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Japanese GP: Encouraging qualifying for Williams Martini

By Andrew Hooper
October 6 2018

Qualifying for the 2018 Japanese would see the Williams Martini produce an encouraging result compared to previous races. Team drivers Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin would finish in 14th and 17th. Lance was able to make it into the second period with Sergey missing out by the smallest margin. Lance was able to out-qualify one of the Renault cars whcih was a great performance. Overall the Williams team was able tio get the most out of the troublesome FW41.

 Williams Martini Japanese GP Qualifying

Team Summary:
The opening eighteen minute period of qualifying for the 2018 Japanese GP would get underway with Vandoorne out on sot tyres. The other drivers coming out were all on the supersoft tyre including both Williams. Vandoorne would set a 1m:32.170 but Grosjean would easily go ahead with a 1m:30.504 followed by Magnussen. At the front Vettel would move ahead of Raikkonen with a fastest time of 1m:29.049. Grosjean was third followed by Leclerc and Magnussen. Hamilton would set a new quickest time with a 1m:28.702 while Bottas would go third. Verstappen was now fourth followed by Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Grosjean, Leclerc, Magnussen, and Hartley tenth. Vettel would spin but was able to continue but the session would be red flagged when Ericson would run wide seeing his car crash into the barriers.

Ocon would move up to seventh as the track cleared and the Sauber was removed. There were just under ten minutes remaining in the period. Neither Renault had set a time along with Perez so with the restart of the period they would be first out. Grosjean in eighth would also come back out joined by Magnussen. and Vandoorne. All these drivers were on the supersoft tyre. Sainz was up to tenth but Hulkenberg would go ninth seeing his team-mate 11th. But Perez was now tenth while for Williams their drivers were in 17th and 18th. Grosjean would improve to be sixth ahead of Ricciardo, Ocon, Magnussen and Perez tenth. Both Williams cars were back out for a final run in the period. Everyone except Ericsson and the top nine were back out on the track. the final runs would see the Williams drivers finish in 15th and 17th seeing Lance into the second period. A great result for Williams.

With the second period both Mercedes cars were out on the soft tyre with Raikkonen setting a 1m:28.595 to be quickest but Hamilton on the soft tyre would move ahead with a 1m:28.017 but Bottas would go even faster with a 1m:27.987 to be quickest. Both Haas cars were on the soft tyre with Vettel now third. Ricciardo would have to pit with an engine issue. Verstappen was now in fifth followed by Ocon, Perez, Grosjean, Gasly and Hartley. Bottas was back out for a run on the supersoft tyre in preparation for the final period of qualifying. With the rain everyone would pit with the top ten Bottas, Hamilton, Vettel, Raikkonen, Verstappen, Ocon, Perez, Grosjean, Gasly and Hartley.

The final period would commence with both Ferrari's coming out on intermediate tyres but they would pit switching to the supersoft tyre. The rest of the top ten were all out on the supersoft tyre. Ocon would set a 1m:30.126 but Hamilton would go quicker with a 1m:27.760 with Bottas second. Hartley was now third followed by Gasly but Verstappen went third. Grosjean would move ahead of the Torro Rosso's to be fourth but Raikkonen would take this spot. Vettel would set a 1m:32.192 to be only ninth after making a mistake. Both Mercedes cars would pit returning on new supersoft tyres. The other drivers would also pit changing tyres. But with them all out on the dry tyres the rain would start to fall seeing no chance of any improvement. This would see the order Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Hartley, Gasly, Ocon, Vettel, and Perez tenth. For the Williams team they would finish in 14th and 17th after what was an encouraging session.


Lance Stroll:
Lance would come out for his first run using the supersoft tyre. Lance would set a 1m:31.174 to be third dropping to sixth. As other times were set Lance would drop to 14th and would pit with a red flag. With the restart Lance would see himself dropping to 17th. Lance was also out for his final run on new supersoft tyres. lance would set a personal best in sector one and two. Lance would finish with a 1m:30.317 to be 11th. He would drop to 13th This would become 15th and he would get into Q2. He was only 0.6 behind sixth placed Leclerc. Lance would take to the track for his first run in the second period and would go out on new supersoft tyres. Lance was running pretty much by himself setting a personal best in sector one. he would finish the lap with a 1m;30.714 but was only fourteenth. Lance would say that the rain was getting quite bad with three minutes remaining. Lance would pit ending his qualifying..

Sergey Sirotkin:
Sergey would be out for Williams running on the supersoft tyre. Sergey would set a 1m:31.350 to be third but he would drop to fourth behind his team-mate. He would drop to eighth as others set times. He would continue to drop down the times now been 16th. Sergey would also pit with the red flag. In the pits Sergey would drop to 19th. Sergey would come back out for a final new supersoft tyre run. Sergey would also improve in sector one. Sergey would finish with a 1m:30.372 to be fifteenth but he would drop to 17th and unfortunately out of qualifying. he wa sonly 0.055 behind his team-mate with the times so close.


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Japanese GP: Encouraging qualifying for Williams Martini
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06/10/2018 09:42
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