European Grand Prix – Qualifying

Recap of practice sessions:

  • Friday practice 1: RB fastest (1:42.460) followed by HK, LH
  • Friday practice 2: FA (1:39.404), JB, RB
    Luca Badoer was fined €5400 and reprimanded for speeding in the pit lane four times
    No word on FA being penalised for the collision with NH and then entering the pits after the pit lane entrance
  • Saturday practice: AS (1:39.143), KN, GF
    The session was red-flagged following SV’s engine blow up

Weather for Qualifying: air 30°C, track 44°C, wind 3.2m/s, humidity 65%
The tyre compounds available this weekend are the soft (prime) and super soft (option).

Qualifying session 1 (Q1):
LB is first on track, followed by KN
Concrete dust still clearly on track from turn 17 to 24 thanks to SV’s engine failure on practice
LB 1:42.957
KN 1:41.733
AS 1:41.222
KN 1:40.339
SB 1:40.203
HK 1:39.997
RG runs wide in Turn 4
12mins left in Q1; only LH & FA yet to set a time
LH out brakes himself and runs wide in T2
HK 1:39.562
NR 1:39.416
10mins gone = 10mins left in Q1; still no sign of a time for FA
LH 1:39.198
RB 1:39.019
(HK P2)
LH 1:38.649
(FA P8)
The track is getting quicker by the minute, so even those at the top of the timing chart are likely to put in at least one more fast lap
(RG P4 – good time for the new boy)
5mins left; bottom 5 are MW, JA, TG, JT, LB – LB is almost a second slower than JT
KN off in Turn 12 – he’s parked the Williams away from the track
2mins left; bottom 5 are MW, JA, TG, JT, LB
LH & RG are the only ones not on track (other than KN)
(MW P5, relegating JB)
(HK P2)
(JB P4, relegating KN)
Chequered flag falls on Q1; they can finish this lap
(RK P2)
(TG P14)
JB 1:38.531
Bottom 5 places are: P16=GF, 17=KN, 18=JT, 19=JA, 20=LB

Qualifying session 2 (Q2):
KR is first on track for Q2
KR 1:38.823
(RK P2)
(SB P2)
(NR P4)
RB 1:38.645
JB 1:38.601
(LH P3)
5mins gone; 10mins left
(MW P3)
HK 1:38.579
(SV P3)
No Renault times yet
RB 1:38.231
LH 1:38.182
Halfway through Q2; bottom 5 are TG, SB, AS, RG, FA (still no time from the 2 Renault drivers)
(RG P14)
BBC report LH is having problems with the rear tyres overheating
5mins left; bottom 5 are unchanged by FA now on track
(FA P11)
3mins left; bottom 5 are FA, RG, TG, SB, AS
MW runs a little wide but keeps it out of the wall; backs off and saves his tyres for one final flying lap
LH is the only driver not on track
(SV P3)
Chequered flag out
(AS P11)
RB 1:38.076
(FA P8, relegating NH)
Middle of the grid: P11=NH, 12=AS, 13=TG, 14=RG, 15=SB

Qualifying session 3 (Q3):
Battling for the top 10 grid places are RB, LH, HK, SV, NR, JB, MW, FA, RK & KR
Remember the cars are now carrying the fuel with which they’ll start the race so it’s a balance between qualifying speed and pit stop strategy
HK waiting at the pit lane exit for the light to turn green; as it does, RK blasts past and is first on track
SV runs wide in T2
RK 1:41.381
(HK P2)
NR 1:41.074
KR 1:40.857
LH 1:39.498
(JB P2)
5mins gone; 5mins left in Q3
Everyone stops for new tyres for a final push; they’re all on the super soft option tyres
LH was the last to stop; he’ll only just have time to complete his out lap before the flag falls
(RB P2)
(RK P4)
(MW P4)
(HK P2)
(NR P5)
(SV P4)
(KR P8)
(FA P7)
LH starts his flying lap with just 12 seconds left on the clock
With 1 lap left, order is LH, HK, RB, SV, JB, NR, FA, MW, KR, RK
Chequered flag is out
(KR P6)
LH enters the pits – he doesn’t need to improve on his time
Front of the grid: P1=LH, 2=HK, 3=RB, 4=SV, 5=JB, 6=KR, 7=NR, 8=FA, 9=MW, 10=RK
First all-McLaren front row this season

Provisional grid: LH, HK, RB, SV, JB, KR, NR, FA, MW, RK, NH, AS, TG, RG, SB, GF, KN, JT, JA, LB.

Same time, same tomorrow for the race!

2 thoughts on “European Grand Prix – Qualifying

  1. BBC has published the fuel-adjusted grid:

    1. Rubens Barrichello lap 19
    2. Heikki Kovalainen +0.216secs (lap 16)
    3. Lewis Hamilton +0.249 (lap 15)
    4. Jenson Button +0.291 (lap 18)
    5. Sebastian Vettel +0.507 (lap 16)
    6. Nico Rosberg +0.540 (lap 20)
    7. Mark Webber +0.610 (lap 20)
    8. Kimi Raikkonen +0.614 (lap 18)
    9. Fernando Alonso +0.871 (lap 17)
    10. Robert Kubica +1.114 (lap 17)

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