GP d’Italia, prove sabato–06/09/2014
Italian GP: Lewis Hamilton takes commanding Monza pole for Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton claimed his first Formula 1 pole position since May’s Spanish Grand Prix by setting the pace in qualifying in Italy.
The Mercedes driver outpaced team-mate and world championship rival Nico Rosberg in all three segments of qualifying at Monza.
After establishing himself at the top of the timesheets in the Q3 top 10 shootout on his first run, over four tenths faster than Rosberg, Hamilton had already done enough to be sure of pole.
Rosberg started his second Q3 run before Hamilton, improving his laptime by just under two tenths, which was not enough to knock his team-mate off top spot.
This meant that Hamilton did not need to improve on his final attempt, with the relative position of Rosberg on the track meaning that he knew he had secured pole while on a lap that fell short of his earlier mark of 1m24.109s.
Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa locked out the second row for Williams, both drivers unable to improve on their second runs.
But behind them was the big winner of the final seconds of qualifying, Kevin Magnussen, who leaped from eighth to fifth with his final attempt.
Jenson Button, in the second McLaren, was sixth after failing to improve on his final run, just ahead of Fernando Alonso.
The Ferrari driver had made a slight improvement on his final attempt to relegate Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel to eighth.
Daniel Ricciardo and Force India driver Sergio Perez completed the top 10.
Daniil Kvyat was the quickest of those eliminated in Q2 despite a valiant attempt to snatch a top 10 place on the last lap.
The Russian, who will be given a 10-place grid penalty for using his sixth engine of the season, bumped Kimi Raikkonen out of the top in the dying seconds, only for Magnussen to jump from 13th from 10th.
Raikkonen ended up 12th ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne, with Nico Hulkenberg unable to match Force India team-mate Perez and down in 14th place.
Adrian Sutil prevailed in the intra-Sauber battle with Esteban Gutierrez by improving on his final run having looked to be fractionally slower than the Mexican earlier in qualifying.
There were no surprises in Q1, with the three slowest teams in the field populating the dropzone.
Pastor Maldonado was the fastest of those in 17th, just ahead of Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean.
Grosjean was only able to complete five laps thanks to the team having to fix a fluid leak detected in the build-up to the session, ending up a tenth slower than the Venezuelan after missing the first 13 minutes of the 18-minute session.
Kamui Kobayashi, reinstated in the lead Caterham after sitting out the Belgian GP, was a superb 19th ahead of Jules Bianchi thanks to a combination of an excellent lap and a tow from team-mate Marcus Ericsson.
Ericsson himself ended up 22nd, three tenths behind the second Marussia of Max Chilton.
|8||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m25.436s||1.327s|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m25.709s||1.600s|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m25.944s||1.835s|
|12||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m26.157s||–|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m26.279s||–|
|21||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m26.070s||–|
Qualifying format: 1st-10th – Q3, 11th-16th – Q2, 17th-22nd – Q1
Kvyat has 10-place grid penalty
Italian GP: Lewis Hamilton tops practice, problems for Nico Rosberg
Lewis Hamilton dominated third practice for the 2014 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix at Monza, while his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg completed just three laps after encountering a gearbox problem.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was 0.412 seconds adrift of Hamilton as he took second place, with Valtteri Bottas just over a tenth further back in third.
Conditions were warmer and sunnier on Saturday with the ambient temperature steady at 23C and the track temperature building slowly from 32C to 36C.
Jenson Button’s early flyer, a 1m26.845s set on the hard-compound Pirelli tyres during his first six-lap run, kept him on top of the timesheets until Bottas undercut him by 0.152s.
Alonso and Massa also managed to edge the lead McLaren on pace during similar-length runs, with Alonso matching the 1m26.693 set by Bottas.
Mercedes did not offer a challenge at this point; Hamilton’s fastest over a 10-lap first run was 1m27.996s.
A gearbox glitch had caused Rosberg to abort his first eight-lap run early, and a recurrence of the problem when he next went out meant that he only completed three laps before abandoning the session.
Button and Hamilton improved on their second runs, still on the hard tyres, but it was Hamilton who blitzed every sector to return Mercedes to its customary first place with a 1m25.742s.
It was not a flawless run, though; after going quickest he over-ran the first chicane and radioed the pits to inform them that “The brakes don’t feel like they’re working too well and the DRS isn’t working”.
Alonso bolted on a set of mediums for his second run and went fastest in the first sector but could not beat Hamilton over the whole lap.
Neither could Hamilton eclipse his own hard-tyre time with his first flyer on mediums during his final stint, as he continued to complain about poor braking performance. Ultimately he improved to 1m25.519s.
Other frontrunners did improve their times on the medium compound by a decent margin in the final minutes, including both the Williams cars – Bottas and Massa jumped to third and fourth, displacing Button to fifth – and the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo.
The Red Bulls were split by the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, who ran strongly early on completed just 15 laps overall, and Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso.
Kvyat’s pace augurs well for a good qualifying performance, which the team needs in order for him to avoid carrying forward a portion of his gearbox penalty to the Singapore Grand Prix.
Nico Hulkenberg enjoyed better form in three practice and was sixth fastest for much of the session, closing it out 10th fastest, but his Force India team-mate Sergio Perez lost drive as he accelerated out of the first chicane and came to a halt at the Curva Grande.
Kevin Magnussen struggled with the brakes on his McLaren throughout and finished outside the top 10, over a second off the frontrunning pace.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m25.519s 23 2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m25.931s +0.412s 13 3. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m26.090s +0.571s 19 4. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m26.114s +0.595s 18 5. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m26.242s +0.723s 21 6. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m26.290s +0.771s 17 7. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m26.327s +0.808s 15 8. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m26.437s +0.918s 21 9. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m26.482s +0.963s 16 10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m26.608s +1.089s 17 11. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m26.829s +1.310s 20 12. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m27.207s +1.688s 18 13. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m27.312s +1.793s 10 14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m27.479s +1.960s 22 15. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m27.498s +1.979s 12 16. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m28.025s +2.506s 19 17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m28.137s +2.618s 20 18. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m28.265s +2.746s 21 19. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m28.459s +2.940s 14 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m28.579s +3.060s 19 21. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m29.251s +3.732s 22 22. Nico Rosberg Mercedes no time 3