The big news prior to qualifying was that Williams reserve driver Paul Di
Resta would be replacing Felipe Massa who is unwell. It will be a difficult
task for him given his lack of running in a 2017 car. But would he be able
to finish ahead of team-mate Lance Stroll. The eighteen minute first period
would commence and both Mercedes were out on the super soft tyre. Hamilton
would set a 1m:17.905 to go quickest. Vettel would go ahead with a 1m:17.676
but Raikkonen would move ahead with a 1m:17.382. Vettel was second followed
by Hamilton and Bottas. Hamilton would move up to second with a 1m:17.492.
Vettel would again go quickest with a time of 1m:17.244. Verstappen was now
fourth followed by Ricciardo, Bottas, Vandoorne, Hulkenberg, Alonso, and
Verstappen was now second from Raikkonen and Hamilton. The top nine drivers
were all in their pits as the final four minutes started. As the session
came to a close the top ten was Vettel, Verstappen, Raikkonen, Hamilton,
Ricciardo, Bottas, Hulkenberg, Alonso, Vandoorne, and Palmer. Neither
Williams car would make it past the first period. Another disappointing
result from the Williams team. Even if Felipe had been in the car it was
still going to be a struggle in an uncompetitive car.
In the second period it would be Vettel would set the first sub 1m:16s lap
with a 1m:16.802. Hamilton was second followed by Raikkonen and Bottas.
Ricciardo was fifth but this would become sixth as Verstappen went second.
Vandoorne would move up to seventh but team-mate Alonso would move ahead.
Hulkenberg was now sixth with five minutes remaining. In the final minute
Hamilton would set a 1m:16.693 to go quickest from Vettel and Verstappen.
Raikkonen was fourth followed by Bottas, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Alonso,
Vandoorne, and Sainz tenth.
The final period would see the drivers complete their first runs with Vettel
quickest with a 1m:16.276. Bottas was second and Ricciardo third. Hamilton
had pitted aborting his first run while Raikkonen was now fourth followed by
Hulkenberg, Alonso, Vandoorne, Hamilton but Verstappen would go up to third
with a late lap. Hamilton and Sainz had yet to set a time. All ten cars
would come out for their second runs and in Sainz's case his first run.
Hamilton would complain about vibration coming from his tyres. Hamilton
would move up to third while Bottas would close the gap to Vettel with a
1m:16.530 but remained second. Vettel would remain quickest but Raikkonen
would go second with a 1m:16.444. Bottas was third followed by Hamilton,
Verstappen, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Alonso, Vandoorne, and Sainz tenth.
Paul Di Resta:
Paul would come out very early in the period looking to get as much track
time as possible. He was running on the super soft tyre for his first run.
His first lap was a 1m:22.289 and after the first runs he was tenth. Paul
would improve with a 1m:21.218 to now be thirteenth. He would continue to
improve setting a 1m:21.075. Paul had dropped to seventeenth and would pit
after a six lap run. In the pits he would drop to nineteenth. With just over
five minutes remaining Paul would return on a new set of super soft tyres.
Paul was now twentieth and would set a 1m:20.390 to be behind Wehrlein. On
his final lap Paul would set a 1m:19.868 to be nineteenth just 0.7 behind
his team-mate. The team would tell Paul that he did a fantastic job.
Lance would follow his team-mate out also on the super soft tyre. Lance
would set a 1m:19.964 to be seventh dropping to eighth. Lance would drop
down the order but a 1m:19.467 would see him eighth. But he would drop to
ninth behind Ocon. He would pit currently tenth with ten minutes left in the
period. In the pits Lance would drop to fourteenth. Lance would also return
to the track on a new set of super soft tyres. Lance would set a 1m:19.102
to be sixteenth. He would have a moment at Turn two running wide losing
time. Lance would finish the period in seventeenth.