Grand Prix of Spain – Qualifying

Hamilton arrives in Spain with a 4 point lead over Vettel following HAM’s win in Azerbaijan, which so nearly went to his teammate.

Verstappen and Ricciardo are still living down their collision; they both evaded anything more than a reprimand from the stewards … but not the ire of Christian Horner and the Red Bull team. Meanwhile “Sergey Sirotkin has been given a three-place grid penalty for the next race for his collision with Sergio Perez in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The Williams driver will be docked three places on the grid at the Spanish Grand Prix as the stewards held him responsible for the first-lap collision. Perez went on to finish third.” [racefans.net]

In other news:

  • “Formula One Licensing has trademarked the word ‘Shoey’, Daniel Ricciardo’s customary celebration following a win.” [pitpass.com]
    Seems odd that F1 would trademark it and not Daniel Ricciardo
  • “Formula 1 has introduced rule changes for the 2019 season aimed at making overtaking easier and promoting closer racing.” [BBC]
    The changes are: a simplified, wider front wing; simplified brake ducts with no winglets; wider and deeper rear wing.
  • “Fernando Alonso made a winning start to his FIA World Endurance Championship career with victory in the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.” [BBC]

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: BOT (1:18.148), HAM, VET, VER, RAI
    Whoops – someone’s managed to paint “#SpainishGP” on the pit lane
    McLaren show off their new nose section with 3 air inlets and fins on the side
    The Mercedes pair on soft tyres were faster than the Ferrari duo on supersofts
    Windy conditions resulted in HAR, GRO and STR encountering the gravel traps
    RIC also had an off, tapping the barriers
    MAG was reprimanded after the race for a “potentially dangerous and unnecessary” incident with LEC; “Magnussen explained that he had received a yellow flag at Turn 10 and had aborted his lap. He was unaware that the flag had cleared and that Leclerc who was immediately behind him had not aborted his lap as he had not been in the sector when it was yellow.” [pitpass.com]
  2. FP2: HAM (1:18.259), RIC, VER, VET, BOT
    RAI limped back to the pits after visiting a gravel trap; his Ferrari suffered a suspected power unit problem
    PER may get a penalty for an unsafe release after leaving the pit lane with a loose front wheel
  3. FP3: HAM (1:17.281), BOT, VET, RAI, RIC
    HUL sounds impressed with changes to his Renault – “Oooh, that was a good one – such a difference”
    VER’s delayed participation in FP3 is said to be down to him pressing the Overtake button as he was about to leave the garage (is that just a cruel rumour)
    VER runs wide, rejoins but he didn’t stay to the left of the bollard – will he be penalised?
    STR off, into the gravel in Turn 4 – keeps it going, rejoins
    VET apologises to SAI for blocking him, and swears at his engineer for not warning him sooner
    HAR put his Toro Rosso in the wall – a lot of damage to the rear end
    Red flags suspend the session with less than 2mins left, so FP3 is over
    Oops! The gearbox fell off as the track crew lift HAR’s car and start to remove it
    Looks like the floor has been taken off VER’s Red Bull – apparently it’s an electrical problem
    Already hearing noises from Toro Rosso that it’s unlikely they’ll be able to rebuild HAR’s car in time for Qualifying


Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Air temperature 18°C; track 27°C; humidity 76%; wind 8.8km/hr
Toro Rosso mechanics working hard on HAR’s car – it sounds like they’re using the crashed tub rather than the spare – unfortunately they won’t have it ready for Q1 so he’ll have to ask the stewards for permission to race tomorrow
STR 1:20.623
SIR 1:20.302
RAI 1:17.986
VET 1:17.806
Radio from ALO asking about wind directions; told tailwind into Turn 7, headwind into T1
RAI 1:17.483
(HAM P2)
ERI runs wide in T1
VET 1:17.031 – that’s a new track record
Sounds like HUL has gearbox problems
(VER P2)
5mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are ERI, STR, SIR, HUL, HAR
Race control: incident involving car 9 (ERI) failing to stay to left of bollard at T2 will be investigate after session
HUL was told to move the car around, suggesting a fuel feed problem; he’s made it to the pits
HUL’s back on track, trying to put in a decent time; goes P14
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are OCO, ERI, SIR, STR, HAR
OCO goes P13, relegates VAN to P16
VAN up to P15, bumps HUL to P16
STR spins off, into the gravel, tagged the wall
Back of the grid: HUL, ERI*, SIR*, STR, HAR*
*ERI under investigation for ignoring the bollard
*SIR has a 3 grid spot penalty from his collision with PER in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix
*HAR didn’t run in Q1 so will need to request permission to race

Qualifying session 2
GRO and MAG quick to leave the pits
GRO 1:18.069
MAG 1:18.045
HAM 1:17.166
BOT 1:17.111
RAI 1:17.071
VET 1:16.802
5mins left; bottom 5 are VAN, OCO, LEC, PER, GAS
None of the bottom 5 improved their times, so that’s the middle of the grid

Qualifying session 3
Still quite grey and overcast but it’s not forecast to rain in the remaining few minutes
GRO 1:18.209
SAI P2
RIC 1:16.858
MAG P4
VER 1:16.816
RAI P3
HAM 1:16.491
VET P4
BOT P4
ALO P6
Order after 1st run: HAM, VER, RIC, BOT, VET, ALO, RAI, GRO, SAI, MAG
5mins left; RIC is already back on track – he’s on soft tyres, not supersofts
RIC improves his time but still P3
MAG P6
RAI P2
HAM 1:16.173
BOT P2
Chequered flag
SAI P9
VET P3
Front of the grid: HAM, BOT, VET, RAI, VER, RIC, MAG, ALO, SAI, GRO

The tail end of the grid may well change – ERI is under investigation from Q1, and HAR having to request permission to race

Provisional grid: HAM, BOT, VET, RAI, VER, RIC, MAG, ALO, SAI, GRO, VAN, OCO, LEC, PER, GAS, HUL, ERI*, SIR*, STR, HAR*

3 Replies to “Grand Prix of Spain – Qualifying”

  1. “Force India has been fined for the unsafe release of Sergio Perez during FP2.
    Consistent with previous decisions of a similar nature, the stewards decided that a grid place penalty would not be applied as all appropriate measures were taken, and in particular it was not obvious that the car was unsafe when it was released.
    “Nevertheless,” they said, “it is the responsibility of the team to take all measures to ensure that the wheel is fully fitted” and accordingly, the team was fined 5,000 euros.
    https://www.pitpass.com/61733/Force-India-fined-for-unsafe-release

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