Austrian GP: Lewis Hamilton beats Nico Rosberg to pole, both go off
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix, as both Mercedes Formula 1 drivers went off during their final laps of the session.
Hamilton led the way after the first runs in Q3 by two tenths of a second from team-mate Nico Rosberg, but spun under braking for Turn 1 when attempting to make sure of the top spot.
Rosberg set a personal best time in the first sector, then the fastest time of all in the second sector, before going off at the final corner, which consigned him to second on the grid.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel improved on his final run in Q3, but his lap was only good enough for third, 0.155s slower than Rosberg’s earlier effort.
Last year’s Austrian GP poleman Felipe Massa was fourth fastest for Williams, while Le Mans 24 Hours winner Nico Hulkenberg superbly split Massa from his Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas by recording the fifth fastest time for Force India.
Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen shaded Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat by less than a tenth of a second to post the seventh fastest time, as behind him Sauber’s Felipe Nasr recorded his best qualifying result since April’s Chinese GP by going ninth fastest.
Romain Grosjean’s Lotus failed to set a time in Q3, after a suspected brake by wire problem forced him back into the pits early on.
Team-mate Pastor Maldonado missed out on the top-10 shootout by 0.187s as track conditions improved in Q2, while Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber, the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz, and Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull qualified on the same tenth of a second in 12th, 13th and 14th but some way adrift of their respective team-mates, who all made Q3.
Sainz complained of traffic on his fast lap, while Ricciardo briefly ran off the road at Turn 3 before failing to make the top-10 shootout for the first time this season.
Fernando Alonso managed to squeak his McLaren-Honda through to Q2, but the MP4-30’s lack of power left him adrift of the rest in 15th.
Improving track conditions throughout a Q1 that began damp meant laptimes tumbled as the session reached its climax, creating the potential for upsets.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was the highest-profile scalp in this segment, the Finn missing the Q2 cut by 0.359s and winding up 18th fastest, much to his own surprise over team radio.
Force India’s Sergio Perez also missed out, just 0.014s slower than Alonso’s McLaren at the death, while Alonso’s team-mate Jenson Button had been fastest at one point, before slipping back to 17th at the end.
Roberto Merhi outqualified his team-mate Will Stevens, who went off early on in the wetter conditions, by more than 1.3 seconds as the Manor Marussias again qualified slowest of all 20 cars.
Both McLarens and both Red Bulls will be hit with grid penalties for unscheduled engine changes this weekend, so will drop to the back of the grid when it is finalised.
|5||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m09.278s||0.823s|
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m09.612s||1.157s|
|12||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m10.465s||–|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m12.522s||–|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m09.694s||–|
|18||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m10.482s||–|
Note: Kvyat, Ricciardo, Alonso and Button all have penalties
Austrian GP: Sebastian Vettel fastest in FP3 before rain hits
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was quickest in final Formula 1 practice for the Austrian Grand Prix, with rain mid-session preventing the leading teams from completing qualifying simulations.
The four-time world champion clocked a 1m09.994 on the soft compound tyres, 0.017s quicker than Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton with Kimi Raikkonen third in the other Ferrari.
With rain a distinct possibility for qualifying, several drivers went out on the full wet tyre when rain hit halfway through the session – although Hamilton was the only one of the frontrunners not to do so.
A number were caught out by the slippery conditions, with Vettel running off track at Turn 2 before recovering while Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz spun down at Turn 6.
Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg traded times at the top of the timesheets in the early part of the session before Vettel usurped them both.
Hamilton was on course to reclaim top spot, having clocked the fastest first and second sectors, but he ran wide after getting out of shape in the final corner.
Drivers were told rain was expected at the midpoint of the one-hour session, with Force India’s Sergio Perez – who had a puncture that Pirelli said was rim-related early on – reacting immediately.
The Mexican clocked the fourth fastest time on super-softs, but before Mercedes and Ferrari could get out on track on the softer tyre, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso brought out the red flag when he stopped on the pit straight.
As the marshals cleared Alonso’s car, which is heavily upgraded this weekend but will incur a penalty of at least 20 places due to engine component changes, rain began to fall.
Both Mercedes and Ferrari queued up at the end of the pitlane on the super-soft tyres, but by the time they headed out, the rain had intensified.
Rosberg and Raikkonen skated off track but kept their respective cars out of the barriers before retreating back to the pits.
Rosberg ended up fifth fastest, three tenths slower than team-mate Hamilton, ahead of the Williams’ of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen was eighth with Lotus drivers Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean completing the top 10.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg – who said on Friday that it took him some time to get used to driving the car following his victory at Le Mans, was 11th with Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson’s 12th.
Sainz was 13th, and was told by his engineer that he was the fastest car on the wet tyre in the closing stages, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat and Alonso.
Daniel Ricciardo had a quiet session in the other Red Bull, managing just 10 laps for 16th, but that was two more than Sauber’s Felipe Nasr completed in 17th.
McLaren’s Jenson Button was 18th, with the Manor-run Marussias of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi bringing up the rear.
|4||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||0.227s||14|
|8||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||0.442s||23|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1.015s||14|
|13||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.145s||18|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1.145s||14|
|16||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1.825s||10|
Austrian GP: Sebastian Vettel fastest for Ferrari before problems
Sebastian Vettel topped second practice for Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix, but then suffered further gearbox problems on his Ferrari.
Vettel had only completed four laps in the morning session due to a mechanical failure, and he spent the second part of practice two parked in the garage as well.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton led the way when the field was on the slower soft-compound Pirelli tyres in the early part of the session, a tenth-and-a-half clear of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
But Hamilton was unable to improve when he bolted on the super-soft tyres later in the session thanks to some off-track moments on his quick laps, one at Turn 1 and one when he ran wide after losing the rear through the final double right-hander.
Team-mate Rosberg did manage to improve after his first attempt to do so was undermined by a brief wide moment at the end of the lap, taking top spot for a while before Vettel pipped him by just 11 thousandths of a second.
Raikkonen found over four tenths on the quicker rubber to take third place ahead of Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado, who had a late off-track trip through the gravel at Turn 3 after a lock-up on entry.
This meant that Hamilton was shuffled down to fifth place, 0.537s off the pace, in the final reckoning just ahead of Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg.
Though Vettel had held the edge during the fast laps, he missed much of the long-run section of practice after being ordered to return to the garage with a gearbox problem soon after going out on heavier fuel.
Romain Grosjean made it two Lotuses in the top seven, followed by Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen.
Felipe Nasr and Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10 ahead of Carlos Sainz, who had a trip through the gravel at Turn 5 but was able to rejoin and continue.
Daniil Kvyat could not carry over his form from the morning and ended up 12th ahead of Marcus Ericsson.
Williams pairing Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, who locked out the front row in Austria in 2014, kept a low profile during the session – as is often the case for a team that usually only unleashes its real pace on Saturday.
This left the pair down in 14th and 15th places, ahead of the two McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, who sandwiched Daniel Ricciardo and also completed very limited running.
As always, Manor drivers Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi brought up the rear, albeit with Stevens only 2.922s off the pace on this relatively short circuit.
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m10.160s||0.560s||49|
|8||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m10.356s||0.756s||48|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m10.585s||0.985s||46|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m10.631s||1.031s||50|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m10.686s||1.086s||48|
|17||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m11.676s||2.076s||38|
Austrian GP: Nico Rosberg sets pace, Sebastian Vettel has problems
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg topped the opening free practice session for Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix, while Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari stopped early and was last.
The 29-year-old took the initiative early in the session, when the field was running on its first set of soft-compound Pirelli that must be discarded after 30 minutes, setting a best time of 1m10.401s to put himself 1.1 seconds ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
While the fastest times overall are usually set in the final hour of the 90-minute session when drivers use their second set of tyres, pacesetter Rosberg did not improve.
But his time was good enough to stay fastest, because while Hamilton closed to 0.308s off Rosberg, a wide moment in the final corner and a big lock-up at Turn 1 prevented him from challenging his team-mate.
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen, who had been third on first-run times, did not return to the track until late in the session and was able to retake his position as best-of-the-rest behind the two Mercedes drivers.
Valtteri Bottas was fourth fastest four Williams at the head of of a gaggle of cars, with just four tenths of a second covering positions fourth through to 10th.
Felipe Nasr was fifth fastest, capitalising on some clear track as both Sauber drivers headed out on their second sets of rubber earlier than most.
That put him ahead of Red Bull pairing Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo, with Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen eighth fastest despite a lairy moment in the final corner earlier in his run that led him to describe the car over the radio as "unbelievably hard to drive".
Felipe Massa was ninth fastest after a brief scare shortly before the 30-minute mark when he was released from the Williams pit box just as Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene crossed from the pitwall.
Arrivabene jumped out of the way, while Massa stopped short of where the Ferrari boass had been, with the pair later sharing a joke about the moment.
Sergio Perez, who briefly ran as high as fourth on his second set of tyres, rounded out the top 10 ahead of Carlos Sainz, Pastor Maldonado and Force India team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.
Jolyon Palmer was the only non-race driver to participate, after taking over Romain Grosjean’s Lotus.
He was less than half-a-tenth off Maldonado in 14th place and ahead of Ericsson.
Jenson Button was 16th fastest, while McLaren-Honda team-mate Fernando Alonso was one place behind after losing much of the session.
The Spaniard was ordered to shut down his engine at the end of his installation lap as he returned to the pits, staying in the garage until the closing stages when he completed a further nine laps and at least posted a serious laptime.
That was more than fellow world champion Vettel managed for Ferrari, as the German ground to a halt on his fifth lap with what is believed to be a gearbox problem.
Although his car was returned to the pits, he was unable to return to the track and ended up behind Manor drivers Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi after being unable to set a serious laptime.
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m11.642s||1.241s||31|
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m11.724s||1.323s||29|
|8||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m11.825s||1.424s||38|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m11.905s||1.504s||37|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m11.948s||1.547s||32|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m12.031s||1.630s||36|
Canadian GP: Lewis Hamilton comfortably beats Nico Rosberg to pole
Lewis Hamilton comfortably defeated Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Nico Rosberg to claim pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix, while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel failed to escape Q1.
Rosberg described the conclusion to his session as "rubbish", as he ended up second best to Hamilton by three tenths of a second.
The Mercedes drivers were the only ones to lap below 1m15s around Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, and Hamilton’s 1m14.393s best on their first runs in Q3 stood as pole when neither he nor Rosberg improved on their second attempts.
With Vettel relegated to 16th place thanks to a suspected MGU-H problem, Kimi Raikkonen was the sole Ferrari representative in Q3.
The 2007 world champion had a big moment exiting Turn 4 on his best lap but it was still good enough for third on the grid.
Fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas managed a big improvement on his final run to join Raikkonen on row two for Williams and edge out the impressive Lotuses of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg produced his best qualifying effort of the season to qualify seventh, comfortably beating both Red Bulls and team-mate Sergio Perez, who rounded out the top 10.
Daniil Kvyat got the better of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo by less than a tenth to be best of the Red Bulls in eighth.
Carlos Sainz Jr was highest placed of those to miss out on the top-10 shootout by just 0.036s in a tight fight in Q2.
The Toro Rosso driver looked on to squeak into Q3 by splitting the Red Bulls until a late improvement by Kvyat.
The sister Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen was 12th fastest, but the Dutch teenager will start last on account of a 15-place grid drop for a combination of driving standards and engine penalities.
Verstappen was just 0.017s faster than Marcus Ericsson, who was 13th fastest and well clear of Sauber team-mate Felipe Nasr.
The Spaniard fell just 0.016s shy of beating both in the end and was over three tenths clear of Nasr, who qualified 15th fastest after crashing heavily in final free practice. Sauber managed to repair his car for him to join in halfway through Q1.
Jenson Button’s engine problem in final practice forced him to skip qualifying, which meant only four cars were eliminated in Q1.
Vettel swore over the radio when Ferrari told him his sole run in Q1 was only good enough for 16th spot, over three tenths adrift of Alonso’s McLaren as he limped around significantly down on power.
Felipe Massa was the other shock loser in this segment, half a second further back.
The Brazilian complained of a lack of power from his Williams’s Mercedes engine and he could do no better than 17th.
The Manor Marussias were predictably the slowest of the cars that ran in this session.
Roberto Merhi was best of the two for the first time this season with a time just 0.024s faster than team-mate Will Stevens.
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m15.614s||1.221s|
|8||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m16.079s||1.686s|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m16.114s||1.721s|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m16.338s||1.945s|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m16.042s||–|
|19||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m16.245s||–|
Canadian GP: Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes fastest between red flags
Nico Rosberg topped the times in final practice for the Canadian Grand Prix, as two red flags limited running for the second successive session.
Teams had been hoping to gather crucial long-run data on the super-soft tyre after rain washed out more than half of second practice on Friday.
So drivers headed out onto the Montreal circuit early, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen setting the opening pace.
But the action was halted for 10 minutes when Felipe Nasr crashed heavily on the long straight as he appeared to weave aggressively in a bid to generate tyre temperature.
The Brazilian climbed out of the Sauber unscathed, but was taken to the circuit medical centre as a precaution.
There was significant damage to the front end of the car, leaving Nasr’s mechanics with a race against time to get the car ready for qualifying.
The session restarted with a little over 10 minutes remaining, with drivers bolting on the super-soft tyres to do a qualifying simulation.
But it was disrupted again when McLaren’s Jenson Button stopped at Turn 7 to being out the second red flag of the session.
Rosberg was able to get a super-soft run in to go fastest, but his team-mate Lewis Hamilton was not so successful after making a mistake on his first lap.
The session was not restarted after Button’s problem, which meant Rosberg’s time of 1m15.660s was the quickest time of the morning while Hamilton propped up the timesheets having not managed a single clean flying lap between mistakes and stoppages.
With so many drivers unable to complete a super-soft tyre run, teams will have limited data going into qualifying.
Raikkonen was second quickest overall for Ferrari, ahead of Lotus’s Romain Grosjean and the Williams of Valtteri Bottas.
Force India’s Sergio Perez managed a super-soft run to end up fifth, with Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat sixth and Williams’s Felipe Massa seventh.
Vettel, Carlos Sainz Jr and Pastor Maldonado completed the top 10.
Fernando Alonso managed just three laps after missing most of the session while McLaren fitted the fourth and final Honda engine of his allocation.
PRACTICE THREE TIMES:
|5||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m16.993s||1.333s||16|
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m17.021s||1.361s||19|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m17.396s||1.736s||25|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m17.876s||2.216s||14|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m17.892s||2.232s||18|
|16||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m18.492s||2.832s||18|
Ferrari F1 team wants to help Kimi Raikkonen focus in qualifying
By Lawrence Barretto
The Ferrari Formula 1 team must improve the way it operates to ensure Kimi Raikkonen can fully focus on qualifying and improve his form, according to technical director James Allison.
Raikkonen has struggled on a Saturday afternoon all season, with his single-lap form negatively affecting his race results.
Team boss Maurizio Arrivabene has told Raikkonen to raise his game, while the Finn suggested getting the tyres to work is the key.
"With Kimi, very small things can distract a driver in qualifying," Allison said.
"They need absolute focus in those very important laps.
"We just have to make sure we remove all the tiny operation defects on our side to give him a clear path to focus on a clean lap.
"It’s all we can do."
Ferrari has used three of its engine token allocation for an upgrade package at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix as the Scuderia aims to close the gap to Mercedes.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg said: "Ferrari looks pretty close, so we need to look into that."
But Allison was more cautious.
"I hope it [the engine upgrade] will be strong and reliable all weekend," he said.
"I think we went quite well today, but I also think these chaps [Mercedes] are hiding their light under the bush at the minute."
Speaking about the update, Vettel, who finished 0.3s adrift of Lewis Hamilton, said: "There was no easing in, we went flat out straight away.
"Obviously time is very valuable and you try to get as much information as soon as possible and I think everything seemed to be working as expected."
Kimi Raikkonen – Just as we expected
“Today everything worked as we expected, we went on with our program trying as always to improve and we are quite happy with the way things worked. The weather was a bit tricky: the rain was expected in the afternoon, then we had to change a bit our program and decided certain things to be done in the morning. It’s hard to say where we are, because we did not get enough running, but it was all fine. It’s only Friday and we have to wait and see. There’s still a lot of work to be done to do well in qualifying, for sure here is easier compared to Monaco, but it will depend on many things, the weather conditions first of all. Tomorrow we’ll see where we are and then we’ll do the best over the weekend.”
Canadian GP: Lewis Hamilton fastest then crashes in wet F1 practice
Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton set the pace in second Canadian Grand Prix practice before crashing into a tyre wall when heavy rain fell midway through the session.
The reigning world champion clocked a 1m15.988s on the super-soft tyres, 0.316 seconds clear of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
The session looked set to be a washout when predicted rain fell with 50 minutes remaining, but Mercedes decided to send Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg out on intermediates.
It proved to be a mistake as Hamilton aquaplaned on the approach to the hairpin and was powerless when his Mercedes slid into the tyre wall, damaging the front end of the car.
The session was red-flagged while marshals recovered the damaged Mercedes, which swung back into the tractor as it was pulled out of the wall, and there was no further running.
It compounded a scrappy day for Hamilton, who also spun at the hairpin during the first session and clobbered the kerbs at the final chicane in second practice before completing a tidier lap to set the pace.
With rain always predicted, teams wasted little time sending their drivers out on track at the start of the session to make the most of the dry conditions, particularly as it is expected to dry on Sunday.
Vettel was straight out on the super-softs and went quickest with a 1m16.304s before Hamilton put a clean lap together to top the times, finishing 0.452s clear of team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg back in fourth.
Kimi Raikkonen was third quickest with Ferrari splitting its programme and swapping the Finn to the softs while leaving Vettel on the super-softs to maximise data gathering.
In contrast, Mercedes left both Hamilton and Rosberg on the super-softs until the rain fell.
Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado was an impressive fifth, ahead of Williams’s Valtteri Bottas and the other Lotus of Romain Grosjean.
Williams driver Felipe Massa was eighth with Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo completing the top 10.
Nico Hulkenberg finished 11th for Force India, the German having to pit with a left-rear puncture, which Pirelli suggested was related to the rim rather than the tyre itself, 10 minutes into the session.
Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson was 12th, ahead of the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz and Force India’s Sergio Perez.
Fernando Alonso was the leading McLaren in 15th with Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen, who will take a five-place grid penalty following his collision with Grosjean in Monaco, 16th.
Sauber’s Felipe Nasr, McLaren’s Jenson Button and the Manors of Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens completed the timesheets.
PRACTICE TWO TIMES:
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m17.092s||1.104s||10|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m17.111s||1.123s||16|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m17.120s||1.132s||15|
|13||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m17.318s||1.330s||23|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m17.367s||1.379s||20|
|16||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m17.657s||1.669s||23|
F1 Canadian GP: Lewis Hamilton leads practice as Mercedes dominates
Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in the opening practice session for this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.
Mercedes duo Hamilton and Nico Rosberg dominated the opening period, finishing well ahead of the chasing pack.
Hamilton was 0.415 seconds faster than Rosberg, who was over a second ahead of the Lotus of Romain Grosjean in third.
Mercedes-powered cars dominated practice at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, which is characterised by three long straights. Four of the top five fastest cars in the session were powered by the Mercedes powerplant.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was fourth fastest, followed by the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel and the Williams of Felipe Massa.
Daniil Kvyat was next up in his Toro Rosso, finishing the session in seventh place ahead of the second Lotus of Pastor Maldonado and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.
Hamilton set the early pace on the soft tyre and remained at the top of the timing sheets for the next 90 minutes.
When pushing harder with half an hour to go he spun at the Turn 10 hairpin but was able to continue unharmed.
Shortly afterwards he mentioned on his team radio that he was losing time with his upshifts.
Carlos Sainz Jr had an eventful session. First he locked-up and spun his Toro Rosso into Turn 1 before continuing, but with 10 minutes to go he stopped at the bottom of the pitlane and was pushed back to his garage by his mechanics.
Half a dozen cars outbraked themselves into the final chicane and had to familiarise their way around a new bollard and lane to return to the track.
Jenson Button suffered problems early on when he radioed back to his garage unable to shift out of second gear.
After a slow installation lap he returned to his McLaren pit and he sat the first half of the session with a gearbox issue.
In the end he was able to complete 25 laps and set the 15th fastest time.
Practice started in overcast conditions, but quickly brightened up. During the session there was a bizarre sight as marshals were removing small metal staples from an area of pitlane where a carpet had been laid during a previous event at the venue.
The second 90-minute session commences at 2pm local time with some forecasts still predicting rain.
|4||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m17.871s||1.659s||34|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m18.021s||1.809s||30|
|10||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m18.257s||2.045s||24|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m18.503s||2.291s||28|
|14||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m18.775s||2.563s||24|
|17||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m19.065s||2.853s||23|
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.”