British Formula 1 Grand Prix 2014: Results, Times for Practice and Qualifying
The Formula One season moves on to the UK this weekend for the British Grand Prix, where home driver Lewis Hamilton will look to make up ground on Mercedes teammate and championship leader Nico Rosberg.
Returning to Silverstone for its 50th Grand Prix after Rosberg's victory in Austria last time out, Mercedes is expected to dominate once again as it has all season.
Hamilton currently trails Rosberg by 29 points in second place, while Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo is a further 53 points behind the Briton in third.
Williams had a terrific race last time out with Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa finishing in third and fourth respectively behind the Mercedes one-two.
Susie Wolff will become the first female driver to take part in a race weekend in 22 years when she takes Bottas' place for the first practice session on Friday in the Williams.
McLaren's Jenson Button and Marussia's Max Chilton are the other home drivers who will be looking to feel the boost of the British crowd.
Reigning champion Sebastian Vettel will be aiming for a good race. The German's poor season continued when he was forced to retire in Austria.
He has been consistently overshadowed by rookie teammate Ricciardo this term but will hope to put that right in the ninth race of the year.
Read on for full practice and qualifying results as the drivers attempt to claim pole position ahead of Sunday's race.
Qualifying: Rosberg Steals Pole at the Death
Nico Rosberg snatched pole position at the death and will lead the way in the British Grand Prix after an enthralling qualifying session at Silverstone. The Mercedes driver will be joined on the front row by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, while McLaren’s Jenson Button showcased his acumen in tricky conditions by snaffling third position.
Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg will start in fourth position, while Button's teammate Kevin Magnussen will be right behind him in fifth. Mercedes man Lewis Hamilton will be disappointed with his performance; he'll start in sixth place.
Trailing the Brit was Force India's Sergio Perez, while Daniel Ricciardo could only manage eighth in his Red Bull. The Toro Rosso pairing of Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne will start in ninth and 10th, respectively.
Typically the first qualifying phase is a battle between the usual suspects at the back of the grid, but we were in for a surprise. The rain we’d seen earlier in the day prompted most of the drivers to start on tyres tailored to wet conditions, but the track was getting drier and drier throughout the session.
It gave the lesser teams a chance to take a risk, gambling on slick tyres and posting fast times with the clock ticking down. But such were the time limitations, a host of teams didn’t react quickly enough and were stranded.
So by the end of Q1, Caterham drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson both found themselves in the bottom six, but remarkably, they were joined by the Ferrari duo of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, and the Williams pair of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
Alonso put the qualifying performance down to a combination of bad luck and poor decision making, per BBC Sport:
It happens sometimes in this weather, 30 second before or later, you put the right tyre on and you are the hero or you have made a mistake.
We are here in the TV compound, two Ferrari drivers and two Williams drivers, it's something we did wrong compared to other teams. We need to study what happened.
The track continued to improve throughout Q2 and the drivers quickly switched to slicks. It meant that times atop of the leader board were posted and quickly chalked off as the top drivers started to discover more grip around the Silverstone circuit.
Despite having two drivers in Q2, Marussia were to be denied their first ever appearance in the final qualifying session, as Max Chilton—who will be subject to a five-place grid penalty—and Jules Bianchi finished in 13th and 12th position, respectively.
Joining them in the drop zone was the Sauber duo of Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez—who finished in 16th and 14th, respectively—and the Lotus pair of Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean, who ended up in 15th and 11th, respectively.
That paved the way for an engrossing final qualifying session. As soon as the drivers went out, rain began to fall, meaning that with the possibility of deteriorating conditions, the first hot lap was crucial. Nine drivers went out, and Hamilton just edged out Rosberg for first place as the drivers struggled to cope with a slippery track on the wrong tyre compound.
Vettel was the only driver not to set a time in the first round of laps and with the rain getting heavier, there looked to be little he could do to haul himself up the leaderboard. With the conditions worsening, there were also concerns about whether or not the drivers would come out for a second lap.
Button emerged, though, and seven other drivers followed suit. But the track looked to be extremely imbalanced in the opening stages and there seemed to be little chance of pole position being challenged.
But there was to be a major sting in the tail. In the final sector—where the rain hit in the first round of laps—the drivers found massive amounts of time where the track had dried.
Hulkenberg initially seized pole, Button was just behind and Vettel trumped them both. Mercedes were not to be denied, however, and Rosberg stormed through to take pole position in the most dramatic of circumstances; the German only just made it over the start/finish line to begin his hot lap.
After starting another lap Hamilton backed out and he could only watch on as driver after driver bettered his time. When pressed on what had happened, the Brit seemed dismayed by the incident, per BBC Sport, stating that "I don't know, I don't have much of an answer. I just decided not to do the lap".
His teammate Rosberg was in much better spirits, as you might expect, per BBC Sport:
It was definitely quite crazy - certainly in first qualifying it was and last qualifying also.
The tyres were still drying out so we lost time on the out lap. We sat in the garage and eventually came to the conclusion that we might as well go out out and have a look.
Then it seemed like it was worth it because the last part of the lap was very dry. It was a great team effort.
To top off the wildness, Pastor Maldonado was moved to the back of the pack for failing to provide a sufficient fuel sample, according to Sky Sports:
Pastor Maldonado has been sent to the back of the grid for Sunday’s British Grand Prix after his Lotus was found not to have enough fuel to provide a sample following qualifying.
The Venezuelan had qualified in 15th place, but failed to make it back to the pits following Q2 after the Enstone team ordered him to switch the car off due to a fuel pressure problem.
Maldonado will be allowed to start ahead of the Caterham’s of Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson, however, as they failed to set a time within 107% of the quickest Q1 time.
After a crazy qualifying stint, we’re set for a stormer of a race tomorrow. With the four cars in the bottom six certain to move through the field at a brisk pace, that will ensure a host of frenetic overtaking throughout the afternoon, as a host of lesser cars do their best to hold off the challenge from some of the best drivers in the business.
At very front, Rosberg looks likely to extend his 22-point lead at the top of the World Championship standings. Hamilton will be left to rue his decision not to complete the final lap and he’ll be hoping for comparably changeable conditions similar to the ones that bewitched him in the final stages of qualifying if he's to have any chance in Sunday's race.
Full qualifying results courtesy of Formula1.com
|2||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1:45.086||1:36.410||1:37.386||19|
|4||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:41.271||1:37.112||1:38.320||19|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||1:42.146||1:37.350||1:40.457||20|
|8||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull-Renault||1:44.710||1:38.116||1:40.606||18|
|13||Adrian Sutil||Sauber-Ferrari||1:42.063||No Time||8|
|14||Valtteri Bottas||Williams-Mercedes||1:45.318||No Time||5|
Note—Gutierrez drops 10 places for unsafe release at previous round; Chilton drops fives for unscheduled gearbox change.
P3: Vettel Reigns in the Rain
World Champion Sebastian Vettel topped the timing sheets for the first time in any practice session this season, setting the fastest lap in the final practice session ahead of qualifying for the British Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver managed to negotiate the wet conditions the best out of all the drivers, with his teammate Daniel Ricciardo and Lotus’ Pastor Maldonando finishing up in second and third, respectively.
Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg decided not to set any time, preferring to save their tyres ahead of the the qualifying sessions and race day itself; Ferrari man Fernando Alonso followed suit.
From the off it was obvious that the weather was set to make this a very difficult session for the drivers, as they tried to get acquainted with the intermediate tyres. The rain began to come down not long after FP3 began and a host of cars looked to be struggling for grip on the sodden track. So as you might expect, problems began to emerge.
Midway through the session, Marussia’s Max Chilton confirmed he wouldn’t be taking part in the stint because he would be changing gearbox. Subsequently he’ll face a five-place grid penalty as a result, but the British driver wasn’t too downtrodden afterwards, per BBC Sport:
The best thing you can do is take in as much as you can and learn from it. It might still be dry for qualifying so it's not the end of the world yet.
We have the advantage over the Caterhams again but the Saubers are still just out of reach.
But Marussia’s session was to go from bad to worse. Clearly uneasy with the wet conditions, Jules Bianchi locked up at Stowe corner and crashed into the barriers.
With 40 minutes gone in the session neither Rosberg, Hamilton or Alonso had yet to complete a flying lap, with Mercedes co-boss Toto Wolff stressing that there is little to gain from going out and wearing down tyres in risky circumstances, per BBC Sport.
The minutes ticked down in the session and even though the rain began to ease of a little, the track remained very wet. And just as the chequered flag dropped, the rain begin to fall once again.
Of course, much depends on the weather between FP3 and Q1, but it’ll be intriguing to see whether or not the drivers decide to opt for the full wet tyres in the first qualifying session. Rain always makes qualifying a fascinating spectacle and
Red Bull’s team principal Christian Horner thinks that his team are now just 0.3 second a lap behind the Mercedes drivers, having previously been close to one second down earlier in the weekend, per BBC Sport. After Vettel’s strong qualifying performance, he’ll be hoping they can close the gap again and nick pole from one of the Mercedes drivers.
But despite not posting a hot lap throughout the session, the two Mercedes drivers will have accrued plenty of data from yesterday's long stints. They'll still be big favourites to lock-out the front row of the grid, but the harder the rain falls ahead of the sharp end of qualifying, the better chance the Red Bull's look to have of springing a surprise.
Full results courtesy of Formula1.com
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:52.522||6|
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:52.631||0.109||6|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:55.688||3.166||6|
|15||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||1:56.918||4.396||7|
|19||Max Chilton||Marussia-Ferrari||No Time||1|
|20||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||No Time||4|
|21||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||No Time||4|
|22||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||No Time||5|
P2: Mercedes On Top, Hamilton Suffers Engine Failure
Lewis Hamilton recorded the fastest lap time during the second practice session, edging out teammate Nico Rosberg, but engine problems cut his session short by 30 minutes.
Mercedes once again dominated proceedings, putting the rest of the pack on more than three quarters of a second once the medium tires came out. Hamilton in particular looked dominant during the second session, despite not recording a single perfect lap.
The 2008 World Champion will be racing in front of a home crowd and needs a result to catch up to Rosberg in the standings, and if he can cut back on the mistakes in the first sector, he has a good chance of winning the race on Sunday.
Hamilton wrote about the joy of racing in front of home fans, in his column for the BBC:
I feel a huge amount of support here. Undoubtedly, there are people who don't like you and support someone else - which they're totally entitled to do - but the level of support completely overwhelms any negativity.
There are quite a few races where you see British flags around the circuit, but here it's going to be everywhere this weekend. The atmosphere makes the grand prix and it just spurs you on and inspires you to really do it for the fans, as well as for myself and my family.
The Silverstone track was plagued by strong winds on Friday, and drivers seemed to have trouble controlling the cars in some of the open corners, so fans can expect to see faster times during Saturday's final practice session and the qualifiers.
The Williams mechanics worked all throughout the day to get Felipe Masa's car ready for action following his crash in the first session, and the Brazilian was able to return to the track in the afternoon. Teammate Susie Wolff was forced to watch from the paddock, bringing a premature end to her very first Formula 1 experience.
Jean-Eric Vergne and Sebastian Vettel continued their run of bad luck on Friday, the former having to abandon his session due to a loose tire and the latter needing gaffer tape to hold the tray on the floor of his Red Bull together.
Valtteri Botas had similar concerns, a small explosion taking place underneath the engine cover of his Williams towards the end of the session.
Rosberg and Daniel Ricciardo were briefly under investigation for overtaking under the red flag during the first practice session, but per BBC's live blog, hey were cleared from any wrongdoing.
Fernando Alonso was once again the best of the rest, but the lack of power in his Ferrari makes it unlikely he'll be able to keep up with the two Mercedes cars on Sunday.
Staying in front of the two Red Bull cars will be his main priority, while Hamilton and Rosberg continue their battle for the world title on Silverstone's legendary track.
Hamilton looked the faster of the two in hot, windy conditions on Friday, but with rain expected to hit the British Grand Prix during the weekend, fans will have to wait and see how the final practice session and the qualifying session play out.
Full practice results, via Formula1.com:
P1: Mercedes Fastest as Williams Suffer
At the British Grand Prix on Friday, it was once again the Mercedes cars that proved fastest in first practice.
Championship leader Nico Rosberg headed Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by over half a second as they dominated around the Silverstone circuit.
Fernando Alonso was the best of the rest, as he often has been this season, going third fastest behind the Englishman. Of course, the Spaniard has often struggled for pace in the actual races.
After a terrific weekend last time out in Austria, Williams had a morning to forget. Both cars were forced out of the session early on.
Felipe Massa made an error early, sliding his wheel onto a curb and spinning his car straight into a wall, which forced practice to stop for a brief period as the Williams was moved.
While Massa was unhurt, it is unlikely the car will be fixed in time for the second practice session. The front-left side of the vehicle was significantly damaged, meaning the Brazilian will miss out on vital track time.
In the other Williams car, Susie Wolff was forced out of qualifying after completing just one proper lap with an engine problem.
She will have another chance in first practice at the German Grand Prix, but it was a huge disappointment.
Speaking to BBC Sport, the 31-year-old was philosophical about the day:
It was a really tough day but that's Formula 1 sometimes. We had an oil pressure problem which cut the engines - the guys are looking at getting it fixed for free practice two.
I want to say a huge thank you for all the support - it means a lot and really helps. It was wonderful. Going out there was the best feeling and although there's been a lot of media around this run, once I had put the helmet on that was the best feeling, and as soon as I had left the pit lane, everything felt good. Unfortunately it was a short run but I'm going to look forward to Hockenheim.
Daniel Ricciardo once again went faster than illustrious teammate Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull, the Australian going fourth in the session with the German two places further behind.
Meanwhile, Jenson Button made a solid start to his home race with a seventh-fastest lap time.
Valtteri Bottas is likely to be the only Williams car to head out for second practice later on Friday while Hamilton will look to leapfrog Rosberg as he prepares for a race he vitally needs to win.
Full practice results, via Formula1.com:
|4||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:36.623||1.199||21|
|6||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:36.921||1.497||20|
|11||11||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||1:37.720||2.296||22|
|14||34||Daniel Juncadella||Force India-Mercedes||1:38.083||2.659||23|
|15||36||Giedo van der Garde||Sauber-Ferrari||1:38.328||2.904||19|
|22||13||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus-Renault||No time||2|