Sunday, October 12, 2014

Hamilton coasts to Inaugural Russian Grand Prix win

Hamilton coasts to inaugural Russian Grand Prix win

Lewis Hamilton started on pole however his teammate Nico Rosberg who started second did his best to overtake Lewis. Rosberg ran wide and took lot of speed to turn 2 to overtake Lewis Hamilton. However, he also flat spotted his tyres and had to pit for changing his tyres.

The Sochi International Street circuit hosting the Russian F1 Grand Prix had a clean and smooth surface so tyre degradation was less. The cold climate also helped in lowering the tyre degradation. However expecting one set of tyres to last 51 laps was ambitious to say the least. Nevertheless the Mercedes team kept of telling Rosberg that he can get the third and final podium position by beating Jenson Button. It initially seemed that it was more to do to keep Rosberg's motivation up. When Rosberg started complaining that he is having tyre degradation by lap 22, it appeared that he has to pit again. However there was a bit of racing as Rosberg upped his pace and even overtook Valtteri Bottas for the second position on lap 31 and he confirmed that his tyres have become better. However, Williams team told Bottas that they were confident that Rosberg can't make the tyres last for such a long time. Rosberg continued to lap faster than every other driver till lap 39 and had opened a gap of about 5 seconds. Valtteri Bottas did a late charge but couldn't overtake Nico Rosberg. After the silly move in the opening lap which resulted in the flat spotting of tyres, Rosberg used his head and drove a great race to secure the second position.

The overall race was a bit dull, except for the superior pace of the Mercedes which helped in Rosberg come back from the grid to P2. Otherwise it was mostly a procession as the tyre degradation was minimal and didn't act as a variable.

Valtteri Bottas of Williams came third. Jenson Button of McLaren did a good race to finish 4th. He is at the moment not sure if he can find a race seat next year in a good car. His teammate Kevin Magnusses came in 5th followed by Fernando Alonso of Ferrari in 5th. Then came the Red Bull duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel in 7th and 8th positions. Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari scored 9th and was followed by Sergio Perez in 10th and last points paying position.

The Caterham team confirmed that Kamui Kobayashi's brakes were overheating so he had to retire after 22 laps in Russian F1 Grand Prix. The lone Marussia of Max Chilton had earlier retired after 10 laps.

Results in Russian F1 Grand Prix 2014

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

Retirements in Russian F1 Grand Prix 2014

Kamui Kobayashi              Caterham        Lap 22
Max Chilton                       Marussia         Lap 10

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Hamilton on pole in inaugural Russian Grand Prix

Hamilton on inaugural Russian Grand Prix pole

Lewis Hamilton scored the pole position in the inaugural Russian Grand Prix at Sochi ahead of his teammate and world championship rival Nico Rosberg of Mercedes. Hamilton was 200th of a second faster than his teammate. Hamilton set a time of 1m 38.513 seconds. Rosberg set a time of 1m 38.713 seconds.

Valtteri Bottas of Williams came in third with a time of 1m 38.920 seconds. No one else could come within the 1m 39 seconds mark. Bottas did a mistake and had to settle for third else he could have easily beaten Nico Rosberg. His teammate Felipe Massa was not so fortunate as he faced some engine issues and had clearly less power. Massa was eliminated in the Q1 of the Russian F1 Grand Prix qualifying and came in 18th. It would be an uphill battle for him as the overtaking chances in this circuit is expected to be less.

As expected McLaren was closer in pace and Jenson Button came in P4 with a time of 1m 39.121 seconds. Button who is widely expected to be dropped from McLaren next season is showing his class and should do well in the race tomorrow.

Kvyat of Toro Rosso finally strung a good lap to came in 5th with a time of 1m 39.277. Being a Russian driver he would have warmed many a hearts in this Russian F1 Grand Prix. Kvyat who is going to Red Bull next year, came ahead of both the Red Bull drivers as well. His teammate Jean-Eric Vergne came will start in 10th.

Kvyat was followed by Kevin Magnussen of McLaren in 6th with a time of 1m 39.629 seconds. Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull came in at P7 with a time of 1m 39.635 seconds. Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was P8 with a time of 1m 39.709seconds followed by his teammate Kimi Raikkonen in P9 who set a time of 1m 39.771seconds. Jean Eric-Vergne of Toro Rosso was P10 at 1m 40.052. He was ahead of Sebastian Vettel of RedBull who will start in P11 tomorrow.

Vettel was followed by the Force India duo of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez in 12th and 13th positions respectively. The Force India duo were followed by the Sauber drivers Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil in 14th and 15th positions. Romain Grosjean of Lotus was P16 followed by Marcus Ericsson of Caterham in P17.

Felipe Massa was P18 followed by Kamui Kobayashi of Caterham in P19, Pastor Maldonado of Lotus in P20 and Max Chilton of Marussia in P21.

Marussia is only running one car in this race as a mark of respect for Jules Bianchi who is battling for survival due to a severe head injury incurred in the race in the Japanese Grand Prix last sunday.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hamilton wins red flagged Japanese F1 Grand Prix

Hamilton wins red-flagged Japanese F1 Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton overtook Nico Rosberg in lap 29 in spectacular fashion to lead the race till it was red-flagged in lap 47 when Jules Bianchi crashed.

Jules Bianchi of Marussia crashed into a recovery vehicle which had been deployed after Adrian Sutil's crash. Bianchi suffered severe head injuries and has undergone head surgery. The result was backdated to lap 44. Aware about the extent of injuries to Jules Bianchi there was no celebration on the podium by winner Lewis Hamilton, second placed Nico Rosberg and third placed Sebastian Vettel. There were no champagnes opened and the stony face of the drivers reflected the severity of the incident.

The weather reports indicated that the Japanese F1 Grand Prix will have massive rains. Accordingly FIA had given the option to hold the race earlier in the day. However fearing cancellation by spectators, the race organisers decided to hold it on the scheduled time. So the race was started under safety car and the visibility was extremely poor. The safety car period ended in lap 9 and normal racing began. However, the spray from the cars ahead made it difficult for the drivers.

Daniel Ricciardo of RedBull finished 4th behind his teammate Vettel. He was followed by Jenson Button of McLaren in 5th. It was a good performance from Jenson Button whose seat for next year is in doubt.

Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa of Williams came in 6th and 7th. Nico Hulkenberg of Force India finished on 8th.

Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso who doesn't have a race seat next year finished on 9th. He was followed by Sergio Perez of Force India on 10th.

Kvyat of Toro Rosso finished without points on 11th. He was followed by Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari on 12th. Infact both the two Ferrari's finished without points as earlier Fernando Alonso's engine failed and he had to retire in the 2nd lap during the safety car period itself.

Esteban Gutierrez of Sauber and Kevin Magnussen of McLaren finished on 13th and 14th. The Lotus duo of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado finished on 15th and 16th.

Marcus Ericsson of Caterham finished 17th ahead of Max Chilton of Marussia in 18th. Kamui Kobayashi of Caterham finished 19th and last in his home race. This may be his last race considering his performance as well as the difficult financial position of the Caterham team.

Retirements in Japanese F1 Grand Prix 2014

Jules Bianchi             Marussia
Adrian Sutil               Sauber
Fernando Alonso       Ferrari

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Hamilton loses pole to Rosberg at Suzuka

Lewis Hamilton who is now leading the F1 World Championship by 3 points, lost the pole to his teammate Nico Rosberg in the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

Though it was a keenly contested qualifying, Hamilton had crashed in the final practice. In the Final top ten shootout, he locked up and Rosberg beat him to the pole by 0.2 seconds. Nico Rosberg set a time of 1m 32.506 seconds to Hamilton's 1m 32.703 seconds.

The Mercedes duo were followed by the Williams pair of Valtteri Bottas in 3rd and Felipe Massa in 4th. Bottas had a time of 1m 33.128 seconds vis-a-vis his teammate Massa's time of 1m 33.527 seconds.

Fernando Alonso who is rumoured to be departing Ferrari at the end of the season for McLaren will start tomorrows race in 5th position with a time of 1m 33.740 seconds. Daniel Ricciardo of RedBull came 6th with a time of 1m 34.075 seconds.

Next came the McLaren duo of Kevin Magnussen at 7th with time of 1m34.242 followed by his teammate and former world champion Jenson Button at 1m 34.317seconds.

Sebastian Vettel of RedBull who has announced that this season will be his last with Red Bull and supposed to be heading towards Ferrari came in 9th by timing 1m 34.432 seconds. He was followed by his next years likely teammate Kimi Raikkonen in 10th. Kimi was timed at 1m 34.548seconds.

Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso who is looking for a drive next year, will start 11th. He is followed by Sergio Perez of Force India in 12th.

Daniel Kvyat of Toro Rosso will start at 13th. RedBull has just announced that Kvyat will take Vettel's place in Red Bull next year. Nico Hulkenberg of Force India came in 14th. He was followed by the Sauber duo of Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez in 15th and 16th positions.

Lotus drivers Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean occupy the by now familiar 17th and 18th positions.

Marcus Ericsson of Caterham came in 19th ahead of Jules Bianchi of Marussia on 20th, Kamui Kobayashi of Caterham in 21st and Max Chilton of Marussia in 22nd.

There is likely to be rain and safety car periods in tomorrow race. Hamilton does well in wet races. So it would be interesting to see if Lewis Hamilton can overtake Nico Rosberg during the start and win the race.