Brazilian Grand Prix – Qualifying

Only one week after the US Grand Prix, here we are at the end of the season. Both championships are decided, but there’s plenty to fight for in the middle and lower down the standings.

ROS was fastest in Free Practice 1 (1:24.781) followed by HAM, VET, BUT & ALO. He was also quickest in FP2 (1:27.306) ahead of VET, WEB, KOV & HAM.
A wet FP3 saw some drives not leave their garage; WEB headed the timings (1:27.891) with GRO, KOV, BOT, HUL, VER & GUT behind him.

The tyre compounds for this weekend are: prime = hard (orange) and option = medium (white), although the intermediate (green) and full wets (blue) have had more use so far today.

My GridBids picks for the race are: VET, WEB, BUT, HAM & BOT.

Even though the rain has eased up, it’s still very wet out on the circuit. Remember that however the teams set their cars up for Qualifying is how they’ll have to start the race tomorrow. (Forecast for tomorrow is for a drier, if not dry, race.)

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Cars lining up at the pit exit, headed by HAM, hoping to set a good time before the weather gets worse
Forecast says 100% chance of rain during qualifying
Green lights – some cars heading onto track already
Radio for ROS telling him to pass CHI on their out lap
HAM 1:25.342
Radio from HUL reporting there are a few dry patches
HAM stays out for another flying lap but can’t improve on his time
Radio for PER – looks close to time to cross over to dry tyres – PER says no, too soon
GRO frustrated as he closes on BIA
Rain is increasing; bottom 6 are WEB, PIC, GUT, VDG, BIA, CHI
(WEB P9, relegating VER)
Radio from VER, asking his team why they made him wait at the start of Q1
Cars still circulating, using up their intermediate tyres, but no real improvement on times
10mins left; bottom 6 are VER, PIC, GUT, VDG, BIA, CHI
GUT trying to improve to get through to Q2 but he’s not making any headway
5mins left of Q1; bottom 6 unchanged
(GUT up to P17)
KOV improves on his time – up to P5 – for the few cars on track, there’s a chance of moving up
Chequered flag; bottom 6 are GUT, VER, PIC, VDG, BIA, CHI
(VER P15, relegating MAL)
Back of the grid: MAL, GUT, PIC, VDG, BIA, CHI.

Qualifying session 2 (Q2)
It’s still raining
ROS 1:26.626
VET 1:26.515
SUT sideways coming out of Turn 3
10mins left of Q2; bottom 6 are SUT, DIR, BUT, PER, WEB, HUL
Pit lane is busy as everyone switches to fresh inters for a last chance to get through to Q3
5mins left; bottom 6 are BUT, BOT, PER, DIR, SUT, HUL
VET 1:26.449
3mins left; bottom 6 are DIR, BUT, BOT, PER, SUT, HUL
GRO 1:26.161
Rain getting heavier
Chequered flag; bottom 6 are KOV, DIR, BOT, PER, BUT, SUT
PER into the wall – he ran wide in Turn 5, over the rumble strips and slid off into the wall
Radio for PER checking he’s OK, which he is; not the way to finish his time at McLaren
Middle of the grid: KOV, DIR, BOT, PER, BUT, SUT

Marshals need to clear PER’s wrecked car before the start of Q3

Qualifying session 3 (Q3)
Start delayed by 10 minutes … and another delay
OMG! @TSN_Sports – you clueless idiots! Stopping #F1 coverage before the final Qualifying session! Unbelievable!
It’s online @ http://www.tsn.ca/live/player.aspx#v=887581&i=887581
Q3 will start at 12:30pm EST
Red Bull have sent both cars to sit at the end of the pit lane – they’ve got to wait ~2mins before they get the green light
And now the TSN online feed drops! Marvellous!
VET 1:28.830
(WEB P2)
5mins left; order is VET, ROS, HAM, WEB, ALO, VER, RIC, HUL, MAS, GRO
They’re starting to switch over to inters – they’ll only get 1 or maybe 2 flying laps
GRO 1:27.773
WEB 1:27.623
VET 1:26.479
Dry line starting to appear in places
(ROS P2)
(HAM P4)
(ALO P2)
Chequered flag; order is VET, ALO, ROS, WEB, HAM, GRO, MAS, VER, HUL
(RIC P7)
(GRO P6)
(ROS P2)
(VER P8)
(WEB P4)
(MAS P9)
Front of the grid: VET, ROS, ALO, WEB, HAM, GRO, RIC, VER, MAS, HUL

Provisional grid: VET, ROS, ALO, WEB, HAM, GRO, RIC, VER, MAS, HUL; KOV, DIR, BOT, PER, BUT, SUT; MAL, GUT, PIC, VDG, BIA, CHI.
No incidents under investigation as far as I know.

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