Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

sunnuntai 30. lokakuuta 2016

Mexico GP / Qualifying: 10th pole of the year for Hamilton!

I had looked forward to this GP weekend very much, as I got a special visitor on Friday. Erja, who lives in Ilmajoki, Finland some 300 km away, came to visit me for the weekend. I learnt to know Erja last winter, as we both took part in the ReadySetRed competition arranged by Ferrari on social media. Sometimes it's possible to find a true friend and soul mate on social media! Erja is as crazy about Formula 1 as myself, so it was really awesome to get together and watch the free practices and qualifying together. It was fantastic to share thoughts and opinions with somebody as enthusiastic as myself!

In Q1 everything was looking promising in terms of Ferrari´s pace. After the first runs Kimi and Sebastian were topping the timesheets! Unfortunately though, it wasn´t the true pecking order. Hamilton went fastest at the end of the first session, but otherwise the pack was quite mixed-up. Kimi was still second fastest, Red Bull´s Ricciardo third and Sebastian fourth. Surprisingly, Rosberg was only 6th fastest in the first segment. All drivers opted for super soft rubber. Putting top teams aside, there were two drivers, who caught my attention in Q1. Sauber´s Ericsson drove a stunning lap, which made him jump 13th in the standings. Manor´s Wehrlein was a positive surprise as well, as the German managed to make it in to Q2 by jumping 16th. Their teammates Nasr and Ocon were both eliminated from the second session, so were the Haas duo of Gutierrez and Grosjean and Toro Rosso´s Kvyat.

Q2 was again all about tyre strategy. Both red cars came out on soft rubber at the beginning of the session. Mercedes and Force India opted for the similar tyre compound. Once again it was the Red Bull drivers, who stood out of the crowd by opting for the red-marked super soft Pirellis. After the first attempts Verstappen was topping the timesheets with Hamilton 2nd, Sebastian 3rd and Ricciardo 4th. Rosberg in P5 and Kimi in P6 had to made second runs, whereas the top four stayed in the pit garage. Rosberg opted for another set of soft tyres, whereas Kimi made his second run on super soft tyres. However, Kimi didn´t improve his lap time, which means that he´ll start to the race on the yellow-marked soft compound. Out of the decisive Q3 were the McLaren duo of Alonso and Button, Force India´s Perez, Renault´s Magnussen, Sauber´s Ericsson and Manor´s Wehrlein.

Hamilton set the pace in Q3. Red Bull´s pace seemed very impressive, as both Red Bull drivers were ahead of Rosberg, who was well behind teammate Hamilton. By comparison, Ferrari were absolutely nowhere! Kimi was 6th and Sebastian 8th after the first runs. Rosberg, however, managed to vault past Verstappen and Ricciardo to claim the other front-row grid slot. Teammate Hamilton was firmly on pole, which was his 10th pole of the year. Red Bull locked out row two, with Verstappen third and Ricciardo fourth. Force India´s Hulkenberg starred as he beat both Ferraris to secure fifth. Kimi was left in P6 and teammate Sebastian in P7. It definitely wasn´t the result the red-suited warriors were hoping for! It was extremely tight between the Scuderia teammates, as there were only 5 thousandths of a second separating them at the end of the session. Williams duo of Bottas and Massa and Toro Rosso´s Sainz rounded out the top ten. What a huge difference there was in the performance of the Toro Rosso teammates, as Kvyat was knocked out already in Q1.

Again today´s start will be extremely interesting. I´m expecting both Verstappen and Ricciardo take aggressive starts on the super soft rubber, so they might challenge the Silver Arrows for real on the opening laps. I hope Ferrari´s race pace turns out excellent! Hopefully both Kimi and Sebastian manage to get past Hulkenberg already on the opening lap. I also hope that Ferrari´s pit stops will be absolutely perfect today -so no broken wheel nuts this time! Who ever will be doing the podium interviews today must be absolutely scared of Ricciardo making it among the top three, as the podium ceremony might involve doing another shoey ;) I really hope to see a red-suited driver finally on the podium after such a long dry season! Forza Kimi! Forza Sebastian! Forza Ferrari!

Ei kommentteja:

Lähetä kommentti