Hamilton resists Rosberg to take pole again

2014 Spanish Grand Prix qualifying

Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014Lewis Hamilton resisted pressure from team mate Nico Rosberg to take his fourth pole position this year for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo claimed third place behind the Mercedes pair but Red Bull’s challenge was blunted by more car problems for Sebastian Vettel.

Q1

Qualifying had hardly begun when it came to a stop. Pastor Maldonado brought out the red flags when he spun his Lotus into the barrier on the inside of turn three.

The session restarted with just over 13 minutes remaining and the Mercedes drivers quickly took up their usual places at the head of the times.

But it was Rosberg ahead and Hamilton, who had set the fastest time of the weekend going into the session, was puzzled by his car’s change of balance. “It’s a nightmare to drive at the moment,” reported the mystified driver after setting a time almost half a second slower than his team mate’s

Fernando Alonso took the brave decision not to do a second flying lap at the end of the session and was rewarded – he made it through to Q2 by just a few tenths of a second and saved a set of tyres.

McLaren were grateful they chose to run again, however, as Jenson Button briefly fell into the drop zone before improving his time enough to progress.

Lotus nearly lost both their cars in Q1 as Romain Grosjean had to abort his first run. But his last effort was enough to gain a place in Q2 by just a tenth of a second.

That meant Adrian Sutil went out in Q1 for the third time. He was accompanied as usual by the Marussia and Caterham drivers, although unusually both Max Chilton and Marcus Ericsson out-qualified their team mates.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

17 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1’28.563
18 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1’29.586
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1’30.177
20 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1’30.312
21 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1’30.375
22 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault

Q2

Two drivers didn’t set a time in Q2. The first, Jean-Eric Vergne, knew before the session began he would have to take a ten-place penalty.

Kevin Magnussen, however, failed to set a time after his McLaren team discovered a problem with his car’s energy recovery system, condemning him to start 15th.

Rosberg stayed ahead of Hamilton in Q2, the pair separated by a tenth of a second. Daniel Ricciardo was third and didn’t need to return to the track after his first lap put him four tenths of a second clear of Vettel.

Alonso did do a second run this time, but he still came close to being knocked out. He ended up tenth, less than a tenth of a second ahead of Nico Hulkenberg.

The other Force India of Sergio Perez was also knocked out after Jenson Button overtook him at the chicane before his final lap began. Daniil Kvyat and Esteban Gutierrez went out in the same round.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’27.685
12 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’28.002
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’28.039
14 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’28.280
15 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes
16 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault

Q3

The final part of qualifying began much as the first part had – with an early red flag. This time is was caused by Vettel, whose car let him down for the second time this weekend.

The Red Bull driver couldn’t select second gear after leaving the pits, and as he slowed in turn two Hamilton had to dodge his car. Vettel came to a stop at the next corner and the session was red-flagged.

When the cars returned to the track Hamilton regained the edge he had over Rosberg on Friday. A 1’26.288 put him almost three tenths of a second ahead, but there was clearly more time to come from both cars.

Sure enough Rosberg found over a second with his final flying lap but Hamilton improved by almost as much. Despite a slightly wide line at turn five he crossed the line with over a tenth in second to spare over his team mate.

Ricciardo improved his time to take third place while Valtteri Bottas jump up to fourth. An apologetic Massa could only manage ninth in his Williams.

Between them were Grosjean in an excellent fifth for Lotus, Kimi Raikkonen ahead of Fernando Alonso in the Ferraris, and Button. Vettel’s gearbox problem leaves him tenth.

Top ten in Q3

1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’25.232
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’25.400
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’26.285
4 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’26.632
5 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’26.960
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’27.104
7 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’27.140
8 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’27.335
9 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’27.402
10 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault

2014 Spanish Grand Prix

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76 comments on Hamilton resists Rosberg to take pole again

  1. Akin Aslan (@hamfanatic) said on 10th May 2014, 14:45

    I just watched the onboard and you could just see that Hamilton made the difference. I think that Rosberg had the better setup but Hamilton just wrung it out of the bag. The last sector he controlled the car just perfectly

  2. Slava (@slava) said on 10th May 2014, 14:46

    Ferrari is so terrible. I don’t know even what to think. What have they done for the past 3 weeks to improve the car? It seems nothing.
    Congratulations to Ham, he will easily win the championship. But Nico also should re-watch Alonso starts in this race for the last 3 years. It is a long straight to the 1st corner.
    Congrats to Lotus. At last they are fighting for top 10.
    Maldonado))))) there is nothing more to tell about him. Pit crew should show on board to their drivers ‘Mal on track. Beware!!!’ to be sure that everything will be fine.

    • Blackmamba (@blackmamba) said on 10th May 2014, 16:11

      Ferrari need Brawn plain and simple. The only problem with Brawn is that its gonna take at least 3 yrs for his strategy to bear fruit and I don’t think Luca, Alonso, Spanish fans and the whole of Italy have got that kind of patience.

    • timi (@timi) said on 10th May 2014, 17:00

      @slava They and McLaren are having an absolute mare. Especially McLaren. When Ron came back and was quizzed about the lack of a title sponsor, he said they’d had offers but none truly valued McLaren for what they were.. haha! Sorry Ron but midfield performance means midfield prices buddy.

      NB: Fifth race where McLaren have no title sponsor. What a state they’re in!

    • Sergei Martyn said on 10th May 2014, 17:15

      23 years ago Alain Prost said about Ferrari 643: “a truck would be easier to drive than this car”
      Now F1 is in a poor state as no driver dares to speak about epic fails.

    • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 10th May 2014, 18:35

      I imagine they’ve improved the car but the problem is that the others will have as well. With these new regs, there’s so much scope for improvement that if you design a fundamentally slower car, it’s going to be hard to make huge gains on the others. Any time you find will likely only match what the other teams have done.

  3. Dan said on 10th May 2014, 14:49

    Ham is the man i hope for one retirement soon though from Ros to even it up. I hope luck does not come into it because imagine this race Ham is leading and retires the gap would be 28 points which with no people challenging 2nd is stupid i really feel Ros will be WC. But people will no he is a fake WC. See the friction in interview. He said “i hate comming 2nd to Lewis” then i dint catch what Ham said but Ros replied “i was just answering the question”. Maybe Lewis said well you should be use to it now.

    • AlokIn (@) said on 10th May 2014, 14:58

      May be this time Nico retire, give Lewis good lead as he deserves it.

    • Hatebreeder (@hatebreeder) said on 10th May 2014, 15:53

      Lewis retired in the first race of the season.

    • Blackmamba (@blackmamba) said on 10th May 2014, 16:16

      Bad luck (or good) has always been part of F1, hell, some even lost lives from bad luck. But to wish it on someone is just crass!

      • Dan said on 10th May 2014, 16:38

        @blackmamba You would think i said i hope Ros hurts himself. Man i only want a non injury retirement to level it up. Wou,d not bother me if other cars were close but Nico and Ham are guaranteed top 2

        • Blackmamba (@blackmamba) said on 10th May 2014, 16:48

          Dan, look, every time some misfortune befalls Vettel I cheer, so in part I know where you are comming from. But that’s only AFTER effect. I certainly don’t consciously wait in anticipation for it, and your logic slightly conveys a sentiment along the lines that somehow it was Nico’s fault that Lewis retired in OZ.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 10th May 2014, 18:35

        How? I’d have thought most people would hope an equal share of bad luck befalls drivers in the same team, especially when it looks like they have no other competition. They’re essentially hoping the best man wins the championship.

    • David Not Coulthard (@davidnotcoulthard) said on 10th May 2014, 16:44

      So, von Trips couldn’t go up against Hill after he died, and then there was 1982 (both Ferrari drivers had their career ended in the season and Rosberg won the title), a British driver gave his car to Fangio at the final rae of a season when he had the chance to take the title himself,……..

    • GB (@bgp001ruled) said on 10th May 2014, 16:46

      you want a retirement so the driver you are rooting for gets an advantage? what a lame way to support your driver! he should deserve to win and earn his wins. otherwise it is really sad!

      • Dan said on 10th May 2014, 17:51

        Incase you did not no Ham has earned his wins 3 classified races = 3 wins. Rosberg on the other hand…

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 10th May 2014, 17:50

      Maybe Lewis said well you should be use to it now

      I also really thought Nico had gotten used to this by now.

    • spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 10th May 2014, 17:50

      i really feel Ros will be WC. But people will no he is a fake WC.

      Such things do not exist. Every champion is genuine.

      • Dan said on 10th May 2014, 23:28

        @spoutnik

        Uhm no were in a unique situation were the car is so quick that their guaranteed top 2 so are you telling me if Hamilton wins 15 races and retires 4 times,Ros wins 4 and comes second 15 times that he would deserve it?. I hope my maths are right but you see how he would be so lucky don’t you. Or if that scenario happen’d you would say Nico is a deserving WC? Get outta here dude.

    • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 10th May 2014, 18:37

      Hamilton said “yeah you already said at the last race”

      Also, how would Hamilton retiring even it up? Hamilton retired once and Rosberg has finished them all. Despite Hamilton winning 3 out of 4 races, he’s only 2nd in the Championship!

    • maestrointhesky (@maestrointhesky) said on 10th May 2014, 22:16

      Hamilton to Rosberg during post qualifying interviews: ‘It goes without saying really!’

  4. MilleniumBug (@milleniumbug) said on 10th May 2014, 14:49

    Anyone else felt that tension between Lewis and Nico after qualifying? Hope that doesn’t break down the team’s working relationship like in Mclaren 2007.

    • Spawinte (@spawinte) said on 10th May 2014, 15:15

      Rosberg had a very dark look about him afterwards. He was pleasant enough in the interviews but he was really struggling to hide it. It should be OK as long as they don’t physically tangle the way Vettel and Webber did. Otherwise it might start getting ugly.

      • David BR2 said on 10th May 2014, 15:34

        I think the pressure and tension here is focused on Rosberg, not Hamilton. Hamilton has been through this intense battle for supremacy with Alonso in 2007, competed for the title in 2008 and fought with Button (with his different racing style) at McLaren. Rosberg’s frustration is clearly to compete in his first real season with a car good enough for the title. It’s basically up to Rosberg to prove to Hamilton that he can be beaten over the season, unnerve him enough to make Hamilton lose confidence and start making big mistakes. But so far it’s not happened and it’s clearly eating more and more into Rosberg that he simply has no more excuses left for being second best.

        Another DNF for Hamilton. though, or someone like Maldonado taking him out of the race, and the championship race is zeroed again. So maybe Rosberg should do a Jenson, relax, accept he’s not as fast, stay consistent, and wait for Hamilton’s bad luck to surface. With the idiotic farce of double points for the final race hanging over this season, it perhaps doesn’t matter so much who the fastest driver is anyhow. Formula 1 isn’t apparently about that.

      • Blackmamba (@blackmamba) said on 10th May 2014, 16:23

        Anybody else think Lewis is playing games, pretending he is having problems to lure Nico into a false sense of security then bam, pole position in Q3? It happened in China as well where he was complaining about the car but now I feel he just doesn’t want to reveal his hand to Nico too early since they share data and all.

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 10th May 2014, 15:25

      I think it’s more Rosberg is disappointed in himself than anything else

  5. Diceman (@diceman) said on 10th May 2014, 14:56

    What an incredible performance from Grosjean. Great to see Lotus back in the mix.

    • spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 10th May 2014, 15:26

      So, so glad for him!

    • Neil (@neilosjames) said on 10th May 2014, 16:19

      Glad someone else mentioned that, him and Bottas were the stand-outs for me in Q3. Especially with Maldonado last. Just hope they can both produce the same form in the race.

    • timi (@timi) said on 10th May 2014, 17:03

      @diceman It’s nice to see him and Lotus so high up, I’ve missed that. Hopefully they’ll be able to carry that over to some decent race pace as well. I just wonder what the team think of Maldonado. How many weekends has he crashed in so far this season? 2 or 3 out of 5? I’d get a new driver in ASAP, money or no money.

  6. Ninjenius said on 10th May 2014, 14:56

    Interestingly, although Lewis now has his 4th pole of the season, this is only the first time Nico will start from 2nd on the grid.

  7. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 10th May 2014, 14:56

    Vettel summarised his season in China: “Tough luck”.

    Meanwhile Lotus are coming leaps and bounds. They were nowhere in Australia and now Romain is P5. Just amazing. They improved about 2 seconds or even more. I wonder how much potential has E22. Just pitty this team is struggling financially, otherwise, it could be genuine title contender.

  8. HoHum (@hohum) said on 10th May 2014, 15:12

    Vettels 10th. place may yet become 15th. or whatever the penalty is this year for a gearbox change. The RBR is obviously a fairly fast car but both drivers have suffered serious setbacks from problems out of their control, causeing the team to look far less competitive on paper than they do on the track.

  9. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 10th May 2014, 15:26

    Both Ferrari’s out-qualified by a Walrus.

    Luca will be ‘gifting’ his employees handguns soon.

  10. At least Vettel’s fight to 3rd will be interesting viewing

    • Seba (@f1fan123) said on 10th May 2014, 15:39

      that red bull is no way, shape or form fast enough on the straight to be able to do that.

    • Blackmamba (@blackmamba) said on 10th May 2014, 16:06

      He aint that special as Ricciardo has proved!

      • curmudgeon (@curmudgeon) said on 10th May 2014, 16:26

        @blackmamba How many races has DR won? How many WDC? No one says you have to like Vettel but I would hope that folks would be respectful of the sport of F1 and its outcomes.

        • Blackmamba (@blackmamba) said on 10th May 2014, 16:39

          @curmudgeon I didn’t say Vettel isn’t good, but what I object to is your over the top claim that he was gonna finish 3rd. And I repeat if Vettel was that special he would be wiping the floor with Ricciardo since as you eloquently put it Ricciardo has not won a single race. You have just made my point for me pointing out Ricciardo’s inferiority but why then is Vettel being asked to move aside for him in the races if he possesses such superhuman skills? Like I said he ain’t that special!

          • curmudgeon (@curmudgeon) said on 10th May 2014, 16:49

            @blackmamba That wasn’t me that claimed Vettel will finish 3rd – it was RL. If you don’t think any of the WDC’s are special, especially one who has done it 4 times, then none of them are good. Why follow the sport?

          • Jason said on 11th May 2014, 10:57

            @curmudgeon
            It’s just odd that whilst RIC occupies 3rd place you’d say VET will be fighting for it.

            Despite VET’s 4 WDCs a lot of us have all along suspected he’s not one of the greats. RIC is now proving this, as ALL drivers have to adjust to this new FI spec.

            We can’t just use stats out of context and disregard what we see on track week in week out.

          • curmudgeon (@curmudgeon) said on 11th May 2014, 17:16

            @Jason That was RL who said VET would be fighting for 3rd, not me. If I had been asked I would have thought a good points finish. Instead he got 4th from 15th in probably the drive of the day.

            Stats? Context? VET retires tomorrow at age 26 and he is one of the greats. And he hasn’t lied or cheated like some drivers favored by others on this board. Sorry you aren’t here because you care about F1. My point was about respecting the sport and abiding by the results whatever they are.

    • GB (@bgp001ruled) said on 10th May 2014, 16:55

      his battle to fourth, you mean? he wont beat ric as we have seen all season! but i strngly doubt he will make top six!

  11. Roald (@roald) said on 10th May 2014, 15:33

    Grosjean is a much better driver than he gets credit for.

  12. KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 10th May 2014, 15:39

    Some great performances today: Hamilton managed to set the lap time when it mattered, having been behind Rosberg previously. Ricciardo and Bottas both delivered pretty much the maximum. Räikkönen managed to beat Alonso, even though his car is still pretty horrible to drive. Grosjean showed how much the Lotus actually has potential.

    Let’s hope tomorrow’s race will have similar great drives.

  13. Paige said on 10th May 2014, 15:49

    The look on Nico’s face when he was waiting for the post-Qualifying photo-op said everything. He’s been running his mouth to the media ever since China claiming that Lewis hasn’t been quicker this year- even going so far this week as to claim that he has been faster in the dry, and that he has only been beaten because Lewis has gotten him in wet qualifying sessions (as if that is some excuse for Nico losing even though he is “quicker”) and Nico hasn’t had “normal weekends.” Then we get to today, with Nico clearly had the car working as he wanted it and was quite comfortable the whole day, and he was going quicker than Lewis. And even with the car stepping out from under him all over the place, Lewis still managed to make the adjustments and pick up approximately 7 tenths from Q1 relative to Nico to take pole. With the look on his face before the photo-op and his comments in the post-qualifying interview, it’s as if Nico acknowledged that he is getting beat and needs to find something else.

    Lewis is at the absolute top of his game in F1 right now. Yes, he has the quickest car, but he is beating one hell of a quick driver and is driving with such focus and cerebral capacity. This is the best he has been since 2007, when everyone thought he was going to be the next dominant driver. Not a good sign for the competition or for Nico.

    On the other hand, Kimi’s performance today should shut quite a lot of people up. He hasn’t lost motivation, he hasn’t forgotten how to drive, and he isn’t half a second slower than Alonso. Like every driver, he has problems when he doesn’t have a feel or the car or the tires that he is looking for. It looks like they have made a lot of changes to the front-end to get it to turn more easily for him, he has had a trouble-free weekend, and he proceeds to beat Alonso in Q2 and Q3. The Ferrari fight is not over yet, and kudos to the team for taking Kimi seriously and making the changes that he requests.

    Finally, if Grosjean isn’t getting calls from the bigger teams, he should be. He is doing a spectacular job this year with a difficult situation to start the year, and he gets 5th on the grid in a car that is still probably quite underdeveloped relative to cars that he beat. This guy can hang with the best, and if I’m with the bigger teams (for example, if I’m the Racing Director of a team set to become the Honda works team next year who was the guy’s manager and Team Principal for a long time), I am knocking down his door. It would be a real shame if Grosjean never gets a shot with a big team.

    • Morty Vicar (@mortyvicar) said on 10th May 2014, 20:48

      Seconded w.r.t. Grosjean. I have to believe and hope that his case is being pressed strenuously by Bouiller at McLaren. That said, who would be moved out? You would have thought it would be Button but since Australia he’s been out-performing Magnussen.

  14. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 10th May 2014, 16:09

    Good: Hamilton, Bottas, Grosjean, Raikkonen, Chilton

    Bad: Massa, Maldonado, Kobayashi… Some shockers in the field today!

  15. Todfod (@todfod) said on 10th May 2014, 17:02

    Ferrari should throw in the towel for this season already.. and just use this whole season as a test session for next year. Another year wasted for Fernando…

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