How Raikkonen and Perez missed the cut in Q1

2015 Austrian Grand Prix

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[interactivecharts]Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez were the major victims of a rain-hit start to qualifying in Austria.

Both drivers had to look on as their team mates progress not only into Q2, but went on to qualifying the in the top five of the grid. Why did Raikkonen and Perez fall while Sebastian Vettel, Nico Hulkenberg and others progressed?

Raikkonen used some characteristically choice words on the radio when told he’d been bumped out of qualifying. He had good reason to be surprised – only the two Manor drivers were slower.

Raikkonen revealed afterwards he was supposed to do three timed laps at the end of the session, but he wasn’t able to get them all in. Vettel was in a similar situation – he only got two quick laps in at the end of Q1, but his were significantly quicker than Raikkonen’s. Vettel’s first lap was half a second quicker than Raikkonen’s second attempt, despite the fact the track was in better shape by then.

But this wasn’t just a case of Raikkonen struggling to get the best out of the car in tricky conditions. Traffic was a factor as well, as Sergio Perez explained:

“I found myself right behind Fernando [Alonso] and I spent the whole lap behind him. I couldn’t get any closer as I would have lost all my downforce, and I had Kimi behind me so I couldn’t drop back.”

“It made it very difficult for me and in the end I was less than a tenth off the time I needed to make Q2.” And who was one-tenth of a second faster and took the last place in Q2? Alonso…

With the track ‘ramping up’ rapidly, offering more grip with every passing minute, the last drivers across the finishing line before the chequered flag appeared were in the best position to take advantage.

Another driver who got the raw end of that deal with Jenson Button. “I was one of the first to cross the finish line in Q1,” he explained, “so everyone had a bit more time to improve while the circuit was drying.”

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Lap times

The graph below shows each driver’s quickest time (in seconds) as each minute passed during Q1.

Nico Rosberg81.49281.49281.49281.49279.03979.03979.03979.03979.03976.54376.54376.54371.88371.88370.97670.976
Carlos Sainz Jnr81.87380.90380.90380.90379.40779.40779.40779.40779.40779.03179.03173.5973.5971.67671.67671.67671.158
Sebastian Vettel86.20686.20679.21879.21879.21879.21879.21879.21879.21872.39972.39972.39971.18471.184
Max Verstappen81.00681.00681.00679.81479.81479.81478.67778.67778.67778.67774.33274.33274.33272.8672.8671.30771.307
Nico Hulkenberg81.35281.35281.35281.35281.35281.35281.35281.35273.64572.55872.55871.31971.319
Pastor Maldonado87.19282.16182.16182.16182.16182.16177.63675.38575.38574.14474.14474.14472.63471.66171.661
Romain Grosjean84.86782.48782.48782.48782.43882.43882.43882.43882.43878.79573.6473.6471.82171.82171.82171.821
Felipe Massa77.83177.83177.83177.83173.35473.35473.35471.8371.8371.83
Valtteri Bottas77.29777.29777.29777.29777.29773.67573.67571.99171.89471.894
Daniel Ricciardo76.3776.3773.6672.93471.97371.97371.973
Felipe Nasr80.34478.09978.09975.62375.62375.62375.62375.62372.65272.00172.001
Daniil Kvyat82.46181.61281.61281.61279.40479.40479.40479.40479.40479.40479.40479.40477.1777.1772.09272.092
Lewis Hamilton81.82181.14181.14181.14180.26180.26180.26180.26180.26175.34873.19673.19672.21872.21872.21872.218
Marcus Ericsson85.88385.88385.88385.88385.88385.88385.88385.88385.88385.88383.33974.26973.05472.38872.38872.38872.388
Fernando Alonso84.10884.10882.51782.51782.51782.51782.51782.51777.6475.95674.8674.8674.8672.50872.508
Sergio Perez85.62385.62384.98484.98484.98484.09183.19183.19183.19183.19183.19176.38876.38876.38874.00772.52272.522
Jenson Button83.02583.02583.02581.15481.15481.15481.15475.23975.23975.23973.26173.26173.26172.63272.632
Kimi Raikkonen87.79181.04181.04181.04181.04181.04181.04181.04181.04175.41175.41175.41172.86772.86772.867
Roberto Merhi86.33484.57584.57584.29884.29884.29884.29884.29884.29884.29884.29884.29884.29875.8974.99674.99674.071
Will Stevens89.50886.6186.6186.6186.6186.6186.6186.6186.6186.6184.20984.20978.97278.06376.275.36875.368


The graph below shows each driver’s overall position as each minute passed during Q1.

Nico Rosberg345612568714173411
Carlos Sainz Jnr211214589712361162
Sebastian Vettel141523679131616923
Max Verstappen1221251456171281334
Nico Hulkenberg59101213131618871045
Pastor Maldonado1378101113224511131156
Romain Grosjean7689111214141411472277
Felipe Massa235102511388
Valtteri Bottas1148151012699
Daniel Ricciardo6129951010
Felipe Nasr73435101516121111
Daniil Kvyat556734781014171919201212
Lewis Hamilton43446691011313471313
Marcus Ericsson4911131415161818181862581414
Fernando Alonso8101012131515159111314171515
Sergio Perez38101213131416161617131618161616
Jenson Button7911891112128410151717
Kimi Raikkonen1433781011121591415141818
Roberto Merhi5691112141517171720202017181919
Will Stevens610121516161719191919191820192020

2015 Austrian Grand Prix

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    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    7 comments on “How Raikkonen and Perez missed the cut in Q1”

    1. Great analysis. Also interesting to see how close Hamilton got to being knocked out. He was fastest on minute 14, and 13th by minute 18, only about 0.3s faster than Perez.

      1. @adrianmorse Yep, he came up on Button and lost the last lap. If he was a little slower before that it might have been similarly critical..

    2. These excuses by the drivers. If you’re not in the right position, then make your own gap and don’t end up behind a McLaren that is also on a hot lap in the first place. This isn’t the team’s fault, the driver should be able to see down the road and adjust accordingly. Just admit you messed it up and get on with the race.

      1. What if the team sends a driver into a gap that turns out not to exist, and there’s no time to drop back and still get a flying lap in? Not always the driver’s fault.

      2. @john-h And get a penalty for impeding Kimi? Seriously?

    3. It can happen to the best drivers and teams, but when you have a sequence of substandard qualifying sessions, especially when your team mate consistently outperforms you MUST concede that Raikonnen’s time in an F1 top team is coming to an end.

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