Lewis Hamilton takes Abu Dhabi Grand Prix F1 pole position
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Formula 1 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver was fastest on both runs in the Q3 top 10 shootout to take pole by 0.162s from team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
Although Bottas had a slight advantage in the middle sector and was up on his team-mate at the start of the final part of the lap, Hamilton was quicker in the first and third sectors to take his 11th pole of the year.
Sebastian Vettel couldn’t improve by enough on his last run thanks to losing time in the final sector and admitted there was maybe half-a-tenth missing, which would not have been enough to get onto the front row.
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen – who picked up a reprimand in FP3 for returning to the track after committing to the pit entry – jumped Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo for fourth place on the final runs despite the Australian setting a stunning pace in the final sector – fastest of anyone.
Max Verstappen was sixth fastest after abandoning his final run having complained about the tyres being too hot when he left the pits.
Five of the top six will start on ultrasofts having used that compound to set their times in Q2, the exception being Verstappen.
The Red Bull driver wasn’t quick enough on his ultrasoft run in Q2 and reported struggling for grip on turn-in, meaning he had to use hypersofts for his second run to ensure he reached Q3.
Romain Grosjean was best of the rest in seventh place, 0.045s faster than the Sauber of Charles Leclerc.
Racing Point Force India driver Esteban Ocon beat the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg to 10th, with the German failing to improve on his second run and slipping down from eighth place.
Carlos Sainz Jr failed to make Q3 after being relegated to 11th by Verstappen’s late improvement on hypersofts in Q2.
He was a tenth-and-a-half faster than Marcus Ericsson, who beat Haas driver Kevin Magnussen to 12th place.
Force India driver Sergio Perez was 14th fastest, two-tenths ahead of McLaren driver Fernando Alonso – who is making, for now, his swansong F1 appearance.
Toro Rosso pairing Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly were fastest of those eliminated in Q1 in 16th and 17th place.
They were shuffled back by improvements by Magnussen, Ericsson and Perez despite both improving on their final laps.
Hartley complained of a lack of entry stability compared, while Gasly suffered an engine problem at the end of his fastest qualifying lap and was ordered to stop on track after reporting smoke from the rear of the car.
Stoffel Vandoorne ended his final F1 qualifying session before heading to Formula E in 18th place, just ahead of Williams pairing Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll – the duo separated by less than half-a-tenth.
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.401s||0.607s|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.589s||0.795s|
|9||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.540s||1.746s|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m37.541s||–|
|16||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m37.994s||–|
|17||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m38.166s||–|
Lewis Hamilton fastest in Abu Dhabi GP final F1 practice
Lewis Hamilton set the pace in Saturday’s practice session ahead of the final Formula 1 qualifying of the season in Abu Dhabi.
Mercedes driver Hamilton enjoyed a comfortable three-tenths of a second advantage over the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, with Sebastian Vettel third.
Ferrari had control of FP3 for most of the session as Raikkonen and then Vettel hit the top of the pile early on.
Vettel’s initial benchmark of 1m38.668s stood until the final 20 minutes of the session, when he lowered it significantly to 1m37.587s on new hypersoft tyres.
Hamilton then blitzed that with a 1m37.176s, before Raikkonen also edged ahead of Vettel by clocking a 1m37.464s.
Raikkonen has been summoned to the stewards for a bizarre pitlane entry incident in which he slowed almost to a stop and then crawled back across onto the track at the last minute.
The Ferrari driver had run wide at the penultimate corner, meaning he failed to get across to the pit entry line in time, and he eventually chose to bail out of trying to head down the pit lane.
Red Bull slipped back after showing strongly on Friday, although Max Verstappen outpaced the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.
Verstappen was just over half a second slower than Hamilton but he was ahead of Bottas by two tenths to take fourth.
Daniel Ricciardo completed the top six in the second Red Bull, which was the last car to lap within a second of Hamilton’s benchmark.
Ricciardo did not complete the session as he was forced to pull over at the exit of Turn 9, just at the beginning of the second of the two long back straights, with a few minutes to go.
A flurry of late flying laps mixed up the rest of the top 10.
Nico Hulkenberg rose to seventh-fastest with five minutes left, but neither Haas nor the Sauber of Charles Leclerc had completed their final qualifying simulation by that stage.
Romain Grosjean jumped to seventh with his effort, a 1m38.304s, but Leclerc – who spun early in the session and broke his rear wing backing his Sauber into the wall on the exit of Turn 19 – could only manage 11th and Magnussen 13th.
That allowed Carlos Sainz Jr and Esteban Ocon to complete the top 10.
Ocon spent most of the session in the garage after identifying a possible engine problem early on.
At the end of the session Grosjean and the Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly were involved in a peculiar clash at Turn 17.
Gasly pulled alongside the Haas on the entry to the corner and gesticulated at his fellow Frenchman – who was not notified by his team that he needed to get out of the way of the Toro Rosso – just before the two cars made light contact.
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m37.747s||0.571s||15|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m38.090s||0.914s||11|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m39.011s||1.835s||7|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m39.053s||1.877s||15|
|12||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m39.074s||1.898s||18|
|15||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m39.740s||2.564s||12|
Abu Dhabi GP practice two: Valtteri Bottas fastest for Mercedes
Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas topped the second free practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Finn hit top spot in the early running with a lap of 1m38.600s using ultrasoft Pirellis, which put him a quarter of a second ahead of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen’s time on the same compound.
Ferrari was the first frontrunning team to send its drivers out on the hypersofts, with Kimi Raikkonen going fastest just after the 30-minute mark with a lap of 1m37.461s.
Sebastian Vettel then slotted into second place, just over a tenth of a second slower, before the Mercedes drivers completed their performance runs.
Bottas improved his best time to a 1m37.236s to reclaim top spot.
Hamilton was behind him on track and on a quick one but was only able to set a time good enough for second after losing time in the final sector and ended up 0.207s behind his team-mate.
This allowed Verstappen to grab second place with a lap of 1m37.288s despite complaining of running out of battery power for the final two corners. He subsequently improved by 0.008s on his second flier.
Verstappen did have a concerning moment earlier in the session when he ran wide at the exit of the penultimate corner and ground the floor of his car along the sausage kerb, but was sent back out again after checks.
Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo also managed to get two fast laps out of the hypersofts, jumping from the back of the top six up to third with his final attempt.
This shuffled Hamilton down to fourth, ahead of Raikkonen and Vettel.
Haas driver Romain Grosjean emerged as the midfield leader in seventh place with a lap half a second off Vettel.
That put him 0.170s ahead of Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg, with the second Haas of Kevin Magnussen in ninth.
Racing Point Force India’s Esteban Ocon completed the top 10, 1.166s off the outright pace.
Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly showed strong pace on the ultrasofts earlier in the session, but slipped down to 11th place ahead of the second Renault of Carlos Sainz Jr after his run on hypersofts.
Fernando Alonso ended his final Friday in F1 – for now, at least – in 13th place.
Running a special livery on the engine cover of his McLaren that replicates his helmet colours, Alonso set a best lap of 1m38.725s to beat the second Force India of Sergio Perez.
Sauber driver Charles Leclerc was 15th, also complaining of possible floor damage after a wide moment into the complex that leads onto the long back straight, with Brendon Hartley 16th in the second Toro Rosso and admitting to a couple of errors on his fast lap.
Marcus Ericsson took 17th ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne, who had an extended stay in the pits mid-session but went out on hypersofts late on.
Williams pairing Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin brought up the rear in 19th and 20th place respectively.
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m37.280s||0.044s||32|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m37.428s||0.192s||31|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m38.402s||1.166s||33|
|11||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m38.506s||1.270s||32|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m38.806s||1.570s||31|
|16||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m38.957s||1.721s||35|
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice: Max Verstappen tops Red Bull one-two
Max Verstappen used hypersoft tyres to lead a Red Bull one-two in opening practice for the Formula 1 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Verstappen enjoyed a comfortable advantage over team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to top the practice one times by almost half a second.
The Dutchman burst clear in the second half of the session on a 1m38.491s that left him 0.454s clear of Ricciardo, while Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas was the only other driver to lap within a second of Verstappen.
Red Bull’s one-two was earned as the team completed two sets of fresh hypersoft runs, while Mercedes and Ferrari switched from the softest-available compound to the hardest for the second half of the session.
Bottas used supersofts to lap 0.961s slower than Verstappen, but outpaced world champion team-mate Lewis Hamilton by under a tenth.
Hamilton made a modest improvement on ultrasofts, having led the running early on using hypersofts.
While the Mercedes drivers were able to make gains on the hardest of the three Pirelli compounds in Abu Dhabi, Ferrari did not improve.
That allowed Esteban Ocon to steal into fifth place for Racing Point Force India and Kevin Magnussen to take sixth for Haas.
Ocon was 1.6s off the pace, just over a tenth quicker than Magnussen, with Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel relegated to seventh and eighth.
Their early hypersoft efforts stood as their best times despite the Ferraris conducting laps on supersofts that were not part of a long run.
Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr and the second Haas of Romain Grosjean completed the top 10.
The 90-minute session passed with minimal drama, although Marcus Ericsson caused yellow flags with a half-spin in his Sauber exiting Turn 1 early on and slid nose-first into the inside barrier.
Newly-confirmed 2019 Williams race driver and F1 returnee Robert Kubica completed the 20 runners, standing in for the driver he will replace full-time next year Sergey Sirotkin.
Kubica lapped 4.5s off the pace, 1.5s slower than Lance Stroll, but had already made clear on Thursday he would not be pursuing lap times in practice and would instead complete evaluation work for next season.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m38.491s||–||27|
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m38.945s||0.454s||19|
|5||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m40.102s||1.611s||26|
|11||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m40.671s||2.180s||17|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m41.075s||2.584s||23|
|14||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m41.137s||2.646s||26|
Lewis Hamilton beats Sebastian Vettel in Brazil F1 qualifying
Lewis Hamilton claimed his 10th pole position of the 2018 Formula 1 season in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix, while nearest challenger Sebastian Vettel faces a stewards investigation.
Hamilton went fastest using supersoft Pirellis on the first runs in the Q3 top 10 shootout, setting a time of 1m07.301s.
The Mercedes driver was the only one of the frontrunners to improve on his second run, shaving off a further two-hundredths of a second to make sure of pole position.
Vettel was up on Hamilton after the first sector on his final run, but a lock up in Turn 8 contributed to him losing time and he had to settle for second based on his earlier lap, 0.093s down.
Valtteri Bottas was third fastest in the second Mercedes, pipping Ferrari’s Kimi Raikoknen by 0.015s.
As expected, the Red Bull drivers annexed the third row with just 0.002s separating Max Verstappen in fifth and Daniel Ricciardo in sixth.
Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson was the only driver other than Hamilton to improve on his second run, ensuring he held onto the seventh place he secured on his first attempt.
That put him two-tenths faster than team-mate Charles Leclerc, with Haas driver Romain Grosjean ninth and comfortably ahead of Pierre Gasly.
Both Ferrari drivers will start the race on soft Pirellis after aborting their initial Q2 runs on supersofts to change tyres, with the rest of the top 10 qualifiers all locked into using the softest compound.
But Vettel was frustrated to be called to the FIA weighbridge early in Q2 when he dived into the pits while in a hurry to change tyres in case of rain.
He was reported to the stewards for refusing to turn off his engine, then driving onto the scales and leaving under his own power.
Technical delegate Jo Bauer’s report to the stewards pointed out this made it difficult to get a stable weight, and that in driving off Vettel "destroyed the scales".
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was knocked out at the end of Q2 by a superb lap from Leclerc, who looked set to miss out on a place in the top 10 when rain hit with six minutes remaining.
At that point, Magnussen had just pushed Leclerc down to 11th, but the Sauber driver returned to the track after the rain eased and returned the favour.
When the rain came, Racing Point Force India driver Esteban Ocon did improve his lap time on a second set of supersoft Pirellis but it was only good enough for 13th behind team-mate Sergio Perez.
Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg was 14th fastest after improving his time, but not his position, with a late lap to end up ahead only of the Williams of Sergey Sirotkin.
Sirotkin had to swerve and skirt the grass on the approach to the Juncao left-hander while on an outlap after Hamilton attempted to move out of his way by jinking to the left too late.
The Williams driver then appeared to express his frustration by attempting a pass on Hamilton into Turn 1 on the following lap.
Renault driver Carlos Sainz Jr was the fastest of those eliminated in a frenetic Q1 session, during which spots of rain made it difficult for drivers.
Gasly bumped Toro Rosso team-mate Brendon Hartley into the dropzone with a few minutes remaining, putting Ocon into 15th place.
But Sainz then posted a lap 0.005s slower than Ocon to take 16th, and slot in 0.011s ahead of Hartley, who complained of a lockup on his best lap that cost him time.
McLaren pairing Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne were 18th and 20th respectively and separated by 0.199s – as well as the second Williams of Lance Stroll.
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m07.778s||0.497s|
|9||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m09.029s||1.748s|
|11||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m07.780s||0.499s|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m08.741s||1.460s|
|16||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m09.280s||1.999s|
|18||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m08.770s||1.489s|
Brazilian GP F1 practice: Vettel leads Hamilton in FP3
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel went fastest in the third Formula 1 practice session for the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, beating Lewis Hamilton by 0.2s.
The Ferrari pairing made the early running on the Pirelli supersofts – Vettel fastest of all with a 1m08.857s – but there was little appetite among the other big hitters to emerge from their garages straight away.
A quarter of the session elapsed before the Mercedes of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas hit the track, and Hamilton was instructed to abort his practice start and return to the pits straight away.
The world champion remained in the garage with the engine cover off for a further 15 minutes while the mechanics traced the problem to a dislodged breather pipe.
When Hamilton got under way again he was instantly on the pace, clocking a 1m09.098s on the supersofts.
After a sunny and warm start to the day, the clouds had rolled in ahead of FP3 so while the air was less chilly than it had been on Friday, the track temperatures were only slightly higher than in the first two practice sessions at 33C.
Vettel’s early flier remained the benchmark until he surpassed it with a 1m07.948s 40 minutes into the session, half a second up on Bottas’s best of 1m08.465s, and a new lap record.
Hamilton took advantage of a brief lull in track activity to punch in a lap just 0.217s shy of Vettel’s time, but while he was fastest of all in the second sector he reported that his tyre pressures weren’t quite right.
Despite attempting another run, Hamilton failed to improve and had to settle for second, three tenths of a second ahead of team-mate Bottas, who edged the other Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen into fourth place by scarcely three hundredths.
The Red Bulls were the last to run, waiting until the half-way mark before leaving their garages, and each made just two flying laps over the course of one run on supersofts before parking up once more.
Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo slotted in behind the leading group and over a second adrift of Vettel’s pace, both complaining of problematic understeer.
Verstappen eventually got the better of Ricciardo in their internecine struggle, but his best time of 1m08.733s on supersofts was still 0.785s off Vettel.
The Saubers of Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson were initially fourth and fifth until they were displaced by the Red Bulls, and Leclerc’s hopes of improving his time were briefly thwarted when he was instructed to return to the pits so that the team could investigate a technical issue.
Leclerc hit the road again with 10 minutes to go and found more pace, but it wasn’t enough to earn the ‘best of the rest’ spot as the Haas duo of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean, and the Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly, slotted in ahead, leaving Leclerc to round out the top 10.
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m08.733s||0.785s||12|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m08.788s||0.840s||12|
|9||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m09.402s||1.454s||22|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m09.588s||1.640s||18|
|16||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m09.985s||2.037s||18|
|19||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m10.116s||2.168s||18|
“Oggi non è stata proprio una giornata facile; è stato piuttosto complicato per diverse cose, ma a volte al venerdì le cose vanno in questo modo. Molto spesso, durante il primo giorno di prove, facciamo un po’ fatica qua e là; ci sono alcuni punti della pista favorevoli per noi, e altri più impegnativi, ma questo fa parte del gioco. Per quanto riguarda gli pneumatici, si scivolava un po’ con le mescole più dure, ma più o meno è quello che ci aspettavamo. Sicuramente c’è del lavoro da fare; faremo qualche modifica e poi vedremo come andrà”.
Mexican Grand Prix: Daniel Ricciardo beats Max Verstappen to pole
Daniel Ricciardo headed a Red Bull one-two to claim pole position for the Mexican Grand Prix as Formula 1 title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel completed the second row.
Ricciardo overhauled team-mate Max Verstappen on the final runs in qualifying to take his second pole of the season.
Hamilton was quickest on hypersofts in the opening phase of qualifying but Verstappen had the edge on ultrasofts in Q2 and took that momentum into Q3 to hold provisional pole after the first runs.
His 1m14.785s was almost two tenths of a second clear of Vettel, while Hamilton lost time in the middle sector but snuck ahead of the second Red Bull of Ricciardo to hold third spot.
Vettel, Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and the other Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas all failed to improve on their second runs, but Ricciardo vaulted to top spot on a 1m14.759s.
That only put him 0.026s clear of Verstappen but was enough for pole given the Dutchman failed to improve despite setting a fastest first sector and Hamilton only managed a 1m14.894s.
Bottas will line up fifth with Raikkonen sixth on an all-Finish third row.
Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari were all able to progress to Q3 without using the softest compound.
That means they will all start the race on the more preferable ultrasoft tyre and can avoid the problematic hypersofts.
Renault continued to hold an advantage in the best-of-the-rest fight through qualifying but it was Charles Leclerc who hauled his Sauber to seventh on the first runs.
Leclerc outpaced Nico Hulkenberg by less than a tenth before the Renaults hit back on their second laps, with Hulkenberg leading Carlos Sainz Jr as Leclerc was shuffled to ninth.
His Sauber team-mate Marcus Ericsson completed the top 10 and was fortunate to make it through to the shootout having failed to improve on his second run in Q2.
With the hypersoft tyres degrading so rapidly in Friday practice Esteban Ocon has arguably the most favourable position of the midfield teams as the first of those who did not make Q3.
Ocon was 11th-fastest after Racing Point Force India opted to use supersofts and then ultrasofts in the second part of qualifying.
It means he and Sergio Perez, who qualified 13th, will have freedom of choice over the tyres they start the race on.
Fernando Alonso split the Force Indias in his McLaren, while the under-pressure Brendon Hartley was limited to 14th after a mistake on his final lap – Toro Rosso suggested he was on course for a lap time that would have been good enough to progress.
Hartley’s team-mate Pierre Gasly did not complete a timed lap in Q2 because Honda’s engine strategy and a gearbox change meant he went into the session consigned to a back-of-the-grid start, so Toro Rosso opted to save tyres and mileage.
Romain Grosjean was first of the drivers to be eliminated in the opening part of the session, missing out on progressing by just half a tenth.
He and Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen used three sets of hypersofts in their bid to make Q2 but still fell short.
Magnussen was 18th-fastest after failing to improve on his final run, with the McLaren of Stoffel Vandoorne in between the Haas pair.
Williams duo Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin were slowest but will not fill out the last row of the grid as Gasly will drop back because of his penalty.
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m14.759s||–|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m14.785s||0.026s|
|11||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m16.844s||–|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m17.167s||–|
|14||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m17.184s||–|
|20||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||–||–|
Mexican Grand Prix practice: Max Verstappen fastest after damp start
Max Verstappen topped the final Formula 1 free practice session for the Mexican Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver, whose hydraulic problem on Friday was caused by two wires rubbing together that caused a hole in a pipe, completed a clean sweep of practice by setting a best time of 1m16.385s with three minutes remaining using hypersoft Pirellis.
Despite complaining his front tyres were not up to temperature on that lap, this was enough to give him top spot, and he subsequently improved to a 1m16.284s as he took the chequered flag.
Lewis Hamilton was second fastest, 0.254 seconds down and just ahead of the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel.
The session started in cool conditions but with the track damp following rain.
The majority of drivers went out for tentative installation laps in the early stages, mostly using intermediate rubber, Hamilton taking the chance to wave to the crowd as he rolled round.
It wasn’t until there were 28 minutes remaining that anyone posted a time, with McLaren driver Fernando Alonso briefly going fastest during the early flurry of times being set on slick rubber.
Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Stoffel Vandoorne and Charles Leclerc were among the drivers to have spells at the top during this phase, with the quickest lap times then coming at the end of the session once the track had dried up.
Daniel Ricciardo pipped Raikkonen to fourth fastest, with Leclerc topping ‘Class B’ in sixth place and just 0.775s down off the outright pace.
This is one place higher than the midfield leader normally occupies, because Valtteri Bottas’s Mercedes ground to a halt with a hydraulic problem with 15 minutes remaining.
Team boss Toto Wolff suggested at the end of the session that this could lead to an engine swap.
Carlos Sainz Jr was seventh fastest ahead of Pierre Gasly, with Marcus Ericsson and Nico Hulkenberg completing the top 10.
Racing Point Force India pairing Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez were 11th and 12th, three tenths ahead of Haas driver Romain Grosjean behind.
The McLaren drivers were shuffled down to 14th and 15th, Vandoorne ahead of Alonso.
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was last, completing only one installation lap thanks to an intercooler problem.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m16.284s||–||9|
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m17.028s||0.744s||7|
|8||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m17.525s||1.241s||16|
|11||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m17.731s||1.447s||10|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m17.819s||1.535s||10|
|16||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m18.637s||2.353s||10|
Mexican Grand Prix practice: Max Verstappen leads Red Bull one-two
Max Verstappen set the fastest time in opening practice for Formula 1’s Mexican Grand Prix as Red Bull headed Renault on Friday morning.
Verstappen led a Red Bull one-two, with Renault drivers Carlos Sainz Jr and Nico Hulkenberg next-fastest.
Mercedes and Ferrari were outpaced by the four Renault-engined cars, but opted not to use an extra set of hypersofts in the opening session.
The usual frontrunning teams occupied fifth through eighth, headed by F1 points leader Lewis Hamilton, as they set their fastest times on ultrasofts.
Ferrari duo Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel were the session’s early pacesetters with inaugural runs on hypersofts, the fastest of Pirelli’s 2018 compounds.
Sainz and Racing Point Force India driver Sergio Perez each moved to the top of the times with their own laps on the hypersofts before Red Bull took a stranglehold on the session.
Verstappen jumped to first place on a 1m18.588s, with Ricciardo lapping just over a tenth slower.
Hamilton put Mercedes on top with his best hypersoft lap, three tenths quicker than Verstappen, but after the usual mid-session lull the Red Bulls returned for another hit of the hypersofts and went even faster.
Ricciardo snuck below the 1m18s barrier on a 1m17.932s and then a 1m17.738s before Verstappen went over a second faster.
He pumped in a 1m16.596s that, even with a further improvement from Ricciardo, left him almost half a second clear at the top of the times.
Sainz claimed third on a 1m17.926s, sneaking ahead of team-mate Hulkenberg on his second run by a tenth – although Sainz was called in before the end of the session with an apparent issue.
Hamilton wound up on a 1m18.075s in fifth after improving on ultrasofts, which left him three tenths clear of Bottas and seven tenths clear of title rival Vettel.
Raikkonen was eighth, having eventually improved on the ultras despite spinning on his first flying lap of the run.
Brendon Hartley survived "bubblegum" tyres and a block from Sauber’s stand-in Friday morning driver Antonio Giovinazzi to finish the session ninth-fastest with Toro Rosso’s upgraded front wing and floor.
Nicholas Latifi completed the top 10 on his practice one outing for Force India, using hypersofts to outpace ultrasoft-shod team-mate Sergio Perez by a tenth.
Giovinazzi was 13th fastest and quicker than Sauber regular Marcus Ericsson, while at McLaren Lando Norris (15th) also outpaced usual driver Stoffel Vandoorne.
Pierre Gasly ended the session with no time and two laps to his name after completing installation laps with another new version of Honda’s upgraded engine.
He will revert to a previous-spec for the afternoon having sacrificed first practice to add the new engine to his pool of available units for the final two weekends of the season.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m16.656s||–||19|
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m17.139s||0.483s||19|
|9||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m19.024s||2.368s||29|
|10||Nicholas Latifi||Force India/Mercedes||1m19.078s||2.422s||23|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m19.124s||2.468s||29|
|20||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||–||–||2|
Mexican Grand Prix practice: Verstappen fastest then breaks down in FP2
Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo dominated Friday afternoon practice for the Mexican Grand Prix, before the pacesetter’s car shut down out on track.
Verstappen hit the front during the early running with his pace on ultrasoft Pirellis, posting a time of 1m17.437s to lead team-mate Ricciardo.
That put them ahead of hypersoft-shod Sergio Perez, with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton in fourth and 1.3 seconds down using supersofts.
Sebastian Vettel was the first of the frontrunners to attempt a qualifying simulation run on hypersofts, but was only quick enough to go second behind Verstappen.
This set the pattern for the Ferrari and Mercedes drivers struggling during their quick runs, with Kimi Raikkonen, Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas all failing to challenge Verstappen.
When Verstappen did start his performance run, Renault driver Carlos Sainz Jr was his closest challenger having posted a 1m17.953s – putting him ahead of the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers.
Verstappen then nailed a lap of 1m16.720s, putting him fastest by 1.233s before Ricciardo slotted into second just 0.153s behind.
Despite his pace, Verstappen said over the radio it was "all over the place, the engine is not doing what it should do" when asked how it was.
With 10 minutes remaining, Verstappen pulled off at the exit of Turn 3 after cutting across the grass when the engine cut out at the entry to Turn 1.
Behind Sainz in third, Vettel ended up the best of the Ferrari and Mercedes drivers and just one-thousandth of a second slower.
That put him 0.092s quicker than the other Renault of Nico Hulkenberg, who had Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley – briefly fastest during the first runs – snapping at his heels.
This meant Hamilton ended up seventh, 1.380s off the pace, and 33-thousandths faster than Raikkonen, having earlier had an off-track moment on his first run when he locked up into Turn 1.
Bottas was ninth in the second Mercedes, seven thousandths behind Raikkonen.
Perez was shuffled down to 10th by the end of the session, even though he did improve on his second hypersoft run.
That put him ahead of Racing Point Force India team-mate Esteban Ocon, having his first run of the weekend after handing his car over to Nicholas Latifi in FP1, who was a quarter-of-a-second quicker than the leading Haas of Romain Grosjean.
Sauber driver Charles Leclerc, who sat out FP1 for Antonio Giovinazzi, pipped Pierre Gasly to 14th, with Stoffel Vandoorne completing the top 15.
At the bottom of the timesheets, Fernando Alonso beat Kevin Magnussen to 19th place.
The Dane struggled with tyre temperatures, saying they were "absolutely nowhere" during his performance run.
Many drivers complained about the tyres, with long runs on hypersofts in particular producing very rapid degradation.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m16.720s||–||21|
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m16.873s||0.153s||32|
|6||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m18.061s||1.341s||35|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m18.167s||1.447s||24|
|11||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m18.485s||1.765s||24|
|14||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m19.047s||2.327s||36|
US Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton on pole, Sebastian Vettel fifth
Lewis Hamilton claimed his ninth Formula 1 pole position of the season in qualifying for the United States Grand Prix, while title rival Sebastian Vettel will start fifth.
Vettel was Hamilton’s closest challenger on pace in Austin qualifying, but has a three-place grid penalty for speeding under the safety car during Friday practice.
Hamilton had the advantage after the first runs in Q3, but came under attack from both Ferraris on his second run.
Kimi Raikkonen, who will start alongside Hamilton on the front row, briefly took top spot with a lap of 1m32.307s, only for Hamilton to retake it by 0.061 seconds.
Vettel then completed his lap, a 1m32.298s, to split the pair, subsequently saying over the radio that he tried everything he could to beat Hamilton.
Valtteri Bottas was 0.379s off Hamilton in the second Mercedes and ended the session fourth fastest ahead of the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.
Both Mercedes drivers, Vettel and Ricciardo will start the race on the supersoft Pirellis having used that compound to set their Q2 times – although Raikkonen used ultrasofts.
Esteban Ocon was best of the rest in sixth place for the Racing Point Force India team, just ahead of Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg.
Romain Grosjean was eighth ahead of Sauber driver Charles Leclerc, with Sergio Perez 10th in the second Force India.
Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr was the quickest of those eliminated in Q2 in 11th place after failing to capitalise on team-mate Hulkenberg, who had a lock up into Turn 1, not improving on his second run.
Sainz set his best time of 1m34.566s to close to just two-thousandths from Hulkenberg and complained of "oversteer in the last corner, I don’t know why" costing him.
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was 12th after also failing to improve on his second run thanks to losing time in the first sector.
Toro Rosso pairing Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley, who will both drop to the back of the grid thanks to Honda power unit change penalties, did not set times during Q2 and ended up 13th and 14th respectively.
Because both did at least take to the track, they were classified ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
The Dutchman could not run in Q2 after a failure in the right-rear corner when running over an exit kerb in the first segment of qualifying.
McLaren driver Fernando Alonso was 16th having been eliminated in Q1 by Hartley’s last gasp improvement.
Alonso was 0.441s up on Hartley after the first sectors of their final laps, but the Toro Rosso driver turned that deficit into a 0.088s advantage over sectors two and three to jump the McLaren.
Alonso will move back ahead of both Toro Rossos on the grid once the penalties are applied.
This put Alonso ahead of Williams pairing Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll in 17th and 18th respectively, with 0.118s separating the two.
Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson briefly elevated himself out of the dropzone in the final flurry of Q1 laps, only to be shuffled back down to 19th by the chequered flag.
Stoffel Vandoorne brought up the rear in the second McLaren, lapping two-tenths slower than Ericsson.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m33.494s||1.257s|
|6||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m34.145s||1.908s|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m34.594s||2.357s|
|18||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||–||–|
|19||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||–||–|
|20||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||–||–|
Vettel heads Raikkonen in US GP FP3 at Austin, Hamilton takes third
Sebastian Vettel set the pace in the final Formula 1 practice session for the United States Grand Prix as the teams finally got some dry running.
Vettel outpaced Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen by less than a tenth, while championship leader and Friday pacesetter Lewis Hamilton jumped to third late-on as Ferrari and Mercedes adopted different approaches to an unusually busy Saturday practice.
After both Friday sessions took place in wet conditions, there was a flurry of activity at the start of FP3 with qualifying and the race due to be held in the dry.
The Ferraris were alone in using the ultrasoft tyres at first as others focused on longer runs, with Raikkonen heading Vettel by just 0.04s after their first efforts.
Race preparations meant there was little of note in the first half an hour, although Raikkonen did improve to a 1m34.419s.
Valtteri Bottas and Fernando Alonso engaged in an odd wheel-to-wheel scrap when Alonso dived inside the Mercedes heading into the uphill Turn 1 and Bottas repassed the McLaren around the outside going back down the incline into Turn 2.
Mercedes told Bottas Alonso was "playing games" as it continued to focus on long runs, but that changed in the second half-hour when a flurry of fast lap runs were carried out.
Bottas avoided the ultrasofts but did push on supersofts, setting a 1m34.446s, while Hamilton made a small mistake on his first push lap and then posted a time one tenth slower than his team-mate after a couple of laps at lower speed.
The Ferraris completed their third runs of the session on fresh ultrasofts, and Vettel used this to finally leapfrog Raikkonen into P1 by 0.046s with a 1m33.797s.
That remained the benchmark to the end, although a late effort from Hamilton got him ahead of team-mate Bottas.
Hamilton threatened to go fastest by setting the best middle sector of the session with two minutes to go, but he eventually wound up a tenth off Vettel after losing time at the end of the lap.
He managed to get within a tenth of his title rival and go 0.7s clear of Bottas, who set his best time on supersofts.
The Red Bulls trailed a few tenths behind Bottas, with Max Verstappen leading Daniel Ricciardo, while Charles Leclerc snuck to the front of the best-of-the-rest battle in a whirlwind of last-gasp improvement to take seventh.
Leclerc’s 1m35.365s put him half a tenth clear of Sergio Perez, as Carlos Sainz Jr and Romain Grosjean lapped within and just outside a tenth of the Sauber driver’s effort respectively.
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari||1m33.797s||20|
|2||Kimi Raikkonen||Scuderia Ferrari||0.046s||21|
|3||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport||0.073s||23|
|4||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport||0.759s||21|
|5||Max Verstappen||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||0.906s||21|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||1.113s||20|
|7||Charles Leclerc||Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team||1.568s||21|
|8||Sergio Perez||Racing Point Force India F1 Team||1.614s||21|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Renault Sport Formula One Team||1.653s||21|
|10||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team||1.671s||19|
|11||Esteban Ocon||Racing Point Force India F1 Team||1.765s||22|
|12||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda||1.916s||27|
|13||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team||1.973s||19|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault Sport Formula One Team||2.085s||19|
|15||Marcus Ericsson||Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team||2.203s||21|
|16||Lance Stroll||Williams Martini Racing||2.391s||21|
|17||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams Martini Racing||2.396s||20|
|18||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren F1 Team||2.505s||23|
|19||Brendon Hartley||Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda||2.533s||26|
|20||Fernando Alonso||McLaren F1 Team||2.535s||20|