F1 drivers have a difficult task of driving a car at their edge and often struggle to connect their best sectors in one best lap – let’s take a look at who has done this in qualifying for 2018 Bahrain GP.
All F1 tracks are divided into three sectors and the time difference from their actual fastest lap and the fastest lap with the best sectors can tell us how well did the driver exploit the potential of the car.
Sebastian Vettel managed to string his best sectors in one lap in the last lap of the qualifying. Interestingly, he did the same when he won the pole position for the last time, in Mexico City in 2017.
If Raikkonen joined his best sectors, he still wouldn’t beat Vettel, but he would reduce his gap to 0.069 seconds. Bottas would still be faster than Hamilton, but with a minimum gain of one thousandths of a second compared to his real lap.
Hamilton could have been nearly one tenth faster merging his best sectors, and Ricciardo could be 0.165 seconds faster, though it would not have enabled him to threat Mercedes or Ferrari.
By combining their best sectors in one lap, Hulkenberg could get the most time out of all drivers, almost four tenths, suggesting he did not set a good lap and that he could have been sixth fastest and not eight fastest behind Gasly and Magnussen.
According to his words, Gasly drove the ‘qualifying round of life in F1’, which is also confirmed by the analysis of his sectors – the Frenchman, as well as Vettel, merged his best sectors into one lap that led him to sixth place.
Magnussen could also be one tenth quicker which would bring him in front of Gasly.
QUALIFYING ORDER WITH IDEAL LAPS
ACTUAL QUALIFYING RESULTS
|5.||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1:28.398||0.440|
|6.||10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1:29.329||1.371|
|9.||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1:29.874||1.916|
|11.||28||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1:30.105||2.147|
|12.||11||Sergio Pérez||Force India/Mercedes||1:30.156||2.198|
|15.||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||–||–|
BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT