Hamilton pips Vettel to pole

L-r: Bottas, Hamilton, Vettel

 

Here’s how they qualified for Sunday’s race:

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:22.188

2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:22.456

3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 1:22.481

4. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1:23.033

5. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1:23.485

6. Romain Grosjean (Haas) 1:24.074

7. Felipe Massa (Williams) 1:24.443

8. Carlos Sainz Jr (Toro Rosso) 1:24.487

9. Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) 1:24.512

10. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) DNF.

 

Driver reactions

Lewis Hamilton (his 62nd career pole): “It’s been a fantastic weekend so far. It’s amazing to be here for the 11th time. It feels like only yesterday that I came here for my first race in 2007. The rule change has been huge – it’s been such a massive challenge. I think it’s close between us and Ferrari. I think Valtteri did a fantastic job in his first qualifying session, which is great for us.”

Valtteri Bottas: “Third position is not ideal. I couldn’t quite get a perfect lap in, so I’m not quite satisfied with the result. Tomorrow is the day that matters and my race starts have been quite strong, so hopefully we can keep that going.”

Romain Grosjean: “It’s always good to start with a strong qualifying session. It tells you that if you keep improving the car, you could be in a good place very soon. If that’s our baseline, and you can fight between sixth and 10th position, where it’s so tight, it would be great to be there most of the time and enjoy some good times.

Kevin Magnussen: “Went off the track in turn 12 on both of my laps – really annoyed with that. The good thing is the car looks competitive. Romain made it to Q3, which shows the potential of the car.”

Sergio Perez: “It’s disappointing to miss out on the top ten by such a small margin – less than a tenth of a second. However, P11 is not a bad starting position and we can certainly race for good points. All the teams in the midfield seem to be very close to each other in terms of performance and there are going to be very close battles in the race. Tyre degradation is very low and finding the right rhythm during the race will be a challenge. Overtaking is difficult here, especially with these very wide cars, but I will fight hard tomorrow.”

Esteban Ocon: “We saw today just how close the midfield fight is going to be this year because even small margins can make a huge difference. On the positive side, we improved the car during qualifying; we improved our procedures and we’ve learned things that will help us going forward.”

Felipe Massa: “It’s the first time I have used the new ultrasoft tyres, after missing some laps on those yesterday. Sixth would have been a great position for us today but I think Romain did a very good lap, which I was not able to beat.”

Lance Stroll: “I think we have to forget about today, especially as our pace was much better than that, and in FP2 we were over half a second quicker than in qualifying. Obviously it is a long race and, played intelligently, we can do something but we will work that out tonight and see about tomorrow. I now want to put the day behind me and move on to the race, which will be interesting starting from the back.”

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