Sunday, April 20, 2014

Lewis Hamilton makes it three in a row in China

Lewis Hamilton makes it three in a row in China

Lewis Hamilton raced away from pole position at Sanghai in the Chinese F1 Grand Prix 2014 and comfortably opened up a huge lead. He stamped his class all over the race and won it comfortably.

Nico Rosberg who started the race from 4th position breathed down the neck of Fernando Alonso, who had a great start, and could overtake him in Lap 42, the long straights in China favouring the powerful Mercedes engine more than the Ferrari. Rosberg finished second with a massive gap of 18.6 seconds.

Fernando Alonso finished in third position and this would come as a morale booster for the struggling Ferrari team.

Sebastian Vettel had a good start and had passed his teammate Daniel Ricciardo who had started ahead of him in 2nd place. However, he was tricked into believing that Ricciardo was in a different strategy than him and hence he allowed Ricciardo to pass. Later on Vettel was told that they were on the same strategy. Wish we can see some of the behind the scenes antics of Vettel after the race. Looks like Daniel Ricciardo is the new boy favoured by the Red Bull team after his good performance of beating Vettel in the first three races of the season. Daniel Ricciardo finished in fourth position followed by Sebastian Vettel in 5th.

Nico Hulkenberg of Force India finished 6th. He could barely manage to hold off Valtteri Bottas of Williams by half a second. The other Williams car driver by Felipe Massa was not so fortunate as despite having a good start he had hit the sides of Alonso’s car. Perhaps that was the cause of the pitstop problem where the mechanics struggled to replace the tyres and hence Massa was forced to drop down the order and never recovered from that.

Kimi Raikkonen had an uneventful race. He finished in 8th position. Sergio Perez would be happy to take 2 points from the race as he finished in 9th position followed by Danil Kvyat of Toro Rosso in 10th.

Chinese F1 Grand Prix 2014 Results:

1.         Lewis Hamilton          Mercedes
2.         Nico Rosberg              Mercedes
3.         Fernando Alonso       Ferrari
4.         Daniel Ricciardo        Red Bull
5.         Sebastian Vettel        Red Bull
6.         Nico Hulkenberg       Force India
7.         Valtteri Bottas            Williams
8.         Kimi Raikkonen         Ferrari
9.         Sergio Perez               Force India
10.       Danil Kvyat                Toro Rosso
11.       Jenson Button            McLaren
12.       Jean-Eric Vergne       Toro Rosso
13.       Kevin Magnussen     McLaren
14.       Pastor Maldonado     Lotus
15.       Felipe Massa              Williams
16.       Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber
17.       Kamui Kobayashi      Caterham
18.       Jules Bianchi              Marussia
19.       Max Chilton               Marussia

20.       Marcus Ericsson        Caterham

Retirements in Chinese F1 Grand Prix

Romain Grosjean       Lotus

Adrian Sutil               Sauber

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hamilton on Pole in Wet Sanghai F1 Qualifying

Hamilton blitzes the opposition in a wet Sanghai F1 Grand Prix qualifying

Lewis Hamilton had enough pace to be half a second ahead of second placed Daniel Ricciardo of Redbull and was 1.2s faster than his own teammate Nico Rosberg of Mercedes who qualified in P4.

Lewis Hamilton later said that his Pole position time of 01m:53.860s could have been even lower had he not made a mistake in Turn 10. With the race day on Sunday likely to be a dry race, Lewis Hamilton could have much more pace than the second and third placed RedBulls and definitely open up a huge gap with others.

Nico Rosberg - who is currently leading the drivers championship due to winning the opening race while Hamilton had an engine problem – made a mistake in Turn 14 and then a spin in the final corner and will now start behind the RedBulls of Ricciardo and Vettel. Unless he overtakes these two cars soon, challenging Lewis Hamilton would remain a pipe dream.

Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull, the reigning World Champion, again qualified behind his team mate Daniel Ricciardo. The gap of half a second between them shows that this year, Ricciardo may have the better of Vettel. It is not everyday that a four time world champion gets beaten by his teammate every race. However, that is what is happening this year so far.

Fernando Alonso of Ferrari after his impressive P1 position in the first practice on Friday, qualified in P5 here. However, his teammate Kimi Raikkonen could only qualify at 11th position. The new Ferrari chief would like both these drivers further ahead in the field. Unless Ferrari goes for a drastic change in their approach, this years championship may be over for them.

The Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas scored P6 and P7. It appears that Williams car is not good in rain. However, tomorrow being a dry race, the Williams drivers may do better.

Nico Hulkenberg of Force India qualified in P8 followed by Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso.

In a major surprise, Romain Grosjean of Lotus could move into the top ten shoot out. Though it may be due to rain, however, given the perilous situation of Lotus in the previous races where it struggled to complete a race, this is indeed good news.

Jenson Button of McLaren could only come in at P12 with his teammate Kevin Magnussen at P15.

Danil Kvyat of Toro Rosso scored P13. Adrian Sutil of Sauber was P14.

Sergio Perez coming from the high of being in the podium in the previous race, could only qualify at P16. Esteban Gutierrez of Sauber was at P17.

Kamui Kobayashi of Caterham could score the 18th position followed by Jules Bianchi of Marussia in 19th, Marcus Ericsson of Caterham in 20th and Max Chilton of Marussia in 21st. Pastor Maldonado has a sensor problem from the funny crash he had during practice and couldn’t take part in the qualifying. He may race at the discretion of the Stewards.

Sanghai F1 Grand Prix Qualifying Positions

1.         Lewis Hamilton          Mercedes
2.         Daniel Ricciardo        Red Bull
3.         Sebastian Vettel        Red Bull
4.         Nico Rosberg              Mercedes
5.         Fernando Alonso       Ferrari
6.         Felipe Massa              Williams
7.         Valtteri Bottas            Williams
8.         Nico Hulkenberg       Force India
9.         Jean-Eric Vergne       Toro Rosso
10.       Romain Grosjean       Lotus
11.       Kimi Raikkonen         Ferrari
12.       Jenson Button            McLaren
13.       Danil Kvyat                Toro Rosso
14.       Adrian Sutil                Sauber
15.       Kevin Magnussen     McLaren
16.       Sergio Perez               Force India
17.       Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber
18.       Kamui Kobayashi      Caterham
19.       Jules Bianchi              Marussia
20.       Marcus Ericsson        Caterham
21.       Max Chilton               Marussia

22.       Pastor Maldonado     Lotus

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Lewis Hamilton scores brilliant win in Bahrain

Lewis Hamilton scores brilliant win in Bahrain Grand Prix

Hamilton overtakes Rosberg in the first lap and despite massive challenge from his teammate takes a brilliant win in Bahrain.

Lewis Hamilton, who had made a mistake during qualifying to hand over the pole position to his teammate, had a flying start and overtook Rosberg. Hamilton and Rosberg traded fastest laps and others were left far behind.

Sergio Perez of Force India brought in cheers as he finished in the podium. It was the first podium for Force India after 2009. Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull beat Perez’s teammate Nico Hulkenberg to the 4th position and was breathing down the neck of Sergio Perez. If there were one more lap, then Ricciardo may have had a chance to get the podium.

Ricciardo’s teammate Sebastian Vettel finished in 6th positions. The drivers from 1st to 6th used a two stop strategy. The only other two driver to employ stop strategy was Kobayashi who finished in 15th.

Felipe Massa of Williams too had a great start as he sliced through his teammate Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez of Force India to jump to 3rd position. Massa and Bottas were on a three stop strategy and finished behind the leading 2 stoppers. Massa and Bottas finished in 7th and 8th positions.

Alonso had a great opening lap as he jumped to 7th where as his teammate Kimi Raikkonen was 9th in the opening lap. However, they finished in 9th and 10th positions respectively.

In lap 41 Pastor Maldonado came out of the pits to hit Esteban Gutierrez of Sauber who went flying. Fortunately Gutierrez landed safely, but that was the end of his race and brought in the safety car. Maldonado was handed a 10 second stop-go penalty. The safety car negated Hamilton’s earlier advantage with the faster softer tyres. He had to run the rest of the laps with medium tyres where as Nico Rosberg was on softer tyres. So it was a tough battle between the two with Hamilton having the disadvantage of the slower tyres.

In Lap 46 Paddy Lowe of Mercedes came on radio to give a message “just make sure we bring the cars home”. This was a clear indication for Hamilton not to race against Rosberg and give up the race win. However, Lewis Hamilton has the instincts of a blood hound. He is a born racer. He was not ready to give it up to Rosberg on a platter. And a battle royale was played out.

Right after the safety car, Rosberg tried to overtake Hamilton, but Lewis Hamilton didn’t give him space. In Lap 52, Nico Rosberg overtook Hamilton in the turn 1 but Lewis regained the lead as Hamilton forces Rosberg off track at Turn 4. It was incredibly tense moments being played out. Then Hamilton left slight gap and Rosberg tried to overtake Hamilton taking the inside line, but was forced to outbrake himself so that Hamilton safely moving ahead. It showed that Lewis Hamilton was using his brains and not just foot to pedal.

Lewis Hamilton finally opened up a second gap to Rosberg and maintains it to win the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix 2014.

Jenson Button retired with a car problem but he has been classified as 17th with 2 laps down the leader.

Bahrain F1 Grand Prix Final Standings

Sl. No.  Driver                         Team
1.         Lewis Hamilton          Mercedes
2.         Nico Rosberg              Mercedes
3.         Sergio Perez               Force India
4.         Daniel Ricciardo        Red Bull
5.         Nico Hulkenberg       Force India
6.         Sebastian Vettel        Red Bull
7.         Felipe Massa              Williams
8.         Valtteri Bottas            Williams
9.         Fernando Alonso       Ferrari
10.       Kimi Raikkonen         Ferrari
11.       Daniil Kvyat               Toro Rosso
12.       Romain Grosjean       Lotus
13.       Max Chilton               Marussia
14.       Pastor Maldonado     Lotus
15.       Kamui Kobayashi      Caterham
16.       Jules Bianchi              Marussia
17.       Jenson Button            McLaren

Retirements in Bahrain F1 Grand Prix

Driver                         Team           Lap
Kevin Magnussen     McLaren         40
Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber             39
Marcus Ericsson        Caterham       33
Jean-Eric Vergne       Toro Rosso    18

Adrian Sutil                Sauber          17

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Hamilton's mistake hands pole to Rosberg

Hamilton's mistake hands pole to Rosberg

Lewis Hamilton had been fastest this year with two pole positions and one win. The other race ie. the opening Australian Grand Prix was an aberration as Hamilton had a failure. However, in Bahrain, at a crucial moment Lewis Hamilton made a mistake as a result his teammate Nico Rosberg grabbed the pole.

Hamilton will start besides his teammate in P2.

In what was seen as the signs to come, in Q1 everyone except the two Mercedes cars and Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull were in softer tyres as these three knew their pace. In the Q3, it was proved right with Daniel Ricciardo scoring a P3. However, he will be demoted 10 places due to the grid penalty he earned during Malaysian Grand Prix.

In Q1 apart from the regular backbenchers Caterham and Marussia, Adrian Sutil of Sauber scored a P18. There was stiff competition between the two Lotus cars to move into Q2 and Romain Grosjean could pip his team mate Pastor Maldonado by a slender margin to move into Q2. Grosjean scored 1m 36.654’ vs Maldonado’s 1m 36.663s.

One big casualty of Q2 was reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull who failed to qualify to Q1. He could only manage P11. Vettel scored 1m 34.985s and Kimi Raikkonen just beat him to the P10 position in Q2 with a time of 1m 34.925s. Daniel Ricciardo has twice beaten Sebastian Vettel in the last three qualifyings and Vettel must be hurting a lot.

Valtteri Bottas of Williams was a surprise as he qualified in P4 where as his teammate Felipe Massa was P8. Both of them will start at P3 and P7 respectively following Ricciardo’s grid penalty.

Another surprise was Sergio Perez of Force India who qualified in P5. He will start at P4 along side Bottas in the second row.

Kimi Raikkonen outqualified his teammate for the first time in three qualifyings. Kimi scored P6 and will start at P5. Jenson Button of McLaren was behind Kimi at P7. He will start at P6. Button’s teammate Magnussen scored P9 and will start at P8. Fernando Alonso was the 10th among the Q3 participants. He will start the race at 9th position. Vettel will be along side him.

Bahrain F1 Qualifying standings

Sl. No.             Driver             Team
1.         Nico Rosberg              Mercedes
2.         Lewis Hamilton          Mercedes
3.         Daniel Ricciardo        Red Bull
4.         Valtteri Bottas            Williams
5.         Sergio Perez               Force India
6.         Kimi Raikkonen         Ferrari
7.         Jenson Button            McLaren
8.         Felipe Massa              Williams
9.         Kevin Magnussen     McLaren
10.       Fernando Alonso       Ferrari
11.       Sebastian Vettel        Red Bull
12.       Nico Hulkenberg       Force India
13.       D Kvyat                      Toro Rosso
14.       Jean-Eric Vergne       Toro Rosso
15.       Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber
16.       Romain Grosjean       Lotus
17.       Pastor Maldonado     Lotus
18.       Adrian Sutil                Sauber
19.       Kamui Kobayashi      Caterham
20.       Jules Bianchi              Marussia
21.       M. Ericsson                 Caterham

22.       Max Chilton               Marussia