Brought to you by TheJudge13 Technical Analyst Tourdog
What happened to Mercedes? It’s the question everyone is asking.
Things seem OK in FP1. Over multiple lap stints, Rosberg is out front. He manages to average a 1:48.189 over 4 laps, making him the fastest in the session. Seb and Kimi are over 0.7 sec away over the same number of laps, but Ricciardo is only 0.2 sec a lap away. This will be the last time all weekend that Mercedes tops the time sheets.
In FP2 Ferrari and RB take over. Ricciardo lays down a 1:46.256 flyer to top the session, and Sebastian leads over the long runs, with a 1:51.357 average for 9 laps.
Fp3 sees Vettel leading again. Vettel sets the fastest time of all practice sessions on his second stint, a 1:45.682, with Ricciardo the next closest to him, 0.5 seconds off.
Vettel sets a benchmark in his first stint of Q1 with a 1:46.104, but Ricciardo tops him in his second stint, breaking into the 1:45’s for the first time all weekend, a 1:45.340.
Sebastian hits 1:44.743 in Q2, and then takes pole with a 1:43.885 in Q3. That is a full 2.5 seconds faster than either Mercedes.
But Seb wasn’t done yet. He held the lowest average time in every stint during the race. Beyond that, Seb’s best average was the last 21 laps on the Soft tyre, where he averaged a 1:50.772. That was better than everyone else on track, including those running on the Super Soft Tyre.
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