Sunday, March 30, 2014

Lewis Hamilton wins Malaysian Grand Prix

Hamilton wins Malaysian Grand Prix

It was a dominant display from Lewis Hamilton in the Malaysian Grand prix. He started from Pole and won without any hiccups. Unlike the season opening race in Australia, Hamilton didn’t suffer any problems and finished the race in style. Hamilton needed 3 pit stops to complete the 56 lap race.

Lewis Hamilton’s teammate Nico Rosberg finished second. He was followed by Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull to a third place finish. Though Vettel was P2 in qualifying, he was overtaken at the start by Rosberg as well as Ricciardo. In the first couple of corners. At one point it appeared that Vettel was about to catch Rosberg, but soon Vettel fell behind.

Vettel’s teammate Daniel Ricciardo had to retire in the 49th lap. Before that he was handed a 5 second stop/go penalty. His front hit the kerbs and dragged for a while, infact for three races it scraped the track before he was brought in to pit.

Fernando Alonso of Ferrari benefitted from Ricciardo’s misfortune and finished in 4th position. In the 54th lap he took the benefit of fresh tyres to overtake Nico Hulkenberg of Force India who finished in 5th position. Hulkenberg was the only top ten finisher to use a 2 stop strategy as opposed to the 3 stop strategy employed by others. The other 2 stopper was Kamui Kobayashi of Caterham who finished a creditable 13th. However, Alonso’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen was not so fortunate as he got a puncture after getting hit by Magnussen of McLaren in the 2nd lap. Kimi finished in 12th position.

Jenson Button of McLaren finished in sixth position. He was followed by the Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Valteri Bottas in 7th and 8th positions respectively.

Magnussen of McLaren finished a lap down in 9th . Kvyat of Toro Rosso took the 10th and final points paying position.

Romain Grosjean of Lotus would be a relieved man as this is the first time a Lotus car in this season could finish a race. He did well by holding off Kimi Raikkonen. Romain finished in 11th position. His teammate Pastor Maldonado was however done in by Jules Bianchi in the 1st lap and had to retire in lap 7. Bianchi retired in lap 8.

The Caterhams of Kobayashi and Ericsson finished in 13th and 14th positions. These positions may become critical later in the season and may decide the 10th placed team.

Max Chilton of Marussia finished in 15th position.

Retirements in Malaysian Grand Prix

Driver             Team              Lap

Ricciardo         Red Bull          49
Gutierrez         Sauber             35
Sutil                Sauber             32
Vergne            Toro Rosso     18
Bianch            Marussia           8
Maldonado      Lotus                7

Perez               Force India       0         

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Lewis Hamilton scores Pole in Malaysia

Hamilton scores pole in a wet Malaysian grand Prix

As was expected, it rained in Sepang during the Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying. And that helped in reducing the times and brining the competitors much closer to each other. Despite that, Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes scored the pole with a time of 1’59.431. This was his second pole in as many races in the 2014 formula 1 season. However, unlike the previous race where he had to retire, he would be hoping to win.

However, Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull came second. He was 0.055 seconds off Hamilton’s time.

Hamilton’s team-mate Nico Rosberg came third with a time of 2’00.050 seconds. So Hamilton and Vettel were the only two drivers who were below the 2 mins barrier.

Fernando Alonso of Ferrari came in 4th and will start along side Rosberg in the second row. Alonso scored 2’00.175

Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull who was disqualified in the previous race due to a fuel flow issue, qualified in P5 with a time of 2’00.541. Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari qualified P6 with a time of 2’01.218.

Nico Hulkenberb of Force India qualified at P7 with a time of 2’01.712. However, his teammate Sergio Perez could only qualify at P14.

Kevin Magnussen of McLaren came in 8th with a time of 2’02.213. Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso scored the P9 position with a time of 2’03.078.

Jenson Button of McLaren who had gambled on intermediate tyres, couldn’t cope up when the rain increased and came up 10th in the top ten shoot out in Q3 with a time of 2’04.053.

Torro Rosso’s new hire Kvyat came in 11th, followed by Esteban Gutierrez of Sauber at 12th. Felipe Massa of Williams qualified at 13th followed by Sergio Perez of Force India at P14. Valtteri Bottas of Williams came in at P15.

The lotus duo of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado qualified at P16 and P17 showing how far the Lotus has fallen this season. Adrian Sutil of Sauber was P18, followed by the regular backbenchers Jules Bianchi of Marussia at P19, Kamui Kobayashi of Caterham at P20, Max Chilton of Marussia at P21 and Marcus Ericsson of Caterham at P22.

Maldonado and Sutil might be feeling bad for being caught out in Q1 as Ericsson of Caterham crashed and created a red flag bring down their chances of going through to Q2.

We will have to see how the weather holds up tomorrow. Given Lewis Hamilton’s bad luck in the previous race, he would be desperetly hoping that the race goes well.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Rosberg wins as Hamilton retires in Australian GP

Nico Rosberg wins Australian GP as Hamilton retires

The Australian GP 2014 had lots of drama and an aborted start. So there was another formation lap. And finally when the race started (which was reduced to 57 laps), the Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton was told to retire to "save his engine".

The opening was chaotic and two drivers retired in the opening lap itself as Kamui Kobayashi making his return to F1 after a year using the funds donated by his fans to buy a seat in Caterham, ploughed into the back of Felipe Massa of Williams.

Third placed Nico Rosberg took the lead in the first corner itself by jumping ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and comfortably won the race. Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull finished second. However, he was later disqualified by the stewards as his car was found to have more than 100 kg/hr fuel flow to the engine. The Red Bull team had protested that the sensor technology for limiting the fuel flow is not reliable. However, FIA rejected their contention and Ricciardo was disqualified.

Rookie Kevin Magnussen of McLaren who was originally third, inherited the second place. His teammate Jenson Button of McLaren is now classified third.

Fernando Alonso of Ferrari admitted after the race that they are slower than the Mercedes. He had originally finished in 5th, but is now classified as 4th due to the disqualification of the Red Bull car.

Valteri Bottas of Williams now has a lifetime high position of 5th. His teammate Felipe Massa would be ruing his luck. An aggrieved Felipe Massa has called for a ban on Kamui Kobayashi for plunging into his back in kamikaze style.

Nico Hulkenberg of Force India is now 6th followed by Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari in 7th. Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso are now 8th and 9th. The 10th and final points paying position now goes to Sergio Perez of Force India.

The Sauber duo of Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez are 11th and 12 respectively. They are followed by the Marussia duo of Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi at 13th and 14th positions. These positions are now critical because when the competitiveness of the teams increases these positions will be difficult to beat for the other teams like Caterham. Only the top 10 teams get paid and the 11th team doesn't get any prize money. That is equivalent to several million dollars hit if the team doesn't finish in 10th position.

The lotus duo of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado drove their cars for sometime before retiring. Given the state of their problems, covering 49 and 23 laps is considered a big thing for them.

Marcus Ericsson of Caterham retired after 27 laps.

Last years world champion Sebastian Vettel retired in the 3rd lap and Renault is looking into the engine problems that he faced.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Hamilton starts Formula 1 2014 season with Pole

Lewis Hamilton starts the Forumla 1 2014 season with pole at Melbourne

The formula One 2014 season has seen a raft of rule changes including shift to smaller V6 engines. The preseason testing was a nightmare for RED Bull and other Renault powered cars. It was expected that the pecking order will be changed in 2014. And so it seems with Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes scoring the pole position at Melbourne, Australia on a rainy saturday.

However, Daniel Ricciardo who shifted from Toro Rosso to Red Bull kept the hopes of Red Bull fans by scoring his first front line qualifying position of his career when he scored P2. His illustrious teammate Sebastian Vettel could only score P13.

It was expected that Mercedes and Williams will be strong. However, Hamilton's team-mate Nico Rosberg could only score P3 with 0.364 seconds slower than the pole winning time.

Kevin Magnussen, a rookie in the first F1 qualifying race of his career, outpaced his team-mate and former world champion Jenson Button of McLaren to score P4 vs P11. McLaren must be happy with their choice.

Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was P5 whereas his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen crashed and finished at P12.

Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso was P6 followed by Nico Hulkenberg of Force India in P7. D Kvyat of Russia, another rookie, scored the P8 position for Toro Rosso.

Felipe Massa and Valeri Bottas scored P9 and P10. However, Valeri Bottas will serve a penalty for gear box change.

Adrian Sutil of Sauber was P14 followed by Kamui Kobayashi who was making his return to F1 with Caterham.

Sergio Perez of Force India would not be a happy man as he could only score a P16 vs his team-mate's P7.

Max Chilton of Marussia came ahead of his team-mate Jules Bianchi at P17 and P18 respectively.

Esteban Gutierrez of Sauber qualified at a lowly P19 ahead of M Ericsson of Caterham at P20. Lotus found itself in an unfamiliar position of coming last with Romain and Maldonado at P21 and P22 and desperately hoping that Lotus corrects their cars.