Mercedes took their second consecutive pole position of this season as Nico Rosberg posted the fastest time of all in Q3 for the Bahrain Grand Prix. Red Bull & Ferrari are also in the reckoning with Sebastian Vettel in second & Fernando Alonso third.
Lewis Hamilton & Mark Webber were fourth & fifth fastest but will drop down by five & three places on the grid due to a gearbox change and a penalty respectively. That promotes Felipe Massa to fourth in the grid with the two Force Indias of Paul di Resta & Adrian Sutil in fifth and sixth places. Webber slots in seventh with Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen eighth, Hamilton ninth & Jenson Button tenth.
As has been the case this season, tyre strategy will be key for Sunday’s race and though Rosberg starts on pole, it remains to be seen if the Mercedes has the consistent race pace that Ferrari or Lotus have shown so far.
I’ll go for a back-to-back win for Fernando Alonso & Felipe Massa to finish second with Raikkonen third.
Red Bull were back to winning ways as Sebastian Vettel ended his nine-race winless streak with a fortuitous victory at the Singapore Grand Prix. Pole sitter and race leader Lewis Hamilton retired after 22 laps with a gearbox failure on his McLaren, handing over the race on a platter to Vettel who was running second behind him. Jenson Button rescued some points for McLaren with a second place finish and Fernando Alonso finished third, maintaining his lead atop the drivers’ championship.
Force India’s Paul Di Resta finished fourth ahead of the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg in fifth, the Lotuses of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean in sixth and seventh, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa in eighth, Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo in ninth and Red Bull’s Mark Webber in tenth. The race was ended two laps early on the two-hour time limit as two safety car periods meant the entire 61 laps could not be completed
The result means Alonso now has a 29 point lead in the championship standings over Vettel in second place with Kimi Raikkonen a further 16 points behind. Hamilton slips to fourth, trailing Alonso by 52 points with six races remaining.
It was a lights-to-flag victory for Fernando Alonso at Hockenheim for the German Grand Prix as he continued Ferrari’s resurgence in the past few races and score the maximum points once gain. Red Bull sorta remained in the hunt with Sebastian Vettel finishing in second position ahead of Jenson Button in third. But that is not a foregone conclusion as his late race overtaking move over Button is under investigation by the stewards for having done so outside the track!
Kimi Raikkonen was a fine fourth for Lotus ahead of the two Saubers of Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez in fifth and sixth, Michael Schumacher in seventh, Mark Webber in eighth, Nico Hulkenberg ninth and Nico Rosberg in the last point scoring position in tenth.
Alonso controlled the race from the start and remained ahead all through except for the pit stops as Ferrari called the perfect two-stop strategy and chose the right set of tyres this time around for the second and third stints. The second Ferrari of Felipe Massa suffered a lost rear wing at the start and the debris from that ultimately ended Lewis Hamilton’s race causing a right rear puncture. It was a better result for the second McLaren of Jenson Button as he steadily moved up the order as the updates and the dry race worked well for McLaren.
Fernando Alonso continued his & Ferrari’s upturn in form as he grabbed pole position for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in a wet n’ thrilling qualifying session. The two Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were second and third fastest. Webber though has a five place grid penalty for a gearbox change so Michael Schumacher will inherit third place for tomorrow’s race.
All the action came at the fag end of the session as a drying track meant it was best until the very end and it was Ferrari & Alonso who elected to strap on a fresh set of warmed up wet weather tyres and set his two fastest laps right at the very end. Though the Red Bulls were fast enough, it seemed Vettel was held up by his own teammate Webber as he set his fastest time.
Michael Schumacher was fourth fastest for Mercedes with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg fifth, Williams’ Pastor Maldonado in sixth, the McLarens of Jenson Button & Lewis Hamilton in seventh and eighth, Paul Di Resta ninth and Kimi Raikkonen in tenth.
The German Grand Prix returned to Hockenheim after a year and it was a wet welcome for the drivers as the practice and qualifying sessions were affected by rain. The first session started off in the dry but the rain came during the second session but though it eased off, there still was enough water on the track to force the teams to set their lap times on the full wets.
Red Bullwere back to winning ways as Mark Webber took victory at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in what turned out to be a dry race after Friday and Saturday’s wet sessions. Much of the race was led by the pole-starting Ferrari of Fernando Alonso but fading grip on the softer tyres towards the end of the race meant Alonso could not fend off Webber’s attack and could only manage to finish second. The second Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel finished third.
Felipe Massa scored his best finish of the season in fourth place ahead of the two Lotuses of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean. Mercedes had Michael Schumacher bring home some points in seventh place ahead of the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton in eighth. Williams’ Bruno Senna finished ninth and Jenson Button salvaged a sole point in tenth place in what has been a wretched run of form for him.
It was an exciting but kinda predictable race, the weather never threatened and the happenings might have spiced up a little if the rain did arrive. However it was the familiar story of tyre wear/management that proved to be the decisive factor. Having started on the harder tyre, Alonso managed to fend off Webber and the rest of the pack for the initial laps and even stayed out in front after the second round of pit stops – when Webber, having stopped earlier, was hoping to get the under-cut. But Ferrari’s gamble to have the soft tyre only for the last stint didn’t quite pay off as Alonso was powerless to fend off Webber on the harder rubber. Maybe if Ferrari had gotten the soft tyre out of the way in the middle stint, it would have translated into a second successive win for Alonso!
If the Brits were hoping for a home hero to shine at Silverstone after Murray’s semi final triumph at Wimbledon, they kinda expected the wrong kind as it was the fickle British weather that dictated much of the Qualifying session for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso took pole position in an extended session delayed due to heavy rain during Q2 as he rode his luck throughout and pulled out fast laps right at the fag end of the session. Red Bull’s Mark Webber was second fastest with Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher third fastest.
Sebastian Vettel will start from fourth on the grid ahead of Felipe Massa in fifth, Kimi Raikkonen in sixth, Pastor Maldonado in seventh, Lewis Hamilton in eighth and Nico Hulkenberg in ninth. Romain Grosjean didn’t set a time in Q3 and will start from tenth on the grid.
Heavy rains were falling throughout the UK and it was no different at Silverstone a it affected much of the free practice sessions and indeed the qualifying sessions. Q1 was wet but not enough to warrant full wet weather tyres and all of the teams fitted intermediate tyres for their runs. Getting temperature into the Pirellis for them to be in their optimum running zone was challenging and it caught out Jenson Button as the first big casualty in failing to make into Q2; he will start 18th. Others to drop out included the two Marussias, the two Caterhams and the two HRTs.
Valencia has a history of producing boring processional races but that was not to be this year as an exhilarating grand prix saw Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso script a stunning victory from eleventh on the grid. He drove a stupendous race, passed those ahead of him like a champion and had lady luck smile upon him a tad, to become the first driver this season to win two races. Race leader Sebastian Vettel suffered an engine failure which ended his race just as Alonso had passed into second place after a race restart following a safety car period.
Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen finished in second place having bided his time in the closing laps before passing Lewis Hamilton into second place. Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher finished a surprised third, after he pitted for a fresh set of tyres and scythed through the field towards the latter part of the race.
Red Bull’s Mark Webber finished fourth having duplicated Schumacher’s tyre change and following him as they hunted down other drivers in pairs. Fifth place went to the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg ahead of Nico Rosberg in sixth and Paul Di Resta in seventh. Jenson Button finished eighth ahead of the Sauber of Sergio Perez in ninth and the Williams of Pastor Maldonado in tenth.
Apart from Alonso’s magnificent victory, the three other highlights of the race were the retirement of pole sitter and early leader Sebastian Vettel, ditto for Renault’s Romain Grosjean and a dodo move by Pastor Maldonado on Lewis Hamilton which wrecked the McLaren’s suspension as he banged into the wall whilst in third place.
The incidents were precipitated by a rookie mistake from Toro Rosso’s Jean Eric Vergne, who banged into the Caterham of Heikki Kovalainen as he was passing him – puncturing the rear-right tyre of the Toro Rosso and the front-left of the Caterham. Vergne drove back to the pits shredding bits and pieces of debris all along the track, which brought out the safety car.
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.