Pirelli F1 Malaysia Grand Prix qualifying

Pirelli F1 Malaysia Grand Prix qualifying

01.10.2016: - Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton claims pole position using th soft tyre, close to





- Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton claims pole position using th soft tyre, close to the fastest-ever lap of Sepang

- Failling track temperatures affect track evolution and tyre behaviour during late-afternoon qualifying session

- Two stops the most likely strategy for the Grand Prix in Sepang
      




Following record track temperatures in excess of 60 degrees centigrade yesterday, qualifying today got underway in the cooler conditions of late afternoon with 43 degrees centigrade.


Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton went fastest on the soft tyre in qualifying (as he did in FP3 earlier today) with a pole time of 1m32.850s: more than six seconds faster than last year’s fastest time, set in Q2, of 1m39.269s, and close to the fastest-ever lap run round Sepang, which was 1m32.582s (set by Fernando Alonso in first qualifying in 2005).


A mixture of soft and medium tyres were used throughout qualifying, with the exception of Williams driver Felipe Massa, who completed an installation lap on the hard compound.


Different tactics were used by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo – who used just one set of medium tyres to get through to Q2 – while McLaren’s Fernando Alonso also did just one run on mediums, as he will start at the back tomorrow due to grid penalties.


Track temperatures continued to fall throughout Q2, with all the drivers using the soft tyre from start to finish and the majority just completing one run. This means that all the top 10 will start on the soft tyre tomorrow, which is around 1.2 seconds faster than the medium.


The final top-10 shoot-out to decide pole, from which the win has been claimed in Malaysia nine times in 17 races, was also run entirely on the soft tyre. Some light drops of rain fell in the middle of Q3, with Hamilton securing his pole during the first run.


Two stops is likely to form the optimal race strategy tomorrow, with wear and degradation reduced compared to previous years as a result of the new track surface. However, the weather forecast predicts some rain showers, which could alter the complexion of the race.



Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director:
“The new track surface has clearly benefitted grip and traction, enabling one of the fastest-ever laps of Malaysia to be run today – more than six seconds faster than last year’s pole – using our soft tyre.


We had falling track temperatures throughout the session, which presented a bit of a moving target for the teams, but they quickly got on top of that.


There’s still something of a question mark over the weather but with all the top 10 starting on the soft tyre, we should see some interesting strategies at the front end of the field as the long runs seem closely matched.”




How the tyres behaved today:




Hard: Used just by Felipe Massa for an installation run in Q1, obligatory for race.

Medium: Seen in Q1 but not used thereafter: some drivers may not run it in the race.

Soft: Used to set second-fastest lap in Sepang’s history: all the top 10 will start on this.





Free practice 3 – top three times


 Hamilton     1m34.434s     Soft new
 Verstappen     1m34.879s     Soft new
 Rosberg     1m35.053s     Soft new





Qualifying top 10



Hamilton    1m32.850s    Soft new
Rosberg    1m33.264s    Soft new
Verstappen    1m33.420s    Soft new
Ricciardo    1m33.467s    Soft new
Vettel    1m33.584s    Soft new
Raikkonen    1m33.632s    Soft new
Perez    1m34.319s    Soft new
Hulkenberg    1m34.489s    Soft new
Button    1m34.518s    Soft new
Massa    1m34.671s    Soft new




 Most laps by compound so far


Hard    Ocon    24 laps
Medium    Grosjean    20
Medium    Hamilton    20
Soft    Gutierrez    20
Soft    Vettel    20
Soft    Wehrlein    20




Best time by compound so far


Hard    Hamilton    1m35.956s
Medium    Ricciardo    1m35.079s
Soft    Hamilton    1m32.850s




- Anthony Peacock, photo Pirelli

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/pirelli-f1-malaysia-gp-qualifying---155811.html

01.10.2016 / MaP

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