Chinese Grand Prix – Qualifying

Apparently some teams have reduced downforce, anticipating rain during the race … although, as we learned with the Malaysian Grand Prix, forecasting the weather with any degree of reliability is very difficult.

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Pit lane lights turn green and the two Lotus cars (HK & JT) are first out onto the track
HK loses the tail under braking and spins
JT 1:40.533
FM 1:36.997
(VL P2)
FA 1:36.805
Pit-car from JB saying the car’s gone in to neutral as he selected 2nd gear
FA 1:36.327
(JB P2)
KC spins the HRT car – sits in the middle of the track, waiting for a gap in the traffic
LH 1:35.641
LH has a “false neutral” problem too
PdlR runs wide in Turn 1
5mins left – VP has only just made it on track after the mechanics repaired his car
3mins left
BS runs wide in the final turn and catches it
1min left; bottom 7 are VL, JT, HK, TG, LdG, KC, BS
(NR P2)
Chequered flag
(TG P19)
(BS P23)
So the back of the grid will be: P18=VL, 19=TG, 20=JT, 21=HK, 22=LdG, 23=BS, 24=KC

Qualifying session 2 (Q2)
VP sits at the pit lane exit, waiting for the lights to change
VP 1:36.311
(SB P2)
JA 1:36.137
MW 1:35.413
LH 1:34.928
(JB P4)
Another “false neutral” problem for LH
5mins left; bottom 7 are RB, JA, VP, SB, KK, PdlR, NH
Chequered flag
(RB P10)
(AS P9)
Mid-grid: P11=RB, 12=JA, 13=SB, 14=VP, 15=KK, 16=NH, 17=PdlR
BBC report the McLaren problem with “false neutrals” only happens on out laps and in laps

Qualifying session 3 (Q3)
FA 1:35.065
(FM P2)
(MW P2)
(NR P3)
(MS P5)
SV 1:34.970
(JB P7)
(AS P9)
(RK P9)
5mins left; everyone’s posted 1 hot lap; order is SV, FA, MW, NR, LH, FM, JB, MS, RK, AS
McLaren change LH’s tyres in the box, which means no extra fuel … and he’s out onto an empty track
3mins left
Sounds like an unhappy downshift for LH … and that’s not an out lap, that’s a fast one
(LH P2)
(JB P2)
MW 1:34.806
(FA P2)
SV 1:34.558
So that’s another all Red Bull front row
Front of the grid: P1=SV, 2=MW, 3=FA, 4=NR, 5=JB, 6=LH, 7=FM, 8=RK, 9=MS, 10=AS

Provisional grid: 1=SV, 2=MW, 3=FA, 4=NR, 5=JB, 6=LH, 7=FM, 8=RK, 9=MS, 10=AS, 11=RB, 12=JA, 13=SB, 14=VP, 15=KK, 16=NH, 17=PdlR, 18=VL, 19=TG, 20=JT, 21=HK, 22=LdG, 23=BS, 24=KC.

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