2019 Austrian GP: Quali – Analysis by sector

What a great quali session. For once, Mercedes struggled to get going, and Ferrari took advantage of it. How did the session unfold? Who was the fastest driver in each sector? Let’s take a look at the numbers.

Qualifying session: Best times per sector

This analysis takes into consideration the best sector time for each driver, regardless of quali session. This means that not all best sector times were necessarily done in Q3, some may have been done in Q2 or even in Q1.

What a weekend Charles Leclerc is having so far. Fastest during FP2 and FP2, and now pole sitter. The Monegasque was the fastest in all three sectors, with his middle sector being almost a tenth and a half faster than Hamilton’s.

Lewis Hamilton took second place, and while he was not far off Charles in sector 3, he was not that close in both sectors 1 and 2. He may start from the front row tomorrow though, so never count the Britishman out.

Valtteri Bottas only managed to take 4th place, but his best sector times were in fact all faster than Verstappen’s. The Finn just did not manage to put a full lap together and Q3.

Max felt happy about his quali session, but after getting the best times from all three sectors, it is easy to see that Red Bull is still not there yet. The young Dutchman, however, seems to be able to put on the laps when needed, and who knows, he may be able to get ahead at the beginning of the race.

Kevin Magnussen managed to get Haas on the third row, but it will not be easy tomorrow. Haas seems to be very slow in sector one, and as we know, they have been struggling with the tires all season long. Do not be surprised if he loses a couple positions or more before the second corner.

Great session again for Lando Norris, managing to take the 6th spot. In a turn of events, Lando had some of the slowest sectors when compared to the rest of the drivers that advanced to Q3. However, this proves that it is not about putting the best sectors, but about doing the best lap when it matters.

Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen had a solid session for Alfa Romeo. Giovinazzi, particularly,  will be looking to finally get some points for the first time in the season. It will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow. Giovinazzi was never really fast in sector 2, while Kimi struggled in sector 3.

Another miserable session for Pierre Gasly. After a good start in Q1, the Frenchman never managed to put another lap together, and will start from 9th place. Pierre had no response to Verstappen particularly in sector 3, where his best time was over 3 tenths slower than Verstappen’s best sector 3 time.

Finally Sebastian Vettel. An unfortunate mechanical issue prevented him from taking part in the decisive Q3. The German was very fast in sector 1, and it is not hard to believe that he would have been faster in Q3. His best times for sectors 2 and 3 shown here are not very impressive, but then again, he never had the chance to show his speed when the track was at its fastest.

Qualifying session: Ideal lap

What if each driver had done an ideal lap, composed of all his best times from all three sectors?

Leclerc would have managed to get into the 62 seconds, with a time of 1:02.962.

Lewis and Valtteri would have been even further behind, with Lewis being 298 thousands of a second away from the leader, and Bottas being nearly 4 tenths away from the Monegasque.

Max Verstappen would have swapped positions with Bottas, while Pierre Gasly would have climbed a few spots to take 6th place.

It is very surprising to see KMag and Lando Norris being the two worst drivers in this theoretical ideal lap analysis. As I mentioned, this shows you how doing the best time in each sector does not matter if you can not put a whole lap together at the right moment. In this case, both KMag and Lando managed to do the job done in the decisive Q3.

Final remarks

There you go, a short analysis after the quali session. I will not do many conclusions this time. All that I can say is that we had a great session, with some unexpected events happening, and hopefully we will get a good race tomorrow. 

I hope that you have enjoyed this article. If you did, please share it with your friends and let me know what you think in the comments below.


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