Sebastian Vettel stormed to pole position for the European Grand Prix at Valencia’s street track in a close but curious qualifying session which saw his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber fail to make it out of Q3. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was second fastest ahead of the Williams of Pastor Maldonado. It was a given that the Red Bull likes the twisty Valencia circuit and hence not totally surprising that the gap was 00.324 of a second between Vettel & Hamilton for the pole shootout.
Lotus were strong with Romain Grosjean starting fourth and Kimi Raikkonen fifth, with Nico Rosberg in sixth, Kamui Kobayashi in seventh. Force India also had a good qualifying with both their cars in the top ten – Nico Hulkenberg in eighth and Paul Di Resta tenth. Jenson Button, who had a forgetful Canadian GP, didn’t have the best of the sessions and starts ninth on the grid.
What was interesting to note that was how close the top teams were in terms of their timed runs. The fastest time in Q2 was Romain Grosjean’s 1:38.429 and though they clocked 1:38.7, Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa all failed to get through to Q3!
I got really bored by the last two races at Valencia and this time too have no hopes of an exciting race. Only thing remains to be seen is whether we will have an eighth different winner or someone will notch up their second win of the season. I’m tipping Kimi for the win!
Lewis Hamilton won the Canadian Grand Prix after having started from second on the grid as a two-stop strategy paid good dividends compared to an ultimately failing one-stop strategy for Fernando Alonso. Having led the race after the second pit stops, Alonso decided to stay on the same tyres and that allowed Hamilton as well as three other drivers to go past him on newer tyres towards the latter laps of the race. Alonso eventually finished fifth.
Renault’s Romain Grosjean was another one-stopper but his fresher tyres enabled him to overtake Alonso for second place and so did the Sauber of Sergio Perez who finished third. Sebastian Vettel also stayed out on his second set of tyres but after Hamilton passed him, he came in for his second stop and fresher tyres enabled him to pass Alonso into fourth place, dropping the Ferrari into fifth.
Nico Rosberg finished sixth for Mercedes ahead of Mark Webber in seventh, Kimi Raikkonen in eight, Kamui Kobayashi in ninth and Felipe Massa in tenth. Michael Schumacher had yet another disastrous race as a failed DRS wing forced him to retire after lap forty five. The Force Indias finished just outside the points as the race didn’t quite come to fruition for them.
Michael Schumacher showed he’s still got it as he set the fastest time in Saturday Qualifying for the Grand Prix of Monaco but he doesn’t get to reap the reward of his good work as a five-place grid penalty sees him drop down to sixth on the grid. That means Red Bull’s Mark Webber will start from pole with Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg in second place and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton in third.
Lotus’ Romain Grosjean starts fourth with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso on fifth and Schumacher sixth. Felipe Massa makes it to the top ten for the first time this season as he starts seventh ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in eighth, Sebastian Vettel in ninth and Nico Hulkenberg in tenth. Continue reading →
The adage of pole-sitter-wins at Circuit de Catalunya was upheld yet again as Williams’ Pastor Maldonado drove a controlled race to claim victory from pole position at Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso led the race for the initial stages but had to settle for second after the Williams jumped him during the second round of pit stops. Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen continued his return to F1 with a fine third place.
Romain Grosjean made it a good day at the races for Lotus as he finished fourth, ahead of a typically aggressive Kamui Kobayashi of Sauber. Championship leader Sebastian Vettel brought home his Red Bull in sixth place, ahead of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton in seventh and eighth respectively. Jenson Button and Nico Hulkenberg rounded off the top ten points scorers. Continue reading →
The starting grid for the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix was decided after the Qualifying session was completed on track as pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton was excluded from the results on the grounds of not having returned to the pits after his pole-setting lap. This meant Pastor Maldonado inherited the P1 spot for Sunday’s race alongside Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and the Lotus of Romain Grosjean in third.
Kimi Raikkonen occupies the second row alongside his teammate with Sergio Perez, Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher, Kamui Kobayashi & Henson Button rounding off the top ten. Continue reading →
In Malaysia, when it rains, it pours…at least on Sundays. It at least livened up the happenings which meant Ferrari scored an unlikely win with Fernando Alonso finishing first ahead of the fast-charging and mightily impressive Sauber (yes, a Sauber) of Sergio Perez in second. McLaren pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton had to be content with another 3rd place finish.
Red Bull’s Mark Webber finished fourth with Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen fifth, Williams’ Bruno Senna sixth and Force India’s Paul Di Resta seventh. Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne finished eight ahead of the second Force India of Nico Hulkenberg in ninth. Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher picked the last point in tenth place.
The result was in much due to the changeable weather conditions at Sepang as it was due to the teams’ strategies, driver errors, backmarker blues and tyre wear in equal measures. It was drizzling at the start but not enough to warrant a Safety Car start and both McLarens had a good start and were steadily pulling away at the head of the pack. Michael Schumacher and Romain Grosjean were involved in a coming together which saw the Mercedes card drop down the order and a few laps later, Grosjean spun into the gravel trap and into retirement.
Whilst the HRT team started on full wets, most of the others were on intermediate tyres. Sergio Perez & Bruno Senna changed to full wets at the end of the first lap and by lap six, all of the field was on full wets as the rain increased in intensity. The Safety Car was deployed on lap seven and after a couple of laps, it was decided to red flag the race as the rain was continuing and it was deemed unsafe to race around any more. Order was Hamilton & Button at the head, with Perez, Webber, Alonso, Vettel, Vergne, Massa, Rosberg & Karthikeyan in the top ten.
McLaren continued their superb qualifying form this season as Lewis Hamilton secured pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang with teammate Jenson Button a shade behind in second place. Mercedes GP had a good showing at their title sponsor’s home grand prix as Michael Schumacher set the third fastest time.
Red Bull had a lacklustre qualifying with Mark Webber starting fourth and Sebastian Vettel sixth – but will start from fifth place on the grid. Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen set the fifth fastest time but will drop down to tenth on the grid as a result of a gearbox change. Romain Grosjean will start sixth ahead of a disappointed Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes in seventh. Ferrari got into the top ten for the first time this season with Fernando Alonso starting eighth as Sauber’s Sergio Perez will start ninth.
He might have started from P2 on the grid but that didn’t stop Jenson Button from storming to victory at the season opening Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne. Reigning Champion Sebastian Vettel finished second, ahead of pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton in third.
Button took the lead on the first corner itself and never looked like relinquishing it as he kept the gap to those behind him and controlled the race pace. It was a lucky break with the Safety Car for Vettel on lap 38 as he took second spot and Hamilton ended up behind him in third place.
Mark Webber finished fourth ahead of Fernando Alonso who had started from 12th but drove a good race to finish fifth. Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi finished sixth with Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen in seventh & Sergio Perez in eighth. Daniel Ricciardo finished ninth for Toro Rosso and the last point in tenth place was taken up by Paul Di Resta of Force India.