Looks like it’ll be dry for qualifying, although the forecast for the race is still quite wet.
Tyre compounds: medium (prime; white band), soft (option; yellow band); hopefully we won’t see the intermediate or full wet tyres today.
Air temperature 30°C; 45°C; wind 1.1m/s; humidity 39%
My GridBids picks for this weekend: SV, MW, JB, LH, FM, NH & PRe.
LH was fastest in Free Practice 1 (1:22.021) and FP2 (1:21.995); MW fastest (1:21.550) in this morning’s FP3.
Lights turn green but no rush to leave the pits
RG first on track
RG too hot into Turn 1; missed the apex but stayed on track
Radio from RG saying the problem was brake balance; engineer says “two clicks forward”
NH runs wide; all four wheels off track but at least it’s his out lap, not a timed one (which he could lose if he’s judged to gain an advantage by being off track)
FM’s Ferrari squirming under braking; runs wide in Turn 1
LH runs wide coming out of Turn 4
Radio from FM complaining about traffic – blocked by MS?
10mins left of Q1; bottom 7 are SV, JV, TG, PRo, NK, CP, VP
Replay of FM passing MS – doesn’t look like MS blocked the Ferrari
Top 16 still on prime (medium compound) tyres; HK down all on options (soft)
LH 1:21.794 – new 107% time = 1:27.519, but everyone is inside that
Radio from JB saying he’s struggling with understeer – can’t turn in
5mins left; bottom 7 are PRe, HK, VP, TG, PRo, NK, CP
Many people switching to primes
3mins left of Q1
MS fighting with oversteer; gets up to P7
JB locks up in the penultimate corner
1min left; bottom 7 are HK, KK, VP, CP, TG, PRo, NK
Radio for SV: box, box (i.e. pit)
Chequered flag; lot of drivers still on a flying lap
KK P15, relegating DR to P18
Back of the grid: DR, HK, VP, CP, TG, PRo, NK.
Only LH, KR & RG didn’t use a set of soft tyres (options) in Q1
MS first out of the pits; he’s on options
MS misses the apex at Turn 4; realises it’s not going to be a good lap and aborts it, in order to conserve his tyres
There’s cloud over some of the track but it’s not really threatening to rain
JB locking his front left
MW runs wide; rejoins
7:30 = halfway through Q2; bottom 7 are PRe, NR, KK, MS, LH, PM, JV* (*no time)
LH 1:21.060 – first to go faster than MW’s FP3 time
Radio for MW saying they need to run again because they’re not comfortable with their time (he’s currently P3)
3mins left; bottom 7 are BS, PRe, JV, NR, KK, MS, PM
(NR P8; SP to P11)
NR and SP on exactly the same time – 1:21.895
Chequered flag; bottom 7 are PRE, NR, SP, KK, JV, MS
PM to P3 = MW relegated to P11!
Middle of the grid: MW, PRe, SP, KK, JV, MS.
LH runs wide; aborts his first flying lap
(JB P2) 1:32.429 – he must have had a problem too
PM returns to the pits without setting a time
5mins = halfway through Q3; order is LH, RG, JB, KR; no-one else has set a time as yet
SV the first to start on the final set of flying laps
BS locks up in Turn 1; runs wide
2mins left; order is LH, SV, RG, JB, KR
LH runs wide in Turn 1 too
Chequered flag: LH, SV, RG, PM, JB, KR, NH, BS
Front of the grid: LH, RG, SV, JB, KR, FA, FM, PM, BS, NH
The front-runners will all start on the option (soft) tyre
McLaren’s 150th pole position 🙂
Provisional grid: LH, RG, SV, JB, KR, FA, FM, PM, BS, NH, MW, PRe, SP, KK, JV, MS, DR, HK, VP, CP, TG, PRo, NK.
No penalties or outstanding investigations as far as I know.