Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Singapore, 2017

Vettel beats Red Bulls to take pole at Singapore

2017 Singapore Grand Prix qualifyingPosted on | Author Will Wood

Sebastian Vettel took his third pole of the season in Singapore, beating the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo with Lewis Hamilton fifth.

Verstappen produced a stunning first lap but was unable to beat Vettel’s time on his second effort, allowing the Ferrari driver to take his fourth pole around the Marina Bay circuit.

Daniel Ricciardo was only a few hundreds of a second behind his team mate in third, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. It was a difficult session for Mercedes, with Hamilton fifth and Valtteri Bottas sixth.

Q1

With Red Bull having shown strong pace in practice, all eyes were on Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo to see if the team could secure their first pole position of the season.

Oil had been left on the track at turn 20 between practice and qualifying thanks to a support race and drivers were quick to complain about a lack of grip around the entire final sector.

Felipe Massa hit the wall exiting turn 21, causing significant damage to the right-rear of his Williams. Kevin Magnussen also scraped the outside barrier too, but managed to continue apparently unaffected.

It was a tense final few minutes for the Force India pair of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon who were approaching the drop zone and were not out on track.

Fortunately for them, they were quick enough to avoid the drop zone as Kevin Magnussen, the two Williams of Massa and Lance Stroll and the Saubers of Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson were eliminated from the first round of qualifying.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

Position Driver Team Lap time
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1’43.756
17 Felipe Massa Williams 1’44.014
18 Lance Stroll Williams 1’44.728
19 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1’45.059
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1’45.570

Q2

The second qualifying session was the first opportunity to see how fast the front runners truly were.

Mercedes were the first to set a laptime with Hamilton faster than Valtteri Bottas, but they were both immediately beaten by the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.

But then it was the turn of the Red Bulls and Max Verstappen quickly proved that Red Bull were a genuine threat by lowering the fastest time of the weekend with a 1’40.332. That would be the quickest time of the session.

Both McLarens of Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso made it through to Q3, but the Force Indias of Ocon and Perez were eliminated. Jolyon Palmer only just missed out on Q3, while Daniil Kvyat and Romain Grosjean also failed to make it through.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

Position Driver Team Lap time
11 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1’42.107
12 Sergio Perez Force India 1’42.246
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1’42.338
14 Esteban Ocon Force India 1’42.760
15 Romain Grosjean Haas 1’43.883

Q3

The final qualifying session began with all signs pointing to it being potentially the closest shoot out for pole for some time.

Kimi Raikkonen was the first to lower the fastest time of the day on a 1’40.069, but then Max Verstappen became the first man ever to break the 1’40 barrier around the Marina Bay circuit with a 1’39.814.

Red Bull’s delight was quickly extinguished as Sebastian Vettel eclipsed Verstappen’s stunning time with an even better effort of his own, taking provisional pole with a 1’39.669.

Mercedes were seemingly unable to challenge their rivals, with Lewis Hamilton over half a second adrift of Vettel and Valtteri Bottas a further half second behind.

On the final effort as time expired, Verstappen was unable to improve his time and Vettel duly improved despite a glancing blow against the wall exiting turn 19 to take pole position by three tenths.

Ricciardo was only just off his team mate in third, but two tenths faster than Raikkonen in fourth. Championship leader Lewis Hamilton will line up fifth on the grid ahead of team mate Valtteri Bottas after Mercedes struggled for pace all afternoon.

Nico Hulkenberg will line up seventh ahead of the two McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne with Carlos Sainz rounding out the top ten.

Top ten in Q3

Position Driver Team Lap time
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’39.491
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1’39.814
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1’39.840
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’40.069
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’40.126
6 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’40.810
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1’41.013
8 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1’41.179
9 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1’41.398
10 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1’42.056

2017 Singapore Grand Prix

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149 comments on “Vettel beats Red Bulls to take pole at Singapore”

  1. You’d be a brave man to bet against Vettel around this track. Immense.

    1. Credits where they’re due though as both Vettel and Hamilton has roughly the same gap to their teammates. Both guys are simply on another level this season.

      Too bad the huge gap between the top three teams and the rest means that Hamilton is merely a place ahead of Bottas while Vettel is three places ahead of Raikkonen, masking just how good of a lap that was from Hamilton.

  2. Well. That was a very entertaining qualifying session. Very, very good lap at the end from Vettel, seeing off the charge from the Red Bulls, who were again so close to one another, but Max just edging Ricciardo. Hamilton in P5 gives Vettel a real chance to gain a lot of points on him, and Bottas has been very disappointing this weekend, absolutely nowhere. Hulkenberg gets P7 yet again (how many times has he been ‘best of the rest’ in quali this year? McLaren’s kinda disappointing in the end to be honest, but still, both cars into Q3. Force India were surprisingly poor, as were Haas, who I thought would both do better. Williams I expected to be 17th and 18th. But yeah, very good qualifying session imo, kinda anti-climatic with Verstappen and Raikkonen still making mistakes, but still thoroughly enjoyable.

    1. Hulk just 2 tens behind bottas is impressive, very nice lap from him

    2. Reading crap from clowns like Hugh is what’s anti-climatic!

  3. A Ferarri should not be on pole today. In FP3 Vettel taps the wall out of the penultimate corner, and ends the lap fastest. He knew it. That’s why he yell “I had to go for it” in the last lap in Q3. He’s willing to play pingpong with the wall to ensure his position against the RedBulls.

    1. @ruliemaulana
      You do realize both his q3 runs were good enough for pole?

    2. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
      16th September 2017, 15:04

      And so it begins.

      Ferrari were clearly quicker than Red Bull in qualifying today, Seb even sandbagged over the line in Q2. The only reason it isn’t a front row lockout is because; Kimi.

    3. When Vettel slowed down on the final Q2 lap in order not to set, I knew Ferrari were confident of their pace.

    4. Of course it should ! It’s been either the second quickest or quickest car this year depending on the circuit. To say it doesn’t belong on pole is crazy.

    5. What are you talking about? Vette would’ve been on pole even with the first lap he did in Q3; he was already 1.5 tenths ahead of the RB, then with the last lap he added another 1.5 tenths.

    6. @ruliemaulana He was P1 with his time from the first try without playing ping pong aswell. Also i dont mind at all drivers glancing the walls, its not like they just drive over a white line and is totally fine.

    7. what? please watch football

  4. Cor, really thought the Red Bulls would do it. Race – and championship – looking nicely set up tomorrow.

    10-4 in qualifying. Is that the superstar vs the old Fin who everyone thinks should retire, or the young reckless driver vs the best driver in F1? Both…

    1. Don’t worry. People will twist those stats regardless. For both Vettel and Verstappen.

    2. Qualifying “over and out” :D

    3. as noted by Sky, RAI is the only driver to qualify in the top 5 at every GP this year. Not bad for an old guy…

      1. @uan well that’s not correct, the Ferrari’s qualified P7 and P8 in Monza. They started P5 and P6.

        And even if he is the only one to have started within the first five positions for all race, that’s an arbitrary line drawn and hinges only on him outqualifying Vettel in Monza.

      2. Just 6 tenths behind his team mate (as was Bottas again). But stats don’t lie.. seriously, what a disgrace to have such an underperforming driver in one of the top cars.

        1. Kimi is widely regarded as the most valuable driver on the grid when it comes to feedback that aids car development. Would you be so scathing of his place in the team if without him there, Ferrari would be behind Red Bull this year?

          1. I’m not saying it is untrue but do you have any article or interview with whomever to verify that? I’d even read one that would date back to 2001,…

          2. I can’t link you to anything specific I’m afraid, but I know Mark Slade has publically stated that opinion, and it would have been in Shanghai as I covered it myself, also I have spoken to Button & Kravitz about him, and they say that McLarens engineers hold that same opinion.

            I’ve read somewhere, some time that Newey regards his feedback as accurate and the only driver worth taking notice of since Hakkinen – I fully expect this to be repeated in his book, so we can wait until that is released for a source that isn’t my word!

            Whitmarsh was a proponent of his technical ability, look at his 2009 interviews when he wanted to sign him, I’m sure you’ll find something from him.

      3. Pretty rubbish for a guy who should be starting in the top 4 at the bare minimum.

    4. Ricciardo is not a young reckless driver.

      1. @aapje he’s not even the youngest in the team – why RIC?

  5. I just hope Max doesn’t try a Hungarian start. The championship is getting more and more exciting!

    1. Well there are no cars to push him off in front of him

      1. In Hungary he was the only one doing the pushing. Fcol, he himself admitted he was the only one to blame for it, yet his fanboys still making up alternate realities.

    2. Nothing wrong with his start there. Having to avoid people in turn 1 compromised his run to turn 2. That won’t be a factor here. Also, the run to turn 1 is much shorter here than it is in Hungary.

    3. My concern too, he should keep it clean for once. This is the longest race of the year if he has the pace his chance for his first victory on merit should come.

      1. Max can actually put the decision on Vettel. Who can afford it to lose points?

        Real good spot for max

        1. By doing so he will simply justify all those who think he is reckless. In the same vein I wouldn’t want to see him ruin anyone else’s race.

          1. Max is there to win…not to give away presents….that’s racing….and anything you think or don’t think won’t change the fact that all drivers are ego’s…..and the biggest ego’s will become champion….so I quess Verstappen will take any risk possible to claim first spot

          2. @philby Dont worry those guys dont listen to logic anyway.

    4. The championship needs for Vettel to win a big chunk of points. I was critical of ferrari not bringing a big rear wing such as many other teams, RBR, McLaren, STR, SFI. In the end I guess Ferrari outsmarted either by choice or not, RB because their level of wing in the end was correct, much smaller wing, 5 kph more speed, no DRS during the race so that should protect Seb if Ferrari can survive the start and the pit stop. Hamilton should be able to jump Raikkonen. In the end I actually predict Vettel to either retire or end 3rd, RB won’t allow anything but that.

      1. I disagree @peartree Ferrari will be quick and fighting for pole at every one of the remaining races.

        1. No they won’t.

          Malaysia a high speed track with lot’s of fast corners much like silverstone: Advantage Mercedes

          Japan sector 1 is dependent on downforce but sector 2 and 3 are mostly straights though: draw

          USA has a good mix but as we saw in 2015 in going from wet to dry, the Merc’s got stronger (compared to the
          RBR’s) so I’d say engine power goes a long way there: Advantage Mercedes (slightly)

          Mexico has several long straights out of slow corners: advantage Mercedes
          Brazil sectors 1 and 3 are defenitely engine dependent but the middle sector is all about chassi and downforce: advantage mercedes (slightly)

          Abu Dhabi is predominantly engine dependent becausee of the main straight and long straights in secotor 2. Ferrari will be stronger in sector 3: advantage Mercedes.

          It’s firmly Lewis Hamilton’s championhsip to lose and Vettel desperate needs to win Malaysia. Having said that, I put my money on Ricciardo for tomorrow ;)

          1. @jeffreyj

            I understand your points and don’t disagree with your thinking. But I’d have said exactly the same about Spa being a big Mercedes advantage track. Yes they won the race but Vettel was right there fighting for pole and probably had the quicker race car on Sunday. Make no doubt about it, that Ferrari is quick and also works better in hotter conditions which are more likely at the remaining circuits too.

          2. Malaysia Is vettel territory .. we just need a bit of rain in the qualy for vettel to grab it

          3. @jeffreyj Suzuka is one of the least power-dependent circuits. It’s all about aerodynamics, and regarding the Yas Marina Circuit: Only sector 2 is power-dependent there. The rest is about corners. The S/F (main) straight there is short.

          4. @jeffreyj Your statements rely on the ‘fact’ that the Mercedes chassis is just worse enough than Ferrari to make up for the engine advantage that they have. Mercedes their chassis is not suddenly average, as it was most likely the best between ’14 and ’16, and it is very likely at least as good as Ferrari if not better. Hence I’m fairly sure that unless we see some weird tyre glitches or temp changes or retirements from Mercedes it’s all theirs to loose.

            That being said, Vettel does rule supreme at Suzuka. If the cars were to be equal, it’s Vettel winning. Malaysia will be easy pickings for Mercedes, and so will Austin and Mexico. Interlagos might provide us a great race but I’m afraid that run up the hill is once more Mercedes only territory. Then we have Yas Marina, the only real question for me.

    5. I would imagine Vettel will be a little nervous with young Verstappen next to him trying to win the race on the first lap.

      1. with his history of clashes :) we will see. vettel is no stranger to being aggressive and out of mind as well… but hopefully it will be an entertaining race…

  6. Good Gawd. What a lap by Vettel! I couldn’t believe where he got that time and I was swearing at the telly because obviously I am a Lewis fan. But credit where it’s due- that was a magical pole lap. This is why I think these guys are greats. Laps like this where they have to dig deep and pull it out of the bag. Valiant effort by the Bulls. I don’t think Hamilton could have done much more given the circumstances and Bottas I have to say was disappointing.

    Now. RB apparently have better race pace. Undercut anyone given how long this track is?

  7. Superb from Vettel. He needs this. Now where’s all the tifosi fans saying that Mercedes has the best car? Don’t these guys understand how it works here?

    1. 😂😂 Brilliant.

    2. F Truth (@offdutyrockstar)
      16th September 2017, 15:05

      They’ve started already

    3. The Ferrari is the quicker car around here, but how many tracks are like Singapore? Right, not too many.

    4. You’re seriously going to try to argue that the car which has taken 4 or 14 poles is the equal of the one which has taken 8 of 14 poles? That (assuming for the moment SV wins tomorrow) the car which has won 5 of 14 GPs is the equal of the car which has won 8 of 14 GPs?

      The 2017 Mercedes is vastly more dominant than the 2012 Red Bull was. It’s even more dominant than the 2010 RB was.

      1. Must be watching a different season to the rest of us.

      2. You’re seriously going to try to argue that the car which has taken 4 or 14 poles is the equal of the one which has taken 8 of 14 poles? That (assuming for the moment SV wins tomorrow) the car which has won 5 of 14 GPs is the equal of the car which has won 8 of 14 GPs?

        of course not

        The 2017 Mercedes is vastly more dominant than the 2012 Red Bull was. It’s even more dominant than the 2010 RB was.

        wait, what??

      3. This.

        Some people (like those disagreeing with you) are either too young or have bad/selective memories. 2010 and 2012 were very closely fought, 2011 and 2013 Red Bull dominated.

      4. The 2017 Mercedes is vastly more dominant than the 2012 Red Bull was. It’s even more dominant than the 2010 RB was.

        Your posts are pure fiction

  8. Best (realistic) case scenario for Vettel.

  9. Great qualy, too bad Max couldn’t get his 1st pole position but yet again he beat RIC.

    Hopefully he can get in front tomorrow and win the race. He has a decent change

    1. Yet again? What was the gap between Max and his teammate? It was tight. Most of those quali laps this year were tight. You sound as though he is putting nails in Ricciardo’s coffin. I understand that the quali record is in Max’s favour but points are handed out on Sundays. It will be handed out tomorrow “yet again”. I choose to look at it the other way. These two brilliant drivers are pushing each other to get better every time they’re out there, and the relationship is very good. Wonderful to watch. Go Max and Danny!

      1. And the score is 10-4. That makes it pretty much the definition of ‘yet again’.

        1. I think you will find that in the context of the comment, the “yet again” being selected as words to use, is an inference of something (and a low blow on Ricciardo). That is a Max fanboy who believes that a driver needs to be slammed in a comment for their favourite to get attention. That is simply not the case. I like Max and appreciate Ricciardo too. It’s a sugar free troll comment. The semantics of what “yet again” means is not my point. It’s that the words “yet again” was used at all and the trolling reasoning behind it. The comments sections are becoming jokes and even though this is a light example, it is becoming poor form. I would rather us comment on the form than build narratives around people. Ricciardo is a good qualifier and a good racer. This comment was intended to take the gloss off of that.

      2. Both of you have a point. Max has been ahead in qualy, and in the races where there where no reliability issues Daniel portrayed better overall racecraft. But Max has been half a second quicker a few times this year which is very impressive compared to last year where it was the other way around.

        1. That was no racecraft Bram…that’s called Luck with a capital L

        2. Nope, the last 6 races last year 5-1 in favour of Max, qualifing and races

      3. Max won the Q again on Ricci’s favorite track….it’s 10-4 allready and Max has proven to be the faster RBR driver this year. Only lady luck is against him…if he turns that around…Ricci will not been seen anywhere than behind Verstappen

        1. Must be a Dutch thing, they think you win points in quali and on the 1st lap. Standings so far…
          Daniel Ricciardo 144 points
          Max Verstappen 68 points

          1. Bless. Kvyat is better than Ricciardo then too?

        2. Absolutely correct, it is clear to all impartial followers of F1 that Verstappen clearly has the measure of Ricciardo. Just imagine what will happen if the two of them were to stay in the same team in the future. Ricciardo has to move before Max developes even more, if he doesn’t his chance of a place in a top team will be buried.

          Remember that Verstappen is still a year younger than Hamilton was when he entered F1 and just a little bit older than Vettel was when he had his debut. He’s still almost 2 years younger than Schumacher was when he made his debut. It is indeed a a mighty display of pure talent and there is no driver in F1 at present time that would be able to live with Verstappen over time.

          That is why both Ferrari and Mercedes have gone for one-year contracts. They both want Verstappen, Hamilton or Vettel are the next in line to be dethroned by Verstappen. I think Ricciardo is a great driver and has responded to the challenge from Verstappen admirably. But it is more and more apparent that he’s unable to compete with the abundance of pure raw talent that Verstappen has been blessed with.

          1. Ricciardo would be way better of leaving RBR at the end of this season… if he only could.
            He has been beaten 10-4 in quali so far… at best he can make it a highly unlikely even 10-10 at the end of the season. Ricciardo has good fortune on his side and scored some very good points… to be ahead by so many points kind off takes away the attention from Verstappen being faster…

            For sure good fortune won’t last, just as reliability issues won’t last… then it all comes down to which driver is faster.

            2018 can be a though year for Ricciardo when the inner team battle isn’t getting blurred by side effects.

          2. Ricciardo is still quite good. It would be amusing if Verstappen went to Mercedes and Ricciardo to Ferrari or vice versa.

          3. @aapje Could you imagine Hamilton/Verstappen at Mercedes and Vettel/Ricciardo at Ferrari?? That would make an awesome championship even if it’s only Ferrari and Mercedes miles ahead of the rest.

          4. talent? no. experience at driving race cars from a very young age? yes. former f1 driver for a father? yes – so a genetic factor. hard work? most likely. lucky to be in f1 in a good seat at such an early age? most definitely. much needed ‘star’ for f1 brand to pin hopes and marketing on for future profit margins a la senna, Schumacher, alonso, hamilton, Vettel? undoubtedly.

          5. Lewis was 22 years old when he debuted….Max is only 19 ;)

          6. Yeah it’s shame that this is about the world drivers / Manufactures Championship, not the world one qualifying championship.

        3. Max was only .026 faster, that’s not really worth mentioning. I would say that’s pretty even. They’re very closely matched in qualifying overall I think. Ricciardo is clean and very fast in the races. Great at passing, and a consistent points scorer. That’s how you win. Max tries too often to win on the first lap, once he reigns himself in he’ll be more of a contender.

          1. On average Verstappen has been signifficantly faster in qualifying this year. Singapore happens to be one of Ricciardos absolute favourite tracks, that’s why he was pretty close today.
            Ricciardo had the upper hand in the first 4-5 races after Verstappen switched to Red Bull last year. Then the table turned and Verstappen was a little bit faster at the end of the 2016-season. This season there is no doubt Verstappen has taken another step and is clearly faster.
            People might try to fool themselves and say it isn’t so, but it will not matter in the end. Verstappen takes a signifficant step every single season and will do so in the years to come as well.
            Normally the new cars with more downforce should be a big advantage for Ricciardo as the physical demand on the driver increases. The fact that Verstappen still comes out on top at such a young age proves he’s exceptional.
            And yes, a big part of it is hard work. But there are some telltale signs of tremendous talent remeniscent of former greats. Verstappens ability to be extremely quick on cold tyres is like seeing Senna and Schumacher. His ability in the wet at such a young age is like seeing Senna and Schumacher. His ability to pass and control the car on the absolute limit is also like seeing the same two guys.
            You do not reach that level by practicing. Some drivers (very very few) are born with that special ability to sense exactly where the limit of the tyres are. He’s among those very very few, and the more experience he gets the more he’s gonna hone those skills.

          2. @jfever78
            .026 IS worth mentioning. Ricciardo and Verstappen have a great battle that Verstappen is winning.

            Its all the useless 2nd drivers that are half a second or more off pace that aint worth mentioning.

          3. Well, they are not that close as you would like to think….and on top of this, Singapore is Ricci’s favorite track. He never lost a Q duel here.

            People seem to forget Max is only 19 years young…the same age as LecLerc and a few years younger than Giovinazzi…who are considred great talents by Ferrari and all pundits in the world of F1. Verstappen came into F1 when he was 16/17 years young…an incredible young age and he is getting better and better and better each year.

            To outQ the Qualy beast on his favorite track show Max has made some huge improvements this year in Qualifying…and in all the races this year, except Austria, Max was in front of Ricciardo when he retired due to 3rd party involvement or mechanical problems.

            Max will only get better and it’s a pretty scary thought about how good he will become once he reaches his peek.

  10. Never doubted Ferrari here. Goes to show that track layout plays a huge role. The championship is far from over.

  11. RB copycats, look, look at this! – hahahahha

    1. That was funny. Great personalities out there.

    2. They even copied the tires ;)’

  12. What a lap by Lewis! Legendary staff!
    It was like watching Senna again, with that Lotus which was the 3rd car overall, getting the pole. He definitely proved that it’s his abilities and not the car’s. He also proved that his doubters are totally wrong. What more a legend has to do? Qualify in front of Raikkonen, who is waaaay past his prime?

    1. Is this an attempt at sarcasm against a driver who just destroyed his team mate by 6 tenths?

      1. To be honest it was a Fantastic lap by Hamilton. If you take the slower car as the baseline then both Vettel and Hamilton put in amazing laps today. P5 was the best that car could do without a slip up from anyone else and that didn’t happen. Impressive from Redbull but they were against it with that Ferrari and the engine modes they have available. Hope they can do something in the race tomorrow as this could be a big game changer in the Championship as Ferrari will be really strong at the remaining races too.

    2. What more a legend has to do? Qualify in front of Raikkonen, who is waaaay past his prime?

      I guess that’s why Vettel didn’t manage it in the last race? Though to be fair to Vettel he was handicapped by having as good a car as Raikkonen when he failed to out qualify him where as Hamilton was lucky enough to have a worse car than Raikkonen today.

    3. The Mercedes was poor out there today. I don’t like when Hamilton sulks, and he often has a terrible attitude, but he is a qualifier of note in the sport. We shouldn’t take every opportunity to bash these guys like you just did, sir. There was little he could do out there today. Hamilton is still good. It’s terrible how “fans” go after these drivers at every opportunity. Even the media have manufactured a lot of stories to give you guys a carrot to go after Alonso in the last few weeks. Calm down. These guys are human.

    4. You Lewis’ hat3rs are every day more pathetic

    5. Funny, Vettel got outqualified by “a Kimi past his prime” throughout last season. Didn’t think that one through did you.

      1. And Hamilton lost out to a guy he has beaten for 17 years.

        1. Yes but as you said yourself- Hamilton had been beating the guy gor 17 years and he also happens to be a world champion. Vettel lost to “a nobody” as Lauda put it. Swings and round abouts- this is sports. You can cherry pick a driver’s worst moments to discredit them.

          1. Yeah, Nico wasn’t a champion before he beat Lewis now, was he?

    6. Err…to be fair Lewis did an honestly good job. Don’t see a problem here.

      1. “here” as in with his qualy performance

  13. Wall scraping wizardry by Seb!
    Will the wall become the deciding factor tomorrow ?
    Excellent post qualifying ‘on track’ Will Buxton interviews with the top three and nice to see Bob Varshsa in with ‘the lads’ while Leigh Diffey’s doing the Indy finale.

  14. Hey. Guess what? I was right. You don’t just make up 3 tenths up from Hungary in over a month.
    So those that have looked at RB in pink glasses can go back to blaming the Renault engine. There was very minimal chance. Vettel could’ve went even at least 0,1s faster. Pole isn’t possible this year. Accept it.

    On a less popular note.
    Renault needs to get rid of Palmer. 13-0! 13! Oh my. The folks that said McLaren can’t afford to lose WDC points? Where are they when it is Palmer wasting Renault’s score? Cyril just uses him for the development tree so they just pity his career which is even more sad. We can’t blame the engine in all those qualifying battles. Hulkenberg can’t be that solid, he got out-scored two times by Checo. Le Mans and F1 aren’t the same, just like ovals. So this is just getting pathetic.

    1. @xiasitlo
      Palmer was certainly better than Hulkenberg in Spa when it comes to qualifying. He was 7th and best of the rest in P3. Then in Q2, after most drivers had done their first times runs, Palmer was best of the rest in 7th and his team mate was 11th. Then Palmer had problems with the clutch. Hulkenberg improved but only to 9th. Then after the team had fixed Palmers issue, he set and even faster lap time but was still 7th. Then problems came back for him in Q3 and he didn’t start. But his Q2 time was faster than Hulkenberg’s, Perez’s and Ocon’s Q3 times. So Palmer was quicker by 0.297 in Q2 than Hulkenberg in Q3. And 6 of the 9 drivers that did a lap in Q3 did improve somewhat over their Q2 time which makes me pretty certain Palmer could have been P7 here.

      But I’ll be honest, this is about the only time this year where Palmer looked very strong. But his bad luck seriously has limited what he possibly could have show us on quite a few occations.

      I agree they should get rid of Palmer next year, but I don’t think there will be many drivers that will instantly be able to do a better job than him in the remaining races. He is used to the team by now and It usually would take a while for any driver to get used to one, especially mid season! It is too risky to swap drivers this soon and he denied all the claims that he was getting replaced before the end of the year.

      1. @thegianthogweed & @baron
        Sergey Sirotkin. He is used to the car, is test driver, has a superlicense. 90% sure he would do better after 1 weekend of full getting used to the car-practise. If Sainz doesn’t come he could do it.

    2. Calm down @xiasitlo, you’ll have a heart attack. Palmer is being replaced next year and everybody knows it (except you?), so, happy now? You can hardly expect teams to change horses midstream and anyway it’s bad strategy to do so. This isn’t a game of football where you can make a quick half time substitution and you should really try and stop judging F1 in those terms.

      1. My point is he is wasting current-year WDC points. You read this point above right? Or are glasses far closer then heart-attacks ? And yes he can be replaced. Just buy him out of his contract. British people know how much money can influence football so you especially should know.

        1. Just buy him out of his contract.

          @xiasitlo This isn’t a game of football where you can make a quick half time substitution

          1. @davidnotcoulthard

            That post shows no knowledge of the regulations or the telemetry regarding Palmer. It has happened, way before you started watching this in 2008. It’s possible from a legal standpoint. Sirotkin drives the simulator and has his own physical program and superlicense. If Di Resta can do it and get that close to Stroll, remembering he has less talent then Sirotkin, it is possible.

          2. @xiasitlo

            It’s possible from a legal standpoint.

            I know, and that was not my point. Besides, I do remember Badoer, Kobayashi in Toyota, etc happened after 2008, so not sure how that was relevant.

          3. And are you saying you know PAL’s telemetry? I’d love me some insider info myself.

            remembering [DIR] has less talent then Sirotkin

            Not sure where you got that judgement from (honestly curious)

          4. Being F1 driver equal not to being qualified to be an F1 driver… People speculate a lot with little knowledge and zero experience…

            Lots of F2/F3 champs come and go and so little are successful in F1…

    3. @xiasitlo Vettel could go faster by at least 0,1 seconds. Who says Verstappen and Ricciardo couldn’t? Verstappen went very aggressive on his last run, which didn’t work out. I don’t think it would’ve been pole with the current gap, but even Vettel openly admitted to being surprised at getting pole with such a lap. So please stop your “I was right” comments. What do you want to prove with that anyway?

      And about Palmer? Why even start the discussion, everyone knows he’s been sacked. Just close your eyes whenever you see a yellow car with number 30 for the last couple of races this year and you’re good. Enjoy F1 and life. :-)

      1. @addvariety

        Why does this seem full of frustration and not reading the thread regarding Palmer it seems… maybe has something to do with a certain driver not getting pole…I’m just guessing now…hmm..
        Maxdidn’t get pole. Never could get it. And that is all that cares for some people so that’s the point I’m proving. Vettel had more contact during his run, fact, no discussion, and RB is now done this season. Done. And everyone knows it. This was their last shot, doesn’t matter what you will reply. So thanks for letting me know you care. ;-) End of discussion.

        1. @xiasitlo Yeah, RB is now done this season. ;-) You speak as if everything is a fact, you should know better than that. And yes, I know Ferrari was the quickest in Malaysia, but at least Mercedes was beaten fair and square by 2 Red Bulls.

    4. At least Palmer is paying for his seat. The same cannot be said about Verstappen, who has been in F1 for almost 3 years now and hasn’t paid a single cent for his seat sofar. Even though Verstappen has been around for year longer in F1 than Palmer, he has yet to show anything that suggest that he is F1 worthy based on skills alone. In a Renault Verstappen would do no better than Palmer, and in a RBR Palmer would do no worse than Verstappen. Yet only a very few argue that Verstappen should be kicked out of F1. Let’s face it, Verstappen has no business being in F1. F1 is not for freeloaders; if you can’t afford to pay for your seat F1 is not for you. Let’s hope for the sake of F1 RBR finally sees the light and contracts Palmer for 2018.

      1. your kidding right? or is this called sarthingy…

      2. You almost got me there!

  15. If I were Ricciardo I’d just be a bit wary on the first lap of his team mate. Best to settle for third for a lap or three until things sort them selves out a bit.

    1. They are both pure racers, Daniel won’t hold back if an opportunity arises. A single incident between the 2 in 2 years won’t change that.

    2. @johnrkh Thats what Ricciardo will do anyway no matter where Verstappen is. He will solidly run 4th or 5th and wait for the usual 1 or 2 cars in front to drop out, Verstappen probably will be one of them.

    3. Why would Ric try to overtake Ver? His car will fail anyway…

    4. @johnrkh Are you serious? One single incident and you make it as if it’s the way Verstappen always handles Ricciardo? Yeah, Hungary was totally uncalled for, but look at all those races before, especially last year when they were even fighting right behind the Mercs as opposed to Mercs AND Ferraris this year. They’ve had some very intense but good battles and not once did either of them crashed into the other.

      But yeah, like @rethla says, Ricciardo is the stable, fast driver who’s able to drive at 95-98% all the time without making any mistakes. A bit like Rosberg for instance. Verstappen is more of a risk-taker indeed, always trying to squeeze that extra 2-3% out of it even if it sometimes isn’t possible. That’s in my opinion also why in qualifying he constantly was just those couple of hundreds of a second quicker than Ricciardo this time. Quite impressive if you ask me:
      Q1: Ver leads Ric by 0.053 sec
      Q2: Ver leads Ric by 0.053 sec
      Q3: Ver leads Ric by 0.036 sec
      Also shows both were on the limit of what was possible in the car today.

      I expect Verstappen to take a gamble at the start to overtake Vettel, he’s already said that and Vettel knows to be weary. Looking at Friday’s race simulations, Red Bull was much quicker than both Ferrari and Mercedes. Although I expect them to have caught up a little, I’m very curious what will happen. I expect that if Verstappen manages to jump Vettel at the start, he might even be able to pull a gap, but if Verstappen stays behind, Vettel will be under constant pressure and Red Bull will probably opt for different strategies. Although I’m a Verstappen fan, I’m happy with either of these 3 drivers winning. As long as Vettel is at least 2nd so he can take over the championship from Hamilton again.

  16. Sky has been a bit questionable in some of their comments lately. I have noticed them stoking the fires on Alonso and Vettel recently. Sometimes it is a passing comment during an interview and at other times it is a misrepresentation of something we see on screen. Today they said Vetttel was trying to steal ideas from Red Bull, which is not uncommon but also it was actually Vettel pointing out where Red Bull had copied an idea from Ferrari.
    Also earlier, Martin was stirring the pot about Alonso with Mclaren. That has been a strange narrative in some media. I listen to what Alonso says and then it is twisted into a false headline. Alonso has every right to want a good car. He has also become a mature person just like how Vettel has recently (save for his momentary lapse at Baku). I take everything that people say about Alonso with a grain of salt as there is definitely a narrative that is being built. Honda deserve everything insult they received. Imagine that engine with Hamilton or Vettel. Would you forgive them pointing it out?

    1. People forget too soon how bad Honda’s pre-season testing was and Alonso was both frustrated and hugely dissapointed before even the first race. He knew pretty much what nobody else wanted to admit at that point.

      Also noteworthy was how Andrew Benson of the BBC raked muck before Alonso had his first race for McLaren- Honda. Remember the testing crash and there were diffeent opinions, Benson ran a headline something along the lines of ‘ McLaren – Alonso relationship untenable’ The media have had the knives out for Alonso for years. As if F1 has alreay become sanitised enough.

  17. Two first-corner-nutcases on the front row…a pity Kvyat isn’t a bit closer to join the action.

    1. Or palmer he knows some crash craft

    2. What? Are you living in 2008 yet?

      1. No need to go that far back in time.

  18. Wonder how could Vettel lose this race and this championship.
    He should have a comfortable point cushion at this point, but with his luck and that car he won’t have any problem, anyway.
    Hamilton fought well, but simply Ferrari made the best overall car this season.
    Damn shame for 2016 title gifted to rosberg.

    1. 2016 title gifted to rosberg.

      define gifted

      Ferrari made the best overall car this season.

      ?

    2. Are you for real??!!!

  19. WHAT ?? allmost NOTING OF VETTEL on tv. why they don`t run one car on track in Q3 so we can see all the action is Beyond me. I want to see the guys going flat out, who is the FASTEST driver risking everything like vettel today. come on WAKE UP F1 bosses and give us ALL THE ACTION. this was exciting but we the tv Viewers got only bits of the excitement. the Production could have been so much better if they had followed the right car but they didn`t like so many times before. That would not be an issue if they ran one car one lap, two attempts each in q3 (With bonus Points for the the fastest). then we would get the FULL VALUE of qulifying. this is a NOBRAINER improvement

    1. What’s next, aggregate Q3?

      Yeah,

      NOBRAINER improvement

    2. Don’t you remember the time when this was actually the case in F1? Probably the most boring qualifications ever seen.

    3. Bu bu bu but, how will I ever know F1 is important without seeing Jos Verstappen and JJ Lin in the pits!?

      1. AND Jan Peter Balkenende!! jajajajaj

    4. I particularly enjoyed the qualifying for Silverstone 2004.

  20. Credit where it’s due to Vettel. He definitely did the business, but I wasn’t fooled, I’m pretty darn pleased with my predictions championship prediction right now

  21. Vettel won Q3 because he can turn the engine up a notch.
    In the race the RB will be the fastest car. In FP it looked like almost a second faster in race pace.

  22. When Vettel gets a stunning pole “it’s the Ferrari being quickest” when Lewis gets a pole “it’s his skill, the greatest qualifier eve” etc

    Hilarious

    1. Actually… I don’t see the problem with something that sounds terribly accurate.
      Unless you believe BOTH Ricciardo and Verstappen aren’t faster than Kimi at this point.

      Vettel probably had the best lap today.

    2. Also, it’s not Vettel isn’t a “known-quantity” at this point as a qualifier.

  23. OKay lap from Seb..

    But why wasn’t Hamilton’s first time in Q3 DSQ?
    He clearly got an time advantage out of it in that last corner during his first run.
    FIA should have DSQ Hamilton’s first time setting imidiatly which would put pressure on him for his second run.

    1. Just to be clear all four wheels were not off the track. But that’s right- FIA should have singled out Hamilton and disqualified him, so he would be under even more intense pressure. No discrimination there at all. I suspect- reading for your comment you would have Hamilton DSQ for all sorts of unscrupulous reasons. Jeezus.

    2. @myst, given that Vettel ran even wider than Hamilton did during his first flying lap, do you believe that he should have been stripped of his time as well?

    3. Go back and watch Alonso’s line lol!

    1. There’s no reason to specifically single out Hamilton on this.
      Besides, that would’ve changed absolutely nothing — Hamilton would’ve been slower than RBR/Ferrari and faster than everybody else.

      1. Hamilton gained an advantage. Read the rules.

        1. And what what other drivers did…

  24. Time deleted, P10. More Pressure next run.

    1. @myst He was fast enough to be P5 with the other time he set

      1. He was P2 behind Kimi after he gained that advantage.
        https://img3.picload.org/image/dgdarlca/1.png

        Ended up P5.
        Nullify, P10, more pressure.

        1. Again… There’s no reason to specifically single out Hamilton for this, unless your whole point is that he has to be single out because reasons. ALO, VET and VER all this roughly the same thing (or worse), and that’s only those I noticed.

  25. Vettel is P8 at that time.

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