Sakhir, Formula1 Coverage: Ferrari has its one and two in pole and after, with Sebastian Vettel taking pole followed by Kimi Raikkonen. The Mercedes-Benz team came in three and four with Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. In five is Aston Martin Red Bull Daniel Ricciardo.
Addressing a press conference soon after qualifying, the drivers though expressing optimism about the final, said it would depend on the temperature, the condition of the machines and “how much we are able to get out of it.”
Responding to the GAZ query on the impact of the halo and the factors that could decide the winners tomorrow, Bottas said that the initiative has been taken. “We now have to live with it and get used to it.” He did not see it having any major role.
The win at the final races would depend on who masters the engine and the car tomorrow. Fewer pit stops would have an impact, he said. Sebastian Vettel, commenting on the halo said he did not see it having much of an impact. In a lighter vein, he said it made entering the car and getting out of it a tad difficult. The race would be with those who plan well and use the machine to its maximum benefit without exerting it too much.
Raikkonen, talking about the halo echoed his team mate’s opinion. “It is there. We will see how it impacts our driving through the season. The halo is intended to protect us. How much it will we will know only in time. As for the winner tomorrow, the person who does intelligent driving would take it all. Of course, the machine will have to take the stress and perform well. It is going to take a combined effort of the driver and the crew. The team that does it best will see victory” he added.