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GP Week : Issue 230
PoS DriVer teAM Q1 Q2 Q3 LAPS 1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:38.343 1:37.500 1:37.113 20 2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:38.558 1:37.672 1:37.433 18 3 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:38.448 1:38.194 1:37.912 26 4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:38.598 1:38.402 1:37.965 15 5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:39.207 1:38.224 1:38.348 18 6 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:39.250 1:38.727 1:38.659 21 7 Sergio Perez Force India 1:39.617 1:38.914 1:38.691 19 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:39.056 1:38.754 1:38.787 19 9 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:39.411 1:39.119 1:38.924 23 10 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:39.574 1:39.005 1:39.728 18 11 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:39.580 1:39.214 18 12 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:40.042 1:39.323 18 13 Jenson Button McLaren 1:39.739 1:39.763 15 14 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:39.724 1:39.811 15 15 Felipe Massa Williams 1:38.926 1:39.895 17 16 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:40.144 7 17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:40.660 9 18 Will Stevens Manor 1:43.693 9 19 Roberto Merhi Manor 1:43.804 8 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso Q1 107% Time 1:45.227 formula 1 round 15 russian Gp – Qualifying QUALIFYING Throughout qualifying, Nico Rosberg held the edge over lewis hamilton, with everyone else fighting over the scraps. even on his final flying lap hamilton wasn't able to match Rosberg's best which forced the reigning world champion into a mistake and saw him abandon the effort. The session was largely predictable with no great surprises in the opening phase. Carlos Sainz was absent following his shunt in final practice meaning only four drivers were eliminated in the first part of the session. That Fernando Alonso was among them and Jenson Button wasn't perhaps briefly raised an eyebrow, but in the end meant nothing since the Spaniard had a 35 place grid penalty to ser ve which would relegate him to last no matter what happened - even if he'd snagged pole. The Sauber's never looked to have any real pace so for Felipe Nasr to sneak through was perhaps a positive of sorts while there was a gulf in performance between teammates at Lotus and Williams, with Pastor Maldonado and Felipe Massa both eliminated in Q2 - both setting times worse than they'd managed to escape Q1. Generating heat in the suspersoft tyres proved a task, forcing drivers to spend multiple laps bringing the tyres in. That made for a busy circuit with comparatively few opportunities to set a competitive time even though the cars were on circuit more than usual - case in point, Massa completed 17 laps during his qualifying session. In the Brazilian's case his first timed lap was simply a banker, and a slow banker at that as he worked on building tyre temperature. A mistake on his flying lap in Q2 meant that while he improved the time was well off the pace - some 1.8s slower than teammate Valtteri Bottas' effort in the same part of the session. The lack of performance from Massa and Maldonado was a bonus for Felipe Nasr, who climbed to 12th courtesy of their pedestrian times - while Jenson Button set a near identical time in Q2 as Q1 when he was unable to get the best out of his fresh supersoft tyres. Hometown hero Daniil Kvyat was also a casualty in Q2, though Red Bull always looked vulnerable - neither Kvyat nor Daniel Ricciardo demonstrating any real pace around the Sochi circuit. Somewhat embarrassingly Max Verstappen in the Toro Rosso out-qualified the senior team but that owed perhaps more to Q3 strategy than outright pace. Still, the Dutchman found himself in the final phase when Kvyat did not. The final part of qualifying was a fairly straight for ward affair. Most headed out early on to set a time before returning to the pits, bolting on a fresh set of tyres and turning a few laps to bring them in ahead of a second fast effort. Ricciardo, Romain Grosjean 20 GPWEEK.com // 20 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> RUSSIA PARTNERS: rosberg lays it on the line