SAO PAULO, Brazil – Lewis Hamilton won Mercedes its 100th pole start on Saturday (Nov 10) ahead of the steamy city’s 2018 F1 GP but fellow driver Sebastian Vettel – who will be alongside the Briton in a Ferrari – was told off and fined and for messing up the pits weighbridge.
The pole will be Hamilton’s 82nd in F1 and his 10th in the 2018 race season. He’s already taken the 2018 Drivers’ championship – his fifth in F1 – and his team will on Sunday take the Constructors’ title if by the end of the race they outscore Ferrari by at least 13 pointM
Mercedes other driver, Valtteri Botttas, will start third and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen fourth, with rain spoiling the lap times in the dying minutes of the session. It’s the only minute-a-lap track of the F1 circus – and Hamilton took the lap record with a time of 1min07.281.
Vettel’s penalty followed him for driving onto the weighbridge – apparently a random check by the stewards – but in his haste to get back out onto the track he took out a rubber warning cone and told the officials to hurry up. Rain was expected so he regarded getting back on the track as being vital.
The stewards got even more shirty because he did not shut down his power unit
Vettel’s summons by the stewards was inevitable after he was called in for weighing at a critical point in the second phase with rain threatening, making it crucial to get in an early timed lap.
KNUCKLES RAPPED, BANK ACCOUNT RAIDED
In his haste to get back to work he knocked over a traffic cone blocking the bridge, didn’t wait to be pushed off it after the test, and spinning rear wheels put the whole mechanism out of action.
Vettel’s enthusiasm cost him a Euro 25 000 fine and a reprimand.
With a cone barring access to the weighbridge, he drove into it and then gesticulated angrily for officials to hurry up, before driving off again in a breach of the regulations.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen will start fifth and Daniel Ricciardo sixth – thanks to a five-place penalty for a replaced turbocharger.