Grand Prix of Spain – Qualifying

Following the GP of Russia, VET is 13 points ahead of HAM in the championship standings, with BOT just 10 points behind his teammate; Mercedes are a single point ahead of Ferrari.

Most of the new since the last race has been about ALO’s preparation for the Indy500. [BBC]
[ESPN] [indycar]
BBC’s weather forecast for Barcelona is for a warm, dry Qualifying session but the possibility of showers during the race.

It’s the anniversary of the first ever Formula 1 race – the European Grand Prix was held at Silverstone on 13th May 1950.

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: HAM (1:21.521), BOT, RAI, VET, VER
    ALO managed two turns (corners, not laps) before his McLaren-Honda suffered a major engine failure
    VET had an issue with his Ferrari and had to be pushed into the pit lane
  2. FP2: HAM (1:20.802), BOT, RAI, VET, VER, RIC, HUL, PAL, MAS, SAI
    ALO has a new power unit; after a few laps he reports “The engine feels slower than before – amazing!”
    Everyone seemed to struggle with lack of grip, partly due to the temperature and crosswinds
    RAI was just starting a long run when he was told to pit because of an engine issue
    Session suspended briefly so that marshals could clear some debris left by SAI in Turn 9
  3. FP3: RAI (1:20.214), VET, HAM, BOT, VER, RIC, HUL, MAS, SAI, ALO
    BOT’s Mercedes had an electrical issue and then a water leak, so he’s reverted to an older power unit
    At the end of FP3 it looked like VET had an issue – he stopped at the pit exit and was pushed back into the garage


30 minutes before Qualifying starts, and the Ferrari mechanics are working flat out on VET’s car
A few minutes later they fire up the new engine

Air temperature 26°C; track 44°C; it’s clear and dry, but quite windy again (1.7km/hr)

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
ALO getting an update on the different wind conditions in the turns
VAN is the first out of the pit lane, heading out on soft tyres
VET is next to leave the garage – the Ferrari mechanics managed to switch engines in the couple of hours since FP3
Radio from VET thanking his team
Radio for VET telling him to stop the car but he’s trying to nurse it back to the pits
VAN 1:23.219
VET stays out – I guess they cleared the problem
GRO loses the rear and spins the Haas
ERI 1:22.837
VET 1:20.939
BOT P2
HAM 1:20.511
7mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are VAN, KVY, WEH and no time yet from PER or PAL
RAI P2
4mins left; bottom 5 are GRO, STR, PAL, MAG, KVY
GRO goes P7, pushing VAN into the danger zone
MAG P8, relegating ERI to P16
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are ERI, VAN, STR, PAL, KVY
ERI P15, MAS P16
MAS P14 pushing ERI back to P16
VAN P17
STR P17
KVY P19
PAL P17
Back of the grid: ERI, PAL, STR, VAN, KVY

Qualifying session 2
BOT heads out to the track, followed by HAM and RAI; they’re all on softs
Radio for HAM – “remember this is a race tyre set”
BOT locks up at the start of his quick lap; backs off
HAM 1:20.210
BOT P2
RAI P2
BOT P2
VET P2 – splitting the Mercedes pair, VET is 0.08sec behind HAM
5mins left of Q2; bottom 5 are GRO, MAS, HUL, PER, WEH
HAM is out of his car and strolling out the back of his garage
GRO runs wide, ruining his final quick lap
Chequered flag
MAS P8
MAG P10, bumping SAI to P11
PER P9
Middle of the grid: MAG, SAI, HUL, GRO, WEH
So ALO makes it through to Q3 for the first time this season

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between HAM, VET, BOT, RAI, VER, RIC, OCO, MAS, PER & ALO
Green light to start the session but no-one jumps at the chance
Mercedes send out both drivers, and Ferrari send out VET
RAI and both Red Bulls now head out
BOT 1:19.390
HAM 1:19.149
VET P3
RAI P3
RIC P5
VER P5
Order after the first run: HAM, BOT, RAI, VET, VER, RIC with no time yet from OCO, MAS, PER, ALO
2mins left of Q2
Everyone on track; RAI is the last out of the pits
ALO P7
OCO P8
Chequered flag
PER P8
MAS P9
BOT P2
HAM P1 but doesn’t improve on his time
RIC P6
VET P2
VER P5
RAI P4
Front of the grid: HAM, VET, BOT, RAI, VER, RIC, ALO, PER, MAS, OCO

Provisional grid: HAM, VET, BOT, RAI, VER, RIC, ALO, PER, MAS, OCO, MAG, SAI, HUL, GRO, WEH, ERI, PAL, STR, VAN, KVY
No penalties to apply, as far as I know

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