GP Russia, prove del sabato–30/04/2016
Rosberg cruises to Russian GP pole, more trouble for Hamilton
Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for the Russian Grand Prix comfortably, as engine failure sidelined Lewis Hamilton from the qualifying battle for the second Formula 1 race in succession.
Hamilton had a narrow edge over his Mercedes F1 team-mate in the first part of qualifying at Sochi, but was trailing by nearly half a second in Q2 when he suffered a recurrence of the MGU-H failure that ruined his efforts at Shanghai last time out.
That left Hamilton 10th and without a time in Q3, while Rosberg enjoyed a clear path to pole, beating Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari to top spot by more than seven tenths of a second.
Compounding Hamilton’s misery, he faces a trip to the stewards to explain why he failed to follow the proper procedure for rejoining from the Turn 2 run-off area after a Q1 mistake.
Rosberg was able to lap comfortably in the 1m35s in Q2 and Q3. He was on for a better lap at the end of Q3 before locking up his brakes and running off track at the end of the long back straight.
Vettel chipped his way into the low 1m36s, but Ferrari and its updated combustion engine had no answer for Mercedes’ impressive pace.
Vettel will start seventh on account of a penalty for changing his gearbox after Friday practice.
That means Williams driver Valtteri Bottas will enjoy his first front row start since the 2014 German GP, after outpacing the second Ferrari of fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen by 0.127s.
The second Williams of Felipe Massa was fifth fastest, almost half a second adrift of Bottas, while Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull rounded out the top six.
Sergio Perez impressively split Ricciardo from Red Bull team-mate Daniil Kvyat by going seventh fastest.
Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso lapped 0.124s slower than Kvyat to end up ninth.
A late improvement from Kvyat in the dying moments of Q2 relegated the second Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr to 11th place.
Sainz failed to improve on his final run but remained half a tenth clear of Jenson Button in the better of the two McLaren-Hondas.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was 13th fastest, reckoning a lap that was nearly half a second adrift of Perez in Q2 to be "as good as it gets".
The second McLaren-Honda of Fernando Alonso was 0.036s slower in 14th, ahead of Haas pairing Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez, who were separated by less than a tenth as Grosjean continued to complain about the unpredictability of his car.
The works Renaults of Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer were more than two tenths away from making the Q2 cut, but separated by less than a tenth in 17th and 18th.
Sauber’s Felipe Nasr lay above the cut-off after his first run in Q1, but he went off at the start of his second and failed to improve his time.
The Brazilian wound up just 0.009s shy of Palmer’s time but well clear of Pascal Wehrlein in the best of the Manor-Mercedes.
The second Sauber of Marcus Ericsson seemed set to avoid a back-of-the-grid start after a last-gasp improvement, but Rio Haryanto hit back with a late show of his own to return the struggling Ericsson to the bottom of the pile.
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1m37.125s||1.708s|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m37.212s||1.795s|
|8||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1m37.459s||2.042s|
|9||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m37.583s||2.166s|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m37.652s||–|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m37.771s||–|
Hamilton narrowly pips Rosberg in final Russian GP F1 practice
Lewis Hamilton grabbed top spot with his final fast lap of the third Formula 1 free practice session for the Russian Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion had seemed to lack the pace to depose Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, who spent much of the pair’s battle at the top of the timesheets as the low wear and degradation at Sochi allowed drivers to reel off multiple fast laps on each set of rubber.
But while Rosberg opted to pit after completing 22 laps, Hamilton continued for one final attempt on the super-soft rubber that all drivers used to set their fastest times
As was the case throughout much of the session, Hamilton was fastest in sector one, but this time he also set the fastest middle sector and, despite not being able to match Rosberg’s final sector pace, did enough to go fastest by 0.068 seconds.
Sebastian Vettel, who was slowest heading into the last runs after completing heavy fuel work for much of the session as he prepares for his grid penalty, jumped into contention for top spot in the final 10 minutes.
His mighty pace in the second sector briefly suggested he could challenge the Mercedes, but ultimately he was six-tenths down in third.
Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was fourth, seven-tenths slower than Vettel, but he could have been faster but for an error at the final corner on what might have been a stronger lap.
Williams duo Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, who both briefly held best of the rest status behind the two Mercedes driver after setting times on their final set of tyres before the Ferrari drivers, ended up fifth and sixth.
Max Verstappen was seventh for Toro Rosso, with Jenson Button a solid eighth after being able to extract better performance out of the super-soft tyres than was the case on Friday.
Carlos Sainz Jr and Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10, the latter having briefly triggered a virtual safety car after going up the escape road at the Turn 13 right-hander at the end of the back straight and then needing assistance from the marshals to complete his U-turn to rejoin.
Daniel Ricciardo, who held top spot in the early going, ended up 11th but completed a large number of laps, second only to Vettel, in preparation for the race.
PRACTICE THREE TIMES
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m38.133s||1.730s||22|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m38.465s||2.062s||25|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m38.542s||2.139s||18|
|11||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1m38.622s||2.219s||23|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1m39.047s||2.644s||15|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m39.162s||2.759s||16|