Bahrain GP 2016
APRIL 2, 2016
Qualifying Report - Grab job
While the fans disliked the new knockout qualifying that debuted in Australia, the format was kept for round two in Bahrain. It was as bad if not worse this time around, although there was a bit of excitement when Lewis Hamilton grabbed the pole away from Ferrari in Q3 with a new lap record of 1:29.493.
The ambient temperature at the start of qualifying was 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Centigrade.)
The line-up for the session was: Mercedes - Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Ferrari - Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. Williams Mercedes - Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas. Red Bull TAG Heuer - Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat. Force India Mercedes - Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. Renault - Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer. Toro Rosso Ferrari - Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz. Sauber Ferrari - Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr. McLaren Honda - Stoffel Vandoorne and Jenson Button. Manor Mercedes - Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto and Roberto Merhi. Haas Ferrari - Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez.
Q1 lasted 16 minutes.
The slowest driver who was eliminated at the end of the first 7 minutes of running was: Nasr.
For the remainder of the session the slowest driver was eliminated every 90 seconds in the following order: Haryanto, Palmer, Magnussen, Perez, Ericsson and Wehrlein.
Magnussen had missed the signal to turn into the weighing area during practice on Friday, and officials penalized him by mandating that he would have to start the race from pit lane.
The fastest 15 drivers who moved on to Q2 were: Rosberg, Hamilton, Ricciardo, Vettel, Bottas, Raikkonen, Sainz, Verstappen, Button, Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Massa, Gutierrez, Vandoorne and Kvyat.
After an eight minute break, Q2 began and it lasted 15 minutes. But there was a problem as the lights at pit exit remained red, so the drivers did not know if they could go out on the track until an official started frantically waving a green flag.
The slowest driver who was eliminated at the end of the first 6 minutes of running was: Kvyat.
For the remainder of the session the slowest driver was eliminated every 90 seconds in the following order: Button, Gutierrez, Vandoorne, Sainz, Verstappen and Grosjean.
With six minutes to go everybody was in the pits except Hulkenberg who was on the bubble. He jumped up to eighth and pushed Sainz down to 11th.
The fastest 8 drivers who moved on to Q2 were: Hamilton, Vettel, Rosberg, Raikkonen, Bottas, Ricciardo, Massa and Hulkenberg.
There was a seven minute break. Then Q3, which lasted 14 minutes, began.
The slowest driver who was eliminated at the end of the first 5 minutes of running was: Hulkenberg.
So after the first runs the order was: Rosberg, Vettel, Raikkonen, Hamilton, who had run wide in the last corner, Ricciardo, Bottas, Massa and Hulkenberg.
There were no cars on track with seven minutes remaining. Then the two Ferrari drivers and the two Mercedes drivers headed out.
For the remainder of the session the slowest driver was eliminated every 90 seconds in the following order: Massa, Bottas, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Vettel, Rosberg and Hamilton
Hamilton went quickest in all three sectors and grabbed the pole while Rosberg grabbed second. That left Vettel third and Raikkonen fourth.
Ricciardo, Bottas, Massa and Hulkenberg rounded out the top eight.