The first dry qualifying session of 2014 saw Mercedes continue their monopoly on pole position this year – though this time it was Nico Rosberg, not Lewis Hamilton, on the top spot.
But while a Mercedes front-row lockout was predicted by most, there were some interesting upsets and incidents throughout the rest of the field that could also be heard playing out over team radio.
Romain Grosjean has often sounded unhappy on the team radio this year but for once his frustration wasn’t directed at his uncompetitive Lotus. Grosjean fumed at Adrian Sutil who got in his way during Q1, for which the stewards later penalised the Sauber driver.
An unusual message from Valtteri Bottas pointed to a new kind of problem for drivers to cope with. It appears he was directed onto the weigh bridge between sessions and when a marshal turned his steering wheel to manoeuvre his car they accidentally changed some of his settings.
Sebastian Vettel complained of gear change problems before being eliminated in Q2. Meanwhile Nico Hulkenberg did not hide his frustration nor make any excuses for his failure to make it into the top ten.
But this was all a sideshow to the shoot-out for pole between the two Mercedes drivers, with Hamilton’s mistake on his final lap meaning that Rosberg had the luxury of not even needing to complete his.
Here’s how Bahrain’s first night time qualifying session unfolded over team radio.
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2014 Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying team radio transcript
|Q1||18:00||Marco Matassa||Daniil Kvyat||We go out one minute in the session. Track temp 29, same as yesterday P2. So, a few reminders. On the out-lap we need to recharge so torque two. Engine recovery 14. I will call you for [?] torque map change, engine recovery charge. Once you cross the start/finish line, go back to torque two. Our charge will be plus 20 on the dash.|
|Q1||17:40||Craig Gardiner||Esteban Gutierrez||So Esteban one lap on [distorted] before start of the timed lap, we’ll go Special one on pedal seven. And overboost on the overtake button out of the last corner.|
|Q1||17:11||Xevi Pujolar||Jean-Eric Vergne||OK Jev, straight to the track. Three timed laps. Track is clear. Good warm up.|
|Q1||16:30||Gianpiero Lambiase||Sergio Perez||So let’s warm the brakes, Checo. Work the brakes.|
|Q1||16:10||Gianpiero Lambiase||Sergio Perez||Let’s have more brake temperature please. More brake temp.|
|Q1||15:25||Brad Joyce||Nico Hulkenberg||So you’ll need a larger gap to Vergne, Nico, than that. Need another three second gap to Vergne.|
|Q1||13:00||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||So Lewis, straight out. You have brake magic on. Ricciardo ahead is going be starting a lap.|
|Q1||12:30||Nico Hulkenberg||Brad Joyce||Hulkenberg has set the current quickest time
I pit this lap. It will not get better on these tyres.
|Q1||Brad Joyce||Nico Hulkenberg||Copy that, box this lap.|
|Q1||12:00||Gianpiero Lambiase||Sergio Perez||Increase brake temp down to turn 14 and it will be purple mode one. Losing time in sector two. Sector two, Checo.|
|Q1||10:53||Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||Keep up the revs, long braking. You can keep up the pace on these tyres, we will not need these tyres.|
|Q1||9:31||Daniil Kvyat||Marco Matassa||I’m struggling with the front locking.|
|Q1||Marco Matassa||Daniil Kvyat||OK Danny, try to change your brake application.|
|Q1||7:00||Xevi Pujolar||Jean-Eric Vergne||[Distorted]|
|Q1||Jean-Eric Vergne||Xevi Pujolar||[Distorted]|
|Q1||4:28||Nico Hulkenberg||Brad Joyce||Raikkonen is on a much slower out-lap.|
|Q1||Brad Joyce||Nico Hulkenberg||Push him along or overtaking him, then. Push him along, overtake him, DRS him, yeah.|
|Q1||2:58||Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||Think about your out-lap pace. Think about the front tyres, whether they’re ready for turn one.|
|Q1||1:04||Jonathan Eddollls||Valtteri Bottas||Currently P2, so good job. Others are on [hards], but that’s a really good lap there.|
|Q1||0:40||Gianpiero Lambiase||Sergio Perez||Perez has set the third fastest time on Softs, behind team mate Hulkenberg
Box, pit confirm Checo. Kvyat behind on a timed lap. Well done.
|Q1||0:04||Sebastian Vettel||Guillaume Rocquelin||OK, next out-lap you have to let me know sooner about the charge map. It was way too late.|
|Q1||Guillaume Rocquelin||Sebastian Vettel||Yep, understood.|
|Q1||0:00||Angel Baena||Marcus Ericsson||You’ve got Chilton – you are, yes, behind Grosjean. P21.|
|Q1||0:00||Paul Davison||Jules Bianchi||So we’re P19 mate. Kobayashi in front of you did a 37.0 and Sutil in front of him 36.8. We’ve got Grosjean behind us – correction, Grosjean did a 36.6 just now, so we’re P20 now.|
|Q1||0:00||Tim Wright||Kamui Kobayashi||OK Kamui, you’re P19.|
|Q1||0:00||Pastor Maldonado||Mark Slade||OK Pastor, I’m afraid we are P17. Romain just went quicker by two hundredths of a second on his last lap and he’s the last one through.|
|Q1||Mark Slade||Pastor Maldonado||Copy.|
|Q1||0:00||Valtteri Bottas||Jonathan Eddollls||Just tell Charlie, you know, the marshalls, when they’re spinning the wheel on the scale there, they’re changing all of the switches in the steering wheel.|
|Q1||Jonathan Eddollls||Valtteri Bottas||Copy Valtteri, understood. Pete will get onto Charlie now.|
|Q1||0:00||Mark Temple||Kevin Magnussen||OK Kevin, nice job, safely though. P7.|
|Q2||14:03||Romain Grosjean||Ayao Komatsu||Grosjean was involved in an incident with Sutil at the end of Q1 for which Sutil later received a five-place grid penalty (censored by FOM).
Sutil was [censored] stupid on the out-lap. He was dangerous. Weaving everywhere.
|Q2||Ayao Komatsu||Romain Grosjean||Yeah, he was actually on TV. OK Romain so we made it through, so good job on that one.|
|Q2||12:47||Jonathan Eddollls||Valtteri Bottas||Track will be clear, track clear. You are the only car out on the track. New hards|
|Q2||11:23||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK Lewis, so just a reminder, this has the potential to be your race start tyre. Just keep the revs up and a bit of full throttle on the straight – help charge the battery.|
|Q2||9:38||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||And you’ve got 12 seconds back to the Hulk, so just use it. And change ‘EB’ to five.|
|Q2||8:12||Dave Robson||Jenson Button||OK Jenson, temperatures are good. Yellow G1 and brake balance forwards.|
|Q2||6:28||Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||Hows the balance for you?|
|Q2||4:18||Daniel Ricciardo||Simon Rennie||Thought I’d gain a bit more traction. Rearwards a little bit loose, out of the first sector in particular.|
|Q2||3:57||Dave Robson||Jenson Button||Good lap JB, we’re currently P4. OK Jenson, box this lap and just need to watch the fuel please, watch the fuel. Back it off a bit.|
|Q2||2:45||Sebastian Vettel||Guillaume Rocquelin||OK, can you check that the downshifts are significantly worse than the run before?|
|Q2||Guillaume Rocquelin||Sebastian Vettel||Copy.|
|Q2||2:07||Brad Joyce||Nico Hulkenberg||Hulkenberg is in P8
There’s plenty of temperature in these tyres. Can afford to take it easy.
|Q2||0:00||Sebastian Vettel||Guillaume Rocquelin||Vettel has failed to make it into the final session
OK, the downshifts were really bad. You didn’t ask for any changes.
|Q2||Guillaume Rocquelin||Sebastian Vettel||Multi six. Go to map one. Multi map six, go to map one.|
|Q2||0:00||Ayao Komatsu||Romain Grosjean||OK Romain, we are P16. But I think you’ve done a good job. I think you’ve got the most out of it today.|
|Q2||Romain Grosjean||Ayao Komatsu||Yeah, I think that was pretty much what I was capable to do. The car felt better than what it was before and that’s positive for all of us. But yeah, we’ve missed kind of something.|
|Q2||0:00||Craig Gardiner||Esteban Gutierrez||So, overall Esteban, that looked a good lap. Managed to get Grosjean, but the next car, Vergne, was six tenths away.|
|Q2||0:00||Xevi Pujolar||Jean-Eric Vergne||Vergne has been out-qualified by Kvyat
OK Jev, so P14. Daniil’s P14. There is no difference between the two. We have got some flow meter ongoing – that’s the reason of changing engine.
|Q2||Jean-Eric Vergne||Xevi Pujolar||Hulkenberg has missed out on Q3
Yeah, the engine very slow. How was the performance of the engine in this lap? Did I lose?
|Q2||Xevi Pujolar||Jean-Eric Vergne||It was poor.|
|Q2||0:00||Brad Joyce||Nico Hulkenberg||Err, 12th, Nico, 12th, I’m afraid.|
|Q2||Nico Hulkenberg||Brad Joyce||Damn it! [sighs] Used the power-understeer in 11 – just got a little bit wide on the kerb. How much are we short of?|
|Q2||Brad Joyce||Nico Hulkenberg||So we were just two tenths short of making it through and off Sergio – four tenths.|
|Q3||10:06||Jonathan Eddollls||Valtteri Bottas||OK Valtteri, track clear. Got a nice new set of Softs now. One timed.|
|Q3||9:56||Gianpiero Lambiase||Sergio Perez||So Bottas already out on circuit, that is Massa ahead on his outlap with new Softs. Both Williams ahead on new Soft tyres.|
|Q3||8:13||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||And tyres – 95 front, 100 rear. Front right’s dropping a little bit, but nothing to be too concerned about.|
|Q3||7:49||Dave Robson||Jenson Button||OK Jenson, that’s good. Twenty second gap behind to Kevin who’s just about to start his timed lap. So let’s warm the brakes and Jenson this is one timed lap.|
|Q3||6:56||Jonathan Eddollls||Valtteri Bottas||Bottas’s first lap is a 34.2
Excellent stuff, Valtteri. Good lap. Back to mode two.
|Q3||5:53||Gianpiero Lambiase||Sergio Perez||So how is the balance, Checo?|
|Q3||Sergio Perez||Gianpiero Lambiase||Yeah, it’s not too bad. I lost a little bit in sector one under braking. But that is the only place I lost time|
|Q3||5:26||Mark Temple||Kevin Magnussen||And Kevin, how is the balance?|
|Q3||Kevin Magnussen||Mark Temple||Stay like this, stay like this.|
|Q3||3:36||Jenson Button||Dave Robson||How close is it with the three cars in front?|
|Q3||Dave Robson||Jenson Button||OK Jenson, so Massa is the car in front – he’s 34.5, then it’s 34.3 then 34.2. So very close. Half a second or more. Those times are all on new tyres.|
|Q3||2:05||Nico Rosberg||Tony Ross||Rosberg is currently fastest
Tony, do I abort in the event that I am a bit slower?
|Q3||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Yes Nico, you can do. But it won’t help ultimately, you have all the tyres you need for the race. So if it’s going to make it in the last corner, I’d continue on. Track is clear, so just warming the brakes up.|
|Q3||0:58||Peter Bonnington||Lewis Hamilton||OK, so no need for full throttle on the straights. These cars will be backing up.|
|Q3||0:37||Andrea Stella||Fernando Alonso||You can keep warming up in the straight again. Massa is in five seconds. ‘D’-button on. ‘D’-button on.|
|Q3||0:00||Sergio Perez||Gianpiero Lambiase||I’ve got a flat spot. I have flat spot.|
|Q3||Gianpiero Lambiase||Sergio Perez||OK, box and pit confirm.|
|Q3||0:00||Tony Ross||Nico Rosberg||Rosberg’s pole position is secured after Hamilton’s lock up into Turn 1
Lewis has gone off, your position is safe. Well done, pole position.
|Q3||0:00||Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||OK Daniel, that’s it mate. P3. Excellent job today, very good.|
|Q3||Simon Rennie||Daniel Ricciardo||Well done Dan, that was a very good last lap there. Very good. Classy..|
|Q3||0:00||Jonathan Eddollls||Valtteri Bottas||So fantastic job Valtteri. We’re P4 for tomorrow. Great stuff.|
|Q3||Valtteri Bottas||Jonathan Eddollls||Thank you guys, well done. Well done everyone. The points are given tomorrow, so let’s keep our head down, get some points tomorrow.|
|Q3||0:00||Gianpiero Lambiase||Sergio Perez||OK, so that’s P5. P5 mate. Excellent job today. Really well done – FP3. solid qualifying. And with Ricciardo’s penalty that’s up to P4 for the race start tomorrow.|
|Q3||Sergio Perez||Gianpiero Lambiase||Good job guys.|
|Q3||0:00||Dave Robson||Jenson Button||JB, currently P7. P7.|
|Q3||Jenson Button||Dave Robson||I didn’t feel there was any more. That felt like a pretty good lap.|
|Q3||Dave Robson||Jenson Button||Yeah, agreed Jenson. I think we’ve been a little unfortunate as well because we’re just tens of miliseconds away from fifth. That was a really quite close and a good effort. Hopefully that was our best plan and we’ve pulled it off reasonably well.|
Phase/time: Refers to point at which message was broadcast. There may be a delay between messages being said and being broadcast. PQ = pre-qualifying.
Message: Repetitive or irrelevant messages omitted. Notes in italics. Highlights in bold.
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Image © Williams/LAT