Formula 1

Bahrain 2014 quali podium

MERCEDES AMG FRONT ROW IN BAHRAIN-

Nico Rosberg took pole position in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix this evening, with Lewis Hamilton completing the first Silver Arrows front row lock-out of the 2014 Formula One season.

– Nico took his fifth pole position for the Silver Arrows on the 150th Grand Prix weekend of his Formula One career to date
– Both Nico and Lewis progressed through Q1 inside the top 10 with a single run each on the medium compound tyres
– The pair then completed a single run on the soft tyre in Q2 and again in Q3 with each aborting their final run on the softs 
– Mercedes-Benz powered cars occupied seven of the top 10 positions at the end of this evening’s qualifying session

Nico Rosberg

It´s fantastic to be on pole again here in Bahrain. I really enjoy the track and I won my GP2 Series title here so it has some pretty special memories for me. We’ve had a good weekend so far and I’ve been able improve my pace throughout the practice sessions so I was hoping for a strong qualifying. It´s so difficult to get everything completely right with all the new technology and set-up requirements on the car but I felt really comfortable this evening and was able to put some great laps together. I’m looking forward to the race as I had a good run on high fuel but we’re going to need to be careful with tyre degradation. 

Lewis Hamilton

Second place is pretty good for us today. I made a mistake on my last lap which was a shame but it’s great for the team to have both cars on the front row. They’ve done a fantastic job this weekend with the set-up simulations and we did a lot of testing here before the season started which has helped. The car has felt good so far but I definitely felt more comfortable in practice than I did this evening in qualifying. I’m not really sure why but we’ll have a good look at the data tonight and see if there is anything we can identify before the race tomorrow. Congratulations to Nico today, he’s done a great job so far this weekend and nailed a really quick lap in qualifying. I’m happy that it’s my team-mate there on pole and not someone else! 

Toto Wolff

To have both cars occupy the front row for the first time this season is a great achievement for the team. As we’ve seen all weekend, we are fortunate to have two drivers at the top of their game. They are pushing each other every step of the way and driving our team forwards with them. Our performance this weekend has been strong throughout the practice sessions and we must now maintain it through the biggest challenge of all in tomorrow evening’s race. No matter how satisfied you might be on Saturday, Sunday can be an entirely different scenario. We have seen some strong performances from our competitors tonight and there is no room for complacency.

Paddy Lowe

It’s extremely satisfying to see that our car has the performance to take both slots on the front row for the first time under these new regulations. Our pace was evident from the beginning of Q1 and it was good to watch our drivers competing so closely throughout the sessions. Nico drove a superb lap on his first run in Q3 and Lewis clearly sensed he had to push to the limit to match his team-mate. Unfortunately this lead to a mistake at the first corner but his initial lap was still good enough to maintain second. It’s been a good day and we look forward to seeing if we can match that performance in the race tomorrow.

GP2

Stoffel Vandoorne shines in Sakhir

STOFFEL VANDOORNE SHINES IN SAKHIR-
 
ART Grand Prix rookie takes maiden GP2 win on Series debut
 
McLaren protégé Stoffel Vandoorne made a stellar GP2 debut today at Bahrain International Circuit: he led the majority of his first race from lights to flag in a display of mature and calm driving. He crossed the finish line 1.5s ahead of Julian Leal who disposed of poleman Jolyon Palmer in the closing stages of the race.
 
When the first feature race of the 2014 season kicked off, Vandoorne made a perfect getaway from P2 to get into the lead going into Turn 1. Behind the Belgian driver, Stéphane Richelmi and Stefano Coletti found a way past Palmer and Daniel Abt who both had a poor start from pole and P3 respectively. Vandoorne was on a mission and tried to build as much of a gap as possible before having to change from Soft to Hard tyres.
 
Drama hit the back of the field on the second lap after Kimiya Sato collided with Axcil Jefferies, sending the Zimbabwean driver into the barrier. The safety car came in ruining Vandoorne’s efforts. When the action resumed, the pitstop window opened and Richelmi, Coletti and Rio Haryanto (then running in fourth) all dived into the pitlane to switch to the Pirelli Hard compound.
 
Race leader Vandoorne pitted three laps later and came out in front of Palmer who had pitted on lap 7 and had managed to recover from a slow start that saw him drop to sixth place. The ART driver then controlled the remainder of the race keeping a gap to Palmer of about 2s and at the same time managing the degradation of his tyres. Behind him, Palmer was busy keeping a charging Leal at bay, the Colombian a bit quicker than the Briton.
 
Further down, rookie Arthur Pic had a brilliant second stint having pitted on lap 10 and slicing his way up the field and overtaking drivers who were struggling on their tyres in the final stages of the race: Richelmi was his first prey followed by Mitch Evans, Haryanto and finally Felipe Nasr to take fifth behind Coletti who controlled his pace from fourth place until the chequered flag.
 
Another rookie followed Pic’s way although on a different strategy: Kimiya Izawa started on the Hard compound from P23. A late pitstop on lap 21 meant that the Japanese had fresh Soft compounds to fight his way through the field to take sixth place ahead of Simon Trummer. The Swiss driver started from the pitlane on the Hard compound after stalling on the pre-grid. He got into the lead on Lap 18 and remained there until he pitted two laps before the end of the race. He re-joined in ninth and gained two placed before the final lap ahead of Nasr, Rene Binder and Adrian Quaife-Hobbs.
 
At the chequered flag, Vandoorne savoured a well-deserved first victory ahead of Julian Leal who had found a way past a slower Palmer. The Briton was then under the threat of Coletti but Palmer managed to save his podium finish also pocketing the bonus points for fastest lap on top of the two points for pole position.
 
Sakhir – Feature Race
 
Driver
Team
1.
Stoffel Vandoorne
ART Grand Prix
2.
Julian Leal
Carlin
3.
Jolyon Palmer
DAMS
4.
Stefano Coletti
Racing Engineering
5.
Arthur Pic
Campos Racing
6.
Takuya Izawa
ART Grand Prix
7.
Simon Trummer
Rapax
8.
Felipe Nasr
Carlin
9.
Rene Binder
Arden International
10.
Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
Rapax
11.
Daniiel De Jong
MP Motorsport
12.
Conor Daly
Venezuela GP Lazarus
13.
Daniel Abt
Hilmer Motorsport
14.
Mitch Evans
RT RUSSIAN TIME
15.
Artem Markelov
RT RUSSIAN TIME
16.
Rio Haryanto
EQ8 Caterham Racing
17.
Jon Lancaster
MP Motorsport
18.
Raffaele Marciello
Racing Engineering
19.
Stéphane Richelmi
DAMS
20.
André Negrao
Arden International
21.
Johnny Cecotto
Trident
22.
Alexander Rossi
EQ8 Caterham Racing
23.
Nathanaël Berthon
Venezuela GP LAzarus
 
Not Classified
 
Kimiya Sato
Campos Racing
 
Axcil Jefferies
Trident
 
Facu Regalia
Hilmer Motorsport