GP Azerbaigian, prove del sabato–24/06/2017
Lewis Hamilton recovers to take Azerbaijan Grand Prix pole
Lewis Hamilton recovered from free practice troubles to claim a commanding pole position in qualifying for Formula 1’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, beating Valtteri Bottas in a Mercedes one-two.
The fight at the front looked close with Ferrari and Red Bull in practice, but Mercedes enjoyed a large advantage over its F1 competition when it came to qualifying.
Hamilton struggled particularly on Friday and was only third fastest in final practice earlier on Saturday, but turned it on when it really mattered at the Baku city circuit.
He was the only driver to lap under 1m42s in Q1 and was comfortably fastest with a single run in Q2 as well.
He let Bottas get briefly ahead during the initial runs in Q3, after locking up and running wide at Turn 16 near the end of his quickest lap, before Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull hit the wall at the Turn 6 right-hander, bringing out the red flags and spoiling a potentially faster lap for Hamilton.
That incident turned the session into a one flying lap dash once the wreckage was cleared, and Hamilton pulled out a stunning effort on his final run to claim pole by almost half a second from Bottas.
Both Ferraris struggled in qualifying, with Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel taking to the escape road at Turn 3 during their first runs.
Raikkonen recovered best to claim third on the grid, but over six tenths of a second down on the second Mercedes.
Vettel was fourth in the sister Ferrari, fractionally ahead of the surviving Red Bull of Max Verstappen.
Sergio Perez pipped Force India team-mate Esteban Ocon by less than a tenth of a second to complete the top six, while Lance Stroll narrowly outqualified Williams team-mate Felipe Massa for the first time to claim a career-best eighth on the grid.
Ricciardo ended up slowest in Q3 following his crash.
The pace of the top five teams ensured there wasn’t much of a fight to make it through to Q3.
The Toro Rossos of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr weren’t fast enough to challenge the Williams and Force Indias, but were comfortably quick enough to outpace Kevin Magnussen’s Haas (even with the benefit of an aerodynamic tow from Sainz), Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault – which lost power after only one run in Q2 – and Pascal Wehrlein’s Sauber, which the Mercedes junior driver heroically dragged into the top 15.
A last-ditch effort from Magnussen ensured a Haas made it through to Q2 at the expense of Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda, which ended up 16th quickest, retrofitted with a ‘spec 2’ engine, and just 0.017s shy of beating Wehrlein’s Sauber into Q2.
Alonso is set to drop to the rear of the grid thanks to his 40-place grid penalty for various engine component changes, which will elevate Romain Grosjean’s Haas and the second Sauber of Marcus Ericsson.
The other McLaren of Stoffel Vandoorne was slowest of those that ran in qualifying, 0.235s adrift of Ericsson, and will also cop a hefty grid penalty – including five places for an unscheduled gearbox change after final practice.
Jolyon Palmer was classified last in the session, without a lap time to his name. He sat out qualifying after a high-pressure fuel leak caused his Renault to cook itself during the early stages of practice three.
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m41.879s||1.286s|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.111s||1.518s|
|7||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.186s||1.593s|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.414s||2.821s|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m43.186s||–|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m43.347s||–|
Valtteri Bottas fastest for Mercedes in final Baku F1 practice
Valtteri Bottas edged out Kimi Raikkonen to lead final free practice for Formula 1’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku, as both Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen had problems.
Bottas clocked a 1m42.742s on the super-soft Pirelli tyres in his Mercedes as he finished 0.095 seconds clear of Ferrari driver Raikkonen.
The second Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, who had a wild moment at the narrow Turn 8, was three tenths further back in third.
Bottas set the early pace on the soft tyre, heading Raikkonen by almost four tenths of a second.
When teams turned their attention to qualifying-simulations on the super-soft tyres, Hamilton and Bottas traded fastest laps.
Hamilton was unhappy with his tyres throughout but Bottas enjoyed a more straightforward session and gradually improved his times over several laps.
Championship leader Vettel had a frustrating session, managing just seven laps and ending his running early when Ferrari called him in after spotting "an issue" it later said was a hydraulic problem.
Vettel did not manage to complete a low-fuel run and finished 12th overall.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo popped in a quick lap late on to finish fourth, half a second off the pace, with team-mate Verstappen sixth.
Verstappen, who topped both sessions on Friday, was on-course to be in the top three before he stopped out on track in the closing stages reporting "everything just switched off".
Red Bull said Verstappen’s failure was also a hydraulic issue.
Esteban Ocon was the leading Force India in fifth with Felipe Massa, who narrowly avoided contact at Turn 8, seventh.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was eighth, ahead of Lance Stroll, as Sergio Perez completed the top 10.
Nico Hulkenberg was 11th, while his Renault team-mate Jolyon Palmer failed to set a representative time after stopping on track early on with a fire at the rear of the car.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso was 14th, two places and half a second clear of team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, with both set to start from the back after heavy grid penalties for engine changes.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.287s||0.545s||24|
|5||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m43.344s||0.602s||21|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.614s||0.872s||16|
|8||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m43.908s||1.166s||21|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m44.138s||1.396s||22|
|13||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m44.401s||1.659s||23|