Sebastian Vettel nailed his perfect qualifying lap in Q3 for the third race in a row while Kimi Raikkonen could once again regret his mistakes as he had the best qualifying time in his ideal lap with best sector times set together.
Vettel secured the pole position for the third race in a row, first time since 2011 in Red Bull, which was also the first time that Ferrari won three poles in a row since 2007 when they started the first four races from the top with Raikkonen and Massa.
But Kimi Raikkonen had failed to win his first pole position since 2017 Monaco GP as he had the two fastest times in the first two sectors before losing it all in the Turn 16.
If all drivers had strung their best sectors, Raikkonen would be on the pole position with 0.085 seconds ahead of Vettel, who is the only driver who has merged his best sector times into one lap, which is particularly unbelievable because he did it for the third race in a row. Also, in his last five pole positions he had his best sectors in one lap as he did it in Mexico and Singapore in 2017.
Raikkonen would have gained most with 1.077 seconds, Hamilton would get a tenth and Red Bull drivers two tenths of a second, jumping Bottas in Mercedes, who had a strong Q3 lap, very close to his ideal time.
Ocon beat Perez in the Force India for 0.024 seconds and if both had merged their best sectors, the difference would be bigger, two-tenths of a second, and Ocon would be just 0.812 seconds behind potential fastest Raikkonen’s time.
Sainz had the potential to beat Hulkenberg for the first time and Alonso would remain the 13th even if he had his ideal lap that would be half a second quicker than the time he really set, which means that he didn’t had great lap in Q2.
IDEAL QUALIFYING LAPS
|4||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:41.705||0.292||0.206|
|5||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:41.777||0.364||0.217|
|7||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India||1:42.225||0.812||0.298|
|8||11||Sergio Pérez||Force India||1:42.442||1.029||0.105|
|16||10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||1:44.380||2.967||0.116|
|19||28||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso||1:52.496||11.083||4.858|
|4||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1:41.911||0.413|
|5||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1:41.994||0.496|
|7||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1:42.523||1.025|
|8||11||Sergio Pérez||Force India/Mercedes||1:42.547||1.049|
|17||10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1:44.496||2.998|
|19||28||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1:57.354||15.856|