Sunday, July 26, 2015

Vettel wins dramatic race - no Mercedes in podium at Hungary

Sebastian Vettel wins dramatic Hungarian Grand Prix with Mercedes cars not in podium

The Hungarian F1 Grand Prix 2015 had plenty of drama.

Sebastian Vettel won a dramatic, accident ridden race with Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull coming second and third. Max Verstappen came 4th. Fernando Alonso of McLaren was 5th. Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton came in sixth. Romain Grojsean of Lotus was 7th. Nico Rosberg of Mercedes was 8th and was followed by Jenson Button of McLaren in 9th. Marcus Ericsson of Sauber was 10th.

In an emotionally surcharged moment, all drivers observed silence and stood around the helmet of Jules Bianchi to mourn his death.

After that the drivers gathered to start the race but there was an aborted start as Felipe Massa was found to be too short of this starting grid.

After that there was still lot of drama when the race started. At the starting of the race Sebastian Vettel had a clean getaway from the starting blocks and lead the race and was followed by his teammate Kimi Raikkonen. Nico Rosberg was third followed by Pole sitter Hamilton in 4th. Hamilton complained that “Nico crossed over my line there, pushed me wide”. Hamilton put a wheel on the gravel and was down to 10th. After this it appeared that Hamilton’s hope of winning the Hungarian Grand Prix for the 5th time was up in smoke. Especially since he was stuck behind the Williams of Felipe Massa for a long time. Then finally Lewis Hamilton overtook Felipe Massa and was quickly behind the tail of 8th placed Sergio Perez of Force India. In Lap 12 he could finally overtake Sergio Perez for 8th. By then Hamilton was already 30 seconds down on Sebastian Vettel.

Nico Rosberg in the initial moments of the race, despite not winning, would have been happy as Hamilton went down to 10th. In a circuit notorious for the difficulty in overtaking, Lewis Hamilton came back from 10th in the grid to 5th by Lap 15. Ofcourse, he was also helped by Valttteri Bottas and Kvyat making their first pitstop. Lewis Hamilton might be feeling tensed as he asked “You are very quiet Bono”. He was then asked to push and immediately Hamilton upped his pace.

In lap 19 Pastor Maldonado of Lotus and Sergio Perez of Force India collided. This incident was investigated and Maldonado was handed a drive through penalty for causing the accident.

In lap 20 Hamilton pit and took soft tyres. In lap 21 Rosberg pit and took medium tyres. So Mercedes changed the strategy for both the drivers.

However, for Hamilton it was a bit unfortunate that he was again stuck behind Daniel Ricciardo who just emerged ahead of him after the pit stop. Ricciardo had taken medium tyres and had kept the soft tyres to charge during the last stages of the race. Hamilton overtook Ricciardo in Lap 29. He actually told Mercedes that “I’am so close. Can I have one more lap or not”? Mercedes agreed and Hamilton overtook Ricciardo for 4th. Interestingly Hamilton, despite having the same soft tyres as Vettel and having changed tyres one lap earlier was driving nearly a second faster than Vettel. However, Vettel then upped his pace and Hamilton started managing his tyres and he was told to make the maximum of his current stint so that he can only have a short stint with the medium tyres which is slower.

In Lap 43 Nico Hulkenberg of Force India has a big shunt and hit the walls to bring the safety car. Hulkenberg’s wing seemed to break off and then he had a big lock-up and hit the walls. It is a big failure that Force India has to analyse.

Both Hamilton and Nico Rosberg dived into the pits along with many other drivers. Both Hamilton and Rosberg chose medium tyres and get ready to race with the Ferraris as in one stroke all the lead of the Ferraris vanished. Unfortunately for Kimi Raikkonen he had a MGU-K power failure just before the safety car and had to deal with that loss for the rest of the race. Unfortunately, Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo made contact after the restart and Hamilton started dropping back fast. He had to make a pit stop to change the nose and put on soft tyres hoping that he will again manage to overtake a few cars to limit the damage to his World Championship race. However Hamilton was handed a drive through penalty for the incident with Daniel Ricciardo.

Nico Rosberg and Daniel Ricciardo sped past Kimi Raikkonen as without MGU-K power, Raikkonen was a sitting duck and soon Raikkonen retired.

It was soon upto Nico Rosberg to overtake Sebastian Vettel for the first place. However, with 5 laps left in the race Daniel Ricciardo hit Nico Rosberg and caused a puncture just when Rosberg was barely a second behind Vettel. This ensured that Nico Rosberg fell behind Hamilton. Ricciardo also came to the pits for a new nose. This ensured that for the first time in the last two years, neither of the Mercedes cars were in the podium in a race.

The Nico Rosberg-Daniel Ricciardo incident was investigated by the stewards.

Results of 2015 Hungarian F1 Grand Prix

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Lewis Hamilton wins Pole by half a second at Hungary

Lewis Hamilton beats Rosberg to pole by over half a second at Hungary

In the F1 Grand Prix qualifying at Hungaroring today, Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes beat his teammate Nico Rosberg by over half a second to score the pole position. Hamilton scored 1m 22.020 seconds. Rosberg was 0.575 seconds behind. This was Lewis Hamilton's 9th pole position out of 10 F1 qualifying races this year.

Hamilton said "I love the track. It feels a bit like an old karting circuit."Naturally he is elated and loves this circuit as this was his 5th pole position in Hungary. Given his dominance in this track and the massive gap to second placed Rosberg, it is expected that Lewis Hamilton will win tomorrows race easily.

Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari qualified in third position. He was 0.719 seconds behind.

Redbull racing showed good speed in the twisting and turning circuit and Daniel Ricciardo qualified in fourth position with a time of 1m 22.774. He was just 0.035 seconds behind Vettel.

Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari qualified in 5th and qualified with a time of 1m 23.020 which is a full 1 second slower than pole sitter Hamilton's time.

Vallteri Bottas of Williams qalified in 6th with a time of 1m 23. 222 seconds. So the third row will be a all Finnish driver row.

Daniil Kvyat of Red Bull scored 1m 23.332 seconds and qualified in P7. He was followed by Felipe Massa of Williams in 8th. Massa's time of 1m 23.537 was more than one and half mins slower than the time of Hamilton.

Max Verstappen of Toro Rosso came in P9 and was the last of the drivers to remain below 1m 24 second. He scored 1m 23.679 seconds. Romain Grosjean of Lotus was P10 with a time of 1m 24. 181 seconds.

Nico Hulkenberg of Force India missed qualifying for the top ten shoot out ie Q3 of the qualifying section by a mere 0.021 second. Hulkenberg qualified in P11. He was followed by Sainz of Toro Rosso at P12. Sergio Perez of Force India will start in the 7th row as he came in at P13. Pastor Maldonado of Lotus will start along his side as he qualified in P14.

Fernando Alonso of McLaren had a problem with his car and he along with the Marshals pushed it back to the garage. However, there was no time to look into the problem and he qualified in P15. His teammate Jenson Button will start alongside him in P16.

Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr of Sauber will start in P17 and P18. They are followed by Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens of Manor Racing.

Hungary 2015 F1 Qualifying Positions:

Friday, July 17, 2015

Jules Bianchi dies after 9 months in coma

Jules Bianchi passes away after 9 months in coma

Jules Bianchi, had a massive accident in Suzuka in October 2014. Since that day he had been in Coma. However, his family informed that today his battle came to an end. "Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end. The pain we feel is immense and indescribable".

Jules Bianchi was a promising driver and he was driving for Marussia. He had got 2 points in Monaco, the only points by Marussia till date. The bonus due to the 9 place and 2points earned by Jules Bianchi helped the team remain afloat whereas Caterham winded up. Marussia later went into administration in 2014 and could successfully come out of it and race in 2015 as Manor racing.

Jules Bianchi had crashed into a recovery vehicle which was extracting the crashed vehicle of Adrian Sutil. The rain and extreme low light had made visibility very poor and Jules crashed into the back of the recovery vehicle. A FIA internal report had stated that Jules didn't sufficiently slow down and his speed was 126 kmph. Many had felt the delay due to rains and subsequent low light had made the race virtually un-driveable. Unfortunately, the stewards decided to continue with the race and the consequences are there for all to see.

Jules Bianchi was a bright young driver who would have one day driven for Ferrari. He was honing his craft in Marussia and getting ready to move to the bigger team. Unfortunately, he was cruelly taken away from us at such a young age.

A man in coma for so long needs top notch care for a long long time before one can expect him to recover. The initial medical support immediately after the impact is very important and decides the extent of injury and the recovery period, if any. It may be pertinent to mention that Michael Schumacher is still recovering from Coma. Michael Schumacher had lot of money achieved during his phenomenally successful career. He is a billionnnaire. However, a few months back his wife had to sell off his private jet and his holiday home. Jules Bianchi being a young lad and at just starting out in a lowly team, his family would have found the medical costs unnerving. Unfortunately, we don't hear FIA or anyone else coming to help Jules Bianchi's family to lessen the financial burden.

Manor racing tweeted "We are devastated to lose Jules after such a hard-fought battle. It was a privilege to have him to race for our team.

F1 is an inherently dangerous sport. However, the safety factors have improved. Despite that, it was criminal negligence in conducting a race in poor visibility. I hope Formula 1 and FIA learn their lessons from this incident. Will they?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Hamilton wins 2015 F1 British Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton wins 2015 F1 British Grand Prix

It was a dramatic F1 race in 2015 British Grand Prix at Silverstone with lot of fireworks in the opening lap. Felipe Massa of Williams had an amazing start and jumped ahead of pole sitter Lewis Hamilton. And he was not the only Williams driver as his teammate Valtteri Bottas too overtook Hamilton. Though, soon Hamilton overtook him and then again lost his position. However later Hamilton overtook both the Williams drivers to lead the race. Behind them both the Lotus drivers collided with each other. In order to avoid the Lotus drivers, Fernando Alonso of McLaren hit his team-mate Jenson Button.

Rain came in hard in the lap 44. At that time Nico Rosberg was charging hard and faster than his teammate. However, due to rain, immediately Hamilton changed to intermediate tyres and could increase the lead. He then safely won his third British Grand Prix race. His team mate Nico Rosberg finished in second place.

Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari scored another podium finish. Felipe Massa of Williams came in fourth. Valtteri Bottas was fifth.

Kvyat of Red Bull finished in sixth. Nico Hulkenberg of Force India finished in seventh position.

Though he had qualified ahead of his teammate Sebastian Vettel Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari was 8th. This will again result in many tongues wagging about the future of Kimi Raikkonen.

Sergio Perez of Force India too finished in points when he came in ninth and got two points.

Fernando Alonso of McLaren, despite the early pitstop for the accident finished in 10th position and scored his first points.

Marcus Ericsson of Sauber was 11th and just outside points.

Roberto Merhi of Marussia beat his team-mate Will Stevens to 12th position. Will Stevens finished 13th and last.

Retirements in F1 British Grand Prix 2015

Carlos Sainz              Lap 31
Daniel Ricciardo       Lap 20
Max Verstappen        Lap 3
Romain Grosjean      Lap 1
Pastor Maldonado     Lap 1
Jenson Button           Lap 1
Felipe Nasr               Lap 0

Final Results in F1 British Grand Prix