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Tag Archives: Lewis Hamilton

THE German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring was one of the best races of the 2011 Formula 1 season so far, with three drivers (none of them Red
Bull’s reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel) fighting it out for the victory over the whole 60-laps.

Before the race began however there was bad news for Toro Rosso driver Sébastien Buemi. He was sent to the back of the grid because of an irregularity in his fuel from qualifying, were he qualified 16th on the grid.

The start line itself had been moved 240m (790’) closer to Turn 1, roughly halving the distance between the previous start-line and the first corner.

Unfortunately for pole-sitter Mark Webber (Red Bull) the shorter run down to the first corner couldn’t prevent him from keeping second on the grid, Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) behind him at the start. Webber let his revs drop just as the lights went green, allowing Hamilton to roar past him and take the lead before the pack even got to the first turn.

Just behind the leading pair, the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were hounding Vettel, who was looking to win his home Grand Prix for the first time. Alonso forced his way up into third place ahead of Vettel, but Massa was passed by another German driver, Mercedes’ Nico
Rosberg.

Jenson Button (McLaren) had a poor start, dropping from seventh to tenth, while Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) made up a couple of places to go from tenth to eighth. Further back, Nick Heidfeld spun both himself and Force India’s Paul di Resta at Turn 3, dropping them both to the back.

As Alonso exited Turn 2 on lap 2, he put his Ferrari’s tyres on the damp carpet behind the curb and ran wide, allowing Vettel up into third place. However, Alonso took his third place back away from world championship leader on lap 8 by passing him up the inside at Turn 1.

A lap later Vettel spun off at Turn 10 after touching the white line, and instead of pursuing Alonso’s Ferrari, he had to focus on keeping Rosberg’s Mercedes and Massa’s Ferrari behind him. At this point in the race, Hamilton was just 0.7-second ahead of Webber and three ahead of Alonso.

Nick Heidfeld received a drive-through penalty for causing the spin between him and di Resta on the opening lap, but never got to serve it. The Renault driver was attempting to pass Buemi’s Toro Rosso around the outside before the Turn 14/15 chicane when Buemi moved over and put Heidfeld on the grass, which launched the Renault and sent it deep into the gravel trap. For his actions, Buemi has been given a five-place grid bump for the next race in Hungary.

A few laps later (lap 12) Hamilton’s lead had been cut by Webber to just half a second. Hamilton went into the Turn 14/15 chicane too deep and Webber got a run up the Englishman’s inside line as they rounded the final corner. Webber was now first and technically led his first lap of the 2011 season. But Hamilton knew his McLaren was faster in a straight line and showing massive balls, stuck his car in a McLaren shaped hole in between the pit wall and Webber’s Red Bull and drove clean past him, retaking the lead of the Grand Prix.

Webber pitted from second place at the end of lap 14 and rejoined the action behind the Vettel-Massa fight for fourth place (Rosberg had pitted earlier).

Massa got by Vettel at the chicane on lap 16 as Webber closed right up behind them. Vettel pitted immediately, allowing Webber to get into Massa’s slipstream as they raced down the start-finish straight. All this was happening while both Hamilton and Alonso were trundling down the pit-lane having just pitted for new soft tyres.

The quartet all got to the first corner together, with Massa emerging as the leader ahead of Webber who had undercut both Hamilton (now third) and Alonso.

Massa soon pitted and Webber could finally enjoy leading a race for the first time in ages. His joy could only last until the end of lap 30 (the halfway point of the race and the 2011 season) because he needed new tyres.

One lap later and Hamilton pitted, promoting Alonso to the lead of the race. Webber couldn’t make his fresher tyres work to their full advantage because he had Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus in front of him. This meant that Hamilton exited the pits back ahead of Webber and into the net-lead of the race.

Webber wasn’t going to go down without a fight mind, and attempted to go around the outside of Hamilton at Turn 2. But Lewis was wise to this move and hung Mark out to dry on the run-off area.

Alonso’s tyres lasted him until the end of lap 32. He surprisingly emerged from the pits still in the lead with Hamilton and Webber right up his
exhaust pipe. Hamilton got a much better run out of Turn 1 and drove his McLaren clean around the outside of Alonso at Turn 2 to spectacularly snatch the lead away from his former McLaren team-mate.

Speaking of team-mates, Lewis’s team-mate Jenson Button was busy passing people too. On lap 35 he took sixth place away from Nico Rosberg
at Turn 1 after the German had out braked himself. Unfortunately on the very same lap Jenson was called into the pits and retirement by his team because they had detected a terminal hydraulic problem. 😦

Webber and Alonso stayed with Hamilton out front for the next 15 laps. But it was now time to change to the significantly slower medium compound tyre. The race would be won or lost here. Who would blink first?

Out of the three leaders it was Hamilton who pitted for the medium tyres first at the end of lap 51. Vitaly Petrov (Renault) was the first driver to put the mediums on and was lapping extremely quickly, so McLaren decided to roll the dice.

Two laps later Alonso pitted but Webber carried on. Hamilton comfortably passed Alonso as the Spaniard was exiting the pits and was now second.

Three laps later Webber put the medium compound on and exited the pits third behind Alonso who was still behind Hamilton. Behind those three was the ongoing battle for fourth place between Massa and Vettel.

On the penultimate lap Hamilton set the fastest lap of the race, a 1:34.302 (122.123-mph) tour…and Massa and Vettel still hadn’t put the medium compound on!

In order to avoid the 30-second time penalty for not using both compounds in the race, Massa and Vettel pitted at the end of lap 59. The Red Bull pit crew worked lightning fast and got Vettel out before Ferrari could safely release Massa. Vettel was now fourth and on course for an extra two
world championship points.

But the man who was on course for 25 world championship points, his second win of the season and 16th career victory was Lewis Hamilton! He had written off his chances of winning on the Thursday, but proved himself and the world wrong on Saturday and Sunday to take yet another
memorable victory. 😀

Alonso, Hamilton and Webber on the podium.

Could this win spark an epic championship fight-back?

Alonso was second and Webber was third, but Alonso had to stop his Ferrari on the lap of honour because it had run out of fuel. Mark Webber converted his Red Bull into a Taxi and gave Alonso a lift back to the pits, causing all us nostalgia nuts to go all teary eyed for a moment. 🙂

“Turn 13 to the pit-lane...that’s £8.30 please, mate.”

Top 10 finishers of the LXXII (72nd) German Grand Prix, 2011:

  1. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes. 60-Laps in 1h:37m:30.344 @ 118.097-mph, 25 Points.
  2. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari. +3.980, 18 Points.
  3. Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault. +9.788, 15 Points. His third-straight 3rd place.
  4. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault. +47.921, 12 Points.
  5. Felipe Massa, Ferrari. +52.252, 10 Points. His third-straight 5th place.
  6. Adrian Sutil, Force India-Mercedes. +1:26.208, 8 Points. His best finish this season.
  7. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes. +1 Lap, 6 Points.
  8. Michael Schumacher, Mercedes. +1 Lap, 4 Points.
  9. Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber-Ferrari. +1 Lap, 2 Points.
  10. Vitaly Petrov, Renault. +1 Lap, 1 Point.

 

Well done to Karun Chandhok (Lotus) who finished his first race since Silverstone last year in 20th place.

The F1 circus now travels to Hungary for what are Jenson Button’s 200th Grand Prix and the 100th Grand Prix of 2.4 litre V8 engine.

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP – After 10/19 Races.

Pos

Driver

Constructor

Points

Gap From 1st

1

Sebastian VETTEL (GER)

Red Bull

216

2

Mark WEBBER (AUS)

Red Bull

139

77

3

Lewis HAMILTON (ENG)

McLaren

134

82

4

Fernando ALONSO (ESP)

Ferrari

130

86

5

Jenson BUTTON (ENG)

McLaren

109

107

6

Felipe MASSA (BRA)

Ferrari

62

154

7

Nico ROSBERG (GER)

Mercedes

46

170

8

Nick HEIDFELD (GER)

Renault

34

182

9

Vitaly PETROV (RUS)

Renault

32

184

10

Michael SCHUMACHER (GER)

Mercedes

32

184

11

Kamui KOBAYASHI (JAP)

Sauber

27

189

12

Adrian SUTIL (GER)

Force India

18

198

13

Jamie ALGUERSUARI (ESP)

Toro Rosso

9

207

14

Sergio PÉREZ (MEX)

Sauber

8

208

15

Sébastien BUEMI (SWI)

Toro Rosso

8

208

16

Rubens BARRICHELLO (BRA)

Williams

4

212

17

Paul DI RESTA (SCO)

Force India

2

214

 

CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP – After 10/19 Races.

Pos

Constructor

Engine

Points

Gap From 1st

1

RED BULL (AUT)

Renault

355

2

MCLAREN (ENG)

Mercedes

243

112

3

FERRARI (ITA)

Ferrari

192

163

4

MERCEDES (GER)

Mercedes

78

277

5

RENAULT (ENG)

Renault

66

289

6

SAUBER (SWI)

Ferrari

35

320

7

FORCE INDIA (IND)

Mercedes

20

335

8

TORO ROSSO (ITA)

Ferrari

17

338

9

WILLIAMS (ENG)

Cosworth

4

351

LEWIS HAMILTON (McLaren) took victory in the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix, making this win (his 15th in total) his first since Belgium last year and the first non-Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) win since South Korea last year. 😀

The 2008 world champion won the 56-lap race around the Shanghai International Circuit in a time of 1:36:58.226, at an average speed of 117.289-mph. Reigning world champion Vettel finished second and still leads the drivers’ championship, while his team-mate Mark Webber came home in third place after starting from a lowly 18th on the grid! Webber also set the fastest lap of the race on lap 42 with a lap time of 1:38.993 (123.172-mph).

Germans and Englishmen are known for wasting the good stuff, but Australians know how to treat free booze with the respect it deserves.

There was high drama in the McLaren pit before Hamilton had even left the garage. His fuel tank had overflowed and the fuel itself was leaking everywhere and in particular, near the extremely hot V8 Mercedes engine. But thankfully there was no fire and he made it out of the pit-lane and onto the grid with just seconds in hand. Phew!

When the red lights eventually went out, Vettel’s Red Bull bogged down on the line costing him his pole advantage and first place to Jenson Button’s McLaren as well as second to Hamilton before the charging pack had made it to the long and seemingly never ending Turn 1. Vettel soon found himself having to keep fellow German, Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) at bay. A bit further back, Felipe Massa had passed his Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso for fifth place.

The McLarens lead the way.

Lap 10 saw the only retirement of the race when the right-rear wheel of Jamie Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso fell off after having not been attached properly in his pit-stop moments earlier. Oops.

By lap 14 Button, Hamilton and Vettel were nose to tail and McLaren still hadn’t decided which one of their drivers to bring into the pits for a tyre change first. Vettel used his DRS to overtake Hamilton on the kilometre long back-straight to move up into second place. Button almost straight away dived into the pit-lane as did Vettel, releasing Hamilton into clean air and the lead of the Grand Prix. Major drama then unfolded in the pit-lane when Button accidentally drove into and almost stopped at Vettel’s pit-box. The 2009 world champion realised his incredible error just in time and quickly made his way to his McLaren pit-box which was the next one along.

Forget the shampoo Jenson, its glasses you need.

Vettel was unaffected by Button’s mistake and ended up jumping ahead of the Englishman as the pair exited the pits, Vettel eighth and Button ninth. Hamilton and the rest of the front runners made their stops around this time as well. For the next few laps I was really worried about Button getting a penalty, but fortunately the race stewards decided not to penalise him.

Ten laps later on lap 24 Mark Webber was told by his team that he couldn’t use his KERS anymore. You sense that the bad luck will never stop for Webber don’t you? Meanwhile seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) was fighting on track with double world champion Alonso for sixth place. Alonso eventually won the battle, but an eagle-eyed TV director noticed that while the Spaniard was still behind the German his DRS opened after the exit of Turn 14 where it wasn’t supposed to. Nothing came of this and Alonso was given no penalty because it in fact had a negative effect on him.

At just over 60% distance (lap 35 to be exact), Rosberg had a 2.4-second lead over Button who had his team-mate Hamilton’s front wing right up his gearbox down the back-straight. Button held on until the last corner and for half of the pit-straight, but Hamilton got a terrific slipstream from the identical car in front of him and sent one up the inside of his team-mate at Turn 1. Button tried to defend his position, but his efforts were all in vain.

Three laps later Hamilton pitted and was on brand new tyres which he had saved for just this moment and exited the pits in fourth place just ahead of Mark Webber. Yes Mark Webber! The Aussie was on a charge and had just outbraked Schumacher at the end of the back-straight.

With only 16 laps to go 7.6-seconds covered the top five drivers: Vettel, Massa, Hamilton, Rosberg and Button. But Hamilton’s tyres were a full six laps (20 miles) younger than those ahead of him. And just as in Germany in 2008, Lewis was on a mission.

On lap 45 Hamilton took second place from Massa on the pit-straight and was now only 4.6-seconds behind Vettel’s Red Bull. A lap later the gap was 3.7-seconds. Not very far away, Massa had Button giving him grief after Rosberg had gone wide in Turn 14 and allowed Button to take fourth.

By lap 50 Vettel had Hamilton to deal with while my nails had to deal with being acquainted with my teeth. Hamilton was prevented from passing Vettel at the end of the back-straight thanks to the world champion’s car placement, but Hamilton wasn’t to be denied victory and on lap 52 breezed past Vettel at Turn 7.

But the action was far from being over. Mark Webber had caught Nico Rosberg and passed him at Turn 6 on lap 54, and used his DRS to take the final podium place away from Button on the penultimate lap. Makes you wonder that Webber may have won this race had is qualifying gone to plan doesn’t it?

Hamilton took the chequered flag for a record breaking second time in China at the end of lap 56 with Vettel 5.1-second back in second with Webber an amazing third.

YES! It's been a while since Belgium 2010! 🙂

Button was exactly 10-seconds behind Hamilton at the end of the race in fourth, while Nico Rosberg scored his first points of the season with a well earned fifth place. The Ferraris’ of Massa and Alonso were sixth and seventh respectively and Schumacher was eighth – right behind Alonso as they crossed the line.

The rest of the grid had a relatively quiet race, with Renault’s Vitaly Petrov and Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi finishing in the last two points scoring places (ninth and tenth respectively). Force India’s Scottish driver, Paul di Resta, narrowly missed out on his third straight points finish by coming home in 11th.

With this win Hamilton is now 15th on the list of all time winners list, one ahead of Sir Jack Brabham, Graham Hill and Emerson Fittipaldi and one behind Sir Stirling Moss. Hopefully Hamilton will draw level with Sir Stirling at the next race, Turkey.

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP – After 3/19 Races.

Pos

Driver

Constructor

Points

Gap From 1st

1

Sebastian VETTEL (GER)

Red Bull

68

2

Lewis HAMILTON (ENG)

McLaren

47

21

3

Jenson BUTTON (ENG)

McLaren

38

30

4

Mark WEBBER (AUS)

Red Bull

37

31

5

Fernando ALONSO (ESP)

Ferrari

26

42

6

Felipe MASSA (BRA)

Ferrari

24

44

7

Vitaly PETROV (RUS)

Renault

17

51

8

Nick HEIDFELD (GER)

Renault

15

53

9

Nico ROSBERG (GER)

Mercedes

10

58

10

Kamui KOBAYASHI (JAP)

Sauber

7

61

11

Michael SCHUMACHER (GER)

Mercedes

6

62

12

Sébastien BUEMI (SWI)

Toro Rosso

4

64

13

Adrian SUTIL (GER)

Force India

2

66

14

Paul DI RESTA (SCO)

Force India

2

66

 

CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP – After 3/19 Races.

Pos

Constructor

Engine

Points

Gap From 1st

1

RED BULL (AUT)

Renault

105

2

MCLAREN (ENG)

Mercedes

85

20

3

FERRARI (ITA)

Ferrari

50

55

4

RENAULT (ENG)

Renault

32

73

5

MERCEDES (GER)

Mercedes

16

89

6

SAUBER (SWI)

Ferrari

7

98

7

TORO ROSSO (ITA)

Ferrari

4

101

8

FORCE INDIA (IND)

Mercedes

4

101

The McLaren team’s battle cry before they chase Sebastian Vettel deep into the Ardennes forest.

LEWIS HAMILTON won last Sundays Belgian Grand Prix (29 August) at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit, which as usual saw highly unpredictable weather. The McLaren driver won the 44 lap race in a time of 1:29:04.268, an average speed of 128.941 mph. The 2008 World Champion also set the fastest lap of the race with a tour of 1:49.069 (143.645 mph) and led every lap of the race. Mark Webber (Red Bull) finished second and Robert Kubica (Renault) came home in third. 

Webber did start the race on pole, but when the lights went green his anti-stall system kicked in. The championship leader going into this race found: Hamilton, Kubica, Jenson Button (McLaren), his team-mate Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa ahead of him at the first corner – La Source. 

But things became very interesting for the drivers very quickly. Halfway around the first lap it started to drizzle with rain, making it hard for the drivers to judge their breaking distances. Virtually all of the leaders overshot the final corner (The Bus Stop chicane). Rubens Barrichello (Williams) locked his wheels and crashed straight into Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and out of his 300th Grand Prix. 😦 Alonso decided to gamble and put on rain tyres and pray for heavy rain. How he was even still in the race after Barrichello hit him I’ll never know. 

Because of the damage Barrichello had caused, the Safety Car was deployed. It came into the pits at the end of lap four. The order now was: Hamilton, Button, Vettel, Kubica, Webber, Massa, Sutil (Force India) and Hülkenberg (Williams). Alonso came darting back into the pits in order to change his tyres. The rain hadn’t come. 

Hamilton instantly started to pull away from his team-mate Button who had his hands full with Vettel. Further down the track on lap 11, Vitaly Petrov (Renault) threw himself past Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes at Les Combes. Rosberg’s team-mate Michael Schumacher saw that he was off line and passed him as well, but not without making slight contact with him. This was a lucky escape for the Mercedes team. 

But potentially championship deciding drama unfolded on the end of lap 16. Sebastian Vettel had gotten himself right up behind Button in the ultra fast Blanchimont sweep and looked to pass the defending World Champion up the inside at the Bus Stop. But Vettel changed his direction at the very last moment, and on a damp track, swerved and crashed into Button’s McLaren, destroying his sidepod and radiator. Vettel kept going and dived into the pits for a new nose cone, but Jenson Button was out of the race. 

Having thought this incident over (apart from thinking that it looked like Istanbul all over again), I believe that Vettel misjudged his closing speed on Button’s car. He realised too late that he was going to hit the back of the McLaren and tried his best to avoid hitting it. But he doesn’t quite have the skill yet to be able to pull this kind of manoeuvre off. If he had been patient he could have taken Button later on the next lap. 

For his actions Vettel was given his second Drive-Through Penalty in as many races. As he drove down the pit lane he was watched by angry McLaren mechanics that were standing in their pit box with their arms folded. 

Vettel continued not to win any new friends on lap 25 when he took Vitantonio Liuzzi’s front wing off his Force India when he pasted him at the Bus Stop. But justice was instantly done. Vettel had given himself a left-rear puncture and had to drive the whole 4.3 mile lap extremely slowly. By the time he rejoined the race with a fixed car he was off the lead lap and down in 20th place with no chance of scoring any points. 

More drama followed on lap 35. The rain which had been expected had arrived, but it wasn’t heavy enough for the intermediate tyres to be 100% effective and the teams were keeping their drivers out on track on slick tyres. Race leader Lewis Hamilton then showed the world that inters would be a good idea. As he turned into the right-hander of Bruxelles he slid off the track and almost into the barrier. But he kept the car running and the lead with it. The pit lane was now a hive of activity as everyone charged into the pits to put the inters on. Alonso and Vettel almost came together in the pit lane, and were wheel to wheel at one point. 

The three leaders: Hamilton, Kubica and Webber came into the pits after the other drivers had already been in. Hamilton and Webber’s stop went smoothly, but Kubica overshot his pit box and knocked over one of his mechanics (who was OK). The Polish driver lost time and second place to Webber in the process. 

Two laps later another championship contender was out of the race. Fernando Alonso had gone off and crashed his Ferrari on the exit of Les Combes and ended up blocking two-thirds of the race track. This brought out another Safety Car and bunched the whole filed right up again. 

The cars were back up to racing speeds at the end of lap 40 with Hamilton just needing to keep his car on the black stuff to win. Nico Rosberg returned the favour to his team-mate Michael Schumacher by passing him at Les Combes for sixth place. 

That was the last real action of the race, and Hamilton finally won what was an extremely intense Belgian Grand Prix. 

The F1 circus now moves from one classic track to another, Monza, for the 81st Italian Grand Prix. But before all that, we have Ferrari’s World Motorsport Council’s hearing about their team orders in the German GP. 

In the mean time, McLaren and Red Bull should start to decide sooner or later which one of their two drivers are going to challenge for the title. 

PS: Sauber’s Pedro de la Rosa has now gone over his eight-engine limit.

DRIVERS’ STANDINGS (13/19 GPs)

Pos

Driver

Constructor(s)

Points

Gap From 1st

1

Lewis HAMILTON (ENG)

McLaren

182

2

Mark WEBBER (AUS)

Red Bull

179

3

3

Sebastian VETEL (GER)

Red Bull

151

31

4

Jenson BUTTON (ENG)

McLaren

147

35

5

Fernando ALONSO (ESP)

Ferrari

141

41

6

Felipe MASSA (BRA)

Ferrari

109

73

7

Robert KUBICA (POL)

Renault

104

78

8

Nico ROSBERG (GER)

Mercedes

102

80

9

Adrian SUTIL (GER)

Force India

45

137

10

Michael SCHUMACHER (GER)

Mercedes

44

138

There are 150 points still available

 

CONSTRUCTORS’ STANDINGS (13/19 GPs)

Pos

Constructor

Engine

Points

Gap From 1st

1

RED BULL (AUT)

Renault

330

2

MCLAREN (ENG)

Mercedes

329

1

3

FERRARI (ITA)

Ferrari

250

80

4

MERCEDES (GER)

Mercedes

146

184

5

RENAULT (FRA)

Renault

123

207

6

FORCE INDIA (IND)

Mercedes

58

272*

7

WILLIAMS (ENG)

Cosworth

40

290*

8

SAUBER (SUI)

Ferrari

27

303*

9

TORO ROSSO (ITA)

Ferrari

10

320*

Yet to Score

LOTUS (MAL), HRT (ESP), VIRGIN (ENG)

Cosworth (All)

0

330*

  *Can’t win title.

There are 258 points still available

OWN THE PODIUM!!!!

LEWIS HAMILTON lead home a second consecutive McLaren 1-2 finish in last Sunday’s thrilling Canadian Grand Prix.

Hamilton won the 70 lap race in a time of 1:33:53.456 at an average speed of 121.226 mph. His team-mate Jenson Button finished just over two seconds behind him. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso came home in third place. This is the first time that we have had three World Champions on the podium since Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Nelson Piquet finished 1-2-3 in the 1991 United States Grand Prix. Robert Kubica (Renault) set the fastest lap of the race with a lap of 1:16.972 (126.747 mph).

There was drama before the race even began Red Bull’s Mark Webber had to take a five place grid penalty because the team changed his gearbox.

Lap one saw three separate accidents. Renault’s Vitaly Petrov hit Pedro de la Rosa’s Sauber, causing damage to the Spaniard’s car. Further up the road, Felipe Massa’s Ferrari and Vitantonio Liuzzi’s Force India hit each other three times and resulted in the latter spinning. Sauber’s bad first lap became even worse when Kamui Kobayashi became the latest victim of the infamous ‘Wall of Champions’.

Mark Webber began to make up ground on the leading pack of: Hamilton, Vettel (Red Bull), Alonso and Button. On lap five Webber passed the reigning World Champion for fourth place.

Two laps later both Hamilton and Alonso pitted for fresh tyres. Tyre wear was a real problem in this race for all the drivers, some of whom had to make three stops. As a result of Hamilton and Alonso pitting, the Red Bulls of Vettel and Webber were now first and second. Would we get a repeat of Turkey?

Meanwhile in the pits, Ferrari released Alonso before McLaren let Hamilton go, and the former team-mates exited the pit lane side-by-side. But Alonso had the inside line for the corner after the pit exit and took the position away from the Englishman.

Lap 13 confirmed my suspicions about the racing driver who goes by the name of Michael Schumacher. He exited the pits slowly and left a car shaped gap big enough for Robert Kubica to get his Renault through. Schumacher pushed the Pole onto the grass but Kubica was having none of the German’s shenanigans. So Schumacher tried to run him off the road again but Kubica kept his foot in. Luckily both drivers saw that they weren’t going to make the next corner and went rallying over the grass. Schumacher kept the place.

By now both Red Bull’s had pitted for new tyres (without hitting each other) and had left it to none other than Toro Rosso’s Sébastien Buemi to lead lap 15. But he couldn’t enjoy it as much as he wanted to because he had Alonso and Hamilton breathing down his neck.  Alonso tried to pass Buemi in the tight turn ten but Buemi closed the door on him. This allowed Hamilton to close right up to Alonso and pass him in the last corner. Buemi pitted meaning that Hamilton led Alonso with Button and Vettel in camera shot behind them.

Alonso went to pass Hamilton on lap 26 in the last corner but Hamilton pitted, saving the former double World Champion the fuss. The rest of the leaders pitted soon after and this promoted Mark Webber into the lead of the race.

The order was now: Webber, Hamilton, Alonso and Button with Vettel fifth.

On lap 41 Hamilton and Alonso started to catch Webber who was starting to struggle with his tyres and stuck in lapped traffic.

Nine laps later Hamilton dived down Webber’s inside into turn one and into the lead. The Australian pitted at the end of lap 50, thus giving Alonso second place as well.

After Webber exited the pits the top five was: Hamilton, Alonso, Button, Vettel and Webber.

Halfway round lap 56 Alonso was held up as he tried to lap the HRT of Karun Chandhok. This allowed Jenson Button to catch and pass Alonso for second place. McLaren’s were now first and second.

Lap 64 again proved why Michael Schumacher (to me) can never be called the greatest F1 driver of all time. His former team-mate Felipe Massa was in Schumacher’s slipstream on the back straight and looked certain to pass him. Schumacher pulled out to the inside to break the tow. Massa didn’t follow him and kept to the outside line. Schumacher then made an illegal second move by coming back across the race track and forced Massa onto the grass. The Ferrari’s front wing broke and Massa had to pit for a new one.

Schumacher was in ninth place at the start of the final lap, but both the Force India’s of Liuzzi and Sutil passed him, dumping him out of the points. He even cut the last corner. A vain attempt at preventing Sutil from passing him, who knows?

Felipe Massa was given a 20-second time penalty for speeding in the pit lane after he had received his new nose cone. Robert Kubica was reprimanded (rightly) for an unsafe pit entrance, and Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari was also reprimanded for a collision with Rubens Barrichello’s Williams.

But I was outraged when I found out that Schumacher received not even a telling off!

Its official everyone, the Schumacher-Brawn-Todt alliance is still in F1.

But a McLaren 1-2 makes everything better for me, and back-to-back 1-2s are even better. McLaren rock and that is a fact! 😀

Next stop Valencia…oh God. Don’t expect another great race at that pile of EXPLETIVE DELETED.

DRIVERS’ STANDINGS

Pos

Driver

Constructor(s)

Points

1

Lewis HAMILTON (ENG)

McLaren

109

2

Jenson BUTTON (ENG)

McLaren

106

3

Mark WEBBER (AUS)

Red Bull

103

4

Fernando ALONSO (ESP)

Ferrari

94

5

Sebastian VETTEL (GER)

Red Bull

90

6

Nico ROSBERG (GER)

Mercedes

74

7

Robert KUBICA (POL)

Renault

70

8

Felipe MASSA (BRA)

Ferrari

67

9

Michael SCHUMACHER (GER)

Mercedes

34

10

Adrian SUTIL (GER)

Force India

23

 

CONSTRUCTORS’ STANDINGS

Pos

Constructor

Engine

Points

1

MCLAREN (ENG)

Mercedes

215

2

RED BULL (AUT)

Renault

193

3

FERRARI (ITA)

Ferrari

161

4

MERCEDES (GER)

Mercedes

108

5

RENAULT (FRA)

Renault

79

6

FORCE INDIA (IND)

Mercedes

35

7

TORO ROSSO (ITA)

Ferrari

8

8

WILLIAMS (ENG)

Cosworth

8

9

SAUBER (SUI)

Ferrari

1

Button and race victor Hamilton. True team-Mates

Lewis Hamilton and his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button finished first and second in last Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix.

The Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel took each other out of race winning contention in what is surly the incident of the season so far. Webber eventually finished third.

Hamilton won the 58 lap event in a time of 1:28:47.620 at an average speed of 130.117 mph. Renault’s Russian rookie Petrov set the fastest lap of the race with a lap of 1:29.165 (134.044 mph).

The first half of the first lap of the race didn’t go well for either Hamilton or Button. Hamilton was pasted by Vettel and Button was pasted by Schumacher (Mercedes) as everyone hurled down to the first corner. This was as a result of both McLarens starting on the dirty side of the grid. But Hamilton retook second place by going around the outside of Vettel as the pack entered turns three and four. Button also retook his original fourth place back for Schumacher by going around the outside of the German in turn 12. Anything you can do Lewis…

The first lap also saw Massa’s Ferrari touch Kubica’s Renault causing minor damage to both cars. Buemi’s Toro Rosso and Hülkenberg’s Williams also made contact, but they needed to pit for repairs to their cars.

Webber, Hamilton, Vettel and Button all pulled away from the rest of the field led by Schumacher until the tyre stops.

McLaren went through with their plan to bring Hamilton in on lap 16, but Red Bull jumped at the opportunity to bring Webber in ahead of him so that the Australian would come out still in front of the Englishman. The plan worked and Vettel – who had pitted the lap before – slotted in between Webber and Hamilton as the pair exited the pits in the order they entered.

The order was now: Webber, Vettel, Hamilton and Button. Hamilton did try to take second from Vettel on lap 18, but Vettel shut the door on him.

The middle part of the race was dominated by the front four who pulled away from the others with each passing lap. But rain of all things was now expected. Would it be bad enough to bring everybody in to change tyres and turn the whole race on its head? No. It did rain a bit; the track was so hot that the rain droplets just evaporated on contact with it.

But lap 40 of a pretty processional looking race was to provide the biggest moment of the season so far.

Vettel had been closing ever so slightly on Webber over the previous few laps and wanted to take the lead. He didn’t want his team-mate to win three races in a row. As the leaders approached turn 12 Vettel pulled out to Webbers left and pulled alongside him. He edged ahead and tried to cut back across the track to prevent Webber from counter attacking. But the pair touched and Vettel was sent spinning out of the race with a damaged right rear. Webber missed turn 12 and was almost T-boned by Vettel as he spun. The McLarens of Hamilton and Button inherited first and second. Webber limped around to the pit lane to change his nose cone.

Lap 48 made me shriek and cover my eyes, but probably provided you with lots of entertainment. Button dove down the inside of his team-mate on the approach to turn 12 and took the lead in the complex at the end of the lap. But Hamilton got a better run out of the last corner and the pair passed the pit wall side by side. The 2008 World Champion muscled the 2009 World Champion out of the lead in the first corner of lap 49. Now that is what I call racing!

A 1-2 finish looked in the bag, but on lap 52 McLaren told Hamilton and Button to slow down because fuel was “Critical.” Not what they or I wanted to hear with six laps to go and Webber charging like a bull at a red rag. (Red Bull, “Never show a red rag to a bull.” Get it?) 😉

To take my mind off the fuel gage in the McLarens heading to the big E we had Alonso (Ferrari) punting off Petrov’s Renault while they were fighting for points. Ferrari’s 800th Grand Prix may just as well not have happened. I forgot that they were actually racing. As a result of Petrov falling out of the top ten, Kobayashi capped of a much better weekend for himself and Sauber by securing the team’s first point of the season finishing tenth.

In the end I need not have worried about the fuel. Both Hamilton and Button made it home in a great team display. 😀 But all the talking until the next race in Canada will be about Red Bull and the incident that could cost them both championships.

Drivers’ Standings

  1. Webber 93pts
  2. Button 88pts
  3. Hamilton 84pts
  4. Alonso 79pts
  5. Vettel 78pts
  6. Kubica 67pts
  7. Massa 67pts
  8. Rosberg 66pts
  9. Schumacher 34pts
  10. Sutil 22pts

 

Constructors’ Standings

  1. McLaren 172pts
  2. Red Bull 171pts
  3. Ferrari 146pts
  4. Mercedes 100pts
  5. Renault 73pts
  6. Force India 32pts
  7. Williams 8pts
  8. Toro Rosso 4pts
  9. Sauber 1pt

 

PS: This is my 100th blog. 🙂

Lewis Hamilton is now on the market (dating wise) if any girls out there are interested. It was announced today that he and his Pussycat Doll girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger have ended their almost 2 year relationship. The two met at the 2007 MTV Europe Music awards in Munich, and have been seen together throughout the 2008 and 2009 seasons. In a joint statement, they said that they are going to go their separate ways so that they can focus on their racing and singing careers. I read that Lewis was not yet ready to settle down, (since he is constantly globe-trotting doing the best job in the world). In their statement, they also said that they would remain friends. They have since got back together.

Michael Schumacher will be spending this week at the Jerez circuit in Spain testing GP2 cars so he can be ready to test Mercedes’s new car next month. While testing the car for Formula 1’s feeder series, we will be helping to develop the series’ 2011/2013 car.

 Just before I wrote this blog, I saw that the FIA are appealing the overturning of Flavio Briatore’s lifetime ban. Good!

 Now, to the African Cup of Nations. Togo, it turns out, wanted to play in the tournament in honour of the men who died. But the Togolese government ordered them home. I was all in favour of them not playing, but know I have seen this; I’m not sure what I would have done. What would you have done?

 The first game of the tournament started with a minute’s silence for the fallen Togolese, then 4 goals from the hosts Angola. But in the last 12 minutes, Mali produced a fantastic comeback to draw the game 4-4. Earlier today, Malawi squashed England’s World Cup opponents Algeria 3-0. In tonight’s other game, the Ivory Coast drew 0-0 with Burkina Faso.

In American Football, the Arizona Cardinals beat the Green Bay Packers 51-45 in overtime. In the NFL post-season, this is now the highest scoring game ever. We now know the last 8 teams left in contention to win the Super Bowl. The NFC (National Football Conference)’s divisional playoffs are, the New Orléans Saints vs. the Arizona Cardinals, and the Minnesota Vikings vs. the Dallas Cowboys. The AFC (America Football Conference)’s games are, the Indianapolis Colts vs. the Baltimore Ravens, and the San Diego Chargers vs. the New York Jets. Follow all of that?

Good news for real music lovers everywhere, with the news that Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix will be releasing new albums in 2010. Page, the Led Zeppelin legend, has said that he will make a ‘radical’ statement with his first solo album since 1988. He also plans to do some live shows this year as well. 🙂

Hendrix however, will not be playing any live shows due to the fact that he has been dead since 1970. But that hasn’t stopped the completion of the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s new album ‘Valleys of Neptune’. Songs on the album range from ones that were left off of the group’s first three albums, and others that were recorded after the release of ‘Electric Ladyland’, which was the last album Hendrix released before he died. ‘Valleys of Neptune’ will also feature a cover of Creams timeless song ‘Sunshine of Your Love’. This features one Eric Clapton on guitar, so God knows what it will sound like with Hendrix playing it. He was extremely good at covers was Hendrix. Bob Dylan was so impressed by Hendrix’s cover of ‘All Along The Watchtower’, that he sings and plays to Hendrix’s music, and not his own. 

No school or college today because of the ongoing snow affecting the entire country. Parts of England were only a few degrees warmer than Antarctica last night, and the forecast is for lows of around -20C (-4F) tonight in some areas. 

My Dad and I had to go and get some shopping earlier today, and decided to drop into the ghost town that was my Mum’s work. As we left, she and two of her work mates were watching us leave from behind a window, and watched me slide ‘gracefully’ over on to my backside. I haven’t seen my Dad laugh like he did in ages, and my ‘audience’ thought it was extremely funny as well. If only somebody was filming then I could send it to Matthew Hall (Harry Hill) and get £250. 

Back at home, I watched England hold out for a draw yet again with just one wicket left against South Africa. That is three times we have pulled off escapes like that since the start of the Ashes last summer. I’m warning you now; England’s luck won’t last forever. 

Lewis Hamilton turns 25 today, so from me, ‘Happy Birthday Lewis’. 🙂 

On this day 400 years ago, Galileo Galilei discovered Jupiter’s four largest Moons: Ganymede, Callisto, Europa & Io. They are some of the largest Moons in the Solar System, with each of them larger than all the Dwarf Planets. In fact Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System with a diameter of 5,278 Km (3,280 miles) making it even larger than the planet Mercury!

In sadder news today, it was announced that on the 4th of January, Tsutomu Yamaguchi died of stomach cancer at the age of 93. You may never have heard of him, but he is the only person to have been officially recognised by the Japanese government as having survived the atomic bombings of both  Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in which over 220,000 people were killed. He was on a business trip to Hiroshima on the 6th of August 1945 and was injured by the bomb, went home to Nagasaki and despite his wounds, returned to work on the 9th of August, the day the city was destroyed.

Tsutomu Yamaguchi

Birthday boy - Hamilton, 25

From top to bottom: Io, Europa, Ganymede & Callisto. Juipter

JENSON BUTTON WILL DRIVE FOR McLAREN NEXT YEAR WITH LEWIS HAMILTON!!

He has finally put me and millions of other fans out of our misery and signed for the best team on the grid.

We’ll have many first and perks in 2010, such as:

  • Having the numbers 1 & 2 on our cars.
  • For the first time ever, having the reigning and previous World Champions in a driver line up.
  • Having two British World Champions in the same team for the first time since Jim Clark and Graham Hill for Lotus in 1968.
  • Having two World Champions in the same team since Senna and Prost in 1989 – for McLaren

In other F1 news, 2007 Champion Kimi Raikkonen will be racing in the WRC next year. Good luck Kimi, and try to stay in one piece.

Next Blog, I’ll have a complete list of the 32 teams who will be in the 2010 World Cup.