Saturday, April 11, 2015

2015 CHINESE GP: MERCEDES AMG TO FAST ON QUALIFYING DAY

Mercedes AMG driver Lewis Hamilton continued his clean sweep of pole positions throughout the 2015 season and claimed his fifth pole in China. His team mate Nico Rosberg lines up alongside him on the grid tomorrow, just 0.042 seconds behind. Sebastian Vettel will start from the second row in his Ferrari, third fastest with a 1.36.687. Kimi Raikkonen is sixth, separated from his team-mate by the Williams duo of Massa and Bottas.

Daniel Ricciardo was sixth fastest driver, 0.6s behind Kimi. Daniil Kvyat, his team-mate, failed to reach Q3 for the second time in three appearances, taking 12th. Romain Grosjean was eighth for Lotus, while his team-mate Pastor Maldonado missed out on Q3 by just 0.007s and will start 11th. Sauber was the midfield underdog starring in Q3 this time, securing the fifth row places with Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson.

By contrast the Toro Rossos were left out in Q2. Max Verstappen, who locked up heavily on his last run, and Carlos Sainz Jr share row seven. McLaren's encouraging Friday times proved deceptive as Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso found themselves out in Q1 and on row nine, just 0.004s apart. They were at least within a tenth of the Force Indias.

Nico Hulkenberg only got ahead of Button with a final Q1 effort, while Sergio Perez scraped through into Q2 then languished seven tenths off the Toro Rossos. The Manor-run Marussias were 3s off the tail of the field but made the 107 per cent target in Q1 so are both clear to start the race, Will Stevens ahead of Roberto Merhi.

Asphalt temperatures peaked at 35 degrees today, which was by some margin the warmest track temperature seen so far in China this year. Similar conditions are expected for the race at 2pm tomorrow, with a negligible risk of rain.

P.DRIVERTEAMTIMEGAPTYRELAPS
1.Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:35.782
SOFT12
2.Nico RosbergMercedes1:35.824+  0.042SOFT12
3.Sebastian VettelFerrari1:36.687+  0.905SOFT17
4.Felipe MassaWilliams1:36.954+  1.172SOFT15
5.Valtteri BottasWilliams1:37.143+  1.361SOFT15
6.Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1:37.232+  1.450SOFT17
7.Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing1:37.540+  1.758SOFT18
8.Romain GrosjeanLotus1:37.905+  2.123SOFT20
9.Felipe NasrSauber1:38.067+  2.285SOFT16
10.Marcus EricssonSauber1:38.158+  2.376SOFT15
Q2FASTEST TIMELEWIS HAMILTON
1:36.423

11.Pastor MaldonadoLotus1:38.134+  1.711
13
12.Daniil KvyatRed Bull Racing1:38.209+  1.786
13
13.Max VerstappenToro Rosso1:38.393+  1.970
14
14.Carlos SainzToro Rosso1:38.538+  2.115
14
15.Sergio PerezForce India1:39.290+  2.867
10
Q1FASTEST TIMESEBASTIAN VETTEL
1:37.502

16.Nico HulkenbergForce India1:39.216+  1.714
6
17.Jenson ButtonMcLaren1:39.276+  1.774
6
18.Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1:39.280+  1.778
8
19.Will StevensMarussia1:42.091+  4.589
6
20.Roberto MerhiMarussia1:42.842+  5.340
8

Q1 107% Time1:44.327