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|
Lewis Hamilton beats Nico Rosberg to Abu Dhabi GP F1 pole position
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for his Formula 1 world championship showdown with Nico Rosberg, with a commanding performance in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton held provisional pole after the initial runs in Q3, just over three tenths quicker than Rosberg, and eventually completed two laps good enough for pole by breaking into the 1m38s on his final run.
Championship leader Rosberg also improved on his second Q3 run, but ended up more than three tenths behind Hamilton.
If Hamilton wins Sunday’s race, Rosberg only needs to finish third to clinch his first F1 world title.
Daniel Ricciardo qualified his Red Bull third fastest, nicking ahead of Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari by just 0.015 seconds on his final Q3 run.
Ricciardo and his Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen, who qualified sixth fastest, will both start the race on the super-soft tyre, after progressing through Q2 without the ultra-soft favoured by Mercedes and Ferrari.
Sebastian Vettel was fifth fastest in the second Ferrari, less than a tenth slower than Raikkonen.
Vettel suggested he lost time in Turns 16, 17 and 18, and that he went the wrong way on set-up for qualifying.
The Force Indias of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez locked out row four, just 0.018s apart, while Fernando Alonso qualified his McLaren a tenth faster than Felipe Massa’s Williams, which rounded out the top 10.
Massa’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas just missed out on making Q3 in the second Williams, finding time on his final Q2 lap but narrowly losing out to Alonso, who was quicker than Bottas by just 0.040s.
Jenson Button qualified 12th in the sister McLaren, dropping two tenths to Alonso in the middle sector and suggesting his car picked up understeer in the cool conditions.
Esteban Gutierrez beat Haas team-mate Romain Grosjean to 13th on the grid by just under a tenth of a second, while Jolyon Palmer was 15th in the best of the Renaults, 0.175s clear of Pascal Wehrlein, who put his Manor into Q2 for the fifth time this season.
Both Toro Rosso drivers fell in Q1, after losing most of Friday’s second practice to FIA safety checks to its cars, following punctures suffered on Daniil Kvyat’s car.
Kvyat was only 17th quickest, a tenth slower than Wehrlein, while Kvyat’s team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr qualified on the last row of the grid.
Renault apologised to Kevin Magnussen after he failed to go quicker on his final Q1 run and wound up 18th, ahead of Sauber’s Felipe Nasr, who complained of an ERS problem exiting Turn 14.
Esteban Ocon was 20th in the second Manor, after a slow first sector, while the second Sauber of Marcus Ericsson qualified last, the Swede apologising to the team for locking up under braking for Turn 17 and ruining his final flying lap in Q1.
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m39.589s||0.834s|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m39.818s||1.063s|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m40.501s||1.746s|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m40.519s||1.764s|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m42.003s||3.248s|
|21||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m42.393s||3.638s|
Abu Dhabi GP FP3: Sebastian Vettel tops F1 final practice
Sebastian Vettel was a surprise fastest in the final Formula 1 free practice session ahead of the title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen had set the pace with just over half of the one-hour session completed having been among a group of drivers to set times on ultra-soft Pirellis early on, which included Daniel Ricciardo and Vettel.
With just over forty minutes to go, Nico Rosberg, who had been fifth fastest behind Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton with both using the slower super-soft Pirellis early on, went fastest after bolting on the fastest tyre.
Seconds after Rosberg knocked Raikkonen off top spot, Hamilton posted a time 0.103s quicker to take top spot.
But Vettel, on a fresh set of ultra-softs, then went 0.137s faster than Hamilton with 11 minutes remaining to secure top spot.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen and Raikkonen slotted in second and third on their late runs on ultra-softs, which left Hamilton and Rosberg, who remain favourite to qualify on the front row, down in fourth and fifth after completing their qualifying simulation runs before everyone else.
Ricciardo ended the session a distant sixth, a second off the pace, after failing to exploit the potential of his ultra-soft tyres.
Force India driver Sergio Perez was seventh fastest, less than a tenth off Ricciardo, while team-mate Nico Hulkenberg ended up eighth after missing half of the session with a fuel system problem.
Williams driver Valtteri Bottas and Haas’s Esteban Gutierrez, who took a fresh Ferrari engine ahead of this session, rounded out the top 10, ahead of McLaren driver Fernando Alonso.
Renault’s Jolyon Palmer was 12th fastest ahead of Jenson Button, while Felipe Massa didn’t get the best out of his final set of tyres after a spin at Turn 6 right at the start of his run.
Toro Rosso returned to the track after stopping running in yesterday’s session amid concerns it and the FIA had about safety following two punctures believed to be car-related.
Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kvyat completed only 23 laps between them, with Sainz best placed in 18th place.
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||0.137s||21|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1.056s||20|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1.110s||19|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1.292s||13|
|18||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||2.526s||10|
|21||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||3.330s||13|
Lewis Hamilton leads second Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice too
Lewis Hamilton ended the second free practice session for Formula 1’s world championship deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on top of the timesheets.
After failing to complete a proper fast lap on his first set of soft-compound tyres and complaining about flatspots, Mercedes driver Hamilton deposed team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg from first place with 50 minutes remaining by 0.079 seconds, with both using ultra-soft Pirellis.
This came shortly after Rosberg had knocked Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, who was the first to go fastest using the ultra-softs having bettered team-mate Kimi Raikkonen’s super-soft time, off top spot.
Vettel later suffered a gearbox failure with 10 minutes remaining and stopped on track.
Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were fourth and fifth and separated by just one thousandth of a second, the latter improving on his second quick lap on the ultra-softs.
Verstappen later complained he was losing power coming off corners and that it was "like a handbrake" on corner entry, with Ricciardo earlier suffering his own brief loss of power at Turn 1.
Valtteri Bottas, who was briefly fastest early in the session on super-softs and came close to reclaiming the spot after dropping behind both Ferraris, ended up seventh ahead of Force India duo Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.
Felipe Massa rounded out the top 10 during the final Friday of his F1 career.
Fernando Alonso was 11th fastest, with McLaren team-mate Jenson Button slotting into 12th in the second half of the session – albeit 0.457s slower – after having a brief off-track moment at Turn 8 earlier on.
Romain Grosjean was 13th fastest, although his session was interrupted by a water pressure problem that led to the Haas team calling him to return to the pits after 17 laps.
The two Manor drivers has a solid session, with Esteban Ocon and Pascal Wehrlein in 16th and 17th and separated by 0.154s, putting them ahead of the Saubers of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen’s Renault.
Toro Rosso duo Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kvyat completed only nine laps between them and sat out much of the 90-minute session.
This followed Daniil Kvyat suffered his second left-rear puncture of the day, having suffered a similar fate in practice one, and spinning at Turn 17.
He returned to the pits, with F1 technical delegate Jo Bauer and the team inspecting Kvyat’s wheel, and neither Toro Rosso returned to the track again.
PRACTICE TWO TIMES:
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m41.389s||0.528s||24|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m41.390s||0.529s||33|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.041s||1.180s||35|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.264s||1.403s||36|
|21||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m44.478s||3.617s||5|
|22||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m45.948s||5.087s||4|
Lewis Hamilton fastest in first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice
Lewis Hamilton beat Mercedes team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg to the fastest time in first practice for the Formula 1 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Reigning world champion Hamilton, who trails Rosberg by 12 points with 25 still available, put in a 1m42.869s on the Pirelli soft compound tyres to finish 0.374 seconds ahead of his team-mate.
Red Bull was the closet challenger, with Max Verstappen half a tenth adrift of Rosberg in third and Daniel Ricciardo fourth.
Mercedes ran the ultra-soft tyres early in the session, with Rosberg holding the early edge before being usurped by Hamilton, who then had a low-key spin at the Turn 5-6 complex.
Hamilton moved to the soft tyres and went slightly quicker to extend his lead at the top and remain unchallenged for the remainder of the session.
Teams were limited with what they could learn in first practice as the session takes place in afternoon daylight conditions while qualifying and the race are run under floodlights.
Track evolution delivered a confusing picture, with Hamilton faster on the ultra-soft and the soft while Rosberg was on a similar pace on each compound.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who ran the halo cockpit protection device for his opening 11 laps, was fifth quickest, 1.136s off the pace.
Sergio Perez was the leading Force India in sixth, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Carlos Sainz Jr.
Felipe Massa, competing in his 250th and final F1 race weekend, and Marcus Ericsson, on the super-soft, completed the top 10.
Alfonso Celis Jr, standing in for Nico Hulkenberg, was 11th quickest, 1.4s slower than Perez, with Romain Grosjean 12th.
Grosjean was unhappy with his Haas, reporting he lost the car three times on left-handers before a spin at Turn 1, which damaged his tyres and ended his session early.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was bottom of the timesheets after completing just four laps having had his running cut short when he picked up a left-rear puncture and had to park on track.
Jordan King finished 21st quickest, 1.1s slower than regular Manor driver Pascal Wehrlein, on his second F1 practice outing.
PRACTICE ONE TIMES:
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.297s||0.428s||26|
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.362s||0.493s||27|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m44.155s||1.286s||23|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m44.685s||1.816s||21|
|11||Alfonso Celis||Force India/Mercedes||1m45.476s||2.607s||26|
|22||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||2m01.989s||19.120s||4|
Lewis Hamilton beats Nico Rosberg to Brazilian Grand Prix pole
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix, a tenth of a second faster than Mercedes team-mate and Formula 1 title rival Nico Rosberg.
With rain threatening, but never arriving beyond a few spots, throughout qualifying, Hamilton had the advantage after the first runs in Q3.
While Rosberg did make a small improvement on his second run, Hamilton was fast enough to defend top spot – with his pace in the long middle sector particularly strong.
Kimi Raikkonen capitalised on the two Red Bull drivers and Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel failing to improve on their second runs to jump to third late on, 0.668s off pole.
Max Verstappen shaded Vettel for fourth by just a hundredth of a second, complaining about losing rear grip mid-way through his second flier, with Ricciardo aborting his final quick lap in the middle sector and not able to do better than sixth.
Two weeks after qualifying last in Mexico, Romain Grosjean equalled the Haas team’s best grid position of the year as he went seventh fastest.
Nico Hulkenberg had the edge in the Force India battle, lapping half-a-tenth faster than team-mate Sergio Perez, with the pair in eighth and ninth place.
McLaren-Honda returned to Q3 after a three-race absence, Fernando Alonso ending up 10th.
Williams pairing Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were both eliminated in a late flurry of improvements in Q2 as some spots of rain fell.
Bottas missed out on the top 10 by just 0.060s to Hulkenberg, while Massa had a poor first run then was unable to make a big enough improvement to do better than 13th.
The two Williams cars sandwiched the Haas of Esteban Gutierrez, with the Toro Rossos of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr 14th and 15th, and Renault driver Jolyon Palmer 16th after several lock ups on his only Q2 lap on fresh rubber.
Jenson Button was the highest-profile casualty in Q1 in 17th place, lapping almost six tenths slower than team-mate Alonso and complaining of a lack of front grip having failed to improve his time on his second run.
Kevin Magnussen did improve on his second run having been slowest on the first, but that was only good enough to jump up to 19th, ahead of the Manors of Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon.
Ocon complained about Wehrlein holding him up on his final run, while Wehrlein complained about being overtaken by his team-mate.
But Ocon was the only driver to get in trouble with the stewards, who will investigate whether or not he impeded Palmer as the Descida do Lago downhill left-hander during the session.
Sauber drivers Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr annexed the back row, with the Swede finding a bigger improvement on his second run to jump ahead of his team-mate by just 0.058s having earlier been over three tenths slower.
Nasr complained about traffic during his second run, although he was still able to improve on his first-run time by over four tenths.
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m11.485s||0.749s|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m11.540s||0.804s|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m12.104s||1.368s|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m12.165s||1.429s|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m12.726s||–|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m12.920s||–|
Rosberg outpaces F1 title rival Hamilton in Brazilian GP practice
Formula 1 championship leader Nico Rosberg beat title rival Lewis Hamilton to the fastest time in final practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix at an overcast Interlagos.
Rosberg, who can clinch the title by winning Sunday’s race no matter where Mercedes team-mate Hamilton finishes, posted the quickest lap of the weekend so far with a 1m11.740s effort.
Hamilton, who was quickest in both Friday practice sessions, had to settle for second, just 0.093s slower than Rosberg.
Ferrari pair Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen enjoyed the cooler conditions compared to Friday’s session to finish third and fourth, 0.219s and 0.287s down respectively on Rosberg.
Behind the leading quartet came Red Bull duo Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, who had hoped the drop in temperatures would help their cause, but they were 0.337s and 0.547s off the pace ultimately.
Following the scorching temperatures for second practice that rose to 31C, with the track hitting a peak of 52C, FP3 was run in very different conditions.
Heavy overnight rain resulted in a grey start to the session and a damp circuit in places that started off at 22C and rose to a high of 25C.
A handful of drivers conducted exploratory laps on full-wet tyres early on, before Hamilton pitted for slicks, claiming the track was "pretty dry" despite light drizzle in some places.
Hamilton went off on his first flying lap on softs, before setting the first competitive time of the day with a 1m16.980s.
There was a momentary disturbance 15 minutes into the session that resulted in double-yellows flags being waved in sector one, when an umbrella blew onto the track at the Senna S, but this was swiftly dealt with.
Others soon followed Hamilton’s lead by venturing out on either soft or medium dry tyres, leading to the times tumbling as the rain eased off.
Raikkonen set the benchmark time on soft tyres with a lap of 1m12.530s before Ricciardo beat that by almost a quarter of a second with 17 minutes remaining, effectively sparking the start of the qualifying simulation runs.
Rosberg eventually emerged as the fastest driver of the session, posting a time of 1m11.740s that Hamilton couldn’t quite reach.
Valtteri Bottas was seventh in his Willliams, and the only other driver to finish within a second of Rosberg.
Bottas was almost four tenths of a second ahead of Jolyon Palmer’s Renault, while Felipe Massa’s Williams and Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda rounded out the top 10.
Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson finished bottom of the standings, the only driver without a time to his name.
He completed only one lap due to technical issues, necessitating an engine change.
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.077s||0.337s||19|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.287s||0.547s||21|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.203s||1.463s||14|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.231s||1.491s||19|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m13.293s||1.553s||20|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m13.609s||1.869s||13|
No penalty for Kimi Raikkonen/Carlos Sainz Jr F1 practice incident
Kimi Raikkonen has escaped sanction for cutting across Carlos Sainz Jr to enter the pits during second practice for Formula 1’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
The two drivers were running in close proximity through the infield early in the session before Raikkonen pulled ahead and moved from right to left in front of Sainz on the main straight as he dived for the pits.
The stewards announced they would investigate the incident after the session.
But after speaking to both drivers and examining evidence they decided the incident was a misunderstanding and neither drove dangerously.
A stewards’ statement said: "On the lap concerned both drivers had aborted their lap at about Turn 9 [Pinheirinho].
"Following the abort, both drivers agreed that they were setting up for what they were doing next, not quite understanding what the other was doing.
"On the uphill prior to the pit entry, Sainz’s car was initially at a similar speed to Raikkonen, then having entered harvesting mode, did not accelerate at the same rate as Raikkonen.
"Raikkonen then had to go around Sainz to enter the pits, and because of his greater speed he was able to do so safely.
"He did enter the pitlane prior to the beginning of the white pit entry line.
"Both drivers agreed that they did not have to take any avoiding action.
"The stewards are satisfied that neither driver drove unnecessarily slowly, erratically or potentially dangerously."
Kimi at ease with Soft tires. Brake issue caused by visor
“It was a pretty normal Friday: we tried different things to make it better for tomorrow. It was a bit tricky to find the balance, the set-up is not ideal yet, but we are going in the right direction. I only did a few laps with the Soft, it felt pretty ok and obviously it has the best grip. Unfortunately at the end of the second session we had an issue with one visor which obstructed the cooling duct: the brakes overheated and I had to stop.”