Saturday, July 9, 2016

2016 BRITISH GP: LOT OF DELETED TIMES, LEWIS ON POLE

Lewis Hamilton claimed a fourth career British Grand Prix, taking top spot on the grid with a superb last-ditch effort after his first Q3 flyer was deleted for exceeding the track limits. Overnight at Silverstone the race stewards had informed teams that a “zero tolerance” attitude would be taken to drivers utilising more of the track than is legal, particularly at Copse, Stowe and Club corners. Several drivers were penalised during the course of the session and after taking provisional pole position with a lap of 1:29.339 Hamilton too felt the stewards’ wrath as he went over the kerbing.

That handed P1 to Rosberg with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen in P2 ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. Hamilton was left with a single run in which to stake his claim to top spot and the defending champion delivered in spectacular style, bettering his first run time by five hundredths of a second. Rosberg failed to improve and thus Hamilton his fourth career British Grand Prix pole. Behind the Mercedes duo, Verstappen held P3. The Dutch driver failed to improve on his first-run time but Ricciardo too could find no more pace and the teenager out-qualified his more experienced team-mate for the first time since joining Red Bull ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix. Today’s result is also Verstappen’s best qualifying finish to date.

Kimi Raikkonen claimed the front slot of row three with a time 0.263 behind Ricciardo. The Finn survived a Q2 scare in which several errant laps saw him in P15 in the final moment of the middle session. Raikkonen found a clean lap with his final flyer, however, to make it through to Q3 in P6 and then bettered that by one place in the final session. Team-mate Sebastian Vettel took sixth place but is set to drop down the grid after requiring a replacement gearbox following an issue in FP3.

Valtteri Bottas was seventh for Williams ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso. The first session saw Jenson Button, in the second McLaren, eliminated in P17 ahead of Renault’s Jolyon Palmer, the Manors of Rio Haryanto and Pascal Wehrlein and the sole Sauber of Felipe Nasr. The Brazilian’s team-mate Marcus Ericsson did not take part in the session having been sent to hospital for checks following his heavy crash in FP3.

There was confusion ahead of Q2 with McLaren believing that Button might make it into Q2 owing to the possibility of Magnussen’s final time being deleted. But it was not the case and Button’s scramble to be ready for the session, having left the garage after Q1, was in vain. Raikkonen’s was not the only driver to make a good escape in Q2. Carlos Sainz too put in a superb final flyer to rise from the lower reaches of the order to claim P8 and a Q3 berth. Behind tenth-placed Alonso, eliminated in Q2 were Force India’s Sergio Perez, Williams’ Felipe Massa, Haas’ Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez, Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and Renault’s Magnussen.

2016 British Grand Prix – Qualifying
 P.   DRIVER             TEAM       TIME      GAP  
 1. Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes AMG 1:29.287
 2. Nico Rosberg      Mercedes AMG 1:29.606 + 0.319
 3. Max Verstappen    Red Bull     1:30.315 + 1.026
 4. Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull     1:30.618 + 1.331
 5. Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari      1:30.881 + 1.594
 6. Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari      1:31.490 + 2.203
 7. Valtteri Bottas   Williams     1:31.557 + 2.270
 8. Nico Hulkenberg   Force India  1:31.920 + 2.633
 9. Carlos Sainz JR.  Toro Rosso   1:31.989 + 2.702
10. Fernando Alonso   McLaren      1:32.343 + 3.056
   Q2 Fastest time: Lewis Hamilton 1:29.243        
11. Sergio Perez      Force India  1:31.875 + 2.632
12. Felipe Massa      Williams     1:32.002 + 2.759
13. Romain Grosjean   Haas         1:32.050 + 2.807
14. Esteban Gutierrez Haas         1:32.241 + 2.998
15. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso        1:32.306 + 3.063
16. Kevin Magnussen   Renault      1:37.060 + 7.817
   Q1 Fastest time: Nico Rosberg 1:30.724          
17. Jenson Button     McLaren      1:32.788 + 2.064
18. Jolyon Palmer     Renault      1:32.905 + 2.181
19. Rio Haryanto      Manor        1:33.098 + 2.374
20. Pascal Wehrlein   Manor        1:33.151 + 2.427
21. Felipe Nasr       Sauber       1:33.544 + 2.820
22. Marcus Ericsson   Sauber      NOT PARTICIPATING
    107% time: 1:37.075