised and now I only want to think about doing well tomorrow. It will be a tough race with particularly high temperatures, but I am reasonably confident, because we have gone better here than in Melbourne and if we don’t have any problems, we can think in terms of getting a better result. Overall, my feel for the car is improving and even if there is still a way to go, we are working in the right direction.”
Malaysian GP: Hamilton beats Vettel to pole at wet Sepang
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix in a rain-delayed qualifying session for the second round of the 2014 Formula 1 season.
After a 50-minute delay, track conditions were still best-suited to full wet tyres in Q3 and Hamilton’s first flying lap of 1m59.431s was good enough to secure pole position.
But his advantage was a small one, as he ended up just 55 thousandths of a second faster than Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel.
Nico Rosberg showed disappointing pace on his first flier, ending up only fourth fastest, but with track conditions a little worse in the closing stages did enough to improve to third.
Fernando Alonso was the man he bumped down to fourth, although the Spaniard was fortunate to make Q3 after surviving a collision with Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat at Turn 9 during Q2.
The Spaniard suffered front-left suspension damage in the clash, which happened when he was struggling back to the pits on intermediate rubber while most were on full wets.
The Russian had closed rapidly on Alonso and dived to the inside of the slow left-hander, but Alonso turned in and Kvyat slid into him.
The incident will be investigated by stewards after the session.
Daniel Ricciardo was fifth fastest in the second Red Bull ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, who was the only driver other than Hamilton to head the times during Q3, with Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg seventh.
Behind him was Kevin Magnussen, who started Q3 on intermediates but pitted to change to wets, salvaging eighth place while team-mate Jenson Button stuck with the inferior tyre and ended up slowest in 10th.
Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne was the other driver to reach the top 10 shootout, ending up ninth.
Williams pairing Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were the big-name casualties during Q2.
With everyone setting their times using wet Pirellis during the middle segment of the session, the Williams FW36 again struggled for traction in the low-grip conditions. And the pair ended up 13th and 14th respectively.
Vergne prevailed in a tense battle for the final Q3 slot, bumping Toro Rosso team-mate Kvyat from the position in the dying seconds of the session.
Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez ended up 12th fastest ahead of the Williams pairing, with Lotus driver Romain Grosjean suffering a late spin and unable to do better than 16th after making Q2 for the first time this year.
Pastor Maldonado was unable to join his Lotus team-mate in the second phase of qualifying, ending up the fastest of those to miss the Q2 cut 0.385s slower than Vergne.
After the delayed start, every team apart from McLaren opted to send their drivers out on intermediate rubber in wet conditions, with the majority of the order dictated by pace during the first half of the session.
Sauber’s Adrian Sutil, Marussia pairing Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton and the Caterhams of Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson were the others to fall in Q1.
The session was brought to a premature close when Ericsson lost it on a wet kerb at the exit of Turn 3 after what the Swede described as a "silly mistake" and spun into the barrier, rebounding and coming to rest on the track.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m59.431s 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m59.486s +0.055s 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 2m00.050s +0.619s 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 2m00.175s +0.744s 5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 2m00.541s +1.110s 6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 2m01.218s +1.787s 7. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 2m01.712s +2.281s 8. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 2m02.213s +2.782s 9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 2m03.078s +3.647s 10. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 2m04.053s +4.622s Q2 cut-off time: 1m36.811s Gap ** 11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 2m02.351s +3.310s 12. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 2m02.369s +3.328s 13. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 2m02.460s +3.419s 14. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 2m02.511s +3.470s 15. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 2m02.756s +3.715s 16. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 2m02.885s +3.844s Q1 cut-off time: 2m01.689s Gap * 17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 2m02.074s +4.891s 18. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 2m02.131s +4.948s 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 2m02.702s +5.519s 20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 2m03.595s +6.412s 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 2m04.388s +7.205s 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 2m04.407s +7.224s 107% time: 2m05.385s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2
Malaysian GP: Nico Rosberg fastest as Mercedes dominates
Nico Rosberg enters qualifying as a favourite for pole position after setting the fastest time in final practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Rosberg finished ahead of his Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton as the team was the class of the field in Saturday lunchtime’s period.
The duo topped the timesheets throughout the hour when they were running on both the hard and medium compound tyres.
The Mercedes pair were a whole second ahead of the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen at a hot and overcast Sepang International Circuit.
The Ferraris were the first to switch to the medium compound tyre with just over 20 minutes of the session remaining. But their positions at the top of timing screens were shortlived once the Mercedes switched to the softer compound rubber.
Both the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo sat out most of the beginning of the session, only coming out halfway through the hour. Vettel’s late lap gave him the fourth quickest time, two positions ahead of his team-mate.
German Nico Hulkenberg impressed with the fifth fastest time on the medium compound tyres in his Force India.
It was a problematic session for McLaren, which completed the least of amount of running.
Early in the session Kevin Magnussen complained on the team radio he had suffered a loss of power with his engine. Reports suggest it was a repeat of the exhaust sensor problem he suffered on Friday morning.
And team-mate Jenson Button also spent the majority of the session in the garage, save for a couple of early installation laps.
Lotus finally got some mileage this weekend as Pastor Maldonado managed a total of 20 laps across the hour, although he and his team-mate Romain Grosjean suffered a number of off-track excursions as they struggled to dial the set-up into the car.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m39.008s 13 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m39.240s +0.232s 13 3. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m40.156s +1.148s 13 4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m40.387s +1.379s 14 5. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m40.523s +1.515s 15 6. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m40.686s +1.678s 14 7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m40.736s +1.728s 14 8. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m40.781s +1.773s 20 9. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m40.891s +1.883s 20 10. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m41.029s +2.021s 15 11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m41.182s +2.174s 18 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m41.441s +2.433s 18 13. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m41.552s +2.544s 15 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m42.041s +3.033s 17 15. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m42.749s +3.741s 16 16. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m43.539s +4.531s 20 17. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m43.977s +4.969s 16 18. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m44.170s +5.162s 18 19. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m44.457s +5.449s 12 20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m46.015s +7.007s 7 21. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 2m05.555s +26.547s 4 22. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 5
Da Raisport (PW: leavemealone9)
Australian GP: Kimi Raikkonen says traffic more costly than crash
Kimi Raikkonen says it was traffic, and not his trip into the wall, that cost him a chance of progressing into the final part of Australian Grand Prix qualifying.
The Finn sparked chaos in the closing stages of Q2 when he spun on the exit of Turn 3, nosing his Ferrari into the wall and bringing out the yellow flags.
The crash ended Raikkonen’s first Formula 1 qualifying session of 2014 on the spot, ensuring that he had no chance of improving beyond 12th position.
However, Raikkonen says traffic had already ruined his chances of going through to Q3, and that he was actually heading back to the pits when he spun.
"I didn’t have any more time to do an extra lap, so on that lap I would have come in anyway," he said.
"I was playing around with the switches or something, and I got a little bit of wheelspin and touched the wall. But the car is more or less OK.
"It was just my mistake. I got a little bit of wheelspin, I wasn’t pushing anymore, but I couldn’t catch it.
"That didn’t change the fact we had traffic on the previous lap. There was a McLaren going very slowly through Turn 5, and there were some other cars in front of us, but that’s how it goes sometimes.
"In the wet we had the speed, it was just the traffic."
Australian GP: Hamilton denies Ricciardo pole in damp, Vettel 13th
Lewis Hamilton claimed the first pole position of the 2014 Formula 1 season in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix, while world champion Sebastian Vettel failed even to make Q3.
The Mercedes driver, on wet tyres, knocked Vettel’s Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who was on intermediate rubber, off top spot by three tenths of a second in the final seconds of a rain-hit session.
Nico Rosberg, who had briefly taken first place before Hamilton and Ricciardo improved late on, was third ahead of McLaren’s rookie Kevin Magnussen.
Both drivers, as well as fifth-placed Ferrari man Fernando Alonso, set their times on wet rubber with opinion split among the 10 runners as to which tyre compound was preferable.
Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne showed his wet weather prowess with a superb sixth place ahead of Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg, both setting their times on intermediates.
Behind the pair was debutant Daniil Kvyat, who impressed despite an off in Q3 on the run between Turns 10 and 11.
He took eighth place on wet rubber, ahead of Williams drivers Felipe Massa (intermediates) and Valtteri Bottas (wets), although the latter must serve a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change before qualifying.
Several of the drivers who failed to advance from Q2 to Q3 were unable to improve thanks to yellow flags caused by Kimi Raikkonen’s late crash as rain returned in intermediate conditions.
The Ferrari driver lost the rear at the exit of Turn 3 and spun into the wall, with Vettel among those who were attempting to jump into the top 10 at the time.
With both failing to make the cut in 12th and 13th, Jenson Button made it three world champions to fail to make the top 10 shootout in 11th.
Sauber’s Adrian Sutil, Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi and Force India driver Sergio Perez, who ran through the gravel at Turn 2 on his final flying lap, also fell in Q2.
Marussia driver Max Chilton was the fastest of the drivers to be knocked out in Q1, which was effectively ended at a point when most had managed only one run thanks to rain at the halfway mark.
Chilton was just 19 thousandths of a second slower than Kobayashi, who did make the cut but was unable to do better than 15th in the second stage of qualifying.
Chilton’s eam-mate Jules Bianchi, Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez (who will be hit with a five-place penalty for a gearbox change) and Caterham rookie Marcus Ericsson were also eliminated in Q1.
Joining them were the two Lotus E22s of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado, the latter not able to attempt a lap until the damp conditions late on and having two off-track excursions before aborting his run.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m44.231s 2. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m44.548s +0.317s 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m44.595s +0.364s 4. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m45.745s +1.514s 5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m45.819s +1.588s 6. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m45.864s +1.633s 7. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m46.030s +1.799s 8. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m47.360s +3.129s 9. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m48.079s +3.848s 10. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m48.147s +3.916s Q3 cut-off: 1m44.331s ** 11. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m44.437s +2.173s 12. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m44.494s +2.230s 13. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m44.668s +2.404s 14. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m45.655s +3.391s 15. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m45.867s +3.603s 16. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m47.293s +5.029s Q2 cut-off: 1m34.274s *** 17. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m34.293s +4.118s 18. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m34.794s +4.619s 19. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m35.117s +4.942s 20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m35.157s +4.982s 21. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m36.993s +6.818s 22. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 107 per cent: 1m37.129s ** Gap to 1st in Q2 *** Gap to 1st in Q3
Australian GP: Rosberg dominates final practice in Melbourne
Nico Rosberg was comfortably quickest for Mercedes in third practice for the 2014 Formula 1 season-opening Australian Grand Prix, eclipsing second-placed Jenson Button by 1.391s.
The Mercedes W05 was clearly the fastest car on both of the available tyre compounds as both Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton led the times during early running on mediums.
Rosberg was the first to lap under 1m30s after swapping to softs, lowering the bar to 1m29.375s, and while Hamilton was fastest of all in the first sector in response, he lost time in the middle sector to end the session fourth quickest, 1.501s off Rosberg’s best.
Even though there were spots of rain before the green flag and it was generally cloudier than yesterday, with a gusting wind, the top runners quickly got into the groove and began to improve their times.
Button reported a litany of imperfections in his McLaren’s performance, from locking rear brakes to poor balance on corner entry and exit. But on soft tyres at the end he found enough speed to go second fastest overall, just over a tenth of a second quicker than Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.
The Spaniard was the most assured of the Scuderia’s drivers, lapping comfortably while team-mate Kimi Raikkonen ran off-track more than once as he struggled with his car’s balance and finished the session 1.7s off the ultimate pace.
Daniel Ricciardo was quickest of the Red Bulls with 1m30.970s, accomplished on the soft tyres, but Sebastian Vettel was a full 2.880s off Rosberg’s best and finished final practice complaining of a lack of acceleration.
Williams had a less positive session than yesterday, with Felipe Massa propping up the top 10 and Valtteri Bottas completing just two untimed laps before parking his FW36. He will incur a five-place grid penalty after the team confirmed it would have to change his car’s gearbox.
Those teams whose new cars are in a less mature state of development continued to struggle. Esteban Gutierrez returned to the Sauber garage after reporting a gearbox problem and sat out the remainder of the session.
Both Lotus and Marussia had to use one of their six permitted ‘jokers’ to break the curfew on garage working hours, but they, along with Caterham, at least ran more laps than yesterday.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m29.375s 15 2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m30.766s +1.391s 20 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m30.876s +1.501s 11 4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m30.919s +1.544s 13 5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m30.970s +1.595s 13 6. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m30.978s +1.603s 16 7. Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1m31.156s +1.781s 12 8. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m31.251s +1.876s 22 9. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m31.665s +2.290s 17 10. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m31.723s +2.348s 20 11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m31.925s +2.550s 17 12. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m32.255s +2.880s 14 13. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m32.417s +3.042s 16 14. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m34.184s +4.809s 15 15. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m34.188s +4.813s 16 16. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m34.413s +5.038s 19 17. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m34.717s +5.342s 15 18. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m34.754s +5.379s 15 19. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m36.159s +6.784s 21 20. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 2 21. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 2 22. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 4
Abu Dhabi GP: Mark Webber beats Sebastian Vettel to pole
Mark Webber qualified on pole for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, pipping Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel with a late run.
Both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg topped a qualifying segment for Mercedes before Q3, but Red Bull’s pace at the crucial moment was too much, leaving the silver cars on row two.
Vettel recorded a 1m40.091s on his first run of Q3, ahead of the two Mercedes, with Webber apparently struggling.
But a great final effort helped the Australian to 1m39.957s and even a late improvement from his four-time world champion team-mate was not enough to deny Webber the top spot.
Rosberg outqualified Hamilton, who spun off on his final run, while Kimi Raikkonen was the top Lotus in fifth.
Nico Hulkenberg continued his fine form for Sauber to take sixth, ahead of Romain Grosjean’s Lotus and Felipe Massa’s Ferrari.
The times in Q2 were again tight and two big names fell. Ferrari’s Abu Dhabi struggles continued, particularly in the final sector, and Fernando Alonso could only qualify 11th, not helped by a minor error.
A similar charge from Jenson Button also failed to get the McLaren driver into the top 10 after what the Briton described as a "very strange" loss of grip since final practice.
With the circuit getting faster and faster in Q1, the last soft-tyred runs proved crucial and it was Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil’s Force India who were the midfielders to fall.
Giedo van der Garde topped the Caterham/Marussia battle, while Jules Bianchi (20th fastest) has a five-place grid penalty after his gearbox needed changing thanks to his crash in practice three.
The results remain provisional, with several drivers apparently setting their best laps after running all four wheels over the white lines, which they had specifically been warned not to do.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m39.957s 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m40.075s +0.118s 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m40.419s +0.462s 4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m40.501s +0.544s 5. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m40.542s +0.585s 6. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.576s +0.619s 7. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m40.997s +1.040s 8. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m41.015s +1.058s 9. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m41.068s +1.111s 10. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m41.111s +1.154s Q2 cut-off time: 1m40.989s Gap ** 11. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m41.093s +0.620s 12. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m41.133s +0.660s 13. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m41.200s +0.727s 14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m41.279s +0.806s 15. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m41.395s +0.922s 16. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m41.447s +0.974s Q1 cut-off time: 1m41.884s Gap * 17. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m41.999s +1.306s 18. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m42.051s +1.358s 19. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m43.252s +2.559s 20. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m43.398s +2.705s 21. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m43.528s +2.835s 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m44.198s +3.505s 107% time: 1m47.741s * Gap to quickest in Q1 ** Gap to quickest in Q2
Abu Dhabi GP: Sebastian Vettel leads final practice Red Bull one-two
Sebastian Vettel topped the final free practice session ahead of qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, leading another Red Bull one-two.
Vettel and the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen took it in turns to top the times in the early going on the harder tyre.
Raikkonen was the first to dip under 1m44s, then Vettel moved ahead with a 1m43.795s.
Mark Webber went second fastest before Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg moved to challenge the Red Bulls for Mercedes.
As track conditions improved, the duo moved ahead of Vettel just after the halfway mark, with Rosberg ahead.
Vettel and Rosberg then alternated in front, with Rosberg recording 1m43.465s with around 20 minutes to go.
Webber also moved ahead of Vettel, but the newly crowned world champion was set to improve before hitting traffic in the final sector.
Marussia driver Jules Bianchi then spun exiting Turn 1 and hit the barriers, preventing further improvements for several minutes.
Everyone subsequently switched to the softer Pirelli tyre for their low-fuel runs.
Button was the first to strike, with a lap in 1m41.956s. He was soon surpassed by Hamilton, but still ended up sixth as McLaren continued its decent Abu Dhabi form.
Vettel finally took the honours with a 1m41.349s lap, all but matching his best from free practice two, in the final three minutes.
Hamilton had a big moment at the last corner as he tried to improve, and ended up being pipped by a late charge from Webber.
Behind Rosberg, Romain Grosjean’s Lotus was fifth fastest, while both Saubers proved competitive, Nico Hulkenberg finishing seventh, one spot ahead of Esteban Gutierrez.
Raikkonen had a minor moment in the final 20 minutes and ended up ninth.
Ferrari continued to struggle on both the hard and soft tyres, Fernando Alonso ending up 11th, Felipe Massa 14th.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m41.349s 19 2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m41.571s +0.222s 17 3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m41.580s +0.231s 18 4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m41.721s +0.372s 19 5. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m41.832s +0.483s 19 6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m41.956s +0.607s 19 7. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m42.055s +0.706s 19 8. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m42.282s +0.933s 19 9. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m42.387s +1.038s 18 10. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m42.457s +1.108s 21 11. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m42.516s +1.167s 15 12. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m42.681s +1.332s 23 13. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m42.698s +1.349s 19 14. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m42.702s +1.353s 16 15. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m42.727s +1.378s 18 16. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m42.798s +1.449s 18 17. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m42.989s +1.640s 22 18. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m43.142s +1.793s 15 19. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m44.472s +3.123s 20 20. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m44.728s +3.379s 21 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m45.621s +4.272s 20 22. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m47.506s +6.157s 15
Indian GP: Sebastian Vettel flies to pole ahead of Nico Rosberg
Sebastian Vettel produced one of his most commanding qualifying performances of an already-dominant 2013 Formula 1 campaign to take Indian Grand Prix pole.
The Red Bull driver, who is poised to clinch a fourth straight world championship this weekend, was 1.7 seconds faster than his rivals when he first put in the 1m24.119s that became pole.
That statistic was skewed by the fact that all those out on that stage were using medium tyres whereas Vettel was on softs.
But even the soft-shod Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were seven tenths off Vettel as they took second and third.
The shock of qualifying was Romain Grosjean’s Q1 exit.
The man who fought for victory at Suzuka a fortnight ago will be fighting to get through the field at Buddh having chosen to use medium tyres in Q1.
Vettel was the only other man who went for that strategy, but while he had no problem getting through in 11th, Grosjean could only manage 17th.
Mark Webber used mediums successfully in Q3 to take fourth on the grid. He was 0.928s slower than Red Bull team-mate Vettel, but 0.8s and four places ahead of next-best medium user Fernando Alonso.
The Spaniard’s Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa took fifth, followed by Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg for Lotus and Sauber respectively.
McLaren used mediums for both its drivers as Sergio Perez and Jenson Button completed the top 10.
There were no surprises in Q2, with the Toro Rossos and Force India intermingling on rows six and seven, ahead of Valtteri Bottas’s Williams and Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber.
Pastor Maldonado joined Grosjean among the Q1 departures, and was only 0.128s clear of Jules Bianchi’s Marussia and 0.265s ahead of Giedo van der Garde’s Caterham.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m24.119s 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m24.871s +0.752s 3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m24.941s +0.822s 4. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m25.047s +0.928s 5. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m25.201s +1.082s 6. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m25.248s +1.129s 7. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m25.334s +1.215s 8. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m25.826s +1.707s 9. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m26.153s +2.034s 10. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m26.487s +2.368s Q2 cut-off time: 1m25.458s Gap ** 11. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m25.519s +0.951s 12. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m25.711s +1.143s 13. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m25.740s +1.172s 14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m25.798s +1.230s 15. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m26.134s +1.566s 16. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m26.336s +1.768s Q1 cut-off time: 1m26.178s Gap * 17. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m26.577s +1.003s 18. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m26.842s +1.268s 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m26.970s +1.396s 20. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m27.105s +1.531s 21. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m27.487s +1.913s 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m28.138s +2.564s 107% time: 1m31.564s
* Gap to quickest in Q1
** Gap to quickest in Q2
Indian GP: Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull complete practice sweep
Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull remained untouchable in Indian Grand Prix practice, the Formula 1 world champion leading team-mate Mark Webber in a shortened final session ahead of qualifying.
Vettel, quickest in both of Friday’s sessions, needed just one lap on the softer tyres to elevate himself to first place with a time of 1m25.332s. He then focused on longer runs with the soft rubber, which he seemed to struggle on as the blistering issues continued.
The German driver did not even complete a run using the harder compound.
Webber finished second, but over 0.5 seconds behind his team-mate, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso the first of the non-Red Bull drivers in third, albeit over seven tenths off Vettel.
Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg showed strong pace once more, the Sauber driver finishing in fourth ahead of Lotus’s Romain Grosjean, who completed the top five.
The start of the session was initially delayed by 15 minutes because of visibility problems.
Race control announced a further 15-minute delay moments later, only to then shorten that to five minutes, with the session finally getting underway 20 minutes later than scheduled and the running restricted to 40 minutes.
The decision to shorten the session meant the action was frantic from the start, with most drivers taking to the track right away.
Webber was the initial pacesetter in the Red Bull before Felipe Massa and then team-mate Alonso moved to the top of the times, before the Australian driver regained the top spot moments later.
Twelve minutes in, it was McLaren’s Sergio Perez who went quickest by just 0.044s as the top four were covered by less than a tenth of a second.
Alonso then regained first place before Vettel completed his first soft-tyre run with a time that was over 1.5s quicker than anybody else and also the best lap of the weekend so far, a 1m25.332s.
Webber also tried the soft tyres before the halfway point, but the Australian was over half a second off his team-mate’s pace.
Red Bull, struggling with the degradation of the soft tyres this weekend, seemed to focus mainly on solutions to extend the life of the rubber.
Despite everyone trying the soft tyres as the session progress, no one could get close to Vettel’s time.
The only significant incident of the session involved Hulkenberg hitting one of his Sauber mechanics when returning to the pits. The mechanic took a tumble but got up on his own and seemed to suffer no serious injuries.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m25.332s 16 2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m25.892s +0.560s 14 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m26.105s +0.773s 19 4. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m26.306s +0.974s 17 5. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m26.350s +1.018s 16 6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m26.435s +1.103s 20 7. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m26.438s +1.106s 15 8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m26.441s +1.109s 19 9. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m26.489s +1.157s 15 10. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m26.557s +1.225s 17 11. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m26.635s +1.303s 14 12. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m26.641s +1.309s 13 13. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m26.737s +1.405s 13 14. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m26.847s +1.515s 17 15. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m26.876s +1.544s 17 16. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m26.883s +1.551s 15 17. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m27.259s +1.927s 18 18. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m27.941s +2.609s 18 19. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m28.019s +2.687s 15 20. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m28.498s +3.166s 16 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m29.094s +3.762s 11 22. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m29.169s +3.837s 13
Japanese GP: Mark Webber ends Sebastian Vettel’s pole run
Mark Webber ended Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel’s qualifying supremacy as he beat the German to Japanese Grand Prix pole.
Vettel was hobbled by a loss of KERS on his first Q3 lap and was 0.4 seconds adrift of Webber’s provisional pole effort.
The system was successfully reset for Vettel’s second run but he could not improve enough to depose Webber, who then improved his pole time to 1m30.915s.
The result was not only Webber’s first pole of 2013, but the first time he had outqualified Vettel all year.
Lewis Hamilton won a very tight battle for third in his Mercedes, edging out Romain Grosjean’s Lotus and Felipe Massa’s Ferrari.
Nico Rosberg was 0.144s slower than team-mate Hamilton in sixth place.
Fernando Alonso was only eighth quickest, 0.3s off Massa and pushed back a further place by Nico Hulkenberg’s flying Sauber.
Kimi Raikkonen again struggled for qualifying speed, lapping 0.319s slower than Grosjean as he ended up five places adrift.
Jenson Button’s McLaren rounded off the top 10.
Q2 was extraordinarily close, with barely half a second covering second to 14th places.
Sergio Perez ended up on the wrong side of the cut-off in 11th, just ahead of Paul di Resta.
The Scot had a much better qualifying session than Force India team-mate Adrian Sutil, who picked up a gearbox-change penalty following his morning crash and then struggled for speed. He was only 17th fastest and was eliminated in Q1.
The main piece of Q1 drama was a bizarre fire on both rear brakes of Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso. The Frenchman had to park on the exit of the hairpin and the session was briefly red-flagged so marshals could deal with the fire safely.
That left Vergne 18th, while team-mate Daniel Ricciardo only managed two places higher as he trailed the Q2 pack.
Those dramas helped Williams to an encouraging 13th and 15th with Valtteri Bottas and Pastor Maldonado.
They were split by Esteban Gutierrez, whose Sauber fleetingly caught fire in the pit garage halfway through Q1. There was no damage and he was able to continue qualifying.
Marussia’s Max Chilton produced the best qualifying performance of his F1 career so far to beat the Caterhams and his team-mate Jules Bianchi to 19th place.
Both Charles Pic and Bianchi have 10-place grid penalties for Korean GP incidents so should share the back row.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m30.915s 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m31.089s +0.174s 3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m31.253s +0.338s 4. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m31.365s +0.450s 5. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m31.378s +0.463s 6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m31.397s +0.482s 7. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m31.644s +0.729s 8. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m31.665s +0.750s 9. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m31.684s +0.769s 10. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m31.827s +0.912s Q2 cut-off time: 1m31.848s Gap ** 11. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m31.989s +0.699s 12. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m31.992s +0.702s 13. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m32.013s +0.723s 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m32.063s +0.773s 15. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m32.093s +0.803s 16. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m32.485s +1.195s Q1 cut-off time: 1m32.875s Gap * 17. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m32.890s +1.066s 18. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m33.357s +1.533s 19. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m34.320s +2.496s 20. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m34.556s +2.732s 21. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m34.879s +3.055s 22. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m34.958s +3.134s 107% time: 1m38.251s * Gap to quickest in Q1 ** Gap to quickest in Q2
Japanese GP: Mark Webber fastest as Sebastian Vettel hits trouble
Mark Webber kept Red Bull ahead in final Japanese Grand Prix practice at Suzuka, as his team-mate Sebastian Vettel ran into mechanical problems.
It was a commanding morning for Webber, who put himself on top during the early part of the session when everyone was on hard tyres.
He was deposed by an early medium-tyre run from Lotus’s Romain Grosjean, but once Webber was on the softer rubber as well, he burst clear with a 1m32.053s, 0.643s in front of the field.
Vettel had been second to Webber on hard tyres, 0.314s off his team-mate’s pace after what he admitted had been a scruffy lap.
That ended up being Vettel’s best run as a KERS problem then left him watching the final quarter of an hour from the pits.
Webber looked set to keep his six-tenth advantage until late runs from the two Mercedes.
First Nico Rosberg got to within 0.302s of the Red Bull, then Lewis Hamilton put in a 1m32.187s after the flag to take second from his team-mate, 0.134s behind Webber.
Grosjean was pushed back to fourth, ahead of Ferrari duo Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.
Jenson Button took an encouraging seventh place for McLaren, within a tenth of the Ferraris.
Kimi Raikkonen, Vettel and Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10.
Adrian Sutil provided the only crash of the session when he ran wide on the exit of Spoon and put his Force India into the barriers, sustaining relatively minor damage.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m32.053s 17 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m32.187s +0.134s 18 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m32.355s +0.302s 18 4. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m32.707s +0.654s 26 5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m32.800s +0.747s 14 6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m32.815s +0.762s 14 7. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m32.869s +0.816s 17 8. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m32.946s +0.893s 25 9. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m33.036s +0.983s 8 10. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m33.076s +1.023s 12 11. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m33.158s +1.105s 15 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m33.260s +1.207s 15 13. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m33.490s +1.437s 16 14. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m33.638s +1.585s 17 15. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m33.660s +1.607s 19 16. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m33.732s +1.679s 15 17. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m33.955s +1.902s 18 18. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m34.773s +2.720s 8 19. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m35.473s +3.420s 20 20. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m35.518s +3.465s 18 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m35.844s +3.791s 16 22. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m39.378s +7.325s 20