Tuscan Grand Prix – Qualifying


This weekend marks Ferrari’s 1,000th Formula 1 world championship race; Mercedes paint Safety Car “Ferrari red” [racefans] and Ferrari have given their cars a one-off colour scheme [BBC] for this weekend.

Not much in the way of news since last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix – “Ferrari have withdrawn their appeal against Racing Point’s punishment in Formula 1’s ‘copying’ row.” [BBC]

I’m not sure whether to call this “news” as most people expected this to happen: “Sergio Perez to leave Racing Point at end of year” [BBC] and “Sebastian Vettel: Ferrari driver to join renamed Aston Martin team in 2021” [BBC]

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: BOT (1:17.879), VER, LEC, HAM, GAS
    GRO was frustrated when he approached a slow-moving PER, asking “don’t they have radio at Racing Point?” to warn their driver
    LAT spun his Williams into a gravel trap but recovered
  2. FP2: BOT (1:16.989), HAM, VER, ALB, RIC
    NOR touched the gravel in Turn 3 (Poggiosecco) and spun his McLaren into the wall, causing the session to be suspended [video]
    PER left the pits and clipped RAI who was on a long run, causing the Alfa Romeo to spin into the Turn 1 gravel trap [video]
    “The stewards looked at the incident after the session, concluding that Perez had been given sufficient warning about Raikkonen’s presence, before slapping the Mexican with a one-place grid penalty for Sunday’s Tuscan Grand Prix – as well as adding a penalty point to his licence.”
  3. FP3: BOT (1:16.350), VER, HAM, STR, GAS
    RUS has problems with his brake-by-wire

Having topped all three practice sessions, can BOT put his Mercedes on pole?

Just ahead of Quali it’s been announced that Turn 14 (chicane) will now have track limits enforced – “a driver will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car remains in contact with the red, white and green apex kerb”
There’s no timing loops apparently, presumably because this is not a regular F1 circuit, so this is going to be down to the stewards to judge if a car exceeds track limits

Air temperature 29°CC; track 46°C; wind gusts to 13km/h; dry & sunny

Remember PER has a 1-grid spot penalty for that FP2 incident with RAI

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Green lights mark the start of Q1
Williams send RUS out first – he had a brake-by-wire in FP3 so hopefully that’s fixed
RUS 1:18.024
LAT 1:17.924
Soft tyres for both Williams; Mercedes pair are leaving the pits on softs too
STR 1:16.701
(PER P2)
HAM 1:15.778
BOT 1:15.749
(VER P3)
(VET P10) – not good for Ferrari’s big weekend, but about what’s expected
(LEC P6)
5mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are GAS, RAI, RUS, GRO, MAG
Everyone from ALB (P5) down are on track for a final run
RUS runs a bit wide, touches the gravel but continues
Chequered flag
RUS P12; MAG P16
GRO P13; VET P16
GAS P15; RUS P16
LAT P17
VET P15; GAS P16
Back of the grid: GAS, GIO, RUS, LAT, MAG
So the winner of the previous race will be P16 for tomorrow’s race
Radio from VET asking if they got through to Q2; he was P15, just 0.053sec ahead of GAS

Qualifying session 2
STR released right into the path of VER – that looks like an unsafe release
Mercedes leave the pits on soft tyres, so these could be the sets on which they’ll start the race
Everyone else looks to be on softs too, except GRO who remains in the garage
HAM 1:15.309
VER P2
BOT P2
(VET P6)
(LEC P5)
Everyone except GRO has set a time; order is HAM, BOT, VER, ALB, RIC, STR, LEC, OCO, PER, NOR,
GRO now on track, on softs too; goes P14
5mins left of Q2; bottom 5 are KVY, SAI, VET, GRO, RAI
VET P13
RAI P13
SAI P10; NOR P11
KVY ran wide, across the gravel
Middle of the grid: NOR, KVY, RAI, VET, GRO
First time NOR won’t be in Q3 this season
That’s the first session that BOT hasn’t been quickest

Top 10 shootout between HAM, BOT, VER, ALB, RIC, STR, OCO, LEC, PER* and SAI
*Remember PER has a 1-grid spot penalty for that FP2 incident with RAI

Qualifying session 3
STR rolls down the pit lane, ready for the session to start
PER and OCO wait in the pits as the other 8 start their first flying lap
SAI 1:17.870
STR 1:16.356
HAM 1:15.144
BOT P2
VER P3
LEC P5
ALB P4
RIC P6
Order: HAM, BOT, VER, ALB, STR, RIC, LEC, SAI; no time yet for PER, OCO
Radio from RIC, “I lost the rear”
PER P5
5mins left; OCO still in the garage
4mins left – time for a final run
HAM is first to leave the pits
Everyone on track now
Yellow flag in sector 1 – OCO has spun and stopped at Turn 3
HAM doesn’t improve
LEC P5
Chequered flag
Yellow flag lifted but it’s too late for anyone to put in a faster lap
Front of the grid: HAM, BOT, VER, ALB, LEC, PER, STR, RIC, SAI, OCO

Interviews:
HAM: “The track is phenomenal, it’s a really challenging circuit. Valtteri was quicker than me all day yesterday and this morning and in Q1. Finally got the lap that I needed”
BOT: “I was going to have more time there, (the yellow flags) were very disappointing as I’ve been quicker all weekend”
VER: “I never expected to really fight them in qualifying but overall the weekend has been promising, we’ve bounced back well from Monza”

Provisional grid: HAM, BOT, VER, ALB, LEC, STR, PER*, RIC, SAI, OCO, NOR, KVY, RAI, VET, GRO, GAS, GIO, RUS, LAT, MAG
*PER’s 1-grid spot penalty drops him behind teammate STR

[2020 calendar] [2020 line-up]