Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hungarian GP: Qualifying

Friday practice at the Hungarian Grand Prix track was in cooler-than-normal temperatures. So perhaps that explained why Friday's practice sessions (FP1 & FP2) had been dominated by Hamilton - whose McLaren favours cooler temperatures. However by the Qualifying session on Saturday, it was warmer albeit windy.

First Qualifying session Q1 saw Buemi, Kovalainen, Trulli, Glock, Liuzzi, Ricciardo, D'Ambrosio drop out. Unfortunately, Buemi carries over a 5-place grid penalty from the German Grand Prix and so will start the race in 23th place.

In Q2, McLaren's Hamilton set a time 0.843seconds off the super-softs' time of Ferrari's Alonso, on the harder compound tyres. Positions 11th - 17th were filled by Di Resta, Petrov, Kobayashi, Heidfeld, Barrichello, Alguersuari, Maldonado - leaving Alonso, Button, Webber, Vettel, Massa, Hamilton, Rosberg, Schumacher, Sutil and Perez to fight for the Top 10 positions.

Perez makes it into Q3
By Q3, track temperature dropped slightly and Lewis went out to set a lap on his first set of super-soft tyres. Hamilton was on provisional pole position after the first runs but Vettel set a time of 1min19:815 and 'found' 0.163seconds to qualify ahead of Hamilton. 

Top 10 are Vettel, Hamilton, Button, Massa, Alonso, Webber, Rosberg, Sutil, Schumacher, Perez (who didn't set a lap in Q3).

Monday, July 25, 2011

German GP: Race Summary

Rain was expected on Sunday as the cars lined up at the start of the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. However it was dry as the red lights went out, and what a start it was.

German GP paddock before race. Photo by @VoxVocis
Hamilton had a fantastic start and quickly made his way ahead of the field. Webber appeared to have his hands full defending first place from Hamilton and preventing his team-mate from overtaking him: he prioritised keeping the other Red Bull car behind him. At one point, Vettel was in a Ferrari sandwich however Ferrari's Alonso managed to stay in front and they settled into this order: HAM, WEB, ALO, VET, ROS, MAS by the end of the first lap.

Alonso, Hamilton and Webber traded first place several times, but the McLaren driver was ahead for most of the race.Great pit-stops, bold non-DRS overtaking moves and a perfectly-timed strategy call to change to prime tyres, meant that Hamilton finished the race ahead of Alonso and Webber. His second win this season and his 16th career win.

2nd Win for Hamilton

Saturday, July 23, 2011

German GP: Qualifying

After drab and rainy practice sessions on Friday, Qualifying on Saturday was practically dry. Drivers who dropped out after Q1 were the usual suspects of: Kovalainen, Chandhok (who takes Trulli's place this weekend), Glock, D'Ambrosio, Liuzzi, Ricciardo. Kobayashi was the surprise exit in Q1 as he was edged out by other drivers on soft tyres. HRT driver, Liuzzi incurs a 5-place grid penalty for changing his gear box and so, starts behind rookie team-mate Ricciardo.

Second Qualifying session was dominated by Hamilton who finished with a time of 1min30.998. And these 7 drivers didn't progress to Q3: Heidfeld, Di Resta, Maldonado, Barichello, Perez, Buemi, Alguersuari

The last shoot-out saw an epic effort from McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, swapping second place with Alonso early in the session. Red Bull's Mark Webber eventually took pole with 1min30.079, and Hamilton pushed Vettel into 3rd with a 1min30.134 lap time. The rest of the top ten were Alonso, Massa, Rosberg, Button, Sutil, Petrov and Schumacher.

Top 3 Drivers after Qualifying for German Grand Prix
Rain is expected tomorrow so Nurburgring's swansong is set to be an exciting one.

Amendment: Buemi's qualifying time was later disallowed due to fuel irregularities, and will start at the back of the track. Story courtesy of 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ferrari: La Rinascita?

Prima di tutto, devo dichiarare che io non sono italiano e non sono un tifoso di Ferrari (ma mi piace la machina, il Fiat Cinquecento e ho scritto quest'articolo per migliorare il mio italiano). Comunque, io rispetto cosa la questa squadra ha fatto nello sporto di Formula Uno. Tra 1961, i giorno di Phil Hill dai quei giorni di Schumacher, la squadra ha vinci 14 trofei costruttori di Formula 1. Ma tra 2004 ed oggi, solamente vinca 2 trofei. E perche non va bene per loro? Ci sono molti possibilita di spiegare.

Tuffo di Ferrari? 
Una possibile spiegazione era il problema con la mancanza di prestazioni per le sue machine al inizio di 2005. Un altro è stato il prestazione di gomme/pneumatici Bridgestone in contro di Michelin che altre squadre utilizzati. Molti cambiamenti di personale inoltre non era utile; la partenza di Barrichello nel 2005, ed il Schumacher nel 2006 (un piloto che hanno relazione forte con i ingenieri e il capo di squadra), Jean Todt  nel 2008 e finalmente il polemica con Nigel Stepney.

Alonso a Gran Premio di Monaco

Ferrari: La Rinascita?
Anche se Ferrari riesco vinci trofei costruttori di Formula 1 nel 2007 e 2008, Ferrari ha competizione nuove e diversa (insomma Red Bull) e ha doveva fare qualcosa grande per ritorna di vincere ancora. La nomina del piloti spagnolo Fernando Alonso è parte del piano per la rinascita; un piloto che gia vinci due campionati e commandi molti rispetta dal paddock e con Stefano Domenicalli e parla la lingua italiano come la sua madre lingua.

La squadra ho avuto un risorgimento nella seconda parti della stagione nel 2010: Alonso ha avuto un'opportunita di vincere all'ultima gara di Brasilia ma finita nel posizione 7° e finita la stagione con 252 punti e purtroppo per lui, Vettel ha vinto quest'anno con solo 4 punti di piu.

Adesso nel 2011, al inizio della stagione non ho fatto niente spettacolare ma Alonso continua di finisca tutti le gare di fronte a Massa (il suo compagno della squadra) ed ecceto un incidente con Button a Canada, ha finito tutti le gare. Ultima gara a Silverstone, Inghilterra era la sua posizione migliore (1°).

Alonso a Silverstone
E per i tifosi, era un segno che Ferrari è all'inizia un risorgimento lentamente....e forse durante il divario tra le Gran Premi dall'Ungheria e Belgio, ci sono alcuni possibilita di contestare a Vettel e la dominanza di Red Bull. E probabilmente, comincia di ritornare ai giorni di Schumacher.

Informazione dal:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

British GP: Race Summary

Tyre choice was a difficult decision to make at the start of the British Grand Prix at the revamped Silverstone track. Rain was pelting the track with 45minutes to race start but it was finally decided that Intermediates were the best tyres to be on. 

Hamilton who started in 10th position, made up several places by the end of the first lap of the race, including overtaking his team-mate early in the race. Schumacher served a Stop-Go penalty for a collision with Kobayashi. There was a tasty DOUBLE overtake by McLaren drivers on both Ferrari drivers within a few minutes of each other. Vettel lost first place after bad pit stop by his engineers and Alonso pounced on 1st place and never let it go.

Alonso eventually won the British Grand Prix. Hamilton hung onto 4th place right up to the last corner, despite having been told to conserve fuel and being challenged by Massa (the gap between them was 0.024seconds!). Webber was told to 'maintain position' in final lap when he was closing up to his team-mate Vettel. What an exciting race!!!

Not a happy (Australian) bunny
Alguersuari continue his good form and scores another point this race. F1 rookie Ricciardo also finishes his first Formula 1 race and improves on his starting position (albeit by virtue of 5 drivers developing problems and not finishing). Perez did well to finish in 7th place from a qualifying position of 12th.

The other Ozzie's happy to bring his HRT car home in one piece
McLaren's botched pit stop for Button meant the lollilop was lifted before his right front tyre was fitted (McLaren was later fined for this error). Both Team Lotus cars developed problems and didn't finish the race. Kobayashi's Sauber overheated and was forced to retire. The final DNF at the British Grand Prix was Sebastian Buemi whose tyre was punctured after clipping Paul Di Resta's front wing.

Top 10: Alonso, Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, Massa, Rosberg, Perez, Heidfeld, Schumacher, Alguersuari.

Podium Photo by @atmoorehead

Saturday, July 9, 2011

British GP: Qualifying

Changeable, Difficult conditions was the main theme of Qualifying session at Silverstone. First 7 to drop out after Q1 were Alguersuari, Buemi, Glock Trulli, D'Ambrosio, Liuzzi and rookie Ricciardo (who was just 0.6seconds off his more experienced HRT team-mate)

New Kid on the Track

Team Lotus's Heikki Kovalainen made it into Q2 and set about improving beyond 17th place. However he didn't manage this and stayed in same position after several runs in Q2. Positions 11th to 16th are: Sutil, Perez, Schumacher, Petrov, Barrichello, Heidfeld.

The Top 10 shoot-out was a surprising affair with Mark Webber edging out his team-mate, and showing no indications of the 'disadvantage' the RedBull team principal spoke of. Ferrari drivers also seem unaffected by the last minte rule changes - locking out the second row on the grid. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Highs and the Lows

Just two months ago, the current World Champion of the most demanding and prestigious motorsport of F1, Sebastian Vettel was forbidden to drink the traditional celebratory champagne because he was not old enough to consume alcohol in the host country of Turkey. A few weeks ago Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy (22 years old) became the youngest US Open winner since Bobby Jones in 1923 and the current World Number 1 in Tennis, Novak Djokovic is only 24 years old. 

Too young for bubbly?
Most of these people started in their respective sports at a very young age, through 'active encouragement' by their parents so it is not surprising that they peak early. And as it is being reported that 20% of us will live up to 100, if you reach the pinnacle of your profession - in these cases, sport - at such a young age, what is your next challenge, and how do you stay motivated for the remaining (potentially) 75% of your life?