Yesterday’s Qualifying session was fairly uneventful other than the Williams drivers challenging for the second row of the grid, although there were a few penalties for gearbox changes.
Provisional grid: HAM, ROS, BOT, BUT, KVY, [MAG*] RIC, ALO, RAI, VER, VET, MAG*, [HUL*] PER, GUT, SUT, GRO, ERI, HUL*, MAS, KOB, MAL*, CHI*
*MAG, HUL and CHI all have 5 place penalties for gearbox changes.
**MAL is serving the carried-over penalty for exceeding the maximum number of engines permitted for the season.
Tyre compounds: prime = medium (white markings); option = soft (yellow).
The tyres seem to be lasting quite well on the new track, although when they go off it tends to be quite sudden.
Air temperature 22°C; track 29°C; it’s sunny and cloudless.
Will HAM match Nigel Mansell’s British record of Grand Prix wins?
Will Mercedes tie up the Constructors’ championship?
HAM leads everyone away on the formation lap.
Looks like everyone except PER, SUT, and the guys at the back starting on options.
HAM sets his car up at a slight angle, ready to defend into Turn 1
The important news is that Jules Bianchi suffered a diffuse axonal injury at the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend, and is regarded as “critical but stable”. “Diffuse axonal injury means that the patient is not doing well, but the scan of the brain often looks normal. Let’s wait for him to get out of intensive care, get the vital signs stable and then see.” [source: BBC]
FIA reported: Marussia to run one car in Russia after Bianchi’s crash. They have his car roped off in the garage. Must be tough for Max Chilton and the mechanics.
Mercedes have dominated Free Practice as usual, although BUT has been up there too.
Tyre compounds this weekend had to be determined before the track was finished, so that could make it interesting; prime = medium (white markings); option = soft (yellow).
Air temperature 22°C; track 32°C; it’s sunny and hardly a cloud in the sky – the opposite of Japan!
MAG, HUL and CHI all had gearbox changes, so they’ve got a 5 grid spot penalty each. [FIA]
MAL has 5 grid spots still to be added after exceeding the maximum number of permitted engines.
Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
GRO first to leave the pit lane
Fortunately typhoon Phanfone didn’t impact Qualifying but the forecast is that it will hit during the race. It’s been raining all day and it’s foggy before the race starts.
Looks like the race will start behind the safety car. BBC report the rain is getting heavier. It was dry in practice and quali, so the teams only have historic data for wet setup.
Provisional grid: ROS, HAM, BOT, MAS, ALO, RIC, MAG, BUT, VET, RAI, [VER*] PER, KVY, HUL, SUT, GUT, [MAL*] GRO, ERI, BIA, KOB, VER*, CHI, MAL*.
*VER and MAL both have engine penalties for exceeding the maximum number of power units available for the season; the remaining 5 grid spot penalty for MAL will be waiting for him at the next race.
Safety Car leads everyone away on the formation lap.
There were no penalties carried over from that race, but Maldonado and Verne have each been handed a 10-place grid penalty after using a sixth engine of the season. [source: FIA]
“Silly Season” is finally here – news (and rumours) of where the drivers will be next season are starting to circulate. Alonso is leaving Ferrari; rumour is he’s heading to McLaren. Vettel is moving from Red Bull to Ferrari. Kvyat is moving up from Toro Rosso to Red Bull. [sources: BBC, FIA]
My GridBids picks for the race are: ROS, HAM, ALO, BUT & HUL.
Typhoon Phanfone is threatening to hit during the race weekend but at least it’s dry for Quali.
Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
My last points update was after Hungary, so this update includes 3 races:
- Belgium (RIC, ROS, BOT, RAI, VET, BUT, ALO, PER, KVY, HUL)
- Italy (HAM, ROS, MAS, BOT, RIC, VET, PER, BUT, RAI, MAG)
- Singapore (HAM, VET, RIC, ALO, MAS, VER, PER, RAI, HUL, MAG)
The remaining races are: Japan (Oct 3-5), Russia (Oct 10-12), USA (Oct 31 – Nov 2), Brazil (Nov 7-9) and Abu Dhabi (Nov 21-23).