Lewis Hamilton has been allowed to keep his pole after stewards didn’t apply a penalty after he reversed in the pit lane. The incident breached of Article 28.3 of the FIA’s sporting regulations, which states that “at no time may a car be reversed in the pit lane under its own power”.
After hearing accounts from Hamilton and Mercedes, officials decided not to impose a penalty “due to the fact that no clear instruction was given to the driver on where he should park the car after qualifying”.
The controversial knock out format was still in place but cars still did runs later in the session. Like we are used to we had the fight between the two fastest teams but Ferrari still was out paced by Mercedes. Hamilton’s pole lap was the fastest lap ever set at the circuit.
Ferrari are still close to the silver arrows this could lead to a fight as they were within .8 of a second. But like in Melbourne and what we saw in practice I think Mercedes will be the favourites still. If this race was in the afternoon it may be a different matter as Ferrari topped FP3.
Haas still strong
Like in Melbourne Haas have been strong all weekend this has been the best debut for a team since Brawn GP win in Melbourne in 2009. However, its hard to say whether there deferred year in 2015 helped as well as the strong Ferrari power unit.
Vandoorne out qualifies Button
Stoffel Vandoorne looked good on track he has impressed coming in replacing Fernando Alonso. McLaren’s Young Driver Programme has been under pressure in recent years but if he has a good weekend he may get a race seat and be even more on the radar in 2017.
Manor looking good
Pascal Wehrlien made it nearly into Q2 this shows much needed progress from the team. They need the budget and resources to be able to do that. Their partnership with Mercedes and Williams is key to this. I think long term they could be a solid mid field team.