Lewis Hamilton takes Monaco GP Formula 1 pole for first time
Lewis Hamilton comfortably claimed pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix, as his Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Nico Rosberg’s qualifying challenge went awry.
The two Mercedes drivers were once again well clear of the rest of the field on pure pace and thus engaged in an exclusive battle for the top spot.
Hamilton trailed Rosberg by nearly four tenths of a second after Q2, but reversed the positions by just over a tenth of a second after their first runs in the top-10 shootout.
Hamilton found even more time on his final run in Q3, while Rosberg abandoned his after locking up heavily at Sainte Devote.
That left Hamilton 0.342 seconds clear in claiming his first pole position in Monte Carlo.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was the only other driver to lap below 1m16s as he secured third spot on the grid, just under two tenths of a second ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who also failed to improve on his second run in Q3.
Team-mate Daniil Kvyat did find time on his second run to place fifth, ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.
Force India’s Sergio Perez hustled the VJM08 to a superb seventh spot, just ahead of Carlos Sainz, Pastor Maldonado and Max Verstappen, who all ended up on the same tenth in eighth, ninth and 10th.
Romain Grosjean failed to join his Lotus team-mate Maldonado in the top 10 shootout, after locking up at the second part of the Swimming Pool on his quickest lap in Q2.
An expected five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change ahead of the event means he should start 16th for Sunday’s race.
McLaren-Honda was confident of getting both cars through to Q3 for the first time this season, but neither made the cut in the end.
Fernando Alonso’s car suffered a suspected electrical problem before he could complete a flying lap in Q2, while team-mate Jenson Button was less than a tenth of a second away from making the top 10, something he described as "painful" when he learned of his fate, having had to slow for yellow flags (after Rosberg locked up and went off at Sainte Devote) on his final flying lap.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was lucky to get away with striking the wall at Mirabeau in Q1 and ended up 13th fastest overall, just under 0.2s adrift of team-mate Perez.
Williams struggled badly in Monaco, with Felipe Massa winding up 14th fastest while team-mate Valtteri Bottas ended up being the highest-profile casualty in Q1.
The Finn was more than six tenths of a second away from making the cut and wound up 17th fastest, between the Saubers of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson.
The Manor/Marussias were over two seconds further back in filling the final row of the grid.
Will Stevens was three tenths faster than team-mate Roberto Merhi through the first sector of their quickest laps, which proved crucial in the final reckoning.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m16.041s||0.943s|
|5||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m16.182s||1.084s|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m16.808s||1.710s|
|9||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m16.957s||1.859s|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m17.193s||–|
|20||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m16.931s||–|
* Grosjean has a five-place penalty
Monaco GP: Sebastian Vettel fastest in final practice for Ferrari
Ferrari Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel topped the timesheets in third and final practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.
The German put a brilliant lap together in the closing stages to clock a 1m16.143s as Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were scrappy on their qualifying simulations.
Rosberg ended the session 0.218 seconds adrift of Vettel, with Hamilton a further three tenths further back on the streets of Monte Carlo.
After rain washed out most of second practice, teams wasted no time sending their drivers out on track to make up for lost time and gather crucial data for qualifying and the race.
Mercedes ran a different programme from most of its rivals, sending Hamilton and Rosberg straight out on the super-softs that could not be tried on Thursday while everyone else – except for Manor – focused on running the softs.
Hamilton and Rosberg did 10 laps on the super-soft rubber, performing cool-down laps in between each flying lap, with the German unable to get closer than half-a-second to the Briton.
The session was red-flagged just before the half-hour mark when Kimi Raikkonen glanced the barriers at Sainte Devote.
Quick work from the marshals meant the session was back under way a couple of minutes later, but several drivers’ super-soft tyre runs were disrupted as a result.
With just over 10 minutes remaining, the field turned its attention to qualifying-simulations on the super-soft tyres.
Hamilton was one of a number of drivers who complained about a lack of grip, with his team informing him that his tyre temperatures were a little high, and he was unable to improve on his earlier time.
And though Rosberg made a slight improvement and got ahead of Hamilton, it wasn’t enough to beat Vettel, who hooked up three impressive sectors to finish top of the pile.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was fourth quickest, nearly a second off the pace, with Carlos Sainz Jr continuing Toro Rosso’s good form this weekend with fifth.
Raikkonen was sixth quickest, having been unable to return to the track after his crash, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat and McLaren’s Jenson Button.
Max Verstappen, who has been impressive so far considering he had not raced in Monaco before this weekend, briefly went fourth quickest on the super-softs.
But next time around, he clipped the barrier at the final corner and ultimately finished ninth, with Lotus’s Romain Grosjean completing the top 10.
Force India’s Sergio Perez was 11th, ahead of the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado, Nico Hulkenberg in the second Force India and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.
Williams, currently third in the constructors’ championship, never challenged the top of the timesheets with Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa down in 15th and 16th respectively, two seconds off the pace.
The Saubers were fastest in the speed trap but struggled for overall pace. Felipe Nasr was 17th and Marcus Ericsson, who got his braking wrong at Ste Devote and went down the escape road, 18th.
Will Stevens was 4.950s off the pace in the Manor-run Marussia in 19th but finished more than a second clear of team-mate Roberto Merhi.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m17.120s||0.977s||26|
|5||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m17.256s||1.113s||39|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m17.471s||1.328s||28|
|9||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m17.788s||1.645s||23|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m17.832s||1.689s||30|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m18.102s||1.959s||32|
Raikkonen: Pretty good feeling so far
“The feeling with the car today was pretty ok, obviously there are some small issues but they are more related to the tyres: it’s difficult to make them warm up, especially the front tyres, but overall it’s not too bad. In order to get the tyres working, it would have been nice to see how the Supersofts work, anyway I think they are much easier. Due to the rain we couldn’t learn as much I wanted, but it was the same for everybody. We did the most that we could in these conditions. For Saturday we have to see how the weather will be, we still have some work to do on the car and make sure the tyres work well, then we’ll go from there and do the best in qualifying and in the race.”
Monaco GP: Lewis Hamilton leads second F1 practice before rain hits
Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton finished fastest in second practice for the Monaco Grand Prix, but rain early in the session limited running.
Hamilton clocked a 1m17.192s, 0.7 seconds quicker than team-mate Nico Rosberg, with Sebastian Vettel four tenths further adrift in the Ferrari.
The session was only 14 minutes old when Roberto Merhi lost control of his Manor exiting the tunnel before crunching the front wing into the barriers.
The session was red-flagged and though it restarted six minutes later, a few drops of rain was a sign of worse things to come.
Pastor Maldonado ventured out on a set of super-soft tyres, but while it was relatively dry in the pitlane, rain was falling on the east side of the track and Lotus immediately called the Venezuelan back to the pits.
The rain intensified and most drivers got out of their cars and rolled down their overalls as they prepared for a wait.
Eventually, the rain stopped with half an hour to go, but it wasn’t until the final 10 minutes that drivers headed back out.
The intermediates were generally the tyre of choice but Mercedes decided to split its programme with Rosberg running the full wets instead.
But conditions remained tricky, with the wet track creating a lot of spray and drivers lapping around 18s slower than in the dry.
As a result, Hamilton’s early time – which was 1.6s quicker than his leading time in first practice – kept him top of the pile.
Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest, two tenths of a second slower than Ferrari team-mate Vettel, with Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat fifth.
Max Verstappen, who impressed with the second quickest time in first practice on his first visit to Monaco, was seventh, a tenth slower than Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr.
Fernando Alonso gave McLaren a top 10 placing with eighth, ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Lotus’s Romain Grosjean.
Sergio Perez was 11th in the second Force India with the Williams of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas 12th and 13th respectively.
Maldonado was 14th, followed McLaren’s Jenson Button, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Sauber’s Felipe Nasr.
Manor’s Merhi beat team-mate Will Stevens to 18th place before his crash while Marcus Ericsson had an ERS issue and didn’t set a lap time.
|5||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m18.548s||1.356s||16|
|6||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m18.659s||1.467s||14|
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m18.782s||1.590s||12|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m19.151s||1.959s||13|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m19.300s||2.108s||13|
|16||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m19.639s||2.447s||13|
Monaco GP F1: Lewis Hamilton leads Max Verstappen in practice one
Lewis Hamilton went fastest of all in first practice for the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix, though an impressive Max Verstappen came close to matching him with a late flying lap.
Hamilton’s peak in practice one last year was 1m18.271s but this year his fastest time was 1m18.750s, set mid-way through the session before Mercedes switched to high-fuel running.
Team-mate Rosberg’s quickest during this phase was a second slower, and he fell down the order as others improved their times later on.
Following overnight rain the track was declared wet, and the drivers completed their installation laps on intermediate tyres.
It quickly became apparent that the surface was largely dry and the Mercedes of Hamilton and Rosberg headed back out to lead the way on slick tyres, drilling down into the 1m22s bracket and below in the first 30 minutes.
As ever in Monaco, the asphalt (around 80 per cent of which has been resurfaced since last year) was slippery before it began to rubber in, and the low ambient temperature of 14C made it tough to get heat into the brakes and tyres.
Rosberg brushed the barrier at Tabac early in the session without incurring damage, Daniel Ricciardo, Pastor Maldonado, Romain Grosjean, Valtteri Bottas and Fernando Alonso spun at Sainte Devote, and the escape road at the chicane enjoyed plenty of traffic.
With the first half-hour over and the ‘free’ set of soft tyres handed back, Mercedes upped the ante once more.
Hamilton and Rosberg traded fastest times on their next set of softs, both dipping below the 1m20s mark – a Rubicon the majority of their rivals struggled to cross until the final minutes.
Hamilton’s 1m18.570s would stand as the quickest until the end of the session.
Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen split the Mercedes on their next timed runs, with Vettel just over three-tenths off Hamilton’s benchmark, but he clearly had the Ferrari on the very edge of soft’s grip levels at that stage of the track’s evolution. He would not improve upon his best lap of 1m19.134s.
Alonso also broke through the 1m20s barrier in the last half hour, giving McLaren some succour in a session of mixed success. Jenson Button sat out the first hour while his MP4-30 received attention in the garage.
In a final flurry of track activity just before the chequered flag, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz, Pastor Maldonado and Daniil Kvyat broke through and split the Mercedes further, with Verstappen falling just 0.149s short of Hamilton’s best.
|2||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m18.899s||0.149s||42|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m19.086s||0.336s||27|
|5||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m19.245s||0.495s||40|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m19.520s||0.770s||33|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m20.619s||1.869s||35|
|15||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m20.784s||2.034s||34|
Spanish GP: Nico Rosberg beats Lewis Hamilton to F1 pole position
Nico Rosberg dominated qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix, beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to record his first pole position of the Formula 1 season.
Rosberg laid down a 1m24.681s on his first run in the top-10 shootout, and that proved enough for top spot when Hamilton failed to improve on his second run.
The Mercedes W06 had such a pace advantage over the rest that Hamilton and Rosberg could afford to run the harder tyre compound and still outpace everyone else in Q1, so it was only ever likely to be a personal battle between the two for pole – one that Rosberg won.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was best-of-the-rest, but almost eight tenths adrift of Rosberg, while team-mate Kimi Raikkonen used a new set of medium tyres to guarantee passage through Q1 and paid the price.
The Finn was four tenths slower on his sole Q3 run than he had been in Q2 and wound up seventh on the grid, behind the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and the Toro Rossos of Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen that have looked strong all weekend.
Felipe Massa wound up ninth fastest, over a second slower than his Williams team-mate Bottas.
The Brazilian split the Red Bulls, with Daniil Kvyat getting the better of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo by 0.141s to qualify eighth.
Both Lotus drivers failed to make it through to Q3 by over half a second, with Romain Grosjean 11th (complaining of a lack of front-end grip) and Pastor Maldonado 12th.
Both McLarens made it through to Q2 for the first time this season, but lacked the pace to be top-10 contenders.
Fernando Alonso was 11th fastest on his first Q2 run on used medium tyres, but he failed to improve on new rubber on his second run and slipped to 13th, just ahead of team-mate Jenson Button.
Felipe Nasr’s Sauber split the McLarens in Q1, but the Brazilian lost pace in Q2 and wound up 15th.
Team-mate Marcus Ericsson joined the Force Indias and Manor Marussias in falling after the first segment of the session.
Ericsson found six tenths of a second on his final run in Q1, but it wasn’t enough for him to join team-mate Nasr in Q2.
Ericsson was almost half a second slower than Nasr – lapping 0.171s shy of making the cut – just ahead of the struggling VJM08s of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez.
The Manor/Marussias predictably brought up the rear of the grid, almost 2.8s adrift of the next fastest car.
Will Stevens again had the better of team-mate Roberto Merhi, to the tune of eight tenths of a second.
|5||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m26.136s||1.455s|
|6||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m26.249s||1.568s|
|8||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m26.629s||1.948s|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m26.770s||2.089s|
|17||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m28.365s||3.684s|
|18||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m28.442s||3.761s|
F1 Spanish Grand Prix: Rosberg fastest in FP3, Hamilton spins
Nico Rosberg topped the timesheets in the third and final Formula 1 practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix, while his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton was third after a spin.
Rosberg clocked a 1m26.031s on the medium-compound Pirelli tyre, 0.156s clear of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Hamilton, who topped second practice, ended up third after a messy session that included a spin at Turn 3 and a small mistake on his medium tyre run.
Rosberg was quickest during the hard tyre runs in the opening part of the session, too, when track temperatures were 22C, nearly 30C lower than they were in FP2 on Friday.
The German, who has not beaten Hamilton in either qualifying or the race so far this year, looked smooth throughout the session as he retained his advantage when attention turned to low-fuel runs.
It was not so successful for Hamilton, who after completing just one installation lap in the opening half of the session ran wide onto the astro turf at Turn 3 and spun.
The Briton stopped the car hitting the wall on the inside of the track before engaging reverse and rejoining the fray.
Hamilton’s medium tyre run was 0.201s shy of Rosberg’s leading time, but four tenths ahead of Williams’s Valtteri Bottas in fourth.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was fifth, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo who recovered from a disappointing day with engine issues on Friday to get 19 laps of running under his belt.
Felipe Massa had a scruffy lap as he clocked the seventh fastest time, with Max Verstappen continuing Toro Rosso’s good form at the Circuit de Catalunya so far this weekend to secure eighth.
Daniil Kvyat missed the first 40 minutes of the session while his Red Bull team fixed a water leak and he managed just seven laps and the ninth fastest time, one place clear of Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr.
Jenson Button was the leading McLaren in 11th, ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, who showed good long run pace on Friday.
Sauber is lacking updates in Spain, with Felipe Nasr down in 13th and team-mate Marcus Ericsson 17th.
Fernando Alonso was 14th in the second McLaren, ahead of Lotus pair Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado.
Sergio Perez was nearly a second adrift of his Force India team-mate Hulkenberg in 18th, with the Manor-run Marussias of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi bringing up the rear.
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m27.048s||1.027s||19|
|8||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m27.132s||1.111s||18|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m27.313s||1.292s||7|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m27.809s||1.788s||17|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m28.082s||2.061s||13|
|18||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m28.996s||2.975s||14|
Raikkonen: A strange day
“It was quite a strange day. The position and laptimes were not too bad, but I was not completely happy with the handling of the car. I don’t know if it was caused by the wind or by the conditions of the track, but I have been struggling all day. We did not see anything bad with the upgrades we brought here. It’s just the feeling that it’s not completely right, as if the car was sliding. I feel there’s a lot to improve and to gain, in the evening we’ll look more into details and see what we can do for the rest of the weekend”.
F1 Spanish GP FP2: Lewis Hamilton fastest from Sebastian Vettel
Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton comfortably led the way at the top of the timesheets in second practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion clocked a 1m26.852s on the medium-compound Pirelli tyre, 0.408s clear of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Nico Rosberg, who was quickest in first practice, had downshifting problems on his qualifying-simulation run and ended up 0.764s adrift of his team-mate in third.
Hamilton also set the pace on the hard tyres early in the session, the Briton 1.249s clear of Rosberg, with Vettel 0.010s adrift.
Track temperatures hit 50C and ambient temperatures 29C on a glorious day at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya, with conditions expected to get warmer over the course of the weekend.
When the teams switched focus to high-fuel long runs, several drivers reported a lack of grip and were warned about a crosswind at Turn 3.
Aside from a small lock-up on his medium-tyre run, Hamilton didn’t put a foot wrong with Mercedes looking like it still holds an advantage over rival Ferrari.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was fourth quickest, the Finn securing his best time on the second lap of his run after a small mistake on the first.
While Daniil Kvyat set fifth fastest time, one second off the pace, his Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo didn’t fair so well.
Having completed just nine laps in first practice, the Australian didn’t make an appearance in the second until the five minutes before the end because the team changed his engine.
Red Bull had run a power unit with higher mileage in the first session before swapping to what will be Ricciardo’s fourth of the season and he ended up 13th.
Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen was just 1.165s slower than Hamilton in sixth, with Jenson Button in the new-liveried and upgraded McLaren half a second further back in seventh.
Valtteri Bottas was the leading Williams in eighth, ahead of Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr, with the other Williams of Felipe Massa completing the top 10.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso was 11th ahead of Romain Grosjean, who brought out the red flag when his Lotus’ engine cover broke off on the pit straight.
After spending nearly an hour in the garage, Grosjean emerged to run the medium tyres to finish 12th, 2.2s off the pace and two places clear of team-mate Pastor Maldonado.
The Saubers of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson were 15th and 16th ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, with Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi propping up the timesheets in the Manor-run Marussias.
|5||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m27.943s||1.091s||25|
|6||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m28.017s||1.165s||32|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m28.674s||1.822s||31|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m29.098s||2.246s||4|
|17||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m29.601s||2.749s||38|
|18||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m29.707s||2.855s||35|
Nico Rosberg pipped Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to top spot in the first Formula 1 free practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix.
The German ended up at the top of the timesheets, just seven-hundredths of a second faster than Hamilton, with Mercedes almost a second clear of the rest of the field.
Rosberg set the pace during the first half-an-hour, when all drivers have the use of a set of hard-compound Pirelli tyres that they cannot use once the first 30 minutes have finished.
He set a best time of 1m27.333s during this period as he and Hamilton traded fastest times on rubber enduring enough to produce good pace for multiple laps.
That was almost two-tenths faster than Hamllton could manage, with Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, who did briefly go fastest, ending up third and 0.8s down.
Once onto their new sets of hard Pirellis, Hamilton drew first blood, outpacing Rosberg by 45-thousandths of a second on their first flying laps, largely thanks to stunning pace in the first sector.
But with Hamilton’s second flier looking set to improve his advantage, he had a slow final sector, meaning that his first flying lap was to remain his fastest of the morning.
Rosberg then improved, finding almost a tenth of a second in the final sector compared to his first lap, to establish a 0.070s margin in first place.
Ferrari was best of the rest, with Vettel and Raikkonen separated by just 26-thousandths, but they were a second slower than Rosberg.
Scuderia Toro Rosso pairing Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen ran strongly throughout the session to seal fifth and sixth place, with the lead Red Bull of Daniil Kvyat – sporting a new nose – in seventh, just under two seconds off the pace.
It was another difficult session for Red Bull, with Kvyat’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo not able to complete any proper running until the final 10 minutes of the session.
The Australian reported a problem when he applied full throttle on his outlap, and while he soon returned to the track for another attempt, he then disappeared into the garage for much of the session before restarting late on to go ninth fastest.
As usual, Williams had a relatively low-profile Friday practice session on heavy fuel, with Felipe Massa eighth and development driver Susie Wolff, making her first FP1 appearance since last July’s German GP weekend, 14th and 0.877s off the Brazilian.
Sauber driver Felipe Nasr banged in a lap good enough for 10th, 2.312s off the pace, with 12 minutes remaining, which relegated Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg to 11th.
Reserve driver Raffaele Marciello backed up team-mate Nasr in 12th place on his second FP1 appearance, with another backup driver, Jolyon Palmer, 13th in the faster of the Lotus-Mercedes.
McLaren-Honda had a quiet start to the weekend with its upgraded MP4-30, with Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button setting near-identical pace in 15th and 16th places.
At one stage, Button reported that “the balance is completely wrong” over the radio with the front wing he was trying, while Alonso had a late spin at Turn 12.
Sergio Perez, who had a trip through the gravel exiting Turn 3 after 26 minutes, was 17th in the second Force India.
Pastor Maldonado was only able to complete seven laps thanks to what the team described as a “minor gearbox issue”, meaning his fastest time was his run on the first set of tyres, putting him down in 18th place and ahead only of the two Manor-run Marussias of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi.
|5||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m28.132s||1.304s||27|
|6||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m28.529s||1.701s||23|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m28.785s||1.957s||7|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m29.075s||2.247s||9|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m29.409s||2.581s||20|
|17||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m30.096s||3.268s||19|
Bahrain GP F1: Lewis Hamilton beats Sebastian Vettel to pole
Lewis Hamilton continued his dominance of Formula 1 qualifying in 2015 by securing pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix, but Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel denied Mercedes a front row lockout.
Reigning world champion Hamilton was the only driver to lap below 1m33s in Q2 and found a tenth of a second on his only run in Q3 to secure pole by over four tenths of a second.
Vettel was the only other driver to lap in sub 1m33s, his 1m32.982s lap good enough to relegate Hamilton’s team-mate Nico Rosberg to third.
Rosberg, who qualified on pole for this race for the last two years, lost crucial time in the first sector and couldn’t recover, ending up 0.147s slower than Vettel, but just ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.
Williams locked out row three, with Valtteri Bottas substantially faster than team-mate Felipe Massa.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo qualified less than a tenth adrift in seventh, but with a gap of over six tenths to the remainder of the top 10.
Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India qualified a superb eighth, just 0.012s clear of the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr, while Romain Grosjean’s Lotus rounded out the top 10, just 0.022s further back.
Both Force Indias made it through to Q2 for the first time this season, with Sergio Perez edging out team-mate Hulkenberg by two tenths of a second in Q1.
But the Mexican just missed out on joining him in Q3 during a tight battle in the middle portion of qualifying.
Perez looked on course to make the top 10 as the session finished, but lost out Sainz by just 0.063s so wound up 11th.
That meant both Saubers missed out on making Q3 – with Felipe Nasr just 0.033s slower than Perez in 12th.
Marcus Ericsson made an error on his best lap so was almost three tenths further back in 13th.
In fact the Swede was only fractionally faster than Fernando Alonso, as McLaren-Honda made it through to Q2 for the first time this season.
Alonso qualified 14th, just ahead of the Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen, who complained of a lack of power at the start of Q2.
Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus, Daniil Kvyat’s Red Bull and Jenson Button’s McLaren-Honda joined the Manor/Marussias in filing through the Q1 exit door.
A problem with Maldonado’s Mercedes engine meant he missed the cut by just 0.024s, having looked strong throughout free practice.
A poor lap from Kvyat, who lost much of Saturday’s practice session when he beached his RB11 in the gravel, meant the Russian languished down in 17th place, his worst qualifying result of the season so far.
Will Stevens again comfortably outpaced team-mate Roberto Merhi, as Manor qualified off the final row of the grid for the first time this season thanks to more problems for Button’s McLaren.
Button’s car, which suffered reliability dramas throughout practice on Friday, stopped exiting Turn 3 on his out-lap with a suspected electrical problem, so the 2009 world champion failed to set a time.
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m33.832s||1.261s|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m34.450s||1.879s|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m34.462s||1.891s|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m34.704s||–|
|15||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m35.103s||–|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.800s||–|
Bahrain GP: Lewis Hamilton edges out Sebastian Vettel in FP3
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton edged Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to the quickest time in the third and final Formula 1 practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion clocked a 1m34.599s – the fastest time of the weekend so far – on the soft tyre to finish 0.069s clear of Vettel.
The other Mercedes of Nico Rosberg was third, after a slow first sector, 0.369s off the pace with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen fourth.
Raikkonen led the way after the medium tyre runs, with Ferrari team-mate Vettel 0.245s adrift in second – but the order changed significantly when drivers bolted on the soft tyres with 13 minutes of the one-hour session to go.
Rosberg was the first of the frontrunners to do a performance run, but his first sector was three tenths slower than his best on Friday.
His team-mate Hamilton had a much cleaner lap to top the charts for the first time this weekend.
The circuit was very dusty early on amid blustery conditions, with winds hitting 20mph and track temperatures 15C lower than they were during Friday’s daytime session.
The dirty circuit meant a number of drivers struggled for grip with both Lotus’s Romain Grosjean and Hamilton locking up on the run to Turn 1 and running wide onto the run-off.
Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were fifth and sixth respectively, ahead of the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado, who was as high as fifth during the medium-tyre runs.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who didn’t go out until the final half and hour and ran wide at Turn 13 on his medium-tyre run, was eighth, with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Sauber’s Felipe Nasr completing the top 10.
Jenson Button was the first driver out on track in a bid to make up for a loss of track time on Friday, when he completed just a handful of laps.
The Briton was the leading McLaren in 11th after 14 laps, five places and half a second quicker than team-mate Fernando Alonso in 16th.
Kvyat, who was caught out when he spun at Turn 4 and beached his Red Bull in the gravel, ended up 12th after the team got him back out for the final few minutes of the session.
Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber was 13th, ahead of Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso and Force India’s Sergio Perez.
It was a disappointing session for Carlos Sainz, who could only manage 17th, one place clear of Lotus’ Romain Grosjean, who asked his team early in the session, "how can the car be so different?"
The Manors brought up the rear of the field, with Will Stevens eight tenths quicker than team-mate Roberto Merhi. Both were within the 107 per cent cut-off time.
|8||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m36.335s||1.736s||8|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.421s||1.822s||13|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m36.548s||1.949s||7|
|14||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m36.684s||2.085s||11|
|15||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.727s||2.128s||14|
|17||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m36.979s||2.380s||14|