Hamilton failed to win the Drivers’ Championship in America so now he needs to finish 7th or better and he will succeed this time. It’s unlikely Mercedes will tie up the Constructors’ Championship though – the battle at the top of the points table is closer.
In case you didn’t hear, OCO and MAG were both disqualified for fuel flow infringements, promoting HAR and ERI into the points. Also post-race GRO was given a 3-place grid penalty for this weekend for causing the collision with LEC.
GAS will also receive grid penalties as Toro Rosso make a handful of engine changes.
Tyre choices are: supersoft (red), ultrasoft (purple) and hypersoft (pink).
- FP1: VER (1:16.656), RIC, SAI, HUL, HAM
- FP2: VER (1:16.720), RIC, SAI, VET, HUL
VER’s Red Bull lost power and he parked off track
- FP3: VER (1:16.284), HAM, VET, RIC, RAI
BOT had a hydraulic failure in the stadium section
Mechanics hard at work on BOT’s Mercedes; apparently a power unit change but it’s within his allocation so no penalty; however, it sounds like it may not be ready until a few minutes into Q1.
The stewards have stated leaving the track in Turn 11 will have their lap time deleted
Air temperature 18°C; track 25°C; it rained earlier today but no more rain forecast for Quali
Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
GAS is first out of the pit lane, presumably still testing the new engine
BOT 1:17.160 with his new engine
(HAM P3) but on a slower tyre
VET starts another quick lap but immediately runs wide in Turn 1
ALO time deleted for running wide in T11
Replay shows ALO getting close to VAN into T11; did he lose downforce or have to take evasive action?
5mins left; bottom 5 are VAN, MAG, STR, SIR, ALO
ALO P7, GRO P16
SAI P7, ERI P16
GRO P12, LEC P16
LEC P15, VAN P16
ERI P11, GRO P16
Back of the grid: GRO*, VAN, MAG, STR, SIR
*GRO has penalty to be applied
Qualifying session 2
There’s talk of rain at the end of Q2
BOT 1:15.923 on ultrasoft tyres
HAM 1:15.644 also on ultras
VER 1:15.640 on ultras
5mins left; bottom 5 are HAR, PER, OCO, ALO, GAS
VET and HAM on track on hypersofts; presumably checking Q3 setup
Middle of the grid: OCO, ALO, PER, HAR, GAS*
*GAS has penalty to be applied
Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between VER, HAM, VET, RIC, BOT, RAI, HUL, SAI, LEC and ERI
They’re leaving the pit lane 2×2: RAI, VET, HAM, BOT, RIC, VER
Order after first run: VER, VET, HAM, RIC, BOT, RAI, LEC, HUL, SAI, ERI
New tyres go on; time for one last flying run
VET doesn’t improve
No-one else improved
Front of the grid: RIC, VER, HAM, VET, BOT, RAI, HUL, SAI, LEC, ERI
Red Bull lock out the front row – that’s not happened in a while! (“First time in the turbo-hybrid era”)
Provisional grid: RIC, VER, HAM, VET, BOT, RAI, HUL, SAI, LEC, ERI, OCO, ALO, PER, HAR, GAS*, GRO*, VAN, MAG, STR, SIR
*GAS will drop to P20 due to engine changes
*GRO will drop 3 places for causing the collision with LEC in the US GP