Paul Henman formula1 Spanish Grand Prix – Qualifying

Spanish Grand Prix – Qualifying

Following the post-race penalties (which resulted in ALO dropping from P8 to P11) the championship standings after Miami see LEC on 104 points, VER on 85, and PER on 66; Ferrari are just 6 points ahead of Red Bull, with Mercedes 56 points further back.

In other news:

  • VET has said gets out of his F1 car thinking “Is this something we should do, travel the world, wasting resources?” [BBC]
  • Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GDPA) chairman and ex-F1 driver Alex Wurz said the FIA is right to enforce jewellery rules but could have taken a “different approach” to get its message across; HAM said the sport had “bigger fish to fry”. [BBC]
    (I agree with HAM – the FIA seems to ignore driver safety issues like the barriers in Miami, and they’re talking about bringing Michael Masi back as a race director!)
  • The Russian GP (scheduled for Sep25 but dropped before the season started) won’t be replaced [BBC]
  • Red Bull accused Aston Martin of copying their car but was cleared by the FIA. [F1]

    When the FIA did a routine legality check of the planned upgrade package ahead of the event, they decided to investigate improvements as some parts “resembled those of another competitor” – widely understood to be Red Bull. However, they concluded that there was no breach of the rules, clearing Aston Martin to race the design.

    Of course that didn’t stop Whiny Spice continuing to accuse ex-Red Bull engineers of stealing IP when then went to Aston Martin.

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: LEC (1:19.828), SAI, VER, RUS, ALO, HAM, NOR, GAS, RIC, TSU
    New wings and sidepods on display on many of the cars as they try to find extra downforce
    A new 2022 rule requires teams to run at least two novice or reserve drivers during the season, so PER sat out for Vips; de Vries took ALB’s place; and Kubica replaced ZHO
    VER was concerned about his left mirror drooping
  2. FP2: LEC (1:19.670), RUS, HAM, SAI, VER, ALO, PER, VET, OCO, SCH
    NOR ran wide into the gravel, and then damaged the McLaren’s floor on a kerb, causing him to sit out the rest of FP2
    BOT helpfully reported “Something’s broke” as his Alfa Romeo ground to a halt, leading to a brief VSC
    ALB didn’t make any local friends when he impeded SAI
    LAT was almost 1sec off his teammate’s pace
  3. FP3: LEC (1:19.772), VER, RUS, HAM, SAI, PER, NOR, MAG, BOT, OCO
    GAS is warned “Get ready to jump out please!” as he pits with smoke billowing from the back of his AlphaTauri
    SCH boxed with his rear-right brake on fire; unfortunately he knocked down the front jack man as the Haas failed to stop in the box [video]
    HAM had to pit for the team to fix a problem with his DRS

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
Air temperature 34°C; track 47°C
ZHO 1:21.065
GAS’s AlphaTauri is puffing smoke out the rear
TSU’s time deleted for exceeding track limits
PER 1:20.447 and gives VER a tow down the main straight
VER runs a little wide in Turn 10
VER 1:20.091
STR released into the path of NOR – looks like an unsafe release to me
SAI 1:19.892
LEC 1:19.861
(HAM P4)
(RUS P4)
Pit lane incident involving STR and NOR will be investigated after the session
PER runs wide in Turn 7, across the gravel
5mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are ALB, STR, GAS, SCH, LAT
Bottom 10 drivers all leave the pits
Traffic a bit slow leaving the pit lane
Radio for RUS telling him they’re probably not going to cross the line before the chequered flag
LAT P17
SCH P8; RIC P16
Chequered flag
LAT P18
STR P17
GAS P11, TSU P16
RIC P10, ALO P16
TSU P12, VET P16
Back of the grid: VET, ALO, STR*, ALB, LAT
*STR under investigation for unsafe release

Qualifying session 2
Green light but no-one rushing to get on track
3mins into Q2 before first cars leave the pits
Everyone on the soft compound tyres, although LEC and SAI are on used softs
HAM 1:19.794
RUS 1:19.470
(PER P3)
(LEC and SAI only P4 and P6 respectively)
VER takes a lot of kerb
5mins left of Q2; bottom 5 are RIC, OCO, ZHO, TSU, GAS
Radio for GAS saying all drivers are being told not to wait at pit exit to open a gap
Everyone except RUS, HAM and LEC leave the pits
OCO P11
SAI 1:19.453
Chequered flag
GAS P13
TSU P12
RIC P10, SCH P11
VER 1:19.219
NOR’s time deleted, relegating him to P11
Middle of the grid: NOR, OCO, TSU, GAS, ZHO

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between VER, SAI, RUS, HAM, MAG, PER, LEC, BOT, RIC and SCH
The Haas pair of SCH and MAG are first to leave the pit lane
All 10 cars on track
SCH 1:21.773
MAG 1:21.351
HAM 1:19.664
SAI 1:19.423
LEC spins and heads for the pits
BOT P4
PER P2
VER 1:19.073
RIC P7
Order after first run: VER, SAI, PER, RUS, HAM, BOT, RIC, MAG, SCH, LEC
LEC first to start the 2nd run, because he doesn’t yet have a lap time
RIC the only one yet to leave the pits – less than 2mins until the flag
LEC 1:18.750
Radio from VER, “No power”; he’s told to box
SAI P3
HAM P5
Chequered flag (RIC still in the pits)
SCH P9
MAG P7
PER P4
BOT P7
RUS P4
Front of the grid: LEC, VER, SAI, RUS, PER, HAM, BOT, MAG, RIC, SCH

Provisional grid: LEC, VER, SAI, RUS, PER, HAM, BOT, MAG, RIC, SCH, NOR, OCO, TSU, GAS, ZHO, VET, ALO, STR*, ALB, LAT
*STR under investigation for unsafe release

Updates:

  • Aston Martin were fined €5,000 after an unsafe release for STR in Q1; no penalty for STR himself
  • ALO will start at the back of the grid for his home Grand Prix after having a new Renault power unit put into his Alpine [F1]

[2022 calendar and line-up]

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