Formula Racing

Italian Grand Prix – Qualifying Review

Italian GP – Qualifying: Front Row Lockout for Red Bull
By Armaan Ebrahim


An interesting qualifying ensued at the historic Monza circuit on Saturday. The turn of events consumed two of the prime contenders for the championship, as both KimiRaikkonen and Lewis Hamilton failed to garner a top-10 starting spot on the grid, while bringing disappointment to Alonso, who seemed uncharacteristically and visibly frustrated with his team.

Qualifying as it stands:

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel – P1

Mark Webber – P2

Sebastian Vettel took the centre stage as he claimed the Pole, the 40th of his illustrious career, to start the race as a runaway favorite. Vettel was in top form as he posted the leading time in the first qualifying session and then the second, with his team saying "right Sebastian, that's quick enough" over race radio. To add to the joy of Team Red Bull, Mark Webber lapped up the P2 to secure front row lockout for the team. With the formidable pairing and a guaranteed great start, it would take a Herculean effort to dislodge the two Red Bulls from their positions during the race.

Sauber

Nico Hulkenberg – P3

Esteben Gutierrez – P17

A fantastic turn of events for team Sauber, who up till now, was languishing in 10th place, as Nico Hulkenberg raced an unbelievable lap, to upstage his more illustrious opponents to tap P3. Esteben Gutierrez, however, would start the race from 17th position as his bid to qualify for the Q2 was thwarted. Sauber would be keeping their fingers crossed to maximize their showing in the qualifying with maximum points.

Ferrari

Filipe Massa – P4

Fernando Alonso – P5

A dramatic turn of events during Q3 left Alonso frustrated, disappointed, and unnaturally sarcastic. His Brazilian teammate, Filipe Massa added further unexpected drama at the conclusion of Q3 shoot-out when he apparently failed to play ball by providing team-mate Fernando Alonso with an aerodynamic tow along the back straight, resulting in him taking P4 & Alonso on P5. However, inspite of the drama, Ferrari teammates had the best chance of upstaging the Red Bull dominance and get on the podium, or atleast that’s what their team would be hoping for!

Mercedes

Nico Roseberg – P6

Lewis Hamilton – P12

It was a low day for Mercedes, as disappointment ensued for their premier driver – Lewis Hamilton, who failed to make it to the Q3. Hamilton looked out of sorts since the first qualifying, while spiraled out of the line in the second and eventually caught Force India’s Adrian Sutil, to start a disappointing P12. Hamilton lost the pole after four consecutive ones being at the helm of the race start for almost two months. However, the strong showing of Nico Roseberg made it a better day, with him taking up P6. Both the drivers will have to hope for their best showing for the race to make it to the podium.

STR- Ferrari

Daniel Ricciardo – P7

Jean Eric Vergne – P10

Daniel Ricciardo celebrated his appointment as the Red Bull driver (for the next season) with an amazing lap time to secure the seventh qualifying place. Jean Eric Vergne pushed hard in his bid to gain a better qualifying and would be starting the race in the 10th place. Continuing the string of good performances by the team, both the Torro Rosso drivers would bid hard to reward their team with crucial points.

McLaren

Sergio Perez – P8

Jenson Button – P9

A largely satisfying qualifying for the McLarens, as both their drivers made it into the top-10 position in qualifying. Perez claimed the P8 spot, while Button secured the 9th starting position on the grid. It has been a disappointing start to the season for McLaren, but of late they have regained some consistency of showing, while garnering points for their team. With disappointments for Force India continuing, this race would be McLaren’s chance to gain some lost ground in the constructor’s championship.

With the Red Bull duo taking up the front row, the other drivers would be scrambling to catch up with them, especially with the Lotus drivers far behind in the pecking order. Would this race prove to be the end of the championship road for Vettel’s illustrious opponents – Kimi, Alonso and Hamilton? Only time would tell.

Germany GP

31st July 2016

  • Driver Team Time/Lag
  • Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:30:44.200
  • Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing + 6.996s
  • Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing + 13.413s
  • Nico Rosberg Mercedes + 15.845s
  • Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 32.750s
  • Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari + 37.273s
  • Nico Hulkenberg Force India + 70.049
  • Jenson Button McLaren + 1 lap
  • Valtteri Bottas Williams + 1 lap
  • Sergio Perez Force India + 1 lap

Belgian GP

26th - 28thAug 2016

  • Practice 1 Fri 26th Aug 2016

  • Practice 2 Fri 26th Aug 2016

  • Practice 3 Sat 27th Aug 2016

  • Qualifying Sat 27th Aug 2016

  • Race Sun 28th Aug 2016

standings

Formula One World Championship 2016

  • Driver Points Team
  • Lewis Hamilton 217 Mercedes
  • Nico Rosberg 198 Mercedes
  • Daniel Ricciardo 133 Red Bull Racing
  • Kimi Räikkönen 122 Ferrari
  • Sebastian Vettel 120 Ferrari
  • Max Verstappen 115 Red Bull Racing
  • Valtteri Bottas 58 Williams Mercedes
  • Sergio Perez 48 Force India Mercedes
  • Felipe Massa 38 Williams Mercedes
  • Nico Hulkenberg 33 Force India Mercedes