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Saturday, June 18, 2016


Nico Rosberg took his third pole position of the season as team-mate and main title rival Lewis Hamilton crashed out in Q3. Rosberg has posted a solid first run time of 1:42.758 and was setting about a second run when Hamilton, who already made a mistake on his first run and was in P9, made a tiny miscalculation in Turn 12 on his second run. The result was broken suspension, a dislodged front-right wheel and red flags. With a healthy margin to Sergio Perez, who was also one of the few drivers to get a clean lap in the first runs, Rosberg elected to stay in the Mercedes garage to watch as the rest of the top 10, minus Hamilton, waited for the re-start, with just two minutes and five seconds on the clock.

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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