Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

Hamilton pips Vettel to Barcelona pole

2017 Spanish Grand PrixPosted on | Author Will Wood

Lewis Hamilton secured pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix by just half a tenth from Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari in a close qualifying session.

Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen will line up on the second row, ahead of the two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

Fernando Alonso produced one of the most remarkable results of the session and will line up for his home grand prix in seventh position in his McLaren.

Q1

Track temperature had risen almost ten degrees from the end of final practice as the cars ventured out at the start of qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.

After Ferrari had worked hard to fix problems on Sebastian Vettel’s car following final practice, there was more drama for Ferrari with Vettel being told to “stop the car” half way around his initial outlap.

Vettel immediately backed off, but after questioning the need to stop and switching a driver default setting, Ferrari informed the championship leader that the issue had been resolved. Vettel wasted no time in getting a fast lap in, securing his place into Q2 before pitting to allow Ferrari plenty of time to examine the data.

The battle to qualify for the second session was hard fought, with a number of teams at risk of elimination.

The two Spaniards of Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz Jnr both set solid times to secure passage through to Q2, Sainz’s Toro Rosso team mate Daniil Kvyat struggled to keep pace and was the first driver to be knocked out and resigned a 20th place start.

Jolyon Palmer also failed once again to match the pace of his Renault team mate Nico Hulkenberg and was duly eliminated from Q1, while the rookies of Stoffel Vandoorne and Lance Stroll also could not join their team mates through to Q2.

Marcus Ericsson was the final driver eliminated and will start tomorrow’s race in 16th in the Sauber.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

Position Driver Team Lap time
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1’22.332
17 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1’22.401
18 Lance Stroll Williams 1’22.411
19 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1’22.532
20 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1’22.746

Q2

Attention turned to the front of the grid at the beginning of the second session, with both Ferrari and Mercedes ramping up the pace.

Hamilton set the benchmark with a 1’20.210, with Vettel posting a time within a tenth of the Mercedes. Valtteri Bottas was only five-thousandths slower than Vettel, with Raikkonen four tenths off Hamilton’s pace in fourth.

The biggest surprise of the second session came when Fernando Alonso delivered a superb lap to snatch the final place in Q3 in tenth lap – to the delight of the local fans.

Felipe Massa improved on Williams’ Q1 performance to secure his place in the top ten, while Force India showed strong pace again by getting both Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon through into the final qualifying session.

A mistake entering the chicane on his final attempt scuppered Romain Grosjean’s chances of making it through to Q3, while Kevin Magnussen only just missed out in 11th.

A frustrated Nico Hulkenberg was unable to turn Renault’s practice pace into a top ten start, while Carlos Sainz will line up 12th on the grid after achieving what he told his team was the ‘maximum’ result they could have managed.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

Position Driver Team Lap time
11 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1’21.329
12 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1’21.371
13 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1’21.397
14 Romain Grosjean Haas 1’21.517
15 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1’21.803

Q3

With Ferrari and Mercedes matching each other for pace, Q3 was perfectly poised to provide another fascinating battle for pole between the sport’s fastest teams.

Mercedes once again demonstrated their ability to find extra performance in Q3 when Hamilton comfortably lowered the fastest time of the weekend with a 1’19.149.

Valtteri Bottas went two tenths slower than his team mate, but it would still prove quicker than the Ferraris after the first runs.

With the session winding down, the cars ventured out for their final attempts to secure pole position. Both Bottas and Hamilton were unable to improve significantly on their times, leaving the door open for Ferrari to potentially snatch pole position.

Vettel improved by two tenths, but while it jumped him above Bottas onto the front row of the grid, it wasn’t enough to usurp Hamilton from pole. Raikkonen failed to improve and will start fourth in the second Ferrari.

The two Red Bulls occupy the third row, while Fernando Alonso produced a stunning result to line up in seventh following his horror start to the weekend.

Felipe Massa split the two Force Indias of Perez and Ocon to round out the top ten.

Top ten in Q3

Position Driver Team Lap time
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’19.149
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’19.200
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’19.373
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’19.439
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1’19.706
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1’20.175
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1’21.048
8 Sergio Perez Force India 1’21.070
9 Felipe Massa Williams 1’21.232
10 Esteban Ocon Force India 1’21.272

113 comments on “Hamilton pips Vettel to Barcelona pole”

  1. Anyone improved on their last sectors times at the end? I think no one improved their last sectors times at the end. BTW, Crofty lacks some star wars knowledge there

    1. steveetienne
      13th May 2017, 17:50

      yes. proton not photon torpedoes.

    2. Bottas improved his last sector time on his second run, though only by a few hundredths of a second. 28.000 vs 27.912.

  2. Putting a McLaren into P7 was either impossible or Alonso. What an astonishing feature!

    1. So excited about this result.
      2 different cars on pole, half a tenth apart;
      RBR (constantly) only 0.6sec behind;
      McLaren/Alonso 7th;
      And more fun during the on track interviews.

      And that’s just quali ;)

    2. Yep. He has to gain only 4 places for a podium finish. He could do it too, if only the car lasts.

  3. Well that was tense. None of the top 4 improved on their final run, despite all being faster than Hamilton’s eventual pole lap at the end of the 2nd sector. Think they’d all just gone so hard that they ran out of grip.

    Also, rip Renault. Seem to have swapped qualy pace with Force India. Hopefully that means they’ve swapped race pace too, so they won’t go backwards…

    And Alonso, what a lap. With his starts in Spain, could he be first into Turn 1? ;)

    1. Archit (@architjain07)
      13th May 2017, 14:02

      Vettel improved to go from P3 to P2 and Bottas made marginal gains but not enough.

      1. Still both lost quite a few tenths though

        1. MG421982 (@)
          13th May 2017, 15:47

          VET improved a lot in the final run!
          In the final run, after the 2nd sector, VET bettered HAM’s pole lap by more than 0.4sec… but lost everything +0.051sec just in the final sector!!

          1. Yeah that’s what I meant, lost quite a lot in the final sector.

          2. Yes, I think Vettel locked wheels in the final sector. Still, he is in the front row and has the chance to jump ahead of Hamilton at the start. I think that the Ferraris could do 3 laps more than the Mercs on the initial softs and so even if Vettel has not passed Hamilton by the first stop, there is a chance of the “overcut”.

    2. both vettel and bottas improved the only ones that didn’t improve was Hamilton and kimi if im not mistaken

  4. Well, that was wonderfully exciting yet again! What a season. Great to see Vettel and Hamilton so close, shame for Bottas who I felt was as fast too, especially considering his issues, but can’t always have it.

    Today really ought to be the end of Kvyat, Palmer and Stroll. It probalby will be for the former, but the latter two seem to survive on some aura of ability. Just not good enough (not even close).

    Cor, Alonso. I’ve been on his back this season due to Indy/arrogance, but that’s just astonishing. McLaren clearly a good chassis but even so, that’s the performance of the day (and quali performance of the season).

    And cor, Verstappen. Faster all weekend, but all season that’s been the case, only to be pipped in Q3. Not today. Emphatic to say the least, and with his race pace this season he may well fight for third. Have to wonder if Red Bull have actually improved or whether that’s a stonking lap. Tomorrow shaping up wonderfully, again.

    Final note. The healthy rivalry and camaraderie of Vettel and Hamilton is so enjoyable. Really like it. 2017 definitely a feel good season so far.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      13th May 2017, 14:33

      @hahostolze

      I’ve said this to some other people too. I don’t think you’ve been watching carefully enough at Kvyat’s performance this year. It is FAR better than he was last year and he’s overall, he’s been pretty much level with Sainz so far. I’m not going to repeat myself again but before you disagree with me, read my comments near the bottom of this page comparing their performances this year:
      http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2017/04/30/vote-2017-russian-grand-prix-driver-weekend/

      He may have qualified last today, but that was partly due to the fact he was very close behind Palmer a lot of the lap. Being 20th in qualifying is nowhere near as bad as Sainz’s crash in Bahrain is it?

      I do agree with the rest of what you’ve said though.

      1. Kvyat was better towards the end of last season than Sainz, and better than he is performing now. I’ve been disappointed, but happy to give him another chance.

  5. Bwoah… Just looking at the sector times: Did VET and RAI mess up S3 or is Ferrari struggling in the last sector?

    1. @davisp According to Vettel over the radio he really messed up in S3 and apoligized for it to the team.

      Its not an easy sector however and its really punishing if you drive hard in S1 and S3 which numerous drivers have proven. Vettel is not alone in “messing up” there.

      1. If you drive hard in S1 and S2*

    2. Both Ferrari drivers messed up there.

      Vettel locked up and Raikkonen went wide.

      1. Hamilton’s lap wasn’t his best lap either.

        1. And bottas was going 2 tenths faster in his first attempt than hamilton but made a mistake in the last corner. This season you really need to nail your lap. The person who does his lap without mistake takes the pole. Top 4 is really close.

          1. Bottas was going too fast in the first 2 sectors, which was why he lost grip and ran wide.
            The same thing on Hamilton’s 2nd lap, he ran out of tyres in the end. The Ferraris appear to be much faster.

    3. Conversely Hamilton made most of his lap time up in S3, very interesting quali session.

      Stunning from Alonso, it shows the McLaren chassis is good enough for higher up the grid…..Honda need upgrades fast.

  6. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
    13th May 2017, 14:02

    Αmazing qualifying session!!!!!!!A battle between 4 equal drivers fr pole & in the midfiled 7 drivers covered in 0,250 tenths!!!!!!!!

    1. That would be a rather disparate amount of time, if maths serves me right.

      1. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
        13th May 2017, 16:20

        1/4 of an eye blick!

        1. A one-second blink is more like a short nap. A normal blink takes from 0.15 to 0.30 secs. So the first four times today are covered pretty much in the blink of an eye, but not in 1/4 blink

  7. Keith, your Q3 times are wrong.

    1. Were. Sorry.

  8. I was so livid. I almost threw my phone in the wall! Why does Kimi have to get it wrong on his final lap!??! This is a pattern now. He could of been on the front row! I really have no explanation why he is hurting his own race. But he has the speed and the drive still, I hope he’ll have a great start and can out drag two cars.

    1. AntoineDeParis (@antoine-de-paris)
      13th May 2017, 14:13

      “But he has the speed” – speed is not everything in this game.

      1. Speed is everything but you have to harness it on a consistent basis. Kimis pace is often potential that he does not achieve.

    2. I know how you feel I was hoping kimi would come alive only to have my hopes shattered.

    3. MG421982 (@)
      13th May 2017, 15:57

      I don’t think there was any chance to see RAI on the 1st row. He bettered HAM’s pole time in the 1st sector by only 0.05 or something like that. Both Ferrari drivers messed up in the final sector many times, but it’s the car struggling too (compared to the Mercedes), the car behaviour very probably being the reason both drivers messed up so many times in that sector. So, there was like no chance to even match HAM in the final sector, therefore too few chances to come even close to the pole time without improving a lot in the first 2 sectors.

    4. Same with Vettel though. He was something like 4 tenths up on Hamilton at the end of S2. Hamilton and Bottas seem to have maxed out what their car could do and the Ferrari boys overcooked it in Q3.

  9. 9 tenths of Dani Ricc is fantastic for McLaren. I thought they were a long way behind. Hope they fix their issues, because the car clearly has some pace in it.

    1. MG421982 (@)
      13th May 2017, 16:03

      Who knows, maybe Honda put some extra turbo just for 2-3 laps, maybe his car was ultra light…

      1. You mean what ever team does in qualifying?

      2. I think you’d find that the live creature sitting behind the wheel
        of that appalling Maclaren was all of the reason one of their
        cars is in seventh place for the race. I have often been a severe
        critic of Snr Alonso in the past. But what he achieved today
        was simply staggering. One hopes that he’ll manage an equally
        spectacular race finish, but the cards are stacked against him bigtime !

        One thing is almost certain……tomorrows race will not lack for drama !

  10. Great qualy with the top so close.

    Finally a clean run for max in q3 after issues in the last races.

  11. Vettel should feel disappointed. He made a big mistake in S3 ,the pole was for the taking.
    Missed chance for Ferrari.

    1. And he is.

    2. Considering his car problems in P3 and qualifying, P2 seems like an outstanding result.

  12. AntoineDeParis (@antoine-de-paris)
    13th May 2017, 14:18

    Ric destroyed today? What went wrong?

    1. Nothing! Reality settling in.

      1. Sven (@svennheiser)
        13th May 2017, 15:30

        Gehehe, amen to that.

      2. @mike ‘ ouch’ that’s cold

  13. Interesting qualifying. Mercedes may be happy as 1-3 may be better than 1-2 and Ferrari will be disappointed. The lap times are again not as fast as expected (1:17s were expected I believe). Räikkönen was half a second faster in the winter test (on softer tires, but it’s just testing) than today’s pole time.

    1. raikkonen was half a second faster on tyres which are assumed to be 2 seconds per lap faster round this track. that’s a good job I think. and we’re solidly below the 5 second mark

    2. I am quite surprised.
      Quote from Autosport winter testing: “12:07 Very quick time from Raikkonen – a 1m19.267s on soft tyres.” And “11:30 Verstappen goes quickest on a 1m19.852s – on soft tyres.”

    3. Also the track was grippy because of the extensive testing.
      Still, one would expect the ongoing upgrades to kind of make up for that factor.

    4. No, the 5-6 seconds improvement per lap is compared to 2015. The pole time in 2015 was 1:24.681, so they improved the time by over 5.5 seconds. This was the first time they accomplished it though.

  14. Hats off to Palmer and Kvyat

    1. ?? @johnmilk
      Do you mean ‘helmets off’ and vacate your position.

      1. Exactly xD

      2. @f1-liners it was sarcasm on the purest of forms

        1. glad to hear that, and a bit embarrassed I didn’t see it. @johnmilk

          1. @f1-liners pretty much everything that I say around here is non-sense. If you see Bwoah don’t take it seriously

        2. @johnmilk, let’s be honest though – given that a number of posters were singing Hulkenberg’s praises after his performances in the practise sessions and saying that he was doing a brilliant job to be so close to the Red Bull drivers, his performance was a bit underwhelming as well. Quite a few posters here seemed to expect to see Hulkenberg in 7th and Alonso in 13th, not the other way around…

          As an aside, it seems that Vandoorne’s performance is being somewhat glossed over – posters here might complain about Stroll or Palmer, but they were much closer to their team mates in Q1 than Vandoorne managed to get to Alonso (Vandoorne was over half a second slower than Alonso in Q1, the second largest difference in pace on the grid in Q1).

          1. Anon I see your point. But Hulk still was way faster than his team-mate, and ultimately that is the only proper comparison thay we can do

          2. Aaditya (@neutronstar)
            13th May 2017, 16:26

            @anon
            Hulkenberg was very happy with his Q2 lap. :P I suppose, compared to its rivals, Renault lost a bit of performance in Qualifying.

    2. @johnmilk

      You forgot Stroll. The boy is made of pure garbage.

      1. If we are going to put Stroll there too, better include Stoffel as well

        1. Why?

          He made the start! Or have i just jinxed him?

          1. @faulty sshhh c’mon knock on some wood, now he might brake down on the driver’s parade

        2. @johnmilk Please do explain yourself on the Stoffel part,…?

          1. @xtwl isn’t the difference to his team-mate enough explanation? Bare in mind I mixed his name here because Stroll was mentioned, both performed quite bad compared to the other car

          2. @johnmilk One did bad compared to Massa, and the other bad to an exceptional performance by a double world champion known to many as the best driver of the past 10 years. I hope you do see the difference.

            Vandoorne for sure deserves his spot in F1 and it’s hardly his fault this McLaren doesn’t allow him to shine. On top of that though Vandoorne is only a tenth off Strolls time in a much, much better car, and Alonso is only barely 2 tenths off Massa. I’m fairly confident in saying Vandoorne has a whole lot of unlocked potential, potential that is missing with Palmer and rather unkown on Strolls end.

          3. @xtwl I’m not denying his potential it is just a comment on today’s performance.

            One did bad compared to a car that had the potential for P7 the other did bad compared to a car that had potential for at least P9. Both eliminated in Q1. Regardless of what they will become or to whom you compare them with, today they performed equally bad IMO.

            I avoided saying anything in my first comment about them, because they are both rookies and deserve the benefit of the doubt, especially this year with these cars. And yet I see myself in this discussion, when in the big picture I think we pretty much share the same opinion.

  15. Renault should fire palmer immediately, what a complete waste of a decent car.

    1. The same for Kvyat (1.4 seconds off the pace of his teammate Sainz)
      How can he be that slow?
      Ericsson is also too slow compared to Wehrlein. Stroll 1.2 sec of Massa.

      I’d replace 4-5 drivers next year (Palmer, Stroll, Kvyat and Ericsson)
      Magnussen maybe too but he did a good job today. He qualified faster than Grosjean.

      1. And Massa. Stroll is just so slow that Massa looks fast.

      2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        13th May 2017, 16:03

        I really am surprised that so many people are rating Kvyat and Ericsson as low as they are. Ericsson hasn’t done much worse than Wherlien so far this season. The only big difference was their very first qualifying session. Ericsson in the 2 qualifying sessions before wasn’t bad at all. He got in to Q2 both times. And in this qualifying session, Wherlein only beat him by 0.005 seconds. But yes, that was enough to get him through to 15th so he got through to Q2 which is what counts. But with Kvyat, he was very close to palmer a lot of his lap which really won’t have helped. He was released at an inconvenient time. I’m pretty sure hell have managed to get into Q2 at leased as he’s been beating Sainz in qualifying several times this year.

        I think Kvyat and Ericsson are 2 drivers that people are undertating this year. Kvyat has pretty much been level with Sainz so far this year. People just remember his poor form last year which I think he has totally recovered from. Wherlein may be better than Ericsson but they both make mistakes and I don’t think there is a big difference between them. I think the main driver that is really not impressing me is Palmer. We need to give Stroll at leased a few more races to get used to F1. He’s been unlucky to have to retire in the 1st 3 races so he’s only had 1 race to prove himself so far. But His qualifying so far looks really poor yes.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          13th May 2017, 16:16

          Also, when I compare the 2 races by Wherlien and Ericsson, Ericsson was hardly worse overall. In Bahrain, Wherlien was somewhat lucky with when the safety car was and Ericsson was only 7 seconds of Wherlien when he had to retire. He was also catching Wherlein up before this happened. But I don’t think it will have been enough for Ericsson to beat him even if he didn’t retire.

          Then in Russia, Wherlein did out qualify Ericsson again but he also spun the car just after doing so which may have prevented Ericsson from improving. I don’t think it will have done though.

          In the race itself, if the graphics were correct, Ericsson beat Wherlien (who was last) by over 25 seconds behind his team mate. Now that is some margin isn’t it?

          I don’t want to say Wherlein is bad because this isn’t true, But I certainly think Ericsson is deserving a seat in F1 when we compare these 2 drivers performances.

        2. montey carlo (@roundtheoutside)
          13th May 2017, 18:48

          Pascal is in the Perez,bottas, hulk, grosjean, sainz category. In Bahrain he did something just as impressive as Alonso did this weekend, he out qualified faster cars and finished infront of them too. He always gets good starts too. Ericson don’t seem bad but he ain’t great either. He’s bad in the wet though. Pascal is a top 10 driver

          1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
            13th May 2017, 20:03

            Yes, I have to agree that Ericsson is bad in the wet. I just don’t see what was so great about his performance in Bahrain. As I said, Ericsson was catching him lap by lap until he was only 7 seconds off Wherlein. And then Ericsson had to retire 6 laps before the end. Wherlien had also been helped by the safety car a little. Ericsson probably will haev only been around 5 seconds behind Wherlien by the end if it wasn’t for that…
            But it has to be said he was well and truly ahead of Ericsson in qualifying.

            But in Russia, What was it that caused Wherlien to be 25+ seconds behind Ericsson in last place? In the 2 races they have been together this year, Ericsson has overall looked just as good to me. Just not in qualifying. Although there was hardly anything in it today. And it was basically Wherlein’s fault for having to miss the first 2 races because of his ROC incident which looked to be fully his fault.

          2. @thegianthogweed 28 cm :) That’s the margin between the Sauber drivers.

            Ericsson messed up in the middle sector. Lost 3 tenths of a second there. Otherwise he would have been faster.
            In russia he was on a quicker lap than Wehrlein as well before he spun and ruined Ericssons last attempt.
            The margins are so minimal in qualifying, but it seems like Ericssons race pace is a lot better than Wehrleins.

      3. Not to defend Magnussen but he actually scored points already. I think he is getting a bit more stabile too but let’s see how he perfom the rest of the season:) Also you have to understand that it is Haas’s second year so they still need to learn how to get those extra % out of the car. Just my view:)

      4. MAG replaced – you must be crazy the boy is only 24 and allready on top of GRO – think you will see him grow a lot the next seasons… he has just startet at Haas and is now beating a respected driver as GRO… wake up please

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          13th May 2017, 18:08

          I don’t think he should be replaced but I don’t think he’s that good. And I also think Grosjean used to be better. Something I’ve noticed about Grosjean is when the car is good, he does perform. But if it isn’t very good, he genrally handled it worse than Gutierrez last year who beat him more often than not.

          Magnussen had a bad start this season but has had 2 decent races since then. He had a great start at McLaren in 2014 but a not so good rest of season. He quite often got involved in incidents and was responsible for 1 or 2 retirements if I am correct.

          He’s good overall now, but not great. He could improve though.

      5. Sundar Srinivas Harish
        14th May 2017, 2:02

        Magnussen has not enjoyed a stable career so far unlike most of his compatriots. Looks what a few seasons in SFI has done for Perez’s image – something similar with KMag in Haas would certainly see him being rated as a top 10 driver in a couple of years.

  16. Biggest story here is McLaren. Wow what an improvement. I guess the help they got from Mercedes worked.

    1. I guess the help they got from Mercedes worked.

      I doubt there was an inch of Mercedes help in this result; more so a relaxed game of paddle :p

      1. There has been a lot of talk about Mercedes coming to rescue this Honda engine and today it performed well. We all know Alonso is a great driver and can do a great lap so no surprise there.

        1. Nigel, the same Honda engines didn’t exactly perform well on Friday though…

          It also has to be said that there are also prior examples of Alonso dragging an uncompetitive car surprising far up the grid in Spain – remember his front row start in 2008 for Renault, for example?

    2. Honda hasn’t actually received any help from Mercedes yet. At the moment it’s still all talk.

      1. And the help won’t come in the style of “you’ve got these cables​ switched, you doofus!”, and then Cowell and Hasegawa sit down for some biscuits.

  17. I want to give DOTW to Alonso just for those two laps alone today. Astonishing performance from the wily old fox. Relentless, quick, consistent – what a formidable competitor. Merc or Ferrari please pick this guy up for next year!!

    1. I think it was the Honda engine mate. They finally got it right.

      1. Seriously doubt that mate. Otherwise Vandoorne shouldn’t be at the tail of the grid.

        1. AntoineDeParis (@antoine-de-paris)
          13th May 2017, 15:53

          Who is Vandoorne in F1? Uncharted territory.

      2. That would mean the highly-rated Vandoorne is as bad as Stroll, so I doubt it…

  18. Alonso is the only feature that has got speed in that Maccahonda..

    1. hahah indeed!

    2. I’m not an Alonso fan, but, he did a staggering job not only getting to Q3, but 7th on the grid is nothing short of awesome.

      I genuinely hope to see him make the chequered flag in a meaningful position…

    3. They probably set up the car 100% for qualifying. Seeing how it’s unlikely it’s finishing the race anyway *badum tss*

  19. MG421982 (@)
    13th May 2017, 16:06

    Great Quali! VET was so close…! I think the start will be very important tomorrow.

  20. Hope Vettel’s engine issue doesn’t get worse in the race.
    Also, Hamilton missed the apex of turn one.

    1. Hope Vettel’s engine issue doesn’t get worse in the race.

      I think he is now using a new engine, not the one with the issue. But Ferrari believe that they can cure that water leak problem so that the earlier engine can be used again later in the season without a penalty.

  21. I just watched Hamilton’s pole lap. He made a few mistakes on the first to sectors, so he had time to find in the Mercedes, as does Vettel in the Ferrari. Probably would end up being the same result at the end.

    1. *two sectors

      1. Ham was extra delayed from a Williams before his last run and his tyres went cold thats why he seemed better in last sector. The opposite happened to the other 3 drivers and in last sector they did mistakes cause of overheat.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          14th May 2017, 9:37

          @bluechris

          I suppose this is sort of true. But it was actually Bottas who was held up by Massa a little. And Hamilton was behind Bottas. So they both had to drop back to prepare for the lap. Bottas improved, but Hamilton didn’t. But Hamilton had already a fast enough lap previously.

  22. Lol, so many good things in this quali…

    Alonso Q3… Stonking lap, how did Mansel say it? 100hp from home crowd?

    Vettel, nearly DNF, took matter in to his own hands and nearly won pole…

    And last but not least Hamilton fast becoming #1 of all time qualifier.

    Goodness all around. And tomorrow? It is gonna be close. Ferrari is faster, but does not have pole… We’ll see.

    1. montey carlo (@roundtheoutside)
      13th May 2017, 18:32

      Ferrari have no race advantage, its a myth. Ferrari have won races this year based on strategy, Merc either got it wrong and\or the drivers were not good enough in comparison to vettel.

      1. I disagree. Ferrari in this race in my mind played safe believing that they don’t have the speed in 1 lap to get pole so they have lower downforce setup plus they don’t eat their tyres as Mercedes does.
        Off course this is my opinion and we will see in the race for sure

        1. BlueChis & Montey carlo, I think there is a bit of truth in what both you are saying. Ferrari appears to have the better race distance on given tyres in Vettel’s hands due to how well that car suits him. The Mercs certainly have a substantial speed advantage which Ferrari have to overcome if they have to win. In other words, Ferrari have to plan carefully to beat Merc but Merc have to have errors, either their drivers’ or team strategy to lose.

      2. MG421982 (@)
        13th May 2017, 20:49

        Agree regarding the part that Ferrari it’s not faster than Mercedes in race trim. The cars seem pretty matched to me. Disagree about the part where Ferrari won thanks to luck OR because Mercedes was unlucky OR thanks to some awesome strategy. Take Russia for example, if the starting order would have been the same after turn1… more than sure VET would have won the race! Everything was decided at the start. And I think tomorrow won’t be different, that close it is between HAM and VET.

  23. It was reported that both Ferrari drivers used a filming day doing practice starts. It’s going to be interesting when the lights go out tomorrow!

  24. Glad to see people realising that McLaren isn’t as bad as they thought!
    On an aero circuit, they are on Force India level (ie : best of the rest). I hope they can sort the reliability out so both Alonso and Vandoorne can shine.

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