Grand Prix of Austria – Qualifying

There’s rain (even thunderstorms) forecast for the Austrian GP weekend.

Free practice sessions:

  1. FP1: ROS (1:07.373), HAM, VET, RAI, RIC
    VET is facing a possible five-place grid drop after metal filings were found in his SF16-H’s gearbox after Baku, which may need changing.
    HAM spun, causing GRO to spin to avoid him
    HAR spun and rejoined right in front of RIC, leading to a reprimand for HAR
    VES run over the kerb at Turn 5, breaking his front wing and suspension
    WEH reprimanded for speeding under the Virtual Safety Car while VES’s car was being recovered

  2. FP2: ROS (1:07.967), HAM, HUL, VET, RIC
    Overcast and rain threatening at the start of FP2
    RAI runs wide; spins on the gravel; has to spin the Ferrari around to rejoin the track
    Rain falling – quite heavy initially and then huge downpour, but only around the main straight / pit lane
    BUT and PAL aquaplane past the pit entrance!
    Track is drying; cars starting to emerge (on intermediate wet tyres) with about 40 mins left of FP2
    VET first to go out on slicks
    RIC lost power in the Red Bull; changed engine mapping settings and continued OK
    HAM blocked by a very slow GUT; radio replay shows team told GUT to slow down
    VET skates sideways across the gravel in Turn 2 – looks like he lost the back end under braking – brake lock up / MGUK issue?
    VSC deployed while VET’s Ferrari is removed as the session ends

  3. FP3: VET (1:07.098), RAI, HAM, RIC, VES
    ROS had a rear suspension failure which threw him into the tyre wall – that’s a lot of work for the mechanics to get done before Qualifying
    SAI didn’t run many laps due to a power unit problem – will that result in a change and therefore a penalty?

Mechanics working flat out to rebuild ROS’s Mercedes
So going in to Qualifying, there are 5 grid spots penalties for VET and ROS for a gearbox changes
Air temperature 27°C; track 53°C; partly cloudy, 40% chance of rain

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Lights turn green and there’s no rush to get on track
PAL is first to leave the pits
ROS stands ready to jump in but his car is still on the stands
MAG 1:08.600
HAM 1:07.014
Looks like ROS is about to get in the car with 13mins left of Q1
MAS P2 but 0.4sec behind HAM
Radio from HUL complaining about traffic in Sector 3
HAM 1:06.947
PER touring back – looks like damage to the rear right?
ROS leaves the garage with just over 9min left
Radio from PER suspecting the rear suspension is broken
RAI P2, 0.3sec behind HAM
VET P2, 0.083 from HAM
ROS 1:06.690 in his first flying lap after rebuilding the car
VET P2, 0.071 away from ROS
5mins left of Q1; bottom 6 are GRO, KVY, ERI, WEH, HAR, NAS
NAS improves but only to P21
ROS 1:06.516
ERI improves his time but still P19
GRO to P12, pushing SAI into P17
WEH jumps to P9, relegating PAL
SAI goes P11, bumping MAG to P17
Big off for KVY – red flags come out very quickly
Radio from KVY apologising
KVY gets himself out of the Toro Rosso – he seems fine
Replay shows KVY break the suspension running wide in the final turn; spins across the track; clips the inside tyre wall; back across the track and gravel, then into the tyre wall
With 1:44 left on the clock, there’s time for one quick run
Restart in 2mins; queue is starting to form at the pit exit
Green lights, and about 12 cars rush onto the track
SAI’s engine has let go almost as soon as he came out of the pits; pulls off track fairly quickly but there’ll be yellow flags until his car is removed
Chequered flag; GRO & GUT didn’t make it round in time
HAR P19
Bottom of the grid: MAG, PAL, HAR, KVY, ERI, NAS

Qualifying session 2
SAI would have been in Q2 if his engine hadn’t gone bang; similarly PER but for his suspension failure
Radio for ROS – “risk of rain on this run”
Incident involving car 27 (HUL) under investigation – failing to slow for yellow flags
Radio for RAI – “rain in 8 minutes”
ROS 1:06.403
HAM 1:06.228
Radio for ALO – spots of rain starting to fall
Ferrari have put VET & RAI on supersoft tyres, whereas the other front runners are on ultrasofts
Red Bull sending RIC & VES out on supers; he has to beat his ultrasoft time in order to start the race on the supers
RIC & VES both improve, so they will start on supers
Radio from RAI – rain
Track temp is dropping
Mercedes reacting too late, sending their guys out on supers; can’t improve on their times
3mins left of Q2; bottom 6 are GUT, WEH, GRO, ALO plus PER and SAI not running in Q2
With the rain getting heavier, everyone is in the pits
RIC sitting in the car, studying timing info, with a cup of coffee! 🙂
Chequered flag
Middle of the grid: GUT, WEH, GRO, ALO, PER, SAI

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between HAM, ROS, VET, RAI, RIC, MAS, BOT, BUT, HUL, VES
Ferrari pair first out of the pits, on inters
VET 1:20.798
Radio for VET asking about dry tyres; no way
RAI P2
HAM P2
ROS P4
HUL P3
BUT P5
RIC P3
MAS P7
BOT P4
VET 1:20.751
RAI 1:20.593
HAM 1:20.248
ROS 1:19.548
BUT P3
RIC 1:19.217
MAS P7
VES P3
VET P3
RAI P4
HUL 1:18.125
RIC 1:17.364
MAS P3
BOT P4
VET P3
5mins left of Q3; order is RIC, HUL, VET, MAS, BOT, ROS, RAI, VES, HAM, BUT
RAI P2
HAM 1:16.232
ROS P2
RIC P2
BUT P2
HUL pits for dry tyres – ultrasofts
MAS pits too, followed by BOT
MAS waits – team put on inters but he wants ultrasofts
Radio for ROS asking if he wants dry tyres – negative, negative
HAM pits; ultras
BOT runs wide; brief yellow flag
HUL 1:14.996
MAS 1:14.966
VET P2
RAI 1:13.613
HAM 1:13.178
BOT P3
HUL 1:10.716
ROS P2
BUT P8
Chequered flag
MAS P3
VES P2
VET 1:09.781
RAI P2
RIC P3
HAM 1:07.922
HUL P2
ROS P2
BUT P5
Front of the grid: HAM, ROS*, HUL, VET*, BUT, RAI, RIC, BOT, VES, MAS
*ROS & VET each drop 5 places

Wow, what a great qualifying session!

HAM: fun session
ROS: even Lewis’ mechanics helped work on the car; exciting qualifying
HUL: feeling really good in the car
HAM: yellow kerbs look quite dangerous

VET: could have taken more risk – turns were damp on previous lap but dry on final run
BUT: obviously expected it 🙂

Provisional grid: HAM, ROS*, HUL, VET*, BUT, RAI, RIC, BOT, VES, MAS, GUT, WEH, GRO, ALO, PER, SAI, MAG, PAL, HAR, KVY, ERI, NAS
*ROS & VET each drop 5 places

2 Replies to “Grand Prix of Austria – Qualifying”

  1. “Toro Rosso have given Daniil Kvyat a fresh chassis and gearbox following his rear suspension failure and resulting crash in qualifying at Spielberg. It means he will have to start Sunday’s race from the pit-lane, rather than from his original P18 grid slot.” [FIA]

    “Renault’s Jolyon Palmer, Manor’s Rio Haryanto and Sauber’s Felipe Nasr were all penalised three places for failing to slow sufficiently under yellow flags during the first phase of qualifying on Saturday.” [same article]

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

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