Friday, September 28, 2012

Mercedes shows the door to Michael Schumacher

Mercedes shows the door to Michael Schuamacher

Mercedes didn't choose to renew Michael Schumacher's contract. Instead it announced signing up Lewis Hamilton for a three year duration.

Mercedes also announce that Triple World Champion Nikki Lauda will join the team as non-executive chairman.

The Mercedes team is largely struggling under the leadership of Ross Brawn and has notched up a single race win in three years. Michael Schumacher has managed to win his first podium finish this year where as his team mate Nico Rosberg has won one race.

Michael Schumacher in a statement said "I have had three nice years with the team which unfortunately did not go as well as we would have wanted on the sporting side. I wish Lewis well and for the team to achieve success we worked so hard for in the build-up. I would like to thank the team for their trust and all the guys for their unconditional commitment. I will now concentrate on the next races."

Ross Brawn of Mercedes said "On behalf of Mercedes, I would first of all like to thank Michael Schumacher for the important contribution he has made to the growth of our team over the past three seasons. His energy and commitment has never wavered, even when results have not matched our own expectations, and we are determined to finish the 2012 season together on a high. As always, it has been a pleasure to work with Michael."

McLaren team has immediately announced that they have signed Sergio Perez of Sauber who has shined this year with three podium finishes.

It would be interesting to see what Michael Schumacher does. From his spirited driving it doesn't appear that he is considering retirement. However, his options for driving a top team are on finger tips.

One likely possibility of a drive for Michael Schumacher could be Ferrari. Felipe Massa is under fire in Ferrari and has failed to impress. His contract will be over this year. It would be a dream come true to get Michael Schumacher partner with Fernando Alonso. If the pairing of Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso happens, then it would be a dream team. Will Luca Montzemelo agree to that prospect?

Michael Schumacher can also go to the smaller Sauber team as a replacement of Sergio Perez. The Sauber team has been punching above its weight and have been pretty fast.

The last word on Michael Schumacher's future is yet to be heard on this subject. One thing is for certain, there would be hordes of people who will stop buying Mercedes cars.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Vettel wins Singapore Grand Prix as Lewis retires

Sebastian Vettel wins as Lewis retires in Singapore Grand Prix

The Formula One Singapore Grand Prix saw many crashes and accidents, but the race started without mayhem as Grosjean kept his cool after coming back from a one race ban. Lewis Hamilton started from pole and retained his position. Pastor Maldonado who started in second position was passed by Sebastian Vettel as well as Jenson Button, still he retained his cool and didn’t press the destruction button.

Still there was an incident at the back of the grid where the two Caterham driver’s collided.

There was no surprise element, as both the Mercedes cars which didn’t run on the Q3 in the qualifying also choose the Super soft tyres. Michael Schumacher was told to cool his car while his teammate overtook him.

Lewis Hamilton was unfortunate that his gearbox broke down and he had to retire.  Narain Karthikeyan who was the last person to go for his pitstop amazingly running 20 laps in his supersoft tyres, hit the barriers on lap 33 and his front right wheel came off forcing a safety car to be deployed. Immediately all the drivers who hadn’t done their pitstops choose to do so. Alonso had earlier taken his pit stop, so was Raikkonen. So they choose to stay out during the safety car period. Niko Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez didn’t choose to make their pit stops and they were the only ones to have done one stop after the safety car was taken out.

It was sad for Narain as Tata Tea had just choosen to sponsor HRT car for the Singapore as well as the Indian Grand Prix.

During the safety car period, in lap 37, Pastor Maldonado was told by his Williams team that his car had a problem and he needs to stop the car. This resulted in the both the front runners retiring from the race.

Disaster stuck again for Michael Schumacher as in lap 41 he ran into the back of Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso. So interestingly Michael Schumacher has never got any points in Singapore. The safety car was redeployed. Did Schumacher get his braking wrong like last year or was it a problem with his brakes as he locked up. Fortunately, there was no animosity displayed between Schumacher and Jean-Eric Vergne as they both patted each others back. This looks like Schumacher’s fault and this incident will be investigated after the race by stewards. It is surprising that the God of Formula One, Michael Schumacher has ran into the back of another driver twice in Singapore Grand Prix.

Towards the end there were some competitive times posted by Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button as they knew that the race will not run its full 61 laps as according to rules the race can run only for a maximum of two hours. However, Button couldn't sustain the pace and Vettel won a comfortably.

Bruno Senna who was running in at 10th position told his team that he has a loss of power and stopped his car barely a minute before the finish.

Final Result of F1 Singapore Grand Prix 2012

1.     Sebastian Vettel
2.     Jenson Button
3.     Fernando Alonso
4.     Paul di Resta
5.     Nico Rosberg
6.     Kimi Raikkonen
7.     Romain Grosjean
8.     Felipe Massa
9.     Daniel Ricciardo
10. Mark Webber
11. Serzio Perez
12. Timo Glock
13. Kamui Kobayashi
14. Niko Hulkenberg
15. Heikki Kovalainen
16. Charles Pic
17. Pedro de la Rosa
18. Bruno Senna
19. Vitaly Petrov

Retirements in Singapore Grand Prix 2012

Michael Schumacher – Lap 41
Jean-Eric Vergne – Lap 41
Pastor Maldonado – Lap 37
Narain Karthikeyan – Lap 33
Lewis Hamilton – Lap 23


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Singapore Pole for Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton scores pole in Singapore Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton blitzed to the pole position in F1 Singapore Grand Prix with a time of 1m:46.362s. He was nearly half a second faster than the second placed Pastor Maldonado. Maldonado has been erratic and has picked up a spate of penalties this season, however, he has shown speed as well and have won a race this year. No one had imagined that the williams team, after their pathetic showing last year, will be in the front row.

Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull who had dominated the friday practice sessions was third followed by Jenson Button of McLaren.

Fernando Alonso of Ferrari who has completely outplayed his team mate Felipe Massa, came in at 5th with a time of 1m 47.216s. Force India's Paul di Resta scored a 1m 47.241s to join Alonso in the 3rd row.

Mark Webber came in at 7th position with a time of 1m 47.475s followed by Romain Grosjean who came back to racing after serving a one race ban. Grosjean scored a 1m 47.788s.

Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg of Mercedes didn't drive a single lap in the Q3 will start at 9th and 10th position for the Sunday race.

Nico Hulkenberg of Force India will start at 11th followed by Kimi Raikkonen at 12th.

India's Narain Karthikeyan again beat his team mate Pedro de La Rosa in qualifying and they scored the 23rd and 24th place.

Will Lewis Hamilton score another victory in the night race at Singapore? Will the Mercedes drivers Schumacher and Rosberg get any advantage due to not running in Q3? Apart from having an extra set of tyres to use in the race, not driving in the qualifying also means that they can decide to choose either of the tyre compounds ie. either the soft or the super soft tyres during the opening. According to the rule, anyone driving in the Q3 would be forced to use the same type of tyres which they used for qualifying. Will this give a bigger advantage to Mercedes?

Tomorrow's Singapore Grand Prix F1 race will certainly be interesting.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hamilton wins from Pole in the 2012 Italian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton wins from Pole in the 2012 Italian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton won from Pole while his teammate Jenson Button retired. Sergio Perez drove was pretty fast and he finished at 2nd position even though he started from a lowly 13th position. Fernando Alonso scored a superb third after starting from 10th position. His teammate Felipe Massa was behind him in 4th position though he started at P3. Kimi Raikkonen who started at P8 finished at 5th position just ahead of Michael Schumacher.

In the 29th lap Alonso made a pass on Vettel at the second chicane. Vettel didn’t leave any space and the incident was investigated by the stewards. Vettel was handled a drive through penalty for forcing Alonso off the race track. This helped in Michael Schumacher who was just behind Vettel at 5th position, moved ahead. Kimi Raikkonen too moved ahead as Vettel rejoined the race in 9th position. Later he retired from the race in 48th lap. His teammate Mark Webber retired 4 laps later at Lap 52.

Jenson Button who had started the race in 2nd position retired in 34th lap due to mechanical problems. In the same lap Sergio Perez did a best lap with a 1:28.720 seconds.

Michael Schumacher unfortunately took a second pit stop. He and his team mate Rosberg were the only drivers to take two pit stops among the top ranked drivers. Michael Schumacher then dropped down the order and had to fight back to take the 6th place 0.3 seconds behind the 5th placed Kimi Raikkonen. Paul di Resta of Force India scored 8th, Kamui Kobayashi was 9th and Bruno Senna of Williams was 10th. Narain Karthikeyan of India was 19th. 

Final Results of 2012 Italian Grand Prix

1.     Lewis Hamilton               McLaren        
2.     Sergio Perez                     Sauber                       
3.     Fernando Alonso              Ferrari           
4.     Felipe Massa                    Ferrari
5.     Kimi Raikkonen               Lotus
6.     Michael Schumacher       Mercedes
7.     Nico Rosberg                   Mercedes
8.     Paul di Resta                    Force India
9.     Kamui Kobayashi            Sauber
10. Bruno Senna                    Williams
11. Pastor Maldonado           Williams
12. Daniel Ricciardo             Toro Rosso
13. Jerom d’Ambrosio          Lotus
14. Heikki Kovalainen          Caterham
15. Vitaly Petrov                   Caterham
16. Charles Pic                      Marussia
17. Timo Glock                     Marussia
18. Pedro de la Rosa             HRT
19. Narain Karthikeyan        HRT
20. Mark Webber                  Red Bull
21. Nico Hulkenberg             Force India
22. Sebastian Vettel              Red Bull
23. Jenson Button                  McLaren
24. Jean-Eric Vergne            Toro Rosso

Best Lap: Nico Rosberg 1:27.239 on Lap 53.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lewis Hamilton in Pole in Italian Grand Prix Qualifying

2012 Italian Grand Prix Qualifying | Formula One

Lewis Hamilton scores pole position in the 2012 Italian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton lead his teammate Jenson Button to lock out the front row in the 2012 Italian grand Prix qualifying. In a closely fought qualifying, 0.5 seconds separated the top 5 drivers. Out of this the top four were only separated by 0.3 seconds.

The 2012 Italian Grand Prix is expected to be a bit different as the “bulldozer Grosjean” has been banned for this race and in his place comes in Lotus reserve driver Gerome d’ Ambrosio. This would be his first race. And expectedly he qualified at 16th vis-à-vis the 8th position of his team mate Kimi Raikkonen.
However, the major surprise came from the Ferrari drivers. Felipe Massa who is widely expected to lose his drive in Ferrari at the end of the season scored a P3 where as his teammate and world championship leader Fernando Alonso could only score the 10th position.

Paul di Resta, scored the 4th position with a phenomenal time of 1:24.204. Michael Schumacher came 5th at 1:24.540. He was followed by Sebastian Vettel at 1:24.802. Nico Rosberg who had a very poor outing in the previous race came in 7th with a time of 1:24.833. Kobayashi came in 9th at 1:25.109.

At the back of the grid, Narain Karthikeyan was very happy as he could beat his team mate Pedro de la Rosa 0.188 seconds.

2012 Italian Grand Prix Qualifying 

1.     Lewis Hamilton               McLaren       1:24.010
2.     Jenson Button                  McLaren       1:24.133
3.     Felipe Massa                   Ferrari           1:24.247
4.     Paul di Resta                   Force India    1:24.304
5.     Michael Schumacher      Mercedes       1:24.540
6.     Sebastian Vettel              Red Bull        1:24.802
7.     Nico Rosberg                  Mercedes       1:24.802
8.     Kimi Raikkonen             Lotus              1:24.855
9.     Kamui Kobayashi           Sauber            1:24.109
10. Fernando Alonso            Ferrari            1:25.678
11. Mark Webber                 Red Bull         1:24.809
12. Pastor Maldonado          Williams        1:24.820
13. Sergio Perez                   Sauber            1:24.901
14. Bruno Senna                   Williams        1:25.042
15. Daniel Ricciardo            Toro Rosso     1:25.312
16. Jerom d’Ambrosio         Lotus              1:25.408
17. Jean-Eric Vergne           Toro Rosso     1:25.441
18. Heikki Kovalainen         Caterham       1.26.382
19. Vitaly Petrov                  Caterham       1:26.887
20. Timo Glock                    Marussia        1:27.039
21. Charles Pic                     Marussia        1:27.073
22. Narain Karthikeyan        HRT               1:27.441
23. Pedro de la Rosa            HRT                1:27.629
24. Nico Hulkenberg            Force India     -

This grand prix is going to be interesting as the championship leader Fernando Alonso is starting in 10th position and his competitors are ahead of him. Lets see how the race unfolds tomorrow. Out of the top five qualifiers three are using mercedes engines. Will Michael Schumacher win this Grand Prix. Or will Lewis Hamilton with this race after suffering many mishaps in the previous races and bring his title efforts back on track?