GP Belgio, prove del sabato–27/08/2016
Nico Rosberg beats Max Verstappen to Belgian Grand Prix pole
Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix, but was pushed hard by Red Bull Formula 1 rival Max Verstappen.
With Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton choosing not to try for pole, on account of a 55-place grid penalty for multiple F1 engine changes so far at Spa, Rosberg looked set to face a relatively unchallenged run to pole.
He was fastest in Q2 on the soft tyre with a 1m46.999s lap, which was quicker than Verstappen could manage on the super-soft.
Rosberg bolted on the super-softs for Q3, but couldn’t find much more time on them.
He improved to a 1m46.744s best on his first run in Q3, which was enough to beat Verstappen to pole by 0.249 seconds when neither driver managed to go faster on their final runs.
Kimi Raikkonen was third fastest for Ferrari, almost two tenths clear of team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who lost time to a big oversteer moment at the Bus Stop chicane on his final flying lap. Raikkonen also dropped time at the end of his lap, and felt that cost him a shot at pole.
Daniel Ricciardo was fifth fastest in the second Red Bull, just over three tenths down on Verstappen.
Ricciardo endured a poor first run in Q3, but improved enough on his second to make the top six.
Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg took sixth and seventh places respectively for Force India, while fellow Mercedes customer team Williams suffered software problems with both cars in Q3.
This meant it couldn’t run full qualifying mode on the engines, restricting Valtteri Bottas to eighth and Felipe Massa to 10th.
Massa also locked his brakes heavily at La Source on his single Q3 run, and Jenson Button’s McLaren-Honda was able to squeak ahead of him into ninth place.
Button’s place in Q3 came at the expense of Romain Grosjean’s Haas, which ended up missing the cut by 0.265s.
Renault delivered its best qualifying performance of the season so far with Kevin Magnussen 12th fastest and team-mate Jolyon Palmer 14th.
They were split by the second Haas of Esteban Gutierrez, which faces a five-place grid penalty for impeding Pascal Wehrlein’s Manor at Raidillon in final practice.
Wehrlein made it through to Q2, but wound up last in that segment, after a disappointing run in which he went slower than he did in Q1.
Carlos Sainz Jr was just ahead of him in the first of the Toro Rossos, also unable to improve on his Q1 best.
Felipe Nasr failed to escape Q1 in the heavily revised Sauber by just 0.048s and wound up 17th overall, a tenth ahead of Manor debutant Esteban Ocon.
Daniil Kvyat endured yet another Q1 exit for Toro Rosso, ending up 19th fastest, fractionally ahead of the second Sauber of Marcus Ericsson.
Reigning world champion Hamilton set the 20th fastest time in the second Mercedes, completing a leisurely run to simply register on the timesheet knowing he will start at the back of the grid.
Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda broke down before he could complete an out-lap in qualifying, so he failed to set a time.
Honda found what it described as a "data anomaly" with Alonso’s engine after the final practice session, but elected to send him out without making an engine change.
PROVISIONAL STARTING GRID:
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m46.893s||0.149s|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m47.216s||0.472s|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m47.407s||0.663s|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m47.543s||0.799s|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m49.038s||–|
|19||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m49.058s||–|
Belgian GP: Kimi Raikkonen fastest for Ferrari in final practice
Kimi Raikkonen set the pace in final Belgian Grand Prix Formula 1 practice as Lewis Hamilton focused on race simulation work given he will serve a 55-place grid penalty.
Raikkonen clocked a 1m47.974s for Ferrari on the super-softs late in the session to finish 0.215 seconds quicker than long-time pacesetter Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull, with Sebastian Vettel a tenth further back.
After going fastest on Friday, Max Verstappen encountered gearbox problems and sat out most of third practice in the pits, failing to get a lap time on the board.
Mercedes fitted Hamilton’s car with a new engine for each of this weekend’s practice sessions, which has led to substantial penalties but allowed him to build up a pool of systems to use for the rest of 2016.
With the championship leader set to start from the back of the field, or potentially the pitlane, Hamilton chose to work on longer runs on the medium and then the soft for most of the morning.
The Briton then bolted on a set of the super-softs in the closing minutes and though he set the fastest first sector, he locked up into the final chicane and ended up fifth.
That was a tenth quicker than team-mate Nico Rosberg, who finished seventh after he failed to improve on his soft time after taking the super-softs.
Valtteri Bottas was fourth quickest, half a second off the pace, with Nico Hulkenberg sixth and Felipe Massa eighth and Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean completing the top 10.
Stewards are investigating two incidents from the session.
Pascal Wehrlein was furious with Esteban Gutierrez after the Manor driver had to take to the grass at the top of Eau Rouge and Raidillon to avoid the slower Haas.
Kevin Magnussen prompted anger from Vettel when he felt he was hampered by the slower Renault, saying on the radio: "What an idiot. Did you see that? It’s free practice. It’s called free practice, who gives a shit?"
Vettel was outpaced by team-mate Raikkonen through the hour, with the Finn pipping him by 0.096s as they set the early pace before Ricciardo went quicker. Then when they came back out for the final super-soft runs, Vettel did not improve while Raikkonen produced the lap that earned the top spot.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button did very little running, with the former not completing his first timed lap until the second half of the session. They finished 11th and 13th respectively.
Sauber also encountered what it described as "minor problems" with Marcus Ericsson’s car but the team managed to get the Swede out in time to complete a handful of laps.
PRACTICE THREE TIMES
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m48.189s||0.215s||18|
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m48.739s||0.765s||12|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m48.915s||0.941s||12|
|16||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m50.023s||2.049s||9|
|17||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m50.078s||2.104s||9|
|–||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||–||–||2|