Lewis Hamilton beats Nico Rosberg to Abu Dhabi GP F1 pole position
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for his Formula 1 world championship showdown with Nico Rosberg, with a commanding performance in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton held provisional pole after the initial runs in Q3, just over three tenths quicker than Rosberg, and eventually completed two laps good enough for pole by breaking into the 1m38s on his final run.
Championship leader Rosberg also improved on his second Q3 run, but ended up more than three tenths behind Hamilton.
If Hamilton wins Sunday’s race, Rosberg only needs to finish third to clinch his first F1 world title.
Daniel Ricciardo qualified his Red Bull third fastest, nicking ahead of Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari by just 0.015 seconds on his final Q3 run.
Ricciardo and his Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen, who qualified sixth fastest, will both start the race on the super-soft tyre, after progressing through Q2 without the ultra-soft favoured by Mercedes and Ferrari.
Sebastian Vettel was fifth fastest in the second Ferrari, less than a tenth slower than Raikkonen.
Vettel suggested he lost time in Turns 16, 17 and 18, and that he went the wrong way on set-up for qualifying.
The Force Indias of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez locked out row four, just 0.018s apart, while Fernando Alonso qualified his McLaren a tenth faster than Felipe Massa’s Williams, which rounded out the top 10.
Massa’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas just missed out on making Q3 in the second Williams, finding time on his final Q2 lap but narrowly losing out to Alonso, who was quicker than Bottas by just 0.040s.
Jenson Button qualified 12th in the sister McLaren, dropping two tenths to Alonso in the middle sector and suggesting his car picked up understeer in the cool conditions.
Esteban Gutierrez beat Haas team-mate Romain Grosjean to 13th on the grid by just under a tenth of a second, while Jolyon Palmer was 15th in the best of the Renaults, 0.175s clear of Pascal Wehrlein, who put his Manor into Q2 for the fifth time this season.
Both Toro Rosso drivers fell in Q1, after losing most of Friday’s second practice to FIA safety checks to its cars, following punctures suffered on Daniil Kvyat’s car.
Kvyat was only 17th quickest, a tenth slower than Wehrlein, while Kvyat’s team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr qualified on the last row of the grid.
Renault apologised to Kevin Magnussen after he failed to go quicker on his final Q1 run and wound up 18th, ahead of Sauber’s Felipe Nasr, who complained of an ERS problem exiting Turn 14.
Esteban Ocon was 20th in the second Manor, after a slow first sector, while the second Sauber of Marcus Ericsson qualified last, the Swede apologising to the team for locking up under braking for Turn 17 and ruining his final flying lap in Q1.
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m39.589s||0.834s|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m39.818s||1.063s|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m40.501s||1.746s|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m40.519s||1.764s|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m42.003s||3.248s|
|21||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m42.393s||3.638s|
Abu Dhabi GP FP3: Sebastian Vettel tops F1 final practice
Sebastian Vettel was a surprise fastest in the final Formula 1 free practice session ahead of the title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen had set the pace with just over half of the one-hour session completed having been among a group of drivers to set times on ultra-soft Pirellis early on, which included Daniel Ricciardo and Vettel.
With just over forty minutes to go, Nico Rosberg, who had been fifth fastest behind Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton with both using the slower super-soft Pirellis early on, went fastest after bolting on the fastest tyre.
Seconds after Rosberg knocked Raikkonen off top spot, Hamilton posted a time 0.103s quicker to take top spot.
But Vettel, on a fresh set of ultra-softs, then went 0.137s faster than Hamilton with 11 minutes remaining to secure top spot.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen and Raikkonen slotted in second and third on their late runs on ultra-softs, which left Hamilton and Rosberg, who remain favourite to qualify on the front row, down in fourth and fifth after completing their qualifying simulation runs before everyone else.
Ricciardo ended the session a distant sixth, a second off the pace, after failing to exploit the potential of his ultra-soft tyres.
Force India driver Sergio Perez was seventh fastest, less than a tenth off Ricciardo, while team-mate Nico Hulkenberg ended up eighth after missing half of the session with a fuel system problem.
Williams driver Valtteri Bottas and Haas’s Esteban Gutierrez, who took a fresh Ferrari engine ahead of this session, rounded out the top 10, ahead of McLaren driver Fernando Alonso.
Renault’s Jolyon Palmer was 12th fastest ahead of Jenson Button, while Felipe Massa didn’t get the best out of his final set of tyres after a spin at Turn 6 right at the start of his run.
Toro Rosso returned to the track after stopping running in yesterday’s session amid concerns it and the FIA had about safety following two punctures believed to be car-related.
Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kvyat completed only 23 laps between them, with Sainz best placed in 18th place.
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||0.137s||21|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1.056s||20|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1.110s||19|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1.292s||13|
|18||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||2.526s||10|
|21||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||3.330s||13|
Lewis Hamilton leads second Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice too
Lewis Hamilton ended the second free practice session for Formula 1’s world championship deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on top of the timesheets.
After failing to complete a proper fast lap on his first set of soft-compound tyres and complaining about flatspots, Mercedes driver Hamilton deposed team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg from first place with 50 minutes remaining by 0.079 seconds, with both using ultra-soft Pirellis.
This came shortly after Rosberg had knocked Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, who was the first to go fastest using the ultra-softs having bettered team-mate Kimi Raikkonen’s super-soft time, off top spot.
Vettel later suffered a gearbox failure with 10 minutes remaining and stopped on track.
Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were fourth and fifth and separated by just one thousandth of a second, the latter improving on his second quick lap on the ultra-softs.
Verstappen later complained he was losing power coming off corners and that it was "like a handbrake" on corner entry, with Ricciardo earlier suffering his own brief loss of power at Turn 1.
Valtteri Bottas, who was briefly fastest early in the session on super-softs and came close to reclaiming the spot after dropping behind both Ferraris, ended up seventh ahead of Force India duo Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.
Felipe Massa rounded out the top 10 during the final Friday of his F1 career.
Fernando Alonso was 11th fastest, with McLaren team-mate Jenson Button slotting into 12th in the second half of the session – albeit 0.457s slower – after having a brief off-track moment at Turn 8 earlier on.
Romain Grosjean was 13th fastest, although his session was interrupted by a water pressure problem that led to the Haas team calling him to return to the pits after 17 laps.
The two Manor drivers has a solid session, with Esteban Ocon and Pascal Wehrlein in 16th and 17th and separated by 0.154s, putting them ahead of the Saubers of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen’s Renault.
Toro Rosso duo Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kvyat completed only nine laps between them and sat out much of the 90-minute session.
This followed Daniil Kvyat suffered his second left-rear puncture of the day, having suffered a similar fate in practice one, and spinning at Turn 17.
He returned to the pits, with F1 technical delegate Jo Bauer and the team inspecting Kvyat’s wheel, and neither Toro Rosso returned to the track again.
PRACTICE TWO TIMES:
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m41.389s||0.528s||24|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m41.390s||0.529s||33|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.041s||1.180s||35|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.264s||1.403s||36|
|21||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m44.478s||3.617s||5|
|22||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m45.948s||5.087s||4|
Lewis Hamilton fastest in first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice
Lewis Hamilton beat Mercedes team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg to the fastest time in first practice for the Formula 1 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Reigning world champion Hamilton, who trails Rosberg by 12 points with 25 still available, put in a 1m42.869s on the Pirelli soft compound tyres to finish 0.374 seconds ahead of his team-mate.
Red Bull was the closet challenger, with Max Verstappen half a tenth adrift of Rosberg in third and Daniel Ricciardo fourth.
Mercedes ran the ultra-soft tyres early in the session, with Rosberg holding the early edge before being usurped by Hamilton, who then had a low-key spin at the Turn 5-6 complex.
Hamilton moved to the soft tyres and went slightly quicker to extend his lead at the top and remain unchallenged for the remainder of the session.
Teams were limited with what they could learn in first practice as the session takes place in afternoon daylight conditions while qualifying and the race are run under floodlights.
Track evolution delivered a confusing picture, with Hamilton faster on the ultra-soft and the soft while Rosberg was on a similar pace on each compound.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who ran the halo cockpit protection device for his opening 11 laps, was fifth quickest, 1.136s off the pace.
Sergio Perez was the leading Force India in sixth, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Carlos Sainz Jr.
Felipe Massa, competing in his 250th and final F1 race weekend, and Marcus Ericsson, on the super-soft, completed the top 10.
Alfonso Celis Jr, standing in for Nico Hulkenberg, was 11th quickest, 1.4s slower than Perez, with Romain Grosjean 12th.
Grosjean was unhappy with his Haas, reporting he lost the car three times on left-handers before a spin at Turn 1, which damaged his tyres and ended his session early.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was bottom of the timesheets after completing just four laps having had his running cut short when he picked up a left-rear puncture and had to park on track.
Jordan King finished 21st quickest, 1.1s slower than regular Manor driver Pascal Wehrlein, on his second F1 practice outing.
PRACTICE ONE TIMES:
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.297s||0.428s||26|
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.362s||0.493s||27|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m44.155s||1.286s||23|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m44.685s||1.816s||21|
|11||Alfonso Celis||Force India/Mercedes||1m45.476s||2.607s||26|
|22||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||2m01.989s||19.120s||4|
Lewis Hamilton beats Nico Rosberg to Brazilian Grand Prix pole
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix, a tenth of a second faster than Mercedes team-mate and Formula 1 title rival Nico Rosberg.
With rain threatening, but never arriving beyond a few spots, throughout qualifying, Hamilton had the advantage after the first runs in Q3.
While Rosberg did make a small improvement on his second run, Hamilton was fast enough to defend top spot – with his pace in the long middle sector particularly strong.
Kimi Raikkonen capitalised on the two Red Bull drivers and Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel failing to improve on their second runs to jump to third late on, 0.668s off pole.
Max Verstappen shaded Vettel for fourth by just a hundredth of a second, complaining about losing rear grip mid-way through his second flier, with Ricciardo aborting his final quick lap in the middle sector and not able to do better than sixth.
Two weeks after qualifying last in Mexico, Romain Grosjean equalled the Haas team’s best grid position of the year as he went seventh fastest.
Nico Hulkenberg had the edge in the Force India battle, lapping half-a-tenth faster than team-mate Sergio Perez, with the pair in eighth and ninth place.
McLaren-Honda returned to Q3 after a three-race absence, Fernando Alonso ending up 10th.
Williams pairing Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were both eliminated in a late flurry of improvements in Q2 as some spots of rain fell.
Bottas missed out on the top 10 by just 0.060s to Hulkenberg, while Massa had a poor first run then was unable to make a big enough improvement to do better than 13th.
The two Williams cars sandwiched the Haas of Esteban Gutierrez, with the Toro Rossos of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr 14th and 15th, and Renault driver Jolyon Palmer 16th after several lock ups on his only Q2 lap on fresh rubber.
Jenson Button was the highest-profile casualty in Q1 in 17th place, lapping almost six tenths slower than team-mate Alonso and complaining of a lack of front grip having failed to improve his time on his second run.
Kevin Magnussen did improve on his second run having been slowest on the first, but that was only good enough to jump up to 19th, ahead of the Manors of Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon.
Ocon complained about Wehrlein holding him up on his final run, while Wehrlein complained about being overtaken by his team-mate.
But Ocon was the only driver to get in trouble with the stewards, who will investigate whether or not he impeded Palmer as the Descida do Lago downhill left-hander during the session.
Sauber drivers Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr annexed the back row, with the Swede finding a bigger improvement on his second run to jump ahead of his team-mate by just 0.058s having earlier been over three tenths slower.
Nasr complained about traffic during his second run, although he was still able to improve on his first-run time by over four tenths.
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m11.485s||0.749s|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m11.540s||0.804s|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m12.104s||1.368s|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m12.165s||1.429s|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m12.726s||–|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m12.920s||–|
Rosberg outpaces F1 title rival Hamilton in Brazilian GP practice
Formula 1 championship leader Nico Rosberg beat title rival Lewis Hamilton to the fastest time in final practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix at an overcast Interlagos.
Rosberg, who can clinch the title by winning Sunday’s race no matter where Mercedes team-mate Hamilton finishes, posted the quickest lap of the weekend so far with a 1m11.740s effort.
Hamilton, who was quickest in both Friday practice sessions, had to settle for second, just 0.093s slower than Rosberg.
Ferrari pair Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen enjoyed the cooler conditions compared to Friday’s session to finish third and fourth, 0.219s and 0.287s down respectively on Rosberg.
Behind the leading quartet came Red Bull duo Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, who had hoped the drop in temperatures would help their cause, but they were 0.337s and 0.547s off the pace ultimately.
Following the scorching temperatures for second practice that rose to 31C, with the track hitting a peak of 52C, FP3 was run in very different conditions.
Heavy overnight rain resulted in a grey start to the session and a damp circuit in places that started off at 22C and rose to a high of 25C.
A handful of drivers conducted exploratory laps on full-wet tyres early on, before Hamilton pitted for slicks, claiming the track was "pretty dry" despite light drizzle in some places.
Hamilton went off on his first flying lap on softs, before setting the first competitive time of the day with a 1m16.980s.
There was a momentary disturbance 15 minutes into the session that resulted in double-yellows flags being waved in sector one, when an umbrella blew onto the track at the Senna S, but this was swiftly dealt with.
Others soon followed Hamilton’s lead by venturing out on either soft or medium dry tyres, leading to the times tumbling as the rain eased off.
Raikkonen set the benchmark time on soft tyres with a lap of 1m12.530s before Ricciardo beat that by almost a quarter of a second with 17 minutes remaining, effectively sparking the start of the qualifying simulation runs.
Rosberg eventually emerged as the fastest driver of the session, posting a time of 1m11.740s that Hamilton couldn’t quite reach.
Valtteri Bottas was seventh in his Willliams, and the only other driver to finish within a second of Rosberg.
Bottas was almost four tenths of a second ahead of Jolyon Palmer’s Renault, while Felipe Massa’s Williams and Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda rounded out the top 10.
Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson finished bottom of the standings, the only driver without a time to his name.
He completed only one lap due to technical issues, necessitating an engine change.
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.077s||0.337s||19|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.287s||0.547s||21|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.203s||1.463s||14|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.231s||1.491s||19|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m13.293s||1.553s||20|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m13.609s||1.869s||13|
No penalty for Kimi Raikkonen/Carlos Sainz Jr F1 practice incident
Kimi Raikkonen has escaped sanction for cutting across Carlos Sainz Jr to enter the pits during second practice for Formula 1’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
The two drivers were running in close proximity through the infield early in the session before Raikkonen pulled ahead and moved from right to left in front of Sainz on the main straight as he dived for the pits.
The stewards announced they would investigate the incident after the session.
But after speaking to both drivers and examining evidence they decided the incident was a misunderstanding and neither drove dangerously.
A stewards’ statement said: "On the lap concerned both drivers had aborted their lap at about Turn 9 [Pinheirinho].
"Following the abort, both drivers agreed that they were setting up for what they were doing next, not quite understanding what the other was doing.
"On the uphill prior to the pit entry, Sainz’s car was initially at a similar speed to Raikkonen, then having entered harvesting mode, did not accelerate at the same rate as Raikkonen.
"Raikkonen then had to go around Sainz to enter the pits, and because of his greater speed he was able to do so safely.
"He did enter the pitlane prior to the beginning of the white pit entry line.
"Both drivers agreed that they did not have to take any avoiding action.
"The stewards are satisfied that neither driver drove unnecessarily slowly, erratically or potentially dangerously."
Kimi at ease with Soft tires. Brake issue caused by visor
“It was a pretty normal Friday: we tried different things to make it better for tomorrow. It was a bit tricky to find the balance, the set-up is not ideal yet, but we are going in the right direction. I only did a few laps with the Soft, it felt pretty ok and obviously it has the best grip. Unfortunately at the end of the second session we had an issue with one visor which obstructed the cooling duct: the brakes overheated and I had to stop.”
Brazilian GP practice: Lewis Hamilton leads Nico Rosberg in F1 FP2
Lewis Hamilton edged out Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Nico Rosberg to finish quickest in second practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion clocked a 1m12.271s on the soft tyre to finish 0.030s clear of title rival Rosberg, who can win the title with victory at Interlagos on Sunday.
Williams provided the strongest challenge, with Valtteri Bottas half a second off the pace in the third, a few thousandths clear of team-mate Felipe Massa.
The medium compound was the tyre of choice early in the session, with Hamilton outpacing his team-mate by 0.198s on those runs.
When the pair fitted the softs for their qualifying simulation around the halfway point of the session, Rosberg briefly went quickest only to be usurped by Hamilton.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was fifth quickest, 0.557s off the pace, a tenth ahead of team-mate Max Verstappen.
The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were seventh and eighth respectively, seven tenths off the pace with Nico Hulkenberg one second adrift of Hamilton in ninth.
Jenson Button completed the top 10, but his session ended early with just 19 laps on the board.
His McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso also struggled, with his session ending prematurely when he was told to stop on track because the team had found a data anomaly in the ERS water pressure.
The Spaniard, who achieved the 11th quickest time, was restricted to just 18 laps.
Rather than heading back to the garage, Alonso took control of one of the trackside cameras, with some of the footage being used in the FOM broadcast.
It came a year after he sat in a deckchair after his McLaren ground to a halt in Q1, with pictures creating a social media sensation.
Daniil Kvyat outpaced his Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz by just over a tenth of a second to finish 12th quickest.
The Spaniard went wheel-to-wheel with Raikkonen through the infield early in the session, with the latter then cutting across the Toro Rosso on the main straight as he dived for the pits.
The stewards will investigate the incident after the session.
Romain Grosjean had a frustrating afternoon, complaining of having no power and then reporting that "something is wrong, very strange" as he went through Turn 1.
BRAZILIAN GP FP2 TIMES
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.828s||0.557s||43|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.928s||0.657s||45|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.299s||1.028s||42|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m13.689s||1.418s||46|
|13||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m13.801s||1.530s||47|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.918s||1.647s||38|
Brazilian GP FP1: Lewis Hamilton fastest ahead of Max Verstappen
Lewis Hamilton started his bid for a maiden Brazilian Grand Prix victory with the fastest time in the opening Formula 1 practice session.
Mercedes driver Hamilton, who has failed in his previous nine attempts to win at Interlagos, finished the 90 minutes a tenth of a second quicker than Red Bull’s Max Verstappen with a lap of 1m11.895s.
That was set on the soft tyre, the quickest of the three Pirelli compounds available this weekend, with Verstappen 0.096s behind, and championship leader Nico Rosberg 0.230s off the pace in his Mercedes.
Rosberg can clinch the title with a third successive win in Brazil, no matter where Hamilton finishes.
Daniel Ricciardo was fourth quickest in his Red Bull, almost half a second behind Hamilton, with the leading quartet comfortably ahead of the remainder of the field spearheaded by Valtteri Bottas’s Williams.
The Finn finished 1.234s down, while team-mate and home hero Felipe Massa was eighth, a further two tenths of a second off the pace.
Force India pair Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg were sandwiched in between the Williams duo, split by just four thousandths of a second.
Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were down in ninth and 10th positions respectively, both 1.6s adrift, although neither driver used the soft tyre.
With three minutes remaining Vettel finished the session in ignominious fashion by spinning off at Mergulho on a set of fresh medium tyres.
The Ferrari pair were followed by Toro Rosso drivers Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kvyat, the latter suffering a right-rear puncture after an hour that brought an end to his session.
Given Haas’s brake problems of late, Romain Grosjean tried two different suppliers – Brembo, with which the team has had its issues, and Carbon Industrie.
On his first timed lap with the latter Grosjean locked up into Turn 1, and he suffered another lock up later in the session, with the Frenchman finishing 15th, 2.6s down.
Grosjean was joined on track by Charles Leclerc, who replaced Esteban Gutierrez, who is on his way out of the team to make way for Kevin Magnussen next year.
The 19-year-old GP3 points leader finished 21st, 3.496s down, one place ahead of Renault’s Sergey Sirotkin, who replaced Magnussen for FP1.
Sirotkin managed just 10 laps for Renault before encountering a technical issue after 28 minutes.
Sirotkin was forced to park his car at the entry of the pitlane from where he was collected by a team of mechanics, but Renault was unable to get him back out on track.
BRAZILIAN GP FP1 TIMES
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m11.991s||0.096s||29|
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.371s||0.476s||27|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.289s||1.394s||31|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.293s||1.398s||33|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m13.711s||1.816s||22|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m14.090s||2.195s||15|
Lewis Hamilton takes Mexican GP F1 pole position
Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for Formula 1’s Mexican Grand Prix, while Nico Rosberg climbed from fourth to second with his final lap.
Hamilton did a time good enough for pole position on his first run in the Q3 top 10-shootout and was unable to improve on his second attempt.
But Rosberg had the most to do on his second runs, as he was initially only fourth fastest, behind Hamilton and Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.
With all drivers using super-softs during Q3, Verstappen and Ricciardo were only able to make tiny improvements on their second runs in an attempt to consolidate second and third places.
Rosberg, who has had a tough weekend, managed to do enough on his final run to jump to second, one tenth faster than Verstappen.
Nobody was able to challenge Verstappen and Ricciardo for second-row slots, with Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg’s first run in Q3 good enough for fifth place.
Ferrari had a disappointing session, with Kimi Raikkonen unable to improve on his first run time and ending up sixth and Sebastian Vettel moving from eighth to seventh on his last run as the team struggled to find grip with an increase in track temperature near the end.
Williams pairing Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were eighth and ninth, with Carlos Sainz Jr completing the top 10.
The two Mercedes drivers, as well as the two Ferrari drivers, will start the race on the soft-compound Pirellis having set their fastest times in Q2 using the slower rubber.
Raikkonen did go out on super-softs in Q2, but did not improve on his soft time.
McLaren driver Fernando Alonso missed out on a place in Q3 by 0.113s seconds to Sainz, and will start 11th.
Home hero Sergio Perez was unable to improve his laptime on his second run using super-softs, having set a time ultimately good enough for 12th using the softs.
Jenson Button took 13th in the second McLaren ahead of Renault’s Kevin Magnussen, Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein.
Wehrlein had earlier put in a stellar last lap on a third run in Q1 to reach Q2.
Haas driver Esteban Gutierrez was fastest of those eliminated in Q1 having spun in the Esses while trying to improve on his final flying lap.
Although he held 16th place at the time, Wehrlein’s late effort then bumped him down to 18th place.
Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat was only able to complete one four-lap run, reporting a total loss of power and returning to the pits and not running again thanks to an electrical problem.
Felipe Nasr was 19th ahead of the Manor of Esteban Ocon, while Romain Grosjean in the second Haas had a trouble session.
Grosjean was unable to post a laptime on his first run after locking up and going off at Turn 12, before being called back into the pits because he didn’t have enough fuel to do another run.
Although he did set a time during a seven-lap run on his second set of super-softs, he was unable to threaten the top 16 and lost time on his final attempt when Gutierrez spun in front of him.
Jolyon Palmer was unable to participate in qualifying after suffering chassis damage from clouting a kerb during Saturday morning practice.
MEXICAN GP GRID
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m19.054s||0.350s|
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m19.133s||0.429s|
|5||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m19.330s||0.626s|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m20.378s||1.674s|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m20.287s||1.583s|
|18||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m21.454s||2.750s|
Mexican GP practice: Max Verstappen fastest for Red Bull in FP3
Max Verstappen set the pace in final practice for the Mexican Grand Prix, in a session where several Formula 1 qualifying simulation runs were affected by traffic.
In a tricky final 15 minutes at the Mexico City track when finding a clear lap was at a premium, Verstappen managed to find enough space to post a time of 1m19.127s.
As at the end of Friday practice, Lewis Hamilton had to settle for second quickest, finishing 0.094s adrift of the Dutchman after being 0.004s down on Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in FP2.
Verstappen’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was a quarter of a second back in third, managing to improve over the closing stages on two occasions.
Ricciardo initially posted a time of 1m19.444s, on a lap that included passing a slow Carlos Sainz Jr and Kevin Magnussen in the stadium section.
Ricciardo then shaved almost a tenth of a second off on his next quick lap before finally concluding with a 1m19.370s.
Championship leader Rosberg had to settle for the fourth quickest time, just under half a second down on Verstappen.
Traffic was a major concern for Rosberg, both during the early part of the session when the soft tyre was key, and again when he bolted on the super-softs.
Williams driver Valtteri Bottas managed to get ahead of Ferrari pair Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, the latter running wide on entry to the stadium complex on one of his late hot laps.
Felipe Massa was the only other driver to finish within a second of Verstappen in his Williams, with Nico Hulkenberg and Sainz completing the top 10.
As on Friday the temperatures were again on the cool side, with air hitting a maximum of 14C and track only 29C during the opening half hour, with the latter rising to 32C during the final 15 minutes.
Prior to the late qualifying simulations, Hamilton led the way on the soft tyre with a lap of 1m19.721s, with Ricciardo, Verstappen and Vettel all between the Mercedes driver and Rosberg.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m19.137s||16|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||0.233s||17|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1.118s||21|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1.188s||22|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1.335s||20|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1.449s||20|
Mexican Grand Prix – “Now we have to concentrate”
Kimi’s day OK despite understeer
Kimi Raikkonen: “Overall it was pretty ok today, but it’s still early to know where we are and how’s going to be. I had some understeer, mainly in the afternoon, with new tires on it was a bit tricky, but it’s still the first day of practice. Now we have to concentrate and work on a few things as we normally do after the Friday’s session and hopefully tomorrow, on new tires, we can push a bit more.”