Nico Rosberg takes his fifth consecutive pole position ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
In Friday Practise 2, Williams Valtteri Bottas overtook Sauber’s Felipe Nasr under red flags because of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso pulled to the side of the track due to smoke and a burst of flames. Red Bulls Daniel Ricciardo has a 10 place grid penalty for chosing the upgraded engine brought by Renault this weekend. Also Sauber’s Felipe Nasr has a 3 place grid penalty for impeding Williams Felipe Massa during Q1.
With 9 minutes to go in Q1, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso is told to stop and pulls off the track at turn 11. Alonso gets out the car and then sits and watches the cars go past. Felipe Massa is on a flying lap when Felipe Nasr doesn’t see him and Massa has to take to the grass. Lotuses Pastor Maldonado, McLaren’s Jenson Button, both Manor cars of Alexander Rossi and Will Stevens and also Alonso, who did not set a lap time are out. Nasr receives a 3 place penalty while Lewis Hamilton is fastest.
With one Lotus car already out, Lotus send out Romain Grosjean with 2 minutes to go in Q2. Grosjean gets to Sector 2, loses the car, skids and ruins his tyres with 1 minute and 50 seconds to go. He gets round but he is out in 15th place. Nico Rosberg does only a couple of laps and decides to save his tyres, a good decision? Sauber’s Nasr, Torro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz, Force India’s Sergio Perez, Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson and Grosjean are out while Hamilton is fastest again.
The first runs in Q3 show that Rosberg is quickest just ahead of Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. Rosberg and Hamilton are on their final laps and Rosberg is quicker than his other lap earlier. Hamilton is slower in Sectors 1 and 2 but brings it back but it is not enough and Rosberg has pole for the 5th time in a row.
1.Rosberg 2.Hamilton 3.Vettel 4.Raikkonen 5.Hulkenberg 6.Kvyat 7.Bottas* 8.Massa 9.Verstappen 10.Sainz 11.Perez 12.Ericsson 13.Nasr* 14.Grosjean 15.Maldonado 16.Button 17.Rossi 18.Stevens 19.Ricciardo* 20.Alonso*
Bottas* 3 place grid penalty, 4th – 7th.
Nasr* 3 place grid penalty, 10th – 13th.
Ricciardo* 10 place grid penalty, 9th – 19th.
Alonso* did not set a lap during Q1.
Todays Qualifying sets up for a great race tomorrow between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. Rosberg will want to keep up his winning spirit and win while Hamilton, in his 9th attempt to win round here and equal his hero, Ayrton Senna.
A great qualifying for Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg in 6th but will move up to 5th. Lotus will be disappointed with 15th and 16th, now 14th and 15th. They would have wanted and could have achieved to get one car in Q3.