Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Sebastian Vettel of RedBull Racing won the title for the first time and takes two personal titles from the two McLaren drivers. Lewis Hamilton was the youngest ever F1 World Driver's Champion when he won the title in 2008 and Jenson Button was the most recent WDC, having won in 2009.
This win means there will be 5 F1 Champions in the starting grid of the 2011 season.
Photo from: Getty Images
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Fernando Alonso still leads the Championship at the moment with 246 points, Webber is 8 points adrift and Vettel is a further 7 points away from Webber. The last driver still mathematically in contention of the title is Lewis Hamilton, who has 222 points, 24 off Alonso's total. Therefore he would need a 'miracle' to win the WDC.
Hamilton will be champion if…
He wins, Vettel is 3rd or worse, Webber is 6th or worse and Alonso doesn’t come in the top 10
Alonso will be Champion if…
He wins at Abu Dhabi.
He finishes 2nd on Sunday.
He finishes 3rd and Webber doesn’t win.
He comes 4th and Webber is 2nd or less.
He comes in 5th neither Vettel or Webber win.
He finishes 6th, Vettel is 2nd and Webber 3rd.
He’s 7th or 8th, Vettel is second or worse, Webber 4th or worse.
He’s 9th, Vettel is 3rd or worse, Webber 5th or worse.
He doesn’t finish, Hamilton is 2nd or worse, Vettel is 3rd or worse, Webber 5th or worse.
Webber will be champion if…
He wins and Alonso is 3rd or worse
He comes 2nd, Vettel 3rd or worse and Alonso 6th or worse
He comes 3rd, Vettel 2nd or worse, Alonso 7th or worse
He comes 4th, Vettel 2nd or worse, Alonso 9th or worse
He finishes 5th, Vettel’s 3rd or worse, Alonso is 10th or worse
Vettel will be champion if…
He wins and Alonso is 5th or worse
He comes 2nd, Webber is 5th or worse and Alonso is 9th or worse
Hamilton could also play a role in crowning one of the RedBulls the champion, if he prevents Alonso from finishing 3rd on Sunday.
Predictions from http://www.f1badger.com/2010/11/how-your-man-can-win-the-title/
Thursday, November 4, 2010
- If he wins in Brazil, Webber must finish fourth or higher to keep the championship alive. Everyone else would be out of contention, regardless of where they finish.
- If Alonso is second, Webber must be higher than eighth to stay in it, Hamilton higher than fourth and Vettel must win.
- If Alonso is third, Webber must score points, Hamilton must be in the top four and Vettel in the top three.
- If Alonso finishes lower than third, the championship will stay open to the last race because Webber, at least, will still be able to win regardless of where he finishes.
Let's hope the teams in contention have their best strategists on the computers working out a way to keep Alonso from the front row of the grid.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Hamilton has had three different team-mates within his relatively short Formula 1 career and he has consistently out-performed all of them, starting with his ‘more-experienced’ team mate in his rookie year (they both scored 109 points but Hamilton had more 2nd place wins).
Some would say the changes in team-mate is due to team dynamics (or lack of), others would argue that Hamilton always outshines his team-mates in essentially the same car and perhaps causes the team to reconsider his team-mate’s relative performance and ultimately, contract.
Here we take a look at Hamilton’s performance against his team-mate from 2007 to date and ponder what will become of the debut year of his partnership with Button (the reigning WDC).
(Graph shows difference in each parameter. Hamilton on right side of axis; FA = Fernando Alonso, HK = Heikki Kovalainen, JB = Jenson Button)
2010 Season so far...
Hamilton is currently 21 points ahead of his current team-mate Jenson Button, but apart from the point difference, Hamilton and Button are on fairly equal footing in terms of other measures of success i.e. race wins, 2nd places, pole positions. So the most telling and most relevant criteria to pay attention to is the point-difference; they drive essentially the same car and it is well publicised that Button has a different driving style to Hamilton and occasionally opts for a different set-up from his team-mate to complement his driving style.
Therefore it is fair to say Button's driving style and set-ups haven't been as successful as Hamilton's and from this, one could surmise that Hamilton will out-perform his team-mate again this year.
Perhaps if harmonious team-dynamics were not so important, his most prefered team-mate (a driver who challenges him and gets the best out of him), is the man generally regarded as Hamilton's greatest rival, and is the current Championship leader, Fernando Alonso.
In a recent promotional event, when asked who he enjoyed racing the most, Hamilton admitted "Probably Fernando. Just because of our history – two time World Champion, I raced him when I was rookie, it was great racing him – he’s one the toughest I’ve competed against. I’ve not had the chance to have too many battles with him this year. I really wanted to have a dice with Michael, and with Jenson, I’ve been dying to have a proper battle with him, but it always works out that one weekend he’s up on me and the next I’m up on him – we’re rarely at the same position!" Courtesy of http://www.f1badger.com
In summary, the five title contenders are still in the race mathematically although there are whispers around the paddock that one of them, (the current World Drivers Champion, Jenson Button) might be out of the running as he trails the new Championship leader by 42 points following the race in Korea.
Alonso inherited first place after the two front-running Red Bull cars failed to finish; one was due to driver-error or misfortune and the other was just bad luck and an overworked engine which blew up about 10 laps to the end of the race.
Hamilton, who started 4th, finished 2nd and was glad to have seen another end of a race given that he was almost taken out by Webber's Red Bull car as it slid off the track.
Massa finished 3rd and celebrated a Ferrari double podium on the same day as a Red Bull double DNF (did not finish).
The 100,000 Koreans who bought tickets for this momentous historical race (peppered with a delayed start, heavy rain, poor visibility, several safety car deployments, several crashes and penalties, 3-time change in championship leader within the race, day-to-dusk driving, phew!) will have many tales to recount to their families for many years to come.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Vettel lead right from the start of the race; the start also saw some early casualties: Di Grassi lost control of this car before the formation lap, Petrov swiping past Hulkenburg, and Massa flying off the kerb at the first corner and hitting Liuzzi into the wall. Hamilton gained several places at the start and was up to 6th place by the first corner, just ahead of his team-mate who was on the hard compound tyres - a different strategy from most of the other front runners.
Kubica having made his way as high as 2nd place, had to abandon the race as his left-rear tyre came undone in the 3rd lap, through no fault of his.
Hamilton had been doing well on the soft tyres and set several fast laps during the course of the race. But the disaster-prone 2008 WDC was to have one more challenge to contend with: he lost 3rd gear in the latter part of the race and had to nurse the car till the finish line. Losing 2seconds per lap and his team-mate overtaking him were the least of this worries as this was his first finish in 3 races, scoring a damage-limiting 10 points. Even though he is now demoted to 4th in the Championship standings, he seemed relieved to see the end of THIS race and hopefully to all his bad luck. Vettel (pictured) won the race ahead of his team-mate to keep his title hope alive and to take Hamilton's title of the youngest WDC.
Home-boy Kobayashi gave the crowds a lot to cheer about by pulling several of his trademark overtaking moves and finishing in 7th place (6 points); his highest position this season.
Lotus driver, Heikki Kovalainen finished in 12th place, out of the points, but enough to secure Lotus the 10th place in the World Constructors Standings and guarantees the team more money and pit-garage location next season.
Friday, October 8, 2010
His mechanics managed to fix his car in time for second practice where he finished 13th. More information and photos to follow....
Monday, September 27, 2010
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso won under the lights of Singapore, the only night race in the F1 calendar. He also moves into the second position in the Championship standings. Of the last 5 races, he has been the most successful driver, scoring 93 of a possible 125 points and the current Championship leader Mark Webber scoring 74.
Alonso's other main threat and former team-mate, Lewis Hamilton has had several dismal races recently. Two retirements in two races, and only scoring 37 points in the last five races. He conceded that it is now very difficult to see himself winning the WDC.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
This article examines the motivations of these 5 drivers to secure a win this year, and why this year's title will be just as nail-biting as Lewis' win in 2008. The drivers' current standings before the Singapore GP are in ().
Webber (1st): The oldest driver in contention for this year's Championship at 34 years old, has been the most consistent and has only had 1 retirement so far this season.
Coming back after a serious leg injury, he has risen above the 'perceived' favouritism in his team towards his team-mate to maximise the performance of his RedBull car, and has held onto the lead of the Championship table several times this year. He is ready for his first WDC since his debut in the sport 8 years ago; to be the first Australian winner since Alan Jones 30 years ago, and to proclaim himself as the ACTUAL Number 1 driver in his team.
Potential Record: Third ever Australian WDC, and first Australian winner in 30 years
Hamilton (2nd): Current youngest World Driver Championship (WDC) winner at 23years 300 days, beat Alonso's record of 24years 58 days in 2008. The following year was a year to forget, he just didn't have the car to deliver after the high of 2008.
He is back with a vengenance in 2010. The McLaren car is not the fastest on the track but it has proven to be quite reliable, which has been to Hamilton's advantage. He has been as aggressive as always and he now has a competitive, yet cooperative team-mate in Button to motivate him. Two retirements so far this season, but he admits Monza's could have been avoided.
With both McLaren drivers' contracts ending in 2012 and the team principal already scouting other teams, he needs another WDC win to convince McLaren to extend his contract: not just for his history with the team but because he deserves it.
Potential Record: Third Briton with 'just' 2 WDC titles
Alonso (3rd): is the highest earner in the paddock, reportedly earning 30million euros. Ferrari has entrusted him to revive their dominance in the sport and although the middle of the season was lacklustre, Alonso has remained within touching distance of the RedBull and McLaren drivers all season.
On a personal note, he will be looking for his 3rd title after a near-win in 2007 and several team changes since his last win with Renault.
Potential Record: Youngest three-time WDC winner
Button (4th): First WDC win in 2009 with the superb Brawn car. His move to McLaren has been smooth sailing by all accounts and he is demonstrating that having a different driving style to your team-mate is not necessarily detrimental to your success. He has made terrific tyre choices and set-up decisions, and has shown maturity in this driving and personal life. But some would argue that his passion and determination to win again is muted.
However, a win this year would make him the first Briton to win consecutive WDC. Surely, the prospect of that is worth getting fired up for.
Potential Record: First Briton to win the Championship in consective years.
Vettel (5th): On the other side to the paddock from Mark Webber is the man dubbed "Baby Schumi". Having demonstrated tremendous wet racing skills and being the youngest ever winner of a Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel has won plaudits from everyone in the paddock. However within THIS season, he has made several catastrophic racing errors which have called his skills into question; Turkey and Belgium being the most memorable.
This year is his last hope if he wants to claim Hamilton's record of being the youngest F1 Champion. Vettel will be 23 years 131 days in Abu Dhabi on 12th November which would beat Hamilton's record by 169 days.
Potential Record: Youngest F1 WDC winner
The three other drivers still mathematically in contention are Massa (6th), Kubica (7th) and Rosberg (8th). With the exception of Massa, the other two are undoubtedly outperforming their team-mates in their respective teams; but Nico Rosberg has a bigger challenge on his hands; to demonstrate his skills without being intimidate by his 'legendary' team-mate (the 7-time F1 World Champion, Michael Schumacher) and gain recognition as a talented driver in his own right.
Massa has been the 'unofficial' Number 2 driver for a few years. Although he came close to winning the WDC in 2008, he has a mighty task ahead of him if he wants to win his first title this year, as Ferrari favours his team-mate and are not averse to some overt car-shuffling on the track.
Friday, September 17, 2010
These videos show similar events held at Goodwood in 2007 and at the TopGear track in 2008, so these lucky winners have a fantastic day ahead of them.
Having this much fun in a non-F1 car might just be the remedy Lewis needs for last week's upset at Monza.
More details and Photos to follow....
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Massa also held his own to keep his 3rd position and finish on the podium. Webber is the biggest winner from this race being the only leadership contender to collect points in the last 2 races. Webber now has 187 points, 5 clear of his closest rival, Lewis Hamilton, who suffered right front tyre damage early on the race from a collision with Massa and did not finish the race.
Mathematically speaking, two more drivers fall out of the Championship fight ,with 5 races to go to the end of the season - Sutil and Schumacher. This should signal to Mercedes to get behind Schumacher's team-mate, Nico Rosberg, for a fight with the leaders. The top 8 drivers are separated by 79 points, which is just over 3 race wins.
As the F1 circus leaves the last European race of the calendar, RedBulls are poised to dominate in the rest of the races and will be hoping for better luck with their reliability to pick up their first Driver and Constructor's Championship.
Next race Singapore in a fortnight on 24 - 26th September.
(Image from www.telegraph.co.uk)
Saturday, September 11, 2010
However an interesting situation is brewing at the McLaren garage: both drivers decided to have different set-ups for the qualifying season and the results has been significant enough to cause some head-scratching.
Button, the current World Champion, who is the newbie at McLaren, decided to run the 'F-Duct' device during this afternoon's session. The F-Duct, pioneered by McLaren cuts drag and helps with straight-line acceleration. He describes his set-up as having higher downforce (@ 00.56s in this clip).
On the other hand, Hamilton decided to ditch the device, having found no significant advantage over the practice sessions on Friday. This meant his set-up was of a lower downforce than his team-mate's and meant the corners were tricky for him. He would later describe his car as "sliding everywhere".
In Q1, where the slowest 7 drivers are knocked out, Lewis posted a time of 1:22.830, 0.255s faster than Button. In Q2, Button was faster than his team-mate by just 0.04s. In Q3, where the top 10 drivers' starting position for the race tomorrow is decided, Button dramatically increased his gap to Lewis by 0.539seconds!
Button starts in 2nd place tomorrow, while Hamilton starts in fifth. We do not know how much of an effect tyre-choice or the increasing track temperature might have played but it does seem like one side of the McLaren garage will be head-scratching overnight. Nonetheless, the race is tomorrow and we all know how different race day is to the qualifying sessions.
(image from PlanetF1.com)
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
13 March - Bahrain
27 March - Australia
10 April - Malaysia
17 April - China
8 May - Turkey
22 May - Spain
29 May - Monaco
12 June - Canada
26 June - Europe
10 July - Great Britain
24 July - Germany
31 July - Hungary
28 August - Belgium
11 September - Italy
25 September - Singapore
9 October - Japan
16 October - Korea
30 October - India*
13 November - Abu Dhabi
27 November - Brazil
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Having already been fined $100,000, there is speculation on what extra penalties they will incur. Some say that Ferrari might be docked their Constructor's Championship points while the drivers retain their points (similar to what happened after McLaren's Spy-gate affair), the drivers could lose their points from that race or Ferrari might get another hefty fine.
If the second option is selected, then this would promote Vettel to pole position (gain 10 points) and the other championship contenders i.e. Hamilton, Button and Webber would also gain several points. The main effect of this would be that:
(a) the gap between 1st and 5th driver in the standings increases from 41 to 72!
(b) Vettel's gap to Hamilton is reduced by 4 points, from 31 to 27
(c) Kubica and Rosberg leapfrog Massa in the standings.
However this is highly unlikely, but Vettel must be hoping for a change in his fortunes to put him back in contention for the Championship this year.
Roll on Wednesday 8th; Ferrari could really do without THIS impetus to perform well at their home-race at the Autodromo di Monza, Italy which is on the weekend after the hearing.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
With six races left in the F1 2010 calendar, most teams have already started focusing their design efforts on next year's car as they are mathematically out of the running for the Championship - short of a bizarre deduction of points from the current Championship leaders (the 3 new teams never had a shot, to be honest!).
So those that still have a chance are the top 10 scorers in the table. Although most F1 fans and pundits are concentrating on the top 5 drivers (Hamilton, Webber, Vettel, Button and Alonso) seperated by 41 points, given that their teams are still developing THIS year's car and cannot afford to become complacent with the title race.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
His troubles really began when he got caught up behind Jenson Button (McLaren) and found the weather conditions too tricky to handle. This caused him to collide with Button and damage his frontwing on the 17th lap of the 44-lap race. Luckily for him, he was able to get into the pits and fix the damage.
And then came the news that he had a drive-through penalty for the incident with Button. This prompted him to "push on" and try to cover as much distance as possible to build a buffer since he would lose time serving his penalty. Hence his aggressive overtake move on Liuzzi's Force India which resulted in a left-rear puncture which he had to nurse over the 7km race distance before he could get back into the pits.
He went on to finish the race in 15th place and scored no points at Spa, and must now begin to wonder if his goal of winning a Championship will be delayed for another year. Often regarded as a quick and capable driver, and nicknamed 'baby Schumi', he is definitely worthy of being a World Champion. But with the amount of errors he has made this season (don't forget the incident with his team-mate at the Turkish GP), it raises some questions about his ability and his car. Perhaps the RedBull RB6 is too powerful and quick for the young driver or his overtaking skills need further development in their simulator. Or will he continue to sabotage his and his team-mates chances of taking the title in 2010?
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Hamilton was not in attendance but his representative ensured that a conviction was not recorded as this would have prevented him from entering certain countries and disrupt his professional and personal life.
The McLaren driver will no doubt be looking to put this event, and his mechanical failure at the Hungarian GP, behind him as he and the other F1 teams return (after a four-week hiatus) to race again at Spa-Francorchamps.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
F1 Rocks - the live music extravaganza which accompanies F1 Grand Prix races - is back again in 2010. Singapore premiered this event last year and Beyonce (right) was one of the 2009 performers. The line-up this year includes international and local acts like Missy Elliot, Mariah Carey, Raphael Saadiq, Daughtry, Adam Lambert and several local celebrities.
Check out: www.singaporegp.sg/index.php
Image from: www.imusicdaily.com/music-news/tag/halo/
Friday, August 13, 2010
However as an F1 fan, this spells a long stint without any F1 races and some might be having withdrawal systems from our favourite sport. But fear not, there are some other motorsports/automobile events that can help "fill the void".
15 August 2010: 360 Motor Racing Club at Snetterton
14-15 August 2010: British F3/GT Championship at Silverstone
20 - 22 August 2010: http://www.wrc.com/calendar-and-rallies/2010/adac-rally-deutschland/overview/
Calender for whole of August 2010: http://www.autoblog.com/2010/08/01/event-alert-august-2010-calendar-of-automotive-events/
Hope that sustains you till the next F1 race in Spa-Francorchamps on 27 - 29 August!
Monday, August 2, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
We saw several interesting incidents in the pit-lane, Nico Rosberg's right rear tyre airborne and hitting a mechanic, Sutil and Kubica crashing in the pit-lane due to an misjudged signal from a Renault lollipop man, and Vettel holding up the track (by longer than 10 car-lenghts) just before the safety-car returned to the pits, resulting in a Drive-Through penalty for him.
And the most daring overtake manoevre of all came in the penultimate lap of the race; Barrichello against his former team-mate Michael Schumacher. Schumy would later comment that he thought Barrichello would overtake from his left which was why there wasn't enough room in the right side for the William's car, and almost resulted in Barrichello kissing the wall.
The case was duly referred to the Stewards, who have ruled that he 'illegitimately impeded' Rubens, and have penalised Schumacher with a 10 place grid-drop at the next race.
I wonder how that will go down with Ross Brawn, Team Principal of Mercedes GP and if this spells the beginning of the end of the most anticipated come-back in F1.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
This continues to team's decision to give each main driver and their reserve drivers opportunities to participate in racing. It is rumoured to be linked to the drivers' sponsorship arrangements.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
Peogeot won in 2009, putting an end to Tom Kristensen's and Audi's campaign to win their ninth consecutive title. But both teams will be back stronger this year, and it promises to be a fantastic spectacle.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Although he must have had the shock of his life when he saw a silver car in similar livery as his, shoot past him. "I thought we were both conserving our fuel", he must have thought. But sure enough, he did what he does best - and overtook his team-mate to reclaim the lead and held onto it till the end.
Brilliant drive as always, and this surely goes some way to compensate for his loss on the penultimate lap of the Spanish Grand Prix when his tyre exploded.
With the finale of Dancing with the Stars seeing Nicole Scherzinger being crowned the winner on Tuesday night, could this her boyfriend's lucky week too? F1 drivers are in Istanbul, Turkey for the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend and the signs are encouraging for Mr Hamilton; he qualified second on Saturday - his first time on the front row of the grid this year. Perhaps it will be a double celebration for Scherzinger & Hamilton by Sunday evening.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
I just hope that some day - in the near future - I can afford to attend this prestigious and glam-fest of an event.