Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg cruised to yet another front row lockout for Mercedes in qualifying ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, finishing nearly a second ahead of their nearest rival 3rd placed Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull.
The Australian couldn’t be joined by team-mate Sebstian Vettel after the luckless reigning World Champion was hit by a drive failure as he left the pits for his first Q3 run leaving him stranded in 10th place. Valtteri Bottas was 4th for Williams, with a superb performance for 5th by Romain Grosjean and the revitalised Lotus more than making up for Pastor Maldonado’s Q1 crash when the Venezuelan dropped his E22 on the exit of turn three.
Kimi Raikkonen improved his performance after a lacklustre start to the season to outqualify Fernando Alonso on the Spaniard’s home turf – the first time Alonso has been beaten in qualifying at Barcelona since Jarno Trulli outqualified him in 2004 at Renault.
Jenson Button was 8th for McLaren, ahead of Felipe Massa in 9th and Vettel relegated to 10th. Button’s team-mate Kevin Magnussen suffered a power unit failure in Q2 that meant he was was unable to run, starting 15th behind the Force India duo of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez in 11th and 12th, Daniil Kvyat in 13th and Esteban Gutierrez in 14th.
Jean Eric Vergne ended up 16th after not setting a time in Q2, but his penalty from FP2 means he will start last; behind the Marussia and Caterham’s at the back of the grid and the Sauber of Adrian Sutil who was 17th fastest. Max Chilton proved he has taken a step forwrd by beating team-mate Jules Bianchi by over 0.5 seconds, answering the Englishman’s critics who have questioned his place in the sport previously.
More to follow.
CLASSIFICATION – Qualifying – Spanish Grand Prix – 10th May 2014
|10||Vettel||Red Bull||No Time|
|16||Vergne||Toro Rosso||No Time*|