Grand Prix of Austria – Qualifying

Looks like it’s going to be another frustrating weekend for McLaren: ALO likely to face a huge penalty (20 grid spots) for multiple engine updates; BUT and RIC may also receive penalties for updates.

FP1: ALO’s upgraded engine cuts out and he’s pushed down the pit lane; VET lost fourth gear and parked his Ferrari; MAS avoids taking out Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene in the pit lane; radio from HAM “How many changes do you guys want me to do, can I just focus on driving?”. ROS fastest (1:10.401) then HAM, RAI, BOT and NAS.

FP2: VET (1:09.600) ahead of ROS, RAI, MAL, HAM, HUL and GRO.

FP3 was wet: ALO’s McLaren conked out on the pit straight, causing a red flag; ALO’s gearbox problem means a further 5-place grid penalty. VET (1:09.994) then HAM, RAI, PER, ROS, MAS, BOT, VER, MAL.

Tweet breaks down BUT’s 25 grid spot penalty.

It’s stopped raining and is starting to dry up before Qualifying.
Air temperature 12°C; track 21°C; wind 6.5m/s; humidity 71%; overcast; 30% chance of rain.

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Track still looks damp
Cars going out on intermediate wet tyres
Radio from VER telling the team where the track is dry and damp
Radio from SAI saying he thinks they need to move to slicks
STE 1:29.508
ERI 1:25.883
VES 1:21.006
PER runs wide in Turn 1
VES hangs the tail out on a damp corner
ROS P2; HAM P3
SAI 1:20.903
Radio from KVY – plenty of dry patches but not ready for slicks yet
STE off into the gravel; keeps the car moving and finds his way back to the track
VES 1:19.814
ROS wide in Turn 1
VET 1:19.218
ROS 1:19.039
NAS on super-soft slicks
Radio from VET – (inters) tyres suffering a lot
VES 1:18.677
MAS 1:17.831
BOT 1:17.297
MAS locks up but holds it
NAS 1:15.623
BUT 1:15.239
5mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are PER, MER, ERI, STE, RIC (no time from RIC)
Sparks from ERI’s right side – bottoming out or a problem?
VES 1:14.332
SAI 1:13.590
HAM 1:13.196
ROS runs wide in T1
ERI 1:13.054
VET 1:12.399
2mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are PER, ROS, STE, KVY, MER
ROS 1:11.883 – NAS to P16
SAI 1:11.676
PER to P14; ALO to P16
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are PER, ALO, MER, STE, KVY
ALO to P10; RAI to P16 but RAI is in the pits
PER to P11; VES to P16
VET 1:11.184
KVY to P9; MAL to P16
ROS 1:10.976
MAL to P3; BUT to P16 and has already taken the chequered flag
VES to P3; HUL to P16
HUL yo P4; PER back to P16
Back of the grid*: PER, BUT, RAI, MER, STE
*but there are lots of engine-change related penalties to be applied

Qualifying session 2 (Q2)
SAI 1:16.366
NAS 1:13.577
ERI 1:11.844
HUL 1:10.207
ROS 1:09.588 – fastest lap of the weekend so far
3mins left of Q2; bottom 5 are ERI, NAS, RIC, GRO, VET (no time from VET)
VET 1:09.392 on his first flying lap
ROS 1:09.309
RIC runs wide in T3 and throws up some gravel
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are SAI, MAL, ALO, RIC, GRO
ROS 1:08.634
GRO to P9; ERI to P16
MAL P11
RIC P14
ALO doesn’t improve on P15
Middle of the grid: MAL, ERI, SAI, RIC, ALO

BBC: Fernando Alonso has failed to get into Q3 for the seventh time this season, the same number as he suffered in his five-year career at Ferrari.

Qualifying session 3 (Q3)
Shootout is between ROS, HAM, VET, BOT, HUL, VES, NAS, MAS, GRO & KVY
(KVY is the only one in Q3 facing a penalty so far)
No-one rushing to leave the pits
BOT 1:13.971
NAS 1:10.573
ROS 1:08.850
MAS P4
HAM P2
KVY P6
HUL P3
BOT P3
MAS P3
ROS 1:08.655
HAM 1:08.455
VET P3
5 mins left of Q3; order is HAM, ROS, VET, MAS, BOT, HUL, NAS, KVY; no time from GRO or VES
MAS P4
VES P6
Still no sign of GRO – BBC report brake-by-wire problems
HAM spins in T1; yellow flags
Chequered flag; order is HAM, ROS, VET, MAS, HUL, BOT, VES, NAS, KVY, GRO
KVY P8
ROS off at the final turn, into the gravel
Front of the grid: HAM, ROS, VET, MAS, HUL, BOT, VES, KVY, NAS, GRO

First Brit to take pole at the Austrian GP since James Hunt in 1976

Provisional grid: HAM, ROS, VET, MAS, HUL, BOT, VES, KVY, NAS, GRO; MAL, ERI, SAI, RIC, ALO; PER, BUT, RAI, MER, STE
…but there a lots of penalties to be applied.

As BBC point out: “Lewis Hamilton’s pole time of 1:08.455 is just 0.547secs slower than the all-time quickest lap at this track, which was set by Michael Schumacher in a 2003 Ferrari. With a 3.0-litre V10. In the middle of a tyre war. And with unlimited fuel flow. Not bad for a hybrid.”

3 Replies to “Grand Prix of Austria – Qualifying”

  1. BBC: So, after various penalties are applied your top 16 will look like this.

    1 Lewis Hamilton, 2 Nico Rosberg, 3 Sebastian Vettel, 4 Felipe Massa, 5 Nico Hulkenberg, 6 Valtteri Bottas, 7 Max Verstappen, 8 Felipe Nasr, 9 Romain Grosjean, 10 Pastor Maldonado, 11 Marcus Ericsson, 12 Carlos Sainz, 13 Sergio Perez, 14 Kimi Raikkonen, 15 Roberto Merhi, 16 Will Stevens.

    And then the back two rows of the grid will be filled by Red Bull duo Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren pair Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, in an order still to be confirmed by the FIA after penalties are applied.

    Kvyat qualified eighth but is to receive a 10-place penalty for an engine change, while Ricciardo has the same punishment, but as he took 14th on the grid he will also have to take a five-second penalty at a pit stop in the race because he cannot serve his full penalty.

    Alonso took 15th but as he cannot serve his 25-place grid penalty in full he will have to take a drive-through penalty early in the race. Button, who took 17th on the provisional grid, has the same 25-place penalty and will serve a 10-second stop-and-go penalty early in the race.

  2. Official FIA update:

    Alonso and Button qualified 15th and 17th respectively but were both handed 25-place grid penalties after McLaren elected to change several elements of their Honda power units. As neither driver can serve the penalty in full, Alonso must serve a drive-through penalty in the first three laps of the race and Button a 10-second stop-go penalty.

    Kvyat and Ricciardo meanwhile received 10-place grid penalties for taking on their fifth Renault engines of the year. Kvyat qualified in eighth so was able to take his penalty in full, but Ricciardo – who qualified 14th – was handed an additional five-second time penalty.

    Thus the provisional starting order will be: Hamilton, Rosberg; Vettel, Massa; Hulkenberg, Bottas; Verstappen, Nasr; Grosjean, Maldonado; Ericsson, Sainz; Perez, Raikkonen; Kvyat, Merhi; Stevens, Ricciardo; Alonso, Button.

    So the current provisional grid: HAM, ROS, VET, MAS, HUL, BOT, VES, NAS, GRO, MAL, ERI, SAI, PER, RAI, KVY, MER, STE, RIC, ALO, BUT.

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