Qualifying was always going to be fascinating in this first race of the 'new formula' in 2014. After the intrigue in practice where Red Bull looked like they had solved most of their problems, Mercedes and Williams set the pace. Would qualifying be the same?
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull-Renault|| 1m44.548s|
|3||Nico Rosberg ||Mercedes||1m44.595s|
|4||Kevin Magnussen ||McLaren-Mercedes||1m45.745s |
|5||Fernando Alonso ||Ferrari ||1m45.819s |
|6||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso-Renault ||1m45.864s|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg ||Force India-Mercedes||1m46.030s|
|8||Daniil Kvyat ||Toro Rosso-Renault ||1m47.360s|
|9||Felipe Massa||Williams-Mercedes ||1m48.079s|
|10||Valtteri Bottas||Williams-Mercedes ||1m48.147s|
|12||Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari ||1m44.494s|
|13||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1m44.668s|
|14||Adrian Sutil||Sauber-Ferrari ||1m45.655s|
|16||Sergio Perez ||Force India-Mercedes||1m47.293s|
|17||Max Chilton||Marussia-Ferrari ||1m34.293s|
|18||Jules Bianchi ||Marussia-Ferrari ||1m34.794s|
|19|| Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber-Ferrari ||1m35.117s|
|20||Marcus Ericsson ||Caterham-Renault||1m35.157s|
|21||Romain Grosjean ||Lotus-Renault||1m36.993s|
Lewis Hamilton scored the first pole position of the year in qualifying. The 32nd in his career equalling that of fellow British world champion Nigel Mansell. Red Bull have improved since the last week of testing in Bahrain, Sebastian Vettel failed even to make Q3 and starts 12th. Lewis Beat Vettel's team mate by 3 tenths in the dying seconds of the wet qualifying session.
Rosberg had taken provisional pole temporarily before Hamilton and Ricciardo improved their times late on. Nico will start third ahead of McLaren's débutante Magnussen. Both drivers, as well as Ferrari's Fernando Alonso (5th) and Ricciardo (2nd), set their times on full wet tyres.
The wet weather specialists Vergne and Hulkenberg (6th and 7th respectively) both set times on intermediate tyres whilst Vergne's Toro Rosso team mate also impressed with Daniil Kvyat lining up in 8th despite an off track excursion during Q3
Whilst Williams were hoping to be in the fight for pole, they struggled a little in the wet finishing up 9th and 10th although on different tyres. Bottas does however have a 5 place grid penalty to serve.
At the end of Q2 Kimi Raikkonen had a small crash at Turn 3 which bought out yellow flags and frustrated several drivers who weren't able to make it into Q3. This led to some big names being cut in Q2 including 09 Champ Button, 07 Champ Raikkonen and 4 Time Champ Vettel. Other Q2 causalties were Sutil, Kobayashi and Perez.
Rain halfway through Q1 curtailed running however Marussia's Max Chilton will be pleased to be 'Fastest' of those cut in Q1, beating his team mate Bianchi. Other Q1 casualties included Gutierrez (Sauber) and Ericsson (Caterham).
Joining them however were the two Lotus drivers, Grosjean & Maldonado. The car looking pretty poor meaning that Maldonado didn't even set a time as he aborted his only real attempt after running off the track - twice.