Italian GP 2014
SEPTEMBER 6, 2014
Qualifying Report - Let The Accident Commence
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg qualified first and second for the Italian Grand Prix. The Mercedes teammates will duke it out for the lead into the first chicane in Sunday's race. Let the accident commence...but they definitely must not hit each other or they will get into serious trouble with their bosses.
The ambient temperature at the start of the session was 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Centigrade.)
Marussia teammates Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton were the first out for the 20 minute session. Kamui Kobayashi (Caterham) set the first time: 1:28.299.
5 minutes into the session, Nico Rosberg, the gearbox in his Mercedes now repaired, clocked a 1:25.862, but his teammate Lewis Hamilton beat that with a 1:2.571, and Felipe Massa (Williams) took second place with a 1:25.607.
9 minutes into the session Pastor Maldonado (Lotus) was 16th and on the bubble with Bianchi 17th and Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 15th.
10 minutes into the session, Rosberg posted a 1:25.493 while Massa improved to a 1:25.528. Hamilton was third but jumped to first after clocking a 1:25.363.
With 5 minutes remaining in the session, Maldonado remained on the bubble, but now Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber) was 15th. Romain Grosjean had yet to set a time in the other Lotus. He left the pits with 4 minutes to spare.
With 3 minutes remaining in the session, the top four were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Massa and Bottas. Next came McLaren teammates Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen.
But now drivers were switching to Pirelli's medium compound tires including Adrian Sutil (Sauber) who knocked Maldonado out of the 16th spot. Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) vaulted up to fifth while his teammate Daniil Kvyat took sixth.
As the clock wound down, both Lotus drivers were not going to make the cut to Q2. Maldonado had gearbox problems.
The top 10 at the end of Q1 were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Massa, Bottas, Vergne, Kvyat, Button, Magnussen, Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) and Fernando Alonso (Ferrari.)
The six drivers eliminated at the end of Q2 were: Maldonado, Grosjean, Kobayashi, Bianchi, Chilton and Marcus Ericsson (Caterham.)
Hulkenberg was the first out for the 15-minute Q2. He set a 1:31.488.
Others were soon on track, and all were using the medium rather than the hard compound slicks for Q2.
With 10 minutes remaining in the session, only Hulkenberg had set a time, but Kvyat then posted a 1:26.205.
With 9 minutes remaining in the session, the big guns were now setting times, and Rosberg led the group with a 1:24.482. Bottas was second with a 1:24.882.
Sutil was 10th and on the bubble with Vergne 11th and Gutierrez ninth. Then Gutierrez took 10th away from Sutil.
With 6 minutes remaining in the session, Hamilton, who had been out of the top 10, grabbed first with a 1:25.560. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) was now 10th and on the bubble.
Everybody pitted now and prepared for one final run. Magnussen was 11th and Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) ninth, so both were in danger of not making it into Q1.
With 3 minutes remaining in the session, Raikkonen was the first out for his final run.
With 1 minute remaining in the session, all 16 drivers were on track. Rosberg could not wrench first away from Hamilton.
Magnussen moved up to 10th, pushing Raikkonen down to 12th behind Kvyat.
The top 10 at the end of Q2 were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Bottas, Massa, Alonso, Button, Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), Sergio Perez (Force India), Ricciardo and Magnussen.
The six drivers eliminated at the end of Q2 were: Kvyat, Raikkonen, Vergne, Hulkenberg, Sutil and Gutierrez. Kvyat would drop a further 10 places down the grid as he was using this sixth power plant of the season and the rules limit a driver to five.
So, now it was 12 minutes for Hamilton and Rosberg to fight it out for the pole as no other car could match the speed of their Mercedes machines.
Perez was the first out. He posted a 1:26.230.
With 8 minutes remaining in the session, all 10 drivers were on track.
Rosberg beat that with a 1:24.552 and Bottas took second with a 1:24.697.
With 6 minutes remaining in the session, Hamilton moved on top with a 1:24.109. Bottas was now third ahead of Massa, Button and Vettel. Alonso, Magnussen, Ricciardo and Perez rounded out top 10.
With 4 minutes remaining in the session, everybody pitted to prepare for their final runs. Who would come out ahead?
Rosberg improved but not enough to beat Hamilton. Bottas was still third ahead of Massa, but now Magnussen moved to fifth ahead of Button, Alonso, Vettel, Ricciardo and Perez.