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GP Week : Issue 201
QUALIFYING FORMUlA 1 Round 5 SPANISH GP – qualifying POS # DRIvER TEAM Q1 Q2 Q3 LAPS 1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:27.238 1:26.210 1:25.232 16 2 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:26.764 1:26.088 1:25.400 19 3 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:28.053 1:26.613 1:26.285 16 4 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:28.198 1:27.563 1:26.632 17 5 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:28.472 1:27.258 1:26.960 18 6 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:28.308 1:27.335 1:27.104 18 7 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:28.329 1:27.602 1:27.140 16 8 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:28.279 1:27.570 1:27.335 18 9 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1:28.061 1:27.016 1:27.402 16 10 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:27.958 1:27.052 No time 11 11 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:28.155 1:27.685 13 12 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1:28.469 1:28.002 16 13 26 Daniil Kvyat STR-Renault 1:28.074 1:28.039 12 14 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:28.374 1:28.280 12 15 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1:28.389 No time 10 16 25 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Renault 1:28.194 No time 6 17 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1:28.563 9 18 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1:29.586 6 19 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1:30.177 6 20 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1:30.312 8 21 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1:30.375 6 22 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault No time 2 Vergne drops 10 grid (wheel, FP2); Vettel drops 5 gridspots (gearbox change) The front row was very much as predicted, with a Red Bull next in line, but the opportunity presented itself for some new faces on the first few rows. It was, however, the first direct indication that Mercedes has, if anything, slightly increased the gap to its nearest pursuers, Red Bull. Barcelona rewards aero efficiency, so the gap was indicative of progress in that area at the Silver Arrows. The only question for pole would be which one and – again – Lewis put it together when it really mattered. He’d looked good on Friday but was less happy with a couple of tweaks and the track condition on Saturday but, after losing out to Nico on the way through Q1 and Q2 – all done on the harder rubber – nailed his crucial Q3 lap, the only one on fresh rubber after both driver’s first was aborted due to Sebastian Vettel’s car failure. That was particularly galling for Rosberg, as he was close to finishing a lap which, for the first runs, was going to maintain a small gap to Hamilton ... “Nico had a strong P3 and first two sessions of qualifying, so we were making small adjustments to the differential to try and make improvements to how the car was handling for Q3,” reported Hamilton. “On that final run, I really had to eke out everything and more from the car and myself to get pole and I'm so happy that I managed it.” Daniel Ricciardo was no surprise in third – he’d eclipsed his team-mate by a solid four- tenths in Q2, but any thought Vettel had of reversing the trend went with his gearbox failure as he left the pits for Q3. However, the sheer pace of the two Mercs had him looking to Sunday with a sobering reality: “I don't really see how I could have improved much more today, so I think we're doing the best we can, but now that we're around third or fourth I want to Mercs on top, but Bottas, Grosjean shine 25 GPWEEK.com // 25 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> SPAIN PARTNERS: