Hamilton on Pole as Hulkenberg shines

Mercedes and home-favourite Lewis Hamilton takes pole position ahead of the Ferrari duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel as Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg qualifies 6th.

15/07/17

Qualifying

Q1

Q1 starts with Max Verstappen out first on the Intermediate tyre. Esteban Ocon, Pascal Wehrlein and Lewis Hamilton head out on the Supersoft tyre. Surely, the track isn’t dry enough for the slicks? Verstappen completes his lap of a 1:43:166 as the Supersoft runners peel back into the pits to fit the Intermediate tyre. Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen are next on a 1:42:966 and a 1:46:208. Sebastian Vettel is next on a 1:44:059, no one is going than the drivers who set their times earlier.

A Red Bull has stopped. It’s Ricciardo! He has stopped at the inside of turn 8 with the Australian reporting an apparent turbo failure. The session is Red flagged until the marshals recover the Red Bull car. The session is restarted with 10 minutes and 7 seconds to go. The times fall as the rain stops with Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso pitting late to swap to the Supersoft tyre. It looks like Alonso will not make it before the chequered flag. He does and what a lap it is. He goes quickest on a 137.598. A McLaren Honda is on top at the end of Q1 ahead of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

Out: Ricciardo – 20th, Ericsson – 19th, Wehrlein – 18th, Magnussen – 17th and Stroll – 16th.

Q2

Q2 starts with Max Verstappen the first driver out on track and the first to set a lap time of a 1:33:917 on the Supersoft tyre. Valterri Bottas is running the Soft tyre. Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton are next on a 1:32:186 and a 1:31:145. With 2 minutes to go, Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez, Jolyon Palmer and Felipe Massa are in the drop-zone.

Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton improve with a 1:28:992, 1:28:978 and a 1:27:893. Hamilton ends the session quickest ahead of Bottas and Vettel. Stoffel Vandoorne out-qualifies teammate Fernando Alonso as the Belgian scraps through to Q3.

Out: Massa – 15th, Sainz – 14th, Alonso – 13th, Kvyat – 12th and Palmer – 11th.

Q3

Q3 starts with Lewis Hamilton out first. Valterri Bottas, Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel set their first times on a 1:27:580, 1:27:231, 1:27:622 and a 1:27:430. Nico Hulkenberg’s first lap puts him 6th behind the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

With 2 minutes and 10 seconds to go, the cars head out for their final laps. Bottas improves to a 1:27:376 with Hamilton improving to a 1:26:600. Raikkonen improves and jumps Vettel to 3rd on a 1:27:147.

Top 10: Grosjean – 10th, Vandoorne – 9th, Ocon – 8th, Perez – 7th, Hulkenberg – 6th, Verstappen – 5th, Bottas – 4th, Vettel – 3rd, Raikkonen – 2nd and Hamilton – 1st.

Qualifying Result

1.Hamilton  2.Raikkonen  3.Vettel  4.Verstappen  5.Hulkenberg  6.Perez  7.Ocon  8.Vandoorne  9.Bottas*  10.Grosjean  11.Palmer  12.Kvyat  13.Sainz  14.Massa  15.Stroll  16.Magnussen  17.Wehrlein  18.Ericsson  19.Ricciardo*  20.Alonso*

Bottas* and Ricciardo* each had a 5 place grid drop for a gearbox change while Alonso* received a 30 place grid drop after McLaren changed various pieces of the Honda power-unit.

 

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