2012 Singapore Grand Prix – Saturday Qualifying – Hamilton takes comfortable pole

Lewis Hamilton continued his recent good run and took a comfortable pole position for Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay circuit as he wheeled around his McLaren quickest of all in Qualifying. Pastor Maldonado was surprisingly second fastest for Williams ahead of the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel.

Singapore Grand Prix Qualifying

Jenson Button will start fourth with Championship leader Fernando Alonso fifth, Paul Di Resta’s sixth, Mark Webber in the second Red Bull seventh and Romain Grosjean’s Lotus in eighth. The two Mercedes of Michael Schumacher & Nico Rosberg did not elect to run in Q3 and will start ninth and tenth on the grid. Continue reading

2012 Belgian Grand Prix – Saturday Qualifying – Button breaks McLaren pole duck

The Formula One season is back after its summer break and the second half of the season started off in earnest at the much loved Spa Francorchamps circuit for the Belgian Grand Prix. And it was Jenson Button who scored his first pole position for McLaren and his first since 2009 as he clocked the fastest qualifying time in Q3. Starting from P2 on the grid would be the Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi with the Williams of Pastor Maldonado in P3.

Belgian Grand Prix Qualifying

Race favourite and four-time winner Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest ahead of Sergio Perez in fifth and Fernando Alonso on sixth. Red Bull’s Mark Webber was seventh fastest but will drop down five places due to a gearbox change. Lewis Hamilton was eighth, Romain Grosjean ninth and Paul Di Resta tenth.

With Friday’s practice sessions affected by rain, most teams did not have enough mileage on the cars to get the perfect setup and Lotus, who were expected to run their upgraded DRS system opted not to do so. McLaren had to choose whether to run a new rear wing or not and in the end Jenson rode with it & Hamilton without. Other teams had tyre choice concerns as well as gearbox issues – Rosberg & Webber specifically.

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2012 British Grand Prix – Sunday Race – Webber pips Alonso to victory

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.

British Grand Prix Race Winners

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!

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2012 British Grand Prix – Saturday Qualifying – Alonso takes pole in rain affected session

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.

British Grand Prix Qualifying

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.

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2012 Canadian Grand Prix – Sunday Race – Ferrari gamble fails as Hamilton takes victory

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.

Lewis Hamilton McLaren

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.

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2012 Canadian Grand Prix – Saturday Qualifying – Vettel takes pole ahead of Hamilton & Alonso

Red Bull pah-hah-ed at the sceptics after their race winning car was deemed “illegal” for having holes in the floor by grabbing pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix as Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in each of the qualifying sessions to absolutely dominate Saturday’s proceedings. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was fastest in each of the practice sessions but fell short when required and will start from second on the grid. Ferrari continued their resurgence as Fernando Alonso will start from third place on the grid.

Canadian Grand Prix Qualifying

Mark Webber will start from fourth ahead of Nico Rosberg in fifth and Felipe Massa in sixth. Renault’s Romain Grosjean was the best of the Lotuses in seventh place and Paul di Resta eighth. Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button complete the top ten for Sunday’s race.

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2012 Spanish Grand Prix – Sunday Race – Maldonado Victorious as Alonso settles for second

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.

Spanish Grand Prix Winners

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

2012 Malaysian Grand Prix – Sunday Race – Alonso scores a surprising win

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.

Malaysian GP Podium - Pic from Sutton Images

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.

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