GP Austria, prove sabato–20/06/2015
Austrian GP: Lewis Hamilton beats Nico Rosberg to pole, both go off
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix, as both Mercedes Formula 1 drivers went off during their final laps of the session.
Hamilton led the way after the first runs in Q3 by two tenths of a second from team-mate Nico Rosberg, but spun under braking for Turn 1 when attempting to make sure of the top spot.
Rosberg set a personal best time in the first sector, then the fastest time of all in the second sector, before going off at the final corner, which consigned him to second on the grid.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel improved on his final run in Q3, but his lap was only good enough for third, 0.155s slower than Rosberg’s earlier effort.
Last year’s Austrian GP poleman Felipe Massa was fourth fastest for Williams, while Le Mans 24 Hours winner Nico Hulkenberg superbly split Massa from his Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas by recording the fifth fastest time for Force India.
Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen shaded Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat by less than a tenth of a second to post the seventh fastest time, as behind him Sauber’s Felipe Nasr recorded his best qualifying result since April’s Chinese GP by going ninth fastest.
Romain Grosjean’s Lotus failed to set a time in Q3, after a suspected brake by wire problem forced him back into the pits early on.
Team-mate Pastor Maldonado missed out on the top-10 shootout by 0.187s as track conditions improved in Q2, while Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber, the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz, and Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull qualified on the same tenth of a second in 12th, 13th and 14th but some way adrift of their respective team-mates, who all made Q3.
Sainz complained of traffic on his fast lap, while Ricciardo briefly ran off the road at Turn 3 before failing to make the top-10 shootout for the first time this season.
Fernando Alonso managed to squeak his McLaren-Honda through to Q2, but the MP4-30’s lack of power left him adrift of the rest in 15th.
Improving track conditions throughout a Q1 that began damp meant laptimes tumbled as the session reached its climax, creating the potential for upsets.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was the highest-profile scalp in this segment, the Finn missing the Q2 cut by 0.359s and winding up 18th fastest, much to his own surprise over team radio.
Force India’s Sergio Perez also missed out, just 0.014s slower than Alonso’s McLaren at the death, while Alonso’s team-mate Jenson Button had been fastest at one point, before slipping back to 17th at the end.
Roberto Merhi outqualified his team-mate Will Stevens, who went off early on in the wetter conditions, by more than 1.3 seconds as the Manor Marussias again qualified slowest of all 20 cars.
Both McLarens and both Red Bulls will be hit with grid penalties for unscheduled engine changes this weekend, so will drop to the back of the grid when it is finalised.
|5||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m09.278s||0.823s|
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m09.612s||1.157s|
|12||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m10.465s||–|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m12.522s||–|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m09.694s||–|
|18||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m10.482s||–|
Note: Kvyat, Ricciardo, Alonso and Button all have penalties
Austrian GP: Sebastian Vettel fastest in FP3 before rain hits
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was quickest in final Formula 1 practice for the Austrian Grand Prix, with rain mid-session preventing the leading teams from completing qualifying simulations.
The four-time world champion clocked a 1m09.994 on the soft compound tyres, 0.017s quicker than Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton with Kimi Raikkonen third in the other Ferrari.
With rain a distinct possibility for qualifying, several drivers went out on the full wet tyre when rain hit halfway through the session – although Hamilton was the only one of the frontrunners not to do so.
A number were caught out by the slippery conditions, with Vettel running off track at Turn 2 before recovering while Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz spun down at Turn 6.
Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg traded times at the top of the timesheets in the early part of the session before Vettel usurped them both.
Hamilton was on course to reclaim top spot, having clocked the fastest first and second sectors, but he ran wide after getting out of shape in the final corner.
Drivers were told rain was expected at the midpoint of the one-hour session, with Force India’s Sergio Perez – who had a puncture that Pirelli said was rim-related early on – reacting immediately.
The Mexican clocked the fourth fastest time on super-softs, but before Mercedes and Ferrari could get out on track on the softer tyre, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso brought out the red flag when he stopped on the pit straight.
As the marshals cleared Alonso’s car, which is heavily upgraded this weekend but will incur a penalty of at least 20 places due to engine component changes, rain began to fall.
Both Mercedes and Ferrari queued up at the end of the pitlane on the super-soft tyres, but by the time they headed out, the rain had intensified.
Rosberg and Raikkonen skated off track but kept their respective cars out of the barriers before retreating back to the pits.
Rosberg ended up fifth fastest, three tenths slower than team-mate Hamilton, ahead of the Williams’ of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen was eighth with Lotus drivers Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean completing the top 10.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg – who said on Friday that it took him some time to get used to driving the car following his victory at Le Mans, was 11th with Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson’s 12th.
Sainz was 13th, and was told by his engineer that he was the fastest car on the wet tyre in the closing stages, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat and Alonso.
Daniel Ricciardo had a quiet session in the other Red Bull, managing just 10 laps for 16th, but that was two more than Sauber’s Felipe Nasr completed in 17th.
McLaren’s Jenson Button was 18th, with the Manor-run Marussias of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi bringing up the rear.
|4||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||0.227s||14|
|8||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||0.442s||23|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1.015s||14|
|13||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.145s||18|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1.145s||14|
|16||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1.825s||10|