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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Valencia Walkover

After Sebastian Vettel's walkover in the European Grand Prix at the Valencia street circuit, the hope is that Silverstone will produce a more interesting spectacle.

The points system does exaggerate the figures and make Vettel look unassailable.  However neither Button nor Hamilton have given up on the title race. What they really need are three consecutive victories to arrest Vettel's stranglehold.

There are still 11 races to go - so 275 points are up for grabs.  Vettel has already amassed 186 points to Button's 109 and Hamilton's 97.  Dont forget that Webber also has 109 points - his own pride will motivate him to try to take points off Vettel -  he needs to recover last year's form when he took three victories and five pole positions.

Last year, the only winners were Vettel, Webber, Button, Hamilton and Alonso and this appears unlikely to change this season.

Button has never made the podium at Silverstone but this year only he and Hamilton have beaten Vettel.

McLaren have new improvements for the car to bring to the Northamptonshire circuit.

From the British Grand Prix and for the rest of the season, off-throttle exhaust-blown diffuser assistance will be limited to 10%.  From 2012, exhaust pipes will need to exit in a zone behind the rear 'axle' line.  This will dramatically reduce rear downforce although as always teams will no doubt  find another way to recover the losses.  Designs like Renault's where the exhaust exits in a forward direction will be outlawed.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Five German Drivers in Top Ten

As Seb Vettel took another pole today in Valencia for the European Grand Prix tomorrow,  he led the five German drivers in the top ten.

The order was:-

Vettel
Webber
Hamilton
Alonso
Massa
Button
Rosberg
Schumacher
Heidfeld
Sutil

Jenson Button after his fine victory in Canada and a confident final practice, struggled with oversteer in the key qualifying session.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Kubica on The Mend

After seven operations, F1 Renault driver Robert Kubica is walking again.  He will try simulator work with a possible drive in the last race of the season according to Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.

His right leg is progressing well.  His arm remains a concern.

The simulator tests will test his reactions and general levels of alertness.  Of course the G forces experienced in an F1 car will be the ultimate test as they are for any F1 driver.

Overall he remains positive and optimistic which is a reflection of his strong character recognised by his medical team led by Mario Rossello and Riccardo Ceccarelli.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Button Flies

After SIX pit stops Button made his way through to third on lap 64.

He then took second from MICHAEL SCHUMACHER (who was having his best race since his return.)

This left Vettel only three seconds ahead of Button with four laps to go.

On lap 67 Button was 1.5 seconds a lap quicker than Vettel.

Webber took third from MSC on lap 68.

With two laps to go Vettel led by 1.06 seconds.

Lap 69 and Button is within 1 second of the lead and can use his DRS.  Button sets fastest lap.

Button took the lead on the final lap as Vettel goes wide and our prediction was fulfilled.  Possibly Button's finest drive.

Button's driving revoked memories of Nigel Mansell (see NewsLDN).

Alonso Confident For Race

In the post-qualifying press conference Alonso expressed confidence for the Canadian Grand Prix today.

He said 'Well we feel good, we feel confident. I think let’s go step by step.

We concentrate in qualifying on Saturday and it is the best result of the year for the team, second and third, and as you said two-tenths or one-and-a-half tenths behind Red Bull which is a much better result than we expect.

Or a much better result that in the first six races so extremely happy with today’s performance from the car and the whole weekend has been very smooth for us so looking forward for tomorrow. As Seb said, conditions are likely to change so maybe it is the less important qualifying of the year. Unfortunately we had the first row of the grid but it is always better to start at the front and tomorrow I think all the cards are on the table and I think we will have a chance to win the race for sure.'

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Alonso Close

Fernando Alonso grabbed a last minute second place in Canada.  He will be hoping for another brilliant start tomorrow to lose pole-sitter Vettel on the first corner.

Button Rosberg and Schumacher all shared 1:13:8.

The grid is -Vettel Alonso Massa Webber Hamilton Rosberg Button Schumacher.

Red Bull set pole and fourth even without KERS working and hope to have it sorted by tomorrow.

After expressing confidence that qualifying pace would be better than in previous races, McLaren disappointed.

Button on Pole in Canada

On a slippery track, smooth driving will be critical. This may play into the hands of McLaren driver Jenson Button.

In practice, Alonso and Rosberg have set the pace.

As qualifying starts in a few moments, the other teams need to focus on closing the gap on Red Bull this race.  That is what may be the case tomorrow - an end to Red Bull's dominance.

Lewis Hamilton is recovering from his faux pas after Monaco, spoken in post-race frustration.

Fernando Alonso will be very keen to set a benchmark after a good result in the last race but still seeing Vettel claim victory.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

India Pushed to Back of the Grid

The inaugural Indian Grand Prix has been pushed back to December by the reintroduction of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

This however appears likely to be temporary.  The formula one teams have indicated that they would not support racing in Bahrain this year.

Whether India is reinstated to the October 30th slot pencilled in for Bahrain remains to be seen.

According to F1India.org, four milion tons of earth have been moved to make way for the new circuit.

Karun Chandhok's father Vicky is president of the Federation of Motorsport of India.  He is adamant that the circuit will be ready for October.  Karun is cuurently reserve driver for Lotus and a BBC commentator.