Report – Fernando Alonso will start from seventh on row 4, while Kimi Raikkonen will be in twelfth place on row 6. There was drama in Q1, with the session being red flagged, after a technical problem resulted in Lewis Hamilton crashing heavily into the barriers. The session resumed for a seven minute mini-session in which both Scuderia men made it to the next part.
Alonso dealt with Q2 quite comfortably, but Kimi, after a good first timed lap, was unable to follow the majority in improving on his second, so he failed to make the cut to Q3 by a tenth.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m16.540s 2. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m16.759s +0.219s 3. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m17.078s +0.538s 4. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m17.214s +0.674s 5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m17.273s +0.733s 6. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m17.577s +1.037s 7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m17.649s +1.109s 8. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m17.965s +1.425s 9. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m18.014s +1.474s 10. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m18.035s +1.495s Q2 cut-off time: 1m18.161s Gap ** 11. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m18.193s +1.084s 12. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m18.273s +1.164s 13. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m18.285s +1.176s 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m18.787s +1.678s 15. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m18.983s +1.874s 16. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes no time Q1 cut-off time: 1m18.927s Gap * 17. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m19.142s +1.511s 18. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m19.676s +2.045s 19. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m20.195s +2.564s 20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m20.408s +2.777s 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m20.489s +2.858s 22. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault no time
Kimi Raikkonen: “This weekend, a few technical problems meant I spent more time in the garage than usual, but already, as from yesterday afternoon, my feeling with the car had improved. Today, in Q1 things went reasonably well, but then in Q2, when I fitted the second set of new Supersofts, my car was sliding all over the place and I lost the back end in turn 2. After that, it was impossible to put a good lap together.
I’m not happy with my grid position, but I hope things can go better in tomorrow’s race. It’s likely the weather could be different tomorrow and the temperatures will be lower. We will try and make the most of any opportunity because we want to have a nice race and bring home a good number of points.”
Raikkonen rues Q2 errors: “On the second run, for some reason I lost the rear in corner two, lost a lot of time and it was difficult to gain back the time after that,” he conceded, “I also lost time in the last sector, so I couldn’t put the lap together. It had felt pretty okay up to that point. We had a problem yesterday morning and a problem this morning, which doesn’t help, but the car was feeling pretty good yesterday morning and this morning, so it was an unfortunate thing. But it happens.”
It has happened perhaps more than most to Raikkonen since his return to Maranello, but the Finn is refusing to let things get him down.
“It’s just different things [affecting qualifying],” he admitted, “In the races, it hasn’t been that good either, so it’s just things going wrong or I’m making mistakes and haven’t been able to put a proper lap together for a long time. But it’s been feeling much better here, more like it should. It’s not exactly as I want, as it feels good for one run then, on the next, you lose the rear for no reason, but I’m not trying anything stupid. It’s so on edge that it’s difficult to predict what it’s going to do and one slip, like I had on corner two, and you lose all the speed on the straight. When it happens in moments like that, it makes a big difference.”
Shrugging off the lost of FRICS – ‘I don’t feel any difference’ – and the brake failure suffered by fellow Brembo user Lewis Hamilton – ‘they have happened to me and I know, out of 100 or 200 discs, there can be some odd issues’ – Raikkonen also played down the potential significance of having an extra set of tyres for qualifying outside the top ten.
“I’d much rather be more up in the front [rather than having an extra set of tyres], but I’ll have to see how the weather is tomorrow,” he reasoned, “It’s supposed to be a bit cooler, but who knows… I’d just like to make a good race and score good points.”