Austrian Grand Prix – Qualifying


Unusually I posted about the Practice sessions (FP1 & FP2) yesterday, and I forgot to mention the source of the thumbnail image – it’s from the official Australian Grand Prix twitter feed, who posted it on Thursday.

There’s one update from yesterday: “Mercedes DAS system ruled legal as Red Bull protest rejected” [FIA] “…it was determined that DAS is part of the Mercedes W11’s steering system, “albeit not a conventional one”.”
So the question is how soon can Red Bull and Ferrari get their versions of DAS installed.

FP3:
LAT lost the rear of his Williams into Turn 1, hit the tyre wall and destroyed his front wing, bringing out the reg flags [video]
Fortunately the rest of the car looks ok so hopefully his mechanics can get it ready in time for his first F1 Qualifying session
It took a while to clean up, so FP3 restarted with only about 20mins left on the clock
Timings: HAM (1:04.130), BOT, VER, PER, LEC, ALB, VET, STR, GAS, NOR

Anyone who whines about wearing a mask in public because it stops them breathing should watch these athletes warming up in theirs – they’re exercising in masks, and you know the teams wouldn’t just accept something if it limited their performance.

Quali:
Track 54°C; zero chance of rain
Williams report LAT’s car is rebuilt and ready to go
Mercedes had a moment when they discovered a problem on BOT’s car but that’s ok now too
Green light – first Quali session of 2020 is under way!
LAT 1:07.208
GIO 1:05.478
And the official F1 app is not showing lap times – yay 🙁
STR 1:04.678
NOR 1:04.688
VER 1:04.326
(BOT P4)
5mins left of Q1: bottom 5 are RAI, MAG, RUS, GRO, LAT
(HAM P2)
RUS to P15, relegating GIO to P16
STR 1:04.309
RIC kicks up some dust
Chequered flag
GRO P15, RUS P16
MAG P16
VER 1:04.024
Back of the grid: MAG, RUS, GIO, RAI, LAT

Qualifying session 2:
Q2 started but everyone’s sitting in the garages
BOT 1:03.530
HAM 1:03.325
Everyone on soft tyres except VER on mediums
(LEC P5)
(VET P9)
VER the only one to do a second fast lap; goes P6
So the Red Bull on mediums is faster than both Ferrari on softs
5mins left; bottom 5 are GAS, KVY, ALB, OCO, GRO
BOT 1:03.015
Chequered flag
ALB P3; VET P11
Middle of the grid: VET, GAS, KVY, OCO, GRO

So one Ferrari is out of Quali and the other only just scraped through!

Qualifying session 3:
Top 10 shootout is between BOT, HAM, ALB, NOR, PER, STR, SAI, VER, RIC, LEC
The Mercedes pair are first to leave the pits
BOT 1:02.939
HAM P2
SAI P3
NOR pits without setting a time
PER P4
LEC P5
VER P3
ALB P4
Order after the first run: BOT, HAM, VER, ALB, SAI, PER, LEC; no time from NOR, STR, RIC
STR leaves the pit lane
3mins left of Q3
Traffic jam in the pit lane as everyone else heads out
STR P6
Chequered flag
Yellow flag – BOT off across the gravel
Radio from BOT – “just cutting some grass” 🙂
That brief caution could ruin everyone’s chance to improve
Radio from RIC, annoyed at the yellow flags because BOT was well off the track
Front of the grid: BOT, HAM, VER, NOR, ALB, PER, LEC, SAI, STR, RIC

Top 3 park on the grid for the interviews
Each has a stand with their caps, masks, a place for their helmet, etc.
Paul di Resta has to shout his questions – maybe they should have an amp or headphones next time?
HAM has bit of a dig at Ferrari, saying Mercedes is a united team, not afraid to admit when they’re wrong, no politics within the team

Sky was about to interview NOR when Zak Brown interrupted, handed him a phone – apparently it’s the Crown Prince!? 🙂

Provisional grid: BOT, HAM, VER, NOR, ALB, PER, LEC, SAI, STR, RIC, VET, GAS, KVY, OCO, GRO, MAG, RUS, GIO, RAI, LAT