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Monday, 1 July 2013

Tyres Again

Indianapolis 2005.  Remember when only the Bridgestone runners entered the race?  It was reported that Michelin could not guarantee a tyre that would withstand the loads at turn 13.  14 of 20 cars missed the race after 8 pre-race failures and the crowd were not pleased.

Silverstone too was dominated by tyre talk.  Hamilton, Perez, Vergne and Massa all suffered tyre failure.

What was to blame?  Was it the sharp kerbs at the track?  During the race drivers were being advised to avoid the kerbs.  Will Pirelli produce a tyre that can withstand uneven surfaces and track debris for a two hour race before Nurburgring and Spa?

After Vettel's gearbox failure and Hamilton's puncture from the lead, Rosberg took the win.  He was also developing tyre issues but pitted in time.  Hamilton fought back from last to fourth ahead of Raikkonen but was not happy to race when he felt unsafe.

Webber battled up to second and Alonso turned a poor qualifying into third place.

Will a company with the fine history and reputation of Pirelli continue this exposure into 2014?  It remains to be seen.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Silver Stone | Red Arrows

Lewis Hamilton put his Silver Arrows on pole by almost half a second for the race at Silverstone today.
He was 0.452 seconds ahead of Rosberg for an all Mercedes front row.

Hamilton seemed very relaxed, waving to the crowd from the pit lane during qualifying and the result shows why.  He came in six tenths in front of Vettel who will be third on the grid alongside Mark Webber who is in his last F1 race at Silverstone.

Webber will be a Porsche Le Mans Series team driver next year.

Hamilton took part in a Red Arrows demonstration as a passenger before the race.  Although he said it made him feel sick, perhaps the G forces prepared him for the high speed ride on the Silverstone track.

Sunday, 16 June 2013


Or tyred for UK readers...

We live in an age of heath and safety and sustainablility targets as key performance indicators.

As Mercedes head to court this week to explain why they participated in a Pirelli tyre test, maybe it's time to wonder if pitstops are really that interesting.

Stops have been reduced to less than three seconds to change all four tyres.  All the fuss has originated from Pirelli being asked to design tyres that wear out more quickly to make racing 'more interesting'.  The new compounds were perceived by some to have gone too far and Mercedes in particular were considered a suitable team to evaluate if and why.  Many teams now feel tyres wear too quickly with Mercedes having a particular problem with their rear boots.

Next year we will have smaller, more fuel efficient engines in an attempt to make cars more closely aligned to the road car fuel efficiency drive.   Why then have tyres that are anything but sustainable, becoming next to useless after 50 miles or so.  Surely technology should be directed to designing tyres that will last for more than 1000 miles or all season?

Whether an F1 car will ever be sustainable is open to considerable doubt.  The sport is certainly a technology testbed but how long will it remain at the pinnacle of performance?

Should Bradley Wiggins be given a heavier bike with knobbly tyres so he goes more slowly and is more aligned to the struggling commuter on his hybrid?

I dont find watching the queue at the tyre store that interesting as I wait my turn for a new set of radials.  Even if it happened more quickly it would never be exciting.  Uninterrupted racing by cars on the limit of what the engineers can provide will always be however.

As for making cost savings by reducing testing.  Simulators are not cheap and real safety results from testing the final hardware of any product in controlled conditions for as long as necessary not just a 3D image of the same.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

No Bull in a China Shop

Fernando Alonso rode his prancing horse to win ahead of  Kimi Raikonnen's Lotus in China today.  Lewis Hamilton turned his pole position into a podium in third.

Vettel closed on fresh tyres at the end to within a car length of the Merc to take fourth.

Mark Webber was red faced as a wheel fell of his bull leading to his retirement. 

China Grand Prix

As we enter the Chinese Grand Prix today, Vettel and Webber are wearing number 1 and number 2 on their caps.  Let's see how they race each other.

Webber was placed at the back of the grid, being unable to provide a fuel sample after qualifying.

Lewis Hamilton is on his first pole for Mercedes pole with soft tyres ahead of Raikonnen and Alonso.

Vettel has chosen a harder compound and starts ninth on the grid behind Jenson Button.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Drivers Apologise for Beating Team Mates

It is a long while since this has happened but it did today

Race winner Sebastian Vettel apologised to his team mate Mark Webber and the press for overtaking him.

Lewis Hamilton in third said Nico Rosberg deserved to be on the podium not himself.

How does all this come about in competitive motorsport?

Basically due to tyre degradation. The new compounds mean that to win a  Grand Prix, a leader has to slow down. To a following driver this appears like an easy target, an adversary in trouble. Hence the messages to the pit wall by Vettel and Rosberg that their team mates should move out of the way as they were too slow.  Both Vettel and Rosberg were told their team mates were conserving tyres and could go faster and  that therefore they should hold station. Only Rosberg listened.

So Vettel passed Webber and won.  Rosberg held station leaving Hamilton to take third.

The direction to Pirelli to produce higher wear compounds was intended to introduce an element that would result in closer racing.  Perhaps the drivers will catch up with the actual effect next race. 

Vettel Pole Malaysia

Sometimes a pole position is a matter not of outright pace but of timing.

Vettel's pole was a great example of this. His pole time was some ten seconds slower than practice times.  Practice was relatively dry on the track. However as a wet final qualifying drew to a close and the track dried off, each car that went out eclipsed the previous one where the provisional pole sitter had completed his final lap. Hence Raikkonen's pole time was bettered by Rosberg, Rosberg's by Webber, Webber's by Hamilton. Then Hamilton was displaced by Alonso, Alonso by Massa and Massa by Vettel.  Exactly so they finished on the grid, in that reverse order.

So as in Australia, albeit for reasons of weather rather than degradation, mechanical grip and tyre wear are and will be the key issues in the outcome of the race itself.

Two or three stops will be computed by the teams as race strategy is determined.  Will Raikkonen succeed, again from seventh position on the grid, in managing his tyres to win with a two stop strategy?  Or will Vettel or Alonso or Hamilton succeed this time by better preservation of their tyres? 

Monday, 18 March 2013

Gloomy Brits

Toward the end of last season both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were very upbeat about how competitive their McLaren cars had become.

Now in separate teams, Button was very downside about how far the team had to go to catch up after a disappointing Australian Grand Prix.

Having started his contract with Mercedes, Hamilton was immediately very cautious in lowering expectations for 2013.  He appeared to change his view however after surprisingly good results in testing in Barcelona.  Now after Australia, his disappointment was evident as although 5th place was not a bad showing, there seemed to be more potential after qualifying and he slipped behind Raikonnen, Alonso, Vettel and Massa in the race.

Kimi Post Australia

Kimi Raikkonen is feeling confident in his new car after winning the Australian GP.

He told his engineers as he crossed the line - "I told you the car was good".  This is may be less newsworthy than "leave me alone I know what I am doing" but signifies an even more confident driver for the season ahead.

He added later that maintaining the pace and managing the tyres was easy, giving him opportunity to lower lap times whenever he needed to, even putting in a fastest lap as the race drew to a close.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Kimi Wins Race One!

Kimi Raikonnen brought his Lotus home  for victory in  Australia.   He managed his tyres to complete the race with only two pit stops.

Fernando Alonso took second ahead ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

Massa, Hamilton and Webber made up the top six.

Adrian Sutil led the race for several laps in the Force India and was very happy with his seventh place ahead of Di Resta and Button. 

Red Bull Can the Front Row

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber closed out the front row for the Australian Grand Prix.

Qualifying was delayed to race day today due to heavy rain.   Lewis Hamilton came in third to sit behind Vettel on the grid.

Felipe Massa outqualified his team mate Fernando Alonso by 3 thousandths of a second and Nico Rosberg completed the top three rows in sixth.   The two Lotus cars of Kimi Raikonnen and Romain Grosjean took row four. 

The margin between Webber and Hamilton was 0.26 seconds. Vettel was 0.42 seconds clear of Webber. 

Raikonnen was 0.215 behind Rosberg but 1.331 behind the pole position time of Vettel. 

So at last we have an indication of pace for 2013, in qualifying trim at least.  The McLaren of Perez did not make Q3, ending up 15th and  Jenson Button came in 10th ahead of Hulkenberg in the Sauber - the car driven last year by Perez. 

The smartest move turns out to be Hamilton going to Mercedes.  Red Bull appear dominant for the fourth year running. 

Saturday, 16 March 2013

OZ No Wheels

The 2013 F1 season starts off with only Q1 completed as Saturday draws to a close

Already the Red Bulls have been showing their pace but it was Mercedes and Nico Rosberg who topped what qualifying there was in torrential weather.

Alonso, Grosjean, Perez, Webber and Massa complete the front three rows as it stands

Australian GP qualifying Q2 and Q3 will take place tomorrow followed by the Grand Prix itself.

Hamilton and Vettel would appear to be the most likely front row with McLaren admitting their car has a long way to go to be on the pace.

How ironic it is that Hamilton and Button have swapped places in Brawn's Mercedes team. Button won the world championship before promptly leaving and now Hamilton has his seat and appears to have the quicker car. 

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Vettel Result Stands

The FIA have clarified the questions asked as to whether Vettel overtook Vergne under yellow flag conditions in the GP of Brazil.

Although he did overtake before the green light which indicates the clearing of the way ahead to normal race conditions, apparently there was a green flag before the green light but after the yellow light which takes precedence over the green light which was visible from Vettel's car.

So all clear then!

Alonso 2012 World Champion?

Youtube feed footage has been published which alleges that Sebastian Vettel overtook under yellow flag conditions in the final GP in Brazil.

If proven, a 20 second penalty may be imposed which would result in Alonso winning the 2012 F1 World Championship by 1 point.  Vettel would lose position and his third title would be removed.

The ramifications of such a harsh, retrospective penalty will be very controversial if imposed of course and heartbreaking for Vettel who appeared to conquer all adversity in fighting back through the field after being tagged at the outset from behind and ending up last.

Alonso however also fought to the limit to get his second place in the race.

The decision is in the hands of the arbitrators.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Button's Brazil

Jenson Button won the last race of the season amidst a cocktail of tension and drama.

He showed extraordinary composure in treacherous weather to hold it all together.

His team mate for one last race, Hamilton was knocked out in a tussle with Hulkenberg.

Meanwhile Sebastian Vettel made an incredible job of recovering from an apparently disastrous collision from behind by Bruno Senna to get just enough points to win his third GP title in three years finishing the year just three points ahead of Fernando Alonso. His sixth to Alonso's second place was enough.

As for Alonso he drove an astoundingly determined race in an imperfect car to get to second. He truly could not have done more in the circumstances.

It was fitting that on Michael Schumacher's final retirement from F1, Vettel joins him and Fangio as the only drivers with a consecutive hat trick of F1 titles. Vettel's claim is being the youngest ever.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Felipe - 'Sebastian's Tyres are in Front of Your Endplate'

The grid in Brazil reads - Hamilton, Button, Webber, Vettel.

The McLarens are finishing the season as the fastest cars.

A significant feature of the grid for the final race of the season however is Massa acting as rear gunner to Vettel.

Remember the days of Roman chariots fitted with scythes on their wheels?

Massa is too professional to attempt anything like that.

Damon Hill will remember Schumacher's side swipe which cost him a world championship. However then they both were in the title fight.

Vettel is unlikely to come into contact with Alonso but has collided with his own teammate in the past.

Whatever happens, only thirteen points separate Vettel and Alonso and Vettel needs above all to keep clear of any other cars to hold the points lead he has over his only rival for the title.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Red Bull Reviews its Alternatives

Whether or not Red Bull finish the season with the drivers championship to add to the 2012 constructors title they have won already could come down to something you may need for your private motor vehicle every few years- a Renault alternator.

Red Bull have decided to revert to the latest model of this seemingly insignificant part rather than the old one they have been using and which has cost them a number of points this season.

If Vettel fails to finish - as Webber did in the last race - then Alonso only needs to be in the top 3 to be world champion.

It could be electric...

Monday, 19 November 2012

Hamilton's Texan Storm

Sebastian Vettel failed to convert his pole position into victory in the inaugural Austin GP.

Lewis Hamilton fought his way past first Mark Webber then Vettel in a display of consistently positive driving.

Fernando Alonso took the title battle to the last race in Brazil by coming home from seventh to third behind Vettel.

If Alonso wins in Brazil he needs Vettel to be no higher than fifth. If Vettel finishes, this scenario looks very unlikely. Realistically Vettel would need to fail to finish as Webber did today for Alonso's 13 point deficit to be recovered.

Both participants and spectators were impressed with the new circuit which takes elements from many of the best circuits in the world such as Silverstone and Suzuka.

As Vettel came in to lap back markers Hamilton took his opportunity having saved up his KERS for this moment.

This gives Hamilton two consecutive victories in the USA in his penultimate race for McLaren. Next year he will be a Mercedes driver. It is good to leave on a high but now he has a car capable of passing Red Bulls it may be a difficult adjustment.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Alonso Positive

In several post-race interviews Fernando Alonso remained positive.

He described Abu Dhabi as a 10 pointer in that he expected to lose ten points to Vettel but actually gained 3 over him.

He says the glass is half full not half empty and remains confident to win the 2012 drivers world championship.

He does not expect to catch his rivals in the performance of the car but by a superior team effort saying 'we do not have the best car but we do have the best team'.

For full post race interviews with Alonso follow this link:-

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Kimi Kimi Kimi Some

The focused, fast Finn shrugged off his
final doubts about the wisdom of a comeback by winning the Abu Dhabi GP.

After Hamilton cruised to a halt with fuel feed issues, Raikkonen was unbeatable.

Even Vettel, assisted by safety car intervals charged from last to third but could not catch Raikkonen.

Fernando Alonso again was able to extract every ounce of performance from his Ferrari and took second place.

Kimi is now looking for more in the last two races and into next season. He could be critical in interfering with the slender 10 point margin between Vettel and Alonso at the head of the drivers table.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Hamilton Derby | Vettel Relegated

Lewis Hamilton sits on pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix today.

He dominated qualifying and Seb Vettel could only manage third. However Vettel was relegated several hours later to the back if the grid for a fuel infringement.

Vettel's nearest rival in the drivers championship, Fernando Alonso will move up from 7th to 6th due to Vettel's relegation.

Jenson Button could not match Hamilton's pace and was 0.66 seconds slower in 6th (promoted to 5th).

Mark Webber joins Hamilton on the front row. Pastor Maldonado completed a fine qualifying to join Kimi Raikkonen on row two.

So the order is Hamilton-Webber, Maldonado-Raikkonen, Button-Alonso.

Watch out for who brakes latest from the front row. Alonso's start and Vettel's first few laps will be spicy too.

Maldonado and Raikkonen may rub shoulders...

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Kimi to Stay at Lotus

Not surprisingly after a brilliant return season at Lotus, Kimi Raikkonen has been resigned for next year's F1 season.

With three races to go he sits in a solid 3rd place in the 2012 individual standings behind Vettel and Alonso.  He is in by no means the most competitive car and is ahead of both McLaren drivers and the Red Bull driver Mark Webber.

Raikkonen's speed was never in question but after his sabbatical in rallying, his fitness and commitment may have been an issue but the opposite has been the case.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Vettel Red Bud

Sebastian Vettel turned his pole position into another victory ahead of Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber at the Buddh circuit today.

This order means the championship 1-2 positions remain the same.

Lewis Hamilton pushed Webber to the end but could not take a podium place.

Alonso now has a 13 point deficit.

Vettel's car seemed to be carrying a floor defect in the final laps and this was radioed to Alonso but he still kept a 9-10 second gap over his nearest rival.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Vettel Leads World Championship

Sebastian Vettel took the honours in Korea today to take the lead in the drivers World Championship.

His team mate and pole sitter Mark Webber was second with Fernando Alonso taking another podium place in third.

Felipe Massa continued his revival in fourth and could have closed the gap.

Kimi Raikkonen was fifth ahead of Hulkenberg and Grosjean.

The McLaren drivers had a poor day with Hamilton in 10th place and Button being involved on lap 1 in a collision with Kobayashi pushing Rosberg into him from behind.

Webber Korea Pole Number 12

Mark Webber stole pole position for the Korean Grand Prix with a very smooth lap.  His team mate Sebastian Vettel had a compromised late lap with Felipe Massa ahead of him.  He questioned his team as to why he was not told of this but later calmed down and credited Webber with a better lap.

Lewis Hamilton made the best of his car in third ahead of Alonso Raikkonen and Massa.

Romain Grosjean in seventh appears far enough back not to cause any trouble to the leaders on the first lap of this race.

Jenson Button missed out on the top ten in 11th place.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

KK Podium

Kamui Kobayashi took a very popular third place here in Japan today to make a very happy day for the local fans.

Sebastian Vettel retained his place from pole to flag to close within four points of Fernando Alonso.  How so close? - Alonso retired on lap one after a puncture when Raikkonen hit him from behind.

Jenson Button made up for his grid penalty to move up to fourth place in the race ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

Second place was taken by none other than Felipe Massa which will do a lot for his confidence after a very difficult two years without results.

The other stat of the day was Romain Grosjean who made it 8/14 first lap incidents this season.

Impressive consistency now puts Kimi Raikkonen third in the championship standings 37 points behind Alonso.  If Lotus can give him a winning car he is well within reach of the title in his comeback year.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Vettel on Pole in Japan

Sebastian Vettel has taken pole position for tomorrow's Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka ahead of team mate Mark Webber, completing a Red Bull front row lock out.

Jenson Button was third quickest 0.861 seconds behind Vettel.  Despite his five place grid penalty (for gearbox change) he will still start the race ahead of Hamilton, his team mate until the end of the season who was 1.037 seconds slower than Button.

Local man Kamui Kobayashi is promoted to third, due to Button's penalty, ahead of Grosjean, Perez, Alonso, Raikkonen and demoted Button.  Hamilton and Massa start 9th and 10th.

After his recent dominant performances, Lewis Hamilton's time was 1.488 seconds of the pole time.  His decision to move to Mercedes is unlikely to have influenced his focus but this is out of character.

Fastest Mercedes driver today was Michael Schumacher.  His time was only 0.142 seconds slower than Hamilton's, his replacement for next year.  Schumacher was demoted to second last due to his shunt in the last race.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Hamilton Chooses Brawn

The management team that has David Beckham choosing Gillette now has Lewis Hamilton choosing Brawn.

The marketing potential appears to have more flexibility for XIX Entertainment than Lewis's backers of 14 years, McLaren.

The Ross Brawn led Mercedes team has had only one podium from Michael Schumacher and may be hoping for more for their money with Hamilton.

Former team mate Jenson Button left Brawn's team as World Champion and moved to join Hamilton at McLaren. Button will remain at the Woking team with a new team mate, Sergio Perez. 

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Singapore for Seb

Hamilton's hopes of closing in on Alonso expired when his gearbox gave way on lap 22 here in Singapore.

He was cruising to an apparently clear victory when McLaren's recent reliability troubles resurfaced leaving him bitterly disappointed.  Only last race in Monza, Button retired with fuel pump problems.  Whilst McLaren have what appears to be the most competitive pace on current form, they need to cross the finish line to deliver the points.

All this left the way clear for Sebastian Vettel to take the 25 points and was followed onto the podium by Button, whose car held together this time and guess who - the ever reliable Alonso.

Force India's Paul di Resta took a fine fourth ahead of Rosberg and Raikkonen.

So now Hamilton who looked to be closing in after Monza is relegated to fourth on the championship behind Alonso, Vettel and Raikkonen.

Although Alonso has not won for five races (Hockenheim), his consistent podium point scoring is keeping McLaren and Red Bull at bay.

The other Mr Consistent is Kimi Raikkonen who is third in the driver's standings.  Despite a lack of victories since his return, he is only one win, a second and a couple more points (45 in total) behind Alonso.  When Lotus's double DRS arrives, he could be a man to watch.

McLaren's Monza

McLaren again showed evidence of their resurgence after Button's victory in Spa.  This time it was Lewis Hamilton's turn to take the 25 points on offer for victory.

Like Button at Spa, Hamilton led after a fine pole position and was never threatened.

He moves to second in the championship behind Alonso.  The Ferrari driver battled from a poor 10th grid position to take third place.

Big news of the day was the excellent performance of Sauber and Perez in second place.  His team's strategy and his consistent driving moved him up 11 places from his grid position.

Another victory for Hamilton in Singapore in two weeks time, and another retirement like Alosno had in Spa will take Hamilton within 12 points of Alonso.

Spa Victory for Button

Jenson Button won from pole position here in Spa but is still 63 points behind Fernando Alonso.

Sebastian Vettel who started from 10th on the grid took a fine second place ahead of Kimi Raikkonen.

The race started dramatically with Romain Grosjean initiating the demise of Alonso and Hamilton.

Raikonnen, although not fully happy with the car showed not only his pace but the continuing threat the Lotus team pose to the rest of the grid.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Hamilton Still Hungry

Lewis Hamilton showed that he still is fighting for the 2012 world championship with a fine win in Hungary.

From pole position he led the field and came home in front of the two Lotus cars of Raikkonen and Grosjean.

Lotus have yet to fit the rear end aerodynamics of Ferrari Red Bull and McLaren.  Also Raikkonen had to struggle with faulty Kers but the two Lotus cars were still pushing Hamilton all the way.

Jenson Button appeared to be called in for mis-timed pitstops which put him back into traffic twice. This hampered his efforts and he ended up sixth behind Alonso and fourth-placed Vettel.

Raikkonen is now in fifth place (116 points) in the championship behind Hamilton (117) - a fine return season in F1.  Alonso still leads with 164 points in front of Webber (124) and Vettel (122).

Monday, 23 July 2012

Alonso Quick

After securing pole position, Fernando Alonso won the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

He was followed home by Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button.  However Vettel was given a stop-go time penalty after the race for overtaking Button on the run-off strip.

This gave Button and Kimi Raikkonen the second and third podium positions leaving Vettel relegated to fifth behind Kamui Kobayashi.

Lewis Hamilton retired with a puncture after snagging Vettel.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Wet Wet Webber

After the wettest lead up for years, Mark Webber won the 2012 British Grand Prix.

He came home ahead of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel. Felipe Massa managed his best result this year in fourth. Schumacher slipped from third on the grid to seventh.

 The two Lotus drivers Raikkonen and Grosjean took fifth and sixth.

Webber took the lead with a late daring move on pole sitter Alonso to reverse the starting grid. Hamilton and Button could only manage eighth and tenth.

Bruno Senna split the McLarens in ninth.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Alonso Rain from Spain

Silverstone has been hit by torrential rain preventing many spectators from even reaching the circuit.

Amid the chaos, Fernando Alonso managed to snatch pole position from Mark Webber and Michael Schumacher.

Vettel, Massa and Raikkonen completed the first three rows of the grid for tomorrow's race.

The two McLarens of Hamilton and Button could only manage 8th and 18th after Button failed to get beyond Q1.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Alonso's Homecoming

Sebastian Vettel scored a stunning pole position here in Valencia on Saturday.

However he could not hold off the relentless pressure of Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari.

Vettel retired with mechanical problems - his alternator giving way.

Alonso described this as one of his greatest victories. He was not expecting to win nor was he expected to do so.  He battled from 11th to victory in front of his home crowd.

Raikkonen worked his way through to finish an excellent second. Michael Schumacher had no idea he had finished third and said as much in the post-race interview of podium winners.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton ended the race throwing his steering wheel into the wall in frustration. He had slipped from second to third as Raikkonen passed him on better tyres, and was now struggling to keep Pastor Maldonado's Williams behind him. In third place with one lap to go but unable to countenance being passed, a tangle became inevitable and was reminiscent of last year's mishaps with Massa.

Mark Webber quietly came in fourth behind Scumacher. In doing so Webber moves to second in the drivers championship behind Alonso.  Red Bull's belated protest that Schumacher had his DRS open during the yellow flags that resulted from Hamilton's shunt was denied by the stewards.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Seventh Winner is...Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton took an outstanding victory in Canada to become the seventh winner of the F1 GP season.

This news was less of a surprise than the rest of the podium.

After Vettel and then Alonso's tyres started to fail whilst they held second and third, Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez took advantage and came in second and third respectively.

Perez started from 15th on the grid so this was a great effort from the Sauber driver.  Grosjean's second place was a very good result for Lotus who have looked competitive all season but have struggled with driver or team errors.

Jenson Button was at a loss to explain why he was 1.5 seconds off the pace of his team mate Hamilton as he limped home in 16th.

Hamilton described the race as one of his best ever.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Vettel Has One Finger on Win

Sebastian Vettel took pole position today in Canada. He pushed Hamilton and Alonso into second and third with a stunning lap. Mark Webber completed the second row of the grid. Jenson Button finished Q3 in the pits after almost missing the top ten shoot out and finished up 10th. Not a bad result considering the three hours his car spend in the garage during practice. Rosberg, Massa, Grosjean and di Resta headed Michael Schumacher in ninth.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Mark Webber | 6th Winner in 2012

It is hard to imagine a bigger contrast to the predictable 2011.

Mark Webber's win made it the sixth different winner in as many races bringing his Red Bull home from an inherited pole to victory.

Pole sitter Michael Schumacher, who expressed his view that he would still win despite being demoted five places for colliding in Spain with the back of Senna, was squeezed by Romain Grosjean on lap one and Grosjean retired damaged.  On this occasion Schumacher appeared relatively blameless as the cockpit camera showed a clear track ahead before Grosjean moved across the track.  Schumacher retired on lap 63.

This year seems to require consistency on the podium and, in coming third behind Nico Rosberg, Fernando Alonso now leads the drivers table.  Hamilton came in fifth behind Vettel to pick up some more useful points.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Schumacher Loses Pole on Penalties

Michael Schumacher took a sensational pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix.

One week after  Bayern Munich qualified for the European Champions League final only to be beaten by Chelsea on penalties, Michael Schumacher had his pole position snatched away from him.  A five place penalty was awarded against him two weeks ago for colliding with the back of Brazilian Bruno Senna in Spain.

So Mark Webber takes pole by default, being the second quickest time (8/100s slower than Schumacher), followed by Rosberg, Hamilton, Grosjean and Alonso.  Schumacher will start sixth.

Massa, Raikkonen, Vetttel and Hulkenberg complete the top ten.