Despite all the politics, we’ve still got a race weekend, fortunately.
Lewis Hamilton was fastest in yesterday’s practice sessions, which bodes well for McLaren.
Qualifying session 1 (Q1):
SV is first on track
5mins done, 15mins left in Q1; everyone is on track because of the threat of rain
Anyone who started on the harder compound is now swapping to the softer tyre
10mins gone = half way through Q1; bottom 5 are GF, JT, TG, RK, SBo
Did TG block FA’s fast lap? Will he be penalised?
(HK P11 – he doesn’t have the new aero package that teammate LH has)
5mins left; bottom 5 are RK, SBu, GF, TG, SBo
TG pits for new tyres
3mins left; bottom 5 unchanged
There’s rain on some camera lenses (air temp 14°C, track 22°C, wind 7.7m/s, pressure 944.5mBar)
Last minute of Q1; bottom 5 are still RK, SBu, GF, TG, SBo
Some marshals are showing the “slippery track” flag, warning of a partially damp track
Chequered flag falls to end Q1
Back of the grid: P16=RK, 17=SBu, 18=GF, 19=TG, 20=SBo
Qualifying session 2 (Q2):
Long stream of cars leaving the pit lane as soon as the lights change because the rain is getting heavier
The forecast is for about 5 minutes more rain so maybe two-thirds of Q2 should be dry
KN slides off and recovers
FM slithers off, uses the escape road around the outside of a corner
Everyone except MW returning to the pits – probably need intermediate tyres
Rain is even heavier
FA starts a flying lap with a wiggle coming out of the last corner
HK glances the wall – he touched the white line and the McLaren leaped off the track
RB going on to dry tyres
HK in the McLaren pit box – looks unhappy with the intermediate tyres
RB 1:34.469 – that’s 3.5secs faster on dry tyres
KN & SV collide in the pit lane!
Looks like the rain is coming down again
3mins left; bottom 5 are JT,NP, NR, JB, HK
FA spins going into the chicane
KR goes off across the gravel trap but recovers
1min left; bottom 5 are KN, JT, NR, JB, HK
Chequered flag falls
Middle of the grid: P11=NH, 12=FA, 13=KN, 14=JT, 15=NR
AS is through to Q3 – that’s a first for Force India
Qualifying session 3 (Q3):
Battling for the top 10 grid spots are LH, HK, FM, KR, NP, MW, SV, AS, JB, RB
Forecast is for a dry Q3
JB is first on track
JB aborts his lap
LH aborts his fast lap
2mins left; order is RB, SV, MW, KR, FM, LH, HK, NP, AS, JB
Chequered flag falls
Top 10 are: P1=MW, 2=RB, 3=JB, 4=SV, 5=LH, 6=HK, 7=AS, 8=FM, 9=KR, 10=NP
That’s Mark Webber’s first pole!
So the provisional grid is: MW, RB, JB, SV, LH, HK, AS, FM, KR, NP, NH, FA, KN, JT, NR, RK, SBu, GF, TG, SBo.