Friday, June 26, 2015

US-Qatar planning Formula 1 takeover

US-Qatar planning Formula 1 takeover

Something is cooking in Formula 1. CVC Capital Ventures the majority shareholders of F1 may be trying to divest off their shares, if BBC reports are to be believed.

And surprisingly the prospective investors are a consortium comprising RSE Ventures of America and Qatar Sports Investments. RSE Ventures is owned by property tycoon Stephen Ross and owns football team Miami Dolphins. Qatar Sports Investments is a Sovereign fund of Qatar and owns the Paris St- Germain football club.

The deal, which is not finalised yet, could be anywhere between 7 and 8 billion dollars. There are other bidders also who are prospecting acquisition of the Formula 1 shares.

At present there is an F1 Grand Prix held at Austin, Texas and no races are held at Qatar. Infact it is said that when Bahrain signed in to host the first race in middle east, it had a clause that there can be only two races in Middle East. So apart from Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, there cannot be a third race in Qatar.

Qatar, with the FIFA football worldcup in its bag, albeit controversially, is looking at increasing its sports footprint and hence bringing in more tourist revenue, as well as investments.

America is the home of automobile majors, although these automobile companies have declined, the demand for automobiles continues as well as the demand for motorsports.

Nascar is popular in America and despite the sole F1 race at Austin, Formula 1 hasn't caught the imagination of the american public. American ownership of Formula One management may kick start the love for Formula 1 in USA.

It also may be a good opportunity for CVC to exit Formula One as the viewership has been declining. Bernie Ecclestone is also not growing younger any longer and the shrewd businessman that he is, it is not wonder that he may be looking at exiting F1 by enchasing his 5% shares and any other additional bonus that he wants.

The final word on this hasn't been heard yet. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Rosberg leads from turn 1 to victory at Austria

Rosberg leads from turn 1 to victory at Austrian F1 Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg stated from second to overtake polesitter Lewis Hamilton at turn 1 and never looked back to win the Austrian F1 Grand Prix at Spielberg.

Except for one lap during pitstops, Nico Rosberg lead and won the race. Lewis Hamilton later said that he had a clutch problem which resulted in his slow start. He said "I let the clutch out and it just underperformed. Its something that I have been having since Barcelona and  before that I was having better starts."

It was the third victory of the season for Nico Rosberg after the previous victory at Monaco, where Mercedes decided to keep Nico Rosberg on the track during safety car period and brought back Lewis Hamilton for a pitstop to give victory to Rosberg. Now Nico Rosberg is only 10 points behind Lewis Hamilton and the championship doesn't look secure for Hamilton.

Felipe Massa of Williams finished third behind the two Mercedes cars.

Sebastian Vettel had a problem during the pitstop with his right rear wheel taking time to change and finished fourth. So this was the first podium finish for Felipe Massa this year. Valtteri Bottas of Williams finished fifth and was followed by Nico Hulkenberg of Force India in sixth.

Pastor Maldonado of Lotus was seventh and was followed by Max Verstappen of Toro Rosso in eighth. It was a big fight between these two drivers and Maldonado was able to overtake Verstappen just two laps before the finish and was just ahead by hardly a second at the finish line.

Sergio Perez of Force India was 9th and was followed by Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull in 10th. It was great for Ricciardo as he had to serve grid and stop go penalty.

It was an eminently forgettable race for Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari. He qualified at 18th and then had a first lap massive crash with Fernando Alonso of McLaren, his former teammate.

Felipe Nasr of Toro Rosso was 11th and was followed by sister team Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat at 12th.

Marcus Ericsson jump started ie started before the starters gun and hence was given a drive through penalty and he had car problems as well. He finished 13th ahead of Roberto Merhi of Manor Marussia Racing at 14th.

Austrian Grand Prix 2015 race results

Retirements in Austrian Grand Prix

Romain Grosjean
Carlos Sainz
Jenson Button
Will Stevens
Kimi Raikkonen
Fernando Alonso

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Lewis Hamilton snatches pole in Austrian F1 Grand Prix

Hamilton snatches Pole in Austrian F1 Grand Prix

In an eventful qualifying in Austrian F1 Grand Prix qualifying, Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes snatched the Pole position from his teammate Nico Rosberg with a time of 1m 08.455 seconds.

Nico Rosberg had topped the qualifying in Q1 and Q2 and also during the first run in Q3. However, Lewis Hamilton drove fast to overtake the time of Nico Rosberg by 200th of a second. In the last lap Lewis Hamilton while being in the provisional pole again made a mistake in the second sector where as his teammate had done well in the second sector. However, soon Nico Rosberg drove into the gravel trap. Nico's earlier time of 1m 08.655 was good for P2.

Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari scored P3 with a time of 1m 08.810 seconds.

Felipe Massa of Williams will lineup alongside Vettel in the second row with a time of 1m 09.192

Nico Hulkenberg of Force India will start in 5th position as he was timed 1m 09.278seconds. Valtteri Bottas of Williams will start alongside him in P6 with a time of 1m 09.319 seconds.

Max Verstappen with time of 1m 09.612 seconds was P7 and Daniil Kvyat of the sister Red Bull car was behind him in P8 with a time of 1m 09.694 seconds.

Felipe Nasr of Toro Rosso with a time of 1m 09.713 came in P9. Romain Grosjean didn't do a qualifying run in the Q3 and will start 10th in tomorrows race.

It was a big surprise in the Austrian F1 Grand Prix qualifying as Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari was expected to be among the frontrunners for pole position but he could only score 18th position in the qualifying.

Positions 11th to 15th:
Pastor Maldonado of Lotus, Marcus Ericsson of Sauber, Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso, Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull, Fernando Alonso of McLaren were the drivers who came in positions 11th to 15th respectively.

Lewis Hamilton was 13th in the Q1 leg of qualifying whereas his teammate Nico Rosberg was on top. Such was the situation at the Austrian F1 Grand Prix as drivers battled mixed conditions. The track was drying up and the times were continually improving all the time. So it was no surprise that some of the well known names fared badly in the Q1 in qualifying. However Kimi Raikkonen was genuinely surprised as he shouted into the radio "How the **** is that possible?"

After the 18 minutes long Q1 leg of the qualifying, the five Serzio Perez, Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen, Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens failed to qualify to the Q2. They scored the positions P16 to P20 respectively.

One should remember that Fernando Alonso has been penalised 20 places and Daniel Ricciardo 10 places respectively, so the final grid places will be different.

Daniel Ricciardo was penalised 10 places but since he qualified in 14th position, despited going to the back of the grid he will be charged with a 5 seconds stop-go penalty during the first pit stop.

Fernando Alonso has been penalised 20 grid places. So from 15th he will go to the back of the grid and then get stop go penalty.

Final Qualifying Positions in Austrian F1 Grand Prix

Friday, June 19, 2015

Grid Penalties for Fernando & Ricciardo

Grid Penalties for Fernando & Ricciardo

Fernando Alonso of McLaren and Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull have been slapped with massive grid penalties for the Austrian F1 Grand Prix on 21st June, 2015.

Fernando Alonso has gone beyond the permitted 4 engines and is now using the 5th engine. That automatically gets 10 place starting grid penalty. However, Alonso apart from using his 5th Honda engine is now on the 5th turbocharger and 5th MGU-H. The later two attracts 5 place grid penalty each totaling upto 20 grid point penalties for Fernando Alonso. Since his McLaren is too slow and is most likely to qualify barely before the two Manor Marussia racing cars and if luck permits then before his teammate Jenson Button and any other unfortunate racer to have a qualifying problem, he cannot consume all his grid penalties. So he is likely to be slapped with time penalties in the race by giving 10 second stop go penalty. Given that McLaren with its Honda engine is in such bad shape, does it actually matter where Alonso starts?

However, Daniel Ricciardo will obviously be in a worse position with that 10 place grid penalty as he is mostly a top ten qualifier with his Red Bull car and Renault engine and is currently in the 7th position in the drivers championship with 35 points. This hits Red Bull hard as they now can look at Daniil Kvyat to challenge the front runners. Daniil Kvyat is 8th in the drivers championship with 19 points.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

F1 drivers championship standings after Montreal 2015

F1 Drivers standings after Montreal 2015

Lewis Hamilton is leading the F1 drivers championship by 17 points. His lead was reduced in Monaco to 10 points when Mercedes decided to bring Lewis Hamilton for a pitstop and kept Rosberg on track to inherit the lead and win. After the win in the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal, Lewis Hamilton has increased his lead to 17 points. Given the form Lewis Hamilton is in, it will take a sabotage from Mercedes or extreme bad luck to lose the championship this year. We predict that Lewis Hamilton will win his third F1 drivers championship this year.

1.         Lewis Hamilton                      Mercedes       151
2.         Nico Rosberg                          Mercedes       134
3.         Sebastian Vettel                      Ferrari            108
4.         Kimi Raikkonen                      Ferrari            72
5.         Valtteri Bottas                        Williams         57
6.         Felipe Massa                          Williams         47
7.         Daniel Ricciardo                    Red Bull          35
8.         Daniil Kvyat                           Red Bull          19
9.         Romain Grosjean                   Lotus               17
10.       Felipe Nasr                             Sauber             16
11.       Sergio Perez                           Force India     11
12.       Nico Hulkenberg                   Force India     10
13.       Carlos Sainz                           Toro Rosso     9
14.       Max Verstappen                    Toro Rosso     6
15.       Pastor Maldonado                 Lotus               6
16.       Marcus Ericsson                    Sauber             5
17.       Jenson Button                        McLaren         4
18.       Fernando Alonso                   McLaren         0
19.       Roberto Merhi                       Marussia        0

20.       Will Stevens                           Marussia        0

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Lewis Hamilton wins Canadian F1 Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton wins Canadian F1 Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton nicely started the race and eased into the lead whereas Nico Rosberg and Kimi Raikkonen battled behind for the second spot. After a few laps, Raikkonen had a spin and was overtaken by Valtteri Bottas and Nico Rosberg concentrated on fighting with Lewis Hamilton. Though there was an interesting battle between the two Mercedes cars, Lewis Hamilton did just enough to keep ahead of Nico Rosberg and win the Canadian F1 Grand Prix 2015 by 2.2 seconds.

Valtteri Bottas of Williams came in third despite a late surge my Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari and was 40.6 seconds behind Hamilton. Kimi Raikkonen was 4th and 45.6 seconds behind the race winner. Sebastian Vettel came in 5th and 4.2 seconds behind Kimi.

Felipe Massa of Williams was 6th. He was followed by Pastor Maldonado of Lotus in 7th.

Nico Hulkenberg of Force India was a lap down and finished in 8th position. Daniil Kvyat of Red Bull was 9th and Romain Grosjean of Lotus was 10th.

Sergio Perez of Force India was 11th and outside the points paying positions. Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso was 12th. He was followed by Daniel Ricciardo of his sister team Red Bull.

Marcus Ericsson of Sauber was 14th. Max Verstappen of Toro Rosso was 15th.

Felipe Nasr was 16th and two laps down. Will Stevens of Marusia Manor Racing was 17th. Will Stevens was 4 laps down.

Roberto Merhi of Manor Racing retired along with the two McLarens.

Fernando Alonso was not in a happy mood during the Canadian Grand Prix. His radio message “we are looking like amateurs” shows that he has finally lost patience with the tortoise like car that McLaren has produced along with Honda engine. Later like him, his team-mate Jenson Button too retired from the race.

F1 Canadian Grand Prix 2015 Driver Standings