F1 New Round-up #6

Here is some F1 News from over the past month including the cancellation of the Sauber-Honda deal for 2018 and the introduction of the Halo for 2018.

17/08/17

Dennis cuts ties with McLaren

Ron Dennis has agreed to sell his remaining shares in the McLaren Technology Group and McLaren Automotive, bringing to an end his 37-year association with the company.

During his tenure, Dennis, who took control of McLaren in 1980 and remained team principal of the F1 team until 2009, led the Woking-based squad to 158 Grand Prix wins and 17 Formula 1 World Championships, managing some of the greatest drivers in the history of motorsport including Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton.

Ferrari: Not interested in Alonso for 2018

Ferrari have ruled out Fernando Alonso rejoining the team for 2018. Sergio Marchionne, Ferrari’s president, told Sky Sports in Italy that any interest Alonso had in a return to the team he left in 2014 would not be replicated. The Ferrari president’s comments mean the top three teams on the grid have all now effectively shut the door on signing the former world champion when his McLaren contract expires at the end of the season.

Sauber cancel 2018 Honda deal

Sauber and Honda have announced that they will not be going ahead with their planned technical partnership for the 2018 season. The move follows the appointment of new team principal Frederic Vasseur, who replaces Monisha Kaltenborn after her departure in June. Vasseur said the decision was “made for strategic reasons, with the best intent for Sauber’s future in mind”. Sauber has resigned with Ferrari to use their engines next year.

FIA introduce Halo for 2018

F1 will introduce the controversial Halo cockpit protection device onto cars for the 2018 season. An FIA statement read: “Following the unanimous agreement of the Strategy Group, in July 2016, to introduce additional frontal protection for Formula 1 and the repeated support from the drivers, the FIA confirms the introduction of the Halo for 2018.

 

 

BTCC at Knockhill 2017

The British Touring Car Championship made it’s way to Knockhill for Rounds 19, 20 and 21 of the Championship. My family and I went to watch the British Touring Cars in action on Sunday.

13/08/17

The British Touring Car Day

In his 50th career pole position, Jason Plato held off Subaru team-mate Ashley Sutton to his first win of 2017. The both Subaru’s held off the BMW’s of Colin Turkington and Rob Collard in the first and second race as the top 4 pulled away from the rest of the chasing pack. A superb move by Sutton in the second race down the inside of Duffus Dip saw him take the lead off of Plato and take the win.

After the first BTCC win of the season and his 96th overall victory, Plato was upbeat. After a poor start to the season and only yielding one podium finish at Round 15 at Croft, Plato said he was finally comfortable with the Subaru Levorg GT. On a whole, it was a great day of racing for the BMR squad with Plato, Sutton and James Cole in the top 10 for the 3 races.

Newcomer, Rory Butcher was named as the replacement for Luke Davenport after his catastrophic crash at Croft at the end of June. Brother-in-law of Gordon Shedden, Butcher joins Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo for the remainder of the season. Qualifying and finishing in 25th, Butcher rose to 9th in Race 2 and was put in contention for the reserve grid draw. He was drawn 2nd and battled with Shedden and both BMW’s ultimately finishing 9th. Collecting 14 points over the whole weekend puts Butcher in 27th place.

Home-favourite and championship leader heading into the weekend, Gordon Shedden, carried the maximum ballast of 75kgs in qualifying and started the first race in 9th. Shedden climbed to as high as 8th but fell backwards and ended up 11th, 2 places behind team-mate Matt Neal who started the race 21st. A better race for Shedden in Race 2 saw him take 6th but in contention for the reserve grid draw. He took 5th spot and went onto finish 2nd behind race winner Tom Ingram but ahead of Colin Turkington.

IMG_0478 #2

Gordon Shedden during the 3rd and last Touring Car race of the day.

IMG_0461

Tom Ingram won the final race marking his first race win since Round 5 and the 3rd different driver to stand on the top step of the podium today.

My Day

We arrived during the first F4 British Championship and made our way down to Taylor’s Hairpin. We watched the first Touring car race from there and then when the pit-lane opened for the Autograph session, I went and got autographs from Tom Chilton and Senna Proctor, both who drive for Power Maxed Racing.

After the second Touring car race finished, Team BMW held an autograph session at 15:40. I got autographs from Colin Turkington and Rob Collard. For the 3rd and final Touring car race, I’d planned to go to the middle of the circuit to watch. I managed to catch the Porsche Carrera Cup podium presentations before making my way to watch the action from the middle which was accessible by a bridge overlooking the start/finish straight.

IMG_0414

The BTCC is supported all season long by the F4 British Championship (above), Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain, Ginetta Junior Championship and Ginetta GT5 Challenge.

Could “Hulk” make the podium in 2017?

Here is my first article that I did for Essaar GP back in June. Since doing this article, I have done a number of sessions of “Live Tweeting” for them and now done a total of 4 articles including this one for them. It has now received 616 views. Enjoy!

09/08/17

Having moved to Renault F1 for 2017, Nico Hulkenberg hopes to claim the first podium of his Formula 1 career. Can he finally reach the podium places this year?

07/06/17

Having joined F1 in 2010 at Williams – after winning the GP2 Series in 2009 – Hulkenberg has since been with teams Force India, Sauber and now Renault.

Hulkenberg, 1st Article pic

Source: PlanetF1.com

Hulkenberg drove for Force India in 2012 before switching to Sauber for 2013. Results weren’t great so he returned to Force India for 2014.

Hulkenberg’s best result so far of his F1 career is a 4th place, both at the Korean GP in 2013 and the Belgian GP last year. Hulkenberg secured his first ever pole position back in 2010 at the Brazilian GP.

Renault had tried but failed to recruit Torro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz and Force India’s Sergio Perez, but have landed the leading driver desired. Hulkenberg joined Renault this year as part of a lifetime ambition to drive for a manufacturer team.

So far this season, Hulkenberg has scored a best finish of 6th place at the Spanish GP. He sits in 11th place in the Driver’s Championship with 14 points. The German driver has so far impressed many people with his qualifying performance. 7th place in qualifying at the Chinese GP and with 3 Q3 appearances showing what the RS17 can do.

The qualifying pace of the Renault has not reflected the race results. Both Renault and Hulkenberg has expressed their disappointments but have looked to have found the source of the problem.

Hulkenberg has shown that he can win in feeder F1 series and his journey from karts to now F1.

In 2015, Hulkenberg, competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Porsche and co-drivers Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber, they won the gruelling race. Hulkenberg was praised by other F1 drivers for his achievement. This was the first time that an active F1 driver had won Le Man since 1991.

Can Hulkenberg make it to the podium? If the scenario appears, yes it is more than achievable. If Hulkenberg can be near the Top 5 in the race where like at the Spanish GP, his chances shall increase substantially.

http://essaar.co.uk/

 

Ignition Festival of Motoring 2017

The SECC in Glasgow once again played host to the Ignition Festival of Motoring  and I got the chance to go again and had again a cracking day.

07/08/17

After thoroughly enjoying last years event, my Dad and I got VIP tickets for the event on Sunday. The VIP package included:

  • Access to The IGNITE Club with lunchtime driver Q&A’s
  • All day entry to the IGNITE grandstand
  • Exclusive paddock access to the IGNITE Club Paddock (F1 and Rally paddock)
  • Private bar with first two drinks free
  • Official IGNITION showguide

Hosting the event over the 3 days would be Lee McKenzie and alongside her would be BTCC commentator, Paul O’Neil and Motorsport presenter and commentator, Duncan Vincent. McKenzie, best known for her work in both Channel 4 and BBC’s coverage of Formula 1. Returning to the event was the 3 time British Touring Car Champion and current championship leader, Gordon Shedden and 5-time British Rally Champion, Jimmy McRae. Also returning would be one of the UK’s leading drift team, Team Japspeed.

The main feature and lined up for this year, were the “Rally Gods” and some of their own Rally cars. The legendary drivers including: Ari Vatanen, Miki Biasion, Timo Salonen, Stig Blomqvist and Markku Alen. I was able to grab a picture with Ari Vatanen along with his autograph.

Ari Vattinen

Myself with Ari Vatanen

The main halls were divided up. In Hall 5, was the Knockhill stand with Gordon Shedden. I was able to get his autograph and picture. While in Hall 2 was the 70 Years of Ferrari with an incredible display made up of the greatest cars ever to wear the famous Prancing Horse.

Gordon Sheddon #2

Myself with Gordon Shedden

My favourite part of last year’s event was the range of Formula One cars. Well, this year, they upgraded massively and produced the greatest collection of Formula One cars ever assembled in Scotland. Cars included:

  • Stirling Moss’ Maserati 250F
  • Jenson Button’s BAR Honda 006
  • Michael Schumacher’s Benetton B193b
  • Nelson Piquet’s Camel Lotus type 101
  • Ayrton Senna’s Toleman TG184
  • Jim Clark’s Lotus 21
  • Mike Hawthorn’s Ferrari Dino 246
Schumacher's Bennetton

Michael Schumacher’s 1993 Benetton B193B

At the end of the day, I was able to catch Lee McKenzie and Paul O’Neil for a couple of pictures. I also got their autographs as well.

Lee McKenzie

Myself with Lee McKenzie

Paul O'Neil

Myself with Paul O’Neil

For the 2nd year in a row, the Ignition team have produced an amazing collection of Motoring stars and attractions that hopefully cement it’s place in the Motorsport calendar of fans across Scotland and beyond. The Ignition event staff and volunteer marshals should be commended for their hard work and dedication. The Motoring personalities and presenters were fun, knowledgable and approachable.

Final F1 In-Season Test

Tuesday and Wednesday of this week saw the second and final of 2017’s two in-season tests takes place at the Hungaroring.

02/08/17

Tuesday 1st August: Day 1

Current F2 Championship leader, Charles Leclerc got his hands on the 2017 Ferrari and settled in well taking to the top of the time-sheets. Leclerc set the quickest time of the day just before the chequered flag fell of a 1:17:746. McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne was a close 2nd only less than a tenth behind Leclerc. Although completing 71 laps, the Belgian’s McLaren broke down just before the lunch break.

Leclerc, Hungary, Day 1

Picture courtesy of Sky Sports F1

The Mercedes cars of George Russell and Valterri Bottas both were on track conducting 2018 tyre testing for Pirelli. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen didn’t have a trouble-free day being hit by engine trouble and restricted to just 51 laps. Other young drivers testing today included, Nicholas Latifi for Renault, Santino Ferrucci for Haas and Gustav Malja for Sauber.

  1. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 1:17:746, 98 laps
  2. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 1:17:834, 71 laps
  3. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 1:18:732, 155 laps
  4. George Russell, Mercedes, 1:19:231, 119 laps
  5. Lance Stroll, Williams, 1:19:866, 137 laps

Wednesday 2nd August: Day 2

Championship leader, Sebastian Vettel put his Ferrari at the top of the time-sheets, marking a successful test for the Scuderia. Vettel’s 1:17:124 was nearly 3 tenths quicker than the impressive McLaren debutant Lando Norris. Ferrari split their sessions with Vettel in the morning session and then Kimi Raikkonen, who finished 3rd quickest, in the afternoon session.

Kubica, Hungary, Day 2

Picture Courtesy of Sky Sports F1

Finishing 4th and an impressive tally of 142, the popular Robert Kubica returned to drive the Renault RS17. It was the first time that the Pole had tested the 2017 car after his private test with Renault in the 2012 version in Valencia earlier in June. Toro Rosso also split their strategy with both Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat running the STR12 at various points in the day. Other young drivers testing today included, Pierre Gasly for Red Bull, Luca Ghiotto for Williams and Nobuharu Matsushita for Sauber.

  1. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:17:124, 40 laps
  2. Lando Norris, McLaren, 1:17:385, 91 laps
  3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:17:842, 60 laps
  4. Robert Kubica, Renault, 1:18:572, 142 laps
  5. Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso, 1:18:850, 68 laps

 

Vettel wins tense Hungarian GP

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel hangs onto a tense Hungarian GP ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes Valterri Bottas as both McLaren cars finish in the points for the first time this season.

30/07/17

Tyre choice

Daniil Kvyat and Paul Di Resta will start on the Soft tyre while everyone else will start on the Supersoft tyre.

Race

The lights go out and the top 4 slot into position with Sebastian Vettel leading down into turn 1. Both Red Bulls get involved with Max Verstappen forced wide at turn 1 and falling back behind Daniel Ricciardo. The pair go side-by-side into turn 2 when Verstappen locks-up and slide into Ricciardo! Ricciardo can’t keep control of his car and spins during turn 3. Everyone behind does well to avoided the spinning Red Bull. He parks his Red Bull up and knows it was Verstappen who hit him. The Safety car is called out with Vettel leading Kimi Raikkonen, Valterri Bottas, Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

Under the Safety car, both Sauber drivers of Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson pit, swapping to the Soft tyre. The turn 2 collision is under investigation by the Stewards. Lap 5, the Safety car is in and racing continues on lap 6. Verstappen defends heavily from Lewis Hamilton behind while Carlos Sainz defends 6th place from Fernando Alonso. Lap 7, Verstappen has been awarded a 10 second time penalty by the Stewards for the incident with Daniel Ricciardo. Lap 9, Sebastian Vettel extends his lead over Kimi Raikkonen by 2.6 seconds.

Lap 18, Sebastian Vettel has a 3 second gap to Kimi Raikkonen in 2nd while Valterri Bottas falls to 9.1 seconds and Max Verstappen 11.3 seconds behind the race leader. Lap 19, after countless laps behind his Renault teammate, Jolyon Palmer, Nico Hulkenberg is allowed through into 11th place at turn 1. Lap 21, Romain Grosjean is told by team radio that he has a slow puncture. He pits and goes onto the Soft tyre. The Frenchman is slowing, he stops out of the way at turn 11. Lap 25, race leader, Vettel is having problems with his steering wheel. It’s straight as it should be but not in line, turning right. Vettel has a cushion of 1.9 seconds back to Raikkonen in 2nd.

Sebastian Vettel is not the only one with problems, it seem that both Mercedes drivers of Valterri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton are struggling with radio communications back to the team. Lap 31, Bottas pits, its a slow stop as the left-front tyre took longer than it should. He appears back out in 5th on the Soft tyre. Lap 32, Hamilton pits, going onto the Soft tyre, its a better pit-stop for the Brit. Bottas emerges ahead but only just. Lap 33, Vettel pits, going onto the Soft tyre and dropping from 1st to 3rd. At the end of lap 33, Raikkonen pits after a good lap. He goes onto the Soft tyre but Vettel emerges just ahead of the Finn.

Lap 36, the battle for 6th position takes to the pits with Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso going onto the Soft tyre. Sainz emerges ahead as Lewis Hamilton continues to make inroads into Valterri Bottas. Lap 43, Max Verstappen pits from the lead. He takes his 10 second penalty and rejoins in 5th on the Soft tyre. Lap 45, Bottas is order by Mercedes to let Hamilton past and to see what he can do about the Ferrari’s ahead. Hamilton is instantly quicker and sets about catching the Ferrari’s. Lap 50, Alonso has managed to overtakes Sainz for 6th with Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon and Stoffel Vandoorne in 7th to 10th place. Tense times at Ferrari, Vettel lead by less than a second with Raikkonen only 1.6 ahead of Hamilton.

Lap 54, The race leader are catching Daniil Kvyat, Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen, who run outside of the points. They clear them with Sebastian Vettel’s gap extended to 1.5 seconds and Lewis Hamilton’s gap to Kimi Raikkonen down to half a second. Lap 66, the original plan by Mercedes was to let Hamilton past and to see what he could do about the Ferrari’s. But to keep it fair, if Hamilton didn’t make any inroads/overtake them, he would let Bottas back past. The problem now is that Bottas is 5 second behind Hamilton with Max Verstappen 2 seconds behind the Finn.

Lap 69, Nico Hulkenberg has been told to retire the car. Lap 70, Kevin Magnussen has been given a 5 second time penalty for forcing another driver off the track which was Hulkenberg earlier on. Sebastian Vettel comes round to win ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. But where is Lewis Hamilton? Hamilton slows down in the last sector and by the last corner, allows Valterri Bottas through to take 3rd. Hamilton keeps his word and the part of “team player”, great stuff!

Race Result

1.Vettel  2.Raikkonen  3.Bottas  4.Hamilton  5.Verstappen  6.Alonso  7.Sainz  8.Perez  9.Ocon  10.Vandoorne  11.Kvyat  12.Palmer  13.Magnussen  14.Stroll  15.Wehrlein  16.Ericsson  DNF Hulkenberg, Di Resta, Grosjean and Ricciardo

Race Stats

  • Sebastian Vettel secured his 2nd victory in Hungary and his 46th overall GP win. It was the first 1-2 for Ferrari in Hungary since 2004.
  • Fernando Alonso secured his and McLaren’s best finish of the season in 6th. Alonso also picked up the Fastest Lap Award and the 23rd of his career. Teammate Stoffel Vandoorne finished 10th and secured his first points finish of the year and a double points finish for McLaren.

Drivers Championship

  1. Sebastian Vettel 202pts
  2. Lewis Hamilton 188pts
  3. Valterri Bottas 169pts
  4. Daniel Ricciardo 117pts
  5. Kimi Raikkonen 116pts
  6. Max Verstappen 67pts
  7. Sergio Perez 56pts
  8. Esteban Ocon 45pts
  9. Carlos Sainz 35pts
  10. Nico Hulkenberg 26pts

Constructors Championship

  1. Mercedes 357pts
  2. Ferrari 318pts
  3. Red Bull 184pts
  4. Force India 101pts
  5. Williams 41pts
  6. Toro Rosso 39pts
  7. Haas 29pts
  8. Renault 26pts
  9. McLaren 11pts
  10. Sauber 5pts

 

 

Vettel leads Ferrari lock-out in Hungary

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel takes pole position ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes Valterri Bottas as both McLaren cars make it into Q3.

29/07/17

Di Resta replaces unwell Massa

Williams’s reserve drive, Paul Di Resta will replace the unwell Felipe Massa for the rest Hungarian GP weekend. Massa, suffered dizziness on Friday and completed a handful of laps in the final practice session earlier today. Di Resta, who hasn’t raced in F1 since 2013 with Force India, has since competed in the DTM with Mercedes, will run the number 40.

Qualifying

Q1

Q1 starts with Valterri Bottas the first driver on track. Lewis Hamilton sets the first timed lap of a 1:17:905 while Paul Di Resta completes his first lap since 2013 with a 1:122:289. Sebastian Vettel beats Hamilton’s time with Kimi Raikkonen going quicker than his teammate. Jolyon Palmer completes a great lap to go 5th on a 1:18:914. Max Verstappen goes 2nd just behind Vettel on a 1:17:266.

With 3 minutes to go, Sergio Perez, Marcus Ericsson, Pascal Wehrlein, Di Resta and Kevin Magnussen are currently in the drop-zone. Daniil Kvyat loses the rear of his Toro Rosso at the top of turn 4 and causes yellow flags. Di Resta manages to nab 19th after steadily getting quicker as the session went on. Sebastian Vettel ends the session quickest ahead of Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen.

Out: Ericsson – 20th, Di Resta – 19th, Wehrlein – 18th, Stroll – 17th and Magnussen – 16th.

Q2

Q2 starts with Valterri Bottas emerging as the first driver on track. Bottas’s first lap is a 1:17:362 which is beaten by Lewis Hamilton on a 1:17:194. Sebastian Vettel manages to get into the 1:16:802 and becomes the only driver so far to do so. Max Verstappen seems the have the upper hand over teammate Daniel Ricciardo with Verstappen going 6 tenths quicker.

With 4 minutes to go, Jolyon Palmer, Carlos Sainz, Daniil Kvyat, Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez in the drop-zone. Hamilton is on a very good lap and it puts him first on a 1:16:693. Esteban Ocon and Kvyat fail get out of the drop-zone as Palmer misses out in 11th. Lewis Hamilton ends the session quickest ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen.

Out: Grosjean – 15th, Perez – 14th, Kvyat – 13th, Ocon – 12th and Palmer – 11th.

Q3

Q3 starts with Valterri Bottas emerging as the first driver on track. Bottas’s first lap is a 1:16:631 while Sebastian Vettel goes even quicker on a 1:16:276. Lewis Hamilton abandons his first lap and peels into the pits. Vettel leads Bottas, Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen.

With 1 minute to go, Lewis Hamilton is on his one and only lap. The Brit sets a 1:16:707 but it’s not enough to beat Vettel. Bottas improves to a 1:16:530 but the star has to be Raikkonen who improves to a 1:16:444 to secure a Ferrari one-two.

Top 10: Sainz – 10th, Vandoorne – 9th, Alonso – 8th, Hulkenberg – 7th, Ricciardo – 6th, Verstappen – 5th, Hamilton – 4th, Bottas – 3rd, Raikkonen – 2nd and Vettel – 1st.

Qualifying Result

1.Vettel  2.Raikkonen  3.Bottas  4.Hamilton  5.Verstappen  6.Ricciardo  7.Alonso  8.Vandoorne  9.Sainz  10.Palmer  11.Ocon  12.Hulkenberg*  13.Perez  14.Grosjean  15.Magnussen  16.Kvyat*  17.Stroll  18.Wehrlein  19.Di Resta  20.Ericsson

Hulkenberg* drops 5 place due to a gearbox change.

Kvyat* was handed a 3 place grid drop for impeding Lance Stroll in the first part of Qualifying. He was also handed 1 penalty point for the misdemeanour.