GP Russia, prove sabato–11/10/2014
Russian GP: Lewis Hamilton takes pole for F1’s Sochi debut
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for Formula 1’s inaugural Russian Grand Prix, denying Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas at Sochi.
Hamilton outpaced Mercedes team-mate Rosberg by two tenths of a second, with the part both completing three increasingly fast flyers on their sole Q3 run.
Although Rosberg was the faster on their first runs thanks to Hamilton’s conservative opening lap, Hamilton had the edge and took his seventh pole position of the season.
There was a very real threat to the dominance of the Silver Arrows, with Williams driver Bottas putting in a spectacular final lap to challenge for pole position.
The Finn set the fastest sector times of all in the first two sectors, but the rear stepped out at the final corner and he ran wide, which cost him any chance of beating the two Mercedes drivers and left him in third place.
McLaren pairing Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen continued the strong form for the team in fourth and sixth place, although Magnussen will take a gearbox-change penalty.
They sandwiched arguably the star of qualifying, Daniil Kvyat, who qualified a career-best fifth after a strong performance on home soil.
Daniel Ricciardo was seventh on a weekend of damage limitation for Red Bull, ahead of the two Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.
Jean-Eric Vergne, in the second Toro Rosso, was slowest in Q3 and qualified 10th.
Reigning F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel was eliminated in Q2, his final lap only good enough to take 11th, 0.123s slower than Red Bull stablemate Vergne.
Vettel did not report any specific car problems, although he had been struggling with the balance of his Red Bull.
Just behind were the two Force Indias, with Nico Hulkenberg narrowly ahead of Sergio Perez but also set for a penalty.
Esteban Gutierrez won the intra-Sauber fight, over four tenths faster than team-mate Adrian Sutil, the Mexican doing a good job after sitting out Friday morning practice in favour of Sergey Sirotkin.
Lotus driver Romain Grosjean was slowest in Q2, ending up 16th.
Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson continued his recent run of good form with 17th, fastest of those to be eliminated in Q1.
The Swede’s final lap allowed him to jump ahead of Williams driver Felipe Massa, who ended up 18th.
Massa had looked set to qualify well, but a fuel pressure problem that the team did not have time to fix meant that he was down on power.
He did complete eight laps during Q1, but the hobbled car did not have the performance to get into the top 16.
Kamui Kobayashi, in the second Caterham, ended up just a tenth off Massa after improving by almost six tenths on his final run.
This was enough to put him ahead of Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado, who received an apology over the radio for what was described as a “shambles” after a problem delayed him.
He has to serve a five-place grid penalty anyway, a consequence of using his sixth engine during the Japanese GP weekend, so will drop to last.
Max Chilton in the sole Marussia was 21st, just over four tenths slower than Maldonado.
PROVISIONAL STARTING GRID:
|5||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m39.277s||0.764s|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m39.635s||1.122s|
|9||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m40.020s||1.507s|
|10||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m40.052s||–|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m40.163s||–|
|17||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m40.058s||–|
** Magnussen, Hulkenberg and Maldonado have had five-place penalties applied
Format: Q1 sets 17th-22nd, Q2 sets 11th-16th, Q3 sets 1st-10th
Russian GP: Lewis Hamilton still in control in final practice
Lewis Hamilton marked himself as favourite for pole position as he set the pace in the final practice session for this weekend’s Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes duo were once again the pace setters throughout most of the hour-long session, with Hamilton heading his team-mate Nico Rosberg by 0.290 seconds.
Hamilton ended the practice period in the pits after he spun at the penultimate corner on the lap, seven minutes from the chequered flag. After the spin Hamilton was able to nurse his car across the circuit and into the pitlane.
The main interloper at the top of the timesheets was Valtteri Bottas in his Williams. At one stage he was the quickest runner in the field and ended up splitting the Mercedes drivers. He ultimately finished third overall.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was next up ahead of the second Williams of Felipe Massa.
The partisan crowd would have been delighted with the performance of Russian Daniil Kvyat. He was third behind the Mercedes mid-way through the session and finished the hour-long period with the sixth fastest time.
Drivers continued to struggle on the new low-grip surface at the new Sochi Autodrom and in particular a few racers ran wide at the tricky right-handed Turn 4.
Sebastian Vettel set the tenth quickest time, but he appeared to struggle with the grip levels, running wide at number of times throughout the session.
Kimi Raikkonen was seventh, one place ahead of his Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso.
The session was red-flagged on the 18 minute mark after Kevin Magnussen brought his McLaren to a stop heading into Turn 4.
On the radio he complained of either a puncture or suspension failure and replays showed how he skilfully managed to keep his car off the wall around Turn 3.
Pastor Maldonado could only manage an installation lap after a problem with the energy recovery system on his car.
To compound his misery, the Lotus driver goes into qualifying with a five-place grid penalty for an engine change that has been carried over from Suzuka.
Nico Hulkenberg also goes into qualifying with a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.
The Sochi circuit was bathed in warm sunshine for the lunchtime session and the good weather is set to continue for the rest of the weekend.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m39.755s||1.029s||16|
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m40.009s||1.283s||27|
|9||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m40.205s||1.479s||26|
|10||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m40.338s||1.612s||21|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m40.669s||1.943s||23|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m40.699s||1.973s||26|