Red Bull Racing F1 Australian Grand Prix qualifiyng

Red Bull Racing F1 Australian Grand Prix qualifiyng

25.03.2017: Max Verstappen fifth as Daniel Ricciardo crashes out in Australian Grand-Prix Qualifying

Max Verstappen fifth as Daniel Ricciardo crashes out in Australian Grand-Prix Qualifying





Max Verstappen is set to start the Australian Grand Prix from fifth place on the grid, but Daniel Ricciardo's hopes of home glory were dealt a cruel blow when he crashed out early in the final qualifying session. The Aussie is now set to start tomorrow's race from 10th place.


Daniel was nearing the end of his first flying lap in the final session to decide the top 10 grid slots when he lost control of his RB13 in Turn 14. The back end stepped out in mid-corner and his car slid through the gravel trap and hit the tyre wall hard


 The Australian was unhurt but it brought his involvement in the session to an end and as later lap times came in he drifted to 10th place on the timesheet.


It was a cruel end to a qualifying session that up to that point had gone relatively smoothly for both Daniel and Max.



In Q1, Max finished in third place ahead of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas. Max had a major lock-up early in the session, which led to a flat spot, and for some time he drifted out towards the drop zone, but with his final lap the Dutchman vaulted to third, just over a tenth of a second adrift of second-placed Kimi Raikkonen and just under three tenths behind the session's fastest man, Lewis Hamilton.



Daniel, meanwhile, set his banker lap in straightforward fashion, breezing to a time of 1:25.383 that was good enough for P9 by the time the chequered flag fell.



Further back, Antonio Giovinazzi was making his debut for Sauber following the withdrawal of Pascal Wehrlein due to fitness issues arising from a pre-season crash at the Race of Champions. Giovinazzi looked set to make it through to Q2 on his qualifying debut but an error late in the lap put paid to his chances and he was the first driver eliminated, in P16.


Behind him were Renault's Kevin Magnussen, McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne, Williams' Lance Stroll and the second Renault of Jolyon Palmer. Stroll is set to start from the back of the grid tomorrow due to a gearbox change following a crash in FP3.



Australian Grand Prix - Quali Stats:


    Daniel will start from his lowest Australian GP grid slot since 2013 when he was 14th.
    Max's P5 matches the qualifying position he scored here with Toro Rosso last year.
    Max improves in 2015 Abu Dhabi qualifying spot by five places.



Q2 saw the Mercedes pair on track first and this time it was Bottas who emerged on top, with the Finn ending the session on a time of 1:23.215, just four hundredths of a second clear of Hamilton. Third place went to Raikkonen, with the Finn shading fourth-placed team-mate Sebastian Vettel by 0.025s.






This time, Daniel was fifth, a tenth ahead of Max, who finished half a second ahead of Williams' Felipe Massa. Grosjean put Haas into Q3 and the final top 10 slots were taken by the Toro Rosso pair of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz. Eliminated were Sergio Perez in P11, followed by Nico Hulkenberg, Fernando Alonso, Esteban Ocon and Marcus Ericsson.



That was a tough one today.


Daniel's early crash in Q3 brought out the red flags and when the action resumed again, it was Romain Grosjean who was first on track. The Frenchman suffered a large lock-up on his flying lap but despite the mistake he was audibly happy with his time of 1:24.074, the lap earning a whoop of joy from the Haas driver. It was justified when a few minutes later he was confirmed in sixth place.



At the front, Bottas took provisional pole but the slightly ragged end to his final sector meant that he was easily eclipsed by Hamilton whose lap of 1:22.188 was good enough to put him three tenths ahead of his team-mate.


Bottas was still on course for a front-row start to his Mercedes career but Vettel was still on his final flyer and when the Ferrari driver crossed the line he managed to split the Mercedes drivers, edging past Bottas by just 0.25s.


Raikkonen was fourth in the second Ferrari while Max took a decent fifth place. With Grosjean sixth, seventh place was taken by Felipe Massa with Carlos Sainz eighth ahead of Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat and Daniel is set to start 10th.


 

- Red Bull also photos

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25.03.2017 / MaP

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