Italian Grand Prix – Qualifying

It’s Ferrari’s home race but can they beat Red Bull? It’s also McLaren’s 50th Anniversary so they’re hoping for a good result.

DIR had a brake failure in final practice and crashed out at the Parabolica, but it looks like he’s ready to take part in Qualifying
ROS missed most of FP3 due to hydraulics problem – overheating apparently

Tyre compound choices: prime=hard (orange), option=medium (white)

Air temperature 30°C; track 42°C; wind 1.4m/s; humidity 40%; dry

My GridBids picks: VET, MAS, ALO, BUT, DIR, MAL & RIC

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
GUT first on track, followed by ROS
Radio from ROS checking the plan – 8 laps, pushing for fast times on the even numbers
GUT 1:26.293
(ROS P2)
CHI missed apex of Turn 2
ROS 1:25.276
The Ferrari cars are running close enough that MAS is towing ALO
DIR cut Turn 2 too
VER 1:25.261
ALO 1:24.938
Fastest time so far this weekend is VET’s 1:24.360
VER 1:24.630
Everyone on prime (hard) tyres except the Caterhams and Marussias
Interesting on-board heat camera showing the temperature of the tyres build under braking
Radio from WEB saying left side of cockpit getting hot
10mins left of Q1; only VET yet to leave the garage
HAM cut the first chicane
VET finally takes to the track
Half way through Q1; 107% cut off is 1:30.554 and everyone is well inside that
Radio for BUT – P3, very good lap
5mins left of Q1; bottom 6 are SUT, GUT, VDG, PIC, BIA, CHI
HAM 1:24.589
VET 1:24.319
3mins left; bottom 6 are DIR, SUT, VDG, PIC, BIA, CHI
DIR to P14
SUT to P13
GRO makes a mess of the first chicane
1min left; bottom 6 are MAL, BOT, VDG, PIC, BIA, CHI
Chequered flag – last chance to escape the relegation zone – BOT was last across the line
MAL P12, pushing GUT to P17
Back of the grid: GUT, BOT, VDG, PIC, BIA, CHI
107% is 1:30.221 but CHI is 2.8sec inside

Qualifying 2
RIC first out of the pit lane
DIR, VER and MAL on track too
RIC 1:24.746
Radio for ALO – 2 laps of fuel
GRO locks up into the first chicane, getting his Lotus airborne again
Did MAS set off too soon? Will ALO get the full benefit of the tow?
HAM runs wide in Parabolica, hangs on and fights his Mercedes out of the gravel trap
MAS 1:24.705
ALO 1:24.227
(ROS P2)
Half way through Q2 – still no sign of the Red Bulls
BUT understeers through the second chicane
VET and WEB on track, both on fresh options
(WEB P2)
VET 1:23.977
2mins left of Q2; bottom 6 are SUT, DIR, PER, GRO, MAL, HAM
Radio for VET – “that’s quick enough”
HAM only to P9
Chequered flag; bottom 6 are BUT, MAL, SUT, DIR, PER, GRO
PER to P9 – pushes HAM down, and he’s in the pits
MAL can’t improve
Visible frustration in the Mercedes garage
Middle of the grid: RAI, HAM, GRO, SUT, MAL, DIR
Incident involving cars 10 (HAM) and 15 (SUT) under investigation – impeding
Replay shows SUT holding up HAM, possibly costing him the chance to move into Q3

Qualifying 3
The battle for the top 10 grid spots is between VET, WEB, ALO, MAS, BUT, PER, ROS, HUL, VER & RIC
ROS exits the pit lane as soon as the lights turn green
The Ferraris leave the pits in formation again; MAS on used options, ALO on new options
ROS 1:28.332
WEB 1:23.990
(MAS P2)
(ALO P2)
VET 1:23.859
So both Red Bulls are faster than ALO, and they’re not using another car to tow them around
4mins left; order is VET, WEB, ALO, MAS, ROS; no time from BUT, VER, RIC, PER, HUL
RIC runs a fraction wide, kicking up dust
(RIC P4)
2mins left; garages emptying as everyone takes to the track
Radio from ALO complaining MAS too far ahead
ALO untidy through the second chicane
Chequered flag; order is VET, WEB, RIC, ALO, MAS, ROS
VER runs wide in the final turn
(MAS P3)
(HUL P3)
(PER P8)
(BUT P9)
VET 1:23.755
Front of the grid: VET, WEB, HUL, MAS, ALO, ROS, RIC, PER, BUT, VER
I bet ALO is furious but it’s really funny to see MAS ahead of him 🙂

But remember: Incident involving cars 10 (HAM) and 15 (SUT) under investigation – impeding