Japanese Grand Prix – Qualifying

I watched Qualifying live (at 1am) and again in the pub in the evening, but I didn’t have my laptop with me either time so I’m writing my notes now. Better late than never 🙂

Penalties: MS has a 10-grid spot penalty for causing the accident with JV in Singapore; JB has a 5-spot penalty for a gearbox change.

Available tyre compounds: prime = hard (silver band), option = soft (yellow)

Qualifying 1 (Q1)
PRe first out of the pit lane, followed by SP
PRe 1>:33.661
RG 1:33.328
FM 1:32.946
SP runs wide at Turn 7
SV 1:32.608
Radio from LH: “I’m going to struggle – that’s not very good”
KR 1:32.221
MS down at P24 but he’s pushing very hard
KK 1:32.042
Chequered flag
RG 1:32.029
BS held up by a Toro Rosso – expect JV to get a penalty for that
MS to P16, relegating BS
Back of the grid: BS, HK, TG, PRo, CP, VP, NK
107% time is 1:38.471 – everyone’s inside that time

Qualifying 2
Local driver KK is first on track, much to the approval of the crowd
KK 1:32.368
SV 1:31.501
Middle of the grid: FM, PRe, MS, PM, NR, DR, JV

BBC report NH has a gearbox change, so he’ll get a 5-grid spot penalty

Qualifying 3
Top 10 shoot-out is between SV, MW, JB, LH, FA, KR, RG, NH, KK SP
KR and LH on track
FIA timing app showing lots of zero times!?
KR 1:32.208
(LH P2)
SV 1:30.839 – wow!
(JB P2)
(RG P3)
(MW P2)
(KR P5)
5mins left of Q3; order is SV, MW, JB, RG, KR, LH; FA, NH, KK, SP yet to set a time
3mins left; everyone’s in the pits preparing for one flying lap
(SP P5)
KR spins at Spoon Curve; beached in the gravel; yellow flags will ruin everyone else’s final lap
Front of the grid: SV, MW, JB, KK, RG, SP, FA, KR, LH, NH

Provisional grid: SV, MW, JB*, KK, RG, SP, FA, KR, LH, NH*, FM, PRe, MS*, PM, NR, DR, JV, BS, HK, TG, PRo, CP, VP, NK
(*Penalties: MS -10; JB -5; NH -5)

More penalties:

  • CP fined 5,000 euros and reprimanded by the stewards for blocking LH in Free Practice 3
  • Although KK set his fastest lap (in Q3) when there were yellow flags for KR’s off, the stewards determined he did lift off for the yellows; no penalty
  • SV not penalised for holding up FA
  • JV penalised 3 grid spots for blocking BS in Q1

Updated grid (with *penalties applied): SV, MW, KK, RG, SP, FA, KR, JB*, LH, FM, PRe, PM, NR, DR, NH*, BS, HK, TG, JV*, PRo, CP, VP, MS*, NK.

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