Kimi Raikkonen on pole position ahead of his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas; title contender Lewis Hamilton fails to reach Q3 and set to start 13th. McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne crashes interrupts Hamilton Q2 flying lap. Jenson Button makes top ten but faces 15-place grid penalty after power unit changes.
Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene: “I’m really happy for Kimi because he deserves it. The champion is coming out.
“Sebastian made a mistake in Turn Five but having two cars up there means I’m happy. We have to remember to be careful after what happened in Sochi.”
Red Bulls could only challenge with Ferrari for supremacy on Sunday following Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo came home in fourth and fifth place respectively with the Dutchman just 0.3secs off Raikkonen’s time.
Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz produced a cracking performance to take sixth with Force India’s Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean’s Haas completing the top eight.
Jenson Button qualified ninth on his on-race return to F1 in place of Fernando Alonso, but Button’s McLaren-Honda will drop to the back of the grid thanks to a 15-place penalty for engine changes ahead of FP3.
Vandoorne rounded out the top 10, though he failed to participate in Q3 after that Q2 crash.