Connect with us

2016 F1

Friday Analysis: Rosberg Sets Early Pace

Published

on

2016 Bahrain GP - Friday Analysis: Rosberg Sets Early Pace

2016 Bahrain GP – Friday Analysis: Rosberg Sets Early Pace

The season-opener in Australia set up a perfect tone for 2016 as Nico Rosberg continued where he left off last term with a victory. This meant the German has won four races on the trot and the defending triple world champion Lewis Hamilton who had a strong qualifying with yet another pole was left pondering.

Ahead of the race weekend, however, Fernando Alonso’s presence for McLaren had been put under uncertainty as FIA doctors took two CT chest scans in the Sakhir medical centre and decided not to allow him participate as he didn’t fully recover from the horrendous crash sustained at Albert Park after running into the back of Haas’ Esteban Gutierrez.

The lung and ribs suffered injuries which could lead to difficulties in seating inside the car and Alonso said he would oblige the FIA doctor’s recommendation. Flew in the reigning GP2 and McLaren protégé Stoffel Vandoorne from Super Formula testing as a stand-in and consequently ensured his F1 weekend debut.

As the Belgian eventually making his maiden race appearance on Sunday, tensions grew over who will have the upper hand for the crucial qualifying at the season’s first night race as the normal Friday services resumed on track at the Sakhir International Circuit. F1’s off-track turmoil is here to stay so as the messy qualifying format for at least one more race.

Also making debut was the Force India development driver Alfonso Celis Jr. as he replaced the regular Sergio Perez for the first practice session. Wehrlein, Gutierrez, Verstappen, Magnussen, Celis Jr., Nasr, Button, Vettel and Grosjean headed out as lights went green at the end of the pitlane. As drivers completed their initial laps, Vandoorne clocked his first miles on a MP4-31 wearing some heavy aero rakes.

With 15 minutes in, Manor Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein set the timing screen alight with a 1:39.743s followed by Hamilton and Ricciardo. Nico Rosberg had a smooth running throughout the 90-minute session and recorded a 1:32.292s lap to kick off the race weekend in style.

Whilst doing 24 laps in total, his fastest time on the soft compound tyre was half second quicker than Hamilton and 0.277 s up on his 2015 pole time. The latter ended up behind his team-mate in second while completing as many laps. FP2 was no different for the German as he topped once again (and set the fastest time of the day 1:31.001s) by 0.241 s from Hamilton after registering a highly productive 38 laps to send out his clear intentions for qualifying and the race.

Kimi Raikkonen finished third with a huge gap of 1.834s to Rosberg and ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat’s Red Bulls in the opening session. Over two tenths shy of Rosberg, both finished 0.080s between each other in FP1. From the Aussie to the 14th placed Jenson Button in McLaren, the field was tightly bunched up as only a second differentiated them at the end of first ninety minutes. But the veteran Briton’s super-soft run in FP2 put him in third with just 1.3 seconds off the topper Rosberg.

The Milton Keynes-based team was constantly up there throughout the day behind the Ferraris. Sebastian Vettel finished FP1 eleventh and pulled over late at Turn 8 in the evening session as unfortunately the rear left wheel was found to be loose.

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg slotted in sixth in front of the Toro Rosso duo of Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen in FP1 as both teams are too good to resist. Continuing his impressive sixth place finish on Haas’ debut, the Frenchman Romain Grosjean came home ninth fastest ahead of Felipe Massa who rounded out the top 10 in FP1.

Romain lost his car’s front wing over the Turn 13 kerb in FP2 and brought a brief Virtual Safety Car period. Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein and Daniil Kvyat ended the first session with most laps by clocking 30 each as the latter looked promising again by outpacing both Saubers (Gutierrez ran new chassis) and team-mate Rio Haryanto in the final session of the day.

Both Williams drivers look set to be locking horns with the Force India pair for the lower positions of the top ten tomorrow. Stoffel Vandoorne completed FP1 in 18th before finding his rhythm in the MP4-31 in the second session and climbed seven places to end up 11th with 1:32.999s on soft tyres. Force India reserve Alfonso Celis Jr finished 21st in his GP debut while the Renault drivers Keviin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer had endured mediocre outings in both the sessions.

Comments

Latest Results




Latest F1 News

2018 F110 hours ago

McLaren split boost Honda progress – Verstappen

Max Verstappen admits he is getting excited about 2019. Recently highly critical of Renault, the Dutchman finished second behind Ferrari’s...

2018 F110 hours ago

I’m “very happy” to join Sauber F1 for 2019 – Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen says he is “very happy” to join Sauber for 2019, even though he finally ended his winning drought...

2018 F110 hours ago

F1 chequered flag rules changed for 2019

F1 has changed a long-standing rule about the iconic chequered flag. In Montreal this year, the end of the Canadian...

2018 F118 hours ago

Max made brilliant P2, what a drive from P18 – Red Bull

Max Verstappen took a remarkable drive to second from 18th place on the grid at the United States Grand Prix,...

2018 F119 hours ago

Magnussen facing disqualification from US Grand Prix

Kevin Magnussen is facing disqualification from United States Grand Prix after it was detected that the Haas speedy exceeded the...

2018 F119 hours ago

Raikkonen troll Hamilton after US Grand Prix win?

Race winner Kimi Raikkonen and second podium finisher Max Verstappen, both asked Lewis Hamilton whether he had still become the...

2018 F121 hours ago

Raikkonen wins his first race in 2044 days by claiming US GP

Ferrari speedy Kimi Raikkonen wins US Grand Prix. Its ends his 113-race wait for a top podium. Lewis Hamilton finish...

2018 F11 day ago

How can Lewis Hamilton win the fifth F1 title at the US Grand Prix

Mercedes speedy Lewis Hamilton took a big step near to sealing his fifth F1 world title after securing his Mercedes...

2018 F11 day ago

Verstappen quiet over female-only series

Max Verstappen is keeping his mouth shut about the new female-only open wheeler category. When the ‘W Series’ concept was...

2018 F11 day ago

The Grid: Starting line-up for 2018 US Grand Prix

Defending world champion, Lewis Hamilton secures the pole position at the U.S. Grand Prix with his nearest rival Sebastian Vettel...




Most Popular

ThisisF1.com is not affiliated with Formula 1, Formula One Management, Formula One Administration, Formula One Licensing BV, Formula One World Championship Ltd or any other organization or entity associated with the official Formula One governing organizations or their shareholders. Copyrighted material used under Fair Use/Fair Comment.

References
We could use the following leading F1 news sources for stories: SkyF1, BBC F1, Autosport, ESPN F1, FIA Media Center, MotorSport, JamesAllen and others leading authors blog.

All Rights Reserved © 2017 Prime Sport Media