Lotus have replaced Trulli (JT) with Chandhok (KC), his first race since the British Grand Prix last year.
Off-throttle blown diffusers are back, just as they were before Silverstone.
The tyre compound options are medium (white band; prime) and soft (yellow; option).
It’s cool (14°C) but at least it’s not raining as had been forecast a couple of days ago.
Qualifying 1 (Q1)
LH 1:32.934 despite being baulked
10mins left of Q1
MS cuts the chicane again
5mins left; bottom 7 are RB, TG, JD, VL, KC, DR, VP
1min left; bottom 7 are NR, HK, TG, JD, KC, VL, DR
(NR P6, relegating KK who’s in the pits)
RB backs off because KK’s not going to beat his time
Everyone’s inside the 107% time (1:38.253)
Back of the grid: KK, HK, TG, KC, JD, VL*, DR.
*VL has a 5 grid spot penalty for a gearbox change, so he’ll be P24.
Qualifying 2 (Q2)
SP is first on track, followed by FM
MS still struggling to keep his Mercedes on track
6mins left; SB, JA & PM yet to set a time
3mins left; bottom 7 are MS, AS, SP, RB, SB, PD, JA
(PD P9, moving VP to P11)
1min left; SB & JA sit in the pits
(MS P8; PM now P11)
(AS P7; relegating teammate PD to P11)
(VP P8; NH to P11)
Middle of the grid: NH, PD, PM, RB, SP, SB, JA.
Qualifying 3 (Q3)
The top 10 shootout will be between LH, SV, FA, MW, NR, JB, FM, AS, VP & MS
Interesting line out of the final corner as FA starts his flying lap
NR, MS and AS still in the garage – just a single run each
4mins left of Q3; order is MW, SV, LH, FA, FM, JB, VP, MS, NR, AS
The two Mercedes are on track now … and AS joins them
The other 7 cars head out of the pits, so they’ll be on their out lap as the other 3 are on their quick one
1min left; order unchanged
LH sets fastest Sector 1
Front of the grid: MW, LH, SV, FA, FM, NR, JB, AS, VP, MS.
Pit-car radio from LH: “wicked lap” 🙂
BBC interview JB; he sounds pretty down
Provisional grid: MW, LH, SV, FA, FM, NR, JB, AS, VP, MS, NH, PD, PM, RB, SP, SB, JA, KK, HK, TG, KC, JD, DR, VL*.
(*VL has a 5 grid spot penalty for a gearbox change, dropping him from P23 to P24.)