F1 Australian Grand Prix: Hamilton beats Vettel to pole position
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Australian Grand Prix, after winning a tense qualifying battle with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton was three tenths up on Vettel after the first runs in Q3, with Bottas just two thousandths of a second slower in third, before Daniel Ricciardo crashed his Red Bull heavily at Turn 14 and caused the session to be stopped.
Hamilton went even faster on his final run once the session resumed, sealing pole position with a 1m22.188s lap – the fastest ever recorded by an F1 car around Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit.
Bottas momentarily held top stop before Hamilton’s improvement despite a scruffy final flying lap, with Vettel then denying Mercedes a front row lockout by posting the second fastest time on his final run.
Despite setting the pace in final practice, Ferrari ultimately didn’t quite have the speed to challenge the best of the Mercedes drivers, with Vettel 0.268s down on Hamilton, but fractionally quicker than Bottas.
The second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest, more than half a second further back, while the remaining Red Bull of Max Verstappen claimed fifth.
Romain Grosjean produced a stunning effort to qualify his Haas inside the top six, nearly four tenths clear of Felipe Massa’s Williams.
Massa was just 0.044s clear of Carlos Sainz Jr, who in turn narrowly beat Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat to eighth on the grid.
Ricciardo wound up 10th after failing to set a time before his crash.
Neither Force India made it through to Q3. Sergio Perez, who complained of a gearshift problem, missed the cut by just 0.074s despite improving by nearly four tenths on his final flying lap, while Esteban Ocon failed to find time on his final run and wound up 14th.
Nico Hulkenberg qualified 12th fastest on his debut for the works Renault team, only 0.010s down on Perez, while Fernando Alonso manhandled the troubled McLaren-Honda to the 13th best time, ahead of Ocon and Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber.
Last-minute Sauber stand-in Antonio Giovinazzi was 16th fastest, after replacing the unfit Pascal Wehrlein ahead of final practice.
The Ferrari reserve was quicker than Ericsson after the first runs in Q1, but went off at the penultimate corner on his final effort, so wound up 0.183s down and failed to make the Q2 cut.
Kevin Magnussen’s difficult first weekend racing for Haas continued, the Dane running off track on his final Q1 flier and failing to improve his time.
He was fractionally faster than the second McLaren-Honda of Stoffel Vandoorne, who completed only one flying lap in qualifying after a fuel-flow problem forced him to return to the pits for most of the session.
Williams repaired rookie Lance Stroll’s car in time to make a late appearance in Q1, following his heavy crash at the end of FP3.
The Canadian was 19th fastest, though faces a grid penalty for a gearbox change ahead of the session, while Renault’s Jolyon Palmer qualified slowest of the 20 runners, more than a second down on Stroll and over three adrift of Renault team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m23.485s||1.297s|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m24.487s||2.299s|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m24.512s||2.324s|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||–||–|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m25.081s||2.893s|
|14||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m25.568s||3.380s|
F1 Australian GP: Ferrari driver Vettel fastest in final practice
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel broke the unofficial Albert Park lap record on his way to top spot in third practice, ahead of qualifying for the Formula 1 season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
Vettel was the early pace-setter as Ferrari decided to complete a burst of swift laps on ultra-softs in the opening minutes of the session, with he and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen setting the early pace.
German Vettel subsequently improved his time midway through the hour-long session, recording a session’s best of 1m23.380s – again set on a set of ultra-soft tyres.
That was enough for him to trump Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, the pair ending up second and third respectively.
Unlike Ferrari, Mercedes decided to wait until later in the session to complete its runs on the ultra-soft tyre.
Bottas and Hamilton both headed to the track with a little under 20 minutes remaining, with Bottas jumping into second with a 1m23.859s and ending the session the faster of the two Silver Arrows.
Hamilton wasn’t far behind in third and tucked in with a 1m23.870s – although he did go fastest of all in the first sector on his flying lap, only to lose time by running slightly wide at Turn 13.
That wound up being the last of the significant improvements in the top order, as a Lance Stroll crash sparked the first red flag of the day when he hit the wall at the exit of Turn 10.
The Williams driver had just started an ultra-soft run with 10 minutes to go when he side-swiped the wall and rolled to a stop half way down to Turn 11.
The stoppage was long enough for the session not to be restarted.
Raikkonen ended up fourth in the second Ferrari, the Finn having suffered a puncture early on in the session – while his engine also cut out on the approach to Turn 13 as he ran up the escape road.
His best time was a 1m23.988s, with that effort more than a second faster than the next best car of Nico Hulkenberg.
Behind the Ferraris and Mercedes, Renault driver Hulkenberg was the best of the rest as he jumped from 10th to fifth late on with a best effort of 1m25.063s, also set on ultra-soft tyres.
That was enough for him to displace Daniel Ricciardo, who was the fastest Red Bull in sixth – the Australian and his team-mate Max Verstappen, who ended the session in 12th, both struggling to find time on their ultra-soft runs.
Ricciardo finished half a second clear of Romain Grosjean who was seventh in the leading Haas.
Toro Rosso pair Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat were next, while Grosjean’s team-mate Kevin Magnussen was finally able to complete finally sufficient running and completed the top 10.
The McLarens were 14th and 15th, with Fernando Alonso finishing ahead of team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne.
Antonio Giovinazzi – who was confirmed as a late stand-in for Pascal Wehrlein before the session – completed 18 laps to end up just over a second behind Sauber team-mate Marcus Ericsson.
PRACTICE THREE TIMES
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m25.092s||1.712s||15|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m25.948s||2.568s||11|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m26.049s||2.669s||11|
|12||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m26.269s||2.889s||7|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m26.457s||3.077s||12|
|16||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m27.103s||3.723s||16|
Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen said Ferrari did not have a clean run on Friday and shares his team-mates confidence that there is room for improvement.
"Nothing was as clean as we wanted and we have things to improve," said Raikkonen.
"We have to look at the big picture, this is the first day and everybody will go for tomorrow.
"It’s hard to say from today where we’re going to be against Mercedes, but we have to improve in a few areas and then we will see."
Seb e Kimi alla ricerca dell’assetto migliore
Melbourne – La prima giornata del nuovo mondiale è sempre un evento speciale, ma per Scuderia Ferrari le prove libere all’Albert Park hanno rappresentato semplicemente l’opportunità di svolgere il programma prefissato. Che, nel caso della SF70H, significa sostanzialmente lavoro su assetti e bilanciamento. Le specifiche di pneumatici fornite da Pirelli sono state tutte utilizzate da Sebastian e Kimi, partendo con la Soft per passare poi – nella seconda sessione – a Super e Ultrasoft.
L’asfalto molto sporco e i diversi carichi di benzina rendono impossibile una vera valutazione comparativa. Come ha riassunto Vettel alla fine delle prove: “Al venerdì è sempre difficile dire qualcosa. In ogni caso è stato bello sedersi di nuovo nell’abitacolo. Nella prima sessione abbiamo avuto qualche piccolo problema che ci ha un po’ rallentato, la seconda è andata meglio. Quanto al bilanciamento, oggi c’eravamo abbastanza, ma si può ancora fare di meglio. I tempi sul giro non contano niente: solo domani si scopriranno i giochi”.
Non molto diverso il commento di Raikkonen: “Possiamo essere contenti, nel complesso la giornata non è andata male. Abbiamo imparato molte cose e ora sappiamo in quali aree migliorare. Quanto alla prestazione, non si possono fare paragoni con i test invernali, anche perché questa è una pista un po’ anomala e non dà un quadro preciso della situazione”.
In totale sono stati 45 i giri compiuti da Seb nelle due sessioni (10+35) mentre Kimi ne ha accumulati 16 nella prima parte e 30 nella seconda.
F1 Australian GP: Hamilton fastest once again in second practice
Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton continued his Australian Grand Prix stranglehold with the fastest time in second practice in Melbourne.
The three-time world champion was again more than half a second quicker than his nearest opposition, which in FP2 came in the form of Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari.
Vettel was the first driver to dip below the 1m25s mark when he used super-soft tyres to post a 1m24.926s early in the session.
The German’s spell at the top of the times was extended when the session was halted just over 20 minutes in by Jolyon Palmer’s heavy crash at the final corner.
Palmer was set to complete a personal-best lap when he lost the rear of his Renault and slammed backwards into the tyre wall on the outside of Turn 16.
The front left of the RS17 was pulled round into the wall by the impact, before the car bounced off and came to a rest in the middle of the track with substantial damage.
Once the wreckage was cleared Mercedes put Hamilton – who had already lapped within a tenth of Vettel’s super-soft time on soft tyres – and Valtteri Bottas out on ultra-softs.
Their first efforts were thwarted by yellow flags thrown for Felipe Massa’s Williams, which stopped as a result of a suspected electrical problem.
Bottas went quickest on his second run but lost time in the first sector and limited himself to a 1m24.176s.
Hamilton then blitzed that with a 1m23.620s, less than a tenth slower than the fastest ever lap of Albert Park – Vettel’s 2011 pole time.
Mercedes’ hopes of a second Friday practice one-two were dashed when Vettel squeezed ahead of Bottas on a 1m24.167s, but his 0.547s deficit to Hamilton is disappointing after Ferrari’s impressive pre-season testing pace.
Kimi Raikkonen was a further four tenths adrift in the second Ferrari and only just ahead of the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo, the last of sub-1m25s runners on a 1m24.650s.
Max Verstappen ran wide exiting Turn 12 on his first lap on ultra-soft tyres and the bumpy ride over the grass and gravel damaged the floor of his RB13.
It meant his best time of the session, a 1m25.013s, was his earlier effort on super-softs.
Massa’s problem allowed the impressive Carlos Sainz and Toro Rosso to claim best-of-the-rest honours in seventh behind the big three teams, with Romain Grosjean’s Haas, Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg and Sainz’s team-mate Daniil Kvyat completing the top 10.
Fernando Alonso gave McLaren-Honda further encouragement in 12th, 2.3s off the pace, while Stoffel Vandoorne was one of the busiest drivers of the session as the alliance’s recovery from a terrible pre-season continued.
An unknown problem for Kevin Magnussen limited the Haas driver to just six laps, while Marcus Ericsson caused a late yellow flag when he beached his Sauber in the Turn 6 gravel.
PRACTICE TWO TIMES
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m24.650s||1.030s||27|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m25.013s||1.393s||8|
|7||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m25.084s||1.464s||34|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m25.493s||1.873s||39|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m25.591s||1.971s||35|
|13||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m26.145s||2.525s||37|
Formula 1 Australian GP: Hamilton fastest in first practice of 2017
Lewis Hamilton headed a Mercedes one-two in the opening practice session for the 2017 Formula 1 season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
Hamilton led new team-mate Valtteri Bottas as the German marque offered an early reality check in Melbourne after Ferrari dominated pre-season testing.
The Mercedes drivers led as soon as the class of 2017 started posting representative lap times, with Bottas holding the early advantage with a 1m25.142s on super-softs.
The Finn was the first to switch to ultra-soft tyres, and he improved to a 1m24.803s despite a mistake in the final sector on his best lap.
Hamilton made no such error when his turn came, and the three-time champion ended up more than half a second clear as he vaulted to the top on a 1m24.220s.
No other teams ran the softest-compound Pirellis, with Red Bull leading the super-soft charge.
Daniel Ricciardo kicked off his home grand prix weekend with the third-fastest time, 0.6s slower than Hamilton, which made the only non-Mercedes driver to dip below the 1m25s barrier.
Max Verstappen reported an early gear synch problem in the other Red Bull but wound up fourth, just clear of the two Ferraris.
Having led the way in Barcelona testing Kimi Raikkonen was more than a second off the pace in FP1 on a 1m25.372s, less than a tenth quicker than team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
As the leading trio of teams ran two-by-two, the battle to be fourth proved as tight as anticipated.
Felipe Massa was seventh for Williams, but Haas driver Romain Grosjean and new Renault signing Nico Hulkenberg both lapped within half-a-tenth the Brazilian.
Force India’s Sergio Perez, barely a tenth slower than Massa, completed the top 10 ahead of Carlos Sainz in the first of the Toro Rossos.
Further down the order, all eyes were on the two McLaren-Honda drivers to see if the MCL32 would run reliably after a disastrous pre-season.
Rookie Stoffel Vandoorne had a slow start in two ways, waiting almost an hour before setting a time and ending up bottom of the order.
His double champion team-mate Fernando Alonso fared better in 14th with a lap time 2.8s off the pace.
Alonso finished ahead of both Saubers, Esteban Ocon’s Force India and Jolyon Palmer’s Renault, which managed only six laps after a gearbox-related problem.
PRACTICE 1 TIMES
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m24.886s||0.666s||19|
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m25.246s||1.026s||19|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m26.276s||2.056s||29|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m26.450s||2.230s||24|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m26.514s||2.294s||25|
|16||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m27.656s||3.436s||23|
In un video Raikkonen prova la V8. E poi si dedica a una sua altra passione
Maranello, 17 marzo – Mentre sono iniziate le prove stampa internazionali della GTC4Lusso T nei dintorni di Siena, con percorsi che fanno base a Monteriggioni per spingersi poi fino in Maremma e alla costa tirrenica, e a pochi giorni dal via del Mondiale di Formula 1, i tifosi e gli appassionati Ferrari hanno la possibilità di gustarsi un video davvero speciale. Protagonista Kimi Raikkonen, che aveva già raccontato le emozioni di guida della quattro posti V8 turbo sull’Annuario dell’Official Ferrari Magazine, soffermandosi sulla sua agilità, sulla rapidità di risposta e sui suoi interni spaziosi. Ma qui il campione finlandese, oltre a confermare le sue abilità di pilota anche su strada, si diverte con un’altra sua passione. Scopritela voi. Buon divertimento.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – “Not an easy race”
Kimi: car was ok but suffered with tires
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was not an easy race for me, the car was pretty ok, but I suffered with the tires, to make them last. I was constantly trying to keep the fronts alive. After the start I was in a good position, but I struggled with the first set of Softs: at the end of the stint they kind of came back and improved, but we kept losing places. When Seb came close to me, I knew that he was on a different strategy and I let him go. Obviously it has been quite a tricky year, far from what we want as a team, but lately we have been working well, doing the right things. Now we need to keep working this way and hopefully next year, with the new car, we’ll be where we want to be.”
Nico Rosberg seals 2016 F1 championship, Lewis Hamilton wins race
Nico Rosberg clinched his maiden Formula 1 world championship by holding off Sebastian Vettel to finish second in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as rival Lewis Hamilton won the race.
Rosberg entered the 21st and final grand prix of the season with a 12-point lead and simply needed to be third or higher to take the title no matter where Hamilton finished.
Hamilton kept the pace slow in the final stint when leading Rosberg, backing the German into the pack, despite persistent calls from his Mercedes team to up speed.
But the tactic failed to pay off, with Rosberg soaking up the pressure from Vettel to guide his car home second.
As a result, Rosberg won the world title by five points at Yas Marina to become F1’s 33rd world champion, 34 years after his father Keke achieved the feat.
Hamilton led Rosberg away at the start but the duo did not pull away from Kimi Raikkonen, who jumped Daniel Ricciardo, and Vettel.
Rosberg pitted a lap after Hamilton, ditching the ultra-softs for the softs, and like Hamilton was held in his box while a Ferrari entered the pits.
He rejoined behind Max Verstappen, who had spun at the first corner after contact with Nico Hulkenberg and had cut his way back through the field on the super-softs and was looking to extend his stint.
Mercedes told Rosberg he needed to pass Verstappen because the Dutchman was driving purposefully slow, setting up a tense couple of moments as the two went wheel-to-wheel with the Red Bull holding firm.
After backing off for a few laps, Mercedes told Rosberg to attack again and this time, the German made a pass stick through Turns 8 and 9 before covering the line into Turn 11 to retake second.
The second stops for both Hamilton and Rosberg were smooth, with the duo retaining formation as they rejoined second and third behind Vettel, who was running a long second stint, until the German pitted.
The gap hovered around the one-second mark for much of the remainder of the race, with Hamilton appearing to attempt to back Rosberg into the chasing pack.
The main threat was Vettel, who was last of the frontrunners to make a final stop and took on fresh super-softs. He passed both Red Bulls and closed in on the two Mercedes, bringing Verstappen with him.
Rosberg complained Hamilton was too slow while Mercedes instructed Hamilton to up the pace, including a message from technical boss Paddy Lowe, but the Briton replied at one point "let us race".
Ultimately, it didn’t pay off as Hamilton crossed the line to win his 10th grand prix of the season, compared to nine wins for Rosberg, with his team-mate second.
Vettel, Verstappen, Ricciardo and Raikkonen completed the top six.
Force India’s Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez were seventh and eight respectively, securing fourth place in the constructors’ championship for the outfit for the first time.
Felipe Massa finished the final race of his F1 career in ninth, with Fernando Alonso completing the top 10.
The Spaniard’s McLaren team-mate Jenson Button had a disappointing final race before his likely retirement, the Briton hitting a kerb at Turn 10 hard, causing damage to the steering and forcing him out.
Carlos Sainz Jr retired with a gearbox problem, moments after he was hit by Renault’s Jolyon Palmer, while his Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat also failed to finish.
RESULTS – 55 LAPS:
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes|
|–||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari|
|–||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari|
FINAL DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:
FINAL CONSTRUCTORS’ STANDINGS:
Vettel’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who lines up fourth, said he hasn’t focused too much on set-up changes or getting distracted by the unrepresentative practice sessions.
"We know from every year here there’s always a bit of a difference with the weather," said Raikkonen.
"It’s hot during the daytime so it’s a bit of a waste of time, those sessions.
"We know what will happen for the evening, to make the right choices and make it work when it actually matters.
"I hardly changed my car – I changed a little bit for FP3 just to get a better feeling.
"It was not ideal at that time of day but you know the pace is going to improve, so we pretty much kept the car the same."
Kimi: car good for 3rd, lap just wasn’t perfect
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a pretty good qualifying, the car has behaved well all day. Today we went a lot faster than we had been in practice, we did our best and it was almost enough for third place, but my last lap was not perfect in some places. It’s hard to say if we’ll be able to fight with the Mercedes tomorrow: usually in race conditions we are a bit closer, but I’m sure they will also be very strong. Tomorrow we can only do our best, we’ll try to make a good start and then we’ll see.”