Chinese Grand Prix – Qualifying

It’s the forth race weekend already – time flies! Quick summary of the races (and my notes) so far:

Race date Country Quali notes Pole Race notes Podium
Mar16 Australia Quali HAM Race ROS, RIC* MAG, BUT
Mar30 Malaysia Quali HAM Race HAM, ROS, VET
Apr06 Bahrain Quali ROS Race HAM, ROS, PER

*Red Bull lost their appeal against Ricciardo’s disqualification (in Australia), as expected. [source: FIA]

Championship standings:

  Constructors
1 Mercedes (111 points)
2 Force India (44)
3 McLaren (43)
4 Red Bull (35)
5 Ferrari (33)
6 Williams (30)
7 Toro Rosso (7)
8= Lotus,
Sauber,
Marussia,
Caterham (0)
 
  Drivers
1 ROS (61)
2 HAM (50)
3 HUL (28)
4 ALO (26)
5= BUT, VET (23)
7 MAG (20)
8 BOT (18)
9 PER (16)
10= RIC, MAS (12)
12 RAI (7)
13 VER (4)
14 KVY (3)

In other news:

  • an American team, headed by Gene Haas, will join F1 in 2015 [source: BBC]
  • technical director Bob Bell to leave Mercedes in November [BBC]
  • Stefano Domenicali has resigned as the team principal of Ferrari with immediate effect [BBC]

In free practice, the fastest five were:

  1. ALO (1:39.783), ROS, RIC, BUT, HUL
  2. HAM (1:38.315), ALO, ROS, RIC, VET
  3. {Wet session} RIC (1:53.958), MAS, GRO, HUL, RAI

My GridBids picks for this race are: ROS, HAM, RAI, GRO & BUT.

MAL is not having a good weekend – he has a 5 grid spot penalty awaiting him after spearing GUT in Bahrain. In FP2 he crashed at the pit entrance [video] having spun in FP1.

It’s raining again for the Qualifying session – quali was wet in Australia and Malaysia too.
Air temperature 14°C; track 16°C; it’s not likely to dry out before the end of Qualifying.

Radio for KVY says the team have both intermediate and full wet tyres ready for him.
MAL’s car is up on jacks – well, half his car is! There’s no rear end due to an oil leak.

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
The two Marussia cars line up at pit exit waiting for the start of Q1
Looks like everyone is going out on full wets
The track looks very wet but no standing water
ROS runs wide – he’s on full wets
KOB runs wide too but he’s on inters
Radio for RIC asking “what do you think of the conditions?” RIC says extreme (full wets) for now
GUT 2:01.302
KVY 1:59.936
ROS 1:56.351
RAI fighting to keep his Ferrari on track
VET runs wide onto the artificial grass
10mins left of Q1; bottom 6 are GUT, ERI, SUT, CHI, GRO (no time for MAL)
Radio from RIC complaining “traction very poor on this tyre”
ALO runs wide
5mins left of Q1; bottom 6 are GUT, KOB, BIA, CHI, ERI & MAL
Some teams switching to inters, some staying on full wets
Apparently GRO told his engineer “I have no idea what to do”!
BIA runs very wide in the final turn
HAM 1:55.516
1mins left of Q1; bottom 6 are VER, KOB, BIA, CHI, ERI & MAL
Chequered flag
VER to P16, relegating GUT
Back of the grid: GUT, KOB, BIA, ERI, CHI, MAL*
*Technically MAL has a 5 grid spot penalty after spearing GUT in Bahrain

Qualifying session 2 (Q2)
Rain is easing off; most cars running inters now
Radio for HAM – front brakes still cold
ALO still struggling with oversteer
SUT 1:58.188
ROS 1:55.613
HAM 1:54.200
PER runs wide, across the dirt
VET runs wide too
5mins left of Q2; bottom 6 are MAG, SUT, VER, HUL, MAS, PER
Rain is starting to increase again
2mins left of Q2; bottom 6 are MAG, SUT, VER, HUL, MAS, PER
HAM 1:54.029
PER to P14
VER to P7 pushing BUT to P11
MAS to P9; RAI to P11
Chequered flag; bottom 6 are RAI, BUT, KVY, SUT, MAG, PER

Qualifying session 3 (Q3)
BBC report rain continues to get harder
Radio for ROS – expect light rain continuing
VET 1:54.981
ROS P2
ALO P3
BOT P4
RIC P3
HAM 1:54.348
VER P7
HUL P8
MAS P6
5mins left of Q3; order is HAM, VET, ROS, RIC, ALO, MAS, BOT, VER, HUL (no time from GRO)
GRO P7
ROS wides wide; abandons his flying lap
RIC P2
HAM 1:53.860
BOT P5
Chequered flag
ROS has spun coming out of the final turn
Front of the grid: HAM, RIC, VET, ROS, ALO, MAS, BOT, HUL, VER, GRO.

Provisional grid: HAM, RIC, VET, ROS, ALO, MAS, BOT, HUL, VER, GRO, RAI, BUT, KVY, SUT, MAG, PER, GUT, KOB, BIA, ERI, CHI, MAL*
*Technically MAL has a 5 grid spot penalty after spearing GUT in Bahrain

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