GP Bahrain, prove sabato–05/04/2014
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