Lewis Hamilton took victory for McLaren at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps in what turned out to be a real topsy-turvy and incident-filled race, where the changeable conditions came into play but not enough to dictate the race outcome. Mark Webber was on pole position in his Red Bull but he finished a fortuitous 2nd, ahead of the much improved Renault of Robert Kubica.
Ferrari salvaged a 4th place finish for Felipe Massa, who incidentally was on the dry-weather setup compared to Alonso’s wet-weather setup. Adrian Sutil finished 5th for Force India ahead of Nico Rosberg in 6th and Michael Schumacher in 7th. Kamui Kobayashi took the 8h place for BMW Sauber, with Vitaly Petrov and Jaime Algersuari rounding off the top ten.
Red Bull’s failure to convert pole positions into race wins continued here as pole-sitter Mark Webber had a dreadful start and dropped down to sixth by the end of the first lap. Lewis Hamilton took full advantage and sped into the lead, with teammate Jenson Button slotting into second place, after passing the fast-starting Renault of Robert Kubica. As a few spots of rain began to fall, almost all of the lead drivers slid wide at the bus stop chicane and Rubens Barrichello got his braking wrong and ploughed into the back of Fernando Alonso, bringing to an end his 300th Grand Prix. Ferrari took a huge gamble by putting out Alonso on the intermediate tires but it didn’t pay off as the rain eased off and he had to make another stop to get back onto the slicks, effectively ruining his afternoon.
Mark Webber and Red Bull took pole position for the 2010 Belgian Grand Prix in a Qualifying session played out in changing weather conditions as his fastest lap with around five minutes to go in the 3rd qualifying session held good as a bit of rain returned to prevent the others from upping it. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton will start on P2 with Renault’s Robert Kubica in P3.
Sebastian Vettel starts from P4 with Jenson Button on P5 and Felipe Massa P6, ahead of Rubens Barrichello P7, Adrian Sutil P8, Nico Hulkenberg P9 and Fernando Alonso rounding off the top ten. It was cruel on Ferrari as they got their cars round on track in the second-half of Q3 just as the rain started falling, which put paid to their hopes of overtaking the McLarens and at least be close to the Red Bulls.
Mercedes GP had a session to forget with neither driver making it into Q3 and their misery is compounded as Michael Schumacher has to serve a 10-place drop as a result of his brash move on Rubens Barrichello in Hungary. Nico Rosberg has had a gearbox change and he cops a 5-place penalty on the grid.
Ferrari announced their revival with a one-two at the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim as Fernando Alonso took victory with teammate Felipe Massa finishing 2nd. Sebastian Vettel finished 3rd from pole position with Lewis Hamilton finishing 4th and Jenson Button 5th. Mark Webber took 6th place ahead of Robert Kubica in 7th, Nico Rosberg in 8th, Michael Schumacher in 9th and Vitaly Petrov in 10th.
But the victory will have a twinge of controversy in it as team orders – which are banned – might have come into play in deciding he outcome. Massa was leading the race after the first lap and despite Alonso’s attempts to string together a passing manoeuvre, Massa held fort. There’s no disputing that Alonso was quicker and the same was conveyed to Massa rather un-discreetly in lap 47, who “magnanimously” gave up his lead and settled for second place. I still think Alonso would have passed Massa on the track and all this needn’t happen…but the Ferrari hierarchy obviously didn’t want to wait and watch!
Half of the race outcome was decided at the start itself as pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel’s over-exuberance to hold off Fernando Alonso meant he had kept the door wide open going into turn one and Felipe Massa took full advantage of it and stormed into the lead. Alonso himself managed to outbrake Vettel into the second corner and halfway through the first lap, we had a Ferrari 1-2 at the head of the order. Down the order, Mark Webber had a bad start and dropped off behind both the McLarens – who themselves had a decent start and managed to hold position. Toro Rosso had a forgetful start as Jaime Algersuari barged into the back of teammate Sebastian Buemi into the hairpin and took off the rear wing off his car and that meant an early retirement for Buemi. Lotus’ Jarno Trulli was another early retirement with what looked like a driveshaft problem.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel clinched Pole Position for his home race – the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim – from Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso by a mere two thousandths of a second as they battled out for the fastest lap all throughout the Qualifying Session. Ferrari’s had another reason to rejoice as Felipe Massa took P3 with the second Red Bull of Mark Webber in P4. The McLarens occupy the third row with Jenson Button P5 and Lewis Hamilton P6. Robert Kubica, Rubens Barrichello, Nico Rosberg and Nico Hulkenberg complete the top ten.
The German Grand Prix returned to Hockenheim after alternating with Nurburgring last year and it was off to a wet start as Friday’s first practice and Saturday’s third practice sessions were marred by rain. Qualifying, however, remained dry and contrary to form and expectations, it was Ferrari and not McLaren who were taking the fight to Red Bull.
Alonso has been quickest throughout the weekend and finished atop the timesheets during Friday’s practice session but Vettel topped Saturday’s practice session. During the first two qualifying sessions, it was Alonso who held the upper hand as he set fastest times both times and even held pole position during the initial runs in Q3. For their second runs, Ferrari elected not to release Alonso a bit later and the traffic ahead of him might have contributed to his not matching Vettel’s lap – although the difference was a mere 0.002 seconds!
Mark Webber took victory in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone as the outcome was decided at the start of the race as pole-sitter Vettel ran wide and then picked up a puncture that ruined his race. Lewis Hamilton stuck like glue to the back of Webber and finished second in what will be seen as a great result, given their team’s woes over Friday and Saturday. Nico Rosberg scored the third podium finish for Mercedes this season as he finished third.
McLaren’s woeful weekend was bettered further by the fourth place finish for a resurgent Jenson Button. Williams’ Rubens Barrichello finished 5th, BMW Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi in 6th place with Sebastian Vettel recovering to take home 7th place and leading an all-German line-up of Adrian Sutil in 8th, Michael Schumacher in 9th and Nico Hulkenberg in 10th.
The race went off to an exhilarating start as Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton, starting on the dirty side of the track, had a better start than pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, who were on the cleaner side of the track. As they approached the fist corner, Webber had his nose in front and Vettel was forced wide onto the grass and then got tagged in the back by Hamilton and picked up a rear puncture. In the blink of an eye, he went from pole-sitter to end-propper as an early pit-stop put paid to his hopes of a repeat win at Silverstone.
Felipe Massa was another big loser in the first lap as a coming together with his teammate Alonso caused a right-rear puncture and he too had to undergo a quick pit-stop. Renault’s Robert Kubica had a good start and was upto third ahead of Rosberg and Alonso and so did McLaren’s Jenson Button, who jumped up from 14th on the grid up into 8th. For the ensuing few laps, Kubica lead a train of 6-7 cars, some faster than him but unable to pass and all the time, Webber and Hamilton were edging ahead with each lap. By the time the pit-stops came up, Hamilton pitted and rejoined in second place whilst Webber held onto his lead after his stop.
If Ferrari’s race was compromised by Massa’s first-lap puncture and subsequent pit-stop, it was further ruined when Alonso overtook Kubica by cutting a chicane and was handed a drive-through penalty. Kubica’s race ended a few laps later with suspension problems but in spite of that, Alonso had to serve his penalty. And it went from bad to worse as the Safety Car was celled in coz there were debris on the track & while without it Alonso would’ve dropped back a couple of places, with the field bunched up, he dropped down to 16th. From starting on 3rd and 7th on the grid, they finished 14th and 15th and took home zero points!
Red Bull continued their qualifying domination as they took Pole position and a 1-2 in the British Grand Prix’s Saturday Qualifying. Sebastian Vettel will start on Pole Position ahead of his teammate Mark Webber. Fernando Alonso will start from P3 as he matched Ferrari’s best qualifying position. This is Red Bull’s 9th pole out of 10 races and their fifth one-two of the season. Incidentally, Webber was the first driver to break the 1 Min 30s barrier but was immediately eclipsed by Vettel as he wheeled round his Red Bull in 1:29.695 and then scored a 1:29.615 on his second run to grab pole position.
Lewis Hamilton managed P4 in an underperforming McLaren, which was shorn of its new diffuser and other updates after they didn’t bring the needed advantage. Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg will start on P5 with Renault’s Robert Kubica in P6. Felipe Massa will start P7 with the Williams of Rubens Barrichello beside him on P8. BMW Sauber’s Pedro de la Rosa and Michael Schumacher complete the top ten.
The British Grand Prix is back at Silverstone after it was thought to be going to the Donnington Park circuit but after the latter failed to secure the necessary funding & the Silverstone owners made some modifications to the circuit, it is now back for the next 17 years. And with two British drivers in the team, McLaren’s home race will be all the more important. But they got off on the wrong foot as they had to ditch their plans of the ‘blown rear diffuser’ after it slowed them down considerably in the Friday and Saturday practices.
Lewis Hamilton nursed his McLaren with badly grained tyres to victory at the Canadian Grand Prix and led home a McLaren 1-2 with Jenson Button finishing 2nd. Ferrari had a mini-resurgence of sorts with Fernando Alonso finishing 3rd. The Red Bulls had a rather sedate race, with Vettel finishing 4th and Mark Webber 5th. Nico Rosberg finished 6th with Robert Kubica behind him in 7th and Sebastian Buemi in 8th. Force India had both their cars in the points as Vitantonio Liuzzi led home teammate Adrian Sutil for the 9th and 10th places.
The tyre degradation issue that the teams feared all weekend did play a part in the race, with the front-runners electing for a two-stop strategy and the mid-tablers going for a three-stopper. Some teams even had to go for a four-stop strategy as they tyre graining was just too much to handle. The race delivered several overtaking manoeuvres and interesting incidents up and down the order but surprisingly, there was no Safety Car period to juice it up!
Before the race started, Mark Webber dropped down from P2 to P7 because of a gearbox change and that pushed up Sebastian Vettel to the front row, where he might have harboured hopes of a good clean start and get past pole-sitter Hamilton. But that was not to happen as almost all the front runners had a clean getaway, except Vitantonio Liuzzi and Felipe Massa, who had a tangling together and had to pit immediately for front wings and tyres. Michael Schumacher had a good start as he jumped upto 8th place from 13th on the grid. Other first lap incidents included a jump-start from Vitaly Petrov, which saw him take a drive-through penalty.
F1 returned to the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit outside Montreal and Lewis Hamilton dominated the Saturday Qualifying sessions as he scored the fastest times in each sessions en route to wrapping up Pole position for the race. It was his third consecutive pole position at the Canadian Grand Prix – he had won from pole in 2007 and crashed into the back of Kimi Raikkonen in 2008.
Mark Webber will start 2nd with Sebastian Vettel 3rd. Ferrari seemed to be back on track with Fernando Alonso taking 4th place whereas Jenson Button could only manage 5th. Vitantonio Liuzzi scored his best quali position in 6th with Felipe Massa 7th, Robert Kubica 8th, Adrian Sutil 9th and Nico Rosberg completing the top ten.
Q1 got off to a sedate start with the top teams content to let the lesser ones take to the track and rubber it up nicely before making their move. Renault, Force India, Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren all held P1 at some time or the other but as the clock wound down, it was the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton at the top of the timesheets, heading the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel and the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. Force India were the surprise team as both cars were in the top seven at one time. The ones to drop out at the end of the session were Kamui Kobayashi, Jarno Trulli, Heikki Kovalainen, Timo Glock, Lucas di Grassi, Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok.
Q2 saw the times a-tumbling with the fastest times set in the range of the 1:15.5s and it was again the same drivers in the top three positions – Lewis Hamilton heading the charts, with Sebastian Vettel & Fernando Alonso behind him. Jenson Button almost didn’t make the cut but he salvaged that with a last-ditch lap that took him upto 8th fastest but one driver who didn’t get that lucky was seven-time winner Michael Schumacher, who could only manage the 12th fastest time. Joining him in the relegation were Rubens Barrichello, Nico Hulkenberg, Vitaly Petrov, Sebastian Buemi, Jaime Algersuari & Pedro de la Rosa.