Grand Prix of Europe – Qualifying

A brand new 3.7 mile circuit in the centre of Baku, capital of Azerbaijan. The track is wide in places but some sections are very narrow, with no run off.

Practice sessions:

  1. FP1: HAM (1:46.435), ROS, BOT, ALO, VET
    RIC takes the honour(?) of being the first to hit the wall, taking the rear right wheel off his car and causing a red flag to briefly suspend the session

  2. FP2: HAM (1:44.223), ROS, PER, BOT, HUL
    The end of the kerb in Turn 6 is lifting up
    ERI has a cracked exhaust, so watching his mechanics replace the engine
    A lot of use of the escape roads as drivers find the limits; more 3-point turns than the rest of the season?
    ALO’s McLaren lost power coming onto the main straight but he managed to coast all the way back to the pits
    ERI finally leaves the garage, with 55 mins left of FP2
    ROS loses power; pulls to the side but there’s not really a safe place to stop; VSC deployed
    Marshals struggle to get ROS’ car through the wall; took a couple of minutes; VSC removed
    VET complains about losing tyre temp behind ALO “taking a tour bus around Baku” 🙂
    GUT clips the wall in the super-narrow Turn 8, beside the castle wall; some of the advertising is briefly stuck to his tyre
    RAI’s rear wheels lock, sliding into the escape road; he’s out of the car
    Radio for VET telling him to slow down and box; told “issue with MGUK, same as Kimi”

  3. FP3: HAM (1:44.352), ROS, HUL, RIC, VET
    BOT did not set a time after damaging the right sidepod after kicking up a loose drain cover when he was entering the pits
    MAS smacked his right-rear wheel into the wall but it was PER who broke his car in a similar incident

Force India say they have to replace the rear end of PER’s car after his FP3 incident, which means he picks up a 5 grid spot penalty

Air temperature 27°C; track 39°C; 57% humidity; breezey
Question is how many yellow (or even red) flags will we see in Quali?

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Queue forming at pit exit, waiting for the lights to go green
Ferrari mechanics working on VET’s car – ECU (electronic control unit) issue
SAI 1:47.237
KVY 1:46.524
HAM 1:44.259
ROS 1:44.136
ERI complains he was blocked
GRO locks up, takes to escape road, has to spin around to rejoin the circuit
Next lap, GRO has to use another escape road
Radio from GRO complaining about his brakes
HAM locks up and runs wide
ROS 1:43.685
BUT locks up & uses the escape road
5mins left of Q1; bottom 6 are MAG, HAR, WEH, RAI, GRO, BUT
Chequered flag; bottom 6 are HAR, BUT, WEH, PAL, MAG, ERI
MAG to P20
WEH to P18
Back of the grid: HAR, WEH, BUT, ERI, MAG, PAL

Qualifying session 2
GUT 1:45.349
SAI 1:45.000
KVY 1:44.872
MAS 1:44.696
BOT 1:44.477
Big spin for HUL; yellow flags put paid to some quick laps, including HAM
PER 1:44.303
ROS 1:42.520
GUT blocked VES
5mins left of Q2; bottom 6 are SAI, ALO, GUT, VES, HUL, no time from NAS
It’s SAI’s turn to lock up and have to use the escape road
HAM locks up; no room to spin so has to back up a bit
2mins left; bottom 6 are RIC, SAI, ALO, GUT, NAS, HUL
HAM is P10; he’s got time for 1 quick lap
GUT locks up; yellow flags clear just in time as HAM arrives on his quick lap
HUL to P11
Chequered flag
HAM to P2
RIC P4, GRO to P11
HUL pits but confusion because he was fuelled for one more lap
Radio from ALO – “it cannot be any worse than this”
Middle of the grid: GRO, HUL, SAI, ALO, GUT, NAS

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between ROS, HAM, RIC, VES, VET, RAI, KVY, PER, BOT, MAS
MAS the only one still in his garage
RIC 1:45.228
VET 1:44.260
KVY P2
RAI P2
HAM P5
ROS P5
PER 1:43.515
BOT P6
HAM in the escape road again!
5mins left of Q3; order is PER, VET, RAI, KVY, RIC, BOT, ROS, HAM; no time from MAS or VES
MAS P4
HAM has clipped a wall and broken his front right suspension
ROS 1:42.758
Red flag – session suspended with 2:05 left of Q3
Order is ROS, PER, VET, RAI, MAS, KVY, RIC, BOT, HAM; no time from VES
Big crane on track to remove HAM’s broken Mercedes
Everyone (except HAM, of course, and ROS) lining up ready for the restart
Williams release BOT right in front of VET! Unsafe release?
Will everyone be able to cross the line before the chequered flag?
Chequered flag – MAS didn’t make it so no quick lap for him
RIC P3
VET P4 – identical time to RIC
VES P9
KVY P7
Front of the grid: ROS, PER*, RIC, VET, RAI, MAS, KVY, BOT, VES, HAM
*PER will drop 5 grid spots because of the gearbox change

Provisional grid: ROS, PER*, RIC, VET, RAI, MAS, KVY, BOT, VES, HAM, GRO, HUL, SAI, ALO, GUT, NAS, HAR, WEH, BUT, ERI, MAG, PAL

2 Replies to “Grand Prix of Europe – Qualifying”

  1. Pingback: paul
  2. “Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz and Renault’s Kevin Magnussen have both been given five-place grid penalties for this afternoon’s 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe thanks to unscheduled gearbox changes on their cars after qualifying.” [FIA]

    SAI will now start P18, but MAG will start from the pit lane.

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