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Russian GP: Williams Martini struggles in qualifying


By Andrew Hooper
September 29 2018

Qualifying for the 2018 Russian GP would see the Williams Martini team suffer a further difficult session with their drivers finishing in 18th and 20th. Sergey Sirotkin would again finish ahead of his team-mate but would make a mistake on his second run seeing him spin his Williams and make contact with the barrier. For Lance Stroll he would again struggle finishing behind his team-mate. But with all the penalties that have to be applied Sergey and Lance will start Sunday's race from 13th and 15th with a choice of tyre for the start of the race, which will most likely be the ultrasoft.

 
 Williams Martini Russian GP Qualifying
 
Sirotkin
 

Team Summary:
With several drivers receiving penalties for engine component changes as well as gearbox changes it would be interesting to see what grid positions both Williams drivers would finally start from even with qualifying. Both Williams drivers would take to the track very early running on the hypersoft tyre. More drivers would leave the pits all on the hypersoft tyre. The first time would come from Magnussen with a 1m:34.078. But Raikkonen would go quickest only to see Vettel move ahead with a 1m:33.534 with the Williams drivers now ninth and tenth. Ocon was now fourth with Perez fifth. The Williams drivers had now dropped to 13th and 14th. Bottas was now quickest with a 1m:33.170 followed now by Raikkonen and Vettel.

Hamilton was down in 11th with the Renault's in 12th and 13th. Bottas would set a 1m:32.964 to improve his quickest time. But Hamilton would go quicker with a 1m:32.825. With five minutes remaining the order was Hamilton, Bottas, Raikkonen, Vettel, Magnussen, Perez, Ocon, Leclerc, Gasly and Ericsson. The Williams drivers were 16th and 18th. Both Red Bull cars were out on the track but they will be starting from the rear due to engine penalties. Verstappen would go third with the fastest final sector but Ricciardo would take this spot making it a Red Bull third and fourth. This would see the Williams drivers 18th and 20th. Hamilton would then set a 1m:32.410 to improve his quickest time. Both William drivers would fail to improve their times on their second runs ending their qualifying in 18th and 20th.

Neither Red Bull drivers out of their cars they would not be taking part in qualifying any further. With five minutes remaining only ten drivers had set a time with Hamilton fastest using the ultrasoft tyre, followed by Bottas, Vettel, Raikkonen, Leclerc, Grosjean, Ocon, Magnussen, Perez and Ericsson. Neither Renault had set a time while the top four times were all set on the ultrasoft tyre. Both Renault drivers would not coming out allowing them to pick the best tyre for the start of the race and not be stuck on the hypersoft tyre. The top four would all come back out on the hypersoft tyre in preparation for the final period as they would not want to set a quicker time.

The final period of qualifying would see everyone come out on the hypersoft tyres with only Ericsson remaining in his garage. The first laps would see Bottas leading from Hamilton, Vettel, Raikkonen, Ocon, Leclerc, Magnussen, Perez and Grosjean. The second runs on the hypersoft tyre would see all ten drivers come out and it would see Bottas remain quickest with Hamilton still second followed now by Vettel, Raikkonen, Magnussen, Ocon, Leclerc, Perez, Grosjean and Ericsson tenth. Hamilton had made a mistake in the middle sector allowing his team-mate to retain pole. For the Williams team qualifying would see them finish in 18th and 20th but with all the penalties applied Sergey and Lance will start Sunday's race from 13th and 15th with a choice of tyre for the start of the race, which will most likely be the ultrasoft.

 
Stroll
 

Lance Stroll:
Lance would be the first driver out in the first period of qualifying running on new hypersoft tyres. His first lap was a slow 1m:49.271 but he would improve with a 1m:36.437 to be 0.8 behind his team-mate. He would pit after a four lap run currently 16th. A McLaren would move ahead making him 18th and slowest as neither Red Bull had come out for a run. Lance would come out for a second run on a new set of hypersoft tyres. Lance was also not able to improve due to the yellow flag resulting from his team-mate moment ending his qualifying 20th.

Sergey Sirotkin:
Sergey would follow his team-mate out also on new hypersoft tyres. Sergey would set a 1m:35.612 after what was a messy lap with a few mistakes. Sergey would pit after a three lap run and was currently 15th. With two minutes remaining Sergey was back out on a new set of hypersoft tyres. Sergey would set a personal best in the first sector but he would make a mistake that would see him make contact with the wall after spinning his Williams ending any chance of improving his lap time. This would see his qualifying come to an end.

 
Sirotkin
 

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Russian GP: Williams Martini struggles in qualifying
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29/09/2018 14:01
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