Malaysian Grand Prix – Qualifying

[My notes from the practice sessions] [Drivers and races]

It’s hot and humid in Malaysia; some cloud cover; air 31°C; track 46°C; 51% humidity
Pit radio for VP says there may be bad weather later in the session

HK and KR both have 5 grid spot penalties waiting for them – HK for a safety-car infringement in Australia, KR for a gearbox change.

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Green lights; pit lane’s open
PRe passes CP as soon as they cross the pit lane exit line
PRe 1:38.927 on primes (hard compound)
(CP P2)
(TG P2)
PM 1:38.190 – prime
KR 1:37.961 – prime
LH 1:37.904 – prime
JB 1:37.827 – prime
NR 1:37.696 – prime
MS 1:37.538 – prime
(JB P2)
(MW down in P12; SV P7)
LH fights the McLaren through Turn 4
BS waving frantically as he passes a slower car
MS 1:37.517
Radio from JB says he’s already starting losing the rear (tyres) on lap 3
FA going out on option (medium) tyres
5mins left; bottom 7 are FM, VP, HK, TG, CP, PRo, NK – FM on track but the other 6 are still in the pits
3mins left – the others are starting to leave the pits
(FM to P11)
2mins left; bottom 7 are JV, VP, HK, TG, CP, PoR, NK
(MW down to P17)
Lots of people struggling with the final turn, locking up their front left
MW 1:37.172 – that must be a relief for Red Bull … especially as he’s on prime tyres
Chequered flag
Back of the grid: JV, HK*, VP, TG, CP, PRo, NK [*remember: HK and KR both have 5 grid spot penalties]
At least PRo and NK are within the 107% time so they’ll be OK to race tomorrow

Qualifying session 2
SP first on track for Q2
His Sauber teammate, KK, leaves the pits too
Both Ferraris and McLarens heading out on options
SP lucky to stay on track as he runs a litle wide
SP 1:39.043
KK 1:38.158
KR 1:36.715 – that’s faster than MW’s Q1 time
PM off across the gravel in Turn 11 but keeps the Williams moving and returns to the track
(JB P2)
PM in the pits – lots of damage to the barge boards
RG struggling with the Lotus as he turns in but he seems to be putting up a good pace
5mins left of Q2; bottom 7 are FM, SP, PRe, RG, NH, PM, BS
(RG P4 = DR to P11)
(FM P9; FA P11)
2mins left; bottom 7 are FA, DR, SP, PRe, NH, FM, BS
(FA P6 = KK P11)
(SP P8 = FM P11)
1min left; lots of action on track
(PM P9 = MS P11)
Chequered flag
(MS P4 = PM P11)
Middle of the grid: PM, FM, BS, PRe, DR, NH, KK

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shoot out between KR*, JB, NR, MS, LH, RG, MW, FA, SV & SP [*remember: HK and KR both have 5 grid spot penalties]
KR first to leave the pit lane
On-board with KR shows him struggling the the Lotus’ rear trying to break away 3 times on his flying lap
KR 1:36.837
JB 1:36.627
LH 1:36.219
(MW P4)
(RG P5)
(SV P6)
FA sitting in the pits
(NR P3)
(MS P2)
FA finally exits the pits
(SP P9)
SV is using the prime tyre – could be a smart tactical move
Chequered flag; order: LH, MS, JB, NR, KR, MW, RG, SV, SP, FA
(FA P9)
(MW P3)
(KR P4)
(SV P6)
(JB P2)
(RG P7)
Front of the grid: LH, JB, MS, MW, KR*, SV, RG, NR, FA, SP

Pre-penalties provisional grid: LH, JB, MS, MW, KR*, SV, RG, NR, FA, SP, PM, FM, BS, PRe, DR, NH, KK, JV, HK*, VP, TG, CP, PRo, NK
*HK and KR both have 5 grid spot penalties – HK for a safety-car infringement in Australia, KR for a gearbox change.

Post-penalties provisional grid: LH, JB, MS, MW, SV, RG, NR, FA, SP, KR*, PM, FM, BS, PRe, DR, NH, KK, JV, VP, TG, CP, PRo, NK, HK*

So where are my GridBids picks in the grid? LH, JB, MS, MW, SV, RG, NR, FA, SP, KR*, PM, FM, BS, PRe, DR, NH, KK, JV, VP, TG, CP, PRo, NK, HK*

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