Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen has broken a record in Formula 1 today by securing his first pole position since France 2008. It has been 128 races since he was last on pole.
Teammate Sebastian Vettel will join Raikkonen on the front row for a Ferrari front-row lockout, with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas finishing in third.
Qualifying started with more problems for Mercedes, especially Lewis Hamilton, who stated that the “rears are overheating” in Q1. He struggled to show any competitive pace in this first part of Qualifying as he seemed to be struggling with his car.
Right at the end of Q1, Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson reported “car is broken“, and the reply from the pit wall was “right, stop the car then“. The problem was that one of his tyres had come off its rim, due to a broken rim.
OUT IN Q1: Esteban Ocon, Jolyon Palmer, Lance Stroll, Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson.
Q2 again saw Hamilton struggling with his car as he seemed unable to improve from 14th place, which left him in danger of not making it into Q3.
“Gotta come in,” the Brit spoke, “something’s not right with the car.”
In the pits, Hamilton received a new set of ultra soft tyres to go back out in the remaining minutes to try and make it into Q3.
“Lewis is holding me up so badly,” Haas’ Kevin Magnussen reported, showing the extent of Hamilton’s woes.
After an out-lap and a warm-up lap, the three-time World Champion set out to make it into Q3, however bad luck struck.
McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne repeated the incident that happened to Force India’s Esteban Ocon in FP3, breaking his suspension and hitting the edge of the Swimming Pool chicane.
“Crashed, sorry,” Vandoorne spoke.
This meant that the yellow flags quickly came out, forcing Hamilton to slow down and abandon that lap, with no time left to complete another, meaning that the Brit finished in 14th. This was the first time Hamilton had not made it into Q3 on pace alone since Italy 2013.
“That’s me out, that’s me out, right?” Hamilton spoke over the radio.
OUT IN Q2: Daniil Kvyat, Nico Hulkenberg, Kevin Magnussen, Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa.
Q3 was dominated by Raikkonen, after setting a blistering final lap no-one was able to match, as the Finn secured pole.