Friday practice at Hockenheim was particularly hot – track temps in FP2 hit 58°C. When KOB’s Caterham developed a fire he pulled off track and grabbed an extinguisher as well as directing the marshals!
The teams have agreed not to use the Front-Rear Inter-Connected System (FRICS) after the FIA hinted it might not be legal.
Reminder: GUT has a 3 grid spot penalty after Silverstone stewards decided he was “predominantly at fault” for an incident with MAL at the British Grand Prix.
With just 4 points between HAM and ROS, the Mercedes intra-team battle is going to be one to watch.
Tyre choices are: prime = soft (yellow lettering); option = super-soft (red)
Air temperature 32°C; track 55°C
Caterham’s mechanics have been busy with KOB’s fire and rebuilding ERI’s car; there’s a risk ERI may not be able to take part in Qualifying.
Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
BIA sits at the pit exit briefly – with no cooling, even being stationary for a few seconds could start to cause issues
VER runs wide, off-track in the final turn – doesn’t look like he’ll be penalised though
ERI watches his mechanics work on rebuilding his car
Lotus have sent both cars (MAL and SUT) out on options – the only ones on the supersoft compound so far
ROS locks up and rides wide a second time – he is the only one (other than ERI) yet to set a time
Big off for HAM!
Red flag almost immediately – session suspended – 7:21 left of Q1
HAM moving in the cockpit; marshals very slow reaching him
Radio from HAM – sounds like he’s had the wind knocked out of him; says brakes failed
On-board with HAM shows a really fast spin and a big impact with the tyre wall
HAM is out of the car; the FIA medical car will take him for a check-up
Marshals lifting HAM’s car out of the gravel and rebuilding the tyre wall
Lots of activity in Mercedes garage, presumably trying to identify the cause of HAM’s off and whether it could also affect ROS
HAM obviously won’t take any further part on Quali but will his time be enough to get him through to Q2? (He’s currently P2)
Q1 restarts and ROS is immediately out of the pits; he’s on options
5mins left of Q1; bottom 6 are SUT, GUT, KOB, CHI, ROS*, ERI* (*yet to set a time)
A few more cars going out on options
2mins left; bottom 6 are: BIA, MAL, SUT, KOB, CHI, ERI*
CHI improves to P20
(SUT P14; GRO to P17)
VET jumps from P16 to P3 despite running very wide in the final turn
(GRO P13; SUT to P17)
(KOB reclaims P20 from CHI)
Back of the grid: SUT, BIA, MAL, KOB, CHI, ERI*
*ERI did not set a time (they’re still building his car) so he has to appeal to the stewards to be allowed to race
Qualifying session 2
Pit lane light turns green but no-one leaving their garage
HAM obviously won’t run in Q2 so he’ll be P16, although there might be penalties depending on what work the team need to do in order to fix his car
2.5mins into Q2; HUL first to take to the track
Radio from BUT complaining about traffic as he tried to pass a Lotus
4mins left of Q2; bottom 6 are RAI, VER, GRO, GUT, PER*, HAM* (*no Q2 time)
RAI pushing hard, runs a bit wide
PER P10 on his one and only flying lap, bumping former teammate BUT to P11
Middle of the grid: BUT, RAI, VER, GUT, GRO, HAM
Qualifying session 3
Top ten shootout is between ROS, BOT, MAS, VET, MAG, RIC, ALO, HUL, KVY & PER
With HAM starting no higher than P16, how hard will ROS push? Will he play safe for points or go all out for pole?
PER first on track; runs a bit wide as he fights the car round the circuit
ROS 1:16.540 – yes, nearly 3secs faster
5mins left of Q3; order is ROS, BOT, MAS, VET, MAG, RIC, ALO, KVY, HUL, PER
Quick tyres changes, ready for the final timed runs
Chequered flag; order is ROS, BOT, MAS, RIC, VET, MAG, HUL, PER, ALO, KVY
BOT improves his time but still P2
ROS doesn’t improve his time
Front of the grid: ROS, BOT, MAS, MAG, RIC, VET, ALO, KVY, HUL, PER
Provisional grid: ROS, BOT, MAS, MAG, RIC, VET, ALO, KVY, HUL, PER, BUT, RAI, VER, GUT**, GRO, HAM, SUT, BIA, MAL, KOB, CHI, ERI*
*ERI did not set a time; will race at stewards’ discretion.
**GUT has a 3 grid spot penalty for an incident with MAL at the British Grand Prix