A dejected looking Vettel stomps down the pit lane as he contemplates what proved to be a difficult Q1 session for the German.
This is not the first time Felipe Massa has suffered no had maximum power in qualifying. The Brazilian had a fuel pressure problem that the team did not have time to fix in Russian GP qualifying last year which meant that he was down on power.
With two sets of fresh supersofts at the Mercedes drivers’ disposal, Hamilton’s first try in Q3 was a 1m14.393s, compared to Nico Rosberg’s 1m14.702s – who complained he “didn’t have any grip on the rear” and was told it was his “worst set of tyres”.
But neither Mercedes improved their times on their second runs, giving Hamilton his 44th career F1 pole. “What a rubbish end to the qualifying,” moaned Rosberg over the radio.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen set 1m15.126s on his first run, which was good for third at the time, with Romain Grosjean fourth and Lotus teammate Pastor Maldonado just shading Valtteri Bottas by 0.04s early on.
Raikkonen lowered his time to 1m15.014s, as Bottas moved up to fourth with 1m15.102s on their second runs.
Maldonado and Grosjean then almost banged wheels in the pitlane, having been released simultaneously. Grosjean won the war, however, with a 1m15.194s to Maldonado’s 1m15.329s.
Nico Hulkenberg will start seventh for Force India, ahead of the Red Bulls of Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo. Sergio Perez qualified 10th in the second Force India.
|Pos||Driver||Car / Engine||Time||Gap|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1’15.614||1.221|
|8||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1’16.079||1.686|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1’16.114||1.721|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1’16.338||1.945|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1’16.042||1.649|
|19||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1’16.245||1.852|