Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Ricciardo out-qualifies teammate as Hamilton suffer ‘seriously painful’ shock Q1 exit in ‘disaster’

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Qualifying at the Chinese Grand Prix delivered a shock result, with Lewis Hamilton made to pay for a big mistake as he was eliminated in Q1 before Max Verstappen claimed Red Bull’s 100th pole position.

Hamilton’s day came to a very early end after he went deep at the Turn 14 hairpin and subsequently qualified 18th fastest in what the Brit later described as a “pretty bad” result.

Sky Sports F1’s Nico Rosberg said in commentary that it was a “seriously painful” finish to qualifying for Hamilton.

“He had a great lap until then. It was really unnecessary to push the limit and as a seven-time world champion that is a mistake which should be unavoidable,” Rosberg said.

“It’s three metres too late and he had the brake balance too far forward. He lost at least four tenths which easily would have put him in Q2. That’s a disaster.”

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Sainz dramatically crashes in qualifying | 01:37

Logan Sargeant, Yuki Tsunoda and Kevin Magnussen were the other three drivers eliminated in Q1, with Australian Daniel Ricciardo producing a strong last lap to out-qualify his RB teammate for the first time this season.

That was despite some early drama for Ricciardo, as he reported smoke from the front right brake on his car.

But the team was able to address the issue and get Ricciardo back out on the track in time to progress through to Q2.

Q2, however, came to a halt with 6:44 on the clock as Carlos Sainz spun at the final corner and collided with the barrier to bring out a red flag.

Fortunately the collision was not at high-speed, meaning not only Sainz was alright but the car was somehow able to get moving again, with the Spaniard later going to the pits with a missing front wing.

Carlos Sainz crashed into the barrier.Source: FOX SPORTS

Sainz was then able to get back out on the track and comfortably progressed through to Q3, joined by Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc while a late effort from Valtteri Bottas saw him sneak into the final part of qualifying in 10th.

That knocked out Lance Stroll, while Ricciardo (P12) joined Esteban Ocon, Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly as the five drivers to be eliminated in Q2.

Verstappen was the driver to beat heading into Q3 and as expected, no one had the pace to match the reigning champion as Perez finished 0.322 seconds behind his teammate to secure a Red Bull front row lockout.

Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, came in third-fastest while McLaren duo Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri finished fourth and fifth ahead of Ferrari pair Leclerc and Sainz.

After Hamilton’s disaster, Mercedes teammate George Russell finished eighth fastest with Nico Hulkenberg and Bottas rounding out the top 10.

Max claims pole in eventful qualis | 01:20

Qualifying opened with early drama on Saturday after Albon clashed with Perez, with the Red Bull driver fuming after the Williams appeared to get in his way at Turn 1.

“What the f*** was that?” Perez said over team radio, with Albon responding that he tried to get out of the way “as much” as he could.

“There was no way I could have got out of the way more,” he added.

There was also some breaking news before qualifying itself, with Fernando Alonso handed a 10-second time penalty and three penalty points for causing a collision with Carlos Sainz at turn nine in the sprint.

The pair were fighting for third place at the time when they made contact, with Alonso suffering a puncture which saw him retire from the sprint while Sainz’s car also was damaged in the incident.

CHINESE GP TOP 10:

1. Max Verstappen 1:33.660

2. Sergio Pérez + 0.322

3. Fernando Alonso + 0.488

4. Lando Norris + 0.505

5. Oscar Piastri + 0.613

6. Charles Leclerc + 0.629

7. Carlos Sainz + 0.637

8. George Russell + 0.773

9. Nico Hulkenberg + 0.944

10. Valtteri Bottas + 1.005

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