Felipe Massa återvänder till formelracing

Felipe Massa Venturi Formula E Team

Om du gillar Felipe Massa och följer honom i någon social-kanal fick du nog en trevlig överraskning igår. Den lille brassen återvänder till formel-racing senare iår, när han ställer sig på startgridden i Formula-E.

Massa skrev igår på pappren med VENTURI Formula E Team, ett kontrakt som löper över hela tre säsonger. Stallet har nyligen startat en ny driver academy, Venturi Next gen, och ser Felipe Massa som ett stort tillskott för att hjälpa de unga.
Han kommer att testköra stallets Venturi VFE 05 i slutet på maj, för sin första smak på Formula-E. 

”Jag är väldig glad över att ansluta till VENTURI Formula E Team och Formula E mästeskapet, som har blivit ett magnifik tävling på en så kort tid. Under några år nu har jag varit tydlig med mitt intresse för den här innovativa, framåtblickande serien som utvecklas exponentiellt. Speciellt gillar jag format för racen, stadsbanorna och kontakten med fansen. Jag kan knappt vänta tills jag får testköra i slutet på månaden. Gildo har alltid varit ett steg föra när det kommer till högpresterande elektriskafordon. Teamet är i en tillväxts- och utvecklingsfas. Jag ska göra mitt allt för att bidra till projektet och förhoppningsvis vara en vara de längst fram i fältet.”,

Felipe Massa, Venturi Formula E Team förare säsongen 2018-2019.

Felipe Massa hamnar i god sällskap med många tidigare Formel 1 förare.
I fältet just nu finns bland annat Lucas Di Grassi, Jerome D'Ambrosio, Nelson Piquet JR, Nick Heidfeld, Sebastien Buemi och J-E Vergne. Men där återfinns även svensken Felix Rosenqvist, som just nu ligger trea i mästerskapskampen bakom Sam Bird och J-E Vergne.

Kvalresultat och tankar inför Spaniens GP 2018

Kvaltrio Spaniens GP 2018

Det blev ett spännande kval till Spaniens GP igår, efter en ganska stökig inledning på helgen. Under fredagen var det många som klagade på asfalten, som är nylagd inför säsongen, däcken fungerade inte riktigt som någon hade förväntat sig och folk blåste av banan - bokstavligen.

Lördagen normaliserade ställningen ganska mycket, men däcken var fortfarande ett frågetecken för en del stall. Ferrari som hade laddat på med supersoft däck fick dem inte alls att fungera, ens i kvalet, utan det var soft däcket som fungerade bäst för en hel del av stallen och förarna. Detta leder till intressanta saker inför loppet, men vi återkommer till det och börjar med att se hur det gick i kvalet.

Det blev en tajt kamp om pole på Circuit de Cataluña under lördagen. Sebastian Vettel gjorde en riktig monster tid i Q2 under 1.16 och då såg Ferrari ut att vara det starkaste stallet trots allt. Men i Q3 misslyckades både Kimi och Vettel med sina första varv på supersofts. Däcket fungerade tydligt inte så bra som de hade hoppats, eller så ville man inte bränna sitt sista nya set för racet och man valde att göra sina sista försök på softs istället. Det gick bättre för de röda men de lyckades inte rå på Mercedes paret som tog sin första dubbel för säsongen. Hamilton klarade knappt av att slå Valtteri Bottas som varit extremt snabb under inledningar på den här säsongen.

Även Daniel Ricciardo bytte till softs för sitt sista försök, troligen även han för att spara ett nytt set supersofts till racet. Likaså Fernando Alonso, som förövrigt var i Q3 för första gången denna säsong. Alonso å sin sida har inget nytt set kvar av supersofts för dagens race.
Tittar vi neråt i tabellen så var det (ännu) en riktigt usel dag för Marcus Ericsson som blev slagen med nästan en sekund av stallkamraten och rookien Charles Leclerc. Efter helgen i Bahrain där det gick så bra har allt verkligen rasat för svensken. Han måste hitta formen igen snabbt för att inte riskera att Leclerc, som är i högform just nu, drar ifrån.

Här kommer hela resultatlistan från kvalet, vi fortsätter nedan med lite mer funderingar kring däcken inför Spaniens GP.

Kvalresultat Spaniens Grand Prix 2018
Pos Nr Förare Stall Q1 Q2 Q3 Varv
1 44 Lewis HamiltonHAM Mercedes AMG F1 1:17.633 1:17.166 1:16.173 17
2 77 Valtteri BottasBOT Mercedes AMG F1 1:17.674 1:17.111 1:16.213 14
3 5 Sebastian VettelVET Ferrari 1:17.031 1:16.802 1:16.305 16
4 7 Kimi RäikkönenRAI Ferrari 1:17.483 1:17.071 1:16.612 15
5 33 Max VerstappenVER Red Bull Racing 1:17.411 1:17.266 1:16.816 15
6 3 Daniel RicciardoRIC Red Bull Racing 1:17.623 1:17.638 1:16.818 19
7 20 Kevin MagnussenMAG Haas F1 Team 1:18.169 1:17.618 1:17.676 27
8 14 Fernando AlonsoALO McLaren Renault 1:18.276 1:18.100 1:17.721 21
9 55 Carlos SainzSAI Renault Sport F1 1:18.480 1:17.803 1:17.790 19
10 8 Romain GrosjeanGRO Haas F1 Team 1:18.305 1:17.699 1:17.835 26
Utslagna efter Q2
11 2 Stoffel VandoorneVAN McLaren Renault 1:18.885 1:18.323 18
12 10 Pierre GaslyGAS Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:18.550 1:18.463 16
13 31 Esteban OconOCO Force India 1:18.813 1:18.696 18
14 16 Charles LeclercLEC Alfa Romeo Sauber 1:18.661 1:18.910 15
15 11 Sergio PerezPER Force India 1:18.740 1:19.098 18
Utslagna efter Q1
16 27 Nico HulkenbergHUL Renault Sport F1 1:18.923 6
17 9 Marcus EricssonERI Alfa Romeo Sauber 1:19.493 9
18 35 Sergey SirotkinSIR Williams Martini Racing 1:19.695 10
19 18 Lance StrollSTR Williams Martini Racing 1:20.225 9

Ja det här med däcken, det har varit intressant hela helgen. Från fredagen såg det ut som att soft däcken kanske skulle vara det snabbaste däcket, trots att supersofts borde vara ca 0.4 sekunder snabbare. Det var också många som hade packat på sig extra många set supersofts, vilket ger oss lite intressanta strategi möjligheter till loppet.
Om vi tittar på bilden nedan med de däck som varje förare har kvar, ser vi t.ex att Ferrari, Haas, Mclaren eller Daniel Ricciardo inte har några som helst nya set av softs kvar. Just det däck som fungerat bäst för många. Det vi kan anta är att de använda seten bara använts enstaka varv i kvalet, men de har ändå haft stor kval-belastning på sig. Haas paret tillsammans med Alonso ligger sämst till eftersom ingen av dem har några nya supersofts kvar heller.

Förarnas race set däck till Spaniens GP

Mercedes paret saknar nya supersofts också, men båda startar på softs och har ett extra set nya att tillgå. Det är 66 varv som ska köras, supersoft däcken höll ca 20-talet varv under träningen, så man kan tänka sig att det blir soft-soft-supersoft under loppet - åtminstone för dem som har softs kvar d.v.s. Det mest intressanta blir ju att se om någon vågar sig på en en-stoppare med mediums efter första stinten. Sainz exempelvis har två set nya mediums, bara ett set använt soft och tre set använda supersofts, det är inte mycket att spela med där.

Nåja, skönt när banan kan ställa till det lite för stallen och deras däckval. Det känns onekligen som att det kan bli spännande i eftermiddag strategi mässigt.
Hoppas ni är med oss under loppet och diskuterar på vår Facebook sida eller i kommentarerna här nedan, vi hörs klockan 15.00!

Förarnas däckval till Spaniens Grand Prix 2018

2016 Pirelli F1 Däck: Medium - Soft - SuperSoft

Det här med förarnas däckval har blivit mer och mer intressant på senare tid, speciellt nu när stallen och förarna har börjat göra lite olika val till racen.

Från början, när de nya däckreglerna med tre blandningar per race, kom så var det inte så stora skillnader mellan förarna. Men med mjukare däck, jämnare i fältet och lite erfarenhet under bältet så är det lite bättre spridning på däcksvalen numera.

Inför nästa helgs Spaniens GP så ser valen ut enligt bilden nedan.
Ferrari går hårt ut med supersoft däck jämfört med närmaste konkurrenten Mercedes, och har bara med sig två par av det hårdaste däcket medium.

Förra årets fyra, Force India, har med sig flest medium däck och kan kanske ha en alternativ strategi på gång till racet. Det har varit ganska varmt i Spanien senaste veckan och det kan vara att det hårdaste däcket fungerar bra i värmen.

Några andra som gått all-in för supersofts är Williams, vars säsong har börjat minst sagt knackligt. Endast fyra poäng från de fyra första racen och sist i konstruktörsmästerskapet.

Förarnas däckval till Spaniens GP 2018
Förarnas däckval till Spaniens GP 2018

Sammanfattning av kvalet till Bahrains GP 2018

Ferrari, med framför allt Kimi Räikkönen, har varit det starkaste stallet under helgen hittills och det fortsatte under gårdagens kval.
Kimi såg fortsatt stark ut kvalet igenom, men fick tyvärr se sig besegrad med knapp marginal efter sista försöken i Q3. Det ska sägas att finländaren fick lite trafik under sitt sista försök och troligen förlorade den tiondelen i och med det.

Bottas var den starkare av Mercedes bilarna, än en gång i Bahrain. Valtteri tog karriärens första pole här förra året och var en än gång lite starkare än Lewis Hamilton i öknen. Lewis som dessutom har en femplatsers bestraffning till starten på grund av byte av växellådan tidigare.

Max Verstappen såg bra ut i Q1, enda tills han fick sladd i början på varvet och kraschade sönder hjulupphängningen. Max får en svår resa upp i fältet idag från en femtonde startruta, medan Daniel Ricciardo startar fyra (efter Hamiltons straff).

Dagens stora överraskning får man säga är Toro Rossos Pierre Gasly som lyckades kvala in på sjätte plats (startar femma), med en Honda-motor!
Frågan är om Fernando Alonso biter sig i läppen nu när Toro Rosso verkar gå snabbt med Hondan baktill och han som så öppet kritiserade Honda för alla McLarens problem senaste åren.

Kvalresultat till Bahrains GP 2018
Pos Nr Förare Stall Q1 Q2 Q3 Varv
1 5 Sebastian Vettel VET Scuderia Ferrari 1:29.060 1:28.341 1:27.958 13
2 7 Kimi Räikkönen RAI Scuderia Ferrari 1:28.951 1:28.515 1:28.101 13
3 77 Valtteri Bottas BOT Mercedes AMG F1 1:29.275 1:28.794 1:28.124 16
4 44 Lewis Hamilton HAM Mercedes AMG F1 1:29.396 1:28.458 1:28.220 16
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo RIC Red Bull Racing 1:29.552 1:28.962 1:28.398 12
6 10 Pierre Gasly GAS Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:30.121 1:29.836 1:29.329 18
7 20 Kevin Magnussen MAG Haas F1 Team 1:29.594 1:29.623 1:29.358 16
8 27 Nico Hulkenberg HUL Renault Sport F1 1:30.260 1:29.187 1:29.570 15
9 31 Esteban Ocon OCO Force India 1:30.338 1:30.009 1:29.874 16
10 55 Carlos Sainz SAI Renault Sport F1 1:29.893 1:29.802 1:29.986 18
Utslagna efter Q2
11 28 Brendon Hartley HAR Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:30.412 1:30.105 15
12 11 Sergio Perez PER Force India 1:30.218 1:30.156 11
13 14 Fernando Alonso ALO McLaren F1 1:30.530 1:30.212 12
14 2 Stoffel Vandoorne VAN McLaren F1 1:30.479 1:30.525 12
15 33 Max Verstappen VER Red Bull Racing 1:29.374 4
Utslagna efter Q1
16 8 Romain Grosjean GRO Haas F1 Team 1:30.530 7
17 9 Marcus Ericsson ERI Sauber Alfa Romeo 1:31.063 9
18 35 Sergey Sirotkin SIR Williams Martini Racing 1:31.414 8
19 16 Charles Leclerc LEC Sauber Alfa Romoe 1:31.420 8
20 18 Lance Stroll STR Williams Martini Racing 1:31.503 8

Vettel vinner F1 premiären efter taktisk miss av Mercedes

Vilket premiär race för 2018 vi fick!
Nej, inte riktigt kanske. Men det var ett bra race och det gav hopp en bra och tajt säsong, inte bara i mittfältet men även i toppen. Båda Red Bull förarna hade bra fart men kom inte riktigt till att visa sun fulla potential.

Vettel & Räikkönen på pallen efter Australiens GP 2018
Vettel & Räikkönen på pallen efter Australiens GP 2018

Men det var Lewis Hamilton som visade vägen tydligt från start, med två jagande Ferrari bilar bakom.  Kimi Räikkönen var först av topptrion att gå i depå vilket kunde tänkas vara ett bra drag, men vid närmare eftertanke skulle Vettel få fritt framför sig när även Hamilton gick in varvet efter.  Vettel körde på och skapade sig en liten, liten öppning  - när lyckan slog till för tysken.

När först Magnussens fick stanna sin Haas och varvet senare hans stallkamrat Romain Grosjean också fick parkera bilen längs banan, kom den virtuella säkerhetsbilen som en skänk från ovan för Vettel och Ferrari. Såklart dök nummer #5 in i depån och de 11sekunder han hade till godo räckte precis för att komma ut igen framför en frustrerad Hamilton som var tvungen att hålla sig inom deltatiden för VSC. Något av en taktisk miss av Mercedes att inte hålla bättre koll på luckan.

Där avgjordes toppstriden. Hamilton jagade på men kom aldrig nära nog för DRS och försök till omkörning. Bakom lyckades Kimi inte heller närmare sig duon framför, han hade snarare fullt upp med att försvara sig från en väldigt snabb Daniel Ricciardo. Red Bull hade som sagt fyra fart i bilen denna söndag.

Ett annat stall som hade bra fart i bilen var just ovan nämnda Haas. Magnussen och Grosjean låg på fjärde och femte plats och såg ut att gå mot en stabil tredjeplats, eller andraplats, i konstruktörsmästerskapet efter första helgen.

Men så föll allt ihop som ett korthus under depåstoppen. Först in var Magnussen, mekanikerna missade att sätta fast vänster bakhjul ordentligt och möjligen också att det blev motorproblem. Varvet efter kommer Grosjean in och det man tror borde vara omöjligt händer. Igen missar man att sätta fast ett däck, denna gång vänster fram. Det blir en jobbig resa hem för några mekaniker hos Haas F1 Team ikväll.

Fernando Alonso berömde stallet efter målgång som femma, med orden "nu kan vi slåss, nu kan vi slåss". Efter en snurrning tidigt i loppet körde Max Verstappen ändå in som sexa, mycket tack vare Haas stallets kollaps.

Bästa Renault föraren var Hulkenberg på sjunde plats, följt av Valtteri Bottas som körde upp flest positioner idag efter sitt växellåds byte igår och efterföljande nerflyttning till 15:e startruta.

Ytterligare två Renault drivna bilar rundade av topp tio, med McLarens Vandoorne på nionde och Carlos Sainz på tionde plats.

Sämre start på säsongen för Force India som blev helt utan poäng. Likaså Toro Rosso som fick bryta med en bil (motorproblem) och Hartley med en dålig start och sist av de som tog sig i mål.

Även Lance Stroll hade nog hoppats på att vara något högre upp, liksom Marcus Ericsson som fick bryta redan efter fem varv p.g.a power steering problem.

Rookie kampen leder Charles Leclerc som ändå imponerade med ett stabilt race och en 13:e plats som resultat. Williams rookie Sergei Sirotkin var först att bryta med bromsproblem, redan på fjärde varvet.

Force India finished just outside of the points with Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon 11th and 12th respectively, with Charles Leclerc impressing on his debut with 13th for Sauber. Williams' Lance Stroll and Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley completed the finishers.

Sergey Sirotkin became 2018’s first retirement, following brake failure, while Pierre Gasly’s Honda engine expired to put the Toro Rosso driver out. Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber failed to finish, too, after he encountered a power steering problem.

Resultat Australiens GP 2018

Pos Nr Driver Stall Varv Tid Png
1 5 SebastianVettelVET Scuderia Ferrari 58 1:29:33.283 25
2 44 LewisHamiltonHAM Mercedes AMG F1 58 +5.036 s 18
3 7 KimiRäikkönenRAI Scuderia Ferrari 58 +6.309 s 15
4 3 DanielRicciardoRIC Red Bull Racing 58 +7.069 s 12
5 14 FernandoAlonsoALO McLaren F1 Team 58 +27.886 s 10
6 33 MaxVerstappenVER Red Bull Racing 58 +28.945 s 8
7 27 NicoHulkenbergHUL Renault Sport 58 +32.671 s 6
8 77 Valtteri BottasBOT Mercedes AMG F1 58 +34.339 s 4
9 2 StoffelVandoorneVAN McLaren F1 Team 58 +34.921 s 2
10 55 CarlosSainzSAI Renault Sport 58 +45.722 s 1
11 11 SergioPerezPER Force India 58 +46.817 s 0
12 31 EstebanOconOCO Force India 58 +60.278 s 0
13 16 CharlesLeclercLEC Alfa Romeo Sauber 58 +75.759 s 0
14 18 LanceStrollSTR Williams Martini Racing 58 +78.288 s 0
15 28 BrendonHartleyHAR Toro Rosso 57 +1 varv 0
NC 8 RomainGrosjeanGRO Haas F1 Team 24 DNF 0
NC 20 KevinMagnussenMAG Haas F1 Team 22 DNF 0
NC 10 PierreGaslyGAS Toro Rosso 13 DNF 0
NC 9 MarcusEricssonERI Alfa Romeo Sauber 5 DNF 0
NC 35 SergeySirotkinSIR Williams Martini Racing 4 DNF 0

Resultat och stallrapporter från kvalet till Australiens GP

Topp trio Australiens GP grid

Säsongens första F1-kval är genomfört och det var inte helt oväntat världsmästaren Lewis Hamilton som var dagens snabbaste förare.
Han var inte bara snabbast, han mer eller mindre krossade konkurrensen. Hamilton var inte mindre än 0.7sek före tvåan Kimi Räikkönen, Kimi som än en gång visar sig stark på Albert Park. Det skiljde dock endast knappa fem hundradelar mellan Räikkönen, Vettel och femte placerade Max Verstappen i sin Red  Bull.

Dagens möjliga överraskning var Haas duon Magnussen och Grosjean som var "best-of-the-rest", med sin sjätte och sjunde plats. Båda kommer att åka upp en plats till starten dessutom tack vare Ricciardos tre platsers nerflyttning i starten. 

Sämre gick det för förra årets fyra i mästerskapet, Force India. Perez var bästa förare på 13:e plats, bakom alla mittfältskonkurrenter - Haas, Renault och McLaren. Även Hamiltons stallkamrat Valtteri Bottas hade en dålig eftermiddag som slutade i väggen mot slutet av Q2. Det blev minst 5-platsers nerflyttning för Bottas då man tvingades byta växellåda på hans bil efter kraschen.
Återstår att se om han kommer att kunna starta från sin tionde ruta eller om han tvingas byta delar på bilen som skickar honom neråt i fältet eller till start från depån.

Marcus Ericsson var sjuttonde idag, viktigast för honom just nu var att slå sin hypade stallkamrat Charles Leclerc. Även glädjande att han Sauber bilarna bara var tiondelar ifrån t.e.x Force India, så en Q2 plats är nog inte långt bort för Alfa Romeo brandade stallet.

Kvalresultat Australiens GP 2018
Pos Nr Förare Stall Q1 Q2 Q3 Varv
1 44 Lewis HamiltonHAM Mercedes 1:22.824 1:22.051 1:21.164 20
2 7 Kimi RäikkönenRAI Ferrari 1:23.096 1:22.507 1:21.828 17
3 5 Sebastian VettelVET Ferrari 1:23.348 1:21.944 1:21.838 20
4 33 Max VerstappenVER Red Bull Racing 1:23.483 1:22.416 1:21.879 18
5 3 Daniel RicciardoRIC Red Bull Racing 1:23.494 1:22.897 1:22.152 17
6 20 Kevin MagnussenMAG Haas F1 Team 1:23.909 1:23.300 1:23.187 17
7 8 Romain GrosjeanGRO Haas F1 Team 1:23.671 1:23.468 1:23.339 17
8 27 Nico HulkenbergHUL Renault Sport 1:23.782 1:23.544 1:23.532 16
9 55 Carlos SainzSAI Renault Sport 1:23.529 1:23.061 1:23.577 17
10 77 Valtteri BottasBOT Mercedes 1:23.686 1:22.089 DNF 16
11 14 Fernando AlonsoALO McLaren 1:23.597 1:23.692   14
12 2 Stoffel VandoorneVAN McLaren 1:24.073 1:23.853   14
13 11 Sergio PerezPER Force India 1:24.344 1:24.005   14
14 18 Lance StrollSTR Williams Martini Racing 1:24.464 1:24.230   13
15 31 Esteban OconOCO Force India 1:24.503 1:24.786   16
16 28 Brendon HartleyHAR Toro Rosso 1:24.532     8
17 9 Marcus EricssonERI Sauber 1:24.556     9
18 16 Charles LeclercLEC Sauber 1:24.636     9
19 35 Sergey SirotkinSIR Williams Martini Racing 1:24.922     8
20 10 Pierre GaslyGAS Toro Rosso 1:25.295     7

Och så kommentarer från F1-förarna och någa nyckelpersoner inom stallen.

Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport

Lewis Hamilton - [1:a Pole]

Pole: “It’s the greatest feeling when you live up to your potential and you pull out a lap like I was able to. I’m not always able to do that but I was really happy with today’s performance. Up until this point, I haven’t thought at all about the race. So tonight and tomorrow morning I’ll start to put my focus onto that. Last season, Ferrari ultimately did a better job on Sunday. But we generally learn from mistakes and scenarios like that, so I’m hoping we’re better prepared for tomorrow. Ultimately it’s also how I’m able to manage the tyres at the start of the race. I remember Sebastian was really at my tail towards the end of my stint which forced me to come into the pits and then he continued on for several laps and I got stuck behind Verstappen. So I’ll definitely bear that in mind and try my best to make sure that I’m in a better position tomorrow. I know how hard Valtteri has been working and I know the pain he feels right now, but he will recover. He was very quick through practice and he has been putting a lot of effort into growing as a driver and as a member of the team. I have all the confidence in him to pull through again tomorrow.”

Valtteri Bottas - [10:e]

“I think I was just pushing a bit too hard. I went wide in Turn 1 and the kerb was still a bit damp. I lost the rear of the car and hit the wall outside of Turn 2. It’s very unfortunate and I feel sorry for the team because we have a really competitive car. It looked like it was damaged pretty badly, so I really hope we can fix it for the race. Overtaking is difficult on this track, but we’ll try everything we can. Maybe it’s a little easier this year with the added DRS zone, we’ll find out tomorrow. We have a good car, so I’ll try to fight back the best I can. Once we get the car in the window, it seems like it’s really quick, so that’s something positive from today.”

Toto Wolff - Chef Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

“That was an unbelievable final lap from Lewis to see him find so much pace. We didn’t change anything on the car from the first run of Q3, it was just a case of Lewis putting all the pieces together and finding the limit on that last lap, with everything on the line; and this is the result, a really impressive pole position to start the new season. But it’s a garage of contrasting emotions today with a really unfortunate end to qualifying for Valtteri. It was a big hit and the boys will have a long job list to get the car ready to race. It’s now about putting the incident behind him and recovering as strongly as possible. We expect a very close race between the top three teams tomorrow; there is still a lot to do if we want to score a strong result in the
race.”

James Allison - Teknisk Chef

“While we are hugely disappointed for Valtteri, who wasn’t able to show what
he could do in the heat of battle in Q3, we are delighted in equal measure to see Lewis take pole position by a decisive margin. It wasn’t at all easy, with track conditions changing rapidly through the session as the track cooled off,
but we believed that our car had some good pace – and it was lovely to see that performance emerge over the final lap of Q3. It’s a first small milestone in our season, which reflects the hard work of our teams back at base in Brixworth and Brackley; but there is much still to be done if we wish to transform that pace into a decisive race result tomorrow.”

Scuderia Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel [3:a]

“Yesterday it didn’t feel like everything was perfect, so today I am pretty happy that we could put both cars right at the front, very close to pole. I guess it’s a good shot. The gap to Lewis is significant of course, and we don’t want to be so far behind. But the car today was getting better and better: I could feel it was coming alive during qualifying; on my last run I made a small mistake at Turn 13, but it’s ok as second and third position are good for the race and, as we have seen in all the past years, we tend to be closer on Sunday than we are in qualifying.”

Kimi Raikkonen [2:a]

“Today we did not really know what to expect from this first qualifying, it was a bit of an unknown. But then I was pretty happy with the car, the feeling was ok. The gap to our rivals is probably bigger than we wanted, but it was not a very straightforward day either. This is a very special circuit in many ways, if compared to “normal” tracks, and these are the early stages of the season. I think we have to wait for the next few races to have a clear picture and understand where the teams are exactly. For sure there are things to improve to go faster; I know there are areas where I could improve on my lap times. This is what we have got today, a decent result in quite tricky conditions.
Tomorrow we’ll put our maximum effort into the race.”

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

Daniel Ricciardo [5:e]

“The session itself didn’t go too badly, it started off pretty well and even in Q2 on the Supersofts we were looking good. I aborted the second run, but nonetheless we were looking alright. In the last part of Q3 we just missed a bit in the first sector, I’m not totally sure where the time is so we’ll have to look at that. Overall, the car didn’t feel too bad, we asked for a bit more front grip but we’d used all the front wing we had, so there was no more we could do in Q3. Obviously starting eighth because of the penalty is frustrating and I thought it was unjust. There are reprimands, fines and other things but to shoot me in the ankle before the season starts, well, I think they could have done better. We’re the only ones in the top 10 staring on the Supersoft so hopefully that helps us and ideally the leaders have trouble making the one stop work with the Ultrasoft and we capitalise there. It’s going to be pretty tricky to overtake so strategy will be key. The race pace looks pretty good and I’m looking forward to coming through the field. We’re obviously better than eighth so we will try and make it happen. To be honest, I feel sorry for the guys in front of me tomorrow as they’re the ones I’m going to have to take my anger out on.”

Max Verstappen [4:e]

“Even with a small mistake I really enjoyed Qualifying today. It’s difficult to say what I expected heading into the session but it should have been a little bit better. I made a mistake on my last fast lap and went wide at turn 13 which lost me a few tenths compared to my previous run, we were still very close to Ferrari which is positive but maybe we could have been second. Mercedes were quite far ahead as expected, had I not made my mistake I think I would
have only been about half a second off Lewis which is closer than in the past. All things considered and with the right strategy I think we can be competitive during the race tomorrow, with Mercedes I’m not sure but I think we can have a good fight with Ferrari. We are hoping to go a bit longer with our tyre selection so if we stay out of trouble at the start we can settle in and have a strong race. I am happy with the pace and feel for the first race weekend, so I’m hopeful we can improve and move forward from here, not just tomorrow but for the rest of the season.”

Christian Horner - Stallchef

“After the rain this morning we had a dry Qualifying, and it was certainly very tight between ourselves and the Ferraris. Unfortunately Max on his last lap made a small mistake at turn 13 that cost him a couple of tenths otherwise the front row was potentially achievable today. Daniel also did not have a perfect Q3, finishing in P5 and unfortunately with the penalty he incurred yesterday will be starting in P8. We’ve elected to start on a different tyre strategy to our competitors and hopefully that will provide different options for tomorrow.”

Williams Martini Racing

Lance Stroll - [14:e]

“We would have signed up for P14 coming into the weekend after Barcelona. It was not ideal, as we could have improved on the lap in our second run in Q2. However, I got held up a little bit in the last sector and I didn’t have the tyres in the window, as the fronts were cold and that kind of cost me. I felt good in the car and there was probably a little bit more in it. We are kind of in the mix for the points, depending on what happens. We will see where we end up tomorrow.”

Sergey Sirotkin - [19:e]

“There were big changes between the sessions. For sure I think we could have squeezed more out of the car, but it’s the beginning of a very long season so we should just analyse a bit more, analyse what we could do better and go onwards. We need to be positive. We try to learn step by step and move forwards.”

Paddy Lowe - Tekniska Chef

“Overall, it’s a disappointing set of grid positions because I think actually there was more in both the drivers and the car. Both Sergey and Lance had reasonable first runs in Q1. Sergey was improving in his second run but he made a mistake in the second sector which cost him the chance to get into Q2. Lance got into Q2 and did a very good first run. He pushed it a bit harder in the second run, which should have improved quite a bit, but he made a mistake at turn three. So the grid positions could have been slightly better. Having said that, we have got two young drivers, one of them a rookie and one only 19-years old, and I think they’re both making really good progress. At the same time the car is clearly not quick enough at the moment. We haven’t done laps quick enough to get into Q3 which is our goal, so there’s clearly a lot more to do to develop the car in the weeks and months ahead. Tomorrow is predicted to be dry. It will be a tough afternoon as there are a lot of difficult things to manage at this circuit. Being the first race of the season, one of the major points will be to get to the finish with both cars and that may well indeed
be the best way to get points.”

Haas F1 Team

Romain Grosjean - [7:e]

“Everyone’s very happy and it reflects the hard work from everyone on the team. Our result confirmed a little bit what we saw in winter testing. I can push the car as much as I want, which obviously makes me very happy. It was a good job by Kevin (Magnussen) as well – getting both cars into the third row of the grid tomorrow. It’s going to be pretty amazing being there. Points could be possible. Obviously, we want to keep our positions. We’re starting in a good place, but we’ll see tomorrow what happens. This is a good start. We can be very proud, but we need to keep pushing.”

Kevin Magnussen - [6:e]

“The car was nice to drive in qualifying. It was just there, and performing. I was able to push brake points – get off the brakes earlier and earlier with every lap. It wasn’t doing anything unexpected, which was really nice. I’m looking forward to tomorrow starting in P5. We have some quick guys behind us, and we’ll have to do well to keep it that way. We’ll be doing all we can to get a good result. We need a solid start to the season and we need to capitalise on today’s qualifying result.”

Guenther Steiner - Stallchef

“Not a bad Saturday. We delivered on what we showed since the beginning of the season. It’s tough, our competitors are strong, and we need to keep our guard up. It’s a fantastic day for the team. They can be proud of what they did. In your third year, to be starting fifth and sixth, it’s fantastic and down to them. Tomorrow is another hard day. We just need to try to get as much as we can in terms of points. It’s been a very good day for Haas F1 Team.”

Red Bull Toro Rosso

Brendon Hartley [16]

“It was a little frustrating today, I think one tenth would have moved us up a few places and the car definitely had it in it. In the last lap there were a couple of small errors and it’s frustrating to be so close to the cut off to Q2. I knew there would be huge track evolution through the run but we decided to go out first – a lot earlier than the other car – which could be considered a disadvantage but it gave us the option to maybe do two laps at the end. I think it was the right call, I just didn’t quite get everything out of it to get to Q2. The good thing is the car was definitely quick enough to get to Q2 today. This morning was really encouraging in mixed conditions and equally on the long run yesterday, so I think our strength is our long run pace. Once this said, this track it’s probably one of the hardest on the calendar to pass – it’s a tall order! Tyre degradation will be a big story, so maybe managing tyres and a good strategy can bring us into the game. We’re in that midfield battle, passing will be hard tomorrow and we’ll do our best…we’ll have to wait and see.”

Pierre Gasly - [20:e]

“I’m really disappointed because it’s not the first qualifying we wanted and I think there was potential to get into Q2. It was very close after the first run, but I just pushed too hard and locked up… and that was it, it was the only lap we had and by pushing hard I made a mistake. Up until Turn 3 I was two-tenths up on Brendon but this midfield is so tight that we need to get everything right. The degradation is quite high around here and at the moment we still don’t know what the conditions will be like tomorrow, so we need to come back and I’ll push hard to overtake. It’s difficult to pass around this track so P20 is not ideal, but we’ll do everything we can to gain positions. I think the car definitely has more potential so I’m ready for a fight tomorrow.”

James Key - Teknisk Chef

“It was disappointing to be out in Q1, we knew it was going to be very tight in the midfield, just a few tenths made a big difference today and I expect this will be the case in many of the races to come. Q2 was a possibility, unfortunately we missed an opportunity with Pierre when he missed his second lap, we could see how quicklythe track was evolving so it was important to run again late in the Q1 session and sadly we did not achieve that with him. Brendon put a reasonable lap together, just shy of a couple of tenths which would have made all of the difference, but that’s part of the learning process. We need to look at the data from the chassis side too and see what we could have improved on. We are aware we have a bit of work to do in general on our performance level over one lap and in such a tight field this is critical for qualifying position. We will now plan for tomorrow and do the best we can in the race, here in Melbourne anything is possible and our goal of scoring points this weekend has not changed. We’ve said from the outset that this is a building year, we are going to start off at a certain level and plan end up significantly better, we’ve got a long way ahead of us with this being the first of 21 races and we’ve got many plans in place to get to where we believe we need to be. This is step one of many steps.”

Toyoharu Tanabe - Honda F1 Tekniska Chef

“Although the morning rain stopped around midday, FP3 was still run almost
entirely on a damp track. However, it dried out right at the end and qualifying was run in the dry. It was disappointing that both cars got no further than FP1. However, in general the drivers’ comments about the car are positive and the
gap in qualifying to those directly ahead of us is very small. In the past, we have seen that anything can happen at this track, so we will now work on being as well prepared as possible for the race, ready to make the most of any opportunity.”

Sahara Force India F1 Team

Sergio Perez  - [13:e]

“It’s disappointing not to be in Q3, but actually our performance was pretty good. We worked the tyres well and I drove a very strong lap, but I think the end result reflects where we are at this moment. We thought we had a chance to make Q3, but tomorrow is when it really matters. I think some things could play into our hands tomorrow because our race pace looks better than the pace we showed today. There’s an extra DRS zone creating more opportunities and it’s a race where we often see the safety car. There’s a long way to go so let’s see what we can do.”

Esteban Ocon - [15:e]

“It was a tough session, especially Q2 where I was really struggling with the front of the car and locking tyres. It was also difficult to find space in the traffic. We had a big job this weekend trying to understand the new upgrade and missing out on some dry running in final practice didn’t help. The race pace will be better tomorrow and I think we can aim for the points. It’s one of those races where just making the finish gives you a chance to pick up
a result. Tomorrow is another day and we will keep fighting and see what we can achieve.”

Robert Fernley - Stallchef

“In reality our performance today was not dissimilar to our qualifying result here twelve months ago and it’s not a massive surprise to miss out on the top ten today. We’ve introduced a significant upgrade package and only fitted it to the cars for the first time yesterday so we’re on a steep learning curve at the moment. It’s delivering performance, but we know there’s more potential to come from it in the races ahead. We’ve shown promising long run pace in testing and yesterday so hopefully we can demonstrate that tomorrow and get some points on the board, as we did last year.”

Renault Sport F1 Team

Nico Hulkenberg - [8:e]

“Given that I wasn’t feeling especially happy with the car I’m pretty happy with my qualifying position today. The whole of qualifying was tricky for me and in particular my Q3 lap wasn’t as good as it could have been. We changed the car quite a bit after yesterday and the wet FP3 meant we didn’t have as much time as we’d like to validate these changes. It’s a close field out there so there will be plenty to do in the race.”

Carlos Sainz  - [9:e]

“We expected both cars to be in the top ten and we achieved this today, which confirms the good progress of the whole team. I had hoped to be a little bit higher than this, however the lap time didn’t come. I’ll take a good look at that today with my engineers. For tomorrow, I’m convinced we can move forward. It’s going to be tight but we have a good car and a good chance to battle with the cars around us. I’m confident we can put together a competitive race!”

Alan Permane - Sportchef

“We’re happy with today’s result but left wondering if better was possible after looking at our Q2 pace. In Q3 we couldn’t quite get the tyres into the sweet spot with either car but overall it was a trouble-free qualifying session for us. It’s the first race of the season so we’ll be wary on the first lap and try to stay out of trouble, then we need to take the fight to our rivals and see what we can do strategically to get in front of them. Our cars look evenly matched in qualifying trim and we were happy with our long run pace from P2 so moving up the field is the target for tomorrow.”

McLaren F1 Team

Fernando Alonso - [11:e]

“After winter testing, you never know how the performance in the first qualifying will be, so it’s some kind of relief that the car is performing well and we’re more competitive than the last few seasons. This year we’ll have fun. There’s a lot of potential to unlock in our car, and we haven’t yet been able to do this due to some little issues. I think McLaren will be quite strong in the coming races, which is a very positive start. Apart from Toro Rosso, we’re the only top team that has gone through an integration process of a new power unit with the chassis, the systems and the set-up, so there will be performance that will come for free once we’ve adapted more to the Renault power unit. I think our race pace is probably better than our qualifying pace, so we’re in a good starting position – P11 or even P10 due to [Valtteri] Bottas’ problem – so definitely some good points are the target. Tomorrow will be probably one of the first races in the last couple of years where we won’t need to defend, and we will go for the attack mode. Also, the weather is still a factor for tomorrow, and if we have some showers it’ll be a great show. I’m very positive and very optimistic about this season.”

Stoffel Vandoorne - [12:e]

“We’re a bit disappointed not to be in Q3 with both cars. It’s a shame as we showed some good promise yesterday in the dry during practice. From our side, there is some work to do – the other midfield teams are close and have improved a bit since yesterday, it seems – so we need to see where we lost out. There was definitely potential there for us to make a good step forward today, and we’ve missed out on that. We have a good benchmark though and this is still very early in the partnership between McLaren and Renault, so there are still a lot of things that have to develop. We know that through the season we’ll improve a lot as a team and as a package, and I hope that we can show that very soon. Tomorrow is race day and there are a lot of things that can happen. Overtaking is difficult here, and as it’s the first race of the season there’s usually a lot of drama. Compared to last year we’ve definitely made an improvement, and our race pace looks quite promising, so we need to be sharp and ready for anything. The weather might play into it a bit too, so if we can have a clean race and stay out of trouble, hopefully there are some points on the cards.”

Eric Boullier - Racing Chef

“Today was a bit of a mixed bag for us. We had a solid P3 session where both drivers coped admirably in the ever-changing conditions and continued to give us valuable feedback as the track evolved. Come qualifying, the track was drying out further although clouds were once again forming, making track conditions difficult to read. Fernando and Stoffel put in strong performances to ensure our comfortable progression through Q1. Q2 was already proof of what we expected from winter testing – just how close the midfield pack is in 2018 – and we knew it would be a challenge. Both drivers were affected by traffic on a busy track, but also weren’t able to get the most out of the car today. We know from our analysis that there is more performance to be unlocked, and there was potential to be higher up on the starting grid tomorrow. On one hand, we know there’s more to come from our package that we couldn’t maximise today, and in some ways we were hoping for more. However, on the other hand, we’re encouraged by how far we’ve already come over the winter period. Now, the important thing is that we extract everything we have in tomorrow’s race, where our pace over long runs is what matters most. If conditions are dry, we have the benefit of free tyre choice, and we’ll use that to our advantage as much as possible on Sunday afternoon.”

Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team

Marcus Ericsson - [17:e]

“The work done overnight by the engineers on track and at the headquarters in Switzerland paid off. All in all it was a good qualifying today. We have made good progress since yesterday when we were quite a long way off the competition. We should be proud of the work that we have put in since then because it made a big difference. We are still not where we want to be, but today we were really close to Q2. We do have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are in the fight which is nice to see. Overall, I am happy with the progress and I look forward to the first race of the season”

Charles Leclerc - [18:e]

“I had my first qualifying in Formula 1 today – so overall, it was an exciting day. We had a wet free practice session followed by a dry qualifying, which was not ideal as I could not practice for what lay ahead. In qualifying, I made a small error in turn 4 which cost us Q2 – a shame, but it is the first round of the season, so it was still a positive learning experience. Now, my focus is on making improvements going forward. Tomorrow, I will take part in my first Formula 1 race. I look forward to it very much.”

Pirelli

Mario Isola - Chef för bilracing

“Rain earlier on in the day washed the track clean of rubber and also allowed the teams to look at crossover points from full wet to slick. More rain is expected overnight, adding another interesting variable to the first race of the season. Each of the compounds we brought to Melbourne have been used so far, meaning that teams have a wide range of data, but not necessarily targeted towards a specific scenario. So, there will inevitably be some element of strategy improvisation tomorrow, depending on the race circumstances. We’ve already seen some alternative thinking on tactics from Red Bull, which has chosen to start the race on the supersoft: it’s going to be interesting
to see how this will play out.”

En tredje DRS-sträcka tillagt för Australiens GP

Efter förra årets nya bilar var det många förare som klagade på att omkörningar hade blivit svårare att genomföra. Data från Pirelli från förra säsongen bekräftar detta då antalet omkörningar 2017 sjönk med hela 47%.

Albert_Park - Australiens GP
För att försöka råda bot på detta har det bestämts att lägga till ännu en DRS-sträcka till helgens säsongspremiär Australiens GP på Albert Park. Den nya DRS-sträckan kommer att vara mellan kurva 12 och kurva 13, med mätning 170meter innan innan kurva 11.

De befintliga DRS-sträckorna är på start-o-mål rakan, samt mellan kurva 2 och 3.