Bahrain GP 2015
APRIL 18, 2015
Qualifying Report - Mirror Image
Qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix was a mirror image of Free Practice 3 with Lewis Hamilton out in front followed by Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa.
The ambient temperature five minutes before the start of the session was 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Centigrade). The humidity was 44 percent.
The line-up for the weekend was: Mercedes ‘ Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Red Bull Renault ‘ Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat. Williams Mercedes ‘ Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas. Ferrari ‘ Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. McLaren Honda ‘ Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. Force India Mercedes ‘ Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. Toro Rosso Renault ‘ Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz. Lotus Mercedes ‘ Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado. Marussia Ferrari ‘ Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi. Sauber ‘ Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.
Rosberg set the best time in the early going with 1:35.657.
7 minutes into the session, Button's McLaren stopped on track. Vettel, meanwhile, had yet to go out on the track at all.
11 minutes into the session, Verstappen was on the bubble in 15th place and Maldonado was in 16th.
12 minutes into the session, Alonso put the other McLaren up in ninth place.
With 4 minutes remaining in the session, Vettel was on his first flying lap and then he grabbed the top spot with a time of 1:34.919.
But it was Hamilton and Bottas who went first and second in the final moments with times of 1:33.928 and 1:34.161 respectively.
Sainz was 15th, Verstappen 16th and Alonso 14th as the drivers began their final laps.
When it was all over, the five drivers eliminated at the end of Q1 were: Maldonado, Kvyat, Stevens, Merhi and Button.
The top six at the end of Q1 were: Hamilton, Bottas, Rosberg, Massa, Raikkonen and Ricciardo.
The green lights came on to start the 15-minute Q2, but all the drivers stayed in the pits.
With 11 minutes remaining in the session, Perez headed out for some on track action.
Everybody would use Pirelli's soft tires in this session.
With 8 minutes remaining in the session, Perez posted a 1:36.354. But Rosberg crossed the line to set a 1:33.878.
Rosberg didn't stay on top for long as Hamilton turned a 1:32.669 and Massa a 1:33.551.
By now Perez was pushed down to 10th and was on the Q3 bubble ahead the two Ferrari drivers who had not set times yet.
Once Raikkonen and Vettel moved into second and fourth, Sainz was 10th ahead of Hulkenberg and Perez.
When it was all over, the five drivers who fialed to make the cut were: Perez, Nasr, Ericsson, Alonso and Verstappen.
The top six at the end of Q2 were: Hamilton, Raikkonen, Massa, Vettel, Rosberg and Bottas.
The Ferrari duo was the first out in the 12 minute session.
With 8 minutes remaining in the session, Vettel set a 1:34.522, but Ricciardo beat that with a 1:33.850.
With 6 minutes remaining in the session, Hamilton posted a 1:33.522 for the top spot, and Rosberg took third place ahead of Bottas and Vettel.
With 3 minutes remaining in the session, the order was Hamilton, Ricciardo, Rosberg, Bottas, Vettel, Raikkonen, Massa, Grosjean, Sainz and Hulkenberg.
Ricciardo went out first and briefly held the top spot, but when it was all over it was Hamilton on the pole with a time of 1:32.571 and Vettel second with a 1:32.982.
Rosberg, Raikkonen, Bottas, Massa, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Sainz and Grosjean rounded out the top 10.