GP Abu Dhabi, prove del sabato–25/11/2017
Bottas denies Mercedes F1 team-mate Hamilton Abu Dhabi GP pole
Valtteri Bottas narrowly beat Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton to pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as Mercedes locked out the front row of the grid.
Hamilton led the way throughout free practice at the Yas Marina circuit, and was fastest in Q2 as well, but Bottas was fractionally quicker than Hamilton in Q1 and got back ahead during the first runs in Q3, taking provisional pole with a 1m36.231s lap.
That proved enough for top spot when neither Mercedes driver found time on their second runs, Hamilton falling short by 0.172 seconds.
Sebastian Vettel was third fastest in the best of the Ferraris, improving to a 1m36.777s best on his final Q3 run but ending up almost four tenths down on the Mercedes drivers.
Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was provisionally fourth quickest until a last-gasp effort from Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull displaced Raikkonen from the second row by just 0.026s.
Max Verstappen rounded out the top six, 0.353s down on Raikkonen.
Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault was best of the rest in seventh, less than a tenth clear of Sergio Perez, who in turn was only 0.023s clear of team-mate Esteban Ocon.
Ocon was compromised by battling for track position with Bottas on their final Q3 out-lap.
Felipe Massa’s Williams completed the top 10, 0.153s further back after only completing one run in Q3.
Massa was one of only six drivers to find time on his second run in Q2, which proved enough to bump Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda out of the top 10 by 0.071s.
Carlos Sainz Jr was another of those to find time after a "poor out-lap" ruined his first run. He got his Renault up to 12th ahead of the second McLaren-Honda of Stoffel Vandoorne, despite suffering a problem with his engine at the last corner.
Kevin Magnussen was 14th for Haas, almost half a second adrift of Vandoorne but well clear of the second Williams of Lance Stroll, who could not lap faster than 1m39.6s however hard he tried.
Stroll at least made Q2 for the eighth time this season, his passage from Q1 coming at the expense of Romain Grosjean, whose Haas missed the cut by just 0.013s as Stroll pulled the first of those 1m39.6s laps out of the bag at the end.
"Oh God that was everything!" said Stroll over the radio upon learning he’d made the top 15.
Pierre Gasly put the best of the Toro Rossos 17th, two tenths slower than Grosjean and two tenths clear of Sauber pair Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson, who were separated by just six hundredths of a second.
Brendon Hartley qualified slowest of all by some distance in the second Toro Rosso. Porsche’s World Endurance champion delivered a "scruffy" first lap, improved on his second run, but finished the session nearly half a second down on Ericsson.
Qualifying last negates Hartley’s grid penalty for taking a ninth MGU-H on his Renault engine ahead of practice.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m36.959s||0.728s|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m37.328s||1.097s|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m38.374s||2.143s|
|9||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m38.397s||2.166s|
|17||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m39.724s||–|
|20||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m40.471s||–|
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two in practice
Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes one-two in the final free practice session of the 2017 season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton set the fastest lap of the weekend so far to end up 0.273 seconds ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas at the chequered flag.
The hour-long daytime session was incident-free for the most part but featured a memorable virtual safety car interruption midway through, initiated after wind had left an umbrella on the racing line at the Turn 8 left-hander.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen set the early benchmark in the session with a 1m38.999s on ultra-softs – and despite the Finn having locked his left front tyre on the entry to the Turn 7 hairpin, neither team-mate Sebastian Vettel, nor Bottas could surpass him with their first attempts.
Yet Hamilton could, logging a 1m38.702s on his first try to go top. Bottas then went 0.065s quicker, but the 2017 champion strung together three session-best sectors in response for an overall lap time of 1m38.159s.
He then tried two more flying laps on the same set as the session approached halfway point but couldn’t improve, his earlier lap still enough for him to end the run half a second in the clear.
When the frontrunners went out again, having bolted on new ultra-softs, Raikkonen reclaimed the top spot for Ferrari by just 0.002s – with Vettel then slotting in 0.017s behind.
But Hamilton responded again, producing a 1m37.627s lap that surpassed the weekend benchmark the Brit himself had set in the twilight practice session on Friday.
Bottas, who narrowly avoided a major off at the final corner, then slotted into second – and with no further improvements within the top four, Raikkonen and Vettel were left half a second off the pace in third and fourth at the flag.
Daniel Ricciardo led the way for Red Bull in fifth, 0.713s off the pace and two tenths up on Max Verstappen, his team-mate audibly frustrated by the handling of the RB13.
The two McLarens led the midfield pack, Fernando Alonso ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne in seventh, with Renault newcomer Carlos Sainz Jr and Force India’s Sergio Perez making up the top 10.
Williams driver Felipe Massa ended his final practice session in F1 in 11th, more than a second ahead of team-mate Lance Stroll.
Toro Rosso, narrowly ahead of Renault and Haas in the fight for sixth in the constructors’ standings, had a rough session – with Pierre Gasly only 18th and Brendon Hartley, who will be taking his fourth grid penalty in four F1 races, last.
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m38.340s||0.713s||16|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m38.587s||0.960s||14|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m39.367s||1.740s||19|
|13||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m39.500s||1.873s||18|
|18||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m40.737s||3.110s||21|
|20||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m40.883s||3.256s||23|