Hamilton cleared of blocking Grosjean, keeps British GP pole
Lewis Hamilton will keep his pole position for Formula 1’s British Grand Prix after being cleared of blocking Romain Grosjean in Q3 at Silverstone.
Grosjean was left furious after feeling that he had been impeded by Hamilton on the left-hand turn into Club as he finished his first run in the final shootout session.
The Haas team suspected Grosjean had lost around three tenths of a second in the incident and would have beaten Stoffel Vandoorne to ninth place.
Although the race stewards launched an investigation into the matter, their analysis of the situation was that while Hamilton had got in Grosjean’s way, he had not cost the Frenchman anything.
A statement issued by the FIA said: "The stewards examined video and telemetry evidence and concluded that while GRO may potentially have been affected by the presence of HAM at Turn 16, he was not impeded."
Prior to the stewards’ decision, Hamilton had already apologised to Grosjean and claimed he had received no warning from his Mercedes team over the radio that the Haas driver was approaching him.
"I was coming around to start my lap, Valtteri [Bottas] up ahead, I was trying to get the space," said Hamilton.
"Behind me was one of the Force Indias, who then came in, so there was no one behind me.
"Literally as I was about to get on the gas I looked in the mirror and saw a car, and I tried to get going.
"I don’t know if I got in the way, if I did I apologise.
"I had no indication from the team that anyone was coming. I need to look at the footage.
"I don’t think he was that close when I pulled away, but I will have a look."
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m28.130s||1.530s|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m28.902s||2.302s|
|7||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m29.074s||2.474s|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m30.355s||–|
|13||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m31.368s||–|
|19||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m42.966s||–|
British Grand Prix practice: Lewis Hamilton pips Sebastian Vettel
Lewis Hamilton set the pace in final practice for the British Grand Prix, beating Formula 1 championship rival Sebastian Vettel by just 0.032 seconds on Saturday morning.
With the session commencing with an 80% chance of rain, most drivers opted to get out on track early on before the bad weather had chance to hit, which it finally did in the final 20 minutes.
Valtteri Bottas, who has been hit by a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, led the way in the opening runs on soft tyres, setting an early benchmark of 1m28.827s in the first 10 minutes.
His Mercedes team-mate Hamilton then took the top spot with a 1m28.747s on the yellow-marked rubber, which stood as the best time until he put on super-soft tyres just shy of the halfway mark and set a 1m28.063s to go seven tenths clear of the pack.
Bottas was only able to come within 0.151s of Hamilton on his first run on super-softs, and it was Ferrari driver Vettel who emerged as the three-time champion’s closest rival as he slotted into second, just 0.032s adrift.
With the rain arriving 15 minutes later, Hamilton’s effort stood as the best time of the session – and the weekend so far – with Vettel staying second and Bottas improving marginally to complete a top three covered by just 0.074s.
Kimi Raikkonen was fourth-fastest in the second Ferrari, a full 0.669s behind Hamilton on the super-soft tyres, and nearly eight tenths up on fifth-placed Nico Hulkenberg in the Renault.
Best of the Red Bull drivers was Daniel Ricciardo in sixth, 1.549s slower than Hamilton, followed by the Haas of Romain Grosjean and Max Verstappen, whose best time was set on softs.
Verstappen did attempt a super-soft run, but left it too late and was caught out by the rain, running off-track at Brooklands and quickly returning to the pits.
Felipe Massa’s Williams and Stoffel Vandoorne’s McLaren completed the top 10, Vandoorne eclipsing team-mate Fernando Alonso by 0.050s.
Besides Verstappen, the only other drivers not to set their best time on super-softs were Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr, who was 17th-fastest, and the second Williams of Lance Stroll, who propped up the timesheets, 1.4s slower than Massa.
All drivers headed out in the closing stages of the session on intermediate tyres, an extra set of them having been supplied by Pirelli for the session.
A handful of late incidents showed how tricky conditions had become – Ricciardo spinning but avoiding the wall exiting Club and Marcus Ericsson pirouetting on the approach to Vale.
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m29.612s||1.549s||15|
|8||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m29.904s||1.841s||13|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m30.172s||2.109s||19|
|15||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m30.416s||2.353s||16|
|16||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m30.504s||2.441s||20|
|17||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m30.515s||2.452s||19|
Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen saw a steady improvement after a not-so-easy start: “The whole weekend had been quite tricky so far and yesterday, for certain reasons, we did not have a very good day. This morning, we basically started from zero. The feeling with the car was getting better and better, but it was not easy to recover from yesterday. The qualifying session was a bit messy, with the traffic and the yellow flags. I’m not very happy overall, but considering how tricky it has been , third place is not bad. It could have been much worse. Later this evening and tomorrow morning we will go through all the different scenarios and we’ll try to pick the best one, depending on what happens in the first lap, how the weather will be and other factors”.
Bottas beats Vettel to Austrian GP pole, Hamilton to start eighth
Valtteri Bottas narrowly beat Sebastian Vettel to pole position for Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix, while Lewis Hamilton will start no better than eighth thanks to a grid penalty.
Bottas’s Mercedes led Vettel’s Ferrari by less than a tenth after the first runs in Q3, with Hamilton’s Mercedes 0.131 seconds further back in third.
All drivers lost their opportunity to improve on the second runs after Romain Grosjean’s Haas broke down at the exit of Turn 3 while he tried to adjust his engine settings, and Max Verstappen’s Red Bull spun into the gravel at the exit of Turn 7.
Bottas therefore secured his second pole position in F1, and will share the front row with team-mate Hamilton’s chief title rival Vettel.
Hamilton was already more than two tenths down on his earlier best through the first sector on his second lap and he also suffered a wobble on the exit of Turn 4, so would not likely have qualified better than third fastest.
He used super-soft tyres to progress through Q2, so will start the race on an alternative tyre strategy in the wake of his impending five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change.
The second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen was fourth quickest, just ahead of Red Bull team-mates Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, who was struggling with oversteer through Turn 3 before his high-speed spin.
Grosjean ended up seventh fastest thanks to a strong first run, while Force India team-mates Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon were eighth and ninth, separated by less than a tenth.
Carlos Sainz Jr’s Toro Rosso made Q3 for the first time since May’s Monaco GP and rounded out the top 10.
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg only just failed to displace Ocon’s Force India from the top 10 shootout in Q2, falling short by 0.047s.
Hulkenberg was only five thousandths of a second quicker than Fernando Alonso’s spec-2 engined McLaren-Honda, which failed to improve during its second run.
Alonso’s team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, running the quicker spec-3 Honda engine, was happy to qualify 13th, the 0.139s gap to Alonso being the closest Vandoorne has managed to get to his illustrious team-mate so far this season.
Daniil Kvyat endured a difficult session and wound up only 14th fastest in the second Toro Rosso, while Kevin Magnussen ended up last of the Q2 runners, having failed to participate in that segment of qualifying after his Haas suffered a rear suspension failure in Q1.
Vandoorne escaped Q1 for only the second time this season, denying Renault’s Jolyon Palmer a place in Q2 by just 0.029s with a late improvement.
Palmer failed to improve on his final lap, dropping nearly a tenth compared to his earlier best, so he wound up 16th.
Williams endured its worst qualifying session of the season, with both drivers failing to escape Q1.
Felipe Massa was more than two tenths away from making the cut and only 17th quickest, while rookie team-mate Lance Stroll was another 0.074s down in 18th.
Marcus Ericsson got the better of Sauber team-mate Pascal Wehrlein to avoid wooden-spoon status, lapping only 0.249s away from Stroll, having been more than half a second off the next fastest car in final practice.
Wehrlein struggled with a persistent battery problem during final practice and qualifying and expects to start the race from the pitlane after an overnight engine change.
|1||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||Mercedes||1m04.251s||–|
|2||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||1m04.293s||0.042s|
|3||Kimi Raikkonen||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||1m04.779s||0.528s|
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||Red Bull/Renault||1m04.896s||0.645s|
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||Red Bull/Renault||1m04.983s||0.732s|
|6||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team||Haas/Ferrari||1m05.480s||1.229s|
|7||Sergio Perez||Sahara Force India F1 Team||Force India/Mercedes||1m05.605s||1.354s|
|8||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||Mercedes||1m04.424s||0.173s|
|9||Esteban Ocon||Sahara Force India F1 Team||Force India/Mercedes||1m05.674s||1.423s|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Toro Rosso||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m05.726s||1.475s|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault Sport F1 Team||Renault||1m05.597s||1.346s|
|12||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||McLaren/Honda||1m05.602s||1.351s|
|13||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Honda||McLaren/Honda||1m05.741s||1.490s|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m05.884s||1.633s|
|15||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team||Haas/Ferrari||–||–|
|16||Jolyon Palmer||Renault Sport F1 Team||Renault||1m06.345s||2.094s|
|17||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing||Williams/Mercedes||1m06.534s||2.283s|
|18||Lance Stroll||Williams Martini Racing||Williams/Mercedes||1m06.608s||2.357s|
|19||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team||Sauber/Ferrari||1m06.857s||2.606s|
|20||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber F1 Team||Sauber/Ferrari||1m07.011s||2.760s|
Vettel fastest in Austrian GP FP3 as Hamilton suffers brake failure
Sebastian Vettel set a scintillating pace to beat Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton to the quickest time in third practice for the Austrian Grand Prix.
The Ferrari driver posted a 1m05.092s, a new fastest lap of the 2.68-mile version of the Red Bull Ring circuit, on ultra-soft tyres to edge out Hamilton by 0.269 seconds.
Hamilton was unable to respond after he appeared to suffer a brake disc failure in the closing stages.
The second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas was third quickest, 0.423s adrift, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen a tenth further back in fourth.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen set the early pace on the ultra-soft tyres, clocking a 1m06.015s, with Vettel’s first effort just 0.021s slower.
Bottas then pumped in a 1m05.726s to go fastest, only for Vettel to usurp him by three-and-a-half tenths with a 1m05.726s just before the halfway mark.
Attention then turned to qualifying simulations, with Hamilton the first to head out with a fresh set of ultra-softs – the softest Pirelli tyre in use this weekend.
Hamilton, who topped both of Friday’s practice sessions but has a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, went quickest with a 1m05.361s.
Vettel slotted into second with his first attempt, 0.023s adrift, but looked set to go quickest after setting the fastest two sector times.
But he caught traffic in the form of Hamilton in the final sector and backed out of the lap, before regrouping to record the session-best time on his next flying effort.
There was late drama for Hamilton when he locked up and went off track at the top of the steep ascent to Turn 3.
Replays showed him appearing to hit the brakes normally on the approach to the corner, leading to a big puff of smoke from the front-right wheel before he headed straight on.
Having avoided the gravel trap, Hamilton recovered to the pits gingerly, with Mercedes detecting a brake problem that ended his session early.
Verstappen beat Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to the fifth-fastest time by a tenth of a second, with Haas’s Kevin Magnussen best of the rest in seventh.
His team-mate Romain Grosjean was eighth, with the Toro Rossos of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr completing the top 10.
Sainz had a frustrating start to his session when he stopped out on track just a few moments after leaving the pits, citing an engine problem.
The marshals recovered the car to the pits and the team managed to get him going again, with just under half the session to go.
Stoffel Vandoorne was the leading McLaren in 13th, a fraction ahead of team-mate Fernando Alonso in 15th.
Alonso has reverted to the ‘spec 2’ Honda engine for the remainder of the weekend after Honda found a problem on the latest spec unit.
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||1m05.092s||–||18|
|2||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||Mercedes||1m05.361s||0.269s||21|
|3||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||Mercedes||1m05.515s||0.423s||19|
|4||Kimi Raikkonen||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||1m05.611s||0.519s||19|
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||Red Bull/Renault||1m05.784s||0.692s||24|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||Red Bull/Renault||1m05.896s||0.804s||29|
|7||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team||Haas/Ferrari||1m05.936s||0.844s||21|
|8||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team||Haas/Ferrari||1m06.015s||0.923s||22|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m06.279s||1.187s||28|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Toro Rosso||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m06.284s||1.192s||19|
|11||Esteban Ocon||Sahara Force India F1 Team||Force India/Mercedes||1m06.374s||1.282s||26|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault Sport F1 Team||Renault||1m06.563s||1.471s||18|
|13||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Honda||McLaren/Honda||1m06.578s||1.486s||18|
|14||Jolyon Palmer||Renault Sport F1 Team||Renault||1m06.595s||1.503s||22|
|15||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||McLaren/Honda||1m06.599s||1.507s||20|
|16||Lance Stroll||Williams Martini Racing||Williams/Mercedes||1m06.776s||1.684s||22|
|17||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing||Williams/Mercedes||1m06.865s||1.773s||24|
|18||Sergio Perez||Sahara Force India F1 Team||Force India/Mercedes||1m06.875s||1.783s||28|
|19||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team||Sauber/Ferrari||1m07.378s||2.286s||21|
|20||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber F1 Team||Sauber/Ferrari||1m07.468s||2.376s||25|
Lewis Hamilton recovers to take Azerbaijan Grand Prix pole
Lewis Hamilton recovered from free practice troubles to claim a commanding pole position in qualifying for Formula 1’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, beating Valtteri Bottas in a Mercedes one-two.
The fight at the front looked close with Ferrari and Red Bull in practice, but Mercedes enjoyed a large advantage over its F1 competition when it came to qualifying.
Hamilton struggled particularly on Friday and was only third fastest in final practice earlier on Saturday, but turned it on when it really mattered at the Baku city circuit.
He was the only driver to lap under 1m42s in Q1 and was comfortably fastest with a single run in Q2 as well.
He let Bottas get briefly ahead during the initial runs in Q3, after locking up and running wide at Turn 16 near the end of his quickest lap, before Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull hit the wall at the Turn 6 right-hander, bringing out the red flags and spoiling a potentially faster lap for Hamilton.
That incident turned the session into a one flying lap dash once the wreckage was cleared, and Hamilton pulled out a stunning effort on his final run to claim pole by almost half a second from Bottas.
Both Ferraris struggled in qualifying, with Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel taking to the escape road at Turn 3 during their first runs.
Raikkonen recovered best to claim third on the grid, but over six tenths of a second down on the second Mercedes.
Vettel was fourth in the sister Ferrari, fractionally ahead of the surviving Red Bull of Max Verstappen.
Sergio Perez pipped Force India team-mate Esteban Ocon by less than a tenth of a second to complete the top six, while Lance Stroll narrowly outqualified Williams team-mate Felipe Massa for the first time to claim a career-best eighth on the grid.
Ricciardo ended up slowest in Q3 following his crash.
The pace of the top five teams ensured there wasn’t much of a fight to make it through to Q3.
The Toro Rossos of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr weren’t fast enough to challenge the Williams and Force Indias, but were comfortably quick enough to outpace Kevin Magnussen’s Haas (even with the benefit of an aerodynamic tow from Sainz), Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault – which lost power after only one run in Q2 – and Pascal Wehrlein’s Sauber, which the Mercedes junior driver heroically dragged into the top 15.
A last-ditch effort from Magnussen ensured a Haas made it through to Q2 at the expense of Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda, which ended up 16th quickest, retrofitted with a ‘spec 2’ engine, and just 0.017s shy of beating Wehrlein’s Sauber into Q2.
Alonso is set to drop to the rear of the grid thanks to his 40-place grid penalty for various engine component changes, which will elevate Romain Grosjean’s Haas and the second Sauber of Marcus Ericsson.
The other McLaren of Stoffel Vandoorne was slowest of those that ran in qualifying, 0.235s adrift of Ericsson, and will also cop a hefty grid penalty – including five places for an unscheduled gearbox change after final practice.
Jolyon Palmer was classified last in the session, without a lap time to his name. He sat out qualifying after a high-pressure fuel leak caused his Renault to cook itself during the early stages of practice three.
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m41.879s||1.286s|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.111s||1.518s|
|7||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.186s||1.593s|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.414s||2.821s|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m43.186s||–|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m43.347s||–|
Valtteri Bottas fastest for Mercedes in final Baku F1 practice
Valtteri Bottas edged out Kimi Raikkonen to lead final free practice for Formula 1’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku, as both Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen had problems.
Bottas clocked a 1m42.742s on the super-soft Pirelli tyres in his Mercedes as he finished 0.095 seconds clear of Ferrari driver Raikkonen.
The second Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, who had a wild moment at the narrow Turn 8, was three tenths further back in third.
Bottas set the early pace on the soft tyre, heading Raikkonen by almost four tenths of a second.
When teams turned their attention to qualifying-simulations on the super-soft tyres, Hamilton and Bottas traded fastest laps.
Hamilton was unhappy with his tyres throughout but Bottas enjoyed a more straightforward session and gradually improved his times over several laps.
Championship leader Vettel had a frustrating session, managing just seven laps and ending his running early when Ferrari called him in after spotting "an issue" it later said was a hydraulic problem.
Vettel did not manage to complete a low-fuel run and finished 12th overall.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo popped in a quick lap late on to finish fourth, half a second off the pace, with team-mate Verstappen sixth.
Verstappen, who topped both sessions on Friday, was on-course to be in the top three before he stopped out on track in the closing stages reporting "everything just switched off".
Red Bull said Verstappen’s failure was also a hydraulic issue.
Esteban Ocon was the leading Force India in fifth with Felipe Massa, who narrowly avoided contact at Turn 8, seventh.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was eighth, ahead of Lance Stroll, as Sergio Perez completed the top 10.
Nico Hulkenberg was 11th, while his Renault team-mate Jolyon Palmer failed to set a representative time after stopping on track early on with a fire at the rear of the car.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso was 14th, two places and half a second clear of team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, with both set to start from the back after heavy grid penalties for engine changes.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.287s||0.545s||24|
|5||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m43.344s||0.602s||21|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m43.614s||0.872s||16|
|8||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m43.908s||1.166s||21|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m44.138s||1.396s||22|
|13||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m44.401s||1.659s||23|
Raikkonen says he paid the price for a mistake in F1 qualifying
Kimi Raikkonen said he "paid the price" for a mistake when it counted in the closing moments of Formula 1 qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix.
The Finn, who set the pace during Friday practice, had to settle for fourth on the grid, and he believes he was capable of more than that if he hadn’t made an error on his final run.
"There was a lot of speed on the last lap, but I made a mistake in corner two," said Raikkonen.
"I improved a little bit, but I couldn’t make the lap very good, and I paid the price for it.
"It was a little bit more tricky today than yesterday just to get a good feeling with the tyres, but that’s how it goes."
While his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel ended up three tenths of a second adrift of an inspired Lewis Hamilton in the fight for pole, Raikkonen was nearly eight tenths back, which he described as "not a surprise".
"At places like this, if you get one corner wrong, you’re going to lose massive lap time," he said.
"Our car has been good, but for whatever reason we’ve struggled a bit in qualifying."
However, Raikkonen believes the race "will be a different story", with the Montreal venue traditionally throwing up unexpected circumstances and incident-packed grands prix.
"Often it’s quite a hectic race here, a lot of things happen," he said.
"You never know here, it’s one of those places things can change quite quickly.
"We’ll try again, we’ll see what happens. We should have good speed."
Kimi Raikkonen pushes for F1 to change its blue flag rules
Kimi Raikkonen has called for a change to Formula 1’s blue flag regulations after he was caught behind traffic in the Monaco Grand Prix while fighting for the win.
Raikkonen felt he lost too much time behind backmarkers around the pitstops in Monaco, which cost him time relative to team-mate and eventual race winner Sebastian Vettel.
The subject came up in Friday’s drivers’ briefing in Montreal, where Raikkonen raised it with F1 race director Charlie Whiting.
Under the International Sporting Code drivers have "to allow the faster driver past at the first available opportunity" after the FIA blue lights in their cockpits are illuminated.
Drivers first get a "pre-warning’ when they are three seconds ahead of a car almost a lap ahead, which the FIA says "should be used by the team of the slower car to warn their driver he is soon going to be lapped and that allowing the faster car through should be considered a priority."
Last year the FIA changed the gap that automatically triggers the signals that a driver has to move over for the leading cars, reducing it from 1.5s to 1.0s.
While the reduction in time gap worked well in 2016, some drivers have reported that it has become more problematic this season because of the difficulties inherent in following other cars with the current aero package.
Following Raikkonen raising the issue in Canada, Whiting told the drivers that the gap won’t be changed, reportedly pointing out that drivers don’t seem to have any trouble when they are racing the car ahead.
Also discussed in the briefing was the question of drivers going very slowly at the approach to the final corner in Montreal as they try to create a gap in front before starting their flying lap – something Lewis Hamilton was keen to discuss with Whiting on Friday.
Carlos Sainz Jr received a reprimand after slowing and not realising that Kevin Magnussen, who was behind, was on a flying lap.
One suggestion was that drivers create their gap earlier, and don’t go slowly beyond the DRS line, which is around a third of the way along the preceding straight.
Lewis Hamilton upstages Ferrari to take Canadian Grand Prix pole
Lewis Hamilton convincingly beat Formula 1 title rival Sebastian Vettel to pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix, as Mercedes finally came to life in qualifying at the Montreal circuit.
Ferrari had set the pace in Friday practice and was well ahead in Saturday morning’s final session too, but Hamilton lapped below 1m12.9s for the first time this weekend in Q1 and never looked back.
He was fastest of all in Q2 on a 1m12.496s before smashing through the 1m12s barrier to claim pole in Q3 – matching his hero Ayrton Senna’s tally of 65 career pole positions.
Hamilton took provisional pole with a 1m11.791s lap on his first run, before Vettel attempted to respond, falling short by just 0.004 seconds thanks to a wild moment coming out of the Turn 6/7 chicane.
Hamilton then lowered his own benchmark to 1m11.459s on his second run to seal pole, before Vettel shaved 0.006s off his own best time.
This allowed the Ferrari driver to beat Hamilton’s earlier Q3 best, but still left Vettel 0.336s short of taking the top spot.
Valtteri Bottas was third fastest in the second Mercedes. He was fractionally quicker than Hamilton in Q1 and not far behind in Q2, but was well beaten in Q3, finishing over seven tenths of a second down on his team-mate.
Friday pacesetter Kimi Raikkonen brushed the wall in Q1 and ended up fourth fastest overall in the second Ferrari, complaining of a "really shit" first corner on his quickest lap.
The Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo annexed row three of the grid, separated by 0.154s, with Verstappen lapping within two tenths of the second Ferrari.
Felipe Massa was seventh fastest for Williams and the only other driver to lap below 1m13s, ahead of Force India pairing Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, and impressive Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg, who rounded out the top 10.
Neither Toro Rosso driver made it through to Q3, after a messy session that featured a spin for Carlos Sainz Jr at Turn 1 and Daniil Kvyat glancing the wall at Turn 9 and picking up a puncture.
Kvyat wound up 11th quickest, 0.284s shy of the cut, while Sainz was 13th.
Fernando Alonso split the Toro Rossos by lapping his McLaren-Honda 12th fastest, only 0.003s shy of beating Kvyat and despite initially complaining of having less power available from the engine than he’d enjoyed in Q1.
Romain Grosjean struggled with a lack of grip from his final set of ultra-soft Pirelli tyres, saying they gave him "absolutely nothing" as he wound up 14th.
Jolyon Palmer was 15th in the second of the two works Renaults, also complaining of "no grip". He was within two tenths of team-mate Hulkenberg in Q1, but struggled badly in Q2, including suffering a brief off at Turn 1.
A crash for Pascal Wehrlein’s Sauber at the same corner curtailed the climax to Q1, as it forced several drivers to abandon late efforts to improve.
Having complained about being used by his team-mate ‘unfairly’ for a tow in the second half of the session, Sainz managed to squeak into Q2.
Sainz lapped 0.131s clear of Stoffel Vandoorne’s McLaren-Honda, which was eliminated in Q1 for the sixth time in seven attempts this season.
Lance Stroll also failed to escape the bottom five in qualifying for his home race, the Williams rookie finishing the session 0.027s behind Vandoorne in 17th.
Kevin Magnussen complained of encountering traffic "every single lap" as he wound up only 18th quickest, less than two tenths clear of Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber.
Wehrlein lapped slowest of all, 0.315s down on Ericsson, and ended up with his Sauber missing its rear wing after he approached Turn 1 on too wide a line and lost the rear of the car under braking.
PROVISIONAL STARTING GRID:
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.403s||0.944s|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.557s||1.098s|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.018s||1.559s|
|9||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.135s||1.676s|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.690s||–|
|13||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.756s||–|
Canadian GP: Sebastian Vettel leads Ferrari one-two in FP3
Sebastian Vettel headed a Ferrari one-two in final Formula 1 practice for the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal.
The championship leader clocked a 1m12.572s with ultra-soft tyres on his qualifying-simulation to finish 0.292s clear of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Vettel’s title rival Lewis Hamilton, who was told by his Mercedes team that he was losing time in the final sector, was third quickest, 0.354s off the pace.
Mercedes chose to run the super-softs to begin its final practice programme, while Ferrari spent the session focusing on using the ultra-soft.
It was Vettel who set the early pace, when the track was dusty once again, with Raikkonen keeping him honest just over a tenth back.
When the teams took out the fuel ready to focus on qualifying preparation, Vettel was among the first out to take advantage of a quieter track.
The German completed a five-lap run on the ultra-softs, with his pace-setting time coming on the fifth and final effort.
Hamilton started off 0.506s adrift before making small improvements to close the gap but he ultimately had to settle for third.
Valtteri Bottas, who got baulked by traffic and then couldn’t put a clean lap together in subsequent attempts, was fifth.
While Mercedes and Ferrari completed their low-fuel runs with around 20 minutes to go, Max Verstappen left it until the final few minutes.
The Red Bull driver made the most of a track that was ramping up to leap ahead of Bottas and finish fourth quickest, 0.393s off the pace.
His team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who made up for lost running in FP2 with a tally of 35 laps that included an opening 16-lap run, was eighth, nearly sixth tenths adrift.
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg was an impressive sixth, lapping within a second of Vettel late on, with Felipe Massa slotting into seventh in the Williams.
Force India’s Esteban Ocon and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr completed the top 10 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Fernando Alonso was the leading McLaren in 12th, 1.313s off the pace and three tenths clear of team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne.
Lance Stroll, driving in front of his home crowd, was 18th quickest, 1.837s off the pace and nearly a second adrift of team-mate Massa.
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m12.965s||0.393s||22|
|8||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m13.545s||0.973s||35|
|9||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.635s||1.063s||26|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.667s||1.095s||22|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m13.788s||1.216s||23|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m13.956s||1.384s||27|
La pole di Kimi e il silenzio degli innocenti
Forse è meglio lo scriva tre volte di seguito.
Kimi in pole a Montecarlo.
Kimi in pole a Montecarlo.
Kimi in pole a Montecarlo.
Giusto ieri, venerdì, battibeccavo affettuosamente su Radio 24 con Ivan Capelli, pronto a sostenere che la Ferrari ha bisogno accanto a Vettel di un partner più competitivo di Raikkonen.
Ah, sì? E comunque Ivan è un amico, vale come simbolo di un esercito (spero in rotta) di detrattori in servizio permanente effettivo del Santo Bevitore.
Ma poi mi fermo qui, perchè diceva il Poeta che del doman non v’è certezza e in certe occasioni conviene godere muti.
Il silenzio degli innocenti.
Quindi, parlerò d’altro.
Ferrari stellare. Bravo Arrivabene, bravo Binotto, brava l’intera squadra.
Del resto, era dal 2008 che non c’era una prima fila tutta Rossa a Monaco.
Finì a schifio la domenica.
I punti si prendono la domenica (Schumi dixit).
Hamilton è stato sfortunato causa Vandoorne ma la pole mai l’avrebbe fatta e in fondo era giusto, non poteva eguagliare le 65 partenze al palo di Ayrton proprio nel Principato. Vediamo cosa riesce a combinare in rimonta.
Gara tutta da definire, Mi ricordo sgradevolmente di Sochi, eh. Bottas non va piano, sgrattaando sgrattando abbiamo da ferraristi una grande attenzione, ma chi se ne frega.
Vettel sa cosa fare.
Io so che volti guardare questo sabato e che parole ascoltare o andare a leggere.
Il tempo è galantuomo, per chi è in buona fede.