Saturday, 11 October 2014

Russian Qualifying: Back in the USSR!!!

The Mercedes boys were back to their dominant selves, on paper at least. But in practice the Williams of Valtteri Bottas came very, very close to spoiling that party. We can't take any credit away from the Finn, as he hurled the car around the last couple of turns, attempting to pip Lewis Hamilton to the pole spot. Unfortunately, he couldn't quite capitalise on the fact that he was fastest through sectors one and two. Who knows, maybe he will have the pace to really challenge Lewis and Nico away from the lights.

Valtteri's stunning lap wasn't the only highlight of the session. After Q1 it felt like qualifying in Sochi would be the most boring of the year, with all the teams lining up in a ludicrously uniformed order. Mercedes were one and two, followed by the lone Williams of Bottas, due to Massa having problems and struggling to make the cut for Q2. In the rest of the field the McLarens were together, the Red Bulls were together and the Ferrari's were together. It was only in Q2 that things started to look a little less predictable.

The biggest upset was Sebastian Vettel not making it in to the Q3 Top Ten shootout. He has failed to match his team mate yet again and perhaps showed why he is leaving Red Bull Racing. Kvyat showed why he is joining 'the team with wings', by qualifying in a very respectable fifth place. It was a fantastic performance by him and extra special as he at his home Grand Prix this weekend. It must be a little concerning for Christian Horner, Helmut Marko and Dietrich Mateschitz, to see Red Bull Racing's sister team up there competing with them.

One highlight for me was Christian Horner, in an interview with the BBC, giving us all an insight in to the new nickname for Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat, who will both be racing for Red Bull next year. Horner referred to the two Dannys as the Double Ds. I wonder if we'll see the same kind of struggle for dominance between those two, as we've seen between Hamilton and Rosberg.

The Grid:
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:38.7591:38.3381:38.51318
26Nico RosbergMercedes1:39.0761:38.6061:38.71318
377Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1:39.1251:38.9711:38.92023
422Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1:39.5601:39.3811:39.12122
526Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault1:40.0741:39.2961:39.27727
620Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1:39.7351:39.0221:39.62921
73Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault1:40.5191:39.6661:39.63521
814Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:40.2551:39.7861:39.70925
97Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:40.0981:39.8381:39.77126
1025Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault1:40.3541:39.9291:40.02027
111Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault1:40.3821:40.05213
1227Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1:40.2731:40.05816
1311Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1:40.7231:40.16313
1421Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1:41.1591:40.53618
1599Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1:40.7661:40.98418
168Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1:42.5261:41.39718
179Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault1:42.6489
1819Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1:43.0648
1910Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault1:43.1669
2013Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1:43.2055
214Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari1:43.64910

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