July 05, 2014

F1 Quals: Great Britain 2014

Silverstone, the home of the Grand Prix of Great Britain, is found in County Northamptonshire, almost central to most of "southern England."  Terrain is perfect for the location's original purpose, that of a WWII airbase... flat and more flat, with wind and more wind!  It's long been said that Silverstone has its own microclimate, and if you ever needed proof of that, today's Qual session provided all you could ever want.  Let's take a look at the results:

Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:40.380 1:35.179 1:35.766
2 4Time Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:45.086 1:36.410 1:37.386
3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:44.425 1:36.579 1:38.200
4 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:41.271 1:37.112 1:38.329
5 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1:42.507 1:37.370 1:38.417
6 Whiner Hamilton Mercedes 1:41.058 1:34.870 1:39.232
7 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1:42.146 1:37.350 1:40.457
8 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:44.710 1:38.166 1:40.606
9 Kid Kvyat STR-Renault 1:41.032 1:36.813 1:40.707
10 Jules Vergne STR-Renault 1:43.040 1:37.800 1:40.855
11 Lettuce Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:43.121 1:38.496
12 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1:41.169 1:38.709
13 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1:42.082 1:39.800
14 Esteban! Sauber-Ferrari 1:43.285 1:40.912
15 Crashtor Maldozer Lotus-Renault 1:43.892 1:44.018
16 Adrian F'n Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1:42.603 No time
17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:45.318

18 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1:45.695

19 HWMNBN Ferrari 1:45.935

20 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:46.684

21 Marcus Ericsson ?-Renault 1:49.421

22 Gandalf Kobayashi ?-Renault 1:49.625


Q1 107% Time
1:47.406

In Q1, the session started on a damp track, which dried out in just the right way to confuse and confound the teams.  Teams that gambled on the call to switch to slicks early managed to turn a hot lap before the rains came back.  Teams that didn't quite change as quickly lost out.  This resulted in Williams and Ferrari, cars that you would expect to see up in the top 10, being eliminated early.  This also gave us the rare occurrence of Marussia making it into Q2.

Q2 also started in the wet but with a drying track.  The difference was that this time, it didn't rain again, nobody was caught by the weather conditions, and the Marussias were three seconds behind the polesitter.  Reality, it is a cruel wench at times.

Finally, Q3 gave us both wet and dry at the same time.  It began to rain over the last sector of the track towards the end of the first hot laps, and didn't look to be getting any better.  Indeed, it got bad enough to force 4Time Vettel to abandon his first run to keep the car in one piece.  So everybody was in the pits, hoping it'd stop raining and get better.  Then late in the session, after the rain had moved one, most did go back out... almost too late for the Mercedes guys.  Rosberg followed provisonal polesitter Hamilton across the timing line for his hot lap with one second left.  He immediately started screaming at his teammate to speed up or get out of the way... Lewis, feeling that the track hadn't improved enough, aborted his lap early, letting Rosberg past.  As it turned out, Hamilton was dead wrong.  Fully five other drivers beat his time across the line, his teammate gaining pole by nearly three seconds.  All this drama gives us a front two rows of Mercedes-Red Bull-McLaren-Force India... not exactly what most would have predicted.

So a scrambled field with fast cars at either end of the grid... should prove interesting for the predicted dry racetrack on Sunday.  We'll see you then!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:20 AM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
Post contains 585 words, total size 17 kb.

1

I am continually amazed and pleased by how Force India is doing this season. I think it's their best season ever.

They're no threat to take either championship, of course, but no one is. It would take a miracle for anyone to knock off Mercedes at this point. However, I think it's possible Force India could come in third in the constructor's championship. That isn't out of reach.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 05, 2014 12:46 PM (+rSRq)

2 Will Caterham be permitted to race?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 05, 2014 12:47 PM (+rSRq)

3 The team formerly known as Caterham is apparently being allowed to race, yes.

They were sold this past week, y'see, and a new name, if any, has yet to be announced.

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 05, 2014 03:44 PM (mOdOJ)

4 Why do they bother with the 107% rule when everyone who exceeds it gets a waiver from the stewards?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 05, 2014 08:22 PM (+rSRq)

5 I think that the 107% rule goes away with a wet / dry track.

Posted by: jon spencer at July 05, 2014 08:42 PM (JSYPT)

6 Jon, not so.  However, it does make it easier for the Stewards to let "failed" teams in.

Steven, a fine question that.  The rule of thumb used by the Stewards is "has the car in question shown the ability in prior sessions to lap within 107% of the leaders' time?"  These days, that answer is invariably "yes."

In this particular case, Ericcson's ?-Renault did some agricultural racing during his run on dry tires, while Gandalf had an unspecified technical issue that prevented him from getting a lap in on the dry tires.  Apparently their times would have been good enough in comparison to everybody else if you just look at what they did on Intermediates.

Or, y'know, it could just be that the Stewards don't want to apply the rule.  It's come up 37 times since it was reinstated back for the 2011 season, and only four of those cars were kicked out.  Oddly enough, it was both HRT cars in Australia in 2011 and 2012.  Nobody else has been zorched.

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 05, 2014 10:15 PM (a12rG)

7 I love the term "agricultural racing." It sounds like some of those delightful KSP euphemisms.

Posted by: GreyDuck at July 06, 2014 03:31 PM (CUkqs)

8 You mean like "lithobraking" or "unplanned rapid disassembly"?

Posted by: Wonderduck at July 06, 2014 07:20 PM (prhS5)

9 Any gravity-assisted deceleration you can walk away from...

Posted by: Ben at July 06, 2014 08:07 PM (S4UJw)

10 I can't help it, "lithobraking" makes me laugh every single time.

The word, not the event, mind you. Lest you think I've become unhenged. Er, unhinged.

Posted by: GreyDuck at July 07, 2014 09:43 AM (CUkqs)

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