GP Giappone, prove sabato–26/09/2015
Nico Rosberg takes pole position for Japanese Grand Prix
Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix, as a spectacular accident for Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat brought a premature end to qualifying at Suzuka.
Rosberg was fractionally faster than Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton during the first runs in Q3, taking provisional pole by 0.076s.
Rosberg had just improved by 0.007s in the first sector when Kvyat put a wheel off the track turning in to the kink after the Degner Curves.
His Red Bull was spat off into the barrier on the outside, tearing off the left-hand side of the car before digging into the gravel trap and rolling over.
The Russian walked away from the wreckage but the accident brought out the red flags and halted any hopes for Hamilton of striking back, thus Rosberg confirmed his first pole since May’s Spanish Grand Prix, and only his second all season.
The Williams of Valtteri Bottas set the third fastest time, just under four tenths adrift of Hamilton, and ahead of Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari.
Felipe Massa made a mistake at the chicane on his best lap and wound up fifth, just 0.010s clear of Kimi Raikkonen, who complained of too much understeer in his Ferrari.
Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull and Romain Grosjean’s Lotus rounded out the top eight, ahead of the Force India of Sergio Perez and Kvyat, who both failed to set a time in Q3.
The second Force India of Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz’s Toro Rosso, and the sister Lotus of Pastor Maldonado all failed to make the top-10 shootout after a close battle at the end of Q2.
Hulkenberg lost out to Grosjean by 0.112s, dropping the crucial time in sector one, while Sainz was slow in sector two (the Degners, the hairpin and Spoon), which meant he missed the cut by almost two tenths.
Maldonado was just 0.044s further back in 13th, followed by Fernando Alonso in the best of the McLarens, and Max Verstappen, who failed to take part in Q2 after stopping on track in the first part of qualifying when his Toro Rosso broke down with electrical problems.
Verstappen’s stranded car on the exit of the hairpin spoiled any hopes Jenson Button’s McLaren had of making it through to Q2.
The 2009 world champion earlier complained of problems with in correct engine settings on his first run, which required him to pit.
After aborting his second run because of the yellow flags, Button told his team firmly on the radio: "in the position we’re in we cannot make any mistakes" after winding up 16th, just under two tenths adrift of team-mate Alonso.
Sauber endured an even worse session, as both drivers had to abort their final flying laps.
Felipe Nasr complained: "I was on a good lap!" after qualifying 18th, less than a tenth behind team-mate Marcus Ericsson, who spun under braking at Spoon Curve on his first run, after clipping the artificial grass with his right rear wheel.
Will Stevens won the private battle of the Manor Marussias by default, after team-mate Alexander Rossi aborted his first run because of Ericsson’s spin, and had his second attempt hindered due to the yellows for Verstappen’s car.
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m33.497s||0.913s|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||–||–|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||–||–|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m34.453s||1.869s|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m34.390s||1.806s|
|15||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||–||–|
Japanese GP: Nico Rosberg leads Mercedes one-two in dry practice
Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton gave Mercedes a one-two in final Japanese Grand Prix practice as the Formula 1 field got its first dry running of the weekend at Suzuka.
Rosberg clocked a 1m33.995s on the medium tyres to finish 0.297 seconds clear of Hamilton with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo two tenths further adrift in third.
The leading Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen was only sixth quickest, one second off the pace, with team-mate and Singapore Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel two tenths further back.
Persistent rain on Friday left drivers with big programmes to complete in Saturday practice to gather data for qualifying and race.
They wasted little time getting out on track, with Ricciardo setting the early pace on the hard tyres on a 1m36.392s.
The Australian was one of the first to do his qualifying-simulation run on the mediums, improving by 1.3s, before switching his attention to long runs.
But Mercedes then sent Rosberg and Hamilton out on the mediums and they were able to put clear air over the rest of the field, suggesting they will be the ones to beat in qualifying later on Saturday.
The Williams of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas slotted into fourth and fifth respectively, ahead of both Ferraris, with Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen seventh.
Romain Grosjean was the leading Lotus in ninth with Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr completing the top 10.
Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg was 11th ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button, who complained of "massive understeer" early in the session, and Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber.
Daniil Kvyat had a messy session, running wide at Spoon and the Degner curves, and ended the session 11th, 1.7s slower than Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo.
Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado was 15th, ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, Force India’s Sergio Perez and Felipe Nasr in the Sauber.
Will Stevens won the battle of the Manors, 0.116s quicker than team-mate Alexander Rossi.
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m34.497s||0.502s||22|
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m35.160s||1.165s||26|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m35.963s||1.968s||29|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.110s||2.115s||19|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m36.294s||2.299s||23|
|17||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.430s||2.435s||21|