GP Bahrain, prove venerdì–17/04/2015
F1 Bahrain GP: Nico Rosberg pips Lewis Hamilton in practice
Nico Rosberg pipped Formula 1 title rival and Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to top spot in Friday’s second free practice session ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Hamilton held sway during the early stages of the 90-minute session when everyone used the medium-compound Pirelli tyres that proved to be two seconds or more off the pace, the champion lapping four tenths faster than Rosberg and a tenth quicker than Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari.
But Rosberg then took the initiative when the softs were bolted on.
Hamilton did briefly go to the top of the timesheets after outpacing Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari, only to be subsequently relegated by Rosberg.
While Rosberg’s lap was not perfect, Hamilton had a big front-right brake lock-up on the approach to Turn 8, sliding wide past the apex and costing him time.
The gap between the pair was 0.115s.
Rosberg’s session was brought to an end with a few minutes to go when the team called him in because something concerning had been noted in the car-to-pits telemetry.
Raikkonen ended up as the best non-Mercedes in third place, a tenth ahead of Ferrari team-mate Vettel.
The Finn made an error in the final corner on his first flier on the softs, which cost him time on the run to the line, but improved on his second attempt.
Vettel made a bigger mistake at the same turn, running wide onto the run-off, but still set a time good enough to slot in just behind Raikkonen, and could not get ahead of his team-mate on his second attempt.
The German later suffered some damage to his front wing after contact with Sergio Perez’s Force India at the first corner with just over 10 minutes remaining, dropping debris on track that brought out the red flag for three minutes.
The collision will be investigated by stewards after the session.
Williams driver Valtteri Bottas survived a left-front lock-up at Turn 10 to set the fifth fastest time, six-tenths off the pace, and was one of the last drivers to attempt a performance run.
As usual, the Williams team did not do a pure qualifying simulation, with Felipe Massa down in ninth place.
Daniel Ricciardo was sixth-fastest for Red Bull Racing, slotting ahead of the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado shortly after the halfway mark of the session.
Felipe Nasr capped off a promising day for Sauber with the eighth-fastest time, having earlier been an unexpected fourth-quickest on the medium rubber.
He was backed up by team-mate Marcus Ericsson, who was 11th fastest behind the second Williams of Massa and Daniil Kvyat’s ninth-placed Red Bull.
Fernando Alonso narrowly missed out on a second top 10-placing of the day in 11th place, less than half a tenth off Ericsson and 1.544s off the pace.
But it was another mixed session for McLaren-Honda, with Alonso’s team-mate, Jenson Button, being ordered to stop the car after completing just three laps and parking adjacent to the end of the Bahrain circuit’s drag strip.
Button’s car was recovered and he rejoined late in the session, although he did not improve on his earlier pace.
Romain Grosjean was 13th fastest ahead of the lead Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz, while Force India had a difficult day with Nico Hulkenberg, who was briefly third fastest after bolting on the softs, 15th and Perez 17th.
They sandwiched Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso, which appeared to require some attention to the front brakes during the session.
At Manor, Will Stevens was 1.5s faster than team-mate Roberto Merhi, with the pair split by Button’s early time in the McLaren.
Both Hamilton and Raikkonen are being investigated for failing to leave the pitlane correctly during the session.
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.449s||0.802s||27|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.883s||1.236s||23|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m36.471s||1.824s||32|
|15||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.805s||2.158s||30|
|16||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m36.917s||2.270s||26|
|17||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m37.062s||2.415s||33|
Bahrain GP: Ferrari F1 pair Raikkonen and Vettel set practice pace
Ferrari Formula 1 team-mates Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel left it late before taking the top two positions in opening practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
With track temperatures well over 50 degrees early in the session, after using their first sets of mediums during the first 30 minutes, several teams opted to leave it very late before making their final runs.
By that time, the track temperature had dropped to the mid-40s, with both Raikkonen and Vettel jumping from the lower reaches of the timing screens to the top in the final 10 minutes.
First Vettel, who when he initially went out for his final run was told to ease off while a problem was solved, deposed Williams driver Valtteri Bottas from top spot, then Raikkonen outpaced him by two tenths.
With usual pacesetter Mercedes down in 15th and 16th places with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, having both moved onto their second set of tyres earlier in the session and presumably concentrating on heavier fuel-load work, Bottas was able to hang on to third place despite a lockup at Turn 10 and a wild moment in the middle of the last corner on his best lap.
Carlos Sainz Jr was another driver who held back his second set of tyres, briefly jumping up to second before behind shuffled back to fourth ahead of the lead Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo and Scuderia Toro Rosso team-mate Max Verstappen.
McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso was among the drivers to move onto their second set of rubber relatively early on and briefly went fastest, ultimately ending up a strong seventh, just under eight tenths off the pace.
But it wasn’t all good news for McLaren, with Jenson Button spinning at Turn 1 on only his third lap and ending the day last after failing to set a time.
Sauber had another solid session, with Felipe Nasr in eighth place, although team-mate Marcus Ericsson was unable to make a significant improvement on his second set of rubber after running fifth following the first 30 minutes, and ended up down in 17th behind the two Mercedes drivers.
Felipe Massa, in the second Williams, was 10th fastest, but only four tenths off team-mate Bottas, just behind the second Red Bull of Daniil Kvyat.
Force India driver Sergio Perez also had a brief spell in first position early in the second runs, but ended up 11th ahead of Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado, who had a run through the gravel at the last corner while on a lap on his second set of rubber having already improved his time.
Lotus reserve driver Jolyon Palmer made his second appearance on an F1 weekend, ending up 14th and within half-a-second of Maldonado after losing time in the first sector.
At the foot of the timesheets, Will Stevens was the quicker Marussia ahead of team-mate Roberto Merhi in 18th and 19th places.
|4||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m38.447s||0.620s||14|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m38.455s||0.628s||17|
|6||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m38.504s||0.677s||22|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m38.661s||0.834s||17|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m38.793s||0.966s||15|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m39.187s||1.360s||20|