Michael Schumacher’s 2010 comeback was somewhat abortive. The results, the driving standard and the overtakes were well below par for the former champion. He even let his team mate beat him for the first time in his career. So why can Schumacher, the fallen Ferrari hero, win the world championship for an 8th time?
It’s still the same Michael Schumacher
Indeed, we saw glimpses of it last season. The passion, and the desire to do well. He was racing on the ragged edge, braking as late – if not later – than anyone else. The trouble was, he didn’t have the car underneath him to be able to win. It took him a while to get reacquainted, but in truth it would take anyone a while to get used to be these new cars.
The 2011 car will be built around him
Sorry Rosberg fans, the fact is – Schumacher & Brawn will be running the show at Mercedes Benz. Let’s not forget, they are paying Michael an arm and a leg to race for them. He will design the car around him, something he didn’t get chance to do last season. He also has an entire year of racing with the wide nosed, tall winged cars so has plenty of data and ideas to call upon when constructing the new vehicle. An insider has already said that downforce and grip levels on the simulator are exceeding expectations. Not a bad start?
Yep, the great big unknown means it’s all a level playing field this season. No-one knows much about Pirelli just yet, so it’s a fair and even start for all the drivers. It’s about adaptability, and we know deep down inside the 42 year old he can adapt. He also looked quick in the 2010 car on 2011 rubber.
Less expectation than last year
At the start of 2010, we all expected the Schumacher from 2006 to jump behind the wheel and immediately win. Let’s not forget here, 2005 and 2006 were barren seasons for Schumacher – he walked away with nothing. He was in decline, so why did we expect him to be immediately brilliant? I was and still am a Schumacher fan, but I knew he was not as good as he used to be. This year he will have less expectation than before. We’re all used to him driving and Germany has a new world champion to thrust under the spotlight at every opportunity in Sebastian Vettel.
Other drivers still fear him
When the red baron’s helmet is filling your wing mirrors, surely it must make your heart beat twice as fast. Fernando Alonso has already said he fears Schumacher the most for 2011
“There will be five world champions on the track and the most dangerous champion for me is always Michael. Now in January if I have to choose one name I have to say Michael. He is seven-time champion, he has nothing to prove. He had a difficult season but he is still a champion. N He is still super class and if the car is right he will be a contender,”
Its not all going in Schumacher’s favour. Michael is a lot older than any of the other title contenders now, and that could be his downfall. Not suggesting he isn’t fit, he is probably more athletic now than he was before – but age is still a factor. Red Bull are not suddenly going to be slow, they just aren’t. Not with Vettel and Newey onboard. Ferrari and Alonso will be desperate for the title. McLaren have two world champions driving for them. Oh and there’s the small matter of the fact Nico Rosberg was better than Michael last season.
Nevertheless, as an outside bet – you could do a lot worse than Michael.
January 14, 2011 | Categories: Mercedes Benz GP, Michael Schumacher | Tags: Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes Benz, MGP WO2, Michael Schumacher, Michael Schumacher 2011, Ross Brawn, Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel | 12 Comments »
Jenson Button teamed up with record breaking cyclist Lance Armstrong, as he continues to prepare for another Formula One season.
The McLaren driver excitedly tweeted that he would be riding with Armstrong, the 7 time Tour de France winner, in Hawaii.
Armstrong responded via Twitter “I hope he doesn’t ride as srong as he drives F1 cars…!”
Lance Armstrong is of course famous too for the Livestrong brand, something he set up after being diagnosed with cancer – and suriving – himself. The yellow colour of the leader of the Tour de France is replicated in the charities products, most notably in the yellow wristbands.
Autosport, the leading motor racing magazine organises and sponsors one of the biggest motorsport shows of the year every January. The Autosport International Show is held at the NEC in Birmingham, England and is seen traditionally as “the start of the motor racing season”.
For 2011, the show promises to be bigger and better than ever, and just for you readers on The F1Fanatics Blog we have a special preview of the event for you!
In addition to the masses of motorsport teams, clubs and suppliers that will be showing displays of their equipment and cars over the 4 days in Birmingham, there is a fantastic chance to meet some of your heroes. In the past such names as Murray Walker, Jenson Button, Andy Priaulx, James Thompson, Gary Paffett and Sir Stirling Moss have been in attendance. Already confirmed for the 2011 show are Walker, Martin Brundle and Jake Humphrey from BBC F1 and there will be many more drivers happy to come and have autographs and photos with the fans.
On top of this, many of the stars will be taking part in the Fifth Gear Live action arena show, included with the tickets its a chance to see different cars from all forms of motorsport take to the indoor arena track. This year Tiff Nedell and Jason Plato (BTCC Champion) will be running the excellent event.
Alongside the regular Formula One paddock which is a chance to see all of the 2010 F1 cars, this year there will be a special McLaren F1 display so you can see the likes of Mika Hakkinen and Niki Lauda’s cars from back in the day. Recently confirmed was an exact replica of Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull RB6 world championship winning car, in its overall form so you can see what drove the young German to the title in Abu Dhabi. It will even feature their trick diffuser but without the mechanics hiding it!
All in all it is a fantastic event, one which I attend yearly. If you can make it, check out: www.autosportinternational.com for tickets or if not stay tuned on The F1Fanatics Blog for many features before the show and a big summary of all of the events after we spend a whole day there looking for stars and their cars!
November 21, 2010 | Categories: F1 News | Tags: Autosport 2011, Autosport International, Autosport International Show 2011, Autosport Show, Birmingham UK, British Motorsport Events, Jake Humphrey, Jenson Button, Martin Brundle, Murray Walker, National Exhibition Centre, NEC, Red Bull RB6, Sebastian Vettel | 4 Comments »
Sebastian Vettel has taken pole position for tomorrow’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as he tries to keep his title chances alive. The German driver looked quick all through Q3 and did just enough to get into first.
Lewis Hamilton lines up second, he keeps the position after the stewards decided not to penalise him over an incident with Felipe Massa in Q2. Team mate Jenson Button will start directly behind him on track in 4th.
In third place is Fernando Alonso. The Ferrari isn’t as quick as the McLaren’s or Red Bull’s this weekend but the Spaniard did enough to slot himself right where he needs to be to win the world championship tomorrow. Closest rival Webber starts only 5th.
If the race finished as the line up tomorrow, Alonso would be the world champion.
Pos Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3 1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m40.318s 1m39.874s 1m39.394s 2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.335s 1m40.119s 1m39.425s 3. Alonso Ferrari 1m40.170s 1m40.311s 1m39.792s 4. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.877s 1m40.014s 1m39.823s 5. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m40.690s 1m40.074s 1m39.925s 6. Massa Ferrari 1m40.942s 1m40.323s 1m40.202s 7. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m40.904s 1m40.476s 1m40.203s 8. Schumacher Mercedes 1m41.222s 1m40.452s 1m40.516s 9. Rosberg Mercedes 1m40.231s 1m40.060s 1m40.589s 10. Petrov Renault 1m41.018s 1m40.658s 1m40.901s 11. Kubica Renault 1m41.336s 1m40.780s 12. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m41.045s 1m40.783s 13. Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1m41.473s 1m40.914s 14. Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1m41.409s 1m41.113s 15. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1m41.015s 1m41.418s 16. Liuzzi Force India-Ferrari 1m41.681s 1m41.642s 17. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m41.707s 1m41.738s 18. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m41.824s 19. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1m43.516s 20. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1m43.712s 21. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m44.095s 22. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1m44.510s 23. Senna Hispania-Cosworth 1m45.085s 24. Klien Hispania-Cosworth 1m45.296s
November 13, 2010 | Categories: 2010 Race Weekends | Tags: Abu Dhabi GP, Abu Dhabi Qualifying, Fernando Alonso, Hamilton Penalty, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel | Leave A Comment »
Jenson Button has escaped injury after his car was attacked by armed men while he was leaving the Interlagos circuit in Brazil last night. Some of the assailants were said to be carrying machine guns and baseball bats.
Button, the current reigning F1 world champion was travelling in an armoured Mercedes Benz with his father, personal trainer and manager when a group of men began to assault the vehicle.
Fortunately, the police trained driver managed to escape and all parties were unjnjured in the attack, if perhaps a little shaken.
A statement released by McLaren said: “On Saturday evening on the way back from the Interlagos circuit to Morumbi, armed would-be assailants made an attempt to approach the car that was carrying Jenson Button.
“Neither Jenson nor the other occupants of the car were hurt.
“Vodafone McLaren Mercedes had provided both Jenson and team-mate Lewis Hamilton with reinforced armoured vehicles driven by police drivers, who had been trained in avoidance techniques and were armed.
“The police driver of Jenson’s vehicle reacted swiftly and, using avoidance techniques, rapidly forced his way through the traffic, taking Jenson and the other occupants of the car immediately away from any danger and back to their hotel.”
Jenson Button later praised his driver as a “legend”.
Button’s manager, Richard Goodard who was also in the Mercedes said ”We were about three or four minutes away from the circuit when the incident took place.
“I would suggest there were more than four or five guys, something along those lines, who emerged from a block of flats.
“I initially saw one guy carrying this piece of wood, a baseball bat kind of thing, but I didn’t spot the one who had a gun until someone pointed it out. It was pulled, and that was it really. You didn’t really have time to think about what was happening.”
Armed incidents have become regular around race weekend in Brazil, but this is the first time in recent years an actual Formula One driver has been involved. A couple of years ago, mechanics for the Toyota F1 team were targetted by armed robbers. Murray Walker too has been attacked, and even national footballing hero Pele has been robbed at gunpoint.
Murray Walker told BBC “There are parts of Sao Paulo which are extremely violent, and [the city] has extremes of great wealth and extreme poverty.”
“I suspect that’s where it happened to Jenson, and naturally the people who are in the favelas see these obviously very wealthy people driving away from the circuit and they know they’ve got a lot of money, and they know they’ve got watches and things on them and that’s what they’re after presumably.”
McLaren have said they will be stepping up security even further as a result of the incident.
Sebastian Vettel took the flag and the full 25 points in a thrilling Japanese Grand Prix from Suzuka. The Red Bull driver led his team mate, Mark Webber over the line.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso finished in 3rd.
There was carnage before the start of the race today, when on the way to the dummy grid Lucas di Grassi lost control of his Virgin and smashed into the wall at the 130R. The Brazilian got out of the wrecked VR01 unscathed, but his chances of retaining that race seat for next year are looking slimmer. A shame for the Brazilian as he had enjoyed a good weekend, out qualifying Timo Glock.
The start of the real race wasn’t much better either, a charging Vitaly Petrov cut across the front of Nico Hulkenburg and smashed into the wall in front of the main grandstand. He was out, along with the Williams driver whose car had multiple bits of large damage.
Felipe Massa got caught up in the action too, he went too hot into turn 1, and ended up on the grass. Out of control he slammed straight into Vitantonio Liuzzi’s Force India, wrecking the Mercedes engined machine and knocking them both out of the race.
A safety car was called for due to all the carnage. There was more excitement when that was out as Robert Kubica’s Renault decided to part company with its rear right tyre as he approached the hairpin, the Pole retiring from the race after just a handful of laps. A shame for the Enstone based team, as he had been running in 2nd.
From there on though, the action did slow a little. Red Bull really ran away with the race at the front, with Fernando Alonso clinging on to third place for dear life.
Jenson Button decided to start on the harder prime tyre and ran longer, allowing him a 10 lap or so opportunity to lead the Grand Prix. When he emerged from the pitlane he was behind team mate Lewis Hamilton down in 5th. Hamilton had been racing forward to try and catch Fernando Alonso after his pitstop, but he couldn’t make it and would have to settle for 4th on a poor weekend for the 2008 champion.
Further down field, Michael Schumacher was having a heck of a good Grand Prix. Having already pulled a lovely overtake on former team mate Rubens Barrichello, the Silver Baron as he is now known, was hassling team mate Rosberg. He really tried to get passed, some lovely slipstreaming and racing for many laps. A hint of the Michael of old there, perhaps he is beginning to find form – hopefully he can carry it through to 2011. Sadly though the fight between Rosberg and Schumacher was cut short when Rosberg smashed into the barriers on the Esses.
Home favourite Kamui Kobayashi had a GP to remember too, passing people left right and centre. He eventually finished 7th, with some questionable barging and slipstreaming moves. I think he had been playing F1 2010 on the Xbox before getting in the car today!
So as Vettel took the flag, the championship fight remains wide open. Its Webber’s to lose now, as we head into the final 3 rounds of the year. Hopefully, Korea’s circuit will be finished by the time the circus arrives in 2 weeks…
|1||S. Vettel||Red Bull Renault||184.108.40.2063|
|2||M. Webber||Red Bull Renault||+0.905|
|4||L. Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes||+13.522|
|5||J. Button||McLaren Mercedes||+39.595|
|7||K. Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari||+1.04.038|
|8||N. Heidfeld||Sauber Ferrari||+1.09.648|
|9||R. Barrichello||Williams Cosworth||+1.10.846|
|10||S. Buemi||Toro Rosso Ferrari||+1.12.806|
|11||J. Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari||+1 lap|
|12||H. Kovalainen||Lotus Cosworth||+1 lap|
|13||J. Trulli||Lotus Cosworth||+2 laps|
|14||T. Glock||Virgin Cosworth||+2 laps|
|15||B. Senna||HRT Cosworth||+2 laps|
|16||S. Yamamoto||HRT Cosworth||+3 laps|
|A Sutil||Force India Mercedes||45||Engine Failure|
|R. Kubica||Renault||4||Rear Tyre Failure|
|N. Hulkenberg||Williams Cosworth||0||Crash|
|V. Liuzzi||Force India Mercedes||0||Crash|
|L. di Grassi||Virgin Cosworth||0||Crash – Pre Race|
October 10, 2010 | Categories: 2010 Race Weekends, F1 News | Tags: 2010 F1 Championship, 2010 Japanese Grand Prix, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Japanese Grand Prix, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Lucas Di Grassi, Mark Webber, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Robert Kubica, Sebastian Vettel, Suzuka, Tonio Liuzzi | 4 Comments »
Jenson Button has declared himself relaxed and happy ahead of the final rounds of the 2010 F1 Season.
The 2009 World Champion is still in the hunt for the 2010 title but finds himself at the back of a competitive group of drivers with Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel all vying to become champion.
“Confident. Relaxed. Happy. Yeah – I can put it in perspective: for the second year running, I’m right in the hunt for the world championship.
“I’m already the world champion and I’ve still got every chance of holding on to my title. That’s what I’m in Formula 1 to do, and that’s why I signed for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes; to have that opportunity.”
Mark Webber took victory in today’s Hungarian Grand Prix thanks to a good strategy and some fantastic laps following a safety car period which turned the race from sedate to absolute chaos.
Fernando Alonso came home in 2nd place, a good points haul for the Ferrari driver while pole position sitter Sebastian Vettel failed to convert his grid place into a race win.
Hungarian Grand Prix are not known to be particularly exciting, and following the first few laps it looked like nothing would be different today. Jaime Alguerusari was an early retirement thanks to a major engine failure, and to add insult to injury the young Spaniard dropped oil all over the circuit.
Sebastian Vettel provided majority of the early entertainment with some scorching laps, pulling away from Fernando Alonso who had the pick of the starts slotting himself ahead of Mark Webber despite being on the dirty side of the grid.
Another notable start was from Vitaly Petrov, the young Russian who managed to get ahead of Lewis Hamilton. He slid off and threw that away though, but it was promising from him, we like his style.
On lap 13, a piece of Tonio Liuzzi’s front wing came off and a safety car was called out to retrieve it. Vettel’s lead was gone and everyone dived into the pits. Chaos ensued, with Robert Kubica being let out of his pit box straight into the path of Adrian Sutil. They collided, Kubica would later be penalised with a 10 second stop/go. While this was going on, Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes parted company with its rear right tyre which bounded down the pitlane at high speed, missing mechanics, hitting one and eventually being caught by a brave Sauber man. Unbelieveable stuff.
Mark Webber chose not to pit, and with some help from Vettel backing the pack up the Australian pulled away, his soft compound Bridgestone’s lasting longer and longer.
Vettel was then given a penalty for not staying close enough to the safety car, exceeding 10 car lengths. He had to serve a drive through penalty, something the young German was not happy about. He flailed his arms around like a baby throwing its toys out of the pram – not very sportsman like. Still, this meant he was now down to third and with easily the fastest car he set about chasing Fernando Alonso.
However despite catching him rather quickly, Vettel was unable to dispatch the Ferrari of Alonso and eventually finished 3rd. Alonso’s team mate, Felipe Massa, finished 4th a good points haul for the Scuderia.
Right at the end of the race we had an exciting battle with old wounds being opened, between Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello. The Brazilian fought to get passed Schumacher, his former team mate and arch nemesis and with a handful of laps to go he tried to squeeze down the inside of Michael. Schumacher, in typical style, forced Rubens into a corner and gave him just enough room. At about 200mph, Barrichello was milimeters away from hitting the pitwall, a manoeuvre that he called “Erratic” and “Ridiculous”. However Schumacher defended the move, and has been handed a 10 place grid penalty for the next race.
Webber’s win puts him right back in it thanks to Lewis Hamilton’s break down. It means that Alonso too is only a matter of points away from the top, as Red Bull and Ferrari slog it out at the top. McLaren will certainly be hoping for a turn in their fortunes after the summer break.
|1||M. Webber||Red Bull Renault||1.41.05.571|
|3||S. Vettel||Red Bull Renault||+19.252|
|6||N. Hulkenberg||Williams Cosworth||+1.16.700|
|7||P. De la Rosa||Sauber Ferrari||+1 lap|
|8||J. Button||McLaren Mercedes||+1 lap|
|9||K. Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari||+1 lap|
|10||R. Barrichello||Williams Cosworth||+1 lap|
|11||M. Schumacher||Mercedes||+1 lap|
|12||S. Buemi||Toro Rosso Ferrari||+1 lap|
|13||V. Liuzzi||Force India Mercedes||+1 lap|
|14||H. Kovalainen||Lotus Cosworth||+3 laps|
|15||J. Trulli||Lotus Cosworth||+3 laps|
|16||T. Glock||Virgin Cosworth||+3 laps|
|17||B. Senna||Hispania Cosworth||+3 laps|
|18||L. di Grassi||Virgin Cosworth||+4 laps|
|19||S. Yamamoto||Hispania Cosworth||+4 laps|
|L. Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes||25||Gearbox|
|N. Rosberg||Mercedes||17||Wheel Failure – Pitlane|
|A Sutil||Force India Mercedes||17||Pitlane Incident|
|J. Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari||2||Engine Failure|
Penalties – Post Race
|M. Schumacher||10 Place Grid – Next Race||Dangerous Driving|
|Mercedes Benz||$50,000 Fine||Wheel falling off Rosberg’s Car|
|Renault||$50,000 Fine||Releasing Kubica into Sutil’s path causing accident in pit|
August 1, 2010 | Categories: 2010 Race Weekends, F1 News | Tags: 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix, Bruno Senna, Budapest, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Heikki Kovalainen, Hungaoring, Hungarian Gp, Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungary F1, Jaime Alguersuari, Jarno Trulli, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Nico Hulkenberg, Nico Rosberg, Robert Kubica, Rubens Barrichello, Timo Glock, Vitaly Petrov | Leave A Comment »
Fernando Alonso has won today’s German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in highly controversial circumstances following team orders which led to Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa yielding the lead to Alonso.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel was 3rd.
Sebastian Vettel got a poor start off the line unlike Fernando Alonso but the German forced Alonso right into the wall of the pit straight. However the young German ignored Felipe Massa who took the lead, and some how Alonso managed to keep 2nd place.
Lewis Hamilton had a good start and jumped both Jenson Button and Mark Webber.
Immediately there was action and drama with overtaking and break downs. A proper classic race circuit in Hockenheim, albeit not the original track, was on for providing us with a classic.
Jarno Trulli had gearbox issues which really destroyed any chances of a good result for him and he made it back to the pits eventually. Down at the hairpin turn 6, Jaime Alguersuari back ended team mate Sebastian Buemi the Swiss driver lost his rear wing and was forced to retire immediately.
Adrian Sutil had a problem too and the German dived into the pits. Moments later Liuzzi pitted too, and it was only many laps later we learnt that the team had been expecting the cars in a different order hence why a front wing was ready for Sutil when he didn’t need one. This meant that Sutil had Liuzzi’s tyres and Liuzzi had Sutil’s. A bit of a blooper from Force India who had been proving themselves a point scoring team this season. The drivers pitted to swap as the rules stated.
Following the pit stops of the front runners, all except Jenson Button who went for a long run, Fernando Alonso was heavily hassling Felipe Massa who was clearly struggling with the hard tyre. The Spaniard was trying everything to pass, including an audacious move between Massa and back marker Sakon Yamamoto but couldn’t make it stick.
Further back, home hero Michael Schumacher was struggling to pass Robert Kubica but the German finally appeared to have some race spirit back.
Sauber’s Pedro de La Rosa had a crazy race full of overtakes and bumping with other cars, but he only managed 13th in the end. With Kobayashi 11th, neither Sauber managed points on Sauber’s 40th anniversary in motorsport.
It had been a mildly exciting race up until now but the best was yet to come. For the first time in a long time, clear team orders were asked of Felipe Massa. Massa himself now denies the team asked him to move aside, and that he told his engineer he wanted Alonso past. Massa appeared to have a slow get away from the hairpin and Alonso slipped passed. It was a bad moment for Ferrari according to many, most comparing it to 2002 in Austria.
Alonso went on to win the race, and Massa held on to second and Vettel made third. Hamilton was 4th and Button was 5th, points again for McLaren who now have 300 in the constructors title.
Webber was 6th, although he had an oil consumption problem. It will be interesting to see if that affects the engine next week.
With regard the Ferrari team order situation, the team have been fined $100,000 and will have to appear in front of the World Motorsport Council. The classification remains unchanged.
Race Result – POST FIA
|3||S. Vettel||Red Bull Renault||+5.121|
|4||L. Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes||+26.869|
|5||J. Button||McLaren Mercedes||+29.482|
|6||M. Webber||Red Bull Renault||+43.606|
|7||R. Kubica||Renault||+1 lap|
|8||N. Rosberg||Mercedes Benz||+1 lap|
|9||M. Schumacher||Mercedes Benz||+1 lap|
|10||V. Petrov||Renault||+1 lap|
|11||K. Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari||+1 lap|
|12||R. Barrichello||Williams Cosworth||+1 lap|
|13||N. Hulkenberg||Williams Cosworth||+1 lap|
|14||P. De la Rosa||Sauber Ferrari||+1 lap|
|15||J. Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari||+1 lap|
|16||V. Liuzzi||Force India Mercedes||+2 laps|
|17||A Sutil||Force India Mercedes||+2 laps|
|18||T. Glock||Virgin Cosworth||+3 laps|
|19||B. Senna||Hispania Cosworth||+4 laps|
|H. Kovalainen||Lotus Cosworth||58||Unknown|
|L. di Grassi||Virgin Cosworth||51||Failure following spin|
|S. Yamamoto||Hispania Cosworth||20||Unknown|
|J. Trulli||Lotus Cosworth||4||Gearbox|
|S. Buemi||Toro Rosso Ferrari||1||Rear wing|
Post Race Penalties
Scuderia Ferrari – $100,000 for bringing the sport into disrepute through team orders
Heikki Kovalainen – Reprimand, no penalty due to incident with De la Rosa
Force India – Reprimand, no penalty for giving drivers wrong tyres
July 25, 2010 | Categories: 2010 Race Weekends, F1 News | Tags: 000, Adrian Sutil, Alonso Massa, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari $100, Ferrari Fine, Ferrari Team Orders, FIA, German GP, German Grand Prix, German Grand Prix 2010, Hockenheim, Hockenheimring, Jaime Alguersuari, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Pedro De La Rosa, Sauber, Sauber 40th Anniversary, Sebastian Vettel, Tonio Liuzzi | 1 Comment »
Mark Webber took a commanding victory today at Silverstone in the wake of controversy surrounding his status at the team. Webber believes he should have not had his new front wing taken off him and handed to Sebastian Vettel, believing the team were favouring the young German.
However all that emotion that was so clear on the Australian’s face yesterday was saved for the first corner where he forced Vettel off the circuit onto the run off at turn one, where Vettel’s luck ran out and he got a puncture.
It was all going on at the back too, with Alonso’s poor start hampering him down the field, before he made contact with team mate Felipe Massa who joined Vettel at the back with a puncture on his Ferrari F10. Michael Schumacher made it up 3 places to 7th too.
Hamilton was hassling Webber in 2nd, and their pace was surprisingly good as they racked home fastest laps. They pulled well clear of Kubica, Rosberg and Alonso who formed the front of a long processional line of traffic that was only broken by the first round of pit stops.
Schumacher gambled on an early stop which didn’t pay off, his team mate Rosberg’s strategy to stay out longer than Alonso and Kubica who pitted one lap after Michael, worked a treat and the young German found himself in 3rd position.
Alonso closed the gap significantly to Kubica and as the pair came into Vale, Alonso dived around the outside, but Kubica forced Fernando off the circuit. However Alonso was still in front as he rejoined at Club, where he stayed as Robert Kubica’s Renault gave up with a differential problem and he retired. However, course steward Nigel Mansell believed Alonso had cut the circuit – not avoiding an accident as the majority of viewers, and former driver Martin Brundle believed, and Alonso got a drive through penalty which he had to serve straight after a safety car period so the Spaniard once again got heavily stung by the FIA.
The safety car was brought out by a battle between Liuzzi and De la Rosa. The Italian tagged the rear of the Sauber and the rear wing disintegrated on the Hangar Straight. It brought the new safety car rules into play, with the SLS AMG Mercedes of Bernd Maylander waiting to pick up the lead car, there was confusion and many backmarkers ended up getting in the way – the new rules might need to be tweaked again.
Further back, Sebastian Vettel was tearing through the field, and would go on to score points passing German rivals Michael Schumacher and Adrian Sutil. Schumacher had a slightly better weekend, but the former 7 time world champion really hasn’t dialled down back to his great racing of the past just yet.
Liuzzi later tagged Alonso giving him a puncture and putting the icing on a failure cake for Ferrari – neither car ended up in the points.
Rubens Barrichello had a stellar day though for Williams, their second consecutive high point score.
|1||M. Webber||Red Bull Renault||220.127.116.11|
|2||L. Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes||+1.360|
|3||N. Rosberg||Mercedes GP||+21.307|
|4||J. Button||McLaren Mercedes||+21.968|
|5||R. Barrichello||Williams Cosworth||+31.456|
|6||K. Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari||+32.171|
|7||S. Vettel||Red Bull Renault||+36.734|
|8||A Sutil||Force India Mercedes||+40.932|
|9||M. Schumacher||Mercedes GP||+41.599|
|10||N. Hulkenberg||Williams Cosworth||+42.012|
|11||V. Liuzzi||Force India Mercedes||+42.459|
|12||S. Buemi||Toro Rosso Ferrari||+47.627|
|16||J. Trulli||Lotus||+1 lap|
|17||H. Kovalainen||Lotus||+1 lap|
|18||T. Glock||Virgin Cosworth||+1 lap|
|19||K. Chandhok||Hispania||+2 laps|
|20||S. Yamamoto||Hispania||+2 laps|
|J. Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari||45||Crash|
|P. De la Rosa||Sauber Ferrari||30||Rear wing failure|
|L. Di Grassi||Virgin Cosworth||10||Hydraulic|
July 11, 2010 | Categories: 2010 Race Weekends, F1 News | Tags: British F1, British GP, British Grand Prix 2010, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Robert Kubica | Leave A Comment »
Sebastian Vettel scored another pole position, a vital pole ahead of team mate Mark Webber ahead of tomorrow’s British Grand Prix at the Silverstone Circuit.
Despite laps which were not completely clean, the superior pace of the Red Bull led to Webber leading through both Q1 and Q2, but it was Vettel that stole the show in Q3. Red Bull have again been accused of favouritism toward the young German, something which team boss Christian Horner profusely denies.
Fernando Alonso made it into 3rd, a stellar effort in the Ferrari which is certainly looking like the second fastest car – although he was blocked in Q3 by Rubens Barrichello. Team mate Felipe Massa could not do as well, and will start 7th tomorrow.
Lewis Hamilton has the hopes of the entire home nation on his shoulders, despite a poor weekend for the McLaren with their blown diffuser failure, he starts 4th. Team mate Button starts 10 place further back in 14th. Not good for the 2009 World Champion. Martin Whitmarsh of McLaren tells us that they are only keeping 6 of the new parts on the car from an initial start list of about 30 new pieces. Still lots of work to do.
Rosberg and Kubica are 5th and 6th, with Barrichello, De la Rosa and Michael Schumacher rounding out the top 10.
Jaime Alguersuari got caught out in Q1, and will start ion 18th – the young Spaniard was clearly unimpressed.
Sakon Yamamoto, Bruno Senna’s replacement at Hispania just looked poor. Indeed both HRT’s were appalling today, some 6 seconds off the pace through Q1. If the 107% rule was in, the new Japanese man would not be racing tomorrow. The other new teams, Lotus and Virgin now have an easy 2 second advantage over the Spanish outfit.
Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:30.841 1:30.480 1:29.615 2. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:30.858 1:30.114 1:29.758 3. Alonso Ferrari 1:30.997 1:30.700 1:30.426 4. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:31.297 1:31.118 1:30.556 5. Rosberg Mercedes 1:31.626 1:31.085 1:30.625 6. Kubica Renault 1:31.680 1:31.344 1:31.040 7. Massa Ferrari 1:31.313 1:31.010 1:31.172 8. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:31.424 1:31.126 1:31.175 9. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1:31.533 1:31.327 1:31.274 10. Schumacher Mercedes 1:32.058 1:31.022 1:31.430 11. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:31.109 1:31.399 12. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:31.851 1:31.421 13. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:32.144 1:31.635 14. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:31.435 1:31.699 15. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:32.226 1:31.708 16. Petrov Renault 1:31.638 1:31.796 17. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:31.901 1:32.012 18. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:32.430 19. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:34.405 20. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:34.775 21. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:34.864 22. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:35.212 23. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:36.576 24. Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1:36.968
July 10, 2010 | Categories: 2010 Race Weekends, F1 News | Tags: British Grand Prix, British Grand Prix Qualifying, Fernando Alonso, Heikki Kovalainen, Jenson Button, Kobayashi, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Michael Schumacher, Robert Kubica, Sakon Yamamoto, Sebastian Vettel | 1 Comment »
Mark Webber kept Red Bull Racing in control at Silverstone, setting a scorching lap time of 1.31.234 on an incredibly warm day at the British circuit.
Fernando Alonso was 2nd, and with Massa in 4th Ferrari fans have big hopes this weekend of a comeback. Michael Schumacher managed to get into 6th, as Mercedes’ form improved.
Home favourites Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button could only manage 9th and 13th respectively, however we can expect much more from them in qualifying tomorrow.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:31.234 15 2. Alonso Ferrari 1:31.626 + 0.392 26 3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:31.875 + 0.641 24 4. Massa Ferrari 1:32.099 + 0.865 25 5. Rosberg Mercedes 1:32.166 + 0.932 29 6. Schumacher Mercedes 1:32.660 + 1.426 27 7. Petrov Renault 1:32.745 + 1.511 28 8. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:32.757 + 1.523 22 9. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:32.787 + 1.553 27 10. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:32.967 + 1.733 32 11. Kubica Renault 1:33.019 + 1.785 30 12. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:33.164 + 1.930 28 13. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.200 + 1.966 24 14. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:33.402 + 2.168 23 15. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:33.728 + 2.494 27 16. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:33.836 + 2.602 36 17. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1:34.051 + 2.817 29 18. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:34.643 + 3.409 36 19. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:35.465 + 4.231 25 20. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:36.237 + 5.003 24 21. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:36.553 + 5.319 21 22. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:37.019 + 5.785 27 23. Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1:38.303 + 7.069 32 24. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:42.901 + 11.667 3
July 9, 2010 | Categories: 2010 Race Weekends, F1 News | Tags: British GP 2010, British GP Practice, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Michael Schumacher | Leave A Comment »
Sebastian Vettel took the first blood in this morning’s first free practice for the British Grand Prix setting a fastest time some 3 tenths quicker than home hero Lewis Hamilton. Kubica, Webber and Sutil rounded out the top 5.
The drivers spent a lot of time getting used to the new circuit with problems around Abbey and the new Village loop for some including Massa, Hamilton, Button and Yamamoto. Michael Schumacher dropped the back end of his Mercedes into Village and spun off.
For the new or stand-in drivers, Paul di Resta was 14th, while Fairuz Fauzy and Bruno Senna’s replacement Sakon Yamamoto propped up the bottom of the times.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:32.280 22 2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:32.614 + 0.334 16 3. Kubica Renault 1:32.725 + 0.445 21 4. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:32.747 + 0.467 23 5. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:32.968 + 0.688 18 6. Rosberg Mercedes 1:33.318 + 1.038 21 7. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:33.377 + 1.097 19 8. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.519 + 1.239 20 9. Schumacher Mercedes 1:33.955 + 1.675 18 10. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:34.016 + 1.736 17 11. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:34.132 + 1.852 21 12. Petrov Renault 1:34.365 + 2.085 22 13. Alonso Ferrari 1:34.490 + 2.210 20 14. di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:34.580 + 2.300 22 15. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:34.710 + 2.430 16 16. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1:34.901 + 2.621 17 17. Massa Ferrari 1:35.037 + 2.757 21 18. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:35.318 + 3.038 27 19. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:36.747 + 4.467 16 20. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:37.330 + 5.050 11 21. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:37.518 + 5.238 15 22. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:38.735 + 6.455 21 23. Fauzy Lotus-Cosworth 1:39.510 + 7.230 11 24. Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1:39.673 + 7.393 27
July 9, 2010 | Categories: 2010 Race Weekends, F1 News | Tags: British GP, British GP Free Practice, British Grand Prix 2010, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel | Leave A Comment »
Back in 2009 at the British Grand Prix we all believed it would be the last time we would see Formula One cars racing around Silverstone as the race was set to move to Donington Park. However, Donny messed it right up and with a lot of bartering with the master Bernie Ecclestone, the British Grand Prix was saved and it is back at the home of British motorsport, Silverstone.
However it is doubtful if you are heading to Silverstone this weekend, or just watching it on television, that you will recognise the circuit. The layout has been changed, the new “arena” complex will be used for the race. Originally designed for motorbike racing (Silverstone now hosts the British MotoGP round). The circuit retains the fast Copse and Magotts corners before hitting the Hangar Straight down to Stowe. Vale and Club also remain. However the big changes are up at Abbey. You will now see the cars turning right at Abbey, not left then under Bridge. Farm is as good as abandoned, and there is a small straight which bears slightly to the left before a sharp right, left right combination known as Village, The Loop and Aintree before drivers hit the Wellington Straight. This straight then merges back onto the old circuit at Brooklands before the cars loop around the final Luffield hairpin before hitting the Grand Prix straight.
Silverstone Data File:
Dates: 9th-11th July
Location: Silverstone Circuit, Northamptonshire – England
2009 Winner: Sebastian Vettel
One’s to watch…
- Sebastian Vettel – The 2009 race winner is looking to get back on to top form
- Fernando Alonso – The Ferrari star admits they need a win, looking to get some points after the Valencia debacle
- Lewis Hamilton – He loves nothing more than a home win, and can smell the 2010 title
- Michael Schumacher – His form has to pick up soon….right?
From the Twitter waves….
From @TheFifthDriver – Jenson Button driving the Vodafone camper to Silverstone this morning
From @LucasdiGrassi the Virgin driver – the new pit complex being constructed
July 8, 2010 | Categories: F1 News, Race Previews | Tags: 2010 British Grand Prix, British Grand Prix Preview, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Red Bull, Santander British Grand Prix, Silverstone Arena Circuit, Vettel | 2 Comments »
Jean Todt, the president of the FIA has warned Formula One drivers of new rules being considered for implementation that would see them recieve penalties and sanctions within the motorsport community if they are caught breaking normal road rules.
During Todt’s election campaign for the post of president he said he wanted road safety to be at the pinnacle of his changes, using race driver role models and projects to encourage safer driving within the normal road conditions. Programmes like “Make Road’s Safe” have been pioneered through advertising in Formula One with FIA funding. Michael Schumacher, the Mercedes Benz driver is a great role model of sfe driving having been involved in multiple projects, including a new anti-drink driving series of adverts with the backing of the Bacardi company.
“Last year, 1.3 million people died on roads in the world – 90% in developing countries.” Todt told Le Parisien newspaper
“The forecasts for 2020 are terrible, and they estimate that nearly two million people will be killed if no action is taken by then. Now, with a minimum of dialogue, that figure could be halved. This requires education, improved road networks, and the involvement of new technology on cars.”
“There is an incompatibility between the status of a role model champion, and a possible infringement on the road. A driver is a driver like the others. We are therefore trying to see whether to do something, and how.”
Various Formula One drivers have been involved in driving offences ranging from speeding, driving without a valid licence, street racing and loutish behaviour. Jenson Button was arrested for driving at over 100mph on a French Autoroute in 2000, Giancarlo Fisichella lost his driving licence in 2005 for being caught driving at 92mph in a 35mph zone in Rome and most recently Lewis Hamilton was arrested and had his car impounded in Australia for doing burnouts and racing down roads near Albert Park in Melbourne.
Lewis Hamilton emerged the surprise victor of the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix following a collision between the two Red Bull drivers which left World Championship hopeful Mark Webber languishing in third place. Jenson Button finished 2nd making it a McLaren 1-2.
The race temperatures were hot as we got the first anti-clockwise race event of the year underway. There was little incident into the first corner, a surprise considering recent activity. Perhaps because Jarno Trulli was so far back this year, or maybe because of Giancarlo Fisichella’s absence.
Drivers traded places through the first few turns with little or no overtaking moves sticking, most notable was Rubens Barrichello who went down to 20th place. Sebastien Buemi and Adrian Sutil had a slight coming together around turn 3, the Swiss driver had to pit immediately for emergency repairs but the Force India driver kept on going.
The first part of the race was relatively quiet, and somewhat boring in a similar fashion to the lacklustre Spanish Grand Prix a month ago. The Ferrari of Fernando Alonso pitted early onto the harder compounds, the under-peforming in qualifying Spanish driver was set in for a long run.
Lewis Hamilton, at this point in 2nd place thought the pitstops would give him an advantage, instead he didn’t have a clean stop and ended up behind Vettel’s Red Bull, now 3rd place was all he could hope for as the Red Bull’s held a theoretical 1st and 2nd. Only Button stayed out slightly longer, but the World Champion ended up in 4th after his stop behind his team mate.
Rain was predicted but never arrived, the drivers who were stuck behind Nico Rosberg would have been after that shower if only to move the mobile Mercedes chicane. Rosberg was lapping slower than Kovalainen and Alguersuari at one point, not catching his team mate Michael Schumacher who was having a quiet and consistent race in 5th. It hampered the chances of Kubica, Massa, Petrov and Alonso.
Unfortunately for the best new team Lotus, both of their cars retired on laps 33 and 34 thanks to hydraulic failure. It had been a positive weekend for the Norfolk/Malaysian based outfit who were within half a second of Scuderia Toro Rosso in practice.
Lap 40 was the exciting one however. On the back straight, the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel slipstreamed team mate Mark Webber, the young German slotted his car down the inside but as they both hit the rev limiters in 7th gear, Vettel’s rear flew over Webber’s car sending them both spinning off onto the run off area. Vettel’s arms flew out of the car with surprise, anger and shock – he was to retire with a rear puncture. Webber narrowly avoided the spinning German and had to pit for emergency front wing repairs.
Hamilton and Button, who traded places in a beautiful turn 10 to turn 2 set of moves could hardly believe their luck. However with Hamilton ahead, it was revealed the cars were low on fuel due to the heat and the laps where they attempted to match Red Bull pace. The pairing would have to limp to the end of the race on an economy run.
Alonso and Petrov got ina tangle around turn 3, with Alonso grabbing 8th place while Petrov got a puncture for hitting the Spaniard. Kamui Kobayashi and Adrian Sutil traded places for 9th and 10th, the Japanese driver ending up with 10th place and a point – at last!
|1||L. Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes||18.104.22.1680|
|2||J. Button||McLaren Mercedes||+2.645|
|3||M. Webber||Red Bull Renault||+24.285|
|4||M. Schumacher||Mercedes GP||+31.110|
|5||N. Rosberg||Mercedes GP||+32.266|
|9||A. Sutil||Force India Mercedes||+49.029|
|10||K. Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari||+1.05.650|
|11||P. De la Rosa||Sauber Ferrari||+1.05.944|
|12||J. Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari||+1.07.800|
|13||V. Liuzzi||Force India Mercedes||+1 lap|
|14||R. Barrichello||Williams Cosworth||+1 lap|
|15||V. Petrov||Renault||+1 lap|
|16||S. Buemi||Toro Rosso Ferrari||+1 lap|
|17||N. Hulkenberg||Williams Cosworth||+1 lap|
|18||T. Glock||Virgin Cosworth||+ 2 laps|
|19||L. di Grassi||Virgin Cosworth||+3 laps|
|K. Chandhok||Hispania HRT Cosworth||53||Unknown|
|B. Senna||Hispania HRT Cosworth||47||Unknown|
|S. Vettel||Red Bull Renault||40||Accident|
|H. Kovalainen||Lotus Cosworth||34||Hydraulic|
|J. Trulli||Lotus Cosworth||33||Hydraulic|
Post Race Interviews
L. Hamilton – McLaren Mercedes (1st): “Red Bull made it tough for us and we put up a good fight. You can see how close it is between the four of us. It’s down to momentum, and we will do the best we can to win both championships. We have been ragging their tails for some time. It’s such an achievement for us, to really be able to take the battle to them. They had one strength that was particularly good here, we had a strength here, and we didn’t know how it would pan here. Me and Jenson were able to compete with them and push our hardest to be on their tails. To get our second 1-2 is fantastic.”
J. Button – McLaren Mercedes (2nd): “The pace of our car was very good and it was great to be battling with the Red Bulls. So many times we have seen them disappear into the distance. I had a battle with Lewis at the end,” added the Briton, who also made contact with his team-mate while battling for the lead. We were both told to save fuel but it’s always difficult to know how much and when Lewis got back past me I was told to keep saving and I think it got a bit critical towards the end.”
M. Webber – Red Bull Renault (3rd): “Seb had good a top speed advantage and he went down the inside. We were side by side and then looks kike he turned pretty quickly to the right and we made contact. It definitely happened fast. It’s a shame for the team, but not an ideal day. The McLarens were solid today. It was good race between all four of us up until then. Neither want to make contact but it can happen sometimes when both are in front. It is never ideal but it happened.”
M. Schumacher – Mercedes Benz (4th): “My race started as I had hoped when I was able to catch Jenson right at the start. Unfortunately, I did not have a lot of grip with the tyres as the formation lap was quite slow and the pressures had gone down which, combined with the top speed of the McLarens, meant that I could not hold Jenson behind me for long. I was even struggling to keep the car on the track during the first lap. From there onwards, I was in my starting position and when Sebastian retired, we were able to pick up a place. That was about it. It was a straightforward race for me without any more possibilities.”
F. Alonso – Ferrari (8th): “We have been a bit surprised, as both in Barcelona and here we were not too competitive. All race Felipe fought with Rosberg and I fought with Petrov, so we are at Renault’s level, which is obviously not enough. We have an improvement for Canada and then for Valencia we have a bigger package. But we know McLaren and Red Bull are very far away, and we don’t know if that’s enough, so we have to work very hard.”
K. Kobayashi – Sauber Ferrari (10th): “I am very happy that we finished the race with both cars and got the first point. In the end I could see from the car the canvas on the front right tyre. Therefore I started to be very careful, especially in turn 8, and that’s also the reason why I didn’t defend any harder against Adrian Sutil.”
V. Petrov – Renault (15th): “Although I’m disappointed to miss out on points today, I really enjoyed the race and the car felt really good. During the race I thought there was a chance of rain, which would have made things interesting, but in the end it was very light and didn’t have a big impact on things. At the end of the race my tyres were really worn when I was fighting with Alonso.”
S. Vettel – Red Bull Renault (Ret): “Obviously, I think if you look at the pictures it was clear I had the inside. I went on the inside, I was ahead and just going down to focus on the braking point and honestly, you can see we touched and he touched my right rear wheel and I went off. There is no fight. This is something that happens. We do not need it but there is nothing we can do now. Obviously I am not very happy, I was inside focusing on the braking point, we touched and that was it.”
May 30, 2010 | Categories: 2010 Race Weekends, F1 News | Tags: 2010 Turkish Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel | Leave A Comment »
Hugo Boss, the exclusive clothing manufacturer has tied up a contract extension deal with the McLaren team.
Hugo Boss have been sponsoring McLaren for around 30 years and this extension confirms that it is one of the longest serving sponsorship deals in motorsport.
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said: “We’re proud and delighted to be able to announce this extension today, not least because it takes our partnership with Hugo Boss into record-breaking territory.”
Jenson Button has confirmed that it was an error by the team that led him to retire from the Monaco Grand Prix yesterday.
The British driver, in his first season with McLaren stopped only a handful of laps into the Grand Prix, which he won in 2009, with an overheating engine. It was caused by a cover being left over the left sidepod during the lap from the pits to the grid ahead of the race. This caused the engine to reach high temperatures that it should not be exposed to so early in the Grand Prix. While touring behind the safety car early on, a lack of cooling caused the engine to overheat and Button had to retire.
He was disappointed too for the mechanic responsible, and said he would help try and iron out these issues.
“It is disappointing for everyone in the team and for the person responsible,” Button said. “I know these things happen but it is just hard to accept when it does. Obviously he is devastated. When you are trying to do your best and you make a mistake it is devastating.
“It is a cooling cover usually used in the garage or in transport. It was left in. The car went to the grid with no airflow and was cooked. You do what you can but you cannot recover from that. These cars don’t have fans, they rely on airflow, so if you deny that you are not going to survive very long.”
“It’s a mistake that you would think shouldn’t happen but it does. I’m sure the guy who did not pull it out is gutted. I feel sorry for the guy. We all make mistakes. We just have to make sure we don’t make them again. It’s done now. Last week was annoying because I lost everything on the steering wheel. But this one was a race stopper.
” We thought everything was going to be okay, and it would probably have been fine if we hadn’t had a Safety Car. My car quickly began to overheat and I started losing engine power, so I turned the engine off pretty sharply because the last thing I wanted was to leave engine oil on the racing line.”
In contrast to my dull review last week, the Monaco Grand Prix was full of flair which some may say as a lights to flag win for Mark Webber, which is completely true, but the midfield action, Fernando Alonso’s great overtakes and a series of safety cars led this to be a rather interesting Monaco Grand Prix.
Off the line, Webber got a great start, and his team mate Vettel slotted himself down the inside of Robert Kubica. The ailing Polish driver was attacked by both Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton but clung to third while the former managed to sneak back ahead of Lewis on the run up Beau Rivage.
Further back Nico Rosberg went well down the field while Rubens Barrichello flew up into 6th place, and Michael Schumacher netted himself 7th behind his former Ferrari team mate.
Fernando Alonso got going, and narrowly missed being caught up in Nico Hulkenberg’s scary first lap accident where he went straight into the wall in the tunnel causing serious damage and a safety car period.
The Spanish driver who started from last following a mega crash in free practice which meant the entire car had to be rebuilt before the race, started smoking through the field following a pit stop onto the harder tyre meaning he had used both compounds and would not need to pit again. Lucas di Grassi tried to keep the significantly faster Alonso behind with some scary moves and flails across the track, endangering both drivers.
Alonso continued racing through the field, but got slowed slightly as Lewis Hamilton pitted and came out in front of him. He could have got third if he hadn’t been stuck behind traffic. Others pitted, and a change of pit stop lap from Rosberg meant he ended up behind Massa, Hamilton, Alonso and Schumacher who formed a train that followed each other around for a series of laps.
Webber pulled well clear at the front with a series of fastest laps, and his team mate was very quick too. No chance of catching the front two today.
Bad luck struck the Virgin team with a double retirement, and Heikki Kovalainen and Bruno Senna would later retire with mechanical issues too. It is still a steep learning curve for these new teams in Formula One.
Rubens Barrichello was the next victim of the Monaco circuit, a left rear puncture throwing him into the barriers on the way into Mirebeau, his car strewn in the middle of the road leading to another safety car. The angered Brazilian threw his steering wheel out onto the track and into the path of a Hispania car, the car ran it over – it is unknown if he will be penalised for this action.
Only laps after the safety car came in, it was out again for an alleged loose drain cover which caused many problems in the past at various circuits.
From here on in, there was a level of consistent running from the drivers and the main order remained relatively unchanged. Both Force India’s were in the points, the first time that has happened this season – a good haul for both drivers.
Everything was running smoothly until 3 laps to go when a scary, and almost dangerous overtaking move from Jarno Trulli on Karun Chandhok at La Rascasse took them both out of the race. The Lotus pivoted onto the top of the Hispania, the Indian driver inside putting his hands onto his helmet – he was lucky not to have serious injuried.
The locale of this crash meant a safety car until the end, but when it peeled in with one corner left to go, everyone thought the order would remain un changed. A plucky and cheeky move from Michael Schumacher meant he got ahead of Fernando Alonso, and initial reports believed it was legal following the changes in safety car overtaking moves. However it has been reported he could be in contravention of the rules 40.13 which states a safety car out on the final lap means no overtaking. He was found guilty by the race stewards, including Damon Hill, and has been handed a 20 second penalty. This means that he is demoted to 12th place and is stripped of his points. There has been no comment from Mercedes or Schumacher since the penalty was handed out.
Classified Results (Provisional)
|1||M. Webber||Red Bull Renault||1.50.00.000|
|2||S. Vettel||Red Bull Renault||+0.448|
|4||F. Massa||Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro||+2.600|
|5||L. Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes||+4.300|
|6||F. Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro||+6.300|
|7||N. Rosberg||Mercedes Benz||+6.600|
|8||A. Sutil||Force India Mercedes||+6.900|
|9||V. Liuzzi||Force India Mercedes||+7.300|
|10||S. Buemi||Toro Rosso Ferrari||+8.100|
|11||J. Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari||+9.100|
|12||M. Schumacher||Mercedes Benz||Penalty|
Fastest Lap: S. Vettel 1.15.192
|K. Chandhok||Hispania HRT||71||Crash|
|J. Trulli||Lotus Cosworth||71||Crash|
|H. Kovalainen||Lotus Cosworth||59||Gearbox|
|B. Senna||Hispania HRT||59||Hydraulic|
|R. Barrichello||Williams Cosworth||28||Crash|
|K. Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari||27|
|L. di Grassi||Virgin||26||Engine|
|P. de La Rosa||Sauber Ferrari||22|
|J. Button||McLaren Mercedes||3||Engine|
|N. Hulkenberg||Williams Cosworth||1||Crash|
Post Race Interviews
Mark Webber – Red Bull Renault (1st): “Absolutely incredible and for sure one of the greatest days of my life today. To win here was very special, it started yesterday with qualifying when it went well but here it is such a test for two hours. I had a lot of work to do, the track changed a lot, backmarkers and lot of safety cars – getting restarts and tyre pressures right – all the basics that could test were in front of you today. It is amazing – to join Ayrton Senna and those guys [as a winner] around here is great.”
Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull Renault (2nd): ”I wasn’t able to keep up with him [Mark Webber], there was a big difference. Later on when I felt the grip he was too far off. There was no real point to make an effort to catch him, with overtaking him being so difficult. To be honest I had to look more in my mirrors. Robert [Kubica] was pushing quite hard and it was quite difficult to get away from him at the restarts. I was going more sideways that straight, it was quite difficult. It was our optimum today and I am very happy. A lot of good points – and those count at the end of the year.”
Robert Kubica – Renault (3rd): “It was known that starting from the dirty side would be difficult for me. Normally I would defend but I saw Mark did a slow pull-away so I thought I had a chance to overtake him. I just got on the power too early and got wheelspin, so it was too late to close the door on Vettel and then had to defend from Felipe. I couldn’t see the pit board and was surprised about pace. Third place we have to be positive about. No was expecting us to finish on the podium. Congratulations to Renault to have all spots on the podium.”
Michael Schumacher – Mercedes Benz (6th): “[I am not expecting a penalty] No, not really. I think there is either this message, or there is the message ‘track clear’ and ‘safety car in’ and that was the message that was given to all of us and when this message is out it means track clear and back to racing. The cars were removed. There was no further need [for the safety car] so I took my opportunity.”
Jenson Button – McLaren Mercedes (Ret): “I think the car got a bit hot on the grid. It got very hot and I had to turn it off. It might have been fine if we hadn’t had a Safety Car but at such a slow speed we just couldn’t cool it down.”
Pedro de La Rosa – Sauber Ferrari (Ret): “When you look at the standings, it’s zero points. We have to improve. Reliability is our Achilles heel at the moment. That’s why before of every race I say we have to finish, we have to finish, because it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are if you don’t finish.”
Sam Michael – Technical Director at Williams: “That was not a good day for the team after a promising start for Rubens. Nico had a problem with the clutch paddle on the steering wheel during the formation lap. He then had a failure with the front wing mounting on the first lap of the race. Rubens had a fantastic start and was running in sixth when he started to experience poor handling after his stop. Eleven laps after his pitstop, he had a failure at the rear end of his car. We need to get all the parts back to the factory in order to identify correctly what components on both cars caused the failures. We have quite a bit of car damage to repair, but we’re making progress with performance and look to further that in Istanbul.”
May 16, 2010 | Categories: 2010 Race Weekends, F1 News | Tags: Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Michael Schumacher, Monaco Grand Prix, Robert Kubica, Sebastian Vettel | Leave A Comment »
Jenson Button won a chaotic Chinese Grand Prix today, as he battled through variable rain and dry conditions steering his McLaren to a second win of the season.
His team mate Lewis Hamilton battled on into 2nd place, and they were joined on the podium by Nico Rosberg who led for part of the Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso appeared to get the best start, jumping the two Red Bull racing cars of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. However jump was appropriate as the Spaniard had been judged to have jumped the start, and was handed a drive through penalty.
The cars spent the early few laps snaking around the circuit as light rain spots fell making it difficult for some.
Tonio Liuzzi got it all wrong on the first lap and slammed into Kamui Kobayashi and Sebastien Buemi, nearly knocking Rubens Barrichello out of the race too.
Some of the teams decided to pit for intermediate tyres, and some stayed out. Those that remained on track seemed to have played a brilliant hand, as Nico Rosberg on the slicks set far and away better lap times than many others, including his own team mate Michael Schumacher who admitted he jumped onto the wet tyres too quickly.
As their intermediate tyres wore down they were forced to pit again, and those at the front, including Rosberg and Robert Kubica pulled well clear of the ailing field. By this point, Fernando Alonso had been into the pits an astonishing 3 times, but the final time he had managed to slip passed his team mate on the pit entrance to get a better position and not be held up at the stop.
Speaking of dangerous pitstops, it is of great surprise Sebastian Vettel nor Lewis Hamilton were penalised for their pitstop incident where Hamilton was released into the path of Vettel, yielding slightly he raced neck and neck down the pitlane with the German forcing him towards air guns and mechanics before drag racing down to the first corner. Hamilton once again not penalised, nor was he for forcing Mark Webber off track when the safety car came in following Jaime Alguersuari’s accident with Bruno Senna.
That safety car restart was a congested one as new leader Button forced everyone to standstill at the hairpin before the main straight causing a big back up and nearly some huge accidents. Uncalled for, and in contravention of rules once again.
Drivers battled through from the back and Lewis Hamilton managed to squeeze into 2nd place, with a great battle with the ailing former hero Michael Schumacher who seemed to go backwards all afternoon in the Mercedes eventually clinging on to one point.
Fernando Alonso had a stellar drive into 4th, unlucky to miss out on a podium. Kubica ended 5th with team mate Petrov 7th.
Red Bull really threw this race away and only ended up in 6th and 8th. A poor afternoon by all accounts.
|3||N. Rosberg||Mercedes GP||+9.484|
|6||S. Vettel||Red Bull Renault||+33.310|
|8||M. Webber||Red Bull Renault||+52.172|
|10||M. Schumacher||Mercedes GP||+1.01.749|
|11||A Sutil||Force India Mercedes||+1.02.874|
|12||R. Barrichello||Williams Cosworth||+1.03.655|
|13||J. Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari||+1.11.416|
|14||H. Kovalainen||Lotus Cosworth||+1 lap|
|15||N. Hulkenberg||Williams Cosworth||+1 lap|
|16||B. Senna||HRT Cosworth||+2 laps|
|17||K. Chandhok||HRT Cosworth||+4 laps|
|J. Trulli||Lotus Cosworth||27||Hydraulic|
|L. di Grassi||Virgin Cosworth||9||Unknown|
|P. de La Rosa||Sauber Ferrari||8||Engine|
|S. Buemi||Toro Rosso Ferrari||1||Accident|
|K. Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari||1||Accident|
|V. Liuzzi||Force India Mercedes||1||Accident|
|T. Glock||Virgin Cosworth||1||Unknown|
Post Race Interviews
Jenson Button (McLaren) – 1st: “For me, it is my best victory – every one you win becomes your best victory but this was was pretty tough conditions. The good thing is our pace was very good today. It wasn’t just the call of weather, it was good pace. At the end we were two seconds a lap quicker than other people. We will don’t know where we are in the dry, but we will forget about it at the moment.”
Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) – 2nd: “I had quite an eventful race. Congratulations to Jenson, he did an incredible job and made a better choice on tyres. It was tough at the beginning, the weather was not easy for making the call to change tyres. I chose very late when I was halfway around the corner and clearly it was not the right choice. We both did a tremendous job, and it’s down to the awesome job the team are doing. We are working very well and it’s great for the team.”
Nico Rosberg (Mercedes GP) – 3rd: “I think it was good call [To stay out on the slick tyres]. I took the advice from the team and my engineer and eventually decided to give it a go and stay out and it turned out to be really good. Out there you want it to stop raining, it was so on edge. That went really well and it was nice to be leading the race for a long time from there. I got a little more tyre degradation than Jenson. I made a mistake so he came by, but in general I am really, really happy it is a good step in the right direction.”
Robert Kubica (Renault) – 5th: “It was an exciting race today and it’s good to have scored some more points. At the start of the race I made a bad start and lost a lot of positions, but we made the right decision to stay out on slicks when it started to rain and I was able to move up through the field into third place. However, the critical moment of my race was when the safety car came out, which ended my hopes of a podium because I lost the big lead I had to the cars behind me. So although I’m happy to finish fifth, I still feel a bit frustrated to have missed a podium.”
Mark Webber (Red Bull) – 8th: “We got blown away so it was a very difficult grand prix for us. We weren’t quick enough, simple as that. They were changeable conditions but it’s the same for everyone, and the car is very sensitive in these conditions if it is not going one way or the other for you. Interesting grand prix. We know (where we lose out in these conditions) and we have got to improve it.”
Pedro de La Rosa (Sauber) – Ret: ”Of course I am deeply disappointed. We made all the right tyre decisions. I started on slicks and managed to stay out in the drizzle. I enjoyed overtaking and then I was in fourth. When you are in a situation like this you really have to finish. We missed a great chance today. I don’t know what exactly happened. I felt there was something wrong with the engine and then stopped in Turn 9.”
Tony Fernandes – Team boss of Lotus: “I’m really happy today as we’ve accomplished what we said we’d do,” said Fernandes after Heikki Kovalainen finished in 14th position, one place head of Nico Hulkenberg. We wanted to see at least one car cross the line for the first four races, and we’ve done that, but it’s kind of bitter sweet today. It’s obviously a great result for Heikki but a real shame for Jarno as he seems to take the brunt of the issues – it’s a bit odd as it does seem to be just his car. The conditions today made it very tense out there and it’s very satisfying, and shows how we’re progressing, that today we were racing Williams, who we beat on track.”
April 18, 2010 | Categories: 2010 Race Weekends, F1 News | Tags: 2010 Chinese Grand Prix, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Robert Kubica | Leave A Comment »
Jenson Button got his Chinese Grand Prix weekend underway with a fastest time in free practice one. The current world champion set a time that was just hundreths of a second faster than Nico Rosberg in 2nd and his team mate Lewis Hamilton in 3rd.
Heavily criticised former champion Michael Schumacher was 4th, with the Red Bull’s in 5th and 8th respectively as they diced with the factory Renault’s.
Ferrari had a disappointing session with Fernando Alonso managing half a lap before his engine imploded and coughed out flames, while Felipe Massa only managed 10th place.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m36.677s 15 2. Rosberg Mercedes 1m36.748s +0.071 17 3. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m36.775s +0.098 19 4. Schumacher Mercedes 1m37.509s +0.832 14 5. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m37.601s +0.924 20 6. Kubica Renault 1m37.716s +1.039 17 7. Petrov Renault 1m37.745s +1.068 25 8. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m37.980s +1.303 17 9. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m38.008s +1.331 13 10. Massa Ferrari 1m38.098s +1.421 19 11. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m38.161s +1.484 19 12. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m38.375s +1.698 21 13. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1m38.421s +1.744 19 14. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1m38.569s +1.892 20 15. di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m38.618s +1.941 26 16. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m38.678s +2.001 17 17. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m39.939s +3.262 5 18. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1m41.531s +4.854 22 19. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1m41.779s +5.102 23 20. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m41.830s +5.153 20 21. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1m42.181s +5.504 27 22. Senna HRT-Cosworth 1m43.875s +7.198 23 23. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1m43.949s +7.272 20 24. Alonso Ferrari no time 6
Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber led home a dominant 1-2 finish in today’s Malaysian Grand Prix as their major rivals from Ferrari and McLaren suffered, and many fell by the wayside with reliability problems.
Nico Rosberg was 3rd, proving Mercedes Benz with a much needed podium finish.
The rain that was expected did not come today in Malaysia, instead it was a very hot and dry race. With the big guns starting at the back overtaking was expected, but as we dived into the first corner it was Sebastian Vettel off the front who took advantage of Mark Webber’s poor driving early on and took a beautiful gap to get 1st place off the Australian, a position the young German would hold until the end of the GP.
Michael Schumacher took advantage at the start too, his wide line allowing him to get up into 6th place, while others at the back had to avoid the stranded Rubens Barrichello who stalled on the line.
The McLaren’s and Felipe Massa made good early overtakes, but Fernando Alonso got a bit stuck on the outside of turn 1, and his lack of drive and overtaking meant that spectators were concerned for a problem with the Ferrari, and indeed there was one as Alonso’s gearbox was broken on the downshifts. He continued to race however.
Timo Glock lost the car early on, spinning and hitting the Lotus of Jarno Trulli, knocking the German out of the race. Later on Heikki Kovalainen made a very poor overtake on Lucas di Grassi damaging both of their cars and later forcing the Finn to retire at Lotus’ home GP.
Lewis Hamilton cut through the field with a series of quality overtakes, while the other big 3 were still stuck at the back. His tactics in weaving across the road to block Vitaly Petrov, the young Russian, were unfair and only earnt him a warning when in truth it should have earnt him a drive through penalty. That was the only blemish on his good record today.
Jenson Button’s early pitstop proved there was pace on the option tyre, which led many to be surprised that Ferrari left Massa and Alonso out for so long knocking around doing very slow laps on the hard tyre. When the pair finally pitted, they were brilliantly quick and made up positions.
Kamui Kobayashi looked to have good pace this weekend but once again the reliability of the sauber was poor and he had to retire, his team mate Pedro de La Rosa retired before he even got to the grid with engine failure. Tonio Liuzzi and Vitaly Petrov both retired from good races with seeming engine troubles at one of the hottest Grand Prix of the year.
Michael Schumacher had a good race until his retirement, a loose wheelnut which flew off early on causing the former 7 time world champion to make evasive action to bring the Mercedes under control. He will be bitterly disappointed as his pace is nearly there.
Late on in the race while challenging Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari finally gave up, sparks flew out of the back into turn 1, before plumes of smoke and bits of Ferrari engine were deposited around turn 2 and the straight into turn 3, the Spaniard’s disappointing day ended on a grass verge. His team mate managed to salvage points and is now in the lead of the constructors championship.
Jaime Alguersuari completed some fantastic overtaking moves, and scored his first ever career points, team mate Sebastien Buemi got 11th.
HRT managed to get both cars to the finish with Karun Chandhok and Bruno Senna completing a solid, if slow race to 15th and 16th.
|1||S. Vettel||Red Bull Renault||22.214.171.1242|
|2||M. Webber||Red Bull Renault||+4.8|
|3||N. Rosberg||Mercedes Benz||+13.5|
|5||A. Sutil||Force India Mercedes||+21.0|
|6||L. Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes||+23.4|
|8||J. Button||McLaren Mercedes||+37.9|
|9||J. Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari||+1.10.6|
|10||N. Hulkenberg||Williams Cosworth||+1.13.0|
|11||S. Buemi||Toro Rosso Ferrari||+1.18.9|
|12||R. Barrichello||Williams Cosworth||+1 lap|
|13||F. Alonso*||Ferrari||+2 laps|
|14||L. Di Grassi||Virgin Cosworth||+3 laps|
|15||K. Chandhok||HRT-Cosworth||+3 laps|
|16||B. Senna||HRT-Cosworth||+4 laps|
|17||J. Trulli||Lotus Cosworth||+5 laps|
* Fernando Alonso did not complete the race due to engine failure but is still classified as he was far enough ahead of the other drivers below him.
|H. Kovalainen||Lotus Cosworth||46||Damage due to puncture|
|V. Liuzzi||Force India Mercedes||12||Engine|
|M. Schumacher||Mercedes Benz||9||Wheel nut failure|
|K. Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari||8||Engine|
|T. Glock||Virgin Cosworth||2||Accident|
|P. de La Rosa||Sauber Ferrari||0||Engine*|
* Pedro de La Rosa’s engine faliure occured on the pre-parade lap.
Post Race Interviews
Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull Renault (1st):”What a day. Yesterday was extremely difficult. We had a magnificent car, and the key once again was to pace yourself, but Bridgestone did a good job bringing two compounds here that worked fairly well. At the end of the day a very good result for us and for myself after two races where I didn’t finish where I wanted to be. It was crucial for the team not to panic and to stay relaxed. It is a long season but this is the best result we could get and on top of that Mark getting second place is a big plus for the team and a lot of points.”
Mark Webber – Red Bull Renault (2nd):“We know these days with the strategy and the way the race unfolds the first part of race is crucial. I got a little bit of wheel-spin and on the run to first corner Seb had a big tow. I didn’t really know where Nico was either, I didn’t know whether to go middle or left, so I braked late, I had a bit of a better exit and the fight continued up to Turn 4. We had a chat with Christian Horner at start and he said ‘Behave yourselves’ and we did. The spirit and chemistry in our team is awesome.”
Nico Rosberg – Mercedes Benz (3rd): “It is a fantastic result for us today. I am quite pleased but unfortunately the start didn’t go too well, it was quite a lot down to me, I got too much wheelspin and lost out. Once onto prime tyres I was comfortable. I was a bit worried about [Lewis] Hamilton initially and I was expecting him to be fast but he didn’t get past people behind me. I have to thank the team for the work put in over the winter. We definitely need to push on as we are not where we need to be.”
Adrian Sutil – Force India Mercedes (5th): “The race was exciting and fifth place in the end was a great achievement. I was hoping for a good race as we were so close in the first two races but then had a little bit of back luck that stopped us scoring. It was a good overall performance from the team. It was always very close with Lewis just behind in the closing stages but I knew that if I didn’t make any mistakes I wouldn’t have any problems, so it was just trying to concentrate. I had to push, of course, but it was under control.”
Jenson Button – McLaren Mercedes (8th): “I got a terrible start and I think I made a mistake going to the option tyre because I had no rear grip at all. In the high speed it was terrible. So I just couldn’t overtake. I lost a lot of time at the start. I never realised fighting for eighth was going to be so difficult, but it’s good to get some points. I went for the outside at the first corner and it wasn’t the place to be. I lost a lot of places there.”
Jaime Alguersuari – Toro Rosso Ferrari (9th): “I am very happy to have scored points today and I have to say I never expected to do it so early in the season. A big thanks to everyone in the team who have worked so hard to achieve this result. Step by step, I have improved my performance, but this weekend was very tough because I didn’t know the track. I enjoyed this race, especially the fights I had with some of the others: I think I learned a bit about the art of fighting with Michael (Schumacher) last weekend in Melbourne. Towards the end, I was a bit worried about how the tyres would last, as I was on the soft ones, but I had no degradation. It is very satisfying and I feel a lot more confident now going into the upcoming races.”
Rubens Barrichello – Williams Cosworth (12th): “I don’t know what happened at the start, I’ll go through that with the team. From there I went to the back of the field. We tried a different strategy to get us back up, but our car was just not competitive. We lost a nice opportunity today.”
Fernando Alonso – Ferrari (Ret): “From the start things went wrong. On the formation lap my gearbox broke and I had no clutch during the race, so I had to brake in a weird way. I had to first gear down and then push the throttle hard so it would engage the gear for that corner. So it was probably the hardest race of my whole life in terms of driving, because I had to improvise for every corner. But even so we were going to get a few points, which in the end was not possible because of the engine. But if the gearbox and then the engine are going to break, it’s better than in happens when you are ninth than when you are leading and you lose 25 points.”
Eric Boullier – Team Principal of Renault: “We just raised our point of view [about the Hamilton weaving and blocking]. Very frankly, it is very clear in the regulations that you can have one change of direction, so when you do three in a row something is wrong. He got a warning for dangerous driving, but I am not sure it is enough. It is definitely clearly written in the regulations that you can not do any more than one direction change, and it is something you should not be doing.”
April 4, 2010 | Categories: 2010 Race Weekends, F1 News | Tags: 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix, Eric Boullier, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Malaysian GP, Mark Webber, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Petronas, Sebastian Vettel, Sepang | 1 Comment »
Mark Webber took pole position for tomorrow’s Malaysian Grand Prix in wet conditions. Nico Rosberg slotted his Mercedes Benz into 2nd to give him a career first front row grid start. Webber’s team mate Sebastian Vettel will start 3rd.
The session was hampered by the weather and will be remembered best for decisions made by two of the best teams in the business, McLaren and Ferrari who decided the rain in Q1 would stop so they could get a late run in, however it didnt – the rain got worse and both Ferrari’s and Lewis Hamilton were knocked out. Embarrassing for teams who should be much more professional. Jenson Button made it into Q2, but couldn’t start as he stuffed his McLaren into the gravel at the end of Q1. He aquaplaned through a river into the gravel while on intermediate tyres.
Ferrari’s loss was Lotus’ gain, the team heavily supported by Malaysia managed to get one of its cars, driven by Heikki Kovalainen through to Q2 and the Finn qualified 15th, one place ahead of Timo Glock in the Virgin meaning Lotus were the best qualified new team as well as that euphoria of getting through to the second phase of qualifying.
Kamui Kobayashi also took advantage of rivals falling by the way side and the popular Japanese put his Sauber Ferrari into 9th place, one behind veteran German Michael Schumacher and some places and one session ahead of team mate Pedro de La Rosa.
Another worthy note is for Force India, the former back markers getting both cars into Q3, with Liuzzi 10tyh and Adrian Sutil an astonishing 4th just ahead of Nico Hulkenberg the rookie German slotting his car home into 5th.
With such a mixed up grid, and the potential for changeable weather, expect a crazy Grand Prix tomorrow morning.
Pos Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 1. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:51.886 1:48.210 1:49.327 2. Rosberg Mercedes 1:52.560 1:47.417 1:50.673 3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:47.632 1:46.828 1:50.789 4. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:49.479 1:47.085 1:50.914 5. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:49.664 1:47.346 1:51.001 6. Kubica Renault 1:46.283 1:46.951 1:51.051 7. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:50.301 1:48.371 1:51.511 8. Schumacher Mercedes 1:52.239 1:48.400 1:51.717 9. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:48.467 1:47.792 1:51.767 10. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:49.922 1:48.238 1:52.254 11. Petrov Renault 1:47.952 1:48.760 12. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1:47.153 1:48.771 13. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:48.945 1:49.207 14. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:48.655 1:49.464 15. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:52.875 1:52.270 16. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:52.398 1:52.520 17. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:52.211 18. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:52.884 19. Alonso Ferrari 1:53.044 20. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:53.050 21. Massa Ferrari 1:53.283 22. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:56.299 23. Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:57.269 24. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:59.977
April 3, 2010 | Categories: 2010 Race Weekends, F1 News | Tags: Adrian Sutil, Fernando Alonso, Heikki Kovalainen, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Lotus Malaysia, Malaysia 2010, Malaysian Grand Prix, Mark Webber, Michael Schumacher | 1 Comment »
Jenson Button turned a race of the highest quality today in Australia to win his first race for the McLaren team, on a circuit where he dominated with Brawn last season.
Robert Kubica grabbed a heroic second place for Renault, and Felipe Massa hung on to third mostly thanks to his team mate Fernando Alonso.
There was always an outside chance of rain at the Melbourne circuit, and it came just before the race leaving everyone to start on intermediates on a damp, cold circuit. The race was always going to deliver the excitement that we didn’t get in Bahrain and it came thick from the first corner.
Fernando Alonso got a poor start, in contrast to team mate Felipe Massa. Alonso came into turn 1 and was punted from the inside by Jenson Button, pushing the Spaniard into Michael Schumacher. The two former World Champions got damage and were forced to the back of the field, Schumacher by a pit stop and Alonso by the virtue that he was spun 180.
Further down the first lap, Kamui Kobayashi’s Sauber lost its front wing on the straight for no reason, sending him in an out of control slide into Sebastien Buemi and Nico Hulkenberg knocking all 3 out of the race and bringing the safety car out for the first time.
This allowed Alonso and Schumacher to bunch up the back of the field, and Alonso cut through the field brilliantly, while Schumacher got held back and only ended up finishing in 10th place, his overtaking less competent than Alonso’s and certainly less competent than we are used to from the former master. Is it the car or is it Schumacher?
Massa had got in front of Webber before the safety car, but lost position when it went into the pits, leaving the Brazilian scrapping with Kubica and Rosberg for 3rd, 4th and 5th. Jenson Button pitted early for some slick tyres, a move which seemed crazy but eventually led him to win the race. He was setting hot lap times and the rest of the field pitted, but it was poor timing for Massa who ended up well behind the pack of McLaren’s, Red Bull’s, Kubica and Rosberg, while at this point he was being caught by Alonso and Hamilton both of whom had worked their way through the field.
Only the Red Bull’s did not pit, leaving it a bit late. Vettel got away unscathed, but Webber on cold tyres made a mistake into turn 1, and cars zipped passed him with ease. However only a handful of laps later, and Massa looked poor once again, with Webber slotting passed and Hamilton following. Later on a similar move would cause Massa to force team mate Fernando Alonso off the track and to lose positions that he ultimately would not recover.
A scorching Hamilton now hassled Rosberg, whom he passed with ease around the outside into 13. His charge only cooled by waved yellows from Sebastian Vettel’s stranded Red Bull, the young cocky German had stuffed it into the gravel trap with suspected brake failure.
The crash handed Button the lead, and allowed Kubica second place which would ultimately be the final positions for the two who decided not to pit for fresh slicks. The optional second pit stop was instigated by Michael Schumacher, who down in 12th decided on some fresh soft Bridgestones and was lapping nearly 2s per lap quicker. Hamilton and Webber were notable names to pit, but both Ferrari’s did not pit.
Felipe Massa appeared to be holding up Fernando Alonso but it was lucky for the Brazilian his resilient team mate was behind as Alonso began a heroic drive to the finish. With Hamilton gaining 2seconds or more per lap on the Ferrari’s, Alonso managed to hold off the charge from the British former World Champion and his McLaren nemesis for over 10 laps to the finish a brilliant piece of driving skill which should have been rewarded with a trophy.
But with 2 laps remaining, a hot headed Mark Webber once again clashed with Lewis Hamilton leading them both to finish much further down the points than they should have done, but Alonso’s work was not done as Nico Rosberg charged to the back of the Ferrari but couldn’t make a move stick.
Liuzzi and Barrichello were 7th and 8th, having a quiet race amidst all the action. Schumacher took the final points position, with Alguersuari just behind the young Spaniard giving the old German a hard time and no doubt learning more than ever before. De La Rosa was 12th, but the best mentions have to go to Heiki Kovalainen who finished another race for Lotus and Karun Chadhok who managed to FINISH the race for Hispania, unbeliveable! Congratulations to both teams.
|1||J. Button||McLaren Mercedes||126.96.36.1991|
|5||N. Rosberg||Mercedes Benz||+16.683|
|6||L. Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes||+29.898|
|7||V. Liuzzi||Force India Mercedes||+59.847|
|8||R. Barrichello||Williams Cosworth||+1.00.536|
|9||M. Webber||Red Bull Renault||+1.07.319|
|10||M. Schumacher||Mercedes Benz||+1.09.391|
|11||J. Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari||+1.11.301|
|12||P. De La Rosa||Sauber Ferrari||+1.14.084|
|13||H. Kovalainen||Lotus Cosworth||+2 laps|
|14||K. Chandhok||Hispania HRT||+4 laps|
|S. Vettel||Red Bull Renault||26||Brake Failure|
|L. Di Grassi||Virgin||25||Hydraulic|
|A. Sutil||Force India||12||Unknown|
|B. Senna||Hispania HRT||5||Unknown|
|S. Buemi||Toro Rosso Ferrari||1||Accident|
|K. Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari||1||Accident|
|J. Trulli||Lotus Cosworth||1||Fuel Pressure|
Post Race Interviews
Jenson Button – McLaren Mercedes (1st): “It is very special. It has taken me a little while to get to grips inside the car, but the team has been fantastic and welcomed me in. It is difficult to put it into words, it is a very special feeling and we will take a lot from this. I feel I am building in confidence, and I hope in the next rate we can do something similar as this feels too good.”
Robert Kubica – Renault (2nd): “To be honest we were not expecting to finish on the podium, for Renault and myself it is a special result. We were pushing hard during the winter and this was the best result we could get for the beginning of the season. This is big thanks to all the guys. We have to stay realistic, we are not up to pace to finish on the podium normally. We need to keep pushing and I am sure we will manage sooner or later to be on the pace.”
Felipe Massa – Ferrari (3rd): “I had a fantastic start, without wheelspin, and I saw many cars, especially Fernando and [Mark] Webber having some wheelspin. I did a very smooth start and passed them in a very good way. I was happy with the start and whole race was very difficult, very slippery and low grip everywhere. My best result in Australia before was sixth, and in 2007 I had problems in qualifying and started last. It’s not the best race for me in terms of pace, and we lost some positions at the pitstop and a bit on track because of mistakes, so it is fantastic to have one second and one third.”
Fernando Alonso – Ferrari (4th): “It was a fantastic result in the end for the team, and for myself as well. So, I was ready to sign before the race for this result – if you win the race you take seven points to your main competitor. Now, I took 12 points to Vettel, to Michael and to some of the main rivals for the championship. So it has been a much better race in terms of points than Bahrain, if you compare with your main competitor. I was not convinced that I could recover the positions to get into the points, [but] the car was perfect, and now even thinking through the race and all the analysis – there is the possibility that you can win the race even starting last because the car was so much quicker today than all the others.”
Vitantonio Liuzzi – Force India (7th): “Another great race and another great result for the team,” said Liuzzi, who charged back from 13th place to score points for the second race in succession. It’s a confirmation of the pace we showed in Bahrain and the work the team did over the winter. We worked hard all weekend for this seventh place and it’s a brilliant result at the end of what was a crazy race.”
Michael Schumacher – Mercedes Benz (10th): “I could have had a good race today so it was a pity that I was hit right after the start,” Schumacher said. “That incident decided my race obviously. But things like that happen and you have to just say ‘that’s racing’. I had to take the remainder of the race from last position but I have to say that I was still having fun as our pace today was promising and for part of the race, we were going quicker than the top group. It was nice to pick up a point and we can take that good feeling into the next race where we will look forward to another challenge.”
Heikki Kovalainen – Lotus Cosworth (13th): “I enjoyed it today and had good fun out there. Our target was to finish the race and from the start we were quite comfortably ahead of the new teams. When [Virgin’s Timo] Glock dropped out I just focused on keeping up a decent rhythm, not making any mistakes and bringing the car home. Now we go to Malaysia with a good feeling and we’re all looking forward to that.”
Karun Chandhok – Hispania HRT (14th): “To finish was very difficult today, and all the more satisfying because of that. I dedicate this race result to all the mechanics and engineers who worked so hard since Bahrain, without any pre-season testing. This is a fantastic day for the team and a great step forward. I am proud to have ended our first race. We achieved the best result we could do today. We have to keep pushing and working and we will manage to finish even higher.”
Christian Horner – Red Bull Renault Team Boss: “Ultimately an extremely disappointing day. Having been in control of the race, the second in succession, Sebastian unfortunately retired with what looks like a wheel related issue (front left), which certainly cost him a comfortable race win today. It was cruel luck for him for the second year in a row here in Australia.”
Tony Fernandes – Lotus Racing Team Owner: “I’m disappointed for Jarno, but Heikki did us proud – three places away from a point, and he was keeping pace with most of the other cars throughout the race. Maybe it would have been nice if three other cars had gone out so we could get a point, but, joking aside, it is good that at this stage of the season we’re already thinking about points. We’re in a nice position for Malaysia.”
March 28, 2010 | Categories: 2010 Race Weekends, F1 News | Tags: 2010 australian Grand PRix, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Heikki Kovalainen, Jenson Button, Karun Chandhok, Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Melbourne, Michael Schumacher, Red Bull, Robert Kubica, Sebastian Vettel, Senna, Tony Fernandes | Leave A Comment »