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Hamilton reaches milestone with F1 Spanish GP pole position but Vettel splits Mercedes
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Posted By: Editor   |  13 May 2017   |  2:53 pm GMT  |  258 comments

Lewis Hamilton earned the 250th pole position for a British driver in Formula 1 but Sebastian Vettel split the two Mercedes, denying them a fifth consecutive qualifying one-two.

It was Hamilton’s third pole of the season and in Spain and his 64th career pole, meaning the next one puts him level with Ayrton Senna. The margin was tight, just 5/100ths of a second between the Mercedes and the Ferrari despite all the upgrades brought to both cars.

The star performer however, was Fernando Alonso, who was playing tennis during FP1 after another engine failure, but who managed to qualify in 7th place, despite the Honda powered McLaren being 12km/h slower on the straights than Esteban Ocon’s Force India, which he beat!

Russian GP winner Valtteri Bottas went for two flying laps, his first affected by a mistake on the final corner as he ran wide on the outlap; the second putting him 0.224 seconds behind Hamilton for third.

“Amazing job by the team. So proud that we can finally get back there with a better weekend so far. The first Q3 lap was very, very good…the last lap was so-so,” said Hamilton, who has been top of all sessions this weekend apart from FP3.

Vettel felt that he could have had pole, but for a mistake in the final corner. Ferrari couldn’t build on its one-two in FP3, a session this morning in which Kimi Raikkonen (fourth for the race) went fastest with a lap of 1m20.214s, 0.242s ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel’s SF70H sprung a water leak with 10 minutes remaining of practice and a new power unit, his third of the season, was installed before Q1.

Early in Q1 his engineer told him to switch the engine off urgently, but he questioned the call and his caution proved correct, as the programming programme resolved itself and he was able to continue with the session. A less experienced driver might have switched it off and lost everything. Vettel was full of praise for the mechanics, getting his car ready in a hurry, with Raikkonen’s mechanics helping out Vettel’s in a true team effort.

“They did an engine change sub-two hours. It’s a miracle that they got me out. It would’ve been nice to get them the pole,” said Vettel.

When asked if Mercedes’ high-profile upgrades for Spain had be matched, Vettel replied, “We have [upgrades] as well. Maybe less ‘bling’ than theirs!

“Some things you can see, some things you can’t see.”

Trouble wasn’t reserved exclusively for the Ferrari frontrunner with Russian GP winner Valtteri Bottas suffering electrical problems, having managed just seven laps in FP3 this morning.

The pair of Red Bulls somewhat closed the gap on the leaders, but Max Verstappen (fifth) was still more than half a second off pole – team-mate Daniel Ricciardo nearly another half-second slower.

Most importantly for the home fans, Fernando Alonso reached Q3 for the first time this season and will start seventh on the grid for McLaren. Yesterday, he retired to his hotel for a game of tennis after FP1’s engine failure.

His time of 1m21.048s was enough to beat Force India’s Sergio Perez (eighth) by 0.022s and Felipe Massa and Esteban Ocon, ninth and tenth respectively.

“Running in the ovals, maybe I learned how to go quicker on the straights as well. P7 is a gift, and we’ll see what we can do tomorrow from here.

“Everything went perfect today. Yesterday we had the potential and we saw the potential but we had strange sessions.

“Conditions are quite tricky, quite windy here but my car gave me the confidence I needed to push.

“To be P7, to be…around the grid, around the cars we should be fighting [against] for top positions will be a nice boost for the boys,” said a markedly more positive Alonso.

Williams’ Massa struggled in 14th place after Q1 but recovered to ninth.

Early on he said, “I’m struggling a lot to make the tyres work, very tricky. It’s fortunate [being in Q2] because it was pretty difficult.”

His team-mate, Lance Stroll, qualified 18th but more surprisingly, Renault’s Jolyon Palmer couldn’t build on his eighth-place FP2 finish, also failing to make it to Q2. Neither Renault made it to Q3 after a strong start to the weekend – Nico Hulkenberg will now start 13th.

Both Saubers made it to Q2, but no further. Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson qualified 15th and 16th, respectively.

“Our car wasn’t drivable today. Something is wrong with it 100%,” said Daniil Kvyat, who will start from the very back for Sunday’s race behind McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne.

Prospects for the Race

The soft tyre is two seconds a lap faster than the medium, so the key is to spend as long as possible on the faster tyre in the race. It’s likely the medium will be used only for the last 20 laps or so.

There are different ways to do the race, with three stops the fastest, but that requires an overtake on a two stopping car in the final stint, which could be tough. The key to it will be the final corner.

We have seen cars struggle to exit it behind another and mount an attack – think Raikkonen on Verstappen last year in the closing stages – but with these higher downforce cars, some can follow out of that corner more effectively, among them the Ferrari. So an overtake, with DRS, could be more feasible.

But the Mercedes long run pace looked strong and their degradation on the soft tyre was low, so they are in a strong position. But Vettel may try an undercut at the pit stop if he is behind in the opening stint and may throw in a three stop plan to try to draw Mercedes into a race they don’t want to have.

There is likely to be a train formed behind Alonso, which will make the midfield race very tricky and will also open a gap for the front runners to pit into, making their lives easier and increasing the options.

Ocon had very low soft tyre degradation in the long runs and so is a good prospect for a strong result, but getting clear of the Alonso train will be key.

Have your say in the comment section below or on JA on F1’s Facebook Page.

Spanish Grand Prix, Grid:

POSITION

DRIVER

CAR

TIME

GAP

1

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

1m19.149s

2

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

1m19.200s

0.051s

3

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes

1m19.373s

0.224s

4

Kimi Raikkonen

Ferrari

1m19.439s

0.290s

5

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

1m19.706s

0.557s

6

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull

1m20.175s

1.026s

7

Fernando Alonso

McLaren

1m21.048s

1.899s

8

Sergio Perez

Force India

1m21.070s

1.921s

9

Felipe Massa

Williams

1m21.232s

2.083s

10

Esteban Ocon

Force India

1m21.272s

2.123s

11

Kevin Magnussen

Haas

1m21.329s

2.180s

12

Carlos Sainz

Toro Rosso

1m21.371s

2.222s

13

Nico Hulkenberg

Renault

1m21.397s

2.248s

14

Romain Grosjean

Haas

1m21.517s

2.368s

15

Pascal Wehrlein

Sauber

1m21.803s

2.654s

16

Marcus Ericsson

Sauber

1m22.332s

3.183s

17

Jolyon Palmer

Renault

1m22.401s

3.252s

18

Lance Stroll

Williams

1m22.411s

3.262s

19

Stoffel Vandoorne

McLaren

1m22.532s

3.383s

20

Daniil Kvyat

Toro Rosso

1m22.746s

3.597s

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258 comments

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1

Get in there Lewis! Fastest in all but one session this weekend - still, tomorrow's when the points are handed out so fingers crossed he keeps his current form through to the end of the race .

2
Silver gallows

Yeah, break a wheel Lew, [mod]

3

Hey??????
Nobody wants any crashes or injuries on anyone driving at high speed. A sporting ethos is the way forward. Not half cooked slating!

4

Hamilton on pole, ouch that hurts.

5

Stay classy Silver gallows....

6

Maybe stick to cheering your favorite drivers than write this crap.
Around this forum we refrain to wishing ill to less admired racers, after all they all fight for our entertainment.

7
silver gallows

If I wish you break a leg, what do you understand? That I wish for you to break your legs? Just wishing him luck in automotive terms. Which he kinda had!

8

Can somebody please explain to me how Raikonnen did a 1:19:267 on the soft tyre during WINTER TESTING and Hamilton's pole lap was a 1:19:149 apparently with "MASSIVE" car upgrades on a much warmer track? Still scratching my head at that one.

9

Seems Mercs massive updates have just helped with tyre wear and following another car......that fact they havent lost any speed is great credit to them and indicates they are, indeed, massive upgrades......for merc at least.

10

Cold dense air gives lots more horsepower, rubbered in tracks are much faster, plus dodgy paellas on las ramblas

11

Just don't buy any of these arguments. Surely there's no benefit to running an illegal underweight car with illegal aero. Surely in winter testing the track will have been cold. Surely the teams will be more accustomed to the tyres now than back then when they were first learning about them. And surely the cars will be 0.5 secs faster with engine and aero upgrades. Was expecting a much faster time than that set in winter testing yet non of the media seem to care. They just bang on about massive upgrades and don't bother checking the facts.

12

cars are not weighed during testing..

13

So as to do some more head scratching, number 44 was on pole using a new B upgraded PU, while number 5 was second using a 4 race weekends old ICE.

14

Except that #5 was running a new ICE, turbo, and MGU-H. Please keep up.

15

And no 5 was running turbo No 3 and ICE No 3for the season too... Hold tight on those penalties No 5😜 At the very least thats going to mean little chance of an running an upgraded engine without penalty for the rest of this season....better make that next one a good un Ferrari... Mwah hahahaha

16

please explain to me how Raikonnen did a 1:19:267....

It's just a guess, but are the cars scrutineered during winter testing? Can they can run whatever aero, weight etc they choose - certainly they could in the past. I'm not saying that's what they did, but it would explain how they were so quick then and why that speed appears to have evaporated now.

17

how Raikonnen did a 1:19:267 on the soft tyre during WINTER TESTING and Hamilton's pole lap was a 1:19:149

@Red Rob..
WIND being unpredictable..

Also real race weekends have time bound events.. unlike testing when any time in the 8 hours they can see that the winds may have stopped and teams have all the time in the world to figure out the sweet tyre warm up spot with no harrowing 10 minute q3 window . Testing- all conditions perfect? then go out put in quali sims at will. 🙂

18

track temperature mostly and perhaps the windy conditions as well.

19

Nicely done Lewis 👍
Well done Alonso 👍

20

An almost superhuman effort by Alonso to put that underpowered - by over 100 BHP - McHonda P7. He must feel a right wallybrain to be missing Monaco, where his car's nimble handling and his superlative talent could have hussled that Macca onto the First 3 rows in a dry weather qualifying.

He's driving better than ever, which for a driver in his 15th consecutive season is amazing. For the most consistent and determined driver on the grid to miss his great opportunity of a podium in Monaco to go racing against Good Old Boys in the States is questionable, to say the least.

Big shout to Max too - to outqualify your team-mate by half a second is fantastic piece of driving on a circuit where he secured his first victory. The first of many????

21

He's publicly auditioning for a better drive next year.

22

alonso does his homework each time he leaves a team..

23

No I think he is making a very strong point and showing the mark of a truly great driver. He can get that type of a result with a car that would only have been a mid field runner last year.
He went off to play tennis the other day and will miss Monaco. to show McClaren/Honda and the other teams he is still one of if not the best out there.

24

Superhuman effort? What about a good drive for a lucky seven place. Better car than Stoffel's? And why Stoffel is underperforming.

25

I bet you suspect conspiracy or number 2 clause in his contract. Let the bone off your jaws, will you?

26

He must feel a right wallybrain to be missing Monaco

He shouldn't but you should for your constant moaning about it is becoming quite childish in itself.

27

I wonder if that 3rd PU for Vet (after only 4 actual races) will come back to haunt him later in the season ? Not sure how many the other drivers have used so far - but it can't be good news for him I wouldn't have thought .

28

here you go what Vettel has changed
From : The FIA Formula One Technical Delegate Date : 13 May 2017
To : The Stewards of the Meeting Time : 14:03
TECHNICAL DELEGATE’S REPORT
The following driver will use a new a new turbocharger (TC) for the remainder of the Event:
Number Car Driver Previously used TC
05 Ferrari Sebastian Vettel 3
The turbocharger used by the above driver is one of the four new turbochargers allowed
for the 2017 Championship season and this is in conformity with Article 23.4a of the 2017
Formula One Sporting Regulations.
The following driver will use a new motor generator unit-heat (MGU-H) for the remainder of
the Event:
Number Car Driver Previously used MGU-H
05 Ferrari Sebastian Vettel 2
The motor generator unit-heat used by the above driver is one of the four new motor
TECHNICAL DELEGATE’S REPORT
The following driver will use a new internal combustion engine (ICE) for the remainder of
the Event:
Number Car Driver Previously used ICE
05 Ferrari Sebastian Vettel 1
The internal combustion engine used by the above driver is one of the four new internal
combustion engines allowed for the 2017 Championship season and this is in conformity
with Article 23.4a of the 2017 Formula One Sporting Regulations

29

Vettael's 3rd PU actually consisted of his 1st 4 race weekend old ICE.

30

No it didn't. Vettel's on his 2nd ICE.

http://tinyurl.com/ESP17-ET-INFO

See Documents 25 & 27.

31

Hey KRB what are the chances you can provide a link to a transcript of the Team Principals press conference that Toto did in Barcelona?
I've been looking for it on the interwebz and can't find it to save the life of me. Would be greatly appreciated.

32

Sorry, just seeing this now. Always just start here:

http://www.fia.com/events/fia-formula-one-world-championship/season-2017/2017-fia-formula-one-world-championship

Bookmark that page, and then go to the Event & Timing Information link for the current Event, or click on the links below for prior events. The press conference transcripts are always under the Event & Timing Info links.

33

Penalty is just the matter of time. Mercedes is a bit more reliable than the Ferrari. It reminds little bit of old school F1, to be more competitive you have to give away little of reliability. But it's still better that what we have seen in the past 4 years.

34

So how did you know Mercedes Engine is more reliable? do you know they had to switch Bottas engine( with EVO2) to old one used in Russia. does that means anything?

last year Hamilton blown his engine then with these conspiracy theory as he was claiming

it quite hard to say or assume what you just said. Results proves more than assumption. right?

35

Start collecting the datas from this website since the pre season testing, compare the two engine performance including the customer teams in a spreadsheet, use basic math skill and put two and two together, you will have your answer. Unless you think this website along with the data from official FIA F1 website up until yesterday are all fake news, don't bother.

36

There's no assumption here. In pre season and Bahrain tests Mercedes had less engine issues than Ferrari and did more long runs without much trouble. Ferrari on the other hand halted several times in tests and FPs. Vettel is on fourth engine already as you know. And look at the number Haas and Sauber's engine issues so far compare to the Mercedes customer cars. I can give you lots of stats, but I'll leave it for you find out. Tell me how could that not indicate which engine is more reliable?

37

FormulaZero. so what is your input about Bottas Engine problem today!!! reliability? or you going to say bad luck?

Real season just started. lets see

38

Any document to prove what you mentioned?? please let us know

legit one though not someone from somewhere report.

cheers

39

According to Binotto, the plan is to keep rotating components and by the final race no component will be overused or stressed. In theory it's a good plan but this sport has a way of getting in the way of your plans

40

@Flawless
I appreciate the teams rotate PU use in order to ensure they reserve the freshest ones for circuits that will place the most strain on them. But I would have thought they also have to be mindful that once a PU has been put in the back of a car it cannot then be upgraded without the new part counting against the total allocation. So if they use all the PU's once each in the first 4 races that will mean no upgrades at the end of the season - I think I've got that right 🙂

41

other engines are still reusable as far as i know. they have been changed due to tactical reasons.not caz they have broken down. todays one they put a new one because it was faster for them to put a new engine than find the issue they had.

42
Ricciardo Aficionado

What a great shoot-out for pole! The Merc and Ferrari are sooo closely matched, there was just Vettel's lock-up between the two. Ham did the job, didn't make mistakes, deserved the pole. Ricciardo 4 tenths down on Max is a bit of a concern. One would hope he had some serious race set-up going on.
Alonso's lap was newsworthy. I'd almost lead with that over Hamilton's 64th pole. I think the championship battle at the front has piqued the matador... Tennis works!

“I was preparing myself yesterday for qualifying. Everything today went perfectly. It's a nice surprise. “
ALO

"I might go play some tennis tonight
ZAK BROWN

Oh and btw... when was the last time you saw; Renault, Williams, McLaren and Toro Rosso as the last four on the grid.

43

verstappen is now walking clear of ricciardo, now that he's nineteen..

44
Ricciardo Aficionado

Walking back to the pits...

45

LOL, nice & nasty one!..
Actually, the car made it to the pits though.

46

Yeah, well clear in every FP/Q1/Q2 (for several races now) and Q3/S123 yesterday. Ric was complaining about S3 but it's not just that.
The big margin may be down to his ability to tune in the new components more quickly. He's a garage nerd as well, remember.

47

Riccciardo Aficionado.....You surely have that right, regarding a very exciting shoot out between Lewis and Sebastian during Q3, especially with a Lewis win. I hope that the seemingly friendly relationship that they now have, will continue throughout the entire season

48
Ricciardo Aficionado

A couple more "wedge" manoeuvres and the smiles might fade a little. I think the two protagonists this year are aware of the history being made. They should enjoy the year, but it's never fun for the loser. At least this year they can blame the car.

49

James,
A bit of fun speculation - what is the estimated bhp shortfall of the Honda engine to Merc and what would that equate to in lap time around the Barcelona? Alonso's lap was magnificent but the deficit to RB is 0.8secs would an equally powered engine of got Honda further up? I appreciate it's a lot more complicated than this but would be good to get your thoughts? Thanks James

50

Not here to spoil the party, but I think the mostly logical explanation is that the engine was fully maximised for qualifying in Alonso's car, and somehow it all magically stayed in one piece. Afterall, there is nothing to lose with another engine failure and all to gain with a good result.

51

It was 120bhp, I was told in Bahrain

52

Answered my own question - pole?

53

Alonso said this weekend that they are still down 50bhp, and not 120 anymore.

54

What does that equate to in laptime?

55

I know its a crude calculation, but in the in the first 4 races Alonso was an average of 3.1s off pole time ... and here its 1.8s. So where did that 1+ second come from?

56

mclaren are doing everything artificial to make alonso look better than he is, including taking him out of monaco to race in indy500. more powerful engines than his teammate is not out of the question. no wonder he praises his teammate so much, tipping him to lead the charge in monaco.

57

Martin Brundle said in commentary that drivers who have had to follow the McLaren and try to pass say it appears just as fast as the Red Bull in the corners.

There's a lot of corners in Spain...

58

I took the dogs for a walk tonight after work and all I could think about was "Fernando Alonso is 7th?!". How? He must have Godly powers to draw upon. (That and "The Honda didn't break?! Why?)

59

As he himself said it was a gift.

60

smoke and mirrors..

61

I think on this track that teams are so familiar with it narrows the margin... there is no doubt the Mclaren doesn't deserve to be in 7th but I wonder if James is joking about the Alonso train. Surely being 12kp/h down means there will be no train ☺

62

...when Top cars have brought a massive update too? Exactly! Where indeed?

63

That's almost a Haiku.

64

alonso had an engine change and it's quite well publicised how hard honda's working to bridge the gap. ross brawn has been quite vocal about sharing data across teams and wolff stated cautiously "we are not doing anything for honda.", suggesting that honda may have access to mercedes' data from the fia. alonso has also, all of a sudden, become a very happy alonso. the strings are surely being pulled behind the scenes..it's slowly becoming more of a show than a competition..

65
Tornillo Amarillo

Mercedes?

66

Maybe Honda has fixed vibration issues with the engine and can now open the taps and give Alonso a bit more oomph.

67

Reminds me of when I first went to Indy and saw Alonso put his Minardi-Coswoth into the top 16 in practice. The cliche "he's outdriving the car" comes to mind.

68

Apparently the crowd, according to Alonso 😉

I do hope he can keep his position tomorrow. 7th place would trully be a well earned gift after that lap!

69

Good point, its not a static benchmark. We'll have some indications tomorrow, if Fernando runs out of fuel by lap 6...

70

completes a race more like..

71

Top job by Lewis on pole with precision and speed showing he fixed his set-up issues from Sochi

Vettel too did a good job in P2 showing that the Ferrari team are still neck and neck in terms of raw performance with Mercedes

Special mention to the Red Bull team with Newey slashing the deficit to the first two teams which means the ball is now in Renault's court to find the reminder of the time

Increíble super human effort from Alonso in P7 which was the best gift he could give the home fans for their support and with the third sector being similar to Monaco, it leaves the fans wondering what Alonso would have achieved in this year's Monaco

Force India's performance has proved they have brought the best upgrade package so well done to them

Last but not least, Massa saved team Willy the blushes with a respectable P9.

72

we all know alonso will not race in monaco, what an atraction for fantasies?

73

The gaps have remained constant. RBR may have taken a step but its been countered by merc/ferrari. The relative gap, has stayed the same from last year, where they were 1.5 down in sochi and 0.6 in barcelona.

74

@ oblah

Indeed, Newey has done a good job thus putting the team in a position where they can sneak a couple of wins just like in 2016

75

But last year they reduced the deficit with an engine upgrade in Spain. This year that's still in the pipeline. So at least that's still to come.

76

Monaco is going to miss Alonso this year. 😀

77

@ Jochen

Indeed, though to be fair, Alonso is chasing a dream in Indy where he has a chance to win unlike Monaco

78

Fantastic qualifying. It's a shame that Bottas couldn't really challenge for pole because of the engine. James, do you think Mercedes are really stitching him up?

79

bottas reverted to his old engine because of a water leak in his new one..

80

Stitching him up?
You do realise the tyres he is starting on were scuffed by Bottas himself in Q2 also.
Mercedes are not hampering anyone. It's all about the construction championship. That's were the big pay day is. So they need both cars in the top end of the points tally.
It's all about the pressure in Q3 the A Grade drivers get it right most of the time. Hamilton Vettel Kimi and Alonso in a duff car plants in 7th. Bottas still got in top 3 so nothing wrong with that either. Race day is were the points are dished out.

81

engine..

82
Inshaallahura

Irrespective of the new engine, Bottas had the car for pole,but couldn't do it. The man you wamt to beat hamilton couldn't do it and you are flagging up a conspiracy. Let's not be crybabies now.

83

bottas went back to his old engine..so it was a great effort by him..

84

Why would they? They need all the points they can get..

85

No, of course not

86

The real story here is Fernando once again driving the wheels off that McClaren. No one outside of the fan boy club gives a toss what Hamilton does in superior equipment. The whole season is about FA. Roll on Spain and Also the Indy 500

87

My God, you appear to be as inadequate and deluded as the little matador himself!

88

why can't the truth be told, those 120bhp figures referred to alonso's old engines. honda has an updated version albeit only one for alonso. let's have the bhp figures for that one before the praises.

89

P7 in that McHonda while hjs team mate is languishing at the back...

Put him in a Merc and Alonso would've been starting in Monaco at P-5 😂

90

As a hamfosi, I assure you - I care. "Superior equipment" you say? Didn't the same hamilton out qualify and beat alonso in 07. Taking nothing away from his talent, Alonso's temperament and ill advise decisions are the reasons he hasn't won in 4 years.

91

Wait... 2007? But aren't we in the year 2017?

92

here is a reminder of how the rookie hamilton toyed with alonso. check out the lap times!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7MPTVmhkCLc

93

spot on, alonso says himself that he's not the best qualifier nor is he the best in the wet..

94
Ahmed of Sydney

@ Oblah. Get over the 2007 season already. Being tied on points was a great rookie achievement but he did not beat alonso!
Now consider that he was Ron Dennis's pet "we are racing Alonso, not Raikonen" and obviously had inside advantages from engineers and 1,000's of laps of testing, preferential treatment etc it is not that big a deal...
Add to this how Hamilton has performed this year and last year being beaten by Rosberg, what would Alonso have achieved with his tenacious 100% commitment???

95

2007 end of season standings were
1. Raikkonen
2. Hamilton
3. Alonso
Alonso has gotten over it, the excuse makers will spout the same old nonsense forever though and seemingly will never get over it. Beaten by a whisker but beaten nonetheless, out qualified by Ham also.

96

but he did not beat alonso...

Err, yes he did. It was by virtue of the scoring system that F1 employs - if two drivers are level on points at the end of the season they look at home many first places they had. If they're still level they look at seconds and so on. Hamilton most assuredly did beat Alonso - I appreciate that you wished he hadn't, but he did. 🙂

97

Uh, Hamilton beat Alonso in 2007. That's why he was officially 2nd, and Alonso was officially 3rd!

You do realize that Alonso was mad at Dennis because he wasn't afforded the clear #1 status that he felt he was promised? Or that Dennis told Hamilton before the season not to get too down if he trailed Alonso by a good margin. Hamilton's performance level right out of the gate was unexpected for both Alonso & Dennis.

Alonso was beaten in the standings by Button in 2015, so I don't see how he would've overcome the lopsided reliability that Hamilton faced last year.

98
Ahmed of Sydney

@KRB & C63. Lol, you holding on to the fact that being tied on points and being slightly ahead because of no. Of Podiums, as a win for Hamilton???
Just to remind you, there are no prizes for 2nd or 3rd, Raikonen will always be the World Champion in 2007, people will remember Alonzo and Hamilton being tied on points. People will also remember Hamilton being beaten to a WDC by Rosberg in the most dominant car in F1 history!! and also beaten by Button in 2011?? I'm sure The excuse makers will hold onto a bunch of excuses that make them feel better 👍

99

Yes, a win for Hamilton as those are the rules. Pretty simple stuff. Thanks for coming out!

100

To qualify that well with the reported lack of grunt, sure makes one wonder at how absolutely great that chassis might really be.

Best wishes for FA here in the States at Indy ! ! !

101

@ GB...... there may be a clue in what Hasegawa said in an interview ref Alonso's quali. He said that they had 'improved the fuel system' [ or words to that effect ] so therein lies a possible indication, IMO. Rumor has it that the 'honda enjoys a drink or two' so they may have found some way of implementing a more intense use of fuel over a very short period!. Just a guess.

102

new honda engine long after ross brawn showed honda mercedes' engine data..

103

Way to go Fernando, 😀 that was sensational. Wonder whether he would have beaten the fastest lap if he was in Mercedes. Fingers crossed for tommorow.

104

Fingers are crossed on both hands. We all know what will probably happen the Honda, but to be 7th is awesome.

105

Alonso the man. As much as I believe that he is largely responsible for making poor decisions, the guy is nothing short of sheer brilliance and F1 deserves to have him fighting with the top guys.

As for the race, oh the Ferrari reliability is and the Merc's ability crank up the engine in q3 a big worry. Otherwise, it's all set for a showdown.

James, is there any room for aggressive strategy on the race? Barcelona is always notorious for lack of overtaking anyway, and these hand tyres look like capable of running the entire race.

106

Yes a few ways to play the strategy. The key is to do as much of the race on Soft tyres as possible as the Medium is 2 secs slower

107

2 secs!! Well in that case safety car would mix things up even more. I feel like this year the Mercs are better with their launch than the Ferraris. What you reckon?

108

Not much in it. It's more down to drivers.

Safety Car pretty rare here in Barcelona

109

2 seconds a lap?! It must be worth two stopping with a very short final stint on mediums then?

110

On a track more suitable for overtaking they would certainly take this option into consideration.
Here, you have high chances of getting stuck behind a slower car without a chance to use the real pace advantage of the faster tire.

111

Superb qualifying must be said. All the talk about the upgrades for Mercedes got me worried. Well, no more. Vettel so close, Alonso where he should not de, Max ahead of Ricciardo anew, the 2 Force India in the top ten again, many things to cheer me up.
Was hoping more of Renault, but other than that.
Looking forward to strategy winning the race tomorrow. Go Vettel! Marc

112

Excellent performances from both Merc and Ferrari. Watched it live on NBCSports even though it was over on their business network. And it was labeled as "PreQual." at least by my cable provider. I figured it out it was the real Quali., and not a Preview of Quali. - maybe my beef should be with DishNetwork, my provider, who is the old competitor to Malone who now owns the circus and lives just down the road from me a piece. Sorry to see the 2 Haas boys bumped out of Q3. Alonso was just lucky!

113

@ Gene Herbert....Alonso was just lucky? In what way?

114

I just use NBCSN's app on Apple tv or Xbox one to cover the race and quail, you could use your dish login for that. They have live coverage and replays available on demand for free.

115

How good is the Mclaren chassis considering the PU woes.
Or is it all Alonso.......
And Bottas that good with so little running really is impressive.
Hamilton mugged off the line tomorrow by his team mate would be fine by me and Kimi taking out Seb would be nice too.

116

Real F1 fans want to see tight racing, not crashes.

117

some crashes do look spectacular but their wishes are sinister. am sure their affections a heavily enhanced by great past performances of the best driver of all time..

118

Vandoorne's performance would suggest it's all Alonso...

119

@Canmaker
Really??? Would it not be better if we saw a 4 way battle all the way to the finish, or even a 6? Would be a little more entertaining than your wishful thinking.

120

44's much better.

121

If you want to see 4 way battle for the lead you'll have to watch Speedway!

122

Yes I would like that.
Just not with the same 4 to 6 people you'd like.

123

i'm surprised that with all the upgrades Mercedes brought here that they could only manage a 10th second faster, shows just how good that Ferrari is

124

Here one guy seems understand how to read and translate numbers.

There is more interesting results from data I have as it shows Mercedes lost their advantage of strong long run as they used to be. means tomorrow very possible will be a repeat of Bahrain GP.

125
Ricciardo Aficionado

HALF a tenth...

126

Considering how far back mercedes was in preseason, I'd say they made a healthy step. Sochi is a merc track and they were on the 2nd row.

127

Ferrari brought a lot of upgrades too, they just weren't as visible as those on the Merc.

128

its seems Ferrari can turn up the engine,when they need too...and without cheating burning oil..

129

like Seb said. its the quality not the quantity that matters

130

Ferrari bought some updates too. Just not as shiny and flashy as the Mercedes ones...

131

It might be just me, but visually I think the new front nose of the Mercedes is super ugly.

132

Agreed. They might not be as bad as the 'step nose ' that we had to endure in 2012 however its certainly not what is an appealing and aggressive look the new regulations we're supposed to deliver us.

133

Think Ferraris comcern needs to be on all the grid penalties they are going to face fairly soon. Unless Merc hit some reliabilty issues its a big issue that doesnt seem to be getting much attention... Not sure why as its potentially pivotal in the WDC.

134

grid penalties they are going to face....

I really don't like grid penalties for exceeding gearbox or PU allocation. I understand why they do it (or the big teams would change PU's and gearboxes 3 times every weekend) but it can, and does, have a massive impact on the championship - I'd rather see who was the best over a season not who was luckiest (or unluckiest) with equipment failures.

135

Dean. something you not aware of, as Binotto, Ferrari switching not replacing engines. Means, use Peak ones for high performance track then switch back and forth

Power unit should last half a season, means, relax its just a racing strategy not reliability as most you assume.

cheers

136

Another new turbo though? Seb's on his 4th now ... was 3 not enough to start the rotation with? Is Spain a track where you want a fresh part? I thought Monza or Spa would be more likely for that. It does appear strange.

137

relax its just a racing strategy...

There is no way on this earth that Ferrari swapping the PU on Vet's car in between FP3 and quali was a planned strategic decision. I fully appreciate what you are saying about swapping Pu's over and saving the newest for the circuits with highest demands - but that ain't what happened yesterday.

138

C63. So i didn't kniw you know more Ferarri staff..interestimg what you saying. Arguying fir sake of nothing just arguying

Did you listen to Vettel??i bet you were somewhere else with your ideas..good luck with that

139

S Andretti

Maybe my meaning is getting lost in translation, so let me re-phrase my point. Personally, I find it unlikely the team would schedule a PU change in between FP3 and Quali - they would only do it if there was a problem. Why would they put themselves under such needless pressure? The slightest hiccup in the change and they'd have missed quali!

140

@paul
Ferrari have come with new upgrades aswell.

141

If the race is half as entertaining as qualifying, we're in for a cracker tomorrow. Ferrari look as strong as Mercedes, maybe stronger, so well done to Lewis for stringing that lap together. I wonder if Valtteri can have another storming start from 3rd and trouble the guys on the front row.
An incredible performance from Fernando, P7? Did not see that coming, he says he's in the best form of his career, I'm inclined to agree with him. Unfortunately, he's in one of the worst cars of his career, but you could never ask more from Fernando, happy this performance came in his home race. I'm a bit puzzled by Stoffel though, he's struggling pretty badly. We know it's the car, but I rate him so highly that I expected some flashes here and there. Hope the season gets better from him. Talking about highly rated, Esteban is really impressive, he ain't no Stroll, Checo will have his hands full through out the season.
Let's not forget Pascal as well, did well to get out of Q2, looks like the fire of Mercedes AMG is in good hands.

142

vandorn is not struggling, he doesn't have the same car as alonso..

143

Admittedly the lap was fantastic but why do people get so hung on? Every driver has their day in the sun but people lose their minds when its alonso. Hulk had an amazing lap in sochi, hardly anything was said.

144

Because you can his very highly rated team mate as a gauge. Besides Stroll, no other team mate is getting the same spanking Stoff is getting at the moment.

145

On the performance scale you mean ... obviously they're both on zero points, with Stoff currently ahead on higher race finish.

146

Admittedly the lap was fantastic...

I tend to agree, Alonso is very much flavour of the month right now - what with Indy etc - and he is doing a very good job of marketing himself. They were chatting about his options for next season in the post quali debrief and Brundle says that the best he [Alonso] can realistically hope for is a works Renault drive - assuming the McLaren/Hoda does not come good. So it would appear the teams aren't buying all the hype.

147
Stephen Taylor

Vandoorne should be embarrassed with his qualy performance . P19 whilst your team mate is P7 dear oh dear. Maybe Stoffel isn't as good as he has been made out to be. Stroll failing to quite cut the mustard again . Kyvat had a shocker . Bad qualy for Renault generally. Congratulation to Lewis on pole.

148

Either he is just not that good or else he's clocking up the miles for the team while Alonso goes flat out. I agree he's not impressing anyone whatever is going on.

149

Just proves how good alsono is...most of the young drivers now are rubbish,the new car design is showing them up...you have to drive these cars,not just sit in them and coast round.

150

That would appear to be the case regarding Stoffel. I'd prefer a bit more analysis on his performance / car issues, before labelling him a false idol just yet.

But he does need a new car, that's for sure!

151

Odd that the Mercedes was better in sector 3 here ... I would've thought it would've been the other way around.

Vettel turned up the engine for that last run ... he was quite a bit quicker in S1 & S2.

Hamilton with 3 poles here now goes into 2nd place in poles at Barcelona. Schumacher has 6, then there's quite a few on 2. As always, it's just pole, 0 points for it. Just one box ticked.

✔Qualifying
❓ Start
❓ Opening laps
❓ Race pace
❓ Pit stops
❓ Race strategy
❓ Reliability

I wonder if the extended DRS zone will make a difference tomorrow? They extended it by 100m, so I guess how couldn't it? It was looking like rain earlier in the week, but now it looks like it will be dry.

I must say, the FIA mandate that drivers who go off at turn 1 and hit the speed bumps will need to rejoin after the bollard at turn 3, is quite a big hit. That bollard is very deep down the start of turn 3, plus they would have already taken the hit of going over the speed bump. We'll see if that is a factor in the race tomorrow.

152

KBR. Good thought you put there but for correction, Hamilton was fastest on sector 1 and there is no DRS in sector 1

153

Not sure where your numbers are from, but they're wrong.

http://tinyurl.com/ESP17-ET-INFO

Look at Best Sector Times under the Qualifying Session. Kimi is #1, Seb is #2.

There is DRS in Sector 1, as drivers would have it open on the pit straight as they start their lap. This is elementary stuff SA.

154

KBR.

These are racing analysis data from Ferrari itself so don't even think im wrong

2nd. There is no DRS in sec1. Unless you race there and we don't know

Get your info put properly before arguing pls. No point for wasting our times

155

You might've got that from Ferrari, but it's not the info you should be after then. It's likely max speed "at any point" in each of those sectors. So if you want to know who was momentarily fastest, then that would be the data to use. But to know who was actually quickest through the entire sector, then you would use the data I provided. It's pretty clear.

There is DRS in sector 1! This is so obvious that I must conclude that you are being deliberately obtuse now.

Spanish GP Preview
http://www.fia.com/file/56748/download?token=FEex_KmN (pdf download)

On page 2, see how the DRS Activation Point 2 starts 100m before the Control Line? Drivers can activate DRS there during qualifying, and have it open the entire way down to Turn 1. The stretch of track between the Control Line and Turn 1 is part of Sector 1! Geez, what other obvious fact do you want to argue about?? Maybe you're sure that the sun rises in the west, or that 2 + 2 = 5?

If you have a spouse, then please let me know their name, as I will put them forward for canonization. 😉

156

Hi S Andretti,respectfully I think you have got it wrong on this one my friend..

157

Hi KRB. Its not so much mercedes being good in the final sector it's lewis saving the tires. The last sequence of corners can make or break a barcelona lap, as shown by vettel - who took too much in s1/2 and had nothing for the slow chicane. Lewis's lap wasn't perfect, missed a couple apexes. Ideally 18'8 should have been possible, but who knows if the tires would've held up.

158

Vettel’s SF70H sprung a water leak with 10 minutes remaining of practice and a new power unit, his third of the season ...

Well, unless there are more documents coming in the Event & Timing section (http://www.fia.com/events/fia-formula-one-world-championship/season-2017/eventtiming-information-21), then he's taken his 2nd ICE, 4th turbo, and 3rd MGU-H.

159

@KRB : Thank you for posting that link. I did not know the FIA published that information online.

I certainly hope the previous 3 turbochargers and 2 MGU-H units are not totally shot (broken/unusable) and can be reused later on in the season...This way, they (Ferrari) are essentially staggering the wear and tear on those parts. If that is not the case, then Ferrari and Vettel are going to incur grid penalties quite early in the season 🙁

@James Allen : I second the request to have this information tracked. The FIA's site is cumbersome to navigate and puts out everything as PDF

160

There's an Italian guy that tracks this in Excel, and puts it on his Twitter. I'll try to find him again.

161

Yes please 🙂 - I find the FIA site a right pain to use.

162

Congratulation to Hamilton on his P1,however Vettel must feel that luck was on Lewis side , It has shown the Mercedes upgrade didn't contribute much as initially thought it would, tomorrow race is going to be a ( screamer ) if Hamilton can't pull a way from Vettel, Vettel , will win. As for Red Bull ? not much to write home about it.

163

no luck involved vettel used up too much of his tyres at the start of the lap and suffered in the final sector. would've been more fun with bottas on his phase two engine too.

164

Mercedes were lucky today. They put both their cars out too close to the late Q3 runners (I believe the Williams) and I think the failure to prep their tires on the out lap resulted in a more difficult 2nd run. Tomorrow's start will be really interesting as Sebastian will have a good starter in P3 for that long run. It will be interesting to see what happens if Bottas gets along side Sebastian. Will Sebastian choose to fight or minimize risk since he knows the Ferrari is still a good race car compared to Mercedes and use strategy to get past Bottas?

165

First two rows are:
1 Hamilton
2 Vettel

3 Bottas
4 Raikkonen

166

Great pole from Lewis, exciting session. Fernando pulled it out of the hat for the crowd and Seb splits the Mercs! All to play for tomorrow, usually a pretty dull race in Spain, but it looks finely poised for the win.

167

alonso has special parts on his car missing from his teammate's.

168

First I've heard of that. Can you provide a link please?

169

@ Sars....you'll never see it..Someone left the 'wastegate' open and it just vanished/escaped hahaha

170

Vandoorne's technicians: "Where the hell are Stoff's MGU's ??!!!"
Alonso's tech team: "We put both on Fernando's for the extra oomph!" 😃

171

Disappointing quali for Kimi as front row looked on the cards.

But great show for Ferrari to do a four hour engine change in two hours only. The Ferrari time and motion man with his stop watch and log book may find that of special interest, lol.

172

Ferrari : Sebastian, stop the car.

Vettel : Are you sure ???............

Ferrari : err.. blahh... errr..... just panicking and trying to shoot ourselves in the foot.

____________________________________

McLaren : Fernando has just qualified on P7.

Honda : Are you sure ??? Are you sure???? Are you like really, really dead sure because we forgot to install some parts in his power unit ??

173

Simply brilliant lap by Fernando - best performance of the day - no surprise there.
Looks like the tennis didn't have a negative effect after all - no doubt it relieved some of his frustration.

Contrary to his critics claiming he lowers the morale of his team and is a cancer, it seems quite the contrary - he consistently delivers results beyond expectations and lifts their spirits.

Hopefully tomorrow he will get a good start and IF the engine holds up, deliver yet another masterpiece.

174

Disagree. Alonso is a cancer. Phenomenal driver but a divisive character.

175

Cancer is bit too far. Divisive Character, yes. Nothing still quantifies his ability to beat the odds each and every time. His divisive character and out spoken nature has nothing to do with his phenomenal driving.

176

That's why they're desperately trying to hold on to him. While we're in the oncology department, how would you rate hinting at conspiracy theories in your team against you, publishing telemetry on twitter, lying to the stewards and letting an engineer take the fall among other naughty boy behaviors?

177

Coming from a self confessed 'Hamfosi" calling Alonso a divisive character is mildly amusing to say the least..Lol

178

@Sarsippious I stand by my comment. More than enough supplementary evidence. Spygate cost merc 100m, hence the reason he can't go there. Bad blood at ferrari. Crashgate cost renault ing sponsorship. Phenomenal talent but a rap sheet that would make Pablo escobar blush. Being a Hamfosi doesn't distract from accepting other talented drivers. Maybe you should try it sometime. lol?

179

Hamilton isn't divisive at all is he..Smh!

180

How can you compare that to what Alonso did to McLaren? Alonso cost them 100m, now it's come back to haunt him.

If Hamilton was on the radio saying the stuff Alonso has been doing ("I try already, you try yourself!", "I've never driven with less power in my life!", "Do whatever you want man") I can only imagine the bashing he would take on here. Because it's Alonso, and he's just like that, it receives little attention.

181

Am remembering his efforts at hauling that earlier red car to higher than expected levels as well.

182

if I was an engineer on a team for which Alonso drives, I think I'd get mighty tired of hearing how bad results were my fault and good results were attributable to Alonso. How would that lift my spirit?

183

An engineer for who? If you were an engineer for Honda and still had your job, which you shouldn't, I would think Alonso's bickering would be the least of your worries or frustrations.

Alonso has no problem with McLaren and they have no problem with him. They are as frustrated with Honda as he is. The shouting and throwing of objects in the garage isn't due to Alonso.

He said last year that he had enough confidence in the chassis to drive full bore without reservation. He said the same today. Honda is the blame for the low morale....obviously!

184

Off track but urgent question James: could F1 survive a mass cyber attack? Are FOM and the teams ready with contingency plans or would it be a case of total shutdown till further notice?

185

There was an attack a few years ago Tata sorted it out

I think they have quite a few safeguards in place now but the cyber criminals are crafty!

186

I never thought I would see the day that I would be glad to see Alonso on 7th. But I am👍🏻
Way to go.... Fernando!
Great stuff by Lewis for the pole, pushed by Vettel. Hope Lewis gets a good start and hoping more for a Ham/Vettel battle.

187

Well said James!
Now how did you go with your qualy predictions? Had Lewis winning pole so off to a good start. Hamilton also to win the race followed by SB, KR, VB and the bulls rounding out the top 6. Threw darts on a board to make up 7-10.

188

@sars
Me too, but have Merc down for a 1-2 , and that's not looking to good right now. 😄
Had Alonso down for most places gained, but he seems to have the most places lost right now😱. And Kimi for fastest lap. So up to now, not looking to good for my predictions😂 .
But I don't like it when you play darts, you seem to be very good at it😡😂

189

I may have snagged the quinella however the retirements of MV and VB hurt. Had Max for the fastest lap also. I take Stroll for most positions gained because you just know he'll qualify that car ten positions below the true pace of it and hope he manages to put it together somehow. Should probably stop holding my breath with that one. Be interesting to see where we end up.
Oh and speaking of darts I've actually got an app in the process of being developed. Should be available by the end of June on both android and iOS.

190

Congratulations to Lewis and the Bristish Racing Heritage w/ 250 Poles.
...
I mentioned pre-season that Ferrari had a chance to win the WDC if the car development race was a match to Mercedes AMG.
Well Merc has just shown what they can do with an extensive spot-on upgrade.
Also Merc has better reliability, specially on the Turbo ellement.
...
But this is the end of the mandatory Pirelli tire choice, so there is still a chance for Ferraro.
Good luck to all !!!

191

...until Silverstone and Suzuka where they will mandate the harder specs to avoid overload and failures

192
Stephen Taylor

James Pirelli have actually said they won't used the hards probably again until Suzuka. Think Pirelli believe having seen what they have seen in Barcelona that combo for Silverstone of Medium , Soft and Supersoft might be worth the risk as Pirelli is apparently going to apparently abandon the hard tyre choice originally set for Silverstone and ask for permission from the FIA for it to be changed to Supersoft instead.

193

James: Since power unit use (engine and other stuff) is "limited" by regulation and replacing those components actually matters and can result in grid penalties, why doesn't your site maintain a running list of which driver is on which # "whatever is limited by regulation w/o penalty" in a season? I think it might contribute to discussions held in the forums.
In the same fashion, a simple table of qualifying positions for a season could be maintained that just got updated at each race by adding a new row to the table....using a code like MH for Mercedes-Hamilton, FR for Ferrari-Raikkonen etc. ...then fans themselves could monitor and discuss the relative progress of individual racers and teams over the semester.
Evidence on web use is that having information like that brings a greater number of returners as they analyze and reanalyze the data and contribute to associated discussions/arguments. Personally, as a reader of your site I would find both of those additions, which I don't think would be much work to produce, very interesting.

194

James, can I just say add support to the suggestions from Mike Bowen regarding stats.

Thanks for considering them.

195

F 1 site keeps log
I couldn't find link on google
Can someone please share

196

great suggestion

197

Thanks for the suggestion

198

"Sebastian Vettel split the two Mercedes, denying them a fifth consecutive qualifying one-two"

I thought Vettel started from the front row three times in last four races.

199

I think meaning 5th at Spain?

200

",,, in Spain." was missing from the end of that sentence. Mercedes have had a 1-2 in the previous 4 years at the Spainish GP.

201

Missed that, thanks.

202

5th consecutive lockout at catalunya

203

5th straight front row lockout at Spain, was what they meant.

204

Alonso = DOTD !

Any points tomorrow => DOTW !

205

- Most fans will be relieved to see that the fears of Mercedes pulling out a gap over Ferrari with the upgrades package haven’t come true. Then again it might be different story in the race. I do hope they remain closely matched. All the ingredients so far point to an epic title battle.

- Vettel’s presence of mind in qualifying might have robbed us a few overtaking moves in the race, but it gave us a great qualifying battle.
Anyone of the top 3 drivers could have been on pole. Was surprised to see Bottas within 0.3 sec of his team-mate with the old engine.
Valtteri does seem to be fast enough to out-qualify Hamilton on a few occasions. What he seems to be lacking is putting together his A-game on a consistent basis and crucially being able to do that under pressure.

- Lap 1 (or perhaps even turn 1) might turn out to be crucial for the race result. There’s a chance, we might get to witness Alonso train in the race. But there’s an even better chance we will get to see Honda power unit go “kaput” in the race.

206

Considering, the gap from preseason, which according to lewis they couldn't bridge. I'd say the upgrades work. Looking at the long runs, lewis had half a second on bottas and abit more on ferrari. Though vettel didn't run the softs. Either way, exciting season ahead.

207

@JamesAllen

Can we see Red Bull going for the win in Monaco? Verstappen very quick through sector 3 in qualiy for Spanish GP.

208

Monaco should level the field out a little more.

I now would rather see how Fernando would go at Monaco rather than skipping it for oval track.

209

Lewis wasn't slow in sector 3..no one got near him..

210

@Brendan

You are probably right but with Red Bull being quick than Ferrari we could see a Newey Car on the Podium at the Principality!

211

Today's Alonso qualifying is comparable to Denmark European champions squad when its players were picked up from Mediterranean beaches to snatch the title in 1992. Amazing!

212

Tennis works!

Joke aside...why Alonso is still my idol over his entire career and today's result says it all. Keep going Alonso.

213
Tornillo Amarillo

Team Williams had its problems, they asked in Q1 on the radio to kid Lance to improve 0.6 and he did exactly that! …only to finish P18 and out of qualify!!

Lance finished Q1 at only 0.273 of Massa (first time so close), but Lance in P18 and Massa in P14. So to pass to Q2 is key there.

Other teams like Toro Rosso and Renault had their share of problems too, the midfield is so tight.

214

I'm not really so cynical, but I do think Hamilton has been spared with Bottas' issues all weekend and having to change to the older engine. He did not look far off at all and a newer engine and equal running I think has him in with a definite shot. Lucky Lewis.

Over here on broadcaster Fox Sports Asia they called Alonso's performance as the qualifying lap of the season and that cements his legacy along with Senna and Giles Villeneuve as one of the rare drivers that can perform in a slow car. Quite effusive.. I think I'll be amazed if Alonso finishes in the top 12 tomorrow.

Lastly... smh Palmer, smh Grosjean, smh Kvyat, smh Stroll and smh Van Doorne. Palmer in particular is just out of his league. How long will this continue I wonder. Renault are progressing well but they need a driver that can move that car along.

215

You discount all of Hamilton's mechanical problems last season, but give us crybaby fantasies of what might have occurred had his teammate who you are desperate to beat him not had some mechanical glitches.Own goal comment. Yeah ,Rosberg will not be world champion if not for.......

216

*Groan*

Scratch that itch!

217

@Cheesy
Lucky Lewis....

I appreciate that you aren't a fan of Lewis (and that's absolutely fine), but I do wonder whether you aren't sometimes a little harsh with your assessments of his performance. He's had 64 poles (so far) - that cannot possibly be all down to luck.
On your final paragraph, I agree that Palmer does not appear to be up to the job - I was at a Sky recording where his Dad was one of the guests and he was taking the time to 'big up Joleyon' - it was the only time he actually spoke to the audience other than when it was scripted. But Stroll!!! If ever money talked!

218

Lucky lewis

219

@C63 we are told all the time Nico got lucky with fewer technical issues.. now I can't use the same logic? My comment was purely on this race so far. His poles.. most with the fastest car on the grid.. not anything amazing to me, honestly.

220

most with the fastest car on the grid...

How about the ones where he didn't have the fastest car on the grid?

221

C63, he was just lucky....

222

Your hardly the only one CP!

223

Great qualifying overall, lots of excitement, was confident Vettel had pole until the final sector.
James, judging by sector times alone does it appear Ferrari's car methodology has an advantage in the medium/high speed corners over the Mercedes but less in terms of mechanical grip? Or was this more of a setup/tyre based caveat?

224

Great job by alonso.
If only honda could give him 80 -100 bhp more

225
Jonathan Powell

Im a long term visitor to this site,enjoy reading the artciles and comments posted and have read James Allen's books aswell.
I think this is the first time ive posted a comment after a qualifying as I just wanted to say what a stunning lap that was from Fernando Alonso,absolutely incredible!
Wish we could see him wrestle that Mclaren around Monaco but best of luck to him for the Indy 500.
One of the greatest ever drivers.

226

Well said

Fernando alonso is simply the best ever out there. Not just his lap alone today. He is super motivated and never fails to deliver

227

Great calmness by Vettel over the whole weekend. But Ferrari is at max. with their PU-config, while Mercedes is cruising. That will cost Vettel title #5.

With the same PU/engine status as Hamilton Bottas could have been easily on pole.

228

Its nice to see we have the game for championship going on!!!

Nice job FI showing they are the 4th team and even can fight for 3rd I believe so... Congrats to Checo and Ocon.

That guy Stroll is BS, wouldnt be good to trade him places with Alonso?

229

James can you tell us why Lewis was doing with all the head banging in the car

230

Wow Alonso is fantastic.Is he the best of all time ever no it is still my favourite Lewis.Get it in the Lewis

231

It's probably a milestone of sorts for the drivers that qualified from 16th - 20th too.

They are all being absolutely battered by their team mates that I cannot believe that any of them will be in F1 for 2018.

I'm all for blooding young talent but F1 is supposed to be, although I've never personally believed it, where the best drivers in the world race.

This isn't a series for people to come in and learn their craft. They should come with that before they start. Feel for Vandorne though - he looked a real talent and definitely ready but maybe just not cut out for F1?

232
HornershaftedWebber

Fantastic lap by Alonso
I repeat from previous posts:
Toto grow some balls and give us what we fans want!
Hamilton v Alonso part 2
Enough said

233

Very late coming to the party, but Hamilton was very fortunate insofar as Bottas was hampered by having to use an old PU. Wolff alluded to this in the post quali interview. Let's hope that he can do something in the race. Vettel had the same problems in Sector three as Ricciardo. DR's car handling through the chicane was woeful and Verstappen had a far better set up and quali lap. Well done. I think that they are even now on quali... Alonso's lap was nothing short of stupendous and , in normal circumstances, it should put paid to all his detractors but i guess that they'll still crap on and on. That was a statement to all, give me the car and i'll give you the result. Speaks for itself. Ferrari are on thin ice at the moment, as they has great pace and their long runs were marginally better than Mercedes but all that means zip if they don't get a super start. Hopefully we'll see some real racing tomorrow instead of that Sochi rubbish that we were fed two weeks ago. Get in there fernando...

234

Kenneth, in the post race interview I saw with Toto he described Valterri as having "made two massive mistakes" on his lap and this is what cost him a chance of pole.

235

So I guess Hamilton was really, really unfortunate last year when he couldn't compete in qualifying at CHN, RUS & BEL then, right kenneth? Bottas was able to compete in qualifying, and it's not like he was faster than Hamilton on Friday, when they both were running the new engine.

How do you know that DR had a far better setup?

236

a far better setup?...

I'm pretty sure (i.e. certain) that I have seen Ken say something like - set up is down to the driver and any problems in this area reside with them. Or does he only say that when it's a driver that he has taken an irrational dislike too?

237

C63, I think I know what Dan's problems were in Barecelona, but I'm not saying.....

238

give me the car and i'll give you the result...

I'm not having a dig, or trying to start an argument. But why do you think that none of the top teams appear to want him? If he is really such great shakes then why would they deny themselves his talent? There must be a reason. I'm sure you caught the post quali waffle on Sky and Brundle said that the best Alonso can hope for (assuming McHonda don't come good) is a works Renault drive next season. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement from the people who really know - the teams.

239

@JA. quote "There are different ways to do the race, but the Mercedes long run pace looked strong and the degradation on the soft was low"
Kindly explain this statement as it not correct as per cars speeds recorded today in all 3 sectors

Thanks you

240

In FP2 Mercedes had low deg figures on the long runs. So did Ferrari. Red Bull deg was higher.

It's a choice between 2 stops and 3 stops today and some interesting scenarios possible

While we are communicating, please can I ask you to treat other posters here respectfully. We don't tolerate rudeness or being high handed with people, which some of your posts can be. You are welcome here, but please respect the atmosphere of informed discussion and politeness, Thanks

241

I think grabbing pole was imperative for Hamilton as it enables him to start from the side of the grid that's on the racing line. As we saw in Sochi and Australia he struggles with running in dirty air moreso it would appear than the Ferrari's and getting into turn one in the lead will go along way to him winning here.
If he doesn't I wonder if we'll find another kamikaze move made by Lewis into turn three like we did last year against Rosberg? My money says so!

242

another kamikaze move ...

LOL - maybe a smaller hook, or perhaps a thinner line next time 🙂 You might catch something then.

243

@c63, He loves to bait us, which is strange because he seems to be more interested in lewis's shortcomings than supporting his driver of choice. There is a word for such an individual, unfortunately it escapes me...

244

I wonder what moniker you used to post under....Ummmm

245

Well I caught KRB and I'm expecting an email in my inbox any second now from Tim so obviously the line wasn't thin enough..

246

Sarsippious. The only email you will get from me will be the address to send my 100 gold bars...,

247

A kamikaze move? Rosberg was de-rating and so was 17 kph slower, so a move was totally on. The stewards report said that Hamilton's attempt to pass was "reasonable" ... not sure how that squares with your kamikaze characterization.

The incident concerned started when Car 6 dropped into an incorrect power mode, as set by the driver prior to the start. This created a significant power differential between Car 6 and Car 44 at the exit of Turn 3 coming onto the straight, resulting in as much as a 17 kph speed difference between the two cars on the straight. Car 6 moved to the right to defend his position, as is his right under Art 27.7 of the Sporting regulations. Simultaneously Car 44 as the significantly faster car with, at that time, apparent space on the inside, moved to make the pass. Art 27.7 requires the leading driver to leave room, if there is a "significant portion" of the car attempting to pass alongside. Car 44 had a portion of his front wing inside Car 6 small fractions of a second prior to Car 44 having to leave the right side of the track to avoid an initial collision, which may have led him to believe he had the right to space on the right. Once on the grass on the side of the track Car 44 was no longer in control of the situation.

Having heard extensively from both drivers and from the team, the Stewards determined that Car 6 had the right to make the maneuver that he did and that Car 44's attempt to overtake was reasonable, and that the convergence of events led neither driver to be wholly or predominantly at fault, and therefore take no further action.

If that incident had been between two drivers from different teams, I'm pretty sure the result would've been quite different.

248

If that incident had been between two drivers from different teams, I'm pretty sure the result would've been quite different.

I'm sure if the roles were reversed Rosberg would've received a penalty. And its always the driver behind who has the onous on him not to hit the guy in front. Racing 101!

249

That's not Racing 101 ... recall Pastor not accelerating fully out of a corner at Singapore, and Button crashing into him. It was a move just one rung down from a brake test.

Rosberg knew he was in an incorrect setting, and that he'd be under attack. That he wasn't proactive in his move should have been questioned.

250

Sarsippious. Oh go on then I will bite after all, but only to correct your poor knowledge of the rules. If s driver is defending on a straight he must leave a cars width at the side of the track if the overtaking car gets his front wing alongside the other guys rear wheel. I'm sure you saw the pics of Lewis being in exactly that position before Nico completed his swerve to the edge of the track and shoved Lewis off the circuit. It's interesting that you talk about what would have happened if the two cars had been reversed, I think there would be no difference. Your analysis of Lewis' culpability certainly wouldn't alter would it....?

251

Good job by both Mercedes and Ferrari.
Alonso deserves commendation.
Is Max now the No.1 at RBR?
Whither do you go,Stroll and Palmer?
Could Grosjean stop complaining about other drivers?
Hoping for a Merc win tomorrow.

252

Head line should read
The usual suspects up front ALONSO TAKES 7th.

He probably wont see the checked flag though 🙁

253

A feel-good story out of F1? It is possible if Alonso's 7th place is good news to you, as it is to me.

254

While 44 got pole using a new B specification PU, Vettel managed 2nd using his 1st 4 race weekends old ICE.

255

You've said this 3x now on this thread ... you can say it 3 more times, and it still won't make it true. Seb's on his 2nd ICE, his 4th turbo, his 3rd MGU-H, his 2nd MGU-K, his 2nd Energy Store, and 2nd Control Electronics.

It's all in the Event & Timing Info for the Spanish GP on the FIA's website (I've posted the link above twice).

256

As I understand it Ferrari switched Seb to his 2nd PU for FP3.
After the water leak Ferrari build back to PU one for the remainder of Qul;ifying and the Race.
So he is indeed on PU2 but raced with PU1.

257

ham44 looks miles better than the plain old 44.
hamilton is has long understood that that those who criticise him have a great affinity for his downfall.
he will soon take up contempry dance as part of his fitness regime to complement his music interests.

258

You won't pass mod here
Take hike you Sebee joker
Eff One poetry

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