Sunday, November 23, 2014

Hamilton wins Abu Dhabi & F1 World Championship

Lewis Hamilton wins Abu Dhabi for his 2nd F1 World Championship

Lewis Hamilton made a superb start to snatch the lead from Rosberg in the first lap itself and win the race and Championship. Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas of Williams finished in 2nd and 3rd positions. Nico Rosberg finished in 14th.

Hamilton had raced to 1.2 seconds lead by the second lap. He knew he had to put a big distance between him and the following pack before the pitstops and he really sped away. Nico Rosberg's slim hopes for a championship win vanished into thin air as his poor start resulted in all strategies being ruined. Rosberg had tyres that were one lap older than Hamilton as Rosberg had done one more lap in the qualifying due to a mistake. It is the prerogative of the race leader to decide when to pit. His teammate can only follow in the next lap. So Rosberg had to wait for Hamilton to pit first.

The first pit stop was interesting, as Fernando Alonso dived in into the pits in lap 6. However, he got stuck in traffic as were other drivers. So Mercedes told its drivers to delay the pit stop a bit. So Lewis Hamilton came into the pits in lap 11 followed by Nico Rosberg in the next lap.

Both the Red Bull cars had to start from the pitlane as Red Bull was penalised for using a front wing that flexed beyond the limits. So they had to change it. And since the rules state that you can't change the car between the qualifying and the start, so the Red Bull cars had to start from the pitlane.

After the first round of pitstops, Nico Rosberg kept on pushing the gap was around 2.5 seconds. However, Rosberg couldn't perhaps handle the pressure and made a mistake in lap 24 and locked up in turn 17. In the next lap he reported loss of engine power and Mercedes told him that his Energy Recovery System (ERS) failed. So not only his championship dreams but also scoring a podium finish vanished. Soon after in lap 27 Felipe Massa overtook Rosberg for second position. Pastor Maldonado's wretched year continued as his Lotus car was engulfed by flames.

There was more drama, as suddenly Lewis Hamilton's car slowed down bring fears that his car is also having technical problems. However, it appeared that it was purposefully slowed down to avoid problems. Lewis soon changed tyres in lap 32 and came behind Rosberg but quickly overtook him. This resulted in Massa leading the race. Lewis Hamilton even told his Mercedes team over radio "I am not racing Massa anymore" as perhaps he was worried that his car might have some problems. Clearly he wanted to trade a race win for a Championship win. However Massa still had to pit for tyres and stopped in lap 44 handing over the lead back to Lewis Hamilton. Felipe Massa though changed over to Super Soft tyres and wanted to chase down Lewis Hamilton as the Williams team knew that Mercedes is conservative and afraid of technical problems.  By lap 53 Massa had narrowed the gap to 3.5 seconds to Hamilton. On lap 55 Lewis Hamilton lapped Nico Rosberg and continued his lead over Felipe Massa to win the race as well as the 2014 drivers F1 chamipionship.

This was the 11th race win of Lewis Hamilton in this season. He had more engine problems this year. Despite that he has shown tremendous maturity, grit and pace to win races and his 2nd World Championship.

Final Results of F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

01. Lewis Hamilton         Mercedes
02. Felipe Massa              Williams
03. Valtteri Bottas            Williams
04. Daniel Ricciardo        Red Bull
05. Jenson Button             McLaren
06. Nico Hulkenberg        Force India
07. Sergio Perez               Force India
08. Sebastian Vettel         Red Bull
09. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari
10. Kimi Raikkonen        Ferrari
11. Kevin Magnussen      McLaren
12. Jean-Eric Vergne       Toro Rosso
13. Romain Grosjean       Lotus
14. Nico Rosberg             Mercedes
15. Esteban Gutierrez      Sauber
16. Adrian Sutil               Sauber
17. Will Stevens              Caterham

Retirements in Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix

Kamui Kobayashi  Caterham            Lap 42
Pastor Maldonado  Lotus                  Lap 27
Daniil Kvyat          Toro Rosso         Lap 15

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rosberg beat Hamilton to Pole in Abu Dhabi

Rosberg beat Hamilton to Pole in Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamilton, the World Championship leader complained of vibration in his tyres in the Q3 of the Qualifying of the season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Whereas his competitor and team-mate Nico Rosberg had no such problems and got the pole position by close to half a second quicker than Hamilton’s time. Nico Rosberg scored a 1m 40.480 seconds time vis-à-vis 1m40. 866 by Lewis Hamilton. It was a tense situation, as Rosberg has to win tomorrow’s race to have any chance of winning the championship, which till now is being led by Lewis Hamilton.

Behind the Mercedes pair of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton came the Williams pair of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa. During practice Bottas was appearing strong. Nico Rosberg hopes that Bottas can beat Lewis Hamilton tomorrow, so that Rosberg can then win the Championship. For the Record, if Rosberg wins tomorrow’s race and Hamilton finishes in Second place, then Lewis Hamilton still finishes second. Lewis Hamilton is known to be a pure racer whereas Nico Rosberg can play dirty as was seen in Spa where he hit Hamilton from behind to ruin Hamilton’s race.

Tomorrow’s race appears to be the last race of Jenson Button. McLaren is believed to have signed up Fernando Alonso and is weighing up their options of whether to take Jenson Button or Kevin Magnussen in the other seat. At the fag end of the season, when there are no good race seats available, Jenson Button may have to quit F1. It is sad that Jenson Button cannot have a farewell race because McLaren decides to keep on the decision hanging till December 1st.

Ferrari would be happy as Kimi Raikkonen qualified ahead of Fernando Alonso who is leaving Ferrari after this race.

Final Qualifying positions in Bahrain F1 Grand Prix

01. Nico Rosberg                        Mercedes
02. Lewis Hamilton                    Mercedes
03. Valtteri Bottas                      Williams
04. Felipe Massa                        Williams
05. Daniel Ricciardo                  Red Bull
06. Sebastian Vettel                   Red Bull
07. Daniil Kvyat                        Toro Rosso
08. Jenson Button                      McLaren                    
09. Kimi Raikkonen                  Ferrari
10. Fernando Alonso                 Ferrari
11. Kevin Magnussen                McLaren
12. Jean-Eric Vergne                 Toro Rosso
13. Sergio Perez                         Force India
14. Nico Hulkenberg                 Force India
15. Adrian Sutil                         Sauber
16. Romain Grosjean                Lotus
17. Esteban Gutierrez               Sauber
18. Pastor Maldonado               Lotus
19. Kamui Kobayashi               Caterham
20. Will Stevens                       Caterham

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Nico Wins and Hamilton spins to settle for Second in Brazil

Nico Rosberg comfortably wins in Brazil as Hamilton spins

Nico Rosberg comfortably won the race in Brazil starting from the pole position. He was helped by a error from Lewis Hamilton before the second pit stop.

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton started on soft tyres which quickly became worn out on the newly laid racetrack. They had to strop soon for tyre change. Nico being the driver leading the race had the first option to stop and he stopped first on lap 7 followed by Hamilton in lap 8. During the second round of pit stops, Hamilton had the best chance to overtake.

Nico Rosberg came to the pits in lap 27 and Hamilton took the advantage of clean air to run fast. Unfortunately he spun 180 degree and rejoined the track. He lost lot of time and since then it was difficult to catch up and overtake. All Hamilton could do was finish second.

Before this race, Lewis Hamilton had a lead of 24 points. Now that lead has been reduced to 17. To win the championship, Lewis Hamilton has to finish atleast 2nd in the season ending Abu Dhabi race where the points awarded is double that of other races.

Felipe Massa finished a distant 3rd in his home race. He had a botched pit stop. His teammate Valtteri Bottas too had problems with pitstops and finished in 10th.

Jenson Button of McLaren who is bound to lose his drive with McLaren next year, drove a good race and finished in P4. His teammate Kevin Magnussen who will be driving alongside Fernando Alonso for McLaren next year finished in 9th.

Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull came in 5th. The Ferrari duo of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen had a fight for the 6th position and finally Alonso could overtake Kimi with 3 laps to go as Kimi had old tyres. Alonso and Kim finished 6th and 7th.

Nico Hulkenberg of Force India was 8th.

Results of Brazilian F1 Grand Prix 2014

1. Nico Rosberg                Mercedes
2. Lewis Hamilton            Mercedes
3. Felipe Massa                 Williams
4. Jenson Button               McLaren
5. Sebastian Vettel            Red Bull
6. Fernando Alonso          Ferrari
7. Kimi Raikkonen           Ferrari
8. Nico Hulkenberg          Force India
9. Kevin Magnussen         McLaren
10. Valtteri Bottas            Williams
11. Daniil Kvyat               Toro Rosso
12. Pastor Maldonado       Lotus
13. Jean-Eric Vergne        Toro Rosso
14. Esteban Gutierrez        Sauber
15. Sergio Perez                Force India
16. Adrian Sutil                 Sauber

Retirements in Brazilian F1 Grand Prix 2014

Romain Grosjean       Lotus
Daniel Ricciardo        Red Bull

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Nico Rosberg on Pole in Brazil F1 Qualifying

Nico Rosberg beat Hamilton to pole in Brazilian Grand Prix

It was an incredibly tightly contested qualifying in Brazil as Williams gave a scare to the Mercedes cars. However at the end in Q3, Felipe Massa of Williams in his home Grand Prix made a mistake and aborted the lap. Else it appeared that the Brazillian could have started the race tomorrow in pole position.

Nico Rosberg on the other hand was the fastest driver in all the three practice sessions and maintained his form in the Qualifying to score the pole position. The difference between him and his teammate-cum-rival Lewis Hamilton's time was minimal (1m 10.023seconds vs 1m 10.056 seconds of Hamilton).

Lewis Hamilton will once again try to overtake Nico Rosberg to win the race and extend his lead in the championship. It would be an interesting race tomorrow.

Final Qualifying Positions in Brazilian F1 Grand Prix

01. Nico Rosber                Mercedes
02. Lewis Hamilton          Mercedes
03. Felipe Massa               Williams
04. Valtteri Bottas             Williams
05. Jenson Button              McLaren
06. Sebastian Vettel           Red Bull
07. Kevin Magnussen        McLaren
08. Fernando Alonso          Ferrari
09. Daniel Ricciardo          Red Bull
10. Kimi Raikkonen           Ferrari
11. Esteban Gutierrez         Sauber
12. Nico Hulkenberg          Force India
13. Adrian Sutil                  Sauber
14. D. Kvyat                       Toro Rosso
15. Romain Grosjean         Lotus
16. Jean-Eric Vergne         Toro Rosso
17. Sergio Perez                 Force India
18. Pastor Maldonado        Lotus

Monday, November 3, 2014

Hamilton gets his 10th win at Austin

Hamilton gets his 10th F1 race win at Austin

Hamilton started P2 to his nearest rival and teammate Nico Rosberg who started in pole in Austin in US Grand Prix. Nico Rosberg took off cleanly preventing Hamilton from overtaking him during the race to the turn 1.

Hamilton drove a patient race showing that he has matured immensely. After the first pit stop in lap 16, Hamilton upped the pace to close the gap between him and Rosberg. Then in lap 23 he squeezed past Rosberg using DRS in the long straight before turn 12. He then controlled the race and finished 4.3 seconds ahead of Rosberg.

Lewis Hamilton thus extended his lead from 17 to 24 points over Nico Rosberg.

Daniel Ricciardo finished third by beating both the Williams drivers Felipe Massa (4th) and Vatteri Bottas (5th). Felipe Massa would be sad as he had a slow pit stop and for much of the race he was expected to be third.

Fernando Alonso of Ferrari finished 6th and his teammate Kimi Raikkonen a distant 13th with a lap down.

Sebastian Vettel who started from the pitlane due to change of engine, charged up the field and finished in 7th position. He could have done better if he would have avoided a bit of sloppy driving in lap 26 where he lost places to Romain Grosjean of Lotus and Jean-Eric Vergne of sister team Toro Rosso.

Kevin Magnussen of McLaren finished 8th. His teammate Jenson Button lost places and finished in 12th. Jenson Button was supposed to come in for tyre change in lap 27 as his tyres were degrading. McLaren had confirmed that but then suddenly they asked him not to come into pits and changed the tyres of his teammate Kevin Magnussen instead. Button became a sitting duck and three cars passed him before the next lap when he was called in for a tyre change. It seems that next year Jenson Button is not going to drive for McLaren. McLaren has not confirmed its driver lineup for next year. According to grapevine Fernando Alonso is to drive for McLaren next year. He is still negotiating his terms. Next year Honda is going to partner McLaren and supply engine to the team. Though Jenson Button has earlier driven for BAR-Honda team and has a high profile Japanese model girlfriend and is highly popular in Japan, he seems to be out of favour with the team. It seems McLaren will have Fernando Alonso and Kevin Magnussen next year.

Jean-Eric Vergne was penalised for a contact with Romain Grosjean of Lotus and hence instead of 9th position his final classification was 10th as 5 seconds penalty was added to his tally. He got 1 point for the 10th position. Romain Grosjean's teammate Pastor Maldonado of Lotus benefitted and became 9th and got 2 points.

Romain Grosjean of Lotus finished in 11th. Esteban Gutierrez of Sauber finished in 14th followed by Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso.

Nico Hulkenberg of Force India had an engine problem in lap 16 and retired. The other Force India car of Sergio Perez was embroiled in an accident with Adrian Sutil of Sauber in the first lap and both retired.