June 20, 2015
|4||Felipe Not Nasr Massa||Williams||1:11.830||1:09.719||1:09.192|
|5||LeMans Hulkenberg||Force India||1:11.319||1:09.604||1:09.278|
|7||Embryo Verstappen||Toro Rosso||1:11.307||1:09.631||1:09.612|
|8||Kid Kvyat||Red Bull||1:12.092||1:10.187||1:09.694|
|9||Felipe Not Massa Nasr||Sauber||1:12.001||1:09.652||1:09.713|
|10||Lettuce Grosjean||Lotus||1:11.821||1:09.920||No Time
|13||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||1:11.158||1:10.465|
|14||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:11.973||1:10.482|
|16||Sergio Perez||Force India||1:12.522|
Up at the top of the grid, it looks awfully normal. Lewis Hamilton took pole, but it actually took a little bit of luck for it to happen. He was the last to cross the start/finish line before time ran out on Q3, but he immediately beached his Mercedes into the kittylitter outside of Turn 1... just as the news came out that his teammate Nico Rosberg had set the fastest first AND second sector times of the day... if he kept that pace up, he'd grab pole easily. And then, just as Hamilton was exiting from his car at the far end of the front straight, Rosberg hurled his car off at the final turn, located at the OTHER end. He left four long black streaks of rubber behind as he reached the gravel trap short of the tire wall. So much for fast times on the first two sectors.
At the other end of the grid, we had a very interesting conversation between the Ferrari pit wall and Kimi Raikkonen: "Okay, Kimi, we wound up P18." "How did that happen?" As this is a friendly, happy blog, I may have edited a few words out of his response. Mistakes were made, and as the track dried at the end of P1, times began to plummet. When the team pitted his car, Raikkonen was seventh on the timesheets. A couple of minutes later, he was 18th and out of Quals. Heck, at one point McLaren's Jenson Button was on pole, though with six or seven minutes left.
Speaking of McLaren, both of their cars will be starting from Unterkohlstatten due to receiving matching 25-grid place penalties. Since there are only 20 places on the grid, they'll both be starting from the very back AND either a time penalty or a drive-through penalty to boot. Button basically changed every aspect of his power unit before Quals, while HWIOSCTBNA did the same except for the cigarette lighter. Red Bull's Daniel Riccardio and Toro Rosso's Kid Kyvat have also suffered various penalties, though nowhere near as extreme as the McLarens.
So that's the way it works out for the race in Austria. One thing to keep an eye on: both Saubers are reportedly set up for a rainy race, while nobody else appears to be. More and more reports are suggesting rain about one hour into the contest... if that happens, considering how well they qualified I'd expect a major upset on Sunday.
Oh, and congratulations have to go out to Mercedes. The last time either Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg wasn't on pole for a race was one year ago, when Williams' Felipe Not Nasr Massa pulled a surprise in Austria. It's been one full race year, 19 races, since then.
Race in the morning. Lord knows when I'll get the writeup done!
Some wag on the internet suggested that Red Bull and/or McLaren should use a new engine in Free Practice 1, another new engine in FP2, another in FP3, another in qualifying, and another in the race. They'd have a bazillion-place grid penalty and a time penalty, but then they'd have five barely-used engines for the rest of the season with no further penalty. That's exactly the kind of pedantic, rules-lawyering, loophole-seeking ingenuity you need to get ahead in F1!
Posted by: flatdarkmars at June 20, 2015 06:26 PM (8NqJN)
This has not been a good year for McLaren.
Let me be more frank: McLaren is having a miserable year. You can tell because in the constructor championship, the only team doing worse is Marussia. (McLaren has 4 whole points, and Marussia has zero.)
I wouldn't want to be one of the McLaren team principals trying to explain things to their sponsors.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at June 20, 2015 07:08 PM (+rSRq)
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