2017 Formula 1 Vtb Russian Grand Prix — Qualifying Round-Up

Source: www.formula1.com

An unwanted record stretching back for nine years has fallen following an enthralling qualifying session for the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.

Over the course of the weekend so far, a Ferrari had headed every on-track practice session, but Valtteri Bottas upset the applecart very early on by heading a Mercedes 1-2 in the first qualifying session. However, his 1:34.041 was four hundredths of a second slower than Vettel’s time in free practice earlier in the day — and both Ferraris were running supersoft tyres rather than the ultrasofts found on the rest of the field.

Q1 ended with a bit of a bang as both Pascal Wehrlein’s Sauber and the Renault of Jolyon Palmer ended up in the barriers in quick succession while attempting to get out of the bottom five drop zone. The resulting red flag prevented Romain Grosjean from improving his position in the Haas too, and the trio joined the suffering Stoffel Vandoorne — already facing a grid penalty for a power unit change in his McLaren — and the other Sauber of Marcus Ericsson in an early elimination.

The second period of qualifying was far quieter, but more frustrating for McLaren’s Fernando Alonso. After a stellar lap at the end of Q1 put him 13th, the Spaniard was three-tenths slower in Q2 and ended up bottom of the remaining pack by some margin. Also joining him to be ejected from qualifying were Carlos Sainz, Lance Stroll, Daniil Kvyat in his home grand prix, and Kevin Magnussen.

Source: www.formula1.com

By contrast, the top times were set by the number two drivers, as Bottas led Kimi Raikkonen home by almost 0.4s with a 1:33.264. Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel placed third and fourth respectively.

The final session started with a bang as Hamilton and Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg very nearly had a coming together leaving the pits. The two drivers toured round on their outlaps broadly together, with Hamilton complaining that Hulkenberg’s tyre-warming antics were “dangerous”.

First blood went to Kimi, as the Finn went fastest of the weekend so far at 1:33.253, while Bottas saw no improvement over his Q2 time to trail his countryman by 0.036s. Vettel remained in third and Hamilton was well off the pace in fourth, ahead of the teams’ final qualifying runs.

As the chequered flag fell, Raikkonen posted no improvement, leaving the door wide open for the chasing trio. Vettel capitalized with a 1:33.194 to seize provisional pole position, but the chasing Bottas also couldn’t improve and stayed third, to miss out on his second successive — and second ever — pole.

That left the deciding lap as Lewis Hamilton’s, but the Brit, who had struggled all weekend, was nowhere. This gave Ferrari its first front-row lockout since the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours in June 2008!

1 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 1:34.493 1:34.038 1:33.194 20
2 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 1:34.953 1:33.663 1:33.253 18
3 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:34.041 1:33.264 1:33.289 18
4 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:34.409 1:33.760 1:33.767 19
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:35.560 1:35.483 1:34.905 20
6 19 Felipe Massa WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:35.828 1:35.049 1:35.110 20
7 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:35.301 1:35.221 1:35.161 18
8 27 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT 1:35.507 1:35.328 1:35.285 21
9 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:36.185 1:35.513 1:35.337 18
10 31 Esteban Ocon FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:35.372 1:35.729 1:35.430 20
11 55 Carlos Sainz TORO ROSSO 1:35.827 1:35.948 18
12 18 Lance Stroll WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:36.279 1:35.964 18
13 26 Daniil Kvyat TORO ROSSO 1:35.984 1:35.968 18
14 20 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 1:36.408 1:36.017 16
15 14 Fernando Alonso MCLAREN HONDA 1:36.353 1:36.660 14
16 30 Jolyon Palmer RENAULT 1:36.462 9
17 2 Stoffel Vandoorne MCLAREN HONDA 1:37.070 9
18 94 Pascal Wehrlein SAUBER FERRARI 1:37.332 9
19 9 Marcus Ericsson SAUBER FERRARI 1:37.507 9
20 8 Romain Grosjean HAAS FERRARI 1:37.620 9

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