Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen, Shanghai International Circuit, 2016

Rosberg on pole, Hamilton starts last in China

2016 Chinese Grand Prix qualifying

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Championship leader Nico Rosberg will start from pole in China, while team mate Lewis Hamilton will start dead last on the grid after an engine problem meant he was unable to set a time in qualifying.

Rosberg will be joined on the front row by Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull after mistakes from both Ferrari drivers left Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel in third and fourth, respectively.

Q1

A welcome return to the 2015 qualifying system following the shambolic introduction of elimination qualifying provided plenty of action in the first of three knockout sessions.

Following a very wet final practice, the rain subsided over the two hours before the start of Q1, leaving the track only slightly damp as qualifying began.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg immediately ventured out on Intermediate tyres, but it soon became clear that the track was already dry enough to consider slick tyres, except for a handful of damp stretches along the start/finish straight.

Hamilton reported that his Mercedes felt down on power during his first lap and soon pitted for a switch on to dry compound tyres and for the team to investigate the issue.

Manor had opted for supersoft tyres on both their cars, but Pascal Werhlein lost control of his car on the damp bump on the finish line at the start of his first flying lap and speared across the track, striking the left-hand barrier and putting him out of the session on the spot.

An unusually lengthy red flag stoppage followed as track workers attempted to dry up the wet stretches across the start/finish straight, with the session eventually restarting around 20 minutes later.

There was no rush to set times once the session resumed, with most teams opting to stay in until five minutes left. The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen set the benchmark, with Vettel going fastest with a 1’37.001.

Hamilton left the pits for a second run, but it was immediately clear that there was a significant issue with the hybrid system of the world champion’s Mercedes and the team instantly called Hamilton back to the pits.

As time ticked down and no time set, it soon became clear that Hamilton would not be able to make it back out in time and would be out of qualifying in the very first session – his five-place grid penalty dooming him to a start from the very back of the grid.

With the back row of the grid decided, it became a battle between Renault and Sauber to decide who would avoid elimination.

Felipe Nasr set a quick time to take him out of the danger zone, before Kevin Magnussen went P16, pushing Esteban Gutierrez out of Q2.

It all came down to Marcus Ericsson’s final lap, with the Swede posting the 13th quickest time as the chequered flag flew to put him through into the second session and knocking out both of the Renaults.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

17Kevin MagnussenRenault1’38.673
18Esteban GutierrezHaas-Ferrari1’38.770
19Jolyon PalmerRenault1’39.528
20Rio HaryantoManor-Mercedes1’40.264
21Pascal WehrleinManor-Mercedes
22Lewis HamiltonMercedes

Q2

The second session of qualifying began with no more threat of rain expected. Nico Rosberg set the early pace with a 1’36.240 as teams once again took their time in venturing out onto the circuit.

The Ferraris made their runs with five minutes remaining both with supersoft tyres on their cars. Raikkonen usurped Rosberg at the top of the times with a 1’36.118, followed by Vettel who was less than a tenth off his team mate.

As the second session entered its final minutes, every car was on track, minus the Ferraris and Rosberg’s Mercedes.

But with a minute and a half remaining and drivers limbering up for a final flying lap, the session was brought to a sudden stop when Nico Hulkenberg’s left-front wheel separated from his Force India, bringing out another red flag.

With no time left for drivers to begin a final flying lap once the session resumed, the order was effectively set. This meant that Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were out with no opportunity to improve their times, with Alonso’s frustration audible over team radio.

Romain Grosjean was also eliminated in the sole remaining Haas, while Ericsson and Nasr rounded out the session in 15th and 16th, respectively. Ironically, Hulkenberg benefited from his own red flag stoppage by securing tenth position, but will be under investigation for an unsafe pit release and certainly penalised.

Perhaps crucially, Rosberg’s time was set on the soft compound tyre, meaning he will start tomorrow’s race on this set, rather than on the unfavoured supersoft.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’37.347
12Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’38.826
13Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’39.093
14Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’39.830
15Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’40.742
16Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’42.430

Q3

The final shoot-out for pole looked like a straight fight between the Ferraris and Rosberg’s Mercedes. Rosberg was the first to set a time, posting a 1’36.111 on supersoft tyres.

Ferrari responded immediately, sending Raikkonen out on supersoft tyres also. The Finn put in a good lap to pip the Mercedes to provisional pole by one tenth with a 1’35.972. Sebastian Vettel opted to stay in the pits, pinning his hopes on a single flying lap.

For the first time in 2016, we had a final rush for pole in the closing moments of qualifying. Rosberg was the first across the line, taking provisional pole right back from Ferrari by a half a second with a 1’35.402.

Daniel Ricciardo surprised by jumping up to second place on his final effort, leaving the Ferrari duo with the opportunity to challenge for pole on their final laps.

Unfortunately for the Scuderia, mistakes under braking for the hairpin for both Raikkonen and Vettel meant that they were unable to beat Ricciardo’s Red Bull, let alone challenge Rosberg for pole. Instead, the team will have to settle for a second row lockout.

Valtteri Bottas will start fifth in the Williams, with Daniil Kvyat having by far his best qualifying result of the season so far in sixth. Both Force Indias will start from the top ten – subject to Hulkenberg’s inevitable penalty – as will both Toro Rossos, with Carlos Sainz Jr ahead of Max Verstappen.

Top ten in Q3

1Nico RosbergMercedes1’35.402
2Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’35.917
3Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’35.972
4Sebastian VettelFerrari1’36.246
5Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’36.296
6Daniil KvyatRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’36.399
7Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’36.865
8Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Ferrari1’36.881
9Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Ferrari1’37.194
10Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes

2016 Chinese Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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99 comments on “Rosberg on pole, Hamilton starts last in China”

  1. Is lewis going to lose the title this year ?

    1. Why should he? Still plenty of races and Webber once came from the back to finish 3rd in Shanghai lets wait and see what happens tomorrow

      1. For sure…LH can still get meaningful points tomorrow, and Nico can still dnf a race this season, so absolutely everything still to play for. Let’s start by seeing a reliable car from Nico and him maximize the situation.

      2. Liverpool managed it earlier this week.. Hoping Lewis does the same tomorrow! Haha

      3. @unitedkingdomracing fears aside I think he really should consider dropping distractions and consider racing as Rosberg is making the most of the situation, thanks for you encouraging reply.

        1. @abdelilah Thing is, nothing that Hamilton is doing off the track is affecting his performance on track, from what Lewis says it’s the opposite. His off track hobbies help him refresh for on track action. What evidence is there that anything he is doing off track is hurting his title challenge? Both Mercs had a poor start in Melbourne, his reaction speed wasn’t quick enough in Bahrain, however being hit in turn one ruined his chances or winning the race and his performance in the race was a great recovery with the damage and loss of performance his car had, Finally there is this weekend, the issues he is facing this weekend aren’t anything of his own doing, a gear box problem caused the grid penalty and then and then a MGU-H failure is causing him to start from the back of the grid and take a new engine. It’s a very very long stretch to suggest any of these is because he attends fashion events and such in between races.

          Very long season to go yet, so many race with so many points.

          1. evidence and reasoning doesn’t really apply if you are just repeating what the tube keeps pushing.

        2. been hearing that for 2 years now and have seen 2 world championships in the mean time. Maybe he’s relaxing a little more after 2 world championships, which he’s earned the right to do if that’s the case, or maybe he’s just off his game, everyone has slumps, but his “distractions” have lead him to the best part of his career and the best driving he’s ever done. Remember how tense and uptight he was with McLaren years ago? 1 bit of bad luck back then would set him off mentally and ruin the rest of the weekend if not the next few races as problems piled up. Now he’s calm and relaxed and just moves on.

          1. With Hamilton, unfortunately, the drive to create just about a particular image will continue. I honestly don’t see it stopping. While at Maclaren, talk by a lot of people was about being ”very aggressive” [remember that?], not being smart enough, not knowing how to set up the car or give relevant info to engineers therefore all he does if you follow the line of reasoning is to get in the car and muscle off. They also used to say he burns more fuel than every one including his team mates, munches his tyres, etc.
            When all of that talk proved to be blatant lies, a remarkable example arising from the now abandoned FOM fuel graphics display, and his ability to make the softer Pirelli tyres last as long as everybody else and sometimes even longer, the chatter in recent times moved to his personal and then to his social life. Regarding the social life it is interesting no one talks about other drivers such as FA, JB, NR and a host of other drivers who use social media just as much to communicate with their millions of followers.
            As Totto said today, it is “mind blowing” the guy “is in a great place” irrespective of the enormous “pressure he is under” with all the chatter and ”criticism” he gets. That is admirably respectful coming from Totto Wolff.

    2. Hang on, I’ll just get my DeLorean.

    3. Lets just say it looks great for Nico, poor for Lewis… Was very similar in 2014…

      In 2015 it stayed looking good for Lewis all year…

      1. Lewis had great starts to both 2014 and 2015, but in 2014 midseason Lewis had serious reliability issues, and mid 2015, after he was winning and winning, for some reason (not advertised) Merc decided to ‘change the balance’ of their car following Ferrari’s tire pressure … pressure. Everyone keeps railing about Lewis and his party life or the fact that he lost his motivation, because that is what we are supposed to believe, because that is maintaining the status quo, per the function of what will remain undiscussed, but anyone who was paying attention last year, and even Lewis said himself, once Merc changed the car following the ‘tire pressure’ fiasco, that really wasn’t an issue, he has been having issues ever since.

        I know the reason why Lewis will never be allowed to have the same kind of reliability Vettel did at RBR when he was racing in 2011 and 2013, but I will just grin and entertain myself listening to people come up with excuses as to why it is Lewis’ fault.

    4. Lewis has come back from situations worse than this before..twice in 2014 alone. But Nico is doing an extremely good job right now. His Q2 and Q3 pole lap looked like world champion’s drive.

      1. @subhashs

        His Q2 lap was awesome. His Q3 lap really wasn’t that spectacular. I think he locked his tyres twice on that lap, yet he managed to take pole. Goes to show the massive advantage that Mercedes still has on every other car on the field

        1. Yes.. I watched it again..looks like he didn’t push the car too much for the pole lap.

    5. @abdelilah I hope you’re not a betting person ;)

    6. Who said it was his in the first place?

      :)

      1. Only the FIA said that officially, and what do they know?

    7. Michael Brown
      16th April 2016, 15:53

      I think it’s way too early to say. Vettel’s start to 2012 was worse than this, and Hamilton had his share of issues in mid 2014.

    8. Dude! he’s 17 points down at race 3 out of 21! don’t panic!

    9. I’m not anti-Lewis – lemme just get that out of the way. I think he’s a great driver, and fun to watch, and deserves every bit of the titles he has.

      But racing is about a lot of things, and it involves a lot of people. If Hamilton’s car is busted, that’s part of his side of the garage’s effort to secure the championship. If he hasn’t won the first races of the season, it’s a combination of him & his team. He doesn’t *deserve* to be in front. He’s not “losing” the championship this year. He’s just not *winning* it, either. At least, not yet.

      And that’s how it should be. If Rosberg is #1 at the moment, good for him. People criticize the way he’s raced, but if he’s in the lead & he drives to preserve that lead, that’s racing. If he drives relatively conservatively and positions himself to take advantage of others’ mistakes, that’s racing. If you don’t *like* that, great, don’t support him – support a driver who pushes to the max all the time…

      …oh, wait. That’s no one on the grid. Because F1 doesn’t let you do that.

      So the *best* WDC you can hope for is someone who “manages variables” well. That’s what Lewis did. That’s what Rosberg’s doing. That’s what Vettel did for years.

      So no, it’s not that Lewis is losing the championship. He’s just not winning it, either.

  2. IT seems Mercedes is trying to corner the team from both sides. To demonstrate their car can go fast from back and front of the grid.

    However so far Lewis is totally on the back foot this year. Maybe its time he stops hanging with Kardashians and starts being a racing driver again. That being said nobody get me wrong please. This engine failure has 0 to do with him. Gearbox was reported again had nothing to do with the crash… so poor luck by him. However not winning first two races after starting from pole, that is on him.

    Other than that Ferraris failed big time, why put Vettel on just one fast lap, despite changeable conditions? And Kimi? Two mistakes in to the same corner on two consecutive fast laps…

    Praise time? Daniel Riciardo spectacular… Nico Rosberg reliable, most spectacular part was Q2 soft tire lap. He might have just won himself the race right there.

    1. And the start is also not really down to ‘livestyle’ @jureo, so maybe, just maybe, it is just the luck of the draw, and some small mistakes so far. 2014 shows it need not be the end; I certainly hope for an exciting fight later in the year, even if Rosberg does win it this year.

      1. Poor start might be clutch problem I agree. But lifestyle certainly influences him not being 100% on it. He is struggling to win a race now for 6 months, he is releasing albums partying around the world… For sure if he were working as hard as Nico he would be a little bit more focused and his talent would help him win. Playing piano wont help him make better starts.

        1. @jureo If you think Hamilton is the only driver in the grid who have life not-related to F1, I think you just too naive. Hamilton is the only driver in the grid who openly publicized his lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean he put less working/training hour than other drivers. Also, Raikkonen only make the mistake on his 2nd attempt. The first one is actually Vettel who make the exact same mistake as Raikkonen.

        2. I guess the man’s life has to stop completely because he wants to win the world championship. Since it seems you are interested in his life off the track, try not to take media sound bites and headlines as facts. Point is he has been enjoying his music whether it is rap or what have you for years and still won world championships.
          We saw how many championships he won at Mclaren while he was made to tow the company’s cooperate line and focus on F1. The single championship he won with them was barely achieved with 1 point. And we saw even how that came about.
          No one wins all the time. That is just a fact of life. It is full of ups and downs. Maybe the stars are aligned for Nico this year and no matter what Lewis does, maybe, the year might not be for him. Having said that, he could still come back and win the championship after all this is just the beginning of the season.
          So having to stop doing the things he loves, just so a few individuals stop digging through his social life to find something to write about, is the definition of fake. And the guy certainly is not cut out like that.

          1. @sonicslv

            Then I wait to be corrected. No doubt he has proven himself many times… Maybe the best he can do is just stay himself.

            But I fear being himself is not good enough to win against Rosberg over 2016. Maybe it is. We will see.

    2. To be fair.. It was a car problem rather than a Hamilton problem that hurt him today.

      His driving has been good this year, pole in the first two races and potentially today if he had no problems. We all know of the clutch problem which has hindered his starts which again isn’t his fault, and for Toto to say in the last race lewis was losing up to a second a lap due to floor damage, yet still kept his lap times relatively close to nico’s ..id say Lewis is doing just fine..

      1. @nemo87 The comment says: “This engine failure has 0 to do with him”

        1. I’m aware of that, :) I wasn’t picking up on that point entirely just coming off the back of that to explain my main point about the first two races

      2. @nemo87 – Could argue it’s a team problem. Most teams ran this morning which in addition to being good for the fans and the sport, would have highlighted the engine issue meaning that perhaps, Hamilton could have started at the opposite end of the grid!

        1. @petebaldwin that’s a very good point! Damage is done now mind, looking forward to see a charge (hopefully) tomorrow!

        2. WOW! You hit the nail on the head! Well spotted.

  3. Drives making the difference at the front. Epic by Ricciardo.

    Now I’m waiting to see how Mercedes’ Soft strategy is going to play out. I’m surprised nobody copied them.

  4. Any idea on how many new tyres sets are still available for ROS, VET and RAI? In Particular M and S coumpounds.

    1. I think vettel has two supersofts left, kimi one, and ros i’m not sure

  5. Still holding hopes that we see a Ferrari driver on top of the podium tomorrow, it’s supposed to be pretty warm conditions too which suits the Ferrari’s, similar to FP2, so don’t get carried away that we see Rosberg getting an easy win.

    1. Warm conditions will also mean SS will be almost like a bubble gum after five laps, Merc knew this and thus sent ROS on softs to save 1 stop which means 20 seconds advantage for the race.

      1. Warm cinditions does help SS actually

        1. Yes, for 3 laps

      2. Rosberg’s issue will be getting off the line considering their recent starts and the tyre disadvantage. If he’s leading going into the 2nd lap, I think it’s game over but if 1 or 2 cars get past him at the start, it could be very interesting.

        In regards to Hamilton – if only they’d had a chance earlier in the day to do a few laps to check it over….. Oh.

  6. Hats off to Red Bull’s junior driver programme. Ricciardo is another champion in the making.

    1. Ricciardo keeps impressing. I think Danny Kvyat is officially on his way out of the team. He is being left behind by his team mate unlike Nasir, who keeps qualifying better than his hyped up team mate. Nasir just needs to improve his race craft. He somehow reminds me of Rosberg in earlier times. During their karting days, Nico, as indicated by then team owner, obliterated Lewis during qualis but Lewis turned the table during races.

      1. * I meant to say Carlos Sainz Junior rather than Nasir. Sainz seems to have the speed while MV has the race craft, for now.

      2. Keeps qualifying better? It’s 2-1 this season for Verstappen.

      3. Kvyat was on used tyres. Ricciardo was on fresh supersoft.

      4. In Dutch media it was mentioned that Verstappen had to cope with a car that pulled towards the left on the straights.

        1. Surprising how no one else heard about that problem. Even if he had that problem, it shouldn’t have lost him any time. Sounds like Max’s excuses for not being ‘miles ahead’ of Sainz

    2. hats off to the red bull data analysts, ric was a little underwhelming in his time with torso rosso against vergne but they saw something. when he is happy with the car he is a giant killer, who knows what vergne could have done in the big boy squad but i don’t think anyone can deny that ric has driven the wheels off that RB12.

      he must be a PR dream too, red bull need to do everything they can to keep him. versprappen vs ricciardo would be awesome. kyvatt needs to do something special to keep his seat at the moment

      1. That battle is probably more about PR than actual results. Riciardo is a PR dream, while Kvyat is PR undesirable and slightly unreliable… Even if he scored more points…

        Similar in STR, Max gets so much more attention despite both being really good.

        1. im not sure if we will see what kyvat could actually achieve. he was promoted way to early plus his results against ric don’t look good (most agree that ric comprehensively beat him last year even if he lost on points). he will probably be dropped this year and i don’t know if any other teams would pick him up. If RB doesn’t promote VER they will lose him to ferrari IMO. what are the chances kyvat would go back to torro rosso?

          1. How is he is not good? Despite having technical issues in all qualifications this year, including China, he still made very good breakthroughs and eve scored points in Bahrain.

      2. Like most fans who believe vergne was as good as DR just followed the points standings in the races and wdc. If fans actually watched the battle proper between DR, DR was easily the better and faster driver. Not to mention that RBR have lots of data on the two of them at the time. Let me give you a quick rundown, JEV had the worse qualifying H2H against DR (not to mention one of the biggest qualifying gaps between team-mates) and in H2H race finishes in the dry JEV was miles behind. Only 2012 people kept going on about JEV but he scored the majority of his points in mixed conditions and was beaten in 2013. What top team would rather promote a driver who on ultimate pace was always up to 0.5s slower than his team-mate?

        Otherwise this Q3 is another reason why DR has always been top drawer – not enough people saw it then as again most fans mainly follow the top teams and just look at midfield results for the most part. Chandok saw DR was great even before he moved to RBR, likewise Hamilton and DR’s other peers.

        Unlucky for Hamilton but the car is capable of a podium result. I think DR needs to get a good start and keep out of the Ferrari’s DRS to even have a chance at a podium as the car is probably still a few tenths off the Ferrari.

    3. … until Ricciardo completely wrecks the start and is behind both Ferrari’s after turn 1.

      1. both ferraris will be ahead of ric and rosberg at the first corner IMO, rosberg will still win. ros, vet, rai, ric i reckon

  7. So, will RB finally admit that the Renault is an OK PU or they are still sticking with the ‘we built a spaceship’ line?

    Renault’s performances the only fly in Renault PU’s ointment. It surely can’t be that bad :)

    1. @evered7 “Thanks to our TAG engineers who fixes Renault weakness…” – Horner, maybe

      1. Ah! I forgot that they TAG’ged their engine this season :) @sonicslv

        Will be interesting to see them post Canada once Renault upgrades are available. Lewis might be ruing all his bad luck early in the season.

      2. @sonicslv @evered7 TAG of course being Pig Latin for Ilmor.

        1. Luke Harrison
          16th April 2016, 21:09

          Pretty certain it’s not secret that *Renault* are working with Ilmor.

    2. i think renault are defiantly closing the gap but it still weaker than both the ferrari and merc, i will hold judgment until canada when renault gets their upgrade

    3. Why would they admit anything like that?
      Toro Rosso got a clear gain this year with the Ferrari and the only other Renault powered car is a hog. Until RB starts winning races or the Renault team gets competive they can easily blame everything on the engine.

    4. If you have followed the season Horner and co have been praising Renault for their progress over winter. Yes even Marko but I guess no one bothers to notice. Typical that fans who dont like RBR dont even see it.

      FYI the Renault has improved, already mentioned by both the Renault and RBR drivers as well as the higher ups. Just not completely there yet as they are waiting for the Canada upgrade. Renault are still behind in overall PU power for the time being.

      If you look at the final sector – the one with the long straight – thats where Ricciardo lost most of his time in Q3.

  8. Rosberg has certainly been a very consistent top-performer this year. This pole and championship-lead so far fully deserved. Lets see if Hamilton can get back to battle for the WDC without loosing patience first. He definitely appear as a more composed person this year despite some of the bad luck he has experienced so far.
    And what about Ferrari. Does the car this year suit Kimi better than it does Vettel? Last couple of races Kimi have been posting quicker times, so also good to see that he is still capable and they also have a team of two relevant contenders for the win. Ricciardo? Well, what can one say except just ” Brilliant ! ”
    Both Ferrari and Mercedes are probably very happy they declined to give Red Bull their engines…

    1. Yes, we have 21 races this season and everyone thinks we already near end of the season after race 3 qualification…

    2. Car is now way more Kimi friendly. Kimi needs very precise front end, for his advantages to shine.

      Fernando tended to like a sticky rear end, thus previous Ferrari strategy placed him at a disadvantage. We are now finally seeing some light in his corner.

      Vettel seems to like that aswell so changes should help him too. This will be a great year to judge Kimi, If he cannot do well with this car, his Ferrari carrer should be over.

      1. should of been over already, all this he likes this type of car that type of car. Kimi should work on it then he has had nearly 3 years!

        Im sure they do prefer this and that but when they had Alonso he just drove round it no matter what & he didn’t make the errors they made today. Good thing about Alonso leaving is they actually had to build a decent car or be nowhere. & to be fair they have but it needs to be better for the current 2 drivers to put a title challenge in.

  9. Even if Alonso was frustrated about the missed chance to improve his time, Q3 seemed far away because he should have been more than 1,4 sec faster.

    1. @bigfoot: The first run by McLaren was done on used supersoft tyres.

  10. Hah, this Quali result really stuffs it in Mr.E’s face doesn’t it!

    Look at all the gimmics we needed for such an exciting grid tomorrow!

    1. Instead of cars not being able to do their lap becouse of elimination they didnt get the chance becouse a red flag. Big improvement…

      1. A red flag that wasn’t really needed. Perhaps I’ve been watching too many of the 90s qualifying sessions on youtube but it was way off of the track, not in a danger zone in anyway and the wheel nicely stopped against the wall, no one needed to go near it. I can’t see why it was red flagged. Remember the days when mika would raise his hand going through a static yellow area.

        I am the first for safety of marshals and have been banging that drum for a long time. But when the FIA can’t even show a car with bits hanging off a orange and black flag and also just park a car randomly in the run off error they really don’t care that much about safety. Or they may care but have no idea how to implement it.

  11. ColdFly F1 (@)
    16th April 2016, 13:14

    Hamilton finally found a solution to his poor starts this year.

    1. Likeley not to loose any places on first lap

  12. I don’t understand this: “Perhaps crucially, Rosberg’s time was set on the soft compound tyre, meaning he will start tomorrow’s race on this set, rather than on the unfavoured supersoft.” It’s written in the Q2 section. However, I understand that the top 10 tyres are determined by what they use in Q3… Is this a mistake or did I miss something?

    1. @alonshow

      They changed the rules last year (I think) so the tyres that the top 10 set their fastest fastest lap in Q2 are the ones they start the race on to encourage those in Q3 to go for broke instead of worrying about tyres.

      1. Thank you! I missed that rule change.

  13. Btw Red Bull’s aero design must be the best on the grid !!
    Newey’s boyz must have picked up many good insights from the old master.
    Having a Red Bull come in 2nd today is of course also due to Ricciardo, but look at where the Red Bulls are compared to the factory Renault team with ‘the same’ engine… Yep, in quotes, as we know that Red Bull use different tuning company than Renault to squeeze out a bit more horsepower from same engine block.
    But a Red Bull challenging at the front with a de-facto less powerful engine may also make Ferrari and Mercedes ask some questions to their own aero departments…

    1. We all know TAG makes waaay better engines. But mostly Ferraris dropped the ball

        1. Luke Harrison
          16th April 2016, 21:13

          i said it the first time you said it, i’ll say it again because i’m just reading through the comments.

          Ilmor are working with Renault, not just Red Bull.

          1. Yea those guys work for Renault… RbR has nothing to do with them. They haz TAG h contract.

    2. What ‘tuning’ company do red bull use on thier PU?

      Correct me if I’m wrong but they run exactly the same spec unit and fuel/lubricants that Renault runs.

      These seperate development path rumors were put to bed long ago.

      1. Luke Harrison
        16th April 2016, 21:13

        +1

      2. Yes, exact same. They might use different locationa within the chassis, different cooling arangments.. Most importantly TAG brand. Gives 100hp that.

  14. It looks like Ferrari kinda messed up again. Sometimes it’s a tech problem, sometimes a team error, some other times a driver error, in the end they seem to miss quite many of their chances. So far, this is the 1st race of the season where it looks like they have a chance at the pole in Quali and to win the race too. HAM is out of the game too, yet they fail big time to even give ROS a run for the money and lose 2nd place too. We shall see how things unfold tomorrow, but if none of the Ferraris win tomorrow, most likely it’ll be a missed oportunity.

    1. They seem to be pushing it over 100% with 0 margin for error. Rosberg had pace in hand. He certainly didnt overdrive.

      Riciardo gave it everything and made it stick. Very noticable.

  15. Mercedes ran and ran and ran thousands of miles in testing and their engines were solid, no reliability error or such.

    Come the third race of the season, Hamilton already had to change his gearbox, Rosberg reported his engine misbehaving in P1, and Hamilton faced an engine problem in Q1.

    I guess testing is just testing.

    1. tv ratings are tv ratings too. I expect Lewis to have many more setbacks before mid season, and for his teammate to demonstrate the claim that Ferrari really are catching Mercedes, and that all is well again …. sigh.

  16. Rosberg absolutely nailed it. Starting from pole on the soft compound is definitely looking good. And with Ricciardo between him and the reds and Hamilton at the back there is a good opportunity for big points tomorrow.

    1. Just a simple safety car might turn all that around. Remember Hungary 2014 ?? ROS started on pole and finished 4th while HAM started around P15 and was third.

      1. hamilton started from the pitlane

        1. From the pitlane!!! WOW!!! That is even worse than starting on the last position on the grid. And yet he was on the podium.

          1. And even funnier he could have won the race if they put him in the pits for new super-soft tyres instead of Rosberg.

  17. God I love Ricciardo! I hope he’ll stay in the podium places at least, but sadly I can’t see it. I think he’ll get mugged by the Ferrari’s and probably jumped by Hamilton by the end. Shame though, brilliant lap to get into second.

    Ferrari threw away a good qualifying but given how good their race starts have been it’s probably not an issue – Raikkonen or Vettel, or both, should be hassling Rosberg throughout the entire race. Hamilton at the back? So what his car and his ability are good enough I still expect him on the podium.

    Actually looks to be quite an exciting race!

  18. Unexpected to see RIC so far up. I predict ROS, VET, RAI, HAM, RIC as the finishing order (which guarantees that it will not happen of course).

  19. Newey shines again. Most succesful man in F1 for a reason.

  20. If I was betting I’d put money on Nico, but Ferrari and especially Raikkonen are looking very strong. It’s been a long time since Kimi had a win. Surely he’s got one more in him before retirement.

    1. Rosberg wont be slow in the first corner this time knowing hamiltons starting from the pitlane.

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