Nico Rosberg claims Singapore GP pole ahead of Daniel Ricciardo
Nico Rosberg claimed a comfortable pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix, while his Mercedes team-mate and Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton could only qualify third.
Hopes of a tight, multi-team battle for pole position were obliterated in Q2, as Red Bull and Ferrari – down to one car already after early problems for Sebastian Vettel – struggled to get within a second of Rosberg’s benchmark.
Rosberg was the only driver to make it below 1m43s around the Marina Bay F1 circuit in Q3, and his first run proved enough to get the job done as he lapped in 1m42.584s to claim top spot by over half a second.
Hamilton lost track time to a hydraulic valve problem on Friday and has struggled under braking all weekend so far, and he endured a difficult time again in qualifying.
He trailed Rosberg by more than seven tenths of a second after his first run in Q3 and failed to improve on his second run.
That allowed Daniel Ricciardo to steal a front row start for Red Bull, as he leapt to second with a superb 1m43.115s effort at the end.
His team-mate Max Verstappen was fourth fastest, just 0.040s down on Hamilton.
Kimi Raikkonen qualified his Ferrari fifth fastest, over six tenths down on Verstappen, while team-mate Sebastian Vettel dropped out in Q1 after his Ferrari appeared to suffer a suspension failure.
Vettel initially tried to press on and drag a time out of the car anyway, before pitting for repairs Ferrari had no time to complete.
Carlos Sainz Jr claimed a superb sixth for Toro Rosso, ahead of team-mate Daniil Kvyat (who only made one run in Q3) and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg.
Fernando Alonso qualified his McLaren-Honda ninth fastest, fractionally ahead of the second Force India of Sergio Perez.
Perez may yet face sanction for overtaking Esteban Gutierrez under yellow flags in Q2.
Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were 11th and 12th, Bottas missing the Q3 cut by just 0.003s, and both affected badly by those yellow flags after Romain Grosjean crashed his Haas at the Turn 10 left-hander.
Jenson Button damaged his McLaren-Honda’s left-rear wheel against the wall at Turn 14 on his final flying lap, so failed to improve and ended up 13th fastest.
Esteban Gutierrez was 14th, just ahead of Haas team-mate Grosjean, whose crash also hindered Hulkenberg and Gutierrez at the end of Q2.
Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber rounded out the top 16, electing to save tyres knowing he could do no better after Vettel’s misfortune allowed him passage to Q2.
Ericsson made it through to Q2 with what he described as a "nice lap" at the end of Q1.
That put him almost four tenths clear of the Q1 dropouts, headed by Kevin Magnussen’s Renault, Ericsson’s Sauber team-mate Felipe Nasr, and the second Renault of Jolyon Palmer, these three all covered by just 0.135s.
Pascal Wehrlein was 20th fastest for Manor, over six tenths up on team-mate Esteban Ocon, while Vettel’s broken Ferrari trailed the entire field, almost a second further back.
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.115s||0.531s|
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.328s||0.744s|
|6||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m44.197s||1.613s|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m44.469s||1.885s|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m44.479s||1.895s|
|18||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m44.582s||–|
Singapore GP F1 practice: Rosberg fastest as Hamilton struggles
Nico Rosberg edged out Max Verstappen in final practice for the Singapore Grand Prix, while Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton failed to complete a qualifying simulation.
Rosberg clocked a 1m44.352s on ultra-soft Pirelli tyres to finish just 0.059s clear of Red Bull driver Verstappen, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen third.
Hamilton was two-tenths up on Rosberg’s fastest time in the first sector on his first flying lap on ultra-softs, but locked up the left-front wheel and had to release the brakes and take to the escape road.
This was the second time in the session that Hamilton had locked up at Turn 7 and followed a scruffy second practice session, during which he failed to complete a clean low-fuel run.
The reigning world champion, who ended the session eighth based on his earlier lap on super-soft Pirellis, also complained about heat coming through the right-hand side of the seat and around the right elbow.
Rosberg led the way early in the session with a 1m45.544s on the super-softs, 0.25s ahead of Hamilton on the same rubber, and improved by 1.2s when he swapped to the ultra-softs.
Verstappen, who was amused to see a giant lizard waiting next to the track as he passed before it crossed the road early in the session, set the fastest middle sector as he slotted into second.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was fourth fastest, half a second slower than his team-mate, with Sebastian Vettel having a difficult session in fifth and complaining of a lack of rear-end grip.
Force India continued its good form this weekend with Nico Hulkenberg sixth, ahead of Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and Hamilton, whose best lap was on the super-softs.
Carlos Sainz Jr and Valtteri Bottas completed the top 10.
Pascal Wehrlein brought out the red flag early in the session when he lost the rear in the Turn 11 right-hander and backed into the barrier.
The German damaged the rear wing and dropped debris on the track as he returned to the pits, causing a five-minute stoppage.
He spent much of the session in the garage but after a rear wing and floor change, Manor got him back out for the final few minutes and he was able to post 21st fastest time ahead of team-mate Esteban Ocon.
Esteban Gutierrez outperformed his Haas team-mate Romain Grosjean, finishing more than a second quicker in 13th.
PRACTICE THREE TIMES
|1||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||Mercedes||1m44.352s||–||15|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||Red Bull/Renault||1m44.411s||0.059s||15|
|3||Kimi Raikkonen||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||1m44.860s||0.508s||15|
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||Red Bull/Renault||1m44.903s||0.551s||12|
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||1m45.104s||0.752s||13|
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Sahara Force India F1 Team||Force India/Mercedes||1m45.316s||0.964s||13|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m45.503s||1.151s||19|
|8||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||Mercedes||1m45.806s||1.454s||9|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Toro Rosso||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m45.879s||1.527s||17|
|10||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing||Williams/Mercedes||1m45.947s||1.595s||16|
|11||Sergio Perez||Sahara Force India F1 Team||Force India/Mercedes||1m46.112s||1.760s||15|
|12||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||McLaren/Honda||1m46.164s||1.812s||13|
|13||Esteban Gutierrez||Haas F1 Team||Haas/Ferrari||1m46.316s||1.964s||16|
|14||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing||Williams/Mercedes||1m46.529s||2.177s||17|
|15||Kevin Magnussen||Renault Sport F1 Team||Renault||1m47.116s||2.764s||11|
|16||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda||McLaren/Honda||1m47.277s||2.925s||16|
|17||Felipe Nasr||Sauber F1 Team||Sauber/Ferrari||1m47.293s||2.941s||18|
|18||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team||Haas/Ferrari||1m47.411s||3.059s||20|
|19||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team||Sauber/Ferrari||1m47.956s||3.604s||20|
|20||Jolyon Palmer||Renault Sport F1 Team||Renault||1m48.689s||4.337s||13|
|21||Pascal Wehrlein||Manor Racing MRT||Manor/Mercedes||1m49.201s||4.849s||10|
|22||Esteban Ocon||Manor Racing MRT||Manor/Mercedes||1m49.|
Singapore GP: Ferrari’s Raikkonen tipping three-team fight for pole
Kimi Raikkonen is hopeful Ferrari will be in a three-way fight with Formula 1 rivals Mercedes and Red Bull for the Singapore Grand Prix pole.
Raikkonen finished Friday 0.275 seconds behind pacesetter Nico Rosberg as the top four, which included the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, were separated by just 0.4s.
"This morning was a bit tricky but the afternoon was quite decent," said Raikkonen, who was unusually upbeat after the two sessions.
"If you have a good feeling with the car, it makes all the difference around here.
"The afternoon was nice, it was quite easy and the lap time came. So far, so good."
Only at Monaco has a Mercedes driver not claimed pole position this year, but the Finn believes it could all be up for grabs on Saturday.
When asked whether Ferrari would be fighting with Mercedes and Red Bull, Raikkonen said: "Hopefully yes.
"We had a good feeling and it feels like we can do something this weekend but we don’t know what will happen tomorrow.
"We’ll see. Hopefully we’ll be there."
Raikkonen’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel, polesitter and winner in Singapore last year, finished the day in fifth.
The German accepted the blame for simply not putting a good lap together but echoed Raikkonen’s positivity ahead of qualifying.
"My lap wasn’t good enough," he said. "Kimi had a very good lap.
"I wasn’t entirely happy, I was struggling a bit with the car balance and therefore not really finding the rhythm, but all in all it’s been a good day.
"Tomorrow is important – it’s very difficult to pass here so we try to trim everything towards qualifying.
"If we get everything right, it will be very tight but we have a good chance to position the car well."
Speaking about the pace of rivals Mercedes and Red Bull, Vettel said: "Both looked very strong.
"Mercedes is the favourite and we are in the same boat as Red Bull."
Kimi pleased with handling “but it’s only Friday”
“The first practice session was tricky, I struggled a little bit, but the second practice was good: everything worked and the car was handling pretty well. Here in Singapore, if you get the car right, it’s a lot easier to go faster. Today we had quite a good feeling, but for sure there is still something to improve. It’s hard to say if we can be strong, it’s only Friday, but the feeling was positive. So far so good, but tomorrow is another day, we’ll see where everybody is and then we’ll go from there. We’ll give our best and hopefully we have the speed to challenge our rivals.”
Singapore GP F1 practice: Rosberg fastest, problems for Hamilton
Nico Rosberg set the pace in second Singapore Grand Prix practice as his Mercedes team-mate and Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton’s session was cut short by a hydraulic issue.
Rosberg clocked a 1m44.152s on the ultra-soft tyres to finish 0.245 seconds clear of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen a tenth further adrift in third.
Hamilton led the way in the early stages with a 1m45.275s on the super-softs, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Verstappen.
But he locked up heavily into Turn 1 on his qualifying simulation, skating into the run-off before rejoining and switching his focus to gathering long-run data.
The Briton, who ended up seventh, then pitted and climbed out of his car with just under half an hour to go.
Mercedes confirmed Hamilton’s car had a "small hydraulic issue" and after investigating the problem, the team said it could not be resolved in time to get the car back together and called an end to his session.
Rosberg raised concerns over brake problems in the final few minutes, but continued until the end of the session.
Ricciardo spent a chunk of the session in the garage after he clipped the wall and spun at Turn 11 before rejoining and setting the quickest middle sector to finish fourth.
Sebastian Vettel ended up fifth, 1.009s off the pace and seven tenths slower than team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was sixth and nearly a second clear of his team-mate Sergio Perez in 11th.
Carlos Sainz Jr and Fernando Alonso both clipped the wall but continued to finish eighth and ninth respectively with Daniil Kvyat completing the top 10.
Williams had a low-key session, with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas 14th and 15th respectively.
Romain Grosjean, who early in the session complained about the brakes being inconsistent, spun into the wall at the final corner, causing significant damage to his rear wing.
The Frenchman failed to complete a qualifying simulation and managed just 12 laps as he finished 19th.
PRACTICE TWO TIMES:
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m44.532s||0.380s||29|
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m44.557s||0.405s||26|
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m45.182s||1.030s||35|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m45.507s||1.355s||33|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m46.029s||1.877s||35|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m46.063s||1.911s||26|
Max Verstappen leads Red Bull one-two in Singapore GP practice
Max Verstappen led a Red Bull one-two in first Singapore Grand Prix practice, while Formula 1 world championship contender Nico Rosberg crashed.
The Marina Bay street circuit is tipped by Red Bull’s rivals to suit the RB12 and Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo lived up to the team’s ‘favourite’ status.
Verstappen ultimately finished quickest with a 1m45.823s lap, 0.049 seconds ahead of his team-mate, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel third but almost half a second down. All three drivers used Pirelli’s ultra-soft tyre.
Mercedes struggled at this circuit last year, failing to get the tyres working. Lewis Hamilton – who began the session by trialling the halo for the first time – and Nico Rosberg ended 2016’s opening practice down in fourth and fifth.
But their times – 0.603s and 0.690s respectively off the pace – were on soft tyres, the hardest of the three compounds available this weekend.
When all the drivers were running on ultra-softs, and on high fuel, earlier in the session, there was little too choose between Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes.
Within three minutes of the session starting, Jenson Button’s McLaren ground to a halt on track with a fuel system fault, stopping within sight of the pit entry and prompting a virtual safety car.
After being given the green light by race control, two marshals then pushed Button’s car back into the pits.
Button eventually returned to the track at the midpoint of the session, but finished 16th and 3.792s adrift of Verstappen, with team-mate Fernando Alonso 11th and 1.4s down.
Once the track cleared for Button’s incident, Rosberg set the initial benchmark time with a lap of 1m47.936s on the ultra-soft that was soon bettered by Hamilton by half a second.
A marginal improvement followed from Hamilton just prior to the half-hour mark before he was deposed from top spot by Verstappen by 0.034s.
Midway through the session Rosberg then produced a superb lap on the softs to lead the way by 0.822s from Verstappen.
The lead then quickly changed hands three further times, as Vettel, Verstappen and Ricciardo posted the best times, but unlike Rosberg, all were on ultra-softs.
On his soft tyre run, Hamilton managed to get the edge over his team-mate by 0.054s, with a lap of 1m46.426s for an eventual fourth place.
It was then Verstappen who had the final say to leapfrog Ricciardo into top spot just past the hour-mark.
Late drama followed with 13 minutes to go when Rosberg locked up into Turn 18 on the approach to Anderson Bridge, breaking the front wing as he hit the wall before reversing and cruising back to the pits.
Romain Grosjean finished bottom of the standings and without a time to his name due to the Haas suffering low intake pressure due to a suspected leak.
PRACTICE ONE TIMES:
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m45.823s||–||25|
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m45.872s||0.049s||27|
|7||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m46.936s||1.113s||28|
|8||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m47.683s||1.860s||29|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m48.214s||2.391s||28|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m48.359s||2.536s||28|
Italian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton dominates Monza qualifying
Lewis Hamilton comfortably claimed pole position for the Italian Grand Prix, after getting the best of a private battle for top spot with Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Mercedes suffered no repeat of the super-soft tyre woes that hampered the team in qualifying at Spa last time out, and the updated Ferrari was not fast enough to challenge at its home track, so the Mercedes drivers were free to engage in a personal duel for pole at Monza.
Hamilton was nearly three tenths quicker than Rosberg after their first runs in Q3, and extended that gap to almost half a second with a mighty 1m21.135s effort on his second run.
Sebastian Vettel dragged his Ferrari below 1m22s on his final run, but that still left him more than three tenths of a second adrift of Rosberg in third.
Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was quicker than Vettel after their first runs in Q3, but failed to improve on his second set of tyres so slipped to fourth.
Valtteri Bottas was in fine form for Williams and pipped Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull to fifth by just 0.001s.
Max Verstappen rounded out the top seven in the second Red Bull, ahead of Force India pairing Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.
Esteban Gutierrez impressively got Haas into the top 10 in qualifying for the first time, but then endured a scrappy Q3 session.
He ran off track at the Lesmos on his first Q3 run and failed to better his Q2 time on his second, which left him 10th.
Felipe Massa failed to improve on his final run in Q2, so was bumped out of the top 10 by a fine lap from Gutierrez, plus marginally better times by both Force India drivers, and the Red Bulls abandoning plans to progress on the soft tyre and then turning in quicker super-soft laps at the death.
Massa wound up 11th fastest in a car fast enough for the top six, while the second Haas of Romain Grosjean found nearly half a second on its second Q2 run but this was only good enough for 12th.
He will drop a further five places on the grid thanks to a penalty for changing his gearbox after the final practice session.
Pascal Wehrlein impressively split McLaren-Honda’s past world champions with the 14th fastest time, just 0.042s slower than Fernando Alonso and 0.044s quicker than Jenson Button.
Carlos Sainz Jr managed to drag a sub-1m23.5s lap out of his underpowered Toro Rosso, but this was only good enough to make him the slowest driver in Q2, just under a tenth back from Button.
Daniil Kvyat joined the Saubers, Renaults and Esteban Ocon’s Manor in failing to escape Q1.
Kvyat swore furiously over team radio after missing the cut by just 0.042s, as Toro Rosso team-mate Sainz, both McLarens and Wehrlein’s Manor all made it through with last-gasp improvements.
Felipe Nasr was 18th fastest in the best of the Saubers, complaining an engine misfire cost him a shot at finding the two tenths he needed to make it through to Q2.
Team-mate Marcus Ericsson was just over a tenth slower in 19th, ahead of Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen, who survived a big moment exiting the Ascari chicane on his final run.
Ocon’s car broke down on track for the second time this weekend, before he could set a time.
PROVISIONAL STARTING GRID:
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m22.389s||1.254s|
|7||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m22.411s||1.276s|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m22.814s||1.679s|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m22.836s||1.701s|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m23.496s||–|
|16||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m23.825s||–|
Italian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton tops final F1 practice at Monza
Lewis Hamilton took control during the final Formula 1 practice session for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on Saturday morning.
Reigning champion Hamilton topped the timesheet in his Mercedes with a 1m22.008s, beating team-mate Nico Rosberg into second place by almost four tenths of a second.
Sebastian Vettel was Mercedes’ nearest rival, but 0.938s adrift, while team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was 1.141s off the pace with Ferrari’s upgraded engine for this weekend.
Come the end of FP3 Red Bull found itself fourth in the pecking order behind both Williams cars as Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa finished fifth and sixth quickest respectively, 1.492s and 1.639s down, with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen in close attendance.
A quiet start to the session was disrupted when Romain Grosjean slid off into the gravel at Ascari, from which he was unable to escape.
It resulted in a four-minute deployment of the virtual safety car while the Haas was removed, with Grosjean’s one-and-only timed run of 1m24.463s still good enough for 14th.
Ricciardo set the first notable timed lap of 1m23.709s on the super-softs that was swiftly usurped by Hamilton with a lap 0.853s quicker on soft tyres.
In between those two laps Rosberg found himself badly baulked by Verstappen in his Red Bull through the second chicane.
After Verstappen’s earlier skirmish, the 18-year-old then complained over the radio himself about being "blocked" by Renault’s Kevin Magnussen out of the exit of Ascari.
With 20 minutes remaining, and on a set of super-softs for the first time in the session, Rosberg posted the fastest time of 1m22.401s, but Hamilton again responded with a lap 0.393s faster.
The Force India pair of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, who both complained about the balance of their cars on Friday, finished ninth and 11th – around two seconds down – sandwiching the second Haas of Esteban Gutierrez.
The McLarens of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso could do no better than 12th and 17th respectively, the latter 2.650s adrift.
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1.701s||23|
|8||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1.732s||21|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1.909s||20|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||2.033s||21|
|13||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||2.232s||17|
|20||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||2.837s||17|
Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who finished the session 0.6s adrift of Hamilton, had his FP2 programme disrupted by a cut to a set of tyres, but he was happy with Ferrari’s day overall.
"There are always things to improve but the car is feeling pretty OK," said Raikkonen.
"The first practice was quite good, the second was a bit messy with tyres and yellow flags.
"We have to check if [the engine] can improve our performance but it’s normal progress really.
"It’s a small thing but it’s in the right direction. Overall it was not too bad."
Lewis Hamilton sets Italian Grand Prix Friday F1 practice pace
Lewis Hamilton beat Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Nico Rosberg to the quickest time in second practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
The reigning world champion clocked a 1m22.801s on the super-soft tyres to finish 0.193 seconds clear of Rosberg.
Ferrari, running an updated engine, has emerged as Mercedes’ closest challenger in Italy and Sebastian Vettel was 0.453s off the pace in third.
His team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was two tenths further back in fourth, ahead of the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.
Vettel and Raikkonen set the early pace, with Ferrari focusing on running the soft and medium, before Hamilton went fastest on the soft.
Vettel moved back to the top when he ran the super-softs, clocking a time 1.1s quicker than he managed in first practice on the same rubber.
Rosberg then bumped his German countryman down a place when he did his qualifying simulation before Hamilton went fastest a few moments later.
Hamilton abandoned a second lap on the super-soft, suggesting to his team that he didn’t think his tyres would last the lap.
Attention then turned to long runs, with Hamilton and Rosberg lapping around three to four seconds off the pace on the super-softs.
The duo managed to do almost 20 laps on the rubber before pitting, with Hamilton taking the softs and Rosbergs the mediums to continue long-run data gathering.
Pirelli said long-run data suggested the super-soft looks set to have a longer life than at Spa, where it lasted just a handful of laps.
Fernando Alonso missed the opening part of the session while McLaren replaced a leaking connector.
But he got back out on track to set the seventh fastest time, 1.458s off the pace, with Valtteri Bottas a few thousandths adrift in eighth.
Romain Grosjean, running the updated Ferrari power unit, and Jenson Button completed the top 10.
Felipe Massa had a frustrating session, completing only half the number of laps his team-mate covered, on his way to the 11th quickest time but both Williams finished ahead of the Force India duo.
Toro Rosso, running the old-spec Ferrari unit, struggled with Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kvyat 17th and 20th respectively.
Esteban Ocon managed just 13 laps after stopping out on track, with race control deploying the virtual safety car while the Manor was cleared.
PRACTICE TWO TIMES:
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m23.732s||0.931s||25|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m24.003s||1.202s||33|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m24.587s||1.786s||40|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m24.653s||1.852s||42|
|17||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m25.240s||2.439s||31|
|20||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m25.614s||2.813s||33|
Italian GP: Nico Rosberg leads Mercedes one-two in first practice
Nico Rosberg spearheaded a Mercedes one-two in first practice for Formula 1’s Italian Grand Prix.
Rosberg posted a lap of 1m22.959s around Monza on Pirelli’s soft compound tyre, finishing 0.203 seconds ahead of reigning champion and current points leader Lewis Hamilton.
The duo had traded fastest laps earlier in the session when running the rule over the super-soft compound tyre that initially appeared to be more robust at this track than was the case at Spa Francorchamps in last week’s Belgian GP.
Rosberg and Hamilton were again comfortably ahead of their rivals, led by Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who finished 1.088s down, with his team-mate Sebastian Vettel a further quarter of a second off the pace in fourth. Both set their times on soft tyres.
It was a busy session for both Rosberg and Hamilton, finishing joint first and third on the lap completion charts, posting 37 and 36 laps respectively, with Valtteri Bottas in his Williams also out in front with 37 laps.
Ferrari’s Raikkonen and Vettel managed 16 and 17 laps respectively as the team limited mileage on the new power unit it has introduced this weekend, spending the final three development tokens of its allocation in doing so, while carrying out checks.
Force India’s Sergio Perez was a strong fifth on super-soft tyres, as the team continued its top-five form from Spa last weekend.
His team-mate Nico Hulkenberg gave way to reserve Alfonso Celis Jr, who claimed 12th place, 2.408s behind Rosberg, and three quarters of a second behind Perez.
With Haas also sporting the new Ferrari updated power unit, Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez were sixth and ninth, three tenths of a second apart, with the duo also on super-softs like Perez.
Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen split the Haas pair, the latter two seconds down, with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo rounding off the top 10, 0.138s behind his teenage team-mate, with all three running soft compound rubber.
Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso finished either side of Celis, although the latter ended the session by crawling back into the pits with a gearbox problem.
Felipe Massa, who announced his retirement from F1 on Thursday, suffered a boost issue with his Williams-Mercedes on his installation lap. That confined him to the garage for the majority of the opening 45 minutes before he emerged to finish 14th quickest, nearly three seconds behind Rosberg.
As part of the ongoing assessment of the halo, Button, Verstappen and Perez all ran. Button was the only one to keep it on for a second lap.
Pirelli’s new prototype tyre it is hoping to introduce for the Malaysian GP at the start of October was also given extensive running by a number of drivers as part of its ongoing evaluation.
PRACTICE ONE TIMES:
|5||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m24.650s||1.691s||32|
|8||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m24.982s||2.023s||25|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m25.120s||2.161s||17|
|12||Alfonso Celis||Force India/Mercedes||1m25.367s||2.408s||30|
|16||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m25.973s||3.014s||20|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m26.074s||3.115s||20|
Nico Rosberg beats Max Verstappen to Belgian Grand Prix pole
Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix, but was pushed hard by Red Bull Formula 1 rival Max Verstappen.
With Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton choosing not to try for pole, on account of a 55-place grid penalty for multiple F1 engine changes so far at Spa, Rosberg looked set to face a relatively unchallenged run to pole.
He was fastest in Q2 on the soft tyre with a 1m46.999s lap, which was quicker than Verstappen could manage on the super-soft.
Rosberg bolted on the super-softs for Q3, but couldn’t find much more time on them.
He improved to a 1m46.744s best on his first run in Q3, which was enough to beat Verstappen to pole by 0.249 seconds when neither driver managed to go faster on their final runs.
Kimi Raikkonen was third fastest for Ferrari, almost two tenths clear of team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who lost time to a big oversteer moment at the Bus Stop chicane on his final flying lap. Raikkonen also dropped time at the end of his lap, and felt that cost him a shot at pole.
Daniel Ricciardo was fifth fastest in the second Red Bull, just over three tenths down on Verstappen.
Ricciardo endured a poor first run in Q3, but improved enough on his second to make the top six.
Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg took sixth and seventh places respectively for Force India, while fellow Mercedes customer team Williams suffered software problems with both cars in Q3.
This meant it couldn’t run full qualifying mode on the engines, restricting Valtteri Bottas to eighth and Felipe Massa to 10th.
Massa also locked his brakes heavily at La Source on his single Q3 run, and Jenson Button’s McLaren-Honda was able to squeak ahead of him into ninth place.
Button’s place in Q3 came at the expense of Romain Grosjean’s Haas, which ended up missing the cut by 0.265s.
Renault delivered its best qualifying performance of the season so far with Kevin Magnussen 12th fastest and team-mate Jolyon Palmer 14th.
They were split by the second Haas of Esteban Gutierrez, which faces a five-place grid penalty for impeding Pascal Wehrlein’s Manor at Raidillon in final practice.
Wehrlein made it through to Q2, but wound up last in that segment, after a disappointing run in which he went slower than he did in Q1.
Carlos Sainz Jr was just ahead of him in the first of the Toro Rossos, also unable to improve on his Q1 best.
Felipe Nasr failed to escape Q1 in the heavily revised Sauber by just 0.048s and wound up 17th overall, a tenth ahead of Manor debutant Esteban Ocon.
Daniil Kvyat endured yet another Q1 exit for Toro Rosso, ending up 19th fastest, fractionally ahead of the second Sauber of Marcus Ericsson.
Reigning world champion Hamilton set the 20th fastest time in the second Mercedes, completing a leisurely run to simply register on the timesheet knowing he will start at the back of the grid.
Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda broke down before he could complete an out-lap in qualifying, so he failed to set a time.
Honda found what it described as a "data anomaly" with Alonso’s engine after the final practice session, but elected to send him out without making an engine change.
PROVISIONAL STARTING GRID:
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m46.893s||0.149s|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m47.216s||0.472s|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m47.407s||0.663s|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m47.543s||0.799s|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m49.038s||–|
|19||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m49.058s||–|
Belgian GP: Kimi Raikkonen fastest for Ferrari in final practice
Kimi Raikkonen set the pace in final Belgian Grand Prix Formula 1 practice as Lewis Hamilton focused on race simulation work given he will serve a 55-place grid penalty.
Raikkonen clocked a 1m47.974s for Ferrari on the super-softs late in the session to finish 0.215 seconds quicker than long-time pacesetter Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull, with Sebastian Vettel a tenth further back.
After going fastest on Friday, Max Verstappen encountered gearbox problems and sat out most of third practice in the pits, failing to get a lap time on the board.
Mercedes fitted Hamilton’s car with a new engine for each of this weekend’s practice sessions, which has led to substantial penalties but allowed him to build up a pool of systems to use for the rest of 2016.
With the championship leader set to start from the back of the field, or potentially the pitlane, Hamilton chose to work on longer runs on the medium and then the soft for most of the morning.
The Briton then bolted on a set of the super-softs in the closing minutes and though he set the fastest first sector, he locked up into the final chicane and ended up fifth.
That was a tenth quicker than team-mate Nico Rosberg, who finished seventh after he failed to improve on his soft time after taking the super-softs.
Valtteri Bottas was fourth quickest, half a second off the pace, with Nico Hulkenberg sixth and Felipe Massa eighth and Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean completing the top 10.
Stewards are investigating two incidents from the session.
Pascal Wehrlein was furious with Esteban Gutierrez after the Manor driver had to take to the grass at the top of Eau Rouge and Raidillon to avoid the slower Haas.
Kevin Magnussen prompted anger from Vettel when he felt he was hampered by the slower Renault, saying on the radio: "What an idiot. Did you see that? It’s free practice. It’s called free practice, who gives a shit?"
Vettel was outpaced by team-mate Raikkonen through the hour, with the Finn pipping him by 0.096s as they set the early pace before Ricciardo went quicker. Then when they came back out for the final super-soft runs, Vettel did not improve while Raikkonen produced the lap that earned the top spot.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button did very little running, with the former not completing his first timed lap until the second half of the session. They finished 11th and 13th respectively.
Sauber also encountered what it described as "minor problems" with Marcus Ericsson’s car but the team managed to get the Swede out in time to complete a handful of laps.
PRACTICE THREE TIMES
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m48.189s||0.215s||18|
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m48.739s||0.765s||12|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m48.915s||0.941s||12|
|16||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m50.023s||2.049s||9|
|17||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m50.078s||2.104s||9|
|–||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||–||–||2|