Mexican Qualifying Round 17

Nico Rosberg takes pole position ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel as home favourite Sergio Perez is 9th.

31/10/2015

Nico Rosberg was fastest in the final practise and qualifying is set to be close. McLaren – Honda’s Jenson Button, does not get out for Q1 and will start at the back.

Q1 sees both Manor cars of Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi, the other McLaren – Honda of Fernando Alonso and the Sauber of Felipe Nasr eliminated. Rosberg is the quickest of the session on a 1:20:436. The top 13 cars is covered by one second.

Q2 sees Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen spinning half way through the session at turn 1 and not completing the session due to a brake problem. The other Sauber of Marcus Ericsson, both Lotus cars of Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean and the Torro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr are eliminated. This time Hamilton is quickest on a 1:19:829. The top 8 cars is covered by one second.

The first laps in Q3 shows that Rosberg is quickest ahead of Hamilton and Vettel. Both Force India cars wait till the final runs to their times but no one can go quicker and they line-up 9th and 10th. Rosberg is on pole for the 4th time in a row ahead of Hamilton and Vettel.

Qualifying Result

1.Rosberg  2.Hamilton  3.Vettel  4.Kvyat  5.Ricciardo  6.Bottas  7.Massa  8.Verstappen  9.Perez  10.Hulkenberg  11.Sainz  12.Grosjean  13.Maldonado  14.Ericsson  15.Nasr    16.Rossi  17.Stevens  18.Alonso*  19.Raikkonen*  20.Button*

Alonso* has a 20 place grid penalty for engine and gearbox changes, 16th – 18th.

Raikkonen* drops 35 places for gearbox and engine change, 15th – 19th.

Button* did not participate in Q1 and has engine penalty’s up to 70 places.

Tomorrows race will be interesting to see how strategy plans out as it seems that teams would only be doing a 1 stop strategy. Can Nico Rosberg hold onto the win and keep Lewis Hamilton behind him? Amazed at the crowds enthusiasm to cheer on home favourite, Sergio Perez!

Haas F1 confirmed today that Esteban Gutierrez is to take the second seat next year along-side Romain Grosjean. Haas is currently on track to enter F1 in 2016.

Mexican Preview

Mexico returns to the F1 calendar after an absence of 23 years, it returns. All of the drivers on the current grid have never raced at Mexico so this be their first time.

30/10/2015

The last Mexican grand prix was held in 1992 and was won by Nigel Mansell.

The revised circuit in Mexico City, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, has 17 corners, 3 corners more than the 1992 circuit.

Force India driver, Sergio Perez will be the only the 3rd Mexican to start their home grand prix. He is looking forward to the whole weekend.

As we saw in Austin, Hurricane Patricia was close by which presented rain and thunderstorms nearly all weekend and it looks like rain is predicted over the weekend.

Lewis Hamilton clinched his third world championship in Austin to the help of his 10th win of the season. With three races to go can he equal Sebastian Vettel’s 2013 win tally of 13th victories?

Lotus reserve driver and last week confirmed 2016 driver, Joloyn Palmer was the only reserve drivers participating in practise 1.

The race will have over 71 racing laps with the Soft and Medium tyre being avaliable over the weekend and looks to provide a lot of entertainment.

American Race Round 16

Lewis Hamilton wins the American grand prix and the 2015 world championship ahead of Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel.

25/10/2015

Rosberg took pole position in Q3 just before the session was stopped due to rain all weekend. Both Ferrari cars of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen had 10 place grid penalty’s for new engines on each car. Valterri Bottas had a 5 place grid penalty for a broken rear suspension that they had to change at the end of Qualifying.

Formation Lap

All drivers started on the Intermediate tyre as drivers went onto the warm up lap, it was the first time all weekend that the drivers had been out on track with it not been raining.

Race

Rosberg had to finish ahead of Hamilton to keep the championship going to Mexico, his start was good but Hamilton’s was better. Hamilton took the inside line to the corner and slide into Rosberg, forcing him wide, Rosberg dropped to 4th behind Hamilton, Daniil Kvyat, Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez.

Fernando Alonso made a good start but with Felipe Massa’s spin at turn 1 sent Alonso to the back. Bottas pitted after losing a part of his front wing. For Sauber’s 400th grand prix, Felipe Nasr running into the back of his team-mate Marcus Ericsson was not what they needed. Nasr pitted for a new nose at the end of lap 1.

Both Bottas and Nasr came out of the pits on the Soft tyre but is the track dry enough? Will Stevens for Manor retires.

Lap 5, the Virtual Safety Car is deployed as their is debris on the track. The same lap and the gamble has not paid off for Bottas and Nasr as it is still not dry enough and both go back onto the Soft tyre. But not for Bottas as Williams decide to retire the car.

Lap 8, the Virtual Safety Car has ended as into turn 1, Rosberg passes Ricciardo for 3rd. Into turn 11 and Rosberg is on a charge and passes Kvyat for 2nd. Lap 10, Romain Grosjean pits and retires. Kvyat halts Rosberg’s charge and gets past for only for Kvyat to run wide and let Ricciardo past. Ricciardo gets past Rosberg for 2nd and starts to hunt down Hamilton.

Lap 15, Ricciardo passes Hamilton for the lead going into turn 18. Ricciardo is flying and is pulling away from Hamilton who has Rosberg closing behind. Lap 17, McLaren’s Jenson Button pits and goes onto the Soft tyre, a good move. Lap 18, Rosberg passes Hamilton into turn 12. Hamilton decides to pit at the end of the lap. And so does Vettel, Max Verstappen, Massa, Nasr and Alexander Rossi. All go onto the Soft tyre as the track is drying by the lap.

A lap later and Riccardo, Rosberg, Kvyat, Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Perez and Carlos Sainz pit. Lap 20, Raikkonen has gone straight on into a barrier and is trying to get out. He does but has lost a part of his front wing and pits also for an a new set of tyres at the end of the lap. Lap 22, Rosberg takes Ricciardo for 1st and Hamilton takes Kvyat for 3rd, both Red Bull cars are starting to struggle with the drying track.

Lap 23, Felipe Massa is told by team radio that they have to retire the car, its a bad day for Williams as they lost Valterri Bottas earlier. Lap 25, Hamilton passes Ricciardo for 2nd, Raikkonen is told that they have to retire the car and Marcus Ericsson has stopped on track. Which results in an Safety Car. Sebastian Vettel pits from 4th and only loses a place as he puts on the Medium tyre. Button and Perez also stop for the Soft and Medium tyre.

The Safety Car is in and Vettel passes Kvyat for 4th. Rosberg leads ahead of Hamilton, Ricciardo, Vettel and Kvyat. The same lap and Vettel gets past Ricciardo for 3rd. Lap 37, Nico Hulkenberg has a go at passing Ricciardo but it does not pay off at turn 12, Ricciardo is hit and has damage and Hulkenberg is out. Due to debris the Virtual Safety Car is put in place on lap 38. Rosberg, Kvyat and Ricciardo pit and go out on the Soft, Medium and Soft tyre.

The Virtual Safety Car is in and Hamilton leads. Rosberg passes Vettel for 2nd on lap 41 and is now catching Hamilton. Lap 44, Kvyat has crashed. He took too much kerb just after turn 19, lost the rear of the car, veered off to the left and smashed into the concrete barrier which destroy’s the front of his car. The Safety Car is deployed and Hamilton and Vettel pit for the Soft tyre. Rosberg leads, Hamilton’s 2nd, Verstappen is 3rd with Vettel 4th. Lap 47, the Safety Car is in as Vettel passes Verstappen for 3rd.

Lap 49, Hamilton leads! It appears that Rosberg lost the rear of the car at turn 14, he went wide and gifted the lead and the world championship to Hamilton. Lap 52, Hamilton is creating a gap of two seconds as Button is into the points in 6th place. Lap 54, Hamilton now has a gap of four seconds as Vettel closes to under one second behind Rosberg for 2nd. Rosberg fends off Vettel and Hamilton is the 2015 World Champion! Hamilton is over the moon as Rosberg is clearly not about his mistake on lap 49.

Race Result

1.Hamilton  2.Rosberg  3.Vettel  4.Verstappen  5.Perez  6.Button  7.Sainz  8.Maldonado  9.Nasr  10.Ricciardo  11.Alonso  12.Rossi  DNF Kvyat, Hulkenberg, Ericsson, Raikkonen, Massa, Grosjean, Bottas and Stevens

Championship Standings

1.Hamilton 327pts  2.Vettel 251pts  3.Rosberg 247pts  4.Raikkonen 123pts

My View

What an exciting and eventful race that saw Nico Rosberg gifted the win and the world championship to his team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

A really good race for Max Verstappen in 4th, a future champion in the making! Also it has been a good run for Sergio Perez in 5th in the last couple of races with his home grand prix next in Mexico is another strong result on the horizon. A solid race for Jenson Button in 6th for McLaren-Honda. What looked like a promising start for both Red Bull cars only saw Daniel Ricciardo in 10th picking up just one point. Also a fantastic home race for Alexander Rossi in 12th place for Manor!

The next race is on the 30th of October – 1st of November in Mexico City, Mexico

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Palmer secures 2016 drive at Lotus

Jolyon Palmer has been confirmed by Lotus to drive alongside Pastor Maldonado for 2016.

24/10/2015

Palmer was Lotus’s Friday practise driver this year who took part in several practise sessions after he won the GP2 crown in 2014.

Lotus are going through a transition period with Renault purchasing the team. Renault would become a works team again.

Palmer replaced Romain Grosjean who is moving to Haas F1 at the end of the year. Haas is yet to confirm their second driver. Esteban Gutierrez looks to take the second seat.

American Preview

America was cut off the F1 calendar since 2007 but returned in 2012, America has hosted grand prix’s with circuits in Indianapolis, Phoenix, Watkins Glen and most recently Austin.

23/10/2015

The 2005 United States grand prix held in Indianapolis was one of the most controversial Formula One race. During Friday practise, Ralf Schumacher’s Toyota crashed at turn 13 as a result of a Michelin tyre failure. At the end of the formation lap all the teams using the Michelin tyre such as Renault, McLaren Red Bull, Williams, Sauber, Toyota and BAR told their drivers to exit the race and pull into the pits, as they did not feel safe due to the tyre failure, they did and that left only the teams using the Bridgestone tyre of Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi.

Micheal Schumacher eventually won the race and the race was nicknamed “Indygate”.

Austin has hosted the American grand prix since 2012. Since being held in Austin, Lewis Hamilton has had 2 wins, in 2012 and 2014. Sebastian Vettel won it in 2013.

Hamilton’s win in 2012 was his last win for McLaren as he departed for Mercedes at the end of the year.

McLaren, Red Bull and Mercedes have 1 win each.

Going into this weekend Lewis Hamilton leads the Drivers Championship, 66 points ahead of Sebastian Vettel and 73 points ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg. Hamilton just needs more than 9 points than Vettel and 2 more than Rosberg to win his third Drivers Championship.

American Alexander Rossi is back at Manor Marussia and will be driving this weekend along with Will Stevens.

Renault have brought an engine upgrade for Red Bull and Torro Rosso to use this weekend.

Honda have also brought an upgrade for only one car which double world champion, Fernando Alonso will drive. Alonso’s team-mate, Jenson Button will run the new spec engine at the Mexican grand prix.

Sauber are celebrating their 400th grand prix start. Sauber made their debut at the 1993 South African grand prix. So far Sauber have 27 podiums, 1 win and 808 points.

There will be 56 racing laps with the Soft and Medium compound tyre being used throughout the weekend.

Russian Stats

Lewis Hamilton won the Russian Grand Prix and in that he surpassed Ayrton Senna 41 race wins, Hamilton is on 42 wins, the same amount as Sebastian Vettel.

15/10/2015

Hamilton scored his 9th win of the season, his 42nd in total. Also the same number of wins as Vettel.

Mercedes secured the 2015 Constructors championship, the same race as they did last year.

Behind Sergio Perez scored his first podium of the year in third and Force India’s third ever. The first podium was at the Belgium grand prix 2009 with Giancarlo Fisichella 2nd place. The second was at the last year’s Bahrain grand prix with Perez 3rd. This was Perez’s 5th ever podium.

Felipe Massa finished 4th after starting 15th on the grid.

Jenson Button finished in 9th place and scored 2 points. That was his only third time in the points scoring positions.

Russian Race Round 15

Lewis Hamilton wins the Russian grand prix ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Force India’s Sergio Perez as Mercedes takes the Constructors Championship.

11/10/2015

After his big shunt in saturday practise 3, Carlos Sainz Jr is racing today and is ok. Pastor Maldonado, Felipe Nasr, Marcus Ericsson and Fernando Alonso all start on the Soft compound tyres but the rest of the field start on the Super Soft tyre.

The lights go out and Nico Rosberg, who started on pole position gets a great get away but Lewis Hamilton is close behind and are side by side going into turn 2. Rosberg stays ahead as Nico Hulkenberg spins in the middle of the corner, Max Verstappen is tagged and spins then Marcus Ericsson runs into Hulkenberg. Verstappen continues but Hulkenberg and Ericsson is out. The Safety Car is deployed after Verstappen limps back to the pits with a left rear puncture.

Lap 2, Romain Grosjean pits and goes onto the Soft tyres and gets a new nose. Verstappen finally makes it back to the pits and goes onto the Soft tyres aswell. Rosberg leads ahead of Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Valterri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel. Lap 4, the Safety Car comes in as Bottas passes Raikkonen before turn 2.

Lap 5, race leader Rosberg has been on the team radio and says he is having problems with his throttle deployment. Despite his problems, Rosberg sets the fastest lap of the race on lap 6. Lap 7, Hamilton sets the fastest lap as Rosberg runs wide at turn 2 and Hamilton leads. Bottas soon passes Rosberg and then Rosberg pits at the end of the lap and retires, that could be the end of his 2015 World Championship dreams!

Lap 12, a huge crash for Romain Grosjean as he is the wall at the long turn 3. The replay shows the Lotus driver behind Jenson Button, in the slipstream, Grosjean loses the rear of the car, gets on the marbles and impacts with the barrier. The Frenchman is able walk away and is ok but brings out the safety car.

Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz and Jenson Button pit for the Soft tyre. The next lap and Fernando Alonso pits for the Super Soft tyre as Roberto Mehri pits for the Soft tyre.

Lap 17, the Safety Car peels into the pits and Hamilton leads the way. Into turn 2, Vettel overtakes team-mate Raikkonen and into 3rd place. Lap 18 to 22 and Hamilton builds a gap after fastest lap after fastest lap to over 5 seconds. Lap 26, Carlos Sainz is issued with a 5 second time penalty, which will be added to his time at the end, after crossing the white line at the pit entry.

The same lap and Valterri Bottas pits after his tyres are dying. He pits for the Soft tyre as Sebastian Vettel is told to push by his team to uder the finn. Lap 30, after some quick laps, Vettel pits for the Soft tyre and is ahead of Bottas as Vettel exists the pits. Now Raikkonen is told to push as he pits at the end of lap 31. He pits but it’s not enough as Bottas flys past.

Lap 33, race leader Hamilton pits for the Soft tyre. Lap 35 and Sauber’s Felipe Nasr is the last one to pit and is having a strong race on route to some points. Lap 45, Bottas catches and passes one stopping Ricciardo on the way down to turn 2. Lap 46, Sainz spins at turn 10 and rejoins, brake problems?

Lap 47, Sainz is into the barrier again as he spins at turn 13 and loses a piece of his rear wing which is on the track. A marshal recovers it as Sainz pits and retires. Lap 48, Raikkonen passes Ricciardo before turn 2 and up to 4th. Lap 49, Ricciardo has stopped in Sector 2 as he has suspected suspension failure and is out. The same lap and Raikkonen sets the fastest lap as he tries to catch up with Bottas, who is behind Perez in 3rd.

Lap 53, final lap and Bottas passes Perez for 3rd and so does Raikkonen. Raikkonen tries to pass Bottas from a long way back, Raikkonen clips the rear of Bottas’s car and he is out, Raikkonen still continues but he is limping around and Perez takes 3rd back! Hamilton wins ahead of Vettel and Perez.

Race Result

1.Hamilton  2.Vettel  3.Perez  4.Massa  5.Kvyat  6.Nasr  7.Maldonado  8.Raikkonen*  9.Button  10.Verstappen  11.Alonso*  12.Bottas  13.Merhi  14.Stevens  15.Ricciardo*  DNF Sainz, Grosjean, Rosberg, Hulkenberg and Ericsson

Raikkonen* orignally finished 5th but was given a 30 second penalty added to his race time with his last lap collision with Bottas.

Alonso* got a 5 second penalty for exceeding track limits, pushing him down from 10th to 11th.

Ricciardo* orignally retired but was classified 15th.

Drivers Championship

1.Hamilton 302pts  2.Vettel 236pts  3.Rosberg 229pts  4.Raikkonen 123pts  5.Bottas 111pts

My View

Mercedes only needed 3 more points than Ferrari this weekend and with Kimi Raikkonen’s penalty they did and that means that they are Constructors Champion 2015!

Great race by Lewis Hamilton to lead the championship by 66 points. Surely Nico Rosberg’s championship is well and truly over, he is 73 points behind Hamilton. Amazing race by Felipe Nasr to 6th place. A fantastic recovery drive by Carlos Sainz after his big crash in Saturday practise 3 and was about to score points as brake failure put a stop to that.

The next race is on the 23rd – 25th October in Austin, United States.

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