Formula Racing

Spanish GP – Qualifying Review

Front Row Lockout for Mercedes at Circuit de Catalunya
By Armaan Ebrahim


The unpredictable Spanish GP got underway to a rousing start, with a first time ever, back to back poles for Nico Roseberg. However, the wind direction at the circuit which has a reputation of changing suddenly and thus affecting the aerodynamics of a racing car was very much on display as many of the top racers appeared stumped by tyre problems faced during the free practice as well as qualifying. Historically, only one race has ever been won by a racer starting outside the top 2 in the past 22 years and hence, Team Mercedes would be looking at taming this Spanish bull.

The qualifying as it stood:

Mercedes

Nico Roseberg – P1

Lewis Hamilton – P2

Fantastic qualifying for Mercedes again, as it completed the hat-trick of poles this season with Nico coming up trumps and grabbing P1. Hamilton was close on his heels and finished P2 in a race which historically favours the top 2 racers. But with high tyre degradation once again expected to dominate the race, the pair were only too aware that they would have their work cut out to maintain their advantage when it really counted.

With history in Mercedes’ favour, was it going to be Mercedes’ race?

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel – P3

Mark Webber – P8 (Changed to P7)

The demeanor of Vettel was that of a winner, who was confident of his abilities and if the Qualifying was anything to go by, Vettel had a serious chance of a victory in the GP with a good qualifying of P3. His teammate however, finished with P8, and would have been mildly happy with a place with a grid penalty for Massa.

Lotus

Kimi Raikkonen – P4

Romain Grosjean – P7 (Changed to P6)

With a wonderful showing in the last Bahrain GP, Lotus would have been hoping for a repeat in fortunes. Kimi looked a serious threat to the hegemony of the historically bigger teams, and a podium finish in the Spnish GP would only confirm it. Romain Grosjean, consistent through by far, has shown greater control of a fantastic car this year. Would this race be the change in power shift?

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso – P5

Filipe Massa – P6 (Changed to P9)

Home races can be both boon and a bane for the racers and especially for the one counted amongst the favorites for championship title. The steely nerves of Alonso would be tested to the hilt as he lined up in P5 alongside the Lotus, as his teammate got a 3 place grid penalty for blocking Mark Webber in the final sector.

McLaren

Sergio Perez – P9 (Changed to P8)

Jenson Button – P14

A role reversal for Mclaren as their premier driver – Jenson Button – moved out of top 10 for the first time this season. However, it was compensated by the first Q3 of Sergio Perez in his debut season. Perez claimed the P9 spot (which was changed to P8). It’s been a disappointing start to the season for Mclaren and the team would be hoping for a reversal in fortunes with at least both its drivers claiming points for the first time this season.

Sahara Force India

Paul Di Resta – P10

Adrian Sutil – P13

After a disappointing Friday practice, where the tyre handling issues cropped up, Paul Di Resta would be satisfied with the top-10 qualifying position. Force India has shown it is moving up a notch, with scoring points in all races but one and would be looking forward to another top – 10 finish at least for one of its drivers. With tyre management being a critical issue, it could be anybody’s game!

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