Such a short space of time would allow for just one warm-up lap and one flying lap and with a number of drivers having already complained of the difficulty of finding a clean lap due to traffic and tyre warm-up, track position would be crucial. And it was Red Bull who managed to get one of its drivers to the head of the queue at the pit exit. Daniel Ricciardo was first out on track as the lights went green and in a frantic end to the session the Australian capitalised, climbing for the P7 yielded by an untidy first flyer to P3 with a big lap under big pressure.
Behind him on track was Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and though the four-time champion set an identical time to Ricciardo, 1:43.966, the Australian’s track position handed him P3. Ricciardo will rise to the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s race tool, as second-placed qualifier Sergio Pérez is facing a five-place grid drop due to a crash late in FP3 necessitating an unscheduled gearbox change on his Force India car.
For Perez, it was a slightly bittersweet session, in the knowledge that his second place will translate to a seventh-place start once his penalty is applied.
Behind Ricciardo and Vettel, fifth place went to Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen with Felipe Massa sixth for Williams. Daniil Kvyat put in a good lap to claim seventh for Toro Rosso ahead of the second Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in P9. The unfortunate Hamilton qualified in P10.
The big casualty of Q1 was McLaren’s Jenson Button, who was eliminated in P19 behind the Manors of Rio Haryanto in P17 and Pascal Wehrlein. Behind Button were Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson and the Renaults of Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer. Eliminated in Q2 were Romain Grosjean in P11 followed by Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, Haas’ Esteban Gutierrez and Sauber’s Felipe Nasr.
P. DRIVER TEAM TIME GAP 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG 1:42.758 2. Sergio Perez* Force India 1:43.515 + 0.757 3. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:43.966 + 1.208 4. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:43.966 + 1.208 5. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:44.269 + 1.511 6. Felipe Massa Williams 1:44.483 + 1.725 7. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:44.717 + 1.959 8. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:45.246 + 2.488 9. Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:45.570 + 2.812 10. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG 2:01.954 +19.196 * penalty 5 grid places Q2 Fastest time: Nico Rosberg 1:42.520 11. Romain Grosjean Haas 1:44.755 + 2.235 12. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:44.824 + 2.304 13. Carlos Sainz JR. Toro Rosso 1:45.000 + 2.480 14. Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:45.270 + 2.750 15. Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1:45.349 + 2.829 16. Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:46.048 + 3.528 Q1 Fastest time: Nico Rosberg 1:43.685 17. Rio Haryanto Manor 1:45.665 + 1.980 18. Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1:45.750 + 2.065 19. Jenson Button McLaren 1:45.804 + 2.119 20. Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:46.231 + 2.546 21. Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:46.348 + 3.663 22. Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:46.394 + 3.709 107% time: 1:50.943
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