Abu Dhabi Qualifying Round 21

Lewis Hamilton takes pole position ahead of championship rival Nico Rosberg and Red Bulls Daniel Ricciardo as Felipe Massa qualifies 9th in final F1 weekend.

26/11/16

Q1

Daniil Kvyat is the first car out on track and is the first to set a lap time of a 1:43:007. Jenson Button tops the times before Lewis Hamilton goes fastest on a 1:39.487 on the Ultrasoft tyre. Nico Rosberg follows his team-mate but is slower on a 1:40:511. Sebastian Vettel goes quicker than Rosberg on a 1:40:359. Kimi Raikkonen’s second flying lap puts him 2nd behind Hamilton but ahead of Vettel.

With 3 minutes to go, Jolyon Palmer, Daniil Kvyat, Carlos Sainz, Marcus Ericsson, Esteban Ocon and Felipe Nasr are in the drop-zone at the moment. Jenson Button saves himself from being eliminated but Ericsson and Ocon aren’t so lucky. Palmer and Pascal Wehrlein improve unlike Kvyat, Kevin Magnussen or Sainz. Lewis Hamilton ends Q1 quickest ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

Out: Ericsson – 22nd, Sainz – 21st, Ocon – 20th, Nasr – 19th, Magnussen – 18th and Kvyat – 17th.

Q2

Lewis Hamilton is the first car out on track followed by Nico Rosberg and Kimi Raikkonen, all on the Ultrasoft tyre. Hamilton is first to cross the line on a 1:39:382 with Rosberg slower on a 1:39:490. Both Red Bull cars of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen have opted to set their lap times on the Supersoft tyre. Verstappen goes 4th and Ricciardo goes 6th.

With 3 minutes to go, Fernando Alonso, Esteban Gutierrez, Romain Grosjean, Jolyon Palmer, Pascal Wehrlein and Jenson Button sit in the drop-zone at the moment. Alonso’s lap is quicker than Valterri Bottas and he is safe for Q3. Button, Grosjean, Gutierrez, Palmer and Wehrlein cannot progress to the final part of qualifying. Lewis Hamilton ends Q2 quickest ahead of Nico Rosberg and Kimi Raikkonen.

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

Q3

Lewis Hamilton is first on the track and is the first to set a superb lap time of a 1:39:013. Nico Rosberg follows and it is close between the both but Rosberg can only manage a 1:39:359. Kimi Raikkonen goes 3rd with Daniel Ricciardo 4th, Max Verstappen 5th and Sebastian Vettel 6th.

With 4 minutes to go, the drivers head back out on track for their final runs. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are very close in terms of lap time, who will take pole position? Hamilton goes to provisional pole position on a 1:38:755. What a lap, Rosberg cannot beat that and Hamilton is on Pole. Daniel Ricciardo beats Kimi Raikkonen to 3rd place with Felipe Massa starting 9th for his final F1 race.

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

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

Qualifying results

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

How can it be won?

With one GP to go, Lewis Hamilton trails Nico Rosberg by 12 points, with a maximum of 25 available in tomorrow’s race. Hamilton needs to claim victory in Abu Dhabi on Sunday and hope Rosberg finishes outside the top three, or does not finish at all. If Hamilton retires, Rosberg will win the championship despite where he finishes.

 

Abu Dhabi Preview

The final race of the 2016 F1 season draws to a close on Sunday with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton battling it out for the Drivers World Championship.

24/11/16

Track stats

  • First GP: 2009
  • Laps: 55
  • Circuit length: 5.554km
  • Race distance: 305.355km
  • Lap record: 1:40.279, Sebastian Vettel, 2009
  • Corners: 21

Spectacular end to a season

Abu Dhabi first hosted it’s first GP back in 2009. The inaugural race was F1’s first ever day-night race. Floodlights used to illuminate the circuit were switched on from the start of the event to ensure transition from daylight to darkness.

Most wins

Sebastian Vettel has the most wins on 3, winning in 2009, 2010 and in 2013. Lewis Hamilton has won twice back in 2011 and in 2014. Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg are on one win each. Red Bull are the most successful team with 3 wins with Mercedes on 2 wins.

F1 news

Zak Brown joins McLaren as Executive Director

Zak Brown has joined McLaren in the role of executive director as the the team reshape their management structure following the ousting of Ron Dennis.

King gets F1 practice outing with Manor in Abu Dhabi

Jordan King will get his second opportunity to take part in Formula 1 free practice when he drives for Manor at next weekend’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Manor development driver King got his first taste of grand prix weekend action when he drove for the team in first practice at Austin. King currently lies 5th in the GP2 standings.

No Malaysian GP from 2018 onwards

Malaysia will stop hosting a Formula 1 grand prix after their current agreement expires in 2018. The race at the Sepang International Circuit has been on the F1 calendar since 1999.

2017 driver line-up news

Sauber re-sign Ericsson for 2017

Sauber have extended their contract with Marcus Ericsson through to 2017. Ericsson’s team-mate, Felipe Nasr, who scored the team’s first points in Brazil hasn’t been confirmed for next year. Sauber said they will announce their second driver ‘in due course’.

Other Motorsport News

Power Maxed Racing and Vauxhall in BTCC

Automotive Brands, owners of Power Maxed Racing have announced their commercial partnership with Vauxhall Motors. The agreement will see the return of the Vauxhall Astra to the BTCC from 2017 onwards.

 

Brazilian Race Round 20

Lewis Hamilton wins an interrupted Brazilian GP ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg and Red Bulls Max Verstappen as the race is red flagged twice.

13/11/16

Lap to the Grid

The cars make their way to the grid but they have to very careful as it’s raining. Haas’s Romain Grosjean has crashed on this way to the grid. he lost the rear of the car just before turn 15. The car spun and ended up facing the wrong way. The impact of the crash broke the left-front suspension and this meant that Grosjean would not be starting the race.

Race

Due to the rain, the race will start behind the Safety Car and all the drivers will be on the Wet tyre. The start is delayed by 10 minutes to see if the conditions will improve. They don’t and the race goes ahead behind the Safety Car.

The Safety Car leads ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo. Lap 7, the SC will be in and we will be racing. Hamilton lead and down into turn 1, Verstappen overtakes Raikkonen for 3rd place on lap 8. Kevin Magnussen pits for the Intermediate tyre, is the track dry enough yet? Lap 9 and 10, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, Valterri Bottas and Felipe Massa pit for the Intermediate tyre. Lap 11, Sebastian Vettel spins at turn 14! He takes to the grass, rejoins and heads for the pits. He is back out in 19th place as on lap 13, Massa is under investigation for overtaking Esteban Gutierrez before the SC line.

Marcus Ericsson crashes at turn 15 and blocks the pit-lane. The SC is deployed as Red Bull pit Max Verstappen onto the Intermediate tyre. The Stewards close the pit-lane and Daniel Ricciardo pits! The pit-lane is closed and a penalty looks inevitable. Ricciardo is under investigation as on lap 17, the pit-lane is reopened as the marshals have cleared Ericsson’s wrecked car. Lap 19, the SC comes in and its Lewis Hamilton who leads ahead of Nico Rosberg and that’s Kimi Raikkonen into the wall on the start-finish straight! He hit a puddle of water and lost the rear of the car and he ends up facing the wrong way. The SC is back out as the replay shows a lucky escape for Esteban Ocon as he nearly hit the stricken Ferrari.

The Red flag is out. This means that the cars will follow the SC into the pit-lane and will stop in their order. Nico Hulkenberg has damage to his front wing as he ran through the debris of Kimi Raikkonen’s impact. So on lap 21, Lewis Hamilton leads ahead of Nico Rosberg, Max Verstappen, Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez as Felipe Nasr sits in 7th place for Sauber. Felipe Massa has received a 5 second time penalty for overtaking before the SC line and Daniel Ricciardo has received a 5 second time penalty for entering the pit-lane when it was closed. The Stewards have scheduled the restart of the race in 10 minutes and every driver has to be on the Wet tyre. The race gets going but only until lap 29 as the Stewards Red flag the race again!

The fans in the crowd are booing and we now have to wait until the start of the race. We are racing again on lap 32 and round the outside of turn 3, Max Verstappen overtakes Nico Rosberg for 2nd place. Lap 33, Daniel Ricciardo overtakes Carlos Sainz for 5th place into turn 1. Lap 38, Verstappen has lost it in between turn 14 and 15, but he is able to save it. He continues but how did he save his out of control car? Lap 40, Ricciardo pits, serving his time penalty of 5 seconds and switching to the Intermediate tyre. Lap 43, Sebastian Vettel overtakes Fernando Alonso into turn 10 and up into 7th place as Max Verstappen pits, going onto the Intermediate tyre.

Lap 46, Nico Rosberg half spins at turn 13, but he continues. Lap 48, Felipe Massa has crashed at his home GP. He has broken his right font and rear suspension. He has stopped at the entry of the pit-lane and he is hugely disappointed. He takes off his crash helmet and waves to the crowd. He is given a Brazilian flag and walks back to the pit garage, upset with tears running down his face. His wife and son meet Massa on his way up back to the Williams garage as pit crews applaud as he walks back. Meanwhile, the SC is controlling the pace with Lewis Hamilton leading ahead of Nico Rosberg and Sergio Perez. Lap 53, Daniel Ricciardo pits and changes back to the Wet tyre. Lap 54 means that the drivers will receive full race points. Lap 55, Max Verstappen pits and changes back onto the Wet tyre, he appears back out in 16th place.

The SC is in and we are racing on lap 56. On the restart, Fernando Alonso spins. He recovers but at the back of the field. Lap 58, Max Verstappen has now caught up to the back of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in 10th and 11th place. Lap 60, Verstappen has now overtaken Ricciardo on the exit of turn 14. Lap 62, Esteban Gutierrez is out of the race. Lap 66, Max Verstappen overtakes Sebastian Vettel down the inside of turn 12 and up into 5th place. Lap 67, Max Verstappen overtakes Carlos Sainz into turn 4 and up into 4th place, what a drive so far! Lap 69, Max Verstappen overtakes Sergio Perez for 3rd place into turn 12. Lap 71, Lewis Hamilton wins ahead of Nico Rosberg and Max Verstappen.

Race result

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

Race stats

  • Lewis Hamilton’s win in Brazil was his 24th race track that he had won in F1. It was also Hamilton’s first win in Brazil, for the 10th time of asking.
  • Max Verstappen recorded his 7 podium finish of the year in 2nd. Verstappen also became the youngest driver to claim a fastest lap and he he also got Driver of the Day.
  • Felipe Nasr and Sauber scored their first points of the season and their first since the 2015 United States GP. Nasr, finished in 9th to secure 2 points for Sauber and that result moved Sauber ahead of Manor in the championship.
  • Brazil also saw McLaren claim their 800th GP start and Kimi Raikkonen also started his 250th GP start.

Drivers Championship

  1. Nico Rosberg 367pts
  2. Lewis Hamilton 355pts
  3. Daniel Ricciardo 246pts
  4. Sebastian Vettel 197pts
  5. Max Verstappen 192pts
  6. Kimi Raikkonen 178pts
  7. Sergio Perez 97pts
  8. Valterri Bottas 85pts
  9. Nico Hulkenberg 66pts
  10. Fernando Alonso 53pts

Constructors Championship

  1. Mercedes 722pts
  2. Red Bull 446pts
  3. Ferrari 375pts
  4. Force India 163pts
  5. Williams 136pts
  6. McLaren 75pts
  7. Torro Rosso 63pts
  8. Haas 29pts
  9. Renault 8pts
  10. Sauber 2pts
  11. Manor 1pt

The Abu Dhabi GP will take place on the 25th – 27th of November for the final race of the 2016 F1 Season.

Brazilian Qualifying Round 20

Lewis Hamilton takes a crucial pole position ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen as Haas’s Romain Grosjean records Haas’s best ever qualifying.  

12/11/16

Magnussen confirmed to join Haas

Kevin Magnussen will leave Renault and join Haas for 2017 alongside Romain Grosjean. Magnussen will take the second seat alongside Grosjean, forcing Esteban Gutierrez out of a drive for 2017. This means that only Sauber and Manor are to confirm their driver line-ups for next year.

Q1

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are the first two cars out on the track with Hamilton the quicker of the two on a 1:11:511 compared to a 1:11:815. Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen are next on a 1:12:100 and a 1:11:957. Sebastian Vettel emerges on track with 12 minutes to go as Ferrari were fixing a hydraulic issue on his car. Williams look to have the upper-hand on Force India this weekend so far. With 5 minutes to go, Jenson Button, Pascal Wehrlein, Esteban Ocon, Felipe Nasr, Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen are in the drop-zone at the moment.

Nasr and Ericsson cannot make it to the second part of qualifying along with Magnussen. Button, Wehrlein and Ocon can’t make it through as well. Q1 ends with Lewis Hamilton quickest ahead of Nico Rosberg and Max Verstappen.

Out: Nasr – 22nd, Ericsson – 21st, Ocon – 20th, Wehrlein – 19th, Magnussen – 18th and Button – 17th.

Q2

Esteban Ocon is under investigation by the stewards for impeding Jolyon Palmer in Q1 at turn 4. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are again both on track first and its Hamilton who gets the better of the both on a 1:11:238 compared to Rosberg’s 1:11:373. Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen cannot topple Hamilton at the top. With 5 minutes to go, Felipe Massa, Carlos Sainz, Daniil Kvyat and Jolyon Palmer are in the drop zone at the moment.

Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean make it into the top 10 with Felipe Massa and Valterri Bottas failing to do so for Williams. Q2 ends with Lewis Hamilton quickest ahead of Nico Rosberg and Max Verstappen.

Out: Palmer – 16th, Sainz – 15th, Kvyat – 14th, Massa  – 13th, Gutierrez – 12th and Bottas – 11th.

Q3

Q3 starts with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg bring the first two cars out on the track with Hamilton again getting the better and going on provisional pole position with a 1:10:860.  Rosberg isn’t far behind on a 1:11:022. Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo aren’t far behind Rosberg, lapping in the mid 1 minute 11s.  With two minutes to go, the drivers head back out on track and its Hamilton who will appear when the chequered flag falls. Hamilton lowers the bar on a 1:10:736 but what can Rosberg do? Its close but its Hamilton on pole with Rosberg only managing a 1:10:838. Raikkonen jumps from 6th to 3rd and Romain Grosjean finishes 7th.

Top 10: Alonso – 10th, Perez – 9th, Hulkenberg – 8th, Grosjean – 7th, Ricciardo – 6th, Vettel – 5th, Verstappen – 4th.

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

Qualifying results

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

Ocon* was given a 3 place grid penalty by the stewards after Qualifying for impeding Jolyon Palmer during Q1.

 

 

 

Brazilian GP Preview

Nico Rosberg can become the World Champion this weekend if he wins Sunday’s GP. But what can Lewis Hamilton do to stop his team-mate from taking the crown.

10/11/16

Track stats

  • First GP:  1973
  • Laps: 71
  • Circuit length: 4.309km
  • Race distance: 305.909km
  • Lap record: 1:11.473, Juan Pablo Montoya, 2004
  • Corners: 15

A great circuit and great atmosphere

The Brazilian GP has been held at Interlagos in Sao Paulo since 1973. A move to Jacarepagua for the 1974 to 1989 before a return to Interlagos for 1990. Interlagos has played host to the GP ever since its return and witnessed some exciting and historic races. Home favourite and 3 time world champion, Ayrton Senna won twice back in 1991 and 1993. Interlagos has held the driver’s championship title fight most notably in 2008 and in 2012. This will be the final home race for Felipe Massa, who will retire at the end of the year.

All 5 of the current world champions have clinched a title in Brazil. McLaren and Ferrari both have 8 wins each here. Alain Prost has claimed 6 wins around Interlagos with Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg on 2 wins each.

F1 news

Zander re-joins Sauber

Jorg Zander will re-join Sauber as the team’s technical director at the start of 2017. Zander was the Switzerland-based team’s chief designer between 2006 and 2007 and is returning after a stint as technical director for Audi. Sauber are still yet to score a point this term and are currently last in the Constructors’ Championship.

Wehrlein would be happy with second Manor seat for 2017

Pascal Wehrlein says he would be happy to stay at Manor for a second Formula 1 season. The Mercedes junior has impressed in his debut F1 season and scoring a crucial point for Manor with 10th in Austria. Wehrlein’s team-mate , Esteban Ocon has also been linked with Force India, and is also on Renault’s shortlist to partner Nico Hulkenberg.

Ross Brawn attracted to F1 return

Ross Brawn has admitted he is attracted to returning to Formula 1 in a position which would allow the former Mercedes and Ferrari boss to shape the future direction of the sport. Brawn has been out of F1 since the end of 2013 but could be poised to return following Liberty Media’s takeover.

How Rosberg can win on Sunday

A win for Nico Rosberg on Sunday would definitely secure his first ever Driver’s Championship. With a maximum of 50 points to be gained over the next two GPs. Lewis Hamilton trails Rosberg by 19 points heading into this weekend.

If Hamilton wins in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, Rosberg only needs to finish second or third to be sure of the title. More importantly, Hamilton needs to win on Sunday to have a chance at the championship. What eludes Hamilton more is that he has never won in Brazil before.

2017 driver line-up news

Force India sign Ocon for 2017

Force India have signed Manor driver Esteban Ocon for 2017 to partner Sergio Perez. Ocon replaces Nico Hulkenberg, who moved to Renault for next year. Pascal Wehrlein and Felipe Nasr were the other candidates for the second seat. Ocon replaced Rio Haryanto for the Belgian GP onwards this season as Haryanto’s sponsor fell back on their payments.

Force India: Sergio Perez & Esteban Ocon

Renault: Nico Hulkenberg & Jolyon Palmer

 

Palmer to stay, Magnussen to leave

Jolyon Palmer is to stay with Renault for 2017 alongside Nico Hulkenberg with Kevin Magnussen poised to join Haas F1.

09/11/16

Jolyon Palmer is to stay with Renault for 2017 alongside Nico Hulkenberg. The intense battle between Palmer and team-mate Kevin Magnussen raged on for most of the second half of the season. While Palmer is to stay, Magnussen is to leave.

Magnussen is poised to sign a two-year deal with Haas with a possibility with an option to stay for another season in 2019. Magnussen will join Frenchman Romain Grosjean at Haas for 2017. Renault offered a one year deal for Magnussen but he preferred to have security in a contract.

This leaves Esteban Gutierrez without a drive for next season at Haas. He has had a difficult season so far and unlike team-mate Grosjean, he has not scored any points so far this season.

It has emerged that Manor driver, Esteban Ocon is favourite to take the second seat at Force India alongside Sergio Perez. But 2016 team-mate, Pascal Wehrlein and Felipe Nasr are all in consideration for the second seat.

 

Williams Announce Bottas and Stroll for 2017

Williams has announced that Lance Stroll will be partnering Valterri Bottas at Williams for 2017. 

03/11/16

18 Year old Lance Stroll will race with Williams Martini Racing in Formula One next year alongside Valtteri Bottas. Williams announced that Stroll will replace the retiring Felipe Massa for the 2017 F1 Season with Valterri Bottas remaining in the team for another year.

Stroll will become the first Canadian to race in Formula One since 2006 when 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, who won his title with Williams, lasted race in the sport.

Stroll has dominated the Formula 3 Season in his 2nd year with a total of 15 wins out of 30 races with Prema Powerteam and won the championship.

Valtteri Bottas will remain at the team for another season. This will be the Finnish’s 5th season in Formula One since joining the sport with Williams in 2013.