Monaco Qualifying Round 6

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo takes his maiden pole position round the streets of Monaco ahead of Mercedes’s Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton as Max Verstappen crashes out Q1.

28/05/16

Raikkonen already on the back foot

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen has a 5 place grid penalty heading into the toughest qualifying session as he had to change his gearbox. Raikkonen, was 9th in the 3rd practise session, 8 places behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

Q1

Manor’s Rio Haryanto is the first car along with others exiting the pit lane and out on track. With 16 minutes to go Sauber’s Felipe Nasr’s engine has blown up as he exited the tunnel! He stops and the session is red flagged with a crane lifting the Sauber off the track.  The session is restarted and Haas’s Esteban Gutierrez is the first to set a lap time of a 1:17:126. Lewis Hamilton takes two laps to set a time of a 1:14:831. Sebastian Vettel sets the quickest time of the session with a 1:14:610. With 6 minutes and 38 seconds to go, Spanish GP winner, Max Verstappen has crashed is sector 3 and brings out the red flag. The replay shows he hit the barrier at turn 15 and that broke a part of his front right suspension then he could not turn the car and ploughed into the barrier at turn 16. The session gets going again with McLaren Honda’s Fernando Alonso out first. Sebastian Vettel is quickest ahead of lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Out: Nasr – 22nd, Verstappen – 21st, Wehrlein – 20th, Haryanto – 19th, Palmer – 18th and Ericsson – 17th.

Q2

Torro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat is the first car out on track and sets the first lap of a 1:27:029. Lewis Hamilton smashes Kvyat’s time and does a 1:14:056. As shown in 2015,  Williams struggle here as it does not suit their car. This shows with 2 minutes to go both cars of Valterri  Bottas and Felipe Massa can not crack into the top 10. Both do not get into the final session along with McLaren Honda’s Jenson Button.

Out: Magnussen – 16th, Grosjean – 15th, Massa – 14th, Button – 13th, Gutierrez – 12th and Bottas – 11th.

Q3

Daniel Ricciardo is the first out on track but Lewis Hamilton has pulled over in the pit lane! Problems for the world champion?  Yes, he tells the team radio that there is a problem with his engine, again! His Mercedes mechanic’s come running down the pit lane and wheel him back in to the garage. Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg puts in the first lap time  of a 1:15:120. But then Daniel Ricciardo on what is a blistering lap puts in the fastest lap of the session and is on for pole position with a 1:13:622! With 6 minutes and 30 seconds to go Lewis Hamilton is back out on track and is on the hunt for pole position. We are informed that it was a high fuel temperature on his and team-mate Nico Rosberg’s engines. Hamilton of course was worse and Rosberg is sitting 2nd behind Ricciardo. Hamilton is purple and quickest in the 1st and 2nd sector, but could he take pole? No, he can’t. His 3rd and final sector wasn’t good and ends up 3rd behind Rosberg and pole sitter Ricciardo.

Top 10: Alonso – 10th, Kvyat – 9th, Perez – 8th, Sainz – 7th, Raikkonen – 6th, Hulkenberg – 5th, Vettel – 4th.

Top 3: Hamilton – 3rd, Rosberg – 2nd and Ricciardo – 1st.

Qualifying Results

1.Ricciardo  2.Rosberg  3.Hamilton  4.Vettel  5.Hulkenberg  6.Sainz  7.Perez  8.Kvyat*  9.Alonso  10.Bottas  11.Raikkonen*  12.Gutierrez  13.Button  14.Massa  15.Grosjean  16.Magnussen*  17.Ericsson  18.Palmer  19.Haryanto  20.Wehrlein  21.Verstappen  22.Nasr

Kvyat* was under a stewards inquiry for failing a floor deflection test but wasn’t given a penalty as Torro Rosso provided enough evidence for the stewards not to give a penalty.

Raikkonen* was given a 5 place grid penalty for an gearbox change at the end of practise 3. 6th – 11th.

Magnussen* was under investigation by the stewards in Q1 for running a red light at the end of the pit lane. He escaped without penalty.

Ricciardo bounces back with first ever pole

Having left Spain disappointed due to the teams strategy left him 4th after leading, Daniel Ricciardo bounced back and took his first ever pole position in Monaco. Ricciardo, topped practise 2 ahead of both Mercedes cars of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. He repeated this today and hopes his tyre choice pays off in the race.

 

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Monaco GP Preview

Will Nico Rosberg make it 4 consecutive race wins at Monaco? Sebastian Vettel is convinced he can win at Monaco but Ferrari haven’t won here in 14 years. And will Renault engine upgrade power Red Bull to another win?

26/05/16

History of the Monaco GP

The toughest circuit on the calendar? Probably. Fast corners and tight barriers. A mistake here is costly and that’s why the drivers love it so. Along with Silverstone, Spa-Francorchamps and Autodromo Nazionale di Monza it has been on the F1 calendar since 1950. The gruelling 78 laps take total control and precision. Qualifying is key here as overtaking is little but can be done.

The Monaco Grand Prix is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world alongside the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Track facts

  • Laps: 78
  • Circuit length: 2.074 miles
  • Race distance: 161.734 miles
  • Lap record: 1:18:063, Daniel Ricciardo, 2015
  • Corners: 19

Most Wins

Ayrton Senna has the most wins with 6 round here at the principality, winning 5 consecutive times from 1989 and 1993. Graham Hill nicknamed “Mr Monaco” due to his 5 wins in Monaco in the 1960s. Out of the current field, Mercedes driver and championship leader has 3 wins in 2013, 2014 and in 2015. Could he win here on Sunday and make it 4 wins? Fernando Alonso has taken 2 wins round here in 2006 and in 2007. Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel all have won round here once.

McLaren are the most successful team round here with 15 wins with their last win was in 2008 with Lewis Hamilton. Ferrari are next with 9 wins but their last race win was back in 2001 with Michael Schumacher. Williams and Red Bull are tied on 3 wins each.

Vettel confident of ending Ferrari’s Monaco win drought

It has been 14 long winless years and 4 time world champion and 2011 Monaco winner, Sebastian Vettel is confident he can end the winless streak. Ferrari showed impressive pace in practice 2 and 3 at the Spanish grand prix but that pace disappeared in Qualifying and in the Race, which was eventually won by Red Bulls’ Max Verstappen. Ferrari have been heavily criticised since then so can Vettel take Ferrari to a Monaco win?

Red Bull rising to the top?

Things are slowly going Red Bull’s way since the swap between Daniil Kvyat and Max Verstappen before the Spanish grand prix. Max Verstappen winning the grand prix and now the early Renault engine upgrade given to Daniel Ricciardo for this weekend. Renault tested the “B-spec” engine during the in season test in Spain and produced positive results. One engine will be given to Red Bull and one to Renault. Kevin Magnussen will get the engine for Renault. Will this power Red Bull to a win in Monaco and set them up for title contenders?

Ultrasoft tyre makes debut

The new purple stripped Ultrasoft tyre will make it’s debut this weekend. Pirelli, F1’s current tyre supplier, brought this new tyre this year to spice up the racing. During pre season testing, Ferrari driver’s Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were quickest on this tyre. Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen and Kevin Magnussen have all selected 10 sets each to take this weekend.

Qualifying is on Saturday the 28th of May with the Race on Sunday the 29th of May.

 

 

 

 

 

After Round 5 Standings

After the Spanish grand prix, Nico Rosberg leads the Drivers Championship and Mercedes lead the Constructors Championship.

18/05/16

Drivers Championship

  1. Nico Rosberg 100 points
  2. Kimi Raikkonen 61 points
  3. Lewis Hamilton 57 points
  4. Sebastian Vettel 48 points
  5. Daniel Ricciardo 48 points
  6. Max Verstappen 38 points
  7. Felipe Massa 36 points
  8. Valterri Bottas 29 points
  9. Daniil Kvyat 22 points
  10. Romain Grosjean 22 points
  11. Carlos Sainz Jr 12 points
  12. Fernando Alonso 8 points
  13. Sergio Perez 8 points
  14. Kevin Magnussen 6 points
  15. Nico Hulkenberg 6 points
  16. Jenson Button 3 points
  17. Stoffel Vandoorne 1 point
  18. Jolyon Palmer 0 points
  19. Esteban Gutierrez 0 points
  20. Marcus Ericsson 0 points
  21. Pascal Wehrlein 0 points
  22. Felipe Nasr 0 points
  23. Rio Haryanto 0 points

Constructors Championship

  1. Mercedes 157 points
  2. Ferrari 109 points
  3. Red Bull 94 points
  4. Williams 64 points
  5. Torro Rosso 26 points
  6. Haas 22 points
  7. Force India 14 points
  8. McLaren 12 points
  9. Renault 6 points
  10. Sauber 0 points
  11. Manor 0 points

The Monaco grand prix weekend takes place in Monte Carlo for round 6 on the 26th – 29th of May.

Spanish Race Round 5

Max Verstappen wins the Spanish grand prix and becomes the youngest driver to do so ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel as both Mercedes cars of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg collide and crash out on the 1st lap.

15/05/16

Tyre Choice

Most of the grid have opted for the Soft tyre with Manor’s Rio Haryanto is the only car to start on the Medium tyre.

Race

The lights go green and way goes Lewis Hamilton from pole position with Nico Rosberg in hot pursuit, tucking into Hamilton’s slipstream and goes to the outside of turn 1. He makes the move but his run of turn 1 and 2 is compromised heading out of the long turn 3 with Hamilton getting a better exit of turn 3 and going to the inside of turn 4. Rosberg slowly moves to the inside and doesn’t see Hamilton and Hamilton is forced onto the grass, spins and and hits Rosberg! Hamilton as he enters the gravel trap, has his hands on his head with Rosberg beached in the gravel. Both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are both in the gravel trap at turn 4.

A dream scenario for the rest of the teams and drivers on the grid but devastation for Mercedes.

The Safety car is out with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo leading ahead of Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. Lap 3, the Safety car is in and the racing gets back under way. Lap 8, Sebastian Vettel overtakes Carlos Sainz into turn 1 and is now 3rd. Lap 9, Kimi Raikkonen now overtakes Sainz into turn 1 and is up to 4th.

The drivers are making their first pit stops with Carlos Sainz, Jenson Button, Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen pitting at the end of lap 10 and going onto the Medium tyre. Race leader, Daniel Ricciardo, Fernando Alonso and Jolyon Palmer pit at the end of lap 11 and all go onto the Medium tyre. At the end of lap 12, Max Verstappen, Kimi Raikkonen and Valterri Bottas pit and all go onto the Medium tyre. How long will Sebastian Vettel, the only car in the top 10 not to have come into the pits stay out for?

Sebastian Vettel waits until the end of lap 15 to make his first pit stop and goes onto the Medium tyre. Daniel Ricciardo leads ahead of Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. Lap 21, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg has pulled over in the final sector with smoke coming out from the rear of the car and that ends another short race for the German driver.

At the end of lap 28, Daniel Ricciardo pits from the lead and goes onto the Soft tyre. Ferrari get Sebastian Vettel to pit the next lap to cover Ricciardo. Vettel also goes onto the Soft tyre. What is happening now is that Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel are going to do a 3 stop strategy with Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen going to do a 2 stop strategy to the end of the race.

Lap 34, Verstappen pits form the lead and goes onto the Medium tyre for the final stint. Lap 35, Raikkonen pits from the lead and goes onto the Medium tyre also for the final stint. Lap 37, Vettel now pits and is going to make the 3 stop work, he puts the Medium tyre on. Lap 39, Valterri Bottas pits from a lonely 5th place and goes onto the medium tyre. At the end of lap 43, Ricciardo pits and follows Vettel on a 3 stop by putting the Medium tyre on and also appears back out on track behind Vettel.

Lap 47, McLaren Honda’s Fernando Alonso pulls over in sector 1 at turn 3, reporting a loss of power and is out. Lap 59, Daniel Ricciardo tries to overtake Sebastian Vettel in turn 1 by an ambitious dive bomb on Vettel. It doesn’t work and he goes wide and Vettel in back in front as they enter turn 2. Vettel isn’t amused by the almost brilliant move by Ricciardo. Lap 65, approaching sector 3, Daniel Ricciardo has dropped back off of Vettel. Is the Red Bull car sick? No, its a left rear puncture for Ricciardo! He pits and rejoins ahead of Valtteri Bottas in 4th. Max Verstappen wins ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

Race Result

1.Verstappen  2.Raikkonen  3.Vettel  4.Ricciardo  5.Bottas  6.Sainz  7.Perez  8.Massa  9.Button  10.Kvyat  11.Gutierrez  12.Ericsson  13.Palmer  14.Nasr  15.Magnussen*  16.Wehrlein  17.Haryanto  DNF Grosjean, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Hamilton and Rosberg

Magnussen* originally finished 14th but was given a 10 second penalty for a collision with Renault team-mate Jolyon Palmer on the final lap. This penalty dropped Magnussen from 14th to 15th.

Race Facts

  • Today Max Verstappen broke many F1 records some included these: At 18 years and 228 days, Max Verstappen is the youngest race winner in F1 history. He also became the sport’s youngest race leader and youngest podium finisher.
  • Also proving a point at Torro Rosso, Daniil Kvyat set the fastest lap of the race with a 1:26:948.

 

 

 

Spanish Qualifying Round 5

Lewis Hamilton takes pole position ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo as McLaren Honda’s Fernando Alonso finally makes it through to Q3.

14/05/16

Q1

Lewis Hamilton hoping for a change in fortune and sets a competitive time of a 1:23:214. Nico Rosberg tries to beat his team-mates time but goes slower on a 1:23:002. McLaren Honda are hoping to get at least one car into Q3 today as they have been close in the previous attempts and Jenson Button running a new front wing this session might just help. Into the final minutes and Romain Grosjean manages to drag himself out of the drop zone and safely through to Q2. William’s Felipe Massa is out of qualifying after being knocked out. Renault’s Jolyon Palmer is sitting on the edge of being pushed out and eliminated and a good lap for Jenson Button pushes Palmer out. Nico Rosberg is quickest ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

An interview with Felipe Massa after Q1 shows he encountered traffic on the 1st lap and didn’t get the timing right to get out for a final run.

Out: Haryanto – 22nd, Wehrlein – 21st, Nasr – 20th, Ericsson – 19th, Massa – 18th and Palmer – 17th.

Q2

Lewis Hamilton is the first car again out on track and puts another competitive lap time of a  1:22:159. Nico Rosberg doesn’t beat it and sets a lap time of 1:22:759. Into the final minutes and Jenson Button scraps into the top 10 but is then beaten by Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and is then beaten by team-mate Sergio Perez. Lewis Hamilton is quickest ahead of Nico Rosberg and Max Verstappen.

Out: Gutierrez – 16th, Magnussen – 15th, Grosjean – 14th, Kvyat – 13th, Button – 12th and Hulkenberg – 11th.

Q3

So far Mercedes lead the way with Red Bull ahead of Ferrari. This is a surprise as Ferrari looked to challenge Mercedes a lot more than just the third row of the grid.

Lewis Hamilton’s first lap is not competitive as he had a massive lock-up into turn 10 which causes the lap to be slow as it is a 1:23:227. Nico Rosberg’s first lap is clean but he could go faster as he sets the initial pace of a 1:22:475.  The second and final laps are in a epic lap from Lewis Hamilton on a 1:22:000 is just than enough for pole position. Another epic lap from Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo moves him above Max Verstappen into 3rd place behind Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Top 10: Alonso – 10th, Perez – 9th, Sainz – 8th, Bottas – 7th, Vettel – 6th, Raikkonen – 5th, Verstappen – 4th.

Top 3: Ricciardo – 3rd, Rosberg – 2nd and Hamilton – 1st.

Qualifying Results

1.Hamilton  2.Rosberg  3.Ricciardo  4.Verstappen  5.Raikkonen  6.Vettel  7.Bottas  8.Sainz  9.Perez 10.Alonso  11.Hulkenberg  12.Button  13.Kvyat  14.Grosjean  15.Magnussen  16.Gutierrez  17.Palmer  18.Massa  19.Ericsson  20.Nasr  21.Wehrlein  22.Haryanto

A break through for McLaren and Alonso

Finally, something good has happened to McLaren Honda and Fernando Alonso as they got into Q3 for the first time since the partnership reunited back in 2015. After a strong race in Russia last time out with both Alonso and Jenson Button in the points, could more points be on offer on Sunday?

 

 

 

Sauber are struggling!

Sauber are to miss the first in-season test in Spain later this month and look to be in a lot of trouble concerning money.

13/05/16

The financially troubled Sauber team is to miss the first in-season test in Spain later this month.

The Swiss team said they did not have a car update at the Spanish Grand Prix – which precedes the test – nor a young driver who meets the requirements.

Teams must use a driver who has raced in no more than two grands prix in two of the four days of in-season testing.

Sauber have lost two senior technicians since March and have admitted salaries have been paid late twice this year.

The team lost technical directors Mark Smith in March and head of track engineering Tim Malyon in April. Both had been in their jobs only for just a couple of months and statements from Sauber cited personal reasons for their departure.

At the Russian Grand Prix last weekend, sporting director Beat Zehnder admitted Sauber faced a “really difficult time” as a result of the costs inherent in designing a new car to meet major rule changes for 2017.

“The financial impact is a massive one and for a small team like Sauber it’s really difficult,” Zehnder said. “We’re talking about millions and millions here, so for a smaller team it’s really a difficult time.”

Sauber are currently 10th in the Constructors Championship with no points after 4 rounds just ahead of Manor in 11th.

 

 

Spanish GP Preview

Nico Rosberg once again leads Lewis Hamilton by 43 points into this weekend, but will Hamilton have the upper hand here? Will the Red Bull swap between Max Verstappen and Daniil Kvyat pay off? Will new updates to many teams work?

13/05/16

History of the Spanish GP

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has played host to the Spanish grand prix for the first time in 1991. Spain has hosted some memorable races in the past like: In 1996, remarkably, the last wet race in Spain was Michael Schumacher’s brilliant first Ferrari victory.The race in 2012 was that was also historic as Williams Pastor Maldonado won ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Lotuses Kimi Raikkonen. This marked Maldonado’s first win of his F1 career and Williams first GP win since the 2004 Brazilian grand prix. Tyre wear is also very high here so drivers and teams will trying to limit the wear.

Track facts

  • Lap record: 1:21:670, Kimi Raikkonen, 2008
  • Laps: 66
  • Circuit length: 4.655km
  • Race distance: 307.104
  • Corners: 16

Most Wins

Michael Schumacher has the most wins round here with 6. 1998 and 1999 world champion, Mika Hakkinen has 3 wins with Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen of the current grid with 2 wins each. Alonso, being Spanish has added to the success of the circuit since his debut in 2003 and won in 2006 and in 2013. Raikkonen is also an expert at this track winning in 2005 and in 2008 and having the lap record.

Even more crucial for Hamilton to win

This weekend will be a crucial race for Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes crew. Hamilton has suffered from engine and gearbox issues which his Mercedes team want a clean weekend with no trouble for the reigning champion. If Hamilton is to start his charge for the championship, it better happen now!

Will Verstappen benefit from Kvyat swap?

If you don’t impress and keep on the good side of Dr Helmut Marko, your out! Max Verstappen has benefited most from the swap for the rest of the season with Daniil Kvyat. The swap came after the Russian grand prix where Kvyat missed his braking point and rear ended Sebastian Vettel on the first lap. The move has divided opinion and both, Verstappen and Kvyat will want to prove their worth this weekend.

Updates up and down the field

As we head into the first race of the European season, teams bring many upgrades here.

Renault – Will bring new front wing and rear wings. Jolyon Palmer will get a new chassis and Renault will also evaluate the B-spec power unit during the two day test.

McLaren – Will bring new front and rear wings, bodywork and floors. McLaren are optimistic heading into this weekend but races after Spain from Monaco onwards will suit their car a lot better.

Manor – Will bring a new package this weekend including new front and rear wings and floors.

Haas – Will bring a new look rear wing. The team also brought a new front wing last time out in Russia.

Ferrari – Will bring a new rear wing this weekend and are hoping for more luck to start and hunt down Mercedes as reliability and bad luck has affected the Italian team.

These are just some of the teams who are bringing upgrades here this weekend.

Qualifying is on Saturday the 14th of May with the Race on Sunday the 15th of May.