GP Russia, prove sabato–10/10/2015
Russian GP: Nico Rosberg beats Lewis Hamilton to F1 pole position
Nico Rosberg claimed his second consecutive pole position in Formula 1, as Mercedes comfortably set the pace in qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix.
The German was faster than Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton throughout the session at Sochi, and he was able to deny the world championship leader a 50th career pole for the second race running.
Cool track conditions meant the drivers had to complete more than one timed lap on a set of tyres to get them up to temperature, and both Mercedes drivers only attempted one run in Q3.
Rosberg lapped 0.320 seconds faster than Hamilton on his first flying lap, before Hamilton made a mistake and went off at Turn 13 on his second flier, so headed for the pits.
Rosberg was 0.160s slower than his best on his second flying lap, but that mattered not, as his earlier time was enough to secure his third pole of the season.
Valtteri Bottas was again best-of-the-rest, fractionally clear of Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari, which improved by nearly two tenths on its second Q3 run but fell 0.053s short of toppling the Williams.
Vettel’s Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen made a mistake on his second Q3 effort at the same spot as Hamilton and wound up fifth fastest, ahead of Force India pair Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, who were separated by less than half a tenth of a second.
Romain Grosjean’s Lotus, Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso, and the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top 10.
Russian home hero Daniil Kvyat failed to make the top-10 shootout by just under a tenth of a second, setting the 11th fastest time in Q2 and complaining: "the tyres were not ready" temperature-wise.
Felipe Nasr put in a strong performance for Sauber to set the 12th fastest time, just 0.111s slower than Kvyat’s Red Bull.
Jenson Button was over half a second further back in 14th, but faster than the second Lotus of Pastor Maldonado.
Felipe Massa made a mess of his first run in Q2 then failed to make the cut on his final run, complaining of traffic.
The Braziian was only 15th fastest, a full 1.701s slower than Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who was third quickest in Q2.
Fernando Alonso was the highest-profile driver to fail to make it through the first part of qualifying.
Last-gasp improvements from McLaren team-mate Button and Nasr put the double world champion out in Q1.
RUSSIAN GP GRID
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m38.659s||1.546s|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m38.691s||1.578s|
|9||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m38.924s||1.811s|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m39.728s||2.615s|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m39.214s||2.101s|
|20||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||–||–|
Russian GP FP3 stopped early due to Carlos Sainz Jr crash
Final practice ahead of the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix was brought to a halt 15 minutes early following a heavy accident involving Carlos Sainz Jr.
With 22 minutes of the hour-long session remaining Sainz ploughed his Toro Rosso deep into a barrier at Turn 13, the culmination of one of the fastest parts of the Sochi Autodrom circuit.
The Spaniard’s car lost control under braking for Turn 13, slamming into the outside concrete wall before heading straight on into the Tecpro barrier at the end of the run-off area.
Due to a loss of power on the car there was also no communication available from pit to driver, preventing the team from getting an update on Sainz’s condition.
The FIA took the decision not to restart the session as marshals and medics continued to attend to Sainz, while there were initially no replays of the shunt.
Sainz was eventually removed from his car, placed on a stretcher and into an awaiting ambulance, the 21-year-old appearing to give a wave of his hand and a thumbs-up in the process.
Following what were two heavily disrupted Friday sessions, the initial 45 minutes of FP3 prior to the accident were hectic.
It meant that from the off there was a mix of the tyre compounds used, with some drivers taking the super-soft tyres immediately.
Temperatures, however, were hardly ideal, with the track at just 22 degrees and air flitting between 15 and 16 degrees, ensuring for all concerned that getting heat into the tyres would pose a problem.
Valtteri Bottas initially led the way on softs with a lap of 1m42.829s, the Finn then consistently improving on his run before lowering the benchmark to 1:40.617s.
Twenty minutes into the session Williams team-mate Felipe Massa was Bottas’s closest rival, 0.355s off the pace, with the rest of the field clearly running higher fuel loads as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was third, but just over two seconds back.
Switching to the supersofts, Bottas shaved just over three tenths of a second off his best time with a lap of 1m40.275s, before Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes became the first to dip below 100 seconds with a 1m38.941s on super-softs.
Bottas responded by posting faster times in the first two sectors, only to blot his copybook with an error in the final sector and finish three tenths of a second off the pace.
Rosberg then went quicker again with a lap of 1m38.561s before a lock up from Lewis Hamilton in sector one on his maiden super-soft run compromised his lap, with the reigning champion finishing 0.802s down on his team-mate.
Outside of the top three of Rosberg, Bottas and Hamilton, Force India’s Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg finished fourth and sixth quickest, sandwiching Massa.
McLaren duo Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso were seventh and ninth, with Pastor Maldonado eighth, and Felipe Nasr 10th, 2.668s back.
Ferrari duo Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel finished 12th and 16th, the latter just over four seconds down.
|4||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1.055s||14|
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1.356s||14|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||2.797s||15|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||4.122s||19|
|17||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||4.528s||16|
|18||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||4.786s||14|