Grand Prix of Brazil – Qualifying

Although the Drivers’ Championship was sewn up in Mexico, there’s still the battle for 3rd (RAI is only 9 points ahead of BOT) and the Constructors’ Championship (Mercedes are 55 points ahead of Ferrari), as well as some further down both tables.

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: VER (1:09.011), VET, HAM, RIC, RAI
  2. FP2: BOT (1:08.846), HAM, VET, RIC, VER
  3. FP3: VET (1:07.948), HAM, BOT, RAI, VER

Penalties:

  • RIC has a 5 grid spot penalty for (yet another) engine change
    Red Bull team principal Christian Horner revealed Ricciardo’s turbo had to be replaced because it was damaged by foam from a fire extinguisher when his car was recovered after he retired from the race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. “You can’t really blame them, the car was obviously smoking,” Horner told Sky. “They shot foam up the exhaust and as it solidifies in the turbo it’s terminated it.” [racefans]
  • OCO also gets a 5-spot penalty for a gearbox change

Air temperature 23°C; track 38°C; humidity 73%; it’s grey and overcast; 60% chance of rain expected to increase during Quali.

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Cars are l1ining up at the pit exit, waiting for the start of Q1
BOT 1:08.863
LEC 1:08.844
HAM 1:08.464
RAI 1:08.452
VER 1:08.205
Spots of rain on the helicopter’s camera
LEC spins; recovers
A Haas (GRO?) right on the apex as BOT rushes up behind; BOT has to brake and ruin his lap
10mins left; bottom 5 are PER, HAR, VAN, SIR, STR
Radio for HAM – “reports of rain in Turn 12”; HAM says “there was nothing there last time”
Track temp still rising (it’s 40°C now compared to 38 at the start of Q1) but rain is threatening
PER P10; GAS to P16
SIR P13; OCO to P16
STR P18
OCO P14; ALO P16
5mins left; bottom 5 are ALO, GAS, STR, HAR, VAN
Confirmation of rain in T12
HAR P15; SAI P16
GAS P12; HAR P15
Chequered flag
Back of the grid: SAI, HAR, ALO, STR, VAN

Qualifying session 2
Everyone rushing to on track before the rain really sets in
Radio for GRO – “expecting rain in 4 minutes or so”
RAI pits without setting a time; soft tyres go on
VET also switches to softs
LEC 1:08.736
ERI 1:08.579
VER 1:08.017 on supersofts
BOT 1:07.727 also on supers
(HAM P2)
HAM holds up RAI – not moving off the racing line fast enough
(VET P2)
HAM moves off the line but SIR went the same way and has to take to the grass to avoid the Mercedes
HAM could well be heading for a penalty
Rain is getting more persistent
5mins left; bottom 5 are LEC, PER, OCO, HUL, SIR
Everyone sitting in the garage – no chance of putting in a faster time with the rain
LEC is on track on supersofts, hoping to improve on P11
LEC goes P8! MAG to P11
Chequered flag
Middle of the grid: MAG, PER, OCO*, HUL, SIR
*OCO has a 5 grid spot penalty for a gearbox change

The Ferrari duo will start the race on soft tyres; the rest of the top 10 will be on supersofts

Race control not impressed with VET – he didn’t turn off his engine when he was randomly picked to be weighed early in Q2; the car’s weight couldn’t be determined; when he drove away, he damaged the weighbridge; he’s been summoned to see the stewards after Quali.

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between BOT, VET, HAM, VER, RAI, RIC, GRO, LEC, ERI, GAS
LEC 1:08.492
ERI 1:08.432
RAI 1:07.456
VET 1:07.374
GRO P5
GAS P6
BOT P2
HAM 1:07.301
VER P5
RIC P6
Order after first run: HAM, VET, BOT, RAI, VER, RIC, LEC, ERI, GRO, GAS
Could this be Mercedes’ 100th F1 pole
2mins left; everyone leaving the pit lane
HAM 1:07.281
ERI P7
No-one else improved on their positions
Front of the grid: HAM, VET, BOT, RAI, VER, RIC*, ERI, LEC, GRO, GAS
*RIC has a 5 grid spot penalty for an engine change

Provisional grid: HAM, VET, BOT, RAI, VER, RIC*, ERI, LEC, GRO, GAS, MAG, PER, OCO*, HUL, SIR, SAI, HAR, ALO, STR, VAN
*RIC & OCO will each drop 5 places

Will there be penalties for HAM (for blocking in Q2) and/or VET (for the weighbridge in Q2)?

Replay of VET stopping to be weighed: he drives into the cone that stops them driving straight onto the scales; as someone picks up the cone, VET drives at him to get him out of the way; the FIA official is signalling at VET to kill his engine, but instead VET drives onto the scales. VET’s waving frantically at everyone to just get on with it; sure, it’s inconvenient but it’s the rules and cars are called in at random.

2 Replies to “Grand Prix of Brazil – Qualifying”

Comments are closed.