GP Australia, prove del sabato–19/03/2016
Lewis Hamilton on Australian GP pole, new system proves anti-climax
Lewis Hamilton beat Nico Rosberg to pole position for the Australian Grand Prix, as Formula 1 experimented with a new qualifying format for the first time since 2006.
New rules for 2016 dictate that drivers will be eliminated at 90-second intervals during the second half of each segment of qualifying, in a bid to mix-up the grids.
This created a rush to do fast times early on in each segment, and left insufficient times for slower runners to react to the threat of elimination.
It made Q1 exciting, Q2 less so, and was disastrous for Q3 where only the two Mercedes bothered to attempt second runs.
Thus attempts to create a mixed-up grid led to the usual pole position shootout between the two Mercedes drivers.
Hamilton led the way after the first runs and that time was already good enough for top spot before he improved on his second attempt, thanks to team-mate Nico Rosberg falling short of Hamilton’s earlier benchmark with his own final effort.
The remaining Q3 runners sat in their garages to watch themselves be eliminated from contention, and the pressure to get in and out of the pits in time for Mercedes’ second runs meant there were no cars on track for the final 2m30s of the session.
The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen locked out row two, but ended up well adrift of the Mercedes, despite being promisingly close in final practice.
Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen qualified an excellent fifth, narrowly ahead of Felipe Massa’s Williams and with the sister STR-Ferrari of Carlos Sainz Jr next up.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top eight, just 0.007s slower than Sainz.
The McLaren-Hondas of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, and the two works Renaults of Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen, were the early victims in Q2 with none of the four bothering to attempt second runs.
Alonso ended up 12th, just under two tenths faster than Button, while rookie Palmer edged Magnussen out by 0.141s.
Sainz managed to escape elimination, having languished in the drop zone after his first flier, but Valtteri Bottas failed to improve before the clock ran out on his Williams so he ended up 11th, behind Force India pair Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.
Both Manor drivers were sitting in their garages when Q1 elimination began, before Haas’s Esteban Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean were the first drivers to be eliminated while still on-track, after running out of time while attempting to go faster on a second set of tyres.
Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat was the highest profile casualty, ending up 18th fastest in a car easily good enough for the top 10.
The Russian was seen walking through the pitlane as his elimination time came up.
Sauber’s Felipe Nasr also ran out of time while on track, ending up 17th.
That left Palmer battling Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson for the final Q2 spot.
Palmer vaulted up to 14th, just ahead of Magnussen, with his final flying effort, while Ericsson locked up heavily at the penultimate corner so dropped to 16th and into elimination.
|5||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m25.434s||1.597s|
|7||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m25.582s||1.745s|
|8||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1m25.589s||1.752s|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m25.753s||–|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m25.865s||–|
|18||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1m28.006s||–|
Lewis Hamilton fastest in dry third F1 practice for Australian GP
Lewis Hamilton edged out Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in final practice for the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel only two tenths off the pace.
Mercedes used the super-soft tyres for the first time this year, with Hamilton clocking a 1m25.624s, 0.176s ahead of Rosberg at Melbourne’s Albert Park.
Vettel’s time was set before the Mercedes duo with the track rapidly improving, suggesting there could be a close battle at the sharp end in qualifying later on Saturday.
Rain throughout Friday severely limited any meaningful running but despite an overcast start to Saturday, conditions improved and the entire 60-minute session remained dry.
Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr, running a 2015-spec Ferrari engine, split the Ferraris on the super-softs to go fourth quickest, 0.633s adrift of Hamilton and two tenths clear of Kimi Raikkonen.
The other Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen was sixth, ahead of the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Bottas and Williams team-mate Felipe Massa struggled to get the tyres working early in FP3, but they made progress as the session went on, with Massa ninth and Force India’s Sergio Perez completing the top 10.
Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button showed encouraging performance to set the 11th and 12th quickest times respectively for McLaren.
Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat was 13th, ahead of the leading Sauber of Marcus Ericsson and Renault’s Kevin Magnussen.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was seven tenths adrift of team-mate Perez in 16th, with Renault’s Jolyon Palmer 17th.
F1 rookie Rio Haryanto and Romain Grosjean collided in the pitlane early in the session when they were both released at the same time.
Haryanto was able to get out shortly after with a new front wing bolted to his car, but Haas chose to change the floor as well as the front wing on Grosjean’s car before getting him back out.
Haryanto ended up 22nd and last, but just two tenths adrift of highly-rated team-mate Pascal Wehrlein.
Grosjean completed the fewest laps of anybody with 11 and ended the session 19th, 0.008s adrift of team-mate Esteban Gutierrez.
|4||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m26.257s||0.633s||28|
|6||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m26.701s||1.077s||26|
|8||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1m26.768s||1.144s||22|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m27.242s||1.618s||22|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1m27.430s||1.806s||22|
|16||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m27.988s||2.364s||22|