Grand Prix of Spain – Qualifying

Following the Russian Grand Prix and Kvat’s lap 1 collisions with Vettel (which also damaged KVY’s teammate’s car) he’s been demoted to the Toro Rosso team and Verstappen has been promoted to Red Bull in his place.

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: VET (1:23.951), RAI, ROS, HAM, RIC
    The Ferrari pair focused on running with soft tyres whereas the rest of the field used mostly medium or hard compounds
  2. FP2: ROS (1:23.922), RAI, HAM, VET, SAI
    PAL had a puncture, bringing out the virtual safety car and the red flags so that his Renault could be recovered from the main straight
  3. FP3: ROS (1:23.078), HAM, VET, VES, RIC
    Problems with GRO’s Haas, BUT’s McLaren, and in the Mercedes garage there’s work on both cars

Catalunya is dry and sunny; air temperature 22°C; track 43°C

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Manor drivers first out of the pit lane
WEH 1:26.148
HAR 1:26.048
ERI 1:25.953
NAS 1:25.851
HAM 1:23.214
ROS 1:23.002
Everyone on soft tyres so far
4mins left of Q1; bottom 6 are PAL, GRO, NAS, ERI, HAR, WEH
Looks like the wind is picking up
Only the top 9 sitting in the garage as everyone goes out for another flying lap
HAR improves but only up to P20
Chequered flag; bottom 6 are PAL, GRO, NAS, HAR, ERI, WEH
GRO P13; relegates BUT
PAL P16; bumps MAS
ERI P19
WEH P20
NAS P20
GUT P8
BUT P12; PAL back to P17
Back of the grid: PAL, MAS, ERI, NAS, WEH, HAR

Qualifying session 2
HAM onto track, followed by ROS – both on new soft tyres
HUL exits the pit lane just as HAM starts his quick lap
HAM 1:22.159 – about 2secs faster than his Q1 time
ROS P2
HUL P3, 3sec slower than HAM
VES puts in a great lap, over 0.5sec faster than his teammate (at his new team)
5mins left of Q2; bottom 6 are HUL, KVY, BUT, MAG; no time from RAI, VET
RAI aborts a scruffy lap; pits; just time for one more quick run
VET P4, behind VES
RAI pushing hard as the other tail-enders are on their out laps; goes P4
Chequered flag; bottom 6 are PER, GUT, HUL, KVY, BUT, MAG
BUT P10, relegates GRO
KVY up to P11
HUL P10, so BUT down to P11
PER P7, HUL to P11
MAG P15
Middle of the grid: HUL, BUT, KVY, GRO, MAG, GUT
ALO through to Q3 – first time for a McLaren since they changed to Honda engines

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 battle is between HAM, ROS, VES, RAI, RIC, VET, PER, BOT, SAI, ALO
Mercedes pair first out of the pits
HAM locks up into Turn 10; 1:23.277
ROS 1:22.475
RAI P3
VES P2
VET P4
5mins left; order: ROS, VES, HAM, VET, RAI; no time yet from PER, RIC, BOT, SAI, ALO
HAM and RAI emerge from their adjacent garages at the same time; HAM backs off
2mins left; all 10 cars on track
ALO P4
BOT P4
RIC P2
RAI P3
HAM 1:22.000
ROS P2
VES P4
VET P6
PER P8
SAI P8
Front of the grid: HAM, ROS, RIC, VES, RAI, VET, BOT, SAI, PER, ALO

Provisional grid: HAM, ROS, RIC, VES, RAI, VET, BOT, SAI, PER, ALO, HUL, BUT, KVY, GRO, MAG, GUT, PAL, MAS, ERI, NAS, WEH, HAR
I’m not aware of any penalties at this time

Christian Horner: didn’t expect to be ahead of Ferrari
Maurizio Arrivabene: both cars had issues, need to investigate
ROS: disappointed to be P2
RIC: happy to be in front of both Ferraris
HAM: hopefully everything comes together (in the race)
VES: it was good!
ALO: something we deserved (getting into Q3); been watching Q3 on TV for too long 🙂
Rob Smedley: need to have a look at MAS’s lap and see what happened

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