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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Vettel on pole ......Again!!

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Its a Red Bull 1-2 as Sebastien Vettel takes pole with his rival team mate , Mark Webber scoring P2.  Spaniard Fernando Alonso starts P4 for tomorrow's European Grand Prix.


Massa and Webber nearly out.

Q1 saw a close battle and tense situations for Mark Webber and Felipe Massa , who were very close to getting relegated. Webber managed P16 in the final laps,and Massa went out on the softer tyres and set the fastest time of the session. Most of the drivers went out on the prime tyres (Pirelli Medium) , a risky gamble which did benefit in the end as they managed to save the softer compounds for later sessions.

Scuderia Torro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari and both drivers of Lotus, Marussia Virgin and the Hispania Racing Team failed to make it into Q2 but having set times well within the 107% rule , all of them will be racing on Sunday.


Sutil beats Petrov to P10.

A mechanical failure in Pastor Maldonado's Williams resulted in him stopping abruptly at Turn 18 and hence the session was red flagged. The top 7 drivers who had already set times prior to the red flag , didn't go out again in an attempt to save those precious tyres.

Some spectacular on-the-limit laps from rookie Paul Di Resta and Kamui Kobayashi were in vain as both of them along with  Vitaly Petrov,Rubens Barrichello,Sergio Perez, Sebastian Buemi did not make it into Q3.

Pastor Maldonado will start 15th on the grid.


Vettel sets unbeatable time to grab pole position.

Sebastien Vettel set an unbelievable time of 1:36.9 , which just FYI is the fastest lap ever 

at this circuit to secure pole position, ahead of Webber and Lewis Hamilton. Ferrari's 

Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa will start from 4th and 5th on the grid respectively.  

Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, Micheal Schumacher, Nick Heidfield and Adrian Sutil 

complete the top 10.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Valencia Weather Forecast

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As usual there is no rain predicted for this weekend's Grand Prix at Valencia, Spain. Temperatures are expected to lie around 25 to 30C. This means that track temperatures will be high as well, offering some good grip on the tyres but at the same time degrading them.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Final 2011 Calendar Released

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The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile has released the final calendar of races for this year's championship. The Indian Grand Prix, which debuts this year, will be held on the 30th of October after plans of it being held on the 4th of December to accommodate the Bahrain Grand Prix, which now will not happening.

The season finale, unlike last year, will be the Brazilian Grand Prix which will take place on the 27th of November.

Here is the list of the remaining races.

26-June-2011              Grand Prix of Europe
10-July-2011 British GP
24-July-2011German GP
31-July-2011Hungarian GP
28-August-2011Belgian GP
11-September-2011Italian GP
25-September-2011Singapore GP
09-October-2011Japanese GP
16-October-2011Korean GP
30-October-2011Indian GP
13-November-2011Abu Dhabi GP
27-November-2011Brazilian GP

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mobil 1 Seat Swap with Lewis Hamilton and Tony Stewart

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These are videos of Speed TV's coverage of the Mobil1 Seat swap involving 2008 Formula 1 world champion ,Lewis Hamilton and Multiple NASCAR champion, Tony Stewart. As the name of the event suggests, it involves Lewis driving Tony's Chevrolet Impala and Tony driving Hamilton's championship winning MP4-23 at the Watkins Glen International.

Both drivers adapted very quickly and had a very good time.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Vettel : Tyre Marbles an alarming concern

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The newly introduced Pirelli tyres have higher rates of degradation and as they are being used chunks of rubber commonly known as marbles, come off the tyre and just fall on the track. Reigning world champion , Sebaistian Vettel and rookie Paul Di Resta have raised this issue.

“Imagine Singapore or Monaco, where a fan could suddenly find a piece of tyre in his tea,” said Sebastian commenting on the fact that spectators sit very close to the track. 

He also added “There was a lump (of tyre) that was suddenly in the middle of my visor. They’re like bullets fired from the car in front.”

Force India's Paul Di Resta also suffered a similar problem at the Malaysian Grand Prix where in he was hit several times during the race.

Pirelli's motosport director Paul Hembry commented - “I have not had those comments from the top three (finishers) but if it’s an issue, we will have to confront it,” 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Williams unhappy about Malaysian GP

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Williams had a very poor weekend performance contrary to their pre-season testing form. With their small gearbox , a truly novel idea , and their competitive speed during the pre-season testing , the team looked extremely strong and seemed promising on delivering good performance through out the season.

The Malaysian Grand Prix saw both Williams drivers , Pastor Maldonado and Rubens Barichello ,not finishing the race after failing to make it to Q3.

Adam Parr ,Williams Chairman , quotes : 

"Like everyone at Williams, I am both surprised and frustrated with our start. In spite of having an ambitious concept for the FW33, the benefit of continuity with our engine, and moving into our second season with Rubens, we have come up short.

"First, we have to understand where we are strong and where we are weak. We have had some notable areas of success with the FW33 and we can build on these. We also have some promising improvements coming through for Shanghai and Istanbul and we need to see how these perform."

"We also need to get on top of the reliability issues because these not only affect immediate performance, they also absorb resources that should be focused on improvement."

"We will move forward, but that does not alter the fact that we have started too far behind."

"Therefore, we will be looking not only at how to address the short-term issues - we will be working together to strengthen the team for 2012 and beyond. Every aspect will be reviewed, nothing is sacred, but we will do this methodically and not in a reactive way."

Sam Michael , the team's technical director, also added that they would bring significant updates to the upcoming Chinese Grand Prix after a thorough review of the car, analyzing its strengths and weaknesses.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Post Qualifying Press Conference

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Q. Sebastian, third pole in a row, but a little bit closer than it was in Australia this one.
Sebastian VETTEL: Yeah, I would say so definitely. It was quite a challenging weekend until qualifying. I was happy with the car but we never really got into a rhythm, so yesterday wasn't as smooth as we hoped for. Also this morning, but we knew that we had it in the car. The main thing was to keep believing in it and in qualifying it worked out straight away, so first qualifying, second and third, was very good and, as you said, so very close in the end with the McLaren guys. So, very happy. Big compliment to the guys in the team, especially the guys with the KERS system. We got lots of criticism after the last race for not having run it all the time. It is something we were not proud of but we came here and we solved most of our problems, and I think if we did not have it today then we would not be here, both of us, so it is a great achievement and compliments to those guys. We all work hand-in-hand and if this is the reward, then we keep working, I would say, so very pleased.

Q. For a minute we thought you were just trying to prove to people that you were right before the race and before qualifying and that McLaren had caught up a lot to Red Bull, but obviously not the case. Talk us through some of the problems that you have been having. Why was it such a struggle?
SV: Well it was not a particular problem with the car or anything wrong, nothing broke down. It was just not as smooth, so we didn't have all the laps that we wanted. A little bit of traffic and then I did mistakes. It just did not all come together as nicely and didn't allow me, and us, probably, to find that rhythm. The track around here can be very challenging in that regard. You have got a lot of corners with different lines, so it takes a little while to understand every year. In the end I am very happy that we have proven that we can do it. The gap is quite a lot smaller than it was in Australia. It just showed how quickly things can change. Next race, you never know. Now, we focus on tomorrow. A good job today, so I think we can be happy. I am happy also for the boys as it is quite a difficult race. It is very hot in the garage. The air is pretty humid and they are sweating a lot, so tonight they will get some sleep for the first time, so happy for them as well.

Q. Lewis, almost your first pole since Canada last year. Disappointment or a lot of happiness for you and McLaren that you got much closer?
Lewis HAMILTON: I don't think we can be disappointed. As I said going into the last race, we have done a fantastic job to even be up there with the Red Bulls, so I feel very proud of the effort the guys put in, especially in getting some new parts for this weekend and just constantly moving forward. I think we can be happy with it. I would have loved to have put (the car) into P1 but these guys still have a slight edge. Clearly, we have closed the gap a little bit or so it seems here. The lap wasn't perfect, so I will have to improve on that.

Q. So there was more to come? But at what stage did you think pole might be yours today or did you suspect Red Bull had a little bit in hand?
LH:: We always expected that they might have a little bit in hand especially going into their last run. You just never know. They usually tend to pull something out of the bag, which they did. They obviously picked up a bit of pace going into Q3 and going towards the end of Q3. I think, for my lap, we lost a little bit of time, just in the one corner, but I can't be too disappointed as you can never get it that perfect.

Q. Mark, four drivers were going for pole right in their final lap. Someone had to miss out and sadly you missed out on the front row. Were you aware how tight it was throughout the whole of the lap?
Mark WEBBER: Oh, absolutely. I knew everyone was on a similar pace after the first run on the options. It was pretty straightforward for us, just try to drive as quick as we can. We can't control how tight it is. We don't say someone is three-tenths or two-tenths or whatever, you still just try to do you best. Better performance from me today compared to Melbourne and so looking forward to tomorrow.

Q. Third might not be a bad place to start from. I seem to remember Sebastian won from third last year.
MW: Yeah, I think the grand prix tomorrow will be different to last years so it will be interesting.

Q. Sebastian, in that respect how much different will tomorrow's race be? How much of a gap do you think you can pull out in the first stint on tyres that might not last as long as you want? SV: Well, I think we learned quite a lot in Australia. We came here and we saw that the tyres don't last nearly as long or not even as close to how long they lasted in Australia. It is different here. It is a different track, different conditions. It is much hotter, so it is tougher for them. I think we had an idea yesterday. I think we were pretty happy with it, so we will see what we can do. Surely, as Mark said, it will be quite a different race. I expect more stops definitely than Australia, so we will see how many. I am just hoping that all the spectators don't lose the count, so we try to keep it up and hope people outside are as well.

Q. Sebastian, it wasn't just tight in terms of time. It was tight in terms of you getting across the line. You just made it by four seconds. SV: Yeah, so I had three I hand. I knew it was tight. I knew it the moment I went out. I was aware I was the last car to get out and then I think I had a Renault or a Lotus and Jenson (Button) in front of me. I would have loved to have crossed the line a bit earlier, to have a bit more margin, but then I would have been in the back end of Jenson and then there is no need to do a lap, so I had to time my gap. I think I was fairly close for the qualifying lap, as you don't want to be closer. I didn't know there was only four seconds. I know it will be tight, so I thought it would be in the region of less than ten. The main thing is we made it and the lap following was quite important.

Q. Your best grid position here and your 17th pole in total.
SV: Yeah, Mark was on pole last year and I was third. I hope down to turn one he doesn't do the same thing to me as I did to him last year. I think the race will be very long and last year was quite different, but overall I am very happy. As I said earlier, I think all weekend I was happy with the car but never just got to a point where I could prove it to myself. I never found the real rhythm I would say. I was believing in it and I knew that it was somewhere in there, and (that) the car was fine. I didn't have big issues, but qualifying was the first time where I would say we had trouble-free runs, so very pleased with the result and also big compliments to those guys in the team and in the factory. Within this short period of time, only two weeks or really 10 days, also given the fact we are not racing at Silverstone, we are racing in Australia and Malaysia, it is a bit more far away, I am so very happy that they could work hard on the KERS and I think that made the difference today. Without that i think we would have been behind both McLaren drivers so very happy with that.

Q. The tenth-of-a-second margin between you and Lewis. Is that correct?
SV: I think, when you go to qualifying, you put your trousers down and you see what you have got. I am very pleased that we made it. It is very important here to be on the clean side, especially as they changed sides but we will see. On the other hand there are so many things still to come. It is a long race tomorrow and when we wake up tomorrow, today is history, and it is a new day, a new chance. Obviously, if you start from pole you cannot really improve, but first you have to get the job done. Surprised it has not rained yet but we know here that it is very likely to rain, so things can happen and you can't take anything for granted.

Q. Lewis, second on the grid. You mentioned new parts this weekend; did they arrive overnight? We saw seven boxes and a suitcase downstairs this morning, and I don't suppose they were new overalls for you.
LH:: They might have been new overalls. Have you not seen the tiger effect here? Well, we had some newer components come earlier on in the weekend, so we've had them since Friday, so nothing new this morning. Small improvements to the car, nothing major, but it just so happens (that) we seem to be a lot closer to these guys this weekend. The update package that we thought we had here didn't give us as much as we had hoped, so that's a good sign, shows that there's still more to come. I can't really complain. I'm on the front row. I will have to see if they've cleaned up the oil; I heard there was a bit of an oil spill on P2 (grid position) earlier on today, so hopefully that's cleaned up.

Q. You said yesterday that you had problems with the balance in P1; has it been progressively improving since then?
LH:: Yeah, I think they've done a great job. I'm really happy with the balance that I've got. Bit by bit, through each session, we've made just small incremental changes to the balance and I've been very comfortable with it. I was just saying, there was a little bit of time in my lap and afterwards I saw that there was just over a tenth (between myself and Sebastian) and that's pretty much exactly what I had in the lap, no more, so it would have been very, very close, if I had been able to extract... it would have generally been the perfect lap if I'd managed to get that out of the car so… I'm quite happy.

Q. This is obviously your best grid (position) here, do you think it's just going to be between yourselves and Red Bull or is it going to be Ferrari as well?
LH:: I think it will be very interesting to see. As Sebastian was saying, there's going to be a bit of a difference through strategy, probably more pit stops, tyres seem to be lasting as well in this climate, but you don't know what the weather's going to be like tomorrow. I think, generally, you will see the fight between ourselves and the Red Bulls. They seemed to have a little bit better long run pace yesterday, so we will see how it is tomorrow. I don't know who is behind us, is it the Ferraris? Of course, they are still in the fight and anything can happen.

Q. Mark, obviously you feel better than you did a couple of weeks ago.
MW: Yeah, it was a pretty exciting qualifying, wasn't it? For us in the car, we don't really know how exciting it is from what you guys get to see. Clearly, it was very tight for all of us going into that last run. Yeah, I was pretty happy today, to be honest. I couldn't have got much more out of it. It was tight between all of us. There's always a tenth here and there, a couple either way if everyone gets it all together, but I'm looking forward to the grand prix tomorrow and going from there, really.

Q. How much of a difference has KERS made during practice, that you've noticed?
MW: It's always hard. I think we know that a lot of people are on different strategies in practice. Clearly, we've got a quick car but you still come up on people and most people we can pass without KERS, within reason obviously. Most of the field are a bit off; obviously when we come against Ferraris and McLarens and those sort of guys it's more even. KERS is something which you should always push to have and, as I've touched on, the guys have done a monumental job in getting everything here. It's a long season, so we needed to try to introduce it as soon as possible, we're learning with every lap. We believe it's the right thing; that's why it's on the car and we'll go into tomorrow's race and learn even more again. It's a good step from the team this weekend. Ferocious conditions for the guys to work in. I don't know how well the curfew is working but I look in their eyes and it doesn't look so clever, the curfew, but anyway, they've done a great job.

Q. Sebastian said it hasn't all been plain sailing for him; what about for yourself?
MW: I've had a pretty good build-up into qualifying. All of my runs have been competitive apart from Q1, which felt like I was on a set of inters, they never did anything for me, so I was in trouble on those, but apart from that, I've always been pretty solid every time I've gone out. It was a good weekend so far, so we will see again tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lotus Renault GP drivers to race with golden suits

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Just a few days back Lotus Renault GP revealed that their drivers Vitaly Petrov and Nick Heidfeld will be wearing sparkling gold racing overalls replacing their current black overalls.

This is has been done in an attempt to beat the heat as the golden colour reduces heat absorbtion and keeps the drivers cooler

That's Vitaly Petrov's overalls in the picture above with Nick Heidfeld's almost ready.

[Photo taken by Official Lotus Renault GP (@OfficialLRGP)]

The second race of the 2011 Formula 1 Championship, the Malaysian Grand Prix  kicks off this weekend on the 10th of April.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

James Key to remain at Sauber

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Following the disappointing disqualification of both the Sauber Drivers , Sergio Perez and  Kamui Kobayashi, due to an infringement of a rule restricting the radius of the upper face of the rear wing, many believed that this incident of poor quality control could lead to James Key (Technical Director) being fired in addition to a substantial loss for the company.

It has now been confirmed by Team principal and owner Peter Sauber that James Key will remain at Sauber.

Sauber had a very good weekend with a reasonably competitive car which was very easy on the tyres without any sacrifice on performance. Sergio Perez drove an astonishing race to finish 7th after following a one-stop strategy, something which was unanimously perceived as impossible with the new Pirelli tyres. Kamui Kobayashi finished just one place behind the rookie on 8th.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Karthikeyan - HRT may surprise a few people

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Both drivers of the Hispania Racing Team , failed to qualify for the season opener at Melbourne , falling prey to the newly introduced 107% rule.

The 107% rule states that ,if the fastest lap of a driver exceeds the pole time by 107% , the drivers will not be allowed to race.

But Narain Karthikeyan is positively assuring that they might have just overcome their qualifying woes and will qualify for the upcoming Malaysian Grand Prix next week.

He quotes :-

“We know it’s a really bad situation but there's no point in complaining about it. For me, it was very difficult because I've driven here (Australia) only once, in 2005, and I had to get back into the rhythm of things, but I never had a chance. Basically, they (FIA) don't want jokers to come in. We respect the 107 percent rule. We are a serious team.” 

“When it all gets kicking off, I think we’re going to surprise a few people. If we get the new front wing...not if, we are going to get it - we are reasonably confident that we will qualify and if all these things happen then we don't have any excuse not to qualify for Malaysia .”

Monday, March 21, 2011

McLaren to race in Melbourne with Simpler Exhaust System

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Martin Whitmarsh, current McLaren Team principal, had recently admitted that McLaren were a little overambitious with their design for this year's MP4-26. The car was nearly a second off-pace and bad weather in addition to lots of reliability issues along with a late launch resulted in very very few testing miles.

Martin Whitmarsh , through a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in conference ,confirmed that McLaren will not be running the complex exhaust system and instead will run a relatively simpler exhaust system consisting of a new floor. This is believed to be more reliable and is expected to boost performance by  1 second.

He quotes,

"We have a completely new floor and a new exhaust system. There are a lot of other bits and pieces, but they're the clear and obvious ones that people will see in Australia."

"I'd say it is a simpler design than we've had before, I think the exhaust systems have become quite extreme on quite a lot of the cars. I think we in particular had very extreme solutions."

"But I think that they were not delivering, in my opinion, sufficient benefits for their complexity.I believe that the car isn't fundamentally a bad car. I believe that we need to unlock the exhaust-blowing potential."

"We had some very creative ideas, some of which could have worked spectacularly well. But if they were to work spectacularly well then they had to be sufficiently durable to be raceable, and frankly some of our solutions weren't, and that's why I think we had to go back on it. But I think in doing so we found some interesting performance."

The 2011 Formula 1 season kicks off at the 27th of this month at Melbourne , Australia.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pirelli Tyre Colour Codes

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Pirelli ,who have replaced Bridgestone as the sole tyre supplier for Formula 1 ,have revealed the colour code to differentiate between their tyres.

Orange   - Wet
Blue       -  Intermediate
Red       -  Super-Soft
Yellow  -  Soft
White    -  Medium
Silver    -  Hard

You definitely cannot read the words on the tyres at 200mph, as they will appear like a coloured blur against a black background. It does seem a little hard to distinguish between the Medium and Hard compounds as silver is  not really different from white....

Although these tyres are a second or more slower than the Bridgestone tyres, they degrade much quicker than the Bridgestones. This has been done deliberately in an attempt to "spice up the show" by boosting overtaking .Also as the number of pitstops will increase it becomes all  the more important for the teams to get their tyre strategy right.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sebastien Vettel To Stay with Red Bull till 2014

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It has been confirmed that reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel has extended his contract till 2014.

Recently Vettel had joked (which was terribly misinterpreted by many) that he would pay Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa to go on a holiday so that he could drive the Ferrari. And Bernie Eccelstone himself made comments like "He will drive the red car some day". Well it doesn't look like any of that's going to happen in the near future.

Are we going to have another Schumacher-Ferrari moment ?!?! With a certain Adrian Newey and Sebastian Vettel in their arsenal , it doesnt seem impossible either !!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Welcome Back

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For all of those who were keenly following this blog, you would have noticed a sudden decrease in blogging activity. The reason : mind-numbing ,brain-murdering exams which by the way,unfortunately, have just begun . So blogging activity will be an all time low for another 3 months .

But lets look on the brighter side of things. Its a new year !!! so my best wishes to all my readers and followers, and keep following my blog Formula 1.

And Yes ! A new year brings with it all kinds of resolutions and promises but more importantly brings a new season of Formula 1. Yippee.

Here's what you could expect in the upcoming season :

Be on the lookout for some breathtaking overtaking maneuvers as the Kinetic Energy Recovery System , better known as KERS along with the movable rear wing have been reintroduced and are bound to open up some overtaking opportunities.

Pirelli have replaced Bridgestone as Formula 1's sole tyre supplier. The front tyres manufactures by Pirelli are stronger than those made by Bridgestone and this one , seemingly minor, change might be all it takes for the seven time world championMicheal Schumacher and Ferrari's Felipe Massa to bounce back to their race pace.

Expect some more brilliant driving from the young veteran Sebastien Vettel who is bound to return as a more calm and experienced driver.

But that said Formula 1 is still extremely unpredictable and probably none of that mentioned above might happen. So all we can do is patiently wait for those 5 red lights to go out at the upcoming Sakhir Grand Prix .....