Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Qualifying

Tyre compound choices: prime = medium (white lettering), option = soft (red)
Air temperature 32°C; track 36°C; wind 3m/s
Temps will fall as the sun sets towards the end of the session

BIA has a 5 grid place penalty following a gearbox change needed after a crash in Free Practice 3

Qualifying 1 (Q1)
CHI 1:44.974
VER 1:43.442
ROS 1:42.567 but he was almost off track coming out of the final turn
Radio from HAM – wants to change his helmet’s visor
ROS 1:42.279
10mins left of Q1; bottom 6 are GRO, PIC, CHI, BIA and no times yet from VET and WEB
HAM 1:42.231
WEB 1:41.568
3mins left of Q1; bottom 6 are MAL, MAS, GRO, PIC, CHI, BIA
RAI 1:41.276
(GRO P2)
2mins left of Q1; bottom 6 are SUT, VDG, MAS, PIC, CHI, BIA
Everyone’s using the soft (option) tyres
(SUT P16, relegates ALO so now both Ferraris are in the drop zone!)
(ALO P2)
Chequered flag
MAS 1:41.254
HAM 1:40.693
107% time is 1:47.741 – everyone is well inside the cutoff time
Back of the grid: GUT, SUT, VDG, BIA*, PIC, CHI
*BIA’s penalty will drop him to P22

Qualifying 2 (Q2)
Sun has set; temperature is dropping
DIR 1:41.477
HUL 1:41.147
RAI 1:40.971
ROS 1:40.473
5mins left of Q2; bottom 6 are DIR, ALO, RIC, MAL, BOT, BUT
Looks like everyone from WEB (P5) down will need to improve their times
Radio for WEB – they’re adding 3 clicks of front wing
ALO is having to fight his Ferrari around the circuit; he aborts his lap
Chequered flag; bottom 6 are MAL, BOT, VER, ALO, RIC, BUT
(BUT P9; relegates PER)
(RIC P4)
(PER P5)
(DIR P11)
(ALO P11)
Middle of the grid: ALO, DIR, BUT, VER, MAL, BOT

Qualifying 3 (Q3)
Battle for the top 10 grid spots is between ROS, HAM, WEB, VET, PER, RIC, HUL, GRO, RAI & MAS
Everyone bar MAS on track; all on options
HUL 1:41.379
HAM 1:40.501
ROS 1:40.419
(WEB P3)
VET 1:40.091
(RAI P4)
(GRO P6)
Order is VET, ROS, HAM, RAI, WEB, GRO, HUL; no time from MAS, RIC, PER
2mins left of Q3; everyone going out for a final run; all of them on options
Chequered flag
(HUL P4)
WEB 1:39.957
(ROS P3)
HAM spins!
(MAS P7)
(RAI P5)
(RIC P9)
(VET P2)
(GRO P7)
(PER P9)
Front of the grid: WEB, VET, ROS, HAM, RAI, HUL, GRO, MAS, PER, RIC
Replay shows HAM lose the tail and spin; radio from HAM suggests rear end problem

Provisional grid: WEB, VET, ROS, HAM, RAI, HUL, GRO, MAS, PER, RIC; ALO, DIR, BUT, VER, MAL, BOT; GUT, SUT, VDG, BIA*, PIC, CHI
*BIA’s penalty will drop him to P22

My GridBids picks for the race weekend are: VET, ALO, BUT & HAM.

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