Grand Prix of Spain – Qualifying


Following the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Mercedes are still comfortably ahead of Ferrari (173 points versus 99) but BOT is just 1 point ahead of teammate HAM; VET is a further 34 points behind the current World Champion, with VER on his heels just 1 point behind.

News:

  • Ferrari announced they’ll be running a new spec engine in Spain, but their customers (Alfa Romeo and Haas) won’t. [BBC]
  • Renault also have an engine upgrade this weekend

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: BOT (1:17.951), VET, LEC, HAM, GRO
    STR ended the session in the wall at Turn 9
    BOT sat out the last 20mins of FP1 due to an oil leak; VER seemed to suffer a similar issue
    Apparently Ferrari didn’t run their new engine in FP1
  2. FP2: BOT (1:17.284), HAM, LEC, VET, VER
  3. FP3: HAM (1:16.568), LEC, BOT, VET, GRO
    VET spins; shortly followed by BOT spinning, but his Mercedes rolls backwards into the gravel and is beached – red flags, session suspended while they recover him
    In the last few minutes of FP3, RUS also spun but he hit the tyre wall; more red flags; FP3 won’t be restarted

“Williams Formula 1 driver George Russell will take a five-place grid penalty for the Spanish Grand Prix following a gearbox change to his car ahead of qualifying.” [autosport]

Reminder: “Daniel Ricciardo has been given a three-place grid penalty for the next Formula 1 race in Spain after reversing into Daniil Kvyat in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.”

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Air temperature 20°C; track 29°C; 60% humidity
KUB is first to leave the pits, followed by STR and the Ferrari pair
Everyone on soft compound tyres so far
KUB 1:21.860
STR 1:19.113
Yellow flags – HUL is in the gravel at Turn 4
VET 1:18.068
HUL has got himself out of the gravel but he’s lost his front wing
LEC 1:17.835
RUS has spun in the final turn
HUL has made it back to the pits but how much gravel has he dropped along the way?
(RIC P3)
VET 1:17.823
(ALB P3)
LEC 1:17.727
VER 1:17.244
BOT 1:17.175
(HAM P3)
(LEC P3)
5mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are GIO, RAI, RUS, KUB, HUL
(HAM P3)
HUL P15; PER P16
Chequered flag
RAI P11; HUL P16
GIO P17
BOT 1:16.979
HUL P15; STR P16
PER P14; HUL P16
Back of the grid: HUL, STR, GIO, RUS*, KUB
*RUS has 5-place penalty for gearbox change

Qualifying session 2
BOT leaves the garage first, followed by HAM; LEC looks at passing HAM in the pit lane but decides better
VET has caught up to LEC on their out lap but has now backed off
Everyone on softs again
BOT 1:16.269
HAM 1:16.038
(LEC P3) – he ran a little wide and it looks like some carbon fibre flew off
(VET P3)
VER, GAS and GRO split the Ferrari duo
5mins left of Q2; bottom 5 are ALB, PER, NOR, KVY, RAI
Almost everyone on track for a final run
Chequered flag
NOR P7; RIC P11
RAI P12
ALB P7; SAI P11
BOT 1:15.924
SAI P11 – looks like he cut the chicane
RIC P8; LEC P11(!)
KVY P6; ALB P11
PER P15
LEC P4; NOR P11
Middle of the grid: NOR, ALB, SAI, RAI, PER

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between BOT, HAM, VET, LEC, VER, GAS, GRO, KVY, MAG and RIC
On-board with HAM shows just how twitchy the Mercedes is
HAM 1:16.040
KVY P2
BOT 1:15.406
VET P3
VER P4
GAS P5
MAG P6
RIC P8
GRO P6
LEC is still in the garage
Order after the first run: BOT, HAM, VET, VER, GAS, GRO, MAG, KVY, RIC, LEC
Radio from VER reporting a lot of gravel on the exit from Turn 12
LEC the only one on track
5mins left
LEC P5
Rest of the field coming out the pits for their final run
LEC stays out for another run
KVY P9
Chequered flag
HAM P2
MAG P8
RIC P10
GRO pits
VER P4
LEC P5
Front of the grid: BOT, HAM, VET, VER, LEC, GAS, GRO, MAG, KVY, RIC*
*RIC has 3-place penalty for the incident in Azerbaijan

HAM: “Ultimately it just wasn’t a good enough job”; “we’ll try to convert it into a 1-2; if I can reverse it I’ll be happy”
VET: (the final sector) “seems to be more than an Achilles heel”; “the car doesn’t feel bad but we just aren’t quick enough”

Provisional grid: BOT, HAM, VET, VER, LEC, GAS, GRO, MAG, KVY, RIC*, NOR, ALB, SAI, RAI, PER, HUL, STR, GIO, RUS*, KUB
*RIC has 3-place penalty; *RUS has 5-place penalty