Lewis Hamilton takes pole position with a 1:26.327 nearly 6 tenths quicker than teammate Nico Rosberg. Felipe Massa’s 1:27.718 was the third best time in Q3 for Williams. Seeing Mercedes at the top is no surprise after their dominance in 2014, however a welcome surprise was how close the teams behind them were to each other.
There was less than 1 second between Felipe Massa’s 3rd place time and Romain Grosjean’s 9th place time. Williams and Ferrari were only hundredths of a second apart. Granted Valtteri Bottas was 3 tenths off of Raikkonen’s 1:27.790, but that was due to Bottas running out of track in the last turn of his final lap of Q3 putting up a spectacular rooster tail of dirt.
Red Bull had a far less spectacular qualifying. Ricciardo was targeting a P5 before qualifying, but by the end of Q2 was happy to have barely made Q3. Red Bull had lots of trouble in P3 with their Renault power unit. In the end Ricciardo was happy to have qualified 7th with a 1.28.329. Daniil Kvyat was unable to escape Q2 with his 1:29.070, which he barely got in before time ran out in the second qualifying session.
Both Torro Rossos beat the Red Bull of Kvyat, with Carlos Sainz Jr. Making it into Q3. Only 2 tenths separated Max Verstappen and Daniil Kvyat for 12th and 13th respectively. Like Bottas, Verstappen made a brilliant save on his last lap of Q3, but it unfortunately caused him to leave too much time out on the track. Carlos Sainz made a clean lap in Q2 and squeezed into Q3 where his 1.28.510 was good enough for 8th place.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, and Sergio Perez were at the bottom of Q2 taking 14th and 15th respectively.
Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen had a terrible Q1, putting in the 2 slowest times taking 17th and 18th.
The only team that had a worse weekend was Manor. Neither of their 2 drivers got out on track for any of the sessions this weekend. However they did have a car in the garage which is a vast improvement on their absence in all of the testing sessions this preseason.