Qualifying got underway with more McLaren woes: Stoffel Vandoorne was knocked out in the first session, and although Fernando Alonso got through to Q2, he was unable to participate due to an engine problem. Other teams had split drivers with Wehrlein up in Q2, but his Sauber teammate not, and a similar story for Toro Rosso and Force India.
Meanwhile, up front, Renault got both their drivers into the top ten, with Nico Hülkenberg enjoying a seventh place grid slot. Palmer settled for tenth but it’s his first time into Q3, so a good job all round. Felipe Massa was also in the top ten, as was Romain Grosjean, who recovered from an FP3 crash that saw him lose the front wing on the Haas after colliding with the barriers.
Out front, the battle was between the Mercedes pair, with Lewis Hamilton less than a tenth of a second up during the first set of flying laps, and Valtteri Bottas scraping ahead by 0.023 seconds to secure his first ever pole position. Vettel and Ricciardo locked out the second row, with their teammates relegated to the third row of the grid.
Filed under F1Minute
References Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Hülkenberg, Romain Grosjean
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