Hamilton on pole; Vettel and Massa out from Q1

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 
Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’14.393
Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’14.702 0.309
Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’15.014 0.621
Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1’15.102 0.709
Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 1’15.194 0.801
Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1’15.329 0.936
Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1’15.614 1.221
Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1’16.079 1.686
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
12  Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1’16.262 1.869
13  Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1’16.276 1.883
14  Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1’16.620 2.227
15  Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’17.344 2.951
16  Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1’17.886 3.493
17  Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 1’19.133 4.740
18  Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 1’19.157 4.764
19  Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1’16.245 1.852
20  Jenson Button McLaren/Honda