Q1 Highlights

Updated: March 16, 2013

Q1 finished with the track appearing to be reasonably dry but during the break the heavens opened with Race Director Charlie Whiting declaring Q2&3 will be postponed to 11:00 Sunday local time (00:00 GMT)

Q 1 started under very heavy rain with all of the teams using the blue striped full wet tires with the 2 Mercedes cars going out on track first with Hamilton being told to be extra careful. The relative steadiness of the cars was soon broken though as Caterham driver Giedo van der Garde makes the first mistake of the session losing the back and nudging the wall, knocking the front wing off and getting it wedged under his car. Whilst he was able to continue this first spin set an example that more drivers would reluctantly follow.

Hamilton’s team mate Nico Rosberg set the pace early on with the fastest lap but not long after the fans were distracted as Hamilton spun half way between corners 1&2, slightly knocking the rear wing on the tire wall and getting the car beached in the rain sodden grass, but after some wheel spinning he put the car in reverse and thankfully was able to continue with the session. Even with Hamilton’s pit crew saying “OK Lewis looks like you’ve got rear wing damage. Box, box, box, box” he ignored their requests and continued performing well, apparently unhindered by the slight damage going third fastest in the session.

Hamilton went for a spin and was stuck briefly

Hamilton went for a spin and was stuck briefly

But a few minutes later the relative calm was broken once again by a more serious incident as Ferrari’s Filipe Massa accelerated whilst on the kerb coming out of turn 12, flinging the car into the barrier, spinning it round one more time finally coming to rest pointing the right way after sending water, grass and debris everywhere. Fortunately he skilfully managed to keep the car from stalling so he was able to do the long drive to the pits unaided with nothing more than a lost front wing and perhaps some damage to his pride.

Almost at exactly the same time as Massa’s crash Mark Webber got very squirrelly in the Red Bull under breaking at turn 11, eventually having to abort the corner, doing  his best World Rally impression by going for a short trip across the green stuff, with Filipe crashing before his eyes.

Surprisingly Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne set the fastest time in the session shortly after but mere seconds later Sebastian Vettel put Red Bull on top by going just 0.151 seconds faster.

The track began to dry out put that didn’t stop people from going off the track, with McLaren’s newest member Sergio Perez using all of the run off area in the second to last corner, being very lucky to keep it out of the barrier. Nico Hulkenberg in the Sauber also went off track, and Williams’ Pastor Maldonado did an almost carbon copy of Mark Webber’s off, getting very close to tearing the front wing off at some points.

Shortly afterwords Jenson Button, McLaren’s No. 1 driver, pulled into the pits for to green striped intermediate tyres. This turned out to be the correct thing to do and he subsequently goes fastest in the session, after previously being perilously close to the drop zone. Massa with his new front wing quickly followed suit and replaced his wets for inters, setting the second fastest time immediately after.

Turn 11 refused to make things easy for the drivers with Paul Di Resta of Force India doing almost exactly what Webber and Maldonado had done before him.

At this point the inters were working wonders and the positions were changing all the time with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso going fastest, knocking the Lotus of Romain Grosjean off the top spot.

After that Nico Rosberg flew round and put him self back into first, where he would eventually finish. Meanwhile the other Caterham of Charles Pic had a coming together with the wall also losing his front wing, when a few seconds later Sauber’s Esteban Guitierrez followed in Massa’s footsteps and spins into the wall in exactly the same place. Unfortunately he was not as lucky as Massa was and he failed to keep the car moving, ending his session. His and Charles’ crashes brought out the yellow flags, effectively ending the session and bringing Q1 to a close.

The marshalls attempted to clear the track in vain

The marshalls attempted to clear the track in vain

In the end Rosberg finished the session first, with Alonso and Grosjean bringing up 2nd and 3rd respectively

Final finishing positions as follows;

  1. Nico Rosberg-Mercedes
  2. Fernando Alonso-Ferrari
  3. Romain Grosjean-Lotus
  4. Sergio Perez-McLaren
  5. Mark Webber-Red Bull Racing
  6. Filipe Massa-Ferrari
  7. Sebastian Vettel-Red Bull Racing
  8. Jenson Button-McLaren
  9. Jean-Eric Vergne-Toro Rosso
  10. Kimi Raikkonen-Lotus
  11. Paul Di Resta-Force India
  12. Lewis Hamilton-Mercedes
  13. Nico Hulkenberg-Sauber
  14. Daniel Ricciardo-Toro Rosso
  15. Valtteri Bottas-Williams
  16. Adrian Sutil-Force India
  17. Pastor Maldonado-Williams
  18. Esteban Gutierrez-Sauber
  19. Jules Bianchi-Marrusia
  20. Giedo van der Garde-Caterham
  21. Charles Pic-Caterham
  22. Max Chilton-Marrusia

Names in italics indicate drivers failing to make it into Q2

Q2&3 will be broadcast at 00:00 GMT on Sky Sports with highlights shown on Sunday at 05:15 on BBC 1

The Race will be on Sunday at 06:00 GMT on Sky Sports with highlights shown at 14:20 on BBC 1

F1 Article

By Harry Wright




















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