July 05, 2014
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!
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)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 05, 2014 12:47 PM (+rSRq)
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)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at July 05, 2014 08:22 PM (+rSRq)
Posted by: jon spencer at July 05, 2014 08:42 PM (JSYPT)
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)
Posted by: GreyDuck at July 06, 2014 03:31 PM (CUkqs)
Posted by: Wonderduck at July 06, 2014 07:20 PM (prhS5)
Posted by: Ben at July 06, 2014 08:07 PM (S4UJw)
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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