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 Bull were 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.
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
Mark Webber finally ended his winless streak for the season by taking the chequered flag at the last race – the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos in Sao Paolo. He was followed home by teammate Sebastian Vettel in a Red Bull one-two – their fourth of the season and first time with Webber in front. Jenson Button capped off a fine season by finishing third and this consolidating his second-place finish in the Drivers’ Championship Standings.
Fernando Alonso drove a valiant race but could only manage fourth place as tyre degradation and a DRS-failure allowed Button to pass him during the closing stages of the race. Felipe Massa finished fifth in his home grand prix, with Adrian Sutil sixth, Nico Rosberg seventh and Paul Di Resta eighth. Kamui Kobayashi and Vitaly Petrov took the last points places in ninth and tenth respectively. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton had to retire due to a gearbox problem.
Some might argue that Webber was only handed the win due to a gearbox problem for pole-sitter Vettel, who had no 2nd gear and had to nurse his car using short shifts – which allowed Webber to take the lead – but still had enough pace to keep him out of the clutches of Button/Alonso behind him. Alonso might have had the third place after a good start saw him overtake Hamilton into the first corner and then pass Button on lap eleven, but Button clawed back the position towards the fag end of the race as the Ferrari’s tyre degradation made it tough for the Spaniard to hold fort.
It was a disappointing end of the season for Lewis Hamilton as well, who retired on lap sixty eight due to a gearbox failure. He was having a good battle with (who else!) Felipe Massa for fifth place and even after the second round of pit stops found himself behind the Ferrari and was lining up a DRS move before having to retire. Another driver who had a disappointing race was Michael Schumacher, who suffered a left-rear puncture as he closed the door on Bruno Senna’s Renault – a move which incredulously saw the Renault driver get a drive-thru penalty – and could only finish fifteenth.
Sebastian Vettel set a new record of 15 pole positions in a single season as he set the fastest time for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos in the last Qualifying Session of the season. Despite insisting that the record was not in his thoughts, it surely would have felt good for the Champion driver – if only as something to aim for having wrapped up the title sometime earlier! Red Bull locked out the front row of the grid for the seventh time this year as Mark Webber was second fastest, ahead of the McLaren of Jenson Button in P3.
Lewis Hamilton was fourth fastest, ahead of the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso in fifth and Mercedes of Nico Rosberg in sixth. Felipe Massa starts seventh in his home grand prix with the Force India of Adrian Sutil beside him in eighth. Bruno Senna was ninth fastest for Renault and rounding off the top ten was Michael Schumacher, who did not set a time in Q3.
Full Qualifying Report here.
Red Bull continued their domination at the head of the field as Mark Webber qualified on pole position for the German Grand Prix at Nurburgring. It was back-to-back poles for the Australian after his fastest lap at Silverstone in the last race. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton put behind his practice miseries and wrung around his car to take P2, which pushes Sebastian Vettel to the second row of the grid for the first time this season!
Ferrari took P4 and P5 with Fernando Alonso leading Felipe Massa, ahead of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg in P6 and Jenson Button in P7. Adrian Sutil was P8 for Force India as Vitaly Petrov in the Renault and Michael Schumacher in the second Mercedes completed the top ten.
Red Bull and Ferrari had been the fastest cars in Friday and Saturday practice sessions as McLaren struggled with downforce throughout. But it was a great drive from Hamilton as he topped the timesheets in Q2 and then was second fastest in Q3. Alonso might have hoped that he will be the best-of-the-rest behind the Red Bulls but he has to be content with a second row start, beside a fast-starting Vettel and behind Hamilton!
Last year’s German Grand Prix (albeit at Hockenheim) was one of the key moments in the season and though Red Bull seem to be running away with both titles this season, another win for Alonso (with the Red Bulls tripping up over themselves & the McLaren ) would possibly bring back some excitement into the title chase.
Sebastian Vettel has done it again! He clinched pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal with a scintillatingly fast lap at the start of the third and final qualifying session. Ferrari occupy the next two positions as Fernando Alonso took P2 ahead of Felipe Massa in P3.
Mark Webber starts in P4 with Lewis Hamilton P5, Nico Rosberg P6, Jenson Button P7 and Michael Schumacher in P8 ahead of the two Renaults of Nick Heidfeld in P9 and Vitaly Petrov rounding off the top ten.
Ferrari had topped the timesheets in Q1 and Q2 as the less than usual dependence on low downforce at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and also the reliance on Pirelli’s soft and super soft tyres suited their car better than others. But when it mattered, Vettel pulled out a quick lap which neither of the scarlet cars could overhaul and they had to make do with the second and third places on the grid.
McLaren will be disappointed at their performance with them now being the third fastest team, ahead of Mercedes and Renault. Hamilton has a good record in Montreal but fifth fastest was the best he could manage with Button sandwiched between the two Mercedes’.