GP Cina, prove del sabato–08/04/2017
Chinese GP qualifying: Lewis Hamilton takes pole position
Lewis Hamilton emerged from another tight Formula 1 qualifying battle with Sebastian Vettel to claim pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix.
Barely more than two tenths of a second covered the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers after the first runs in Q2, with Vettel fractionally ahead of Hamilton, followed by Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen – who eventually went fastest in that segment by doing a second run when the others didn’t.
But Hamilton moved into the ascendency at the start of Q3, leading Vettel by almost two tenths of a second after the first runs despite running wide out of Turn 3 and suffering a snap of oversteer at the exit of Turn 11.
The Mercedes driver improved to a 1m31.678s best on his final run with a cleaner lap, claiming pole by just 0.186 seconds.
Vettel joined Hamilton in the 1m31s on his own final flying lap, but he failed to improve in sector one and lost out. When informed by Ferrari he had missed pole by two tenths, Vettel reckoned "I didn’t have that" time in the car.
Bottas put in an excellent final lap in Q3, but missed out on beating Vettel to the front row by just one thousandth of a second.
Raikkonen fell away in Q3, ending up fourth complaining of understeer, nearly three tenths back from Bottas.
Red Bull reckoned Daniel Ricciardo got everything out of his car in posting the fifth quickest time, nearly 1.5s away from pole but almost half a second clear of Felipe Massa’s Williams.
Nico Hulkenberg was sixth fastest in Q2 and chose to complete his solitary Q3 run at the start of that session instead of the end, but this was still good enough for seventh place for Renault.
Force India’s Sergio Perez was eighth, just ahead of Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso, while rookie Lance Stroll rounded out the top 10 in the second Williams on his first Q3 appearance.
The battle to make it into the top-10 shootout was extremely tight between Stroll, Perez, the two Toro Rossos, and Kevin Magnussen’s Haas.
Carlos Sainz Jr missed the top 10 cut by just 0.060s after failing to improve on his second Q2 run, while Magnussen was only 0.014s further back in 12th.
Fernando Alonso wrung the neck of the McLaren-Honda to make the top-10 in Q1 and eventually qualify 13th fastest, just over two tenths down on the Haas and almost seven tenths clear of Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber.
Sauber unexpectedly got both cars through to Q2, thanks to Antonio Giovinazzi crashing heavily at the final corner just as the chequered flag came out at the end of Q1 – which delayed other drivers who were yet to complete their laps.
The Ferrari third driver took no part in Q2 so was classified 16th, ahead of Romain Grosjean’s Haas, Jolyon Palmer’s Renault, and Esteban Ocon’s Force India, which all had to abort their final flying laps in Q1.
The second McLaren of Stoffel Vandoorne was unaffected, but his best lap was not good enough to displace Giovinazzi, so Vandoorne missed the cut by just 0.060s.
Melbourne qualifying star Grosjean had earlier spun exiting the final corner, ruining his first Q1 run, so he wound up only 17th fastest, two tenths behind Vandoorne.
Palmer was 18th fastest and Ocon last, both sandwiching the Red Bull of Max Verstappen, who struggled with a suspected engine problem throughout the session.
Both Grosjean and Palmer are also under investigation by the FIA, for allegedly failing to slow sufficiently under yellow flags at the end of Q1.
CHINESE GP GRID
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m33.033s||1.355s|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m33.706s||2.028s|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m33.719s||2.041s|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m34.150s||2.472s|
|17||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.433s||3.755s|
|18||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m35.496s||3.818s|
F1 Chinese Grand Prix: Vettel fastest for Ferrari in free practice 3
Sebastien Vettel set the pace during final Formula 1 practice for the Chinese Grand Prix, heading a Ferrari one-two after Lewis Hamilton made a mistake on his final run.
Vettel ended up just five-hundredths clear of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, setting his benchmark 1m33.336s during a super-soft run midway through the hour-long session.
Hamilton wasted his opportunity to knock Vettel off top spot when he ran wide at the hairpin on his final super-soft run, having set the best first sector time of all and been just two-thousandths of a second slower than the Ferrari driver in the second.
Daniel Ricciardo led the early running, initially on softs before improving to a 1m35.647s using super-softs. This left him the best part of two seconds clear of Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll.
Raikkonen moved the benchmark into the 1m34s bracket right on the halfway point of the session with a 1m34.519s, despite complaining over the radio about a lack of front grip.
At almost the same time Sebastian Vettel made the move to the super-softs, taking more than a second out of Raikkonen’s time to go fastest with a 1m33.336s.
Williams driver Felipe Massa also made gains on the softer rubber around the same time, jumping into third with a 1m35.092s, while Ricciardo improved to an identical time to the thousandth.
Valtteri Bottas, who lost his T-wing when it snapped off early in the session, made his move with 17 minutes to go, splitting the Ferraris with a 1m34.333s.
He was quickly displaced by team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who went second with a 1m34.093s.
But they were both shuffled back a spot several minutes later when Raikkonen restored the Ferrari one-two by improving to a 1m33.389s.
Hamilton then returned to the track with a few minutes to go to have one more crack at the Ferraris, but the error at the hairpin meant he only improved to a 1m33.879s.
This also gave Bottas the opportunity to sneak into third, jumping his team-mate with a 1m33.707s on his final run.
Massa was best of the rest in fifth after improving to a 1m34.773s, while Max Verstappen got ahead of Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo with a 1m34.946s set inside the last 10 minutes.
Lance Stroll and Jolyon Palmer were next in line, while Carlos Sainz was 10th quickest in the Toro Rosso.
All drivers set their best times on super-softs, except for Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat in 15th place.
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m34.946s||1.610s||20|
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.092s||1.756s||23|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m35.223s||1.887s||24|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m35.626s||2.290s||20|
|15||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m35.804s||2.468s||23|
|16||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m35.811s||2.475s||24|