CHARLES LECLERC ON POLE AHEAD OF VETTEL, ANOTHER DIFFICULT DAY FOR LANCE STROLL
Ferrari have been very dominant so far this weekend and today it was all about Charles Leclerc who led the three qualifying sessions ahead of Vettel.
In Q3, Leclerc set the benchmark at 1m27.958s early in the session and as he completed his second attempt, he bettered his time with a record lap of 1:27.866s. Sebastian Vettel had to wait for the final minutes to get to the track as he only had the one set of tires available to him. As Vettel completed his lap, he was 0.294s slower than Leclerc with a time of 1:28.160s. The Mercedes team ended in 3rd and 4th with Hamilton ahead of Bottas.
It was another story with SportPesa Racing Point as Lance Stroll was not able to get passed Q1 with a lap of 1:30.217s and qualified 18th for tomorrow’s race. Sergio Perez did make it into Q2 initially with a time of 1:29.893s but then had to settle for 14th at the end of Q2.
Looking at the time sheet, it was a hard fought battle in Q1 to make it in the top 15. There was only one second separating Lewis Hamilton(3rd) and Lance Stroll(18th) at the end of the session.
Lance was definitely not happy with his performance today. “It was a tough one today: we struggled with grip but in all honesty I didn’t deliver the best lap in Q1. So there was the potential to reach Q2 and be a bit higher up the grid. I made a couple of errors – running wide through turn seven, which hurt me through turn eight as well”, he said. “Those two or three tenths lost cost me the chance to progress to Q2. Looking ahead to the race, I’m staying positive and focussing on the good race pace we showed in Melbourne. It’s tomorrow that really counts so let’s see what happens and try and make the most of the strategy to bring ourselves into play for the points.”
Sergio Perez although disappointed from today’s result is still optimistic for tomorrow’s race. “A disappointing result tonight, but that’s where we are at the moment. We took a few steps forward after practice, but it seems everybody else did as well. I had some issues with my car in Q2 because I lost bits of my bodywork – around the barge board, which didn’t help. I hope we can recover some performance once we fix it. Even though we are not happy with our speed today, we can’t allow ourselves to drop our heads. It’s a long race tomorrow and a lot can happen. With a good start and the right strategy, I believe we could come away with some points.”
|5||33||Max Verstappen||RED BULL RACING HONDA||1:28.752|
|6||20||Kevin Magnussen||HAAS FERRARI||1:28.757|
|7||55||Carlos Sainz||MCLAREN RENAULT||1:28.813|
|8||7||Kimi Räikkönen||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||1:29.022|
|9||4||Lando Norris||MCLAREN RENAULT||1:29.043|
|11||8||Romain Grosjean||HAAS FERRARI||1:29.015|
|12||23||Alexander Albon||SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA||1:29.513|
|13||10||Pierre Gasly||RED BULL RACING HONDA||1:29.526|
|14||11||Sergio Perez||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||1:29.756|
|15||26||Daniil Kvyat||SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA||1:29.854|
|16||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||1:30.026|
|18||18||Lance Stroll||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||1:30.217|
|19||63||George Russell||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1:31.759|
|20||88||Robert Kubica||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1:31.799|
Romain Grosjean had qualified eight but has been penalized 3 places for impeding Lando Norris during one of the qualifying sessions. He will now start in 11th place.
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