Italian Grand Prix – Qualifying

With Hamilton fastest in Free Practice 2 and 3, maybe he’ll be happy enough not to tweet things which could hurt his team!

In addition to all the penalties from the Belgian Grand Prix, PRe has a 5-grid spot penalty awaiting him after a gearbox change.

Reminders from Practice:

  • Romain Grosjean is serving a 1-race ban; he’ll be replaced by Lotus reserve driver Jerome D’Ambrosio
  • Pastor Maldonado faces two 5-grid spot penalties; one for the jump start and the other for causing an accident
  • tyre compounds this weekend: prime=hard; option=medium
  • two DRS zones: on the main straight and the back straight

My GridBids pick for this weekend: SV, MW, JB, LH, NR, KK, SP.

Qualifying 1 (Q1)
DR is first out of the pit lane
Air temperature 27°C; track 39°C; wind 1.2m/s; dry
JV and JD take to the track, followed by PRe
DR 1:26.760
JD 1:26.712
NH misses the 1st chicane; clips one of the polystyrene boards
PRe 1:25.384
5mins in to Q1; 15mins left
Everyone except JB, LH and PM are on track
Radio from NH saying he was stuck between gears; he’s stopped on circuit without setting a lap time
NR 1:25.209
PRe 1:25.004
FA 1:24.540
Big lock-up for MS going in to the 1st chicane
10mins left; bottom 7 are TG, NK, PRo, CP, plus JB, NH, PM yet to set lap times
FA 1:24.175
MW still down in P13; his teammate (SV) is P6; are Red Bull struggling again this weekend?
Only a few cars on track; most are in the pits preparing for a final run in Q1
(LH P2)
(JB P3)
5mins left of Q1; bottom 7 are JD, VP, TG, NK, PRo, CP, NH
Everyone is inside the 107% time (1:30.067) except NH who didn’t set a lap time before parking his Force India car
JD to P17, pushing HK into the relegation zone
HK’s lap isn’t fast enough to get him through to Q2 but he’s got time for 2 more laps
JV cuts across the speed bumps in the 1st chicance
Chequered flag
HK can’t improve on P18
Back of the grid: HK, VP, TG, CP, NK, PRo, NH
SV was fastest (1:25.011)

Qualifying 2
PRe is first on track, followed by quite a few others keen to set an early time; looks like most are on the option (medium compound) tyre
FM cuts the chicane
PRe 1:24.668
MS cuts the chicane
FA 1:24.242
5mins in to Q2; 10mins left; all 17 cars on track
(FM P2)
Everyone bar PM & JD are on options
(JB P2)
It’s NR’s turn to miss the chicane
Radio from LH saying he was held up
Tail steps out on MS’ Mercedes as he exits the 2nd chicane
5mins left of Q2; bottom 7 are BS, SP, MW, KK, JD, DR, JV
DR faster but only moves up to P15
SP P10
PM P9
1min left; bottom 7 are SV, SP, BS, MW, DR, JV, JD – both Red Bulls in danger of not making it to Q3
SV on a hot lap; goes to P9
Chequered flag
MW P11
Middle of the grid: MW, PM*, SP, BS, DR, JD, JV
*With two 5-grid spot penalties, PM will drop from P12 to P22

Qualifying 3
Battling over the top 10 grid spots are FA, JB, PRe*, LH, FM, NR, MS, KK, SV & KR (*PRe has a 5-grid spot penalty waiting for him)
The two Ferraris are first out of the pits, much to the fans approval
FM is a little way behind FA but he’s close enough to benefit from the tow
FA lets FM past after towing him down 2 straights
FM 1:24.436
(FA P2)
Now it’s FA’s turn to benefit from his teammate making a hole in the air
(SV P2)
LH 1:24.010
FA and FM pit in sync
(JB P3)
NR has to react in the middle of the 2nd chicane
(NR P4)
(MS P4)
2mins left; order is LH, FM, JB, MS, NR, KR, SV, FA; no time from KK or PRe
(KK P8)
(PRe P2) – great effort from Force India; shame he’ll be demoted 5 places
Chequered flag; order is LH, PRe, FM, JB, MS, NR, KR, SV, KK, FA
(FM P2)
FA can’t improve on P10!
(KR P7)
(SV P6)
(JB P2)
Front of the grid: LH, JB, FM, PRe*, MS, SV, NR, KR, KK, FA

Provisional grid (*with pre-Quali penalties applied): LH, JB, FM, MS, SV, NR, KR, KK, PRe*, FA, MW, SP, BS, DR, JD, JV, HK, VP, TG, CP, NK, PM*, PRo, [NH].
NH didn’t set a time so the stewards will decide if he can race tomorrow.

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