Grand Prix of Japan – Qualifying

The Grand Prix of Malaysia was only a week ago, so the teams have had very little time to rebuild or even to introduce new elements in time for this race.

Ferrari say VET’s engine is ok despite the curious collision with STR on the cooldown lap after the race in Malaysia.

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: VET (1:29.166), HAM, RIC, RAI, BOT
    SAI had a big off – he touched the grass coming out of the hairpin, which threw him across the track and into the tyre wall [FIA]
  2. FP2: HAM (1:48.719), OCO, PER, MAS, STR
    Only 5 drivers set times because of the heavy rain [FIA]
  3. FP3: BOT (1:29.055), HAM, VET, VER, RIC [FIA]
    BOT ran wide, ran his right rear along the armco, which pushed him around a little and broke the front wing; brief red flag while his car was removed
    RAI also his car in the wall and brought out the red flags again
    SAI crossed the pit lane exit while there was still a red light, but the stewards looked at his telemetry and didn’t penalise him because the car lurched forward when it went into first gear and he stopped it almost immediately

Penalties:

  • SAI: 20 places as a result of rebuilding his engine after his FP1 crash [FIA]
  • BOT: 5 places for a new gearbox [FIA]
  • RAI: 5 places for a new gearbox following his FP3 crash
  • PAL: 20 places for new engine components
  • ALO: 35 places for all sorts of new engine components (as usual) – apparently that’s 140 so far this season! [BBC]

The good news is it’s expected to stay dry throughout Qualifying.
Air temperature 23°C; track 27°C; humidity 72%

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Ferrari mechanics are still working on RAI’s car with just moments before Q1 starts
WEH keen to get on track first
There’s concrete dust on some of the track to dry up oil dropped in a previous session
WEH 1:33:288 on supersoft tyres
HAM 1:29.507 on softs
BOT loses the tail, drifts across the gravel, just keeps it out of the tyre wall
HAM 1:29.325
BOT 0.007sec slower than his teammate, but BOT is on supersofts
VER 1:29.181 on supersofts
HAM 1:29.047 still on softs
STR was blocked through the final chicane by PER
3mins left; bottom 5 are GRO, GAS, STR, ERI, WEH
PER/STR incident is being investigated by the stewards
GRO is in the tyre wall – that looks like a big impact
Red flag – session suspended
GRO getting out of his wrecked Haas – not a single marshal in sight 🙁
Medical car picks up GRO – still no marshals – disgraceful!
Q1 won’t be restarted, so the back of the grid will be GRO, GAS, STR, ERI, WEH

Qualifying session 2
HAM first out of the pits – he’s on supersofts
RAI on softs; VET on supersofts
HAM 1:27.819 = new track record
RAI P2
VET P2
VER P3 on supersofts
RIC P4 on supersofts
BOT P3 on softs
MAS feels HAM impeded him; MAS abandons his hot lap and slows to impede the start of HAM’s quick lap
3mins left; bottom 5 are ALO, HUL, PAL, MAG, SAI
Even HAM (currently P1) has gone out for a final run
Chequered flag
HUL P12
ALO P10, VAN P11
MAG P13
SAI P15
PAL P14
Middle of the grid: VAN, HUL, MAG, PAL, SAI

Qualifying session 3
BOT 1:27.986
HAM 1:27.345
OCO P3
VER P3
PER P5
RAI runs wide, abandons his lap and heads back to the pits
RIC P3
VET P2
MAS P8
Order after first run: HAM, VET, BOT, RIC, VER, OCO, PER, MAS, but no time from RAI and ALO
2mins left; all 10 cars on track
BOT P2
Chequered flag
OCO P6
ALO P9
HAM 1:27.319
PER P7
VER P4
RAI P6
RIC P4
VET P3
MAS P9
Front of the grid: HAM, BOT, VET, RIC, VER, RAI, OCO, PER, MAS, ALO
That’s HAM first ever pole at Suzuka

Provisional grid: HAM, BOT*, VET, RIC, VER, RAI*, OCO, PER, MAS, ALO*; VAN, HUL, MAG, PAL*, SAI*; GRO, GAS, STR, ERI, WEH
*penalties to be applied

2 Replies to “Grand Prix of Japan – Qualifying”

  1. “Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz will replace Jolyon Palmer at Renault from this month’s United States Grand Prix onwards, meaning Sunday’s Japanese race will be Palmer’s farewell for the team.” [FIA]
    “As a result of the switch, Toro Rosso have confirmed that Daniil Kvyat will be brought back in alongside Pierre Gasly for the US race.”

Comments are closed.