GP Giappone, prove sabato–04/10/2014
Japanese GP: Nico Rosberg beats Lewis Hamilton to Suzuka F1 pole
Nico Rosberg beat Formula 1 title rival and Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
The German had set the pace in Q2 and on the first runs in the top 10 shootout, and consolidated his place in top spot by shaving just over a tenth off his time on his second run.
After Rosberg crossed the line for the final time, Hamilton completed his lap but a lock-up at the hairpin cost him and he ended up two tenths slower.
This mean that both of Rosberg’s flying laps in Q3 were good enough for what could prove to be a vital pole position in the world championship race.
Williams pairing Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa locked out the second row, with Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso fifth.
Red Bull had a difficult session. Daniel Ricciardo ended up sixth after flirting with elimination in Q1 and Sebastian Vettel was ninth, both drivers carrying wet set-ups in anticipation of a rain-hit race.
Kevin Magnussen won the intra-McLaren battle by beating Jenson Button to seventh place, with the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen in 10th.
Jean-Eric Vergne was the fastest of those to be eliminated in Q2 in 11th place, falling two tenths short of relegating Vettel with his final lap.
This put Vergne ahead of Force India driver Sergio Perez, who complained of a power problem during Q2, with Vergne’s Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat 13th after failing to improve on his second run.
Because of breaking into his sixth power unit, Vergne is set to be hit with a 10-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.
Nico Hulkenberg was 13th fastest ahead of the Saubers of Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez.
Pastor Maldonado was bumped out of Q2 contention in the dying seconds of the first segment of qualifying by Sutil.
The Venezuelan, who will drop to the back of the grid thanks to using his sixth V6 engine of the season shaded Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean by less than a tenth.
Because Maldonado is only able to serve five of his 10-place grid drop, the remaining positions will be rolled over to next weekend’s Russian GP.
Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson’s strong weekend continued, as he ended qualifying 19th ahead of Marussia’s Jules Bianchi.
Home hero Kamui Kobayashi, whose Friday afternoon session was ruined by a crash, was 21st ahead of Max Chilton.
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m34.075s||1.569s|
|9||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m34.432s||1.926s|
|11||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m34.984s||–|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m35.089s||–|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m35.092s||–|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m35.099s||–|
Japanese GP: Rosberg tops final practice as Hamilton crashes
Nico Rosberg topped Saturday morning practice for the Japanese Grand Prix while his Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton crashed.
Rosberg had lapped three-tenths slower than Hamilton while both were running on the slower hard-compound Pirelli tyres early in the session.
The German completed his qualifying simulation on medium rubber first, improving by 1.3s to take top spot.
Moments later, Hamilton started his flying lap, but carried too much speed into Turn 1, ran wide onto the asphalt runoff and couldn’t avoid going head on into the tyre barrier.
The front-left corner of his Mercedes was damaged in the crash but although Hamilton did not set a time on the faster tyre, his pace on the hard Pirellis was still good enough to be second fastest, albeit one second down on Rosberg.
Fernando Alonso was best-of-the-rest in third place, 1.211s off the pace, even though the Ferrari driver didn’t put together a perfect lap.
Williams pairing Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas both completed their qualifying simulations late in the session to take fourth and fifth fastest ahead of Daniel Ricciardo.
The Australian was unable to make a big improvement on the medium rubber, finding less than three-tenths, with a wide moment at Degner costing him time.
Kevin Magnussen was seventh fastest ahead of the two Toro Rossos, with Jean-Eric Vergne outpacing 2015 Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat by less than half-a-tenth.
Jenson Button completed the top 10 ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Kimi Raikkonen – with the Finn losing track time towards the end as Ferrari decided to change his engine.
Several drivers hit trouble during the session, with Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel, fresh from the revelation that he will leave the team at the end of the year, completing only six laps and ending up 15th.
Esteban Gutierrez also had a big moment, losing the rear of his Sauber exiting 130R and spinning, the Mexican just keeping it out of the barrier.
Team-mate Adrian Sutil also had an off, spinning at the chicane, with the two Sauber drivers ending up 14th and 18th respectively.
Both Lotus drivers also had similar offs to Hamilton by running wide exiting Turn 1, potentially as a consequence of a tail-wind blowing into that corner, but Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean were able to keep their cars out of the wall and continue.
At the back, Marcus Ericsson was again the quickest of the Caterham and Marussia drivers in 19th place, half-a-second faster than Max Chilton.
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.086s||1.858s||13|
|8||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m35.494s||2.266s||8|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m35.538s||2.310s||17|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m35.732s||2.504s||15|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.365s||3.137s||8|
|15||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m36.460s||3.232s||6|