Grand Prix of America – Qualifying

Silly season is far from over:

  • Sainz has taken Palmer’s seat at Renault – that was announced during the Singapore weekend.
  • Gasly replaced Kvyat at Toro Rosso for Malaysia and Japan.
  • But there’s one more change for this weekend:
    “New Zealander Brendon Hartley will race for Scuderia Toro Rosso at the next round of the Formula 1 World Championship, the USA Grand Prix in Austin, as Pierre Gasly will be racing in Japan for the last race of the Super Formula Championship in Suzuka.” [ScuderiaToroRosso] [BBC]
  • It’s not all change though; Verstappen “has agreed an extended contract which will see him continue to race for the Austrian-owned squad for a further three years.” [F1]

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: HAM (1:36.335), VET, BOT, VER, VAN
    Started on intermediate tyres due to damp conditions but dried up about one-third of the way into the session
  2. FP2: HAM (1:34.668), VER, VET, BOT, RIC, RAI, ALO
    VET only completed 11 laps
    “Ferrari have elected to change Sebastian Vettel’s chassis after the German experienced problems in Friday’s second practice session in Austin. […] The German’s car will be re-scrutineered ahead of final practice on Saturday morning.” [F1]
  3. FP3: HAM (1:34.478), VET, BOT, RAI, VER, MAS, HUL, SAI, RIC, PER


Penalties:

  1. HAR +25 “Hartley’s car, which he takes over from Pierre Gasly for this weekend’s event, has received its sixth engine of the season in Austin, plus its sixth MGU-H, fifth Energy Store and fifth Control Electronics.” [F1]
  2. HUL +20 “Nico Hulkenberg is facing a 20-place demotion for a fifth engine, turbo and MGU-H” [F1]
  3. VAN +10 “McLaren Stoffel Vandoorne will lose 10 places for his eighth engine of the year.” [F1]
  4. VER +15 “sixth engine and sixth MGU-H this season – only four are permitted under the F1 sporting regulations.” [F1]
  5. “Williams has been handed a suspended fine of €10,000 for another breach of Formula 1’s tyre rules in Friday practice at the United States Grand Prix.” [autosport]

Air temperature 31°C; track 38°C; it’s sunny but cloudy and windy (The forecast for the race is much cooler)

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
KVY is first out of the pit lane; he’s on supersoft compound tyres, which are pink this weekend for breast cancer awareness [skysports]
KVY 1:37.865
WEH 1:37.682
HAM runs a fraction wide in Turn 10 – the stewards have said they won’t automatically penalise everyone who exceeds track limits but will
VAN 1:37.184
OCO 1:35.849
(HAM P2)
BOT 1:35.309 on supersofts
Radio from VER – abandoning this lap because of the traffic; told his next lap will have to count
VER 1:34.899
STR moves off track to let GRO past but instead GRO had already decided to go off line to pass him, so GRO had to take to the grass!
HAM 1:34.822
Incident involving MAG and PER under investigation for impeding
Incident involving STR and GRO under investigation for impeding
3mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are WEH, GRO, ERI, HAR, MAG
Bottom half of the timing chart are all on track for a final run
GRO P14; STR to P16
Chequered flag
MAG P17
HAR P15; VAN P16
WEH runs very wide; P17
VAN P12; HAR P16
ERI P16
STR P17
Bottom of the grid: ERI, STR, HAR, WEH, MAG

Qualifying session 2
The Mercedes pair are first on track; both are on pink ultrasofts
Renault say HUL will not run in Q2 because he has 20 grid spot penalties so he’s saving tyres
HAM 1:33.560
(BOT P2)
VER running on supersofts because he also has a big grid penalty awaiting him
3mins left of Q2; bottom 5 are ALO, VAN, GRO, KVY, HUL
Only RIC, VER and HUL are in the pits
Chequered flag
KVY P12
GRO P14
HAM 1:33.437
ALO P7; MAS P11
VAN P13
MAS P9; SAI P11
SAI P7; PER P11
PER P7; MAS P11
Middle of the grid: MAS, KVY, VAN, GRO, HUL

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between HAM, BOT, RAI, VET, RIC, VER*, PER, SAI, ALO & OCO (*remember VER has a 15 grid spot penalty)
OCO 1:34.743
HAM 1:33.108
BOT P2
ALO P4
RIC P3
RAI complaining about his front tyre temps
VER P3
VET P3
PER P8
RAI P3
SAI is still in the pits, so after one run the order is HAM, BOT, RAI, VET, VER, RIC, OCO, ALO, PER, SAI
HAM reports “derate” (loss of acceleration) in the last few turns
SAI heads out the Renault garage for his run, only just ahead of everyone else going out for their second runs
RAI passes HAM on their out lap
Chequered flag
ALO P8
SAI P8
OCO P7
VET P2
RIC P4
VER P5
RAI P5
HAM P1
BOT P3
PER P10
Front of the grid: HAM, VET, BOT, RIC, RAI, VER, OCO, SAI, ALO, PER

Provisional grid: HAM, VET, BOT, RIC, RAI, VER*, OCO, SAI, ALO, PER, MAS, KVY, VAN*, GRO, HUL*, ERI, STR, HAR*, WEH, MAG
*Penalties to be applied
There are also 2 incidents under investigation: MAG/PER and STR/GRO, both from Q1

4 Replies to “Grand Prix of America – Qualifying”

  1. “Haas’s Kevin Magnussen has been handed a three-place grid drop for impeding Sergio Perez in Saturday’s qualifying in Austin – an incident that the Force India driver said severely compromised his session.”
    “Williams’ Lance Stroll was also handed a three-place grid drop for impeding during Q1, with Haas’s Romain Grosjean coming very close to running into the back of the Canadian’s car on the exit of Turn 19.”
    “Stroll, like Magnussen, was also given a penalty point on his licence.”
    [F1]

  2. “Pierre Gasly missed the Formula 1 US Grand Prix only to see his Japanese Super Formula title race cancelled due to a typhoon.” so he lost the JSF title by half a point. [autoweek]

  3. In an interview with The Sun, Hamilton was pretty scathing about Rosberg: “When you remove a negative and then replace it with a positive — it is like having a circuit-board and you have a bad fuse, that’s the whole frikkin unit gone. When you replace that fuse, the whole thing works again.” [f1i]

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