GP Giappone, prove del sabato–08/10/2016
Nico Rosberg beats Lewis Hamilton to Japanese GP F1 pole by 0.013s
Nico Rosberg won a thrilling battle with Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton to claim pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix.
Rosberg was fastest in every practice session, and topped the field again in qualifying at Suzuka, but only after a late rally against a Hamilton charge.
Hamilton trailed his team-mate in Q1 and Q2, but snuck ahead after the first runs in Q3.
Rosberg leapt back to the top of the times with a 1m30.647s best on his final lap, as Hamilton fell just 0.013s short of taking pole despite an improvement of his own at the end.
Kimi Raikkonen produced a strong lap to qualify third fastest for Ferrari, the only other driver to make it below 1m31s.
Team-mate Sebastian Vettel was less than a tenth slower in fourth, but he faces a three-place drop on the grid thanks to his penalty for hitting Nico Rosberg at the first corner of last Sunday’s Malaysian GP.
Max Verstappen beat Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to the fifth fastest time, also by less than a tenth of a second.
Haas got both cars through to Q3 for the first time, and was best of the rest behind the top six cars in Q2.
Romain Grosjean set an identical time to Force India’s Sergio Perez in Q3, but ended up eighth fastest, just ahead of the second Force India of Nico Hulkenberg.
Grosjean’s Haas team-mate Esteban Gutierrez was seventh fastest in Q2, but ended up cut adrift at the bottom of the top 10 in Q3, over half a second slower than Grosjean.
Williams pairing Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa made only one run each in Q2, and were just edged out of the top 10 by the Force Indias.
Bottas missed the cut by less than a tenth, while Massa was only 0.165s further back in 12th.
Daniil Kvyat felt he did the best he could to put his Toro Rosso 13th on the grid, fractionally faster than team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr, who spun at Spoon Curve on his second run in Q2.
Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda was only 0.004s slower than Sainz in 15th, 0.118s ahead of the leading Renault of Jolyon Palmer.
Jenson Button failed to escape Q1 at Honda’s home circuit, ending up just 0.032s shy of beating McLaren team-mate Alonso to the draw.
Kevin Magnussen was 18th fastest in the second Renault, ahead of Sauber pairing Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr and the two Manors.
Ericsson was slowest of all after the first runs in Q1, but ended up just over a tenth ahead of his team-mate after a puzzled Nasr failed to go faster on his second run.
Esteban Ocon out-qualified Manor team-mate Pascal Wehrlein for the second race in a row, this time by more than two tenths of a second, feeling he couldn’t have got much more out of his car.
The fact Wehrlein qualified last renders his five-place grid penalty for an illegal gearbox change potentially irrelevant.
JAPANESE GP GRID
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m31.178s||0.531s|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m31.240s||0.593s|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m31.961s||1.314s|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m32.142s||1.495s|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m32.623s||1.976s|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m32.685s||2.038s|
Japanese GP F1 FP3: Nico Rosberg fastest again at Suzuka
Nico Rosberg set the pace in final Formula 1 practice for the Japanese Grand Prix while his Mercedes team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton failed to complete a qualifying simulation.
Rosberg’s time of 1m32.092s was three tenths quicker than Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and ensured the championship leader completed a clean sweep of practice sessions this weekend at Suzuka.
A damp start meant drivers completed their installation laps on the intermediate or wet tyres but it wasn’t long before they made the switch to slicks.
But the time lost early in the session meant drivers left it until the final minutes of the session to do their qualifying simulations which in turn created traffic that forced many to abandon laps.
Rosberg edged Hamilton on the medium tyre runs by just 0.054s and then improved by 1.2s when he fitted the softs and got a clean lap.
Hamilton was not so fortunate, losing time running wide at Degner 2 and then backing off and returning to the pits as there was not enough time to get a second run in.
Sebastian Vettel was third quickest, 0.639s off the pace, a fraction ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Kimi Raikkonen went quicker than Rosberg in the first sector, but was baulked by Renault’s Kevin Magunssen on the approach to Degner 1, ruining his lap. He ended the session fifth.
Felipe Massa completed a late lap on the softs to vault into sixth, ahead of Hamilton, whose time was set on the medium tyres.
Renault showed good promise with Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen achieving exactly the same lap time to finish eighth and ninth respectively, 1.5s adrift.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10.
It was a troubled session for Haas with Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez having off-track excursions, with the latter spinning at the Esses.
Jenson Button also struggled, finishing 19th quickest, while Carlos Sainz Jr was bottom of the timesheet having completed just three laps.
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m32.394s||0.302s||10|
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m32.784s||0.692s||9|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m33.646s||1.554s||11|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m33.921s||1.829s||11|
|15||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m34.037s||1.945s||12|
|22||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m56.323s||24.231s||3|