Rio Haryanto quickest on Day 2

F1Weekly podcast # 651


Rio Haryanto quickest on Day 2

Clark and Nasir go over the Australian Grand Prix and both reveal their lack of enthusiasm for the new 2014 F1 cars. And here are the results of day 2 of GP2 testing in Bahrain…

Rio Haryanto quickest on Day 2
 
Indonesian driver sets fastest laptime at Bahrain International Circuit
The second day of testing at Bahrain International Circuit opened this morning under overcast skies and in cooler temperatures. Jolyon Palmer, Takuya Izawa and Stoffel Vandoorne were quick to take to the track, but it was Conor Daly who topped the timesheets on soft Pirelli tyres early into the session. Fellow countryman Alexander Rossi became the first man to dip under 1m41s today, but Daly went even quicker and lapped the track in 1:40.233. It was then Mitch Evans who found some extra pace to break under the 1m40s barrier. His laptime was bettered by Palmer by two hundredths, the Briton clocking in a time of 1:39.854.
A few drops of rain fell over the track, but most of the field opted to put on the softer compounds and it was Rio Haryanto’s time to shine: the Indonesian driver managed to set a blazing laptime of 1:39.129 – three tenths quicker than last year’s pole position. Haryanto’s teammate Rossi went out on track for another attempt at topping the timesheet but ended a hairsbreadth away from the Indonesian. In the final stages, Julian Leal edged Raffaele Marciello out of third. Behind the Italian, Palmer, Evans, Vandoorne, Stéphane Richelmi, Rene Binder and Kimiya Sato rounded out the top ten.
After the lunch break, the temperatures rose and Daniiel De Jong was the early pace setter. He remained top for most of the session as drivers focused on race simulations and pitstop practices. With one hour left on the clock, Daniel Abt went quickest on Hard compounds, but De Jong on Soft Pirelli tyres soon improved on the German’s laptime and regained control of the timesheet.
In the closing stages, laptimes started to tumble down and the fight for the top spot saw Jon Lancaster, Vittorio Ghirelli and Johnny Cecotto successively hit the front, but at the chequered flag, De Jong reclaimed P1 with a 1:40.508 – two tenths quicker than Cecotto (also on Soft compounds). Leal was able to find some extra pace on Hard Pirelli tyres to move up to third in the dying minutes ahead of Ghirelli, Lancaster, Simon Trummer, Facu Regalia, Abt, Felipe Nasr and Arthur Pic.
The final day of pre-season testing will start again at 9am local time.
Morning results
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Rio Haryanto
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:39.129
32
2.
Alexander Rossi
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:39.173
31
3.
Julian Leal
Carlin
1:39.538
22
4.
Raffaele Marciello
Racing Engineering
1:39.704
33
5.
Jolyon Palmer
DAMS
1:39.854
31
6.
Mitch Evans
RT RUSSIA TIME
1:39.870
15
7.
Stoffel Vandoorne
ART Grand Prix
1:39.913
32
8.
Stephane Richelmi
DAMS
1:40.045
29
9.
Rene Binder
Arden International
1:40.126
15
10.
Kimiya Sato
Campos Racing
1:40.154
25
11.
Nathanael Berthon
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:40.190
18
12.
Artem Markelov
RT RUSSIAN TIME
1:40.191
18
13.
Conor Daly
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:40.233
10
14.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Rapax
1:40.250
19
15.
Andre Negrao
Arden International
1:40.314
19
16.
Takuya Izawa
ART Grand Prix
1:40.678
30
17.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
1:40.786
26
18.
Arthur Pic
Campos Racing
1:40.840
24
19.
Johnny Cecotto
Trident
1:40.842
15
20.
Vittorio Ghirelli
Trident
1:40.991
25
21.
Daniiel de Jong
MP Motorsport
1:41.041
10
22.
Stefano Coletti
Racing Engineering
1:41.106
22
23.
Jon Lancaster
MP Motorsport
1:41.166
40
24.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
1:41.586
29
25.
Facu Regalia
Hilmer Motorsport
1:43.748
39
26.
Daniel Abt
Hilmer Motorsport
1:43.796
30
Afternoon results
Driver
Team
Laptime
Laps
1.
Daniiel de Jong
MP Motorsport
1:40.508
19
2.
Johnny Cecotto
Trident
1:40.779
19
3.
Julian Leal
Carlin
1:40.882
21
4.
Vittorio Ghirelli
Trident
1:41.235
14
5.
Jon Lancaster
MP Motorsport
1:41.277
17
6.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
1:41.436
29
7.
Facu Regalia
Hilmer Motorsport
1:41.476
25
8.
Daniel Abt
Hilmer Motorsport
1:41.746
10
9.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
1:41.998
24
10.
Arthur Pic
Campos Racing
1:42.354
38
11.
Rene Binder
Arden International
1:42.393
31
12.
André Negrao
Ardent International
1:43.007
29
13.
Mitch Evans
RT RUSSIAN TIME
1:43.839
27
14.
Artem Markelov
RT RUSSIAN TIME
1:43.877
26
15.
Jolyon Palmer
DAMS
1:43.910
32
16.
Nathanaël Berthon
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:43.179
32
17.
Conor Daly
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:44.276
31
18.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
1:44.381
24
19.
Stoffel Vandoorne
ART Grand Prix
1:44.458
46
20.
Raffaele Marciello
Racing Engineering
1:44.632
17
21.
Stefano Coletti
Racing Engineering
1:44.818
26
22.
Takuya Izawa
ART Grand Prix
1:44.895
46
23.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Rapax
1:45.151
38
24.
Alexander Rossi
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:45.240
33
25.
Kimiya Sato
Campos Racing
1:45.348
33
26.
Rio Haryanto
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:45.443
35

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Rossi GP2 test 2014

GP2


Rossi GP2 test 2014

ALEXANDER ROSSI LEADS THE WAY IN SAKHIR.
American driver quickest in Day 1 at Bahrain International Circuit
The final GP2 Series pre-season test session opened today at Bahrain International Circuit on a dirty track. There was one change in the drivers’ entry list compared to last week as Vittorio Ghirelli joined Trident in car 22. Pirelli provided every driver with five sets of Hard compounds and two sets of Soft compounds for the three days of testing.
Stoffel Vandoorne was the first driver to feed onto the track as soon as the lights turned green, but it was Jolyon Palmer who set the early pace. The first half of the session was pretty quiet as drivers waited for the track to get cleaner. Kimiya Sato was the first man to set a laptime inside the 1m42s with Daniel De Jong first and then Julian Leal bettering the Japanese’s time to snatch the top spot. Facu Regalia broke the 1m42s barrier along with Mitch Evans, but the Kiwi remained two tenths slower than the Argentine driver. Rio Haryanto found some extra pace to set a laptime of 1:41.400, but Felipe Nasr went even quicker and with one hour left on the clock, the Brazilian sat pretty at the top of the standings. Regalia was on a mission and improved on Nasr’s laptime by five hundredths. Twenty minutes before the end of the session, a red flag briefly halted the proceedings as Takuya Izawa stopped on track. The action resumed but a second red flag happened soon after when Simon Trummer hit the kerb at Turn 10 and stopped on track. In the dying minutes, Arthur Pic moved up to P1, but at the chequered flag it was Daniel Abt who dipped under 1m41s and finished the session at the top, five tenths ahead of Pic. Abt’s teammate Regalia, Nasr, Haryanto, Alexander Rossi, Stéphane Richelmi, Evans, Johnny Cecotto and Jon Lancaster completed the top ten.
The afternoon session saw Palmer taking to the track first, but it was Vandoorne who set the early pace in a 1:41.916. As the clock ticked down, the top spot was claimed successively by Richelmi, Raffaele Marciello and Nasr. Evans became the first man to go under 1m41s and stayed on top of the standings until there were thirty minutes left in the session. Conor Daly went quickest in a 1:40.734, but countryman Rossi was able to go one tenth faster to snatch P1. Abt moved up to P2 just before the session was shortly red flagged. The session was restarted with only ten minutes left on the clock. Evans moved up to P3 on his final attempt and at the chequered flag, Rossi remained the quickest man of the day ahead of Abt and Evans. Behind the trio, Daly, Palmer, Cecotto, Marciello, Ghirelli, Nasr and Vandoorne completed the top ten.
Tomorrow’s session will start at 9am local time.
Morning results
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport 1:40.676
17
2. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:41.192
17
3. Facu Regalia Hilmer Motorsport 1:41.327
15
4. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:41.352
12
5. Rio Haryanto EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:41.400
13
6. Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:41.460
13
7. Stéphane Richelmi DAMS 1:41.631
14
8. Mitch Evans RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:41.663
16
9. Johnny Cecotto Trident 1:41.671
12
10. Jon Lancaster MP Motorsport 1:41.711
12
11. Kimiya Sato Campos Racing 1:41.739
27
12. André Negrao Arden International 1:41.849
15
13.
Julian Leal Carlin 1:41.986
15
14. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1:41.995
15
15. Nathanaël Berthon Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:42.122
17
16. Simon Trummer Rapax 1:42.189
13
17. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1:42.231
17
18. Rene Binder Arden International 1:42.286
14
19. Daniiel de Jong MP Motorsport 1:42.348
15
20.
Artem Markelov RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:42.375
18
21. Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering 1:42.405
6
22. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax 1:42.600
12
23. Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:42.614
19
24. Vittorio Ghirelli Trident
1:43.294
14
25. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix
2:05.004
34
26. Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix
2:08.207
32
Afternoon results
Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing 1:40.604
30
2. Daniel Abt Hilmer Motorsport 1:40.616
26
3. Mitch Evans RT RUSSIAN TIME 1:40.680
25
4. Conor Daly Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:40.734
20
5. Jolyon Palmer DAMS 1:40.769
23
6. Johnny Cecotto Trident 1:40.829
13
7. Raffaele Marciello Racing Engineering 1:40.932
25
8. Vittorio Ghirelli
Trident
1:40.976
21
9. Felipe Nasr Carlin 1:41.022
23
10. Stoffel Vandoorne ART Grand Prix 1:41.041
28
11.
Jon Lancaster MP Motorsport 1:41.045
22
12. Nathanaël Berthon
Venezuela GP Lazarus
1:41.065
21
13. Facu Regalia
Hilmer Motorsport
1:41.131
28
14. Julian Leal
Carlin
1:41.195
17
15. Rio Haryanto
EQ8 Caterham Racing
1:41.275
23
16. Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
1:41.359
23
17. Arthur Pic Campos Racing 1:41.368
21
18. Stefano Coletti Racing Engineering
1:41.394
23
19. Rene Binder Arden International
1:41.426
21
20. André Negrao Arden International
1:41.438
18
21. Adrian Quaife-Hobbs Rapax
1:41.548
23
22. Simon Trummer Rapax
1:41.709
18
23. Artem Markelov RT RUSSIAN TIME
1:41.726
25
24. Takuya Izawa ART Grand Prix 1:42.013
29
25. Kimiya Sato Campos Racing 1:42.204
23
26. Daniiel De Jong MP Motorsport
1:42.282
19
The huge 2014 grid lines up for the Season Launch at Donington Park

BTCC


The huge 2014 grid lines up for the Season Launch at Donington Park

The huge 2014 grid lines up for the Season Launch at Donington Park

BTCC confirms huge grid for 2014 season

Seven champions spearhead impressive racing line-up

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship has today (18 March) confirmed a huge 31-car grid for the forthcoming 2014 season. Announced at its annual Season Launch at Donington Park, all BTCC machines will run to NGTC (Next Generation Touring Car) specifications for the very first time.

Allocation of the newly introduced TOCA BTCC licences (TBLs), required for teams in order to guarantee participation for the next three seasons, has exceeded the original allowance of 30, with TOCA approving 31 entries for the new season. All TBL holders are obliged to contest every round while TOCA has retained one final TBL, which it may loan to a suitable entry at any stage during the year.

As noted above, the entry list is completely made up of NGTC cars, which completes the planned final transition to the new specification machines since the introduction of the regulations in 2011. Not only does this year’s grid boast incredible strength in numbers, but the NGTC rules have also significantly aided the diversity of cars now seen on the entry list. 14 models from 11 different manufacturers will be represented in 2014, with the total number of cars on-track expected to be the largest in the series’ 2-litre history.

Adding to the impressive numbers and variety in the 2014 line-up, a quality field has also been further enhanced with seven champions making the grid, and a further five drivers having already won BTCC races.

Stability and longevity among its partners and sponsors also remains a key asset to the BTCC with all of its major ongoing commercial partners cemented for multi-year deals. For example, Dunlop has extended its title sponsorship and tyre supply term and ITV will continue to broadcast live coverage of every event until at least the end of the 2016 season. The Haymarket Consumer Media group has also joined the BTCC’s family of partners after inking a three-year deal to provide extensive and in-depth BTCC content across all of its major publications, with Autocar, WhatCar? and PistonHeads.com at the forefront of the agreement.

This year’s Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will again comprise of 30 races across ten events at nine venues around the UK, with the season commencing at Brands Hatch on 30/31 March and concluding on the legendary Grand Prix circuit at the same venue on 10/11 October.

Magnificent Seven

The BTCC field will include an unprecedented seven champions in its ranks, headed by reigning supremo Andrew Jordan who took his maiden title during an unforgettable 2013 season. Jordan fended off four former champions last season and the 24-year-old will defend his title in the Pirtek Racing Honda Civic.

2012 champ Gordon Shedden fell short of retaining the crown by just seven points last season. The Scotsman and his three-time champion team-mate Matt Neal both remain with Honda Yuasa Racing in 2014, but the duo will be piloting the all-new Civic Tourer model.

Jason Plato has won more BTCC races than any other driver in history and despite the MG driver coming close in 2013, he has just one goal for the year ahead: to win a hat-trick of championships.

Colin Turkington returned to the BTCC in 2013 after a three-year hiatus and produced a stunning effort. The Ulsterman remained in title contention until the final day of the campaign, despite his BMW 125i M Sport only breaking cover on the eve of the season. His eBay Motors squad has a year with the car under its belt and a strong pre-season behind them, so Turkington is confident of contending again.

The two biggest announcements in the off-season proved to be the return of two double-champions in Alain Menu and Fabrizio Giovanardi. Menu, a legend of the much loved Super Touring-era will be driving a VW Passat for Team BMR this time around, whilst Giovanardi will be spearheading the challenge from Airwaves Racing.

Variety is the spice of life

The NGTC rules were first introduced in 2011 with the intention to provide greater competition at a reduced cost. The plan was to phase in the new specification cars into the series over a three-year period and that programme is now complete with all cars running to NGTC spec.

The BTCC has one of the most varied grids of any major motor sport championship in the world, with some 14 models from 11 different marques making up the class of 2014.

Official manufacturer entries from Honda Yuasa Racing and MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save are joined by a host of other independent teams entering cars from Audi (AlcoSense Breathalysers Racing, Exocet Racing, Rotek Racing), BMW (eBay Motors), Chevrolet (Laser Tools Racing, Power Maxed Racing), Ford (Airwaves Racing, AmD Tuning.com, Crabbie’s Racing), Honda (Pirtek Racing), Mercedes (WIX Racing), MG (Quantel BiFold Racing), Proton (STP Racing with Sopp + Sopp), Toyota (Handy Motorsport, Houseman Racing, United Autosports, Speedworks), Vauxhall (RCIB Insurance Racing) and Volkswagen (Chrome Edition Restart Racing).

Dunlop extensions and enhancements

The Goodyear Dunlop group has provided title sponsorship and official tyre supplier to the BTCC for a decade, and has further extended its partnership in both areas during the off-season.

The new multi-year deal continues Dunlop’s association with the series since its inception in 1958.

Such a strong partnership does not mean a simple continuation of service, however, as Dunlop continue to develop tyre technology in the BTCC. This year will see the introduction of an all-new compound across all of its Sport Maxx range, which is based on a new construction to offer improved driver feedback and confidence.

As per 2013, every driver will have to nominate one of the three races on each weekend (except Thruxton) in which to run the soft compound instead of the medium construction.

In a new development Dunlop will now reveal each driver’s tyre choice via its social media feeds at 10am on race days, whereas previously spectators and competitors would not find out until the cars had reached the grid. In a joint decision with TOCA, it’s believed that this introduction will provide fans with yet more talking points ahead of the action.

Lights, Camera, Action

ITV will continue to screen around seven hours of live free-to-air coverage from each event on both its ITV4 and ITV4 HD channels as well as the itv.com website. Adding to the coverage are 60-minute edited race highlights repeated three times after each event on ITV and ITV4 as well as their respective HD channels and ‘simulcast’ on itv.com. In total more than 230 hours of the BTCC will be broadcast across the ITV network each season until at least 2017.

Commentators David Addison and Tim Harvey have signed new three-year deals with the broadcaster, as have presenters Steve Rider and Louise Goodman.

The BTCC will also enjoy greater coverage in major print and online publications thanks to its new media partnership with Haymarket.

Autocar, What Car? and PistonHeads logos will feature on the BTCC cars throughout the 2014, 2015 and 2016 seasons, as well as on official interview and podium backdrops, as the group provides extensive coverage of Britain’s premier motor sport series.

BTCC Series Director Alan Gow said: “Our huge entry list is a clear demonstration of the success of the championship and the NGTC regulations. 31 cars on the grid is a modern-day BTCC record and the quality of the field, including seven champions, is also at a real high. That calibre of driver wouldn’t be here if they didn’t see that the championship is in rude health, but we also have to remember that many of those have the BTCC to thank for making them household names in the first place.

“The long-term value of the NGTC cars, as well as our new TBL system, is also proven. Adam Morgan’s Mercedes for example is made up mainly of internal parts that came from his car last season, whilst Lea Wood will now be using the Toyota shell previously raced by Morgan. This car and its parts originated from one of the first NGTC machines used in 2011, which is testament to the way the rules have allowed some teams to join the championship that wouldn’t have been able to previously. Such has been the success in fact that from this point onwards the term NGTC will no longer be a factor in the BTCC, because the next generation of touring cars are here now.

“Our major partnerships have either been renewed or consolidated over the off-season too. Dunlop has recommitted for a further multi-year term and ITV has re-signed its BTCC commentary and presenter team until at least 2017. The TV audiences and trackside audiences continue to grow, which is yet more evidence why the BTCC is Britain’s biggest and most successful series.

“I have no doubt that 2014 will prove to be one of the most exciting and competitive season’s in the illustrious history of the BTCC.”

Australian GP 2014

THE POINT… BY GIAN CARLO MINARDI


Australian GP 2014

In Melbourne it happened just the opposite of what we could expect. In fifteen days, Formula 1 has been capable to overturn any kind of forecast.

We saw a podium made of three pilots belonging to as many teams: Mercedes, Red Bull and McLaren. The only confirmation came just from Mercedes – as a team and engine manufacturer – which affirmed itself to the top.

The W05 of Hamilton and Rosberg confirmed the supremacy both in the single qualifying lap and in the long run, and – much to the benefit of the others – with some reliability lacks. Otherwise they would have scored a double-declutch.

Great comeback for Red Bull, which reveals as the car with the best aerodynamic downforce, even if it suffers the handicap related to the Renault power-unit. Jenson Button’s words during the first tests in Bahrain have been validated by facts. Once the engine issues are overcome, it will be hard to hold them back. On the other hand, the World Champion Sebastian Vettel was let down by that control unit that was able to make the difference just last year.

A rebirth for Mclaren, which perhaps has found in Kevin Magnussen the new Hamilton, with a podium on the day of his debut and a fourth place for Button. A hint of bad luck kept Williams away from a good result: at the green lights Felipe Massa was hit from Kobayashi, at his return in F1, whereas Bottas made a mistake probably caused by an excessive strength in transmitting the power to the road.

Toro Rosso deserves to be praised, as they were able to have both cars scoring points. A great result, if we consider that it sprang not from others’ faults but, on the contrary, has been well achieved on the race track.  Good performance also for Force India with Hulkenberg, a little worse with Perez: Nico is a great pilot, no doubt.

Now it can be useful to analyse the lap times to have a better understanding of the real gap separating the teams’ performance.  Rosberg’s Mercedes has been steadily around 1’32’’-1’33’’ low, whereas all other pilots drove around 1’34’’. Just towards the end Fernando Alonso (fifth at finish) drove around 1’32’’ low, getting close to the fastest race lap set by Rosberg (1’32’’478). Surely an encouraging result, even though a correct interpretation is not straightforward: we should know the data about fuel consumption and strategies too. In the current season the learning curve of teams will be very high: therefore, after each race, we can expect substantial evolutions and important adjustments.

Even Lotus, after closing the first race of the season with two retirements, has been able to gain an experience thanks to the number of driven kilometres during the whole week-end, gathering important data to investigate and find a solution to the problems annoying the transalpine power-unit and the E22.

Mercedes plays the fox of the race, while Ferrari, both as car and engine, is the second force. When RB fully exploits the Renault power, it will be hard to keep the pace. The season kick-start has proved how hard is the dialogue of the 15 control units, but the progresses of the teams with a Renault engine show that these operations can be done indoor as well. The Gap can thus be reduced. Important note: this analysis has been done straight after the finish of the race

Nico Rosberg podium Oz 2014

Formula 1


Nico Rosberg podium Oz 2014

NICO ROSBERG WINS IN AUSTRALIA RICCIARDO IS DISQUALIFIED-

The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team entered the new era of Formula One with a composed victory for Nico Rosberg from P3 on the grid at the Australian Grand Prix.

• Nico claimed first place off the line and led every lap of the race to win by 24 seconds at the chequered flag

• He made two pit stops on laps 12 and 38, running a tyre strategy of option/option/prime, and set the fastest lap on lap 19

• Nico’s win marks the 100th F1 victory for a Mercedes-Benz engine, with the first achieved by Juan Manuel Fangio in 1954

Nico Rosberg
That was an incredible day for us. To start the season with a win is unbelievable and I have to say a big thank you to everybody who was involved in building our car over the winter. I always dreamed of having such a strong Silver Arrow and now it seems we are there. In the race, everything went perfectly for me. My start was great and I was able to push from there until the end, with our fuel consumption well under control. However, despite our success today, we also know that there is still some work to do. We saw over the weekend that reliability is still a concern and it prevented us from having a strong two-car finish. We have two weeks to improve that. I am very much looking forward to Malaysia and I would love to race again tomorrow!

RED BULL

Following the decision of the FIA that Infiniti Red Bull Racing is in breach of Article 3.2 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations and Article 5.1.4 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations with Car 3, the Team has notified the FIA of its intention to appeal with immediate effect.
 
Inconsistencies with the FIA fuel flow meter have been prevalent all weekend up and down the pit lane. The Team and Renault are confident the fuel supplied to the engine is in full compliance with the regulations.

 

 
Hamilton pole Oz 2014

Formula 1


Hamilton pole Oz 2014

2014 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING-

HAMILTON ON POLE RICCIARDO P2 AND ROSBERG P3-

• Lewis scored the 100th pole position for Mercedes-Benz power in Formula One, a record dating back to 1954 

• It was also the 32nd pole of Lewis´ career, putting him equal with Nigel Mansell and one behind Jim Clark 

• Nico qualified in third place, just five-hundredths behind the second placed car of Daniel Ricciardo 

Lewis Hamilton 
It´s been an interesting weekend so far here in Melbourne. Qualifying was a lot harder for everyone with the tricky conditions and it was a real challenge out there today. We were on the edge with the tyres and it was difficult to know which way to go at times. It´s the first time I´ve driven the car on the limit in the wet, but it felt great and I´m so happy with the job the team has done. To be on pole here today is a fantastic result for us. It was great fun and I´m really looking forward to the race tomorrow. It´s going to be tough, but we´ll do our best and see what happens. I am very proud to have scored pole number 100 for Mercedes-Benz in Formula One. I have only driven with Mercedes power since my debut in 2007 and the whole Mercedes team has done an incredible job meeting the challenge of these new rules. It´s just as special to equal Nigel´s record of pole positions for a British driver. I owe it to the great people I´ve worked with throughout my career. 

DANIEL RICCIARDO
“It was exciting out there – the weather definitely added to the mix and the whole session went well. Q1 looked like it was going okay for us and then, when the rain fell, it’s the first time we’ve driven these cars on the limit in wet conditions. It was tricky, but at the same time a lot of fun and it was nice to always be up there. The engineer was always on the radio saying the pace was good and that we were P1, P2 P3 and in the battle for the pole position, so it was definitely a really nice first qualifying session with the team. I’m happy for us to have a front row start – it wasn’t looking like this a few weeks ago, so I’m pretty pleased right now.”

Nico Rosberg 
That was a really tricky qualifying session out there this evening. Starting from third place on the grid is not the optimum but okay for me. I know that I have a good race car and that makes me quite confident. With a good start, I should have a nice chance of scoring a strong result. It will be a very interesting race because fuel consumption and tyre wear will be on the edge. So there might be some surprises tomorrow. 

Toto Wolff 
That was the kind of qualifying session where mistakes are so easy to make – and the team delivered. We got the cars on track at the right time and coped well with the changing weather conditions. For the final run in Q3, both drivers chose to run full wet tyres as we were not sure how quickly the circuit was drying. Lewis did a great job to claim pole position with his final lap, while Nico was also P1 when he crossed the line at the end of his last run, although he finished up P3. After so much hard work to reach this point, it´s good that we have come through a tricky session safely and in strong starting positions. We are also proud to have taken the 100th pole for Mercedes-Benz power in Formula One, which is a nice milestone. But the points are won on Sunday and we know that it will be a tough race in terms of fuel consumption and reliability. We will leave no stone unturned overnight to make sure we are in the best possible situation for tomorrow. 

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