Raikkonen takes Monaco Grand Prix F1 pole, Hamilton goes out in Q2
Kimi Raikkonen claimed his first Formula 1 pole position since 2008 in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, as Lewis Hamilton failed to make the top-10 shootout.
Raikkonen’s Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel had set the pace in Thursday practice, and in final practice on Saturday morning in Monte Carlo, but Raikkonen moved ahead in Q2 and stayed there, eventually claiming the top spot by just 0.043 seconds as Vettel just fell short in Q3.
Valtteri Bottas was third in the best of the Mercedes, just 0.002s behind Vettel, while team-mate Hamilton was forced to watch from the sidelines.
Hamilton struggled for speed throughout Q1 and Q2, and almost crashed twice after losing the rear end of his Mercedes at Massenet and Casino Square.
The triple world champion was down in 14th place in Q2, as Ferrari set the pace, but looked on a lap good enough to make Q3 before Stoffel Vandoorne crashed his McLaren-Honda at the Swimming Pool.
That forced Hamilton to abandon his lap and means he will start the Monaco street race mired in the midfield.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen qualified fourth in Hamilton’s absence, well clear of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo behind.
A late improvement from Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr in Q3 lifted him to a season’s best sixth, ahead of Sergio Perez’s Force India and Romain Grosjean’s Haas.
Jenson Button qualified ninth on his return to F1 in place of Fernando Alonso, but Button’s McLaren-Honda will drop to the back of the grid thanks to a 15-place penalty for engine component changes ahead of final practice.
Button’s team-mate Vandoorne rounded out the top 10, though he failed to participate in Q3 after that Q2 crash.
He will drop three places on account of a penalty for clashing with Felipe Massa at the previous race in Spain.
Vandoorne’s shunt also prevented the second Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat from improving at the end of Q2, so one of the stars of Thursday practice wound up only 11th fastest in qualifying.
Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault was 12th, ahead of Kevin Magnussen’s Haas (which wasn’t affected by the yellow flags), Hamilton and the Williams of Massa, who also hadn’t set a representative time before having to abort his final flying lap thanks to the Vandoorne incident.
A last gasp effort from Grosjean knocked Esteban Ocon out in Q1.
Grosjean spun at Mirabeau in the early stages of that session, but ultimately did enough to progress.
Force India repaired Ocon’s car following his morning practice crash in time to complete the final 10 minutes of Q1, and Ocon looked safely through to Q2 until Grosjean’s late show.
Ocon missed the cut by 0.202s but was well clear of the second Renault of Jolyon Palmer, who complained of too much understeer as he struggled to the 17th fastest time.
Lance Stroll’s Williams was almost two tenths slower in 18th, the Canadian having to cut short his run thanks to a hydraulic leak.
He ended up ahead of only Sauber pairing Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson, who clouted the barrier at the Nouvelle chicane on his final Q1 lap and had to pull off into the escape road with a broken left-rear wheel.
PROVISIONAL STARTING GRID:
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.496s||0.318s|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.998s||0.820s|
|6||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.162s||0.984s|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.329s||1.151s|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.516s||1.338s|
|15||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m14.101s||–|
Monaco Grand Prix: Vettel leads Ferrari one-two in final practice
Ferrari Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel was quickest again in the Saturday morning practice session of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.
The four-time F1 champion ended the hour-long session 0.345 seconds clear of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in a Ferrari one-two.
Just like both of Thursday’s practice sessions, the ultra-soft-dominated practice three provided another fastest-ever lap of the Monte Carlo track, Vettel’s 1m12.395s a three-tenth improvement on his own previous record.
After an initial flood of installation laps in the opening minutes, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas was first of the frontrunners to kick off a proper run, the Finn quickly establishing himself at the top of the timesheets.
But compatriot Raikkonen’s first effort dethroned Bottas immediately, the Ferrari man posting a 1m13.568s as Bottas himself then came up 0.053s short.
Despite causing a brief yellow flag as he stopped just short of the barriers at Antony Noghes, Raikkonen lowered the session benchmark further with his next proper effort – a 1m13.379s.
Lewis Hamilton briefly returned Mercedes to the top spot, but was relegated behind the two Ferraris in no time, Vettel now edging ahead of Raikkonen via a 1m12.890s lap.
The other Mercedes of Bottas was shuffled down even further at the conclusion of his first run, with the Red Bull of Max Verstappen and the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat splitting the two Silver Arrows.
As the session passed its halfway point, Verstappen broke up Ferrari’s one-two at the top of the timing screens, lapping 0.050s off Vettel 12 laps into his ultra-soft stint.
But Ferrari was soon back in formation at the front, Vettel finally beating Thursday’s best lap with a 1m12.558s effort a few seconds after Raikkonen had overtaken him and Verstappen.
Vettel then went even quicker, stringing together three purple sectors for a 1m12.395s – and going just 0.003s slower with his next flying lap.
By that point, Mercedes now had its first sub-1m13s lap of Monaco courtesy of Bottas, who emerged as best of the rest behind the Ferraris heading into the final few minutes.
But the running in what had been a largely incident-free session was then disrupted when Esteban Ocon hit the guardrail on the entry to the Swimming Pool section, damaging his Force India’s right-front suspension and going nose-first into the barriers.
This triggered a virtual safety car as the Force India was removed from the track, leaving less than four minutes for those seeking to do a last-gasp qualifying run.
Improvements were few and far between in the hectic final minutes, leaving Ferrari with a comfortable one-two out front.
Bottas took third ahead of Verstappen and Hamilton, with Daniel Ricciardo in sixth after a suspected brake failure at the chequered flag left him stranded at the escape road at Sainte Devote.
Toro Rosso maintained its strong form from Thursday, Carlos Sainz Jr leading team-mate Kvyat in seventh.
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen, who had drawn the ire of Ocon for holding him up in the final sector, was ninth, while McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne made up the top 10.
PRACTICE THREE RESULTS:
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.940s||0.545s||27|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m13.392s||0.997s||24|
|7||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.400s||1.005s||27|
|8||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.563s||1.168s||23|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.936s||1.541s||23|
|13||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m14.072s||1.677s||21|
[…] Raikkonen was encouraged by his pace on Thursday, particularly on longer runs.
"It was getting better and better," said the Finn.
"In the long runs, the car was feeling good, so I have a good feeling.
"In the shorter runs, we have to improve a little bit.
"We did some changes and it always got better – so that’s the main thing.
"We had two smooth sessions, doing our normal work."
Vettel echoed Raikkonen’s confidence on Ferrari’s race pace but believed there was a lot to do between now and final practice and qualifying on Saturday.
"It’s always tricky to judge because you don’t get so many clear laps with a lot of traffic, but it seemed OK," he said.
"I think we can still do, and have to do, something to the car to be more competitive overall and in the race.
"But I think Kimi and I were quite happy with the long run."
Sebastian Vettel leads second Monaco GP practice for Ferrari
Sebastian Vettel set the pace for Ferrari in second practice for Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Vettel clocked the fastest ever lap in Monte Carlo with a 1m12.720s to finish 0.487 seconds clear of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas could not replicate the pace shown in first practice and ended the session eighth and 10th respectively.
They started the session on super-softs, but failed to trouble the top of the timesheets when they bolted on the ultra-softs.
Practice was red-flagged with 36 minutes to go when Lance Stroll crashed at Casino Square.
The Williams driver, who was 16th fastest, lost the rear at the top of the hill before sliding into the barrier.
Second practice was a scrappier session than the morning overall, with Esteban Ocon hitting the barrier at the downhill right-hander before Portier.
Marcus Ericsson, who failed to complete a lap time in first practice because of a gearbox problem, nudged the barrier at Casino Square, forcing him to pit.
It was the Toro Rossos that set the early pace, Daniil Kvyat using the ultra-soft for the first time on Thursday to clock a 1m14.031s.
Ricciardo then went quickest on the ultra-softs before Vettel usurped him with his first qualifying-simulation run.
Kimi Raikkonen ended up third fastest, just over half-a-second off the pace with Kvyat just over half a tenth further back.
The other Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr was fifth to underline the team’s pace on the streets of Monte Carlo, ahead of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
Hamilton, Kevin Magnussen and Bottas completed the top 10.
McLaren returnee Jenson Button had another solid session, the Briton clocking the 12th quickest time to finish just 0.035s adrift of team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne.
There was more frustration for Renault, with Nico Hulkenberg ending the session 17th quickest, having failed to set a time at all due to mechanical problems in the morning.
His team-mate Jolyon Palmer pulled off track at Portier early in the session with smoke pouring from the rear of his Renault. He completed just eight laps.
SECOND PRACTICE TIMES:
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m13.207s||0.487s||35|
|4||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.331s||0.611s||41|
|5||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.400s||0.680s||43|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m13.486s||0.766s||36|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.799s||1.079s||45|
|15||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m14.093s||1.373s||47|
F1 Monaco GP: Mercedes’ Hamilton leads Vettel in first practice
Lewis Hamilton beat Formula 1 title rival Sebastian Vettel to the fastest time in opening practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver clocked a 1m13.425s on Pirelli’s ultra-soft tyres to finish 0.196 seconds clear of Ferrari’s Vettel on the streets of Monte Carlo.
Max Verstappen, whose Red Bull team was running a T-wing for the first time, set the fastest first sector overall, but lost time in the middle part of the lap and ended up third quickest, the top three split by just 0.346s.
Verstappen spent a lot of the time in the garage after Red Bull spotted a "potential right rear puncture" and called him into the pits, and he did his best time in the latter part of the session.
Drivers wasted little time in the 90 minutes, Ferrari and Red Bull running the ultra-softs straight away, while Mercedes focused its early running on the super-softs.
Vettel was the early pacesetter, but he was deposed when Mercedes swapped to the ultra-softs with just over 50 minutes to go.
Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton traded fastest laps, with the latter clocking the fastest time on the fourth lap of his run.
Bottas ended up fourth, ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kyvat, who was the best-placed driver on the super-softs.
Kimi Raikkonen kissed the barrier at the Swimming Pool but escaped without damage and was seventh, more than half-a-second slower than team-mate Vettel.
Sergio Perez finished eighth, ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr, who like his team-mate Kvyat was on the super-softs, and Esteban Ocon.
Felipe Massa wound up 11th for Williams, 1.192s off the pace, with Kevin Magnussen 12th in the new-look Haas.
Standing in for Fernando Alonso who is competing in the Indianapolis 500 this weekend, McLaren returnee Jenson Button focused his early running on the soft tyre.
The 2009 world champion then switched to the ultra-soft to go 14th quickest, a tenth-and-a-half slower than team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne.
Romain Grosjean, who spun at Sainte Devote but continued, was 15th.
Nico Hulkenberg failed to complete a flying lap, as Renault spent most of the session investigating a problem with the energy store.
Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson also failed to get a time on the board after encountering a gearbox problem.
PRACTICE ONE RESULTS:
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m13.771s||0.346s||32|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m13.854s||0.429s||45|
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m14.111s||0.686s||42|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m14.201s||0.776s||32|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m14.333s||0.908s||39|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m14.425s||1.000s||39|
Spanish GP: Hamilton beats Vettel to F1 pole by 0.051 seconds
Lewis Hamilton beat Formula 1 title rival Sebastian Vettel to pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix by less than one tenth of a second after a thrilling qualifying battle.
Ferrari had set the pace in final practice at Barcelona’s Catalunya circuit, but Hamilton’s Mercedes held the advantage in qualifying after the first runs in Q3, setting a 1m19.149s time that would eventually stand for pole when Hamilton failed to improve on his second run.
Vettel suffered from a de-rating of his Ferrari’s energy recovery system during his first Q3 run, and was a distant fourth quickest as a result, but he was lapping comfortably faster than Hamilton’s pole time on his final run before locking up at the final chicane.
Vettel eventually cut the timing beam in 1m19.200s, half a tenth down on Hamilton, apologising to his team for the mistake.
Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was third fastest, recovering from a wild slide exiting the chicane on his first Q3 run to ultimately lap 0.173s slower than Vettel with a small improvement on his second run.
Bottas described his performance as "not good enough", but it was enough to confine the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen to fourth.
Raikkonen suffered an oversteer moment at Turn 12 on his first Q3 run and lost time in sector two on his final effort.
Max Verstappen was well clear of Daniel Ricciardo in the private battle between Red Bulls to be fifth, while Fernando Alonso produced a superb performance to haul McLaren-Honda into Q3 for the first time this season and qualify seventh fastest.
Force India got both its cars into the top 10 again, sandwiching Felipe Massa’s ninth placed Williams.
Sergio Perez was eighth and Esteban Ocon 10th, Ocon feeling he lost two tenths after failing to engage DRS at a crucial moment.
Kevin Magnussen missed out on making the top 10 by less than a tenth, while Haas team-mate Romain Grosjean wound up down in 14th after losing the rear end of his car and going off at Turn 13 and the chicane on his final Q2 lap.
Carlos Sainz Jr looked in excellent shape through Q1 and the initial runs in Q2, where he was always inside the top 10, but he only found 0.015s on his final Q2 run so ended up 12th.
The Spaniard felt he extracted the maximum from the heavily updated Toro Rosso, finishing just ahead of Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault, which failed to make Q3 for the first time since the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, provoking an angry response from Hulkenberg on team radio.
Pascal Wehrlein’s Sauber was 15th fastest, having done very well to win a tight scrap to escape Q1.
Less than a second covered 14 cars in that fight, with Perez’s Force India the only car outside the top six not required to make a second run.
Wehrlein edged out Sauber team-mate Marcus Ericsson by just 0.005s to make the cut, while Jolyon Palmer’s Renault, Lance Stroll’s Williams, Stoffel Vandoorne’s McLaren and Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso all missed out.
Hulkenberg and Massa also scraped through in this segment, but Kvyat and Vandoorne qualified well adrift of their team-mates, with Sainz’s Toro Rosso ninth fastest in Q1 and Alonso’s McLaren 12th.
SPANISH GP GRID
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m19.706s||0.557s|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m20.175s||1.026s|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m21.070s||1.921s|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m21.272s||2.123s|
|12||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m21.371s||2.222s|
|20||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m22.746s||3.597s|
Raikkonen leads Ferrari one-two in final practice for F1 Spanish GP
Kimi Raikkonen led a Ferrari one-two in final Formula 1 free practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.
After a subdued Friday dominated by Mercedes, Raikkonen posted a 1m20.214s on soft tyres to outpace Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel by 0.242s.
But Vettel’s day was not without trouble, as his session came to an early end after stopping in the pitlane with 10 minutes remaining.
Lewis Hamilton, who had topped both of Friday’s sessions, had to settle for third place ahead of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who managed just seven laps.
Bottas’s day got off to a difficult start as Mercedes worked on his car following an electrical issue that made the team break the curfew.
As a result, the Russian GP winner was then forced to revert to an older-spec engine for the rest of the weekend after a water leak was found. He spent the majority of the session in the garage.
Red Bull duo Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth and sixth as the usual order was restored at the front of the field.
Nico Hulkenberg continued to shine in the Renault with the seventh fastest time, ahead of Felipe Massa’s Williams and local heroes Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) and Fernando Alonso (McLaren).
Alonso, aiming to make up for the lost time on Friday, was the first driver to register a time early on, but was soon demoted by Esteban Ocon in the Force India fitted with medium tyres.
Raikkonen was the first of the frontrunners to complete a timed lap, the Finn posting a 1m22.494s using mediums at the 15-minute mark. Vettel slotted into second a few seconds later.
With 36 minutes to go, Hamilton moved to second with his first run on medium tyres, the Briton over three tenths slower than Raikkonen despite setting the fastest time in the middle sector.
Verstappen only set his first time of the day at the halfway point after a slow start, jumping to third in the medium-shod Red Bull.
He improved his time, but not his position, on the second lap of his run, but was still over six tenths of Raikkonen’s pace.
With 22 minutes left on the clock, Raikkonen improved to a 1m20.214s as he ran with Pirelli’s soft tyres, opening a gap of over 2.5 seconds to his closest rival before Vettel used the yellow-marked rubber to jump up to second, 0.242s off the pace.
The German had to return to the pits without completing the planned second flyer, however, as Ferrari detected a problem with his car and called him in.
Hamilton’s first run on softs with 17 minutes remaining produced the third quickest time, 0.381s behind Raikkonen.
Vettel attempted to return to the track for a final run with 10 minutes remaining when he stopped while driving up the pitlane. After he was dragged back to the garage, the team began working on the car but it did not return to the track.
PRACTICE THREE RESULTS:
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m21.025s||0.811s||14|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m21.249s||1.035s||15|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m21.835s||1.621s||19|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m22.237s||2.023s||19|
|14||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m22.297s||2.083s||22|
|15||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m22.391s||2.177s||15|
Spanish GP: Mercedes’ Hamilton stays on top in second practice
Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton completed a Friday practice sweep for the Spanish Grand Prix, leading team-mate Valtteri Bottas in second practice.
Hamilton, who topped Friday morning’s session at Barcelona by 0.029 seconds from Bottas, was almost a tenth up on the Finn this time, ending the day with a best lap of 1m20.802s.
Mercedes’ main rival Ferrari was again adrift, albeit closer than it had been in the morning session, Kimi Raikkonen leading its effort with a time three tenths off the pace.
There was a pace disparity between the Mercedes pair early, with Bottas needing just one flying lap on medium to move into top spot with a 1m23.062s lap.
Hamilton slotted in behind the Ferraris after a big slide at the chicane during his first proper effort and then improved but still ended the run more than half-a-second off.
Ferrari was the first team onto soft tyres with an hour left, championship leader Sebastian Vettel and then Raikkonen lowering the benchmark.
However the Mercedes drivers moved back to the top, with Hamilton leading Bottas by 0.090s.
None of the top four frontrunners improved with their second push, Raikkonen finishing 0.310s adrift and Vettel 0.418s behind.
Raikkonen’s long-run programme was interrupted briefly when he was called into the pits with a suspected engine problem, after being instructed to use part throttle, but driving through and straight back out on track.
While he did not encounter any further engine problems, Raikkonen did have a run-in with the Force India of Sergio Perez at Turn 5.
Trying to pass Perez around the outside, Raikkonen was forced to back out and subsequently radioed Ferrari saying he had been "pushed off".
For his part, Vettel also had a late moment at Turn 4, a snap forcing him to drive out of the gravel.
Like Ferrari, Red Bull was closer to the pace in the afternoon session.
Last year’s Spanish GP winner Max Verstappen was again ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, by one tenth and finishing 0.636s off Hamilton’s best despite a scrappy session.
Verstappen’s biggest incident of the afternoon was a slide and trip through the gravel at Turn 9 early on, which the team attributed to a gust of wind.
Renault was close behind the Red Bulls, seventh-placed Nico Hulkenberg ending the session as the last driver within a second of Hamilton, while Jolyon Palmer was eighth, after stepping aside for Sergey Sirotkin for the morning.
Felipe Massa was ninth for Williams, while Carlos Sainz Jr completed the top 10, having caused a brief red flag an hour in when his Toro Rosso shed debris after running over the exit kerbs at Turn 9.
McLaren’s fortunes were mixed again, with Stoffel Vandoorne enjoying a reasonable session in 13th while Fernando Alonso wound up 20th and last.
Alonso, who missed FP1 due to a Honda engine failure, only emerged half an hour into the session after an engine change, and had to wait longer to complete proper runs.
Having turned a session-low 21 laps, Alonso ranted on the radio at one stage that: "The engine feels good. Much slower than before. Amazing."
PRACTICE TWO RESULTS:
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m21.438s||0.636s||29|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m21.585s||0.783s||35|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m22.265s||1.463s||34|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m22.520s||1.718s||37|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m22.722s||1.920s||32|
|18||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m23.236s||2.434s||27|
Spanish GP: Hamilton leads Mercedes F1 team-mate Bottas in FP1
Lewis Hamilton headed a Mercedes one-two in the opening Formula 1 practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix, as McLaren-Honda suffered more engine woe.
Hamilton clocked a 1m21.521s on the medium tyre, finishing just 0.029 seconds quicker than team-mate Valtteri Bottas at Barcelona.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was the closest challenger to Mercedes, which is running radical scoop vanes on the nose, but he was nearly a second adrift.
The Mercedes drivers were evenly matched throughout the session, with Hamilton holding the edge by 0.089s on the early runs on the hard tyre.
After their first flying laps on the mediums, Hamilton and Bottas did a cool down lap before going again, but both failed to improve their times.
The duo clocked 58 laps between them in a smooth session for the world champion outfit, but it was not so positive for rival Ferrari and McLaren.
Championship leader Sebastian Vettel stopped at the exit of the pitlane, reporting an issue with the gearbox with just over an hour to go.
After a short spell in the garage, the German rejoined the fray and ended up fourth quickest, just over a tenth adrift of his team-mate.
Fernando Alonso’s session lasted just a handful of corners, his car snapping approaching Turn 3 with smoke and fluid pouring from his Honda power unit.
Honda said it was an oil leak and in a bid to ensure he gets out for second practice, chose to change the engine while it investigated the problem.
Alonso’s team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne had a more fruitful session, recording 24 laps and the 12th quickest time.
Max Verstappen was the best of the Red Bulls in fifth, 1.185s off the pace and four tenths clear of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
Kevin Magnussen beat Romain Grosjean to seventh, but his session ended a few minutes early when he parked the Haas at the edge of the track at Turn 4.
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr completed the top 10.
Sergey Sirotkin, who took over Jolyon Palmer’s Renault for this session, managed 10 laps and the 19th quickest time before his outing was curtailed by a water leak.
PRACTICE ONE RESULTS:
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m22.706s||1.185s||22|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m23.084s||1.563s||17|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m24.004s||2.483s||21|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m24.188s||2.667s||23|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m24.324s||2.803s||22|
|15||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m24.642s||3.121s||18|
Sebastian Vettel keeps Ferrari on top in final Russian GP practice
Sebastian Vettel continued Ferrari’s dominance at Sochi as he set the pace in final practice for Formula 1’s Russian Grand Prix.
The German clocked a 1m34.001s on the ultra-soft Pirelli tyres, 0.337 seconds quicker than team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Valtteri Bottas was Ferrari’s closest challenger, 0.363s adrift in third and two tenths ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Ferrari and Mercedes set out on the ultra-soft compound early in the session as they battled to understand how to use their tyres in the most effective away ahead of qualifying.
After the first runs, Hamilton was quickest, 0.105s faster than Vettel with Bottas third, a further tenth-and-a-half adrift.
With 20 minutes to go, Mercedes headed back out first with Bottas going quickest with a 1m34.681s on his second timed lap, having done a build-up lap to get heat into the tyres.
Hamilton was on course to go quicker, using the same warm-up strategy, but made a series of mistakes in the final sector.
Raikkonen then put Ferrari top with a 1m34.338s before Vettel clocked the fastest-ever lap at Sochi with a 1m34.001s.
He was on course to go even quicker and break the 1m34s-barrier, but lost two tenths in the final sector.
Both Mercedes drivers improved on their second flying laps, but they stayed in third and fourth respectively.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was best of the rest in fifth, but he was 1.451s off the pace, a few thousandths clear of Felipe Massa.
Verstappen’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who momentarily stopped on track in the closing minutes of the session before getting going again, was seventh ahead of Nico Hulkenberg.
Carlos Sainz Jr and Kevin Magnussen completed the top 10.
Jolyon Palmer was the only driver who failed to set a time with his Renault team deciding to change his engine ahead of qualifying.
That came after its mechanics worked well into the night to complete a precautionary chassis change for the Briton after an exhaust leak on Friday.
PRACTICE THREE RESULTS:
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.452s||1.451s||21|
|8||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.830s||1.829s||24|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m36.164s||2.163s||20|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.676s||2.675s||22|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m36.846s||2.845s||18|
|15||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.962s||2.961s||21|
Russian GP: Vettel leads first all-Ferrari front row since 2008
Sebastian Vettel claimed Ferrari’s first pole position of 2017, as both he and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen defeated the Mercedes drivers in a tight Russian Grand Prix qualifying battle.
Ferrari had led the way throughout free practice, but trailed Mercedes through Q1 and Q2, when both Vettel and Raikkonen made an extra run compared to Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in the latter segment.
But Ferrari turned things around in Q3, when Raikkonen sat on provisional pole after the initial runs, just ahead of Bottas and Vettel, with Hamilton trailing in fourth after twice snatching the inside front brake on his hot lap.
Raikkonen looked set to claim his first pole since the French GP of 2008, which was also the last race Ferrari locked out the front row, but went wide at the final corner on his last lap so failed to improve.
That allowed Vettel to snatch pole by just 0.059 seconds with a last-gasp effort of 1m33.194s.
Bottas also failed to find time on his final run, but his earlier lap was still good enough for third on the grid, just 0.036s adrift of Raikkonen – albeit slower than he went in Q2.
Hamilton’s first run in Q3 was compromised by a track position squabble with Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault. Hamilton improved on his final run, but dropped a lot of time in the final sector and ended up almost half a second slower than the sister Mercedes of Bottas.
Daniel Ricciardo was fifth in the best of the Red Bulls, over a second slower than Hamilton, while Felipe Massa squeaked his Williams into sixth, just 0.051s ahead of the second Red Bull of Max Verstappen.
Hulkenberg was eighth in the best of the works Renaults, just over a tenth further back, while the Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon completed the top 10.
Both Force Indias made Q3 for the first time this season, Ocon claiming the final spot in the top-10 shootout by 0.219s from the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr, who complained of a "very strange" lack of grip on his final set of tyres.
The second Williams of Lance Stroll split Sainz from his Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat, as all three drivers lapped within 0.020s of each other.
Kevin Magnussen’s Haas was less than half a tenth further back in 14th, well clear of the underpowered McLaren-Honda of Fernando Alonso, who maintained his 100% record of getting McLaren-Honda into Q2 at every race so far this season.
Renault’s Jolyon Palmer missed the cut by less than a tenth, but had already failed to improve on his final run before crashing heavily at Turn 4 after clipping the inside kerb.
Stoffel Vandoorne, who will start last after a grid penalty, found time on his final run but it was nowhere near enough to escape Q1. He wound up 17th fastest and six tenths away from the Q2 cut off.
Pascal Wehrlein was 18th in the best of the Saubers, lucky to survive a spin unscathed at Turn 13 at the end of Q1.
Team-mate Marcus Ericsson was just under two tenths further back, while Romain Grosjean’s Haas brought up the rear of the grid.
Grosjean struggled with the brakes and balance of his car throughout free practice, and was also unhappy at the start of qualifying, but was on a better lap before Palmer’s crash nullified the end of the session.
RUSSIAN GP STARTING GRID:
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1.711s|
|7||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1.967s|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||2.143s|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||2.236s|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||2.774s|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||2.754s|
Russian GP: Vettel keeps Ferrari on top in second practice
Sebastian Vettel set the pace in second practice for the Russian Grand Prix, as Ferrari started the weekend with the edge over Formula 1 rival Mercedes.
Vettel, whose team-mate Kimi Raikkonen led the way in first practice, used a fresh set of ultra-soft Pirellis to clock a 1m34.120s at Sochi.
The German reported an "engine hesitation" on his outlap and after a conservative first flying lap, put the hammer down on the second to go 0.263 seconds quicker than Raikkonen.
Mercedes appeared to be quicker in the first sector, but both Lewis Hamilton’s and Valtteri Bottas’s laps fell away thereafter.
Bottas was Ferrari’s closest challenger in third, 0.670s off the pace, with Hamilton a few thousandths further back in fourth.
It was a scrappy session for Mercedes as both drivers struggled to get their Pirelli tyres into the right operating window, their quickest times coming several laps into the run.
Max Verstappen got the better of Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo and ended the day fifth fastest, just over three tenths clear of the Australian.
However Verstappen’s session ended 20 minutes early when he parked at the side of the track and reported he was "out of power".
The close battle in the midfield looks set to continue with only half-a-second separating Williams’ Felipe Massa in seventh and Renault’s Jolyon Palmer in 13th.
Between them was Nico Hulkenberg, Kevin Magnussen, Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso.
Romain Grosjean, whose Haas team tried a different brake supplier in Friday practice, complained of understeer throughout as he finished 14th.
Toro Rosso had a tough session with Carlos Sainz Jr and home favourite Daniil Kvyat 15th and 17th respectively after their runs on the ultra-softs.
Stoffel Vandoorne, who sighed "incredible" as one of the Force Indias breezed by, ended up 16th, just under four tenths adrift of Alonso.
The McLaren driver is set to start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid after the team changed the entire Honda engine ahead of FP2 following more problems on Friday morning, earning a 15-place grid penalty.
Lance Stroll was 19th, 1.5s slower than team-mate Massa, but he was the only driver who did not run the ultra-soft tyre.
PRACTICE TWO TIMES:
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.540s||1.420s||15|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.910s||1.790s||26|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.600s||2.480s||38|
|11||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.654s||2.534s||39|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m37.083s||2.963s||36|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m37.300s||3.180s||35|
Russian GP: Ferrari’s Raikkonen fastest in first practice
Kimi Raikkonen set the pace for Ferrari in first practice for Formula 1’s Russian Grand Prix.
The Finn used Pirelli’s super-soft tyres to post a 1m36.074s, outpacing Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas by 0.045 seconds as Ferrari enjoyed another strong start following its victory in Bahrain.
Lewis Hamilton finished third, over sixth tenths off the pace, after going off track several times during the 90 minutes, with championship leader Sebastian Vettel fifth after a less-than-perfect session of his own.
Following a brief yellow-flag period early when Sergey Sirotkin stopped on track in Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault, Hamilton moved to the top of the times with a 1m39.558s in his first run on soft tyres.
Vettel posted his first time nearly 25 minutes in, the Ferrari driver going quickest with a 1m38.709s.
He did not last long on top, however, as Bottas used the super-soft tyres to outpace the German by more than 1.3s with a 1m36.998s, but Vettel stayed on track and improved to halve that margin.
Before the 30-minute mark, Hamilton moved into second in the super-soft-shod Mercedes – six tenths behind his team-mate – but Bottas went even quicker on the fourth lap of his run to set a new benchmark of 1m36.119s.
Hamilton also improved, but fell 0.562s short of Bottas’s best.
Daniel Ricciardo and Bottas fell victim to the slippery track surface, both running off track, while Hamilton had a bigger scare, becoming the first driver to hit the newly-installed speed bumps at Turn 2 as he overshot the braking point.
Halfway through the session, only the Mercedes drivers and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr had run on the super-softs, before Sergio Perez joined them with 30 minutes remaining to jump up to third.
At the same time, Raikkonen moved to the top with his 1m36.074s on the same compound, before the Force India of Perez’s team-mate Esteban Ocon shed its engine cover at Turn 2, bringing out the red flag.
Vettel was one of the first drivers to leave the pits as the action resumed, on super-softs, but a mistake on his first flying lap at Turn 13 meant he failed to improve despite setting the quickest time in the middle sector.
His second attempt did not go to plan either, spinning at Turn 16 after running too aggressively over the kerbs and managing to keep the car off the kerbs.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen improved late in the session to move up to fourth, jumping Vettel with a run on super-softs.
Ricciardo was sixth in the second Red Bull, ahead of Perez, Williams pair Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll, and Ocon.
Fernando Alonso was the best of the McLaren-Hondas in 13th, while team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne’s morning finished early, reporting "no power" as he cruised back to the pits in the closing minutes.
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m37.174s||1.100s||19|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m37.290s||1.216s||19|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m37.457s||1.383s||29|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m38.065s||1.991s||28|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m38.496s||2.422s||17|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m38.976s||2.902s||17|