Spanish GP - Saturday - Qualifying Session Report
35 for 44
Lewis Hamilton, who drives car number 44, won the 35th pole of his F1 career during qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix. His Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg qualified second. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) and Valterri Bottas (Williams) filled the second row of the grid.
The ambient temperature at the start of the session was 79 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Centigrade.)
Esteban Gutierrez was the first out in his Sauber. He set the first time: 1:29.257. Soon, however, Nico Hulkenberg topped that with a 1:28.856 in his Force India.
4 minutes into the session, Pastor Maldonado crashed his Lotus at Turn 3, and ripped up the right front suspension. The red flags came out to stop the session.
7 minutes later the green lights came on to signal the restart.
With 10 minutes remaining in the session, Nico Rosberg took the lead with a time of 1:26.764 in his Mercedes. All but Hulkenberg were out on the track.
Lewis Hamilton took his Mercedes up to second ahead of Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull. So far all the top guys had been lapping using Pirelli's hard compound tires.
With 4 minutes remaining in the session, Force India's Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez were out on the medium compound tires as they were in danger of not making the cut to Q2.
With 2 minutes remaining in the session, Romain Grosjean, jumped from 21st to 12th in his Lotus.
With a minute to go, Kevin Magnussen was out on the mediums to haul his McLaren out of 16th, and he got it up to 11th.
Sutil pushed Jenson Button's McLaren out of 16th place and down to 17th, but Button bounced back to ninth.
The top six at the end of Q1 were: Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull), Felipe Massa (Williams) and Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso.)
The six drivers eliminated at the end of Q1 were: Sutil (Sauber), Max Chilton (Marussia), Jules Bianchi (Marussia), Marcus Ericsson (Caterham), Kamui Kobayashi (Caterham), and Maldonado.
The 15-minute Q2 began with Hulkenberg motoring out of pit lane. He set a 1:27.863.
With 9 minutes remaining in the session, everybody was on the track except Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) and Hulkenberg.
With 8 minutes remaining in the session, Massa took the fastest time with a 1:27.733, but Kimi Raikkonen beat that with a 1:27.454 in his Ferrari. Everybody was on the medium Pirellis except Button.
With minutes remaining in the session, Rosberg moved ahead with a 1:26.088 and Hamilton took second with a 1:26.210.
With 6 minutes remaining in the session, Red Bull teammates Daniel Ricciardo and Vettel moved up to third and fourth. Magnussen and Vergne had yet to set a time.
With 4 minutes remaining in the session, everybody was in the pits except Hulkenberg. The top four guys did not need to run again, but those outside the top 10 or near the bubble had to make another attempt. With 2 minutes to go, the action was about to begin.
Massa, ninth, went to fourth. His teammate Valtteri Bottas, 10th, moved up to eighth. Button made it into the top 10, getting ninth, while Fernando Alonso just scraped in at 10th place with his Ferrari.
The top 10 at the end of Q2 were: Rosberg, Hamilton, Ricciardo, Massa, Vettel, Grosjean, Raikkonen, Bottas and Alonso.
The six drivers eliminated at the end of Q2 were: Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez (Force India), Kvyat, Gutierrez, Magnussen and Vergne. The latter two did not go out for a lap. And Vergne would get a 10 place grid penalty because the team had not properly attached a rear wheel on his car during practice on Friday.
The 12-minute shootout would really determine third through 10th on the grid because the two Mercedes drivers were certain to fill out the front row.
Rosberg was the first out. Hamilton followed him. Bottas was third out. All on medium compound tires of course.
With 8 minutes remaining in the session, only Grosjean and Raikkonen remained in the pits. Then Vettel stopped out at Turn 3, saying his car had no drive. The red flags stopped the session.
After a five minute stoppage the session was restarted. Again Rosberg was first out. Hamilton, Ricciardo and Alonso joined him. The other six drivers remained in the garages.
With 5 minutes remaining in the session, Rosberg set a 1:26.288 but Hamilton beat that with 1:26.561. And Ricciardo took third with a 1:26.602 while Alonso was fourth at 1:27.563
With just over 3 minutes remaining in the session, Raikkonen took to the track. And soon the rest of the drivers were preparing for their final runs.
Rosberg improved to a 1:25.400 to retake the pole, but Hamilton countered with a 1:25.400. With Ricciardo locked into third place, the battle was for fourth. Raikkonen took it first, then Grosjean and finally Bottas.
The top 10 qualifiers at the end of Q3 were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Bottas, Grosjean, Raikkonen, Alonso, Button, Massa and Vettel.