Sunday, March 29, 2015

Vettel surprises Mercedes to score first victory

Vettel surprises Mercedes to score first victory in Malaysian F1 Grand Prix

In a major upset, Sebastian Vettel who started second on the grid, took the benefit of safety car and score his first win for Mercedes. It was also the first win for Ferrari in the new engine era since 2013.

Lewis Hamilton, the pole sitter finished in second followed by Nico Rosberg in third. Though Lewis Hamilton started on pole, Marcus Ericsson caused the Safety car deployment as early as the 4th lap and the Mercedes cars choose to get into the pits but Vettel continued to race. After the pitstop, the Mercedes cars joined in the middle of the car packs following the safety car. So it took a lot of time for Lewis Hamilton to overtake the other cars and by that time Vettel had built a lead of over 9 seconds and the tyres of Mercedes had worn out. So Sebastian Vettel's two stop strategy won over the three stopping Mercedes cars.

To prove that Ferrari's resurgence is not a fluke, Kimi Raikkonen who had to contend with the P11 in qualifying due to rain, drove a good race to finish fourth. This result is really good because he even had a puncture due to coming in contact with Felipe Nasr.

Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa of Williams finished in 5th an 6th.

Max Verstappen of Toro Rosso wrote his name in the record books as the youngest points scorer in Formula 1 history. He is only 17 years of age and many people had expressed grave concerns for allowing him to race. His teammate Carlos Sainz came in 8th.

Interestingly, the two Red Bull cars of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat rounded up the points scoring positions.

The cars from 8th onwards were lapped.

Romain Grosjean of Lotus came in 11th. Felipe Nasr of Sauber was 12th. They were followed by the Force India cars of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg. Roberto Merhi of Manor came in 15th and last position, three laps behind the race leader. Manor racing was allowed to race by the Stewards, however, Will Stevens couldn't participate due to a fuel pump problem.

Did Not Finish in Malaysian F1 Grand Prix

Pastor Maldonado
Jenson Button
Fernando Alonso
Marcus Ericsson

Did Not Start:

Will Stevens - due to fuel pump issue

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hamilton beats Vettel to Pole in Wet Malaysia

Lewis Hamilton beats Vettel to Pole in wet Malaysia

The Qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix in Malaysia started on a wet note and as a result the cars were more closer to each other. Ferrari surprised others by its pace and Sebastian Vettel pushed Nico Rosberg to third place as Lewis Hamilton took the pole for the second time this season.

Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes scored a 1m:49.834 seconds to secure the pole position and beat Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari by 0.074 seconds. Vettel scored 1m 49.908. Nico Rosberg's Mercedes came third with a time of 1m 50.299 seconds. After the previous race Nico Rosberg had joked that he wants Ferrari to be closer, as he wanted someone to take away points from Lewis Hamilton. However, it appears that Sebastian Vettel may take away points from Nico Rosberg in the race tomorrow.

The Rain Gods came down at full force at the middle of the Q2 completely spoiling the plans of various teams. It all boiled down to whether the cars were able to get clear path infront of them to score a good time or not. Unfortunately, Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari didn't not get it and was stuck behind a Sauber and hence could only score P11 and not qualify for the top ten shoot out.

The Red Bull cars of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat qualified at 4th and 5th with times of 1m: 51.541s and 1m: 51.951 seconds.

They were followed by the youngest driver on the grid Max Verstappen of Toro Rosso at 6th. Felipe Massa of Williams was 7th at 1m: 52.473 seconds. Romain Grosjean of Lotus was 8th.

Valtteri Bottas of Williams was declared fit to race in this race and he clocked a qualifying time of 1m: 53.179 to qualify at 9th position. Marcus Ericsson of Sauber was 10th at 153.261 seconds.

Kimi Raikkonen will start tomorrow at 11th, followed by Pastor Maldonado of Lotus at 12. The 13th and 14th positions were taken by the two Force India cars of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez.

Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso and Felipe Nasr of Sauber were 15th and 16th. Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso of McLaren qualified last at 17th and 18th positions.

The Two Manor Racing cars of finished outside the 107% qualifying time of 1:46.217 and can race if they are allowed by the Stewards. One of them, Will Stevens had set a time in the FP2 on friday which was better than the 107% time. Stevens didn't race today due to a fuel pressure problem. We will soon know the verdict of the stewards.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Hamilton wins F1 Melbourne season opener

Lewis Hamilton wins F1 Melbourne Season Opener

As expected Mercedes dominated in the 2015 season opener at Melbourne and defending champion Lewis Hamilton lead his teammate Nico Rosberg into a 1-2 finish in the Melbourne F1 Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel marked his Ferrari stint with a podium finish whereas teammate Kimi Raikkonen was done with due to a tyre not fit properly.

The 2015 F1 Grand Prix season opener had a lot of drama even before the engines were revved. Giedo van der Garde had filed a case against Sauber claiming that he had a contract with Sauber for racing in the 2015 season. Sauber denied that. However, in the court Sauber couldn't defend it. However, not to be undone, Sauber did not sign on the papers for the dutchman Garde to get the FIA Super license to be eligible to drive in the race. Finally they decided to continue discussing for an out of court settlement and Sauber raced with its nominated 2015 drivers, and out of those two drivers Felipe Nasr finished in 5th position. It finished the points drought of Sauber as it had gone blank in 2014.

Felipe Massa of Williams finished in 4th position. He had voiced his opinion about Ferrari being strong this year and he was proved right. His teammate Valtteri Bottas couldn't race due to a back injury during qualifying.

Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull was 6th followed by Nico Hulkenberg of Force India in 7th. It was a very credible finish for Hulkenberg as Force India had hardly three days of testing due to funds constraints. Sahara group, one of the co-owners of Force India is in dire financial conditions. The owner of the Sahara group Subrata Roy is in jail since last year and has been unable to furnish the record bail amount of 10,000 crores of rupees which is slightly more than one and half billion dollars. Vijay Mallya, the other co-owner and face of Force India, himself is being hounded by the various banks as his Kingfisher airlines have sunk reportedly due to financial mis-management and the banks have lost around billion dollars lent to Kingfisher Airlines.

Marcus Ericsson of Sauber came in 8th to score 4 points. Carl Sainz of Toro Rosso was 9th with 2 points followed by Sergio Perez of Force India in the 10th and last points paying position.

Jenson Button of McLaren was finished 11th and out of points paying position. It was atleast good for the McLaren using the Honda engine that Button could atleast drive an entire race distance and the resulting feedback can help improve the team. The other McLaren was driven by Kevin Magnussen who failed to put in a lap. McLaren's high profile signing of Fernando Alonso had made an even bigger controversy when Alonso hit the wall during testing and appeared to have passed out. There were rumours that Alonso got an electrical shock and hit the wall at a medium speed. Later Alonso was advised to sit out the Australian Grand Prix. Unfortunately, his replacement the reserve driver Kevin Magnussen's car along with Daniil Kvyat's car couldn't start and only 15 cars started the race.

Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado were involved in accidents and couldn't last long. Verstappen, the 17 year old driver of Toro Rosso also retired.