Vettel heads Ferrari 1-2 in Russia

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel qualifies on pole position ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen to make it a all Ferrari front row since 2008 with Mercedes Valterri Bottas lining up 3rd ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton.

29/04/17

Vandoorne given 15-place grid penalty

McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne will be given a 15-place grid penalty. Honda is fitting a new engine to the Belgian’s car after a failure in first practice at Sochi on Friday. The Belgian is now on his fifth turbocharger and fifth heat motor generator unit (MGU-H) in three races. The rules allow each driver four power units, to last the full 20 round season.

Qualifying

Q1

Daniil Kvyat is the first car out on track, setting the first lap time of a 1:37:052. His teammate Carlos Sainz, goes quickest on a 1:36:575. Everyone is on the Ultrasoft tyre with the Ferrari’s of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen on the Supersoft tyre. Valterri Bottas goes quickest overall with a 1:34:177. Vettel and Lewis Hamilton are next on a 1:35:102 and a 1:34:409. With 5 minutes to go, Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne, Pascal Wehrlein, Romain Grosjean and Marcus Ericsson are in the drop-zone.

The flag falls and Alonso makes it through. The camera cuts to a car in the wall. Its Jolyon Palmer for Renault. He was pushing too hard to make it through and hit the inside kerb for turn 4 which unsettled the car. At the same time, Pascal Wehrlein spins as well. This ruins the laps for Grosjean and others. Valterri Bottas ends the session quickest ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

Out: Grosjean – 20th, Ericsson – 19th, Wehrlein – 18th, Vandoorne – 17th and Palmer – 16th.

Q2

Lance Stroll is the first car out on track with his teammate, Felipe Massa setting the first time of a 1:35:677. This time, Kimi Raikkonen is the only car on the Ultrasoft tyre with everyone else on the Supersoft. Raikkonen goes quickest on a 1:34:053 but is then beaten by Valterri Bottas on a 1:33:264. Lewis Hamilton is next on a 1:33:760. With 5 minutes to go, Daniil Kvyat, Carlos Sainz, Kevin Magnussen, Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez are in the drop-zone.

Perez goes 9th quickest after his first lap of the second session. The flag falls and Alonso doesn’t make it through but Esteban Ocon make it through. Sainz and Stroll fail to make it through. Valterri Bottas ends the session quickest again ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton.

Out: Alonso – 15th, Magnussen – 14th, Kvyat – 13th, Stroll – 12th and Sainz – 11th.

Q3

Valterri Bottas is the first car out on track but its Nico Hulkenberg who sets the first lap time of a 1:35:412. Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel are next with Raikkonen getting the better of Vettel on a 1:33:253 and a 1:33:426. Bottas and Hamilton follow with a 1:33:289 and a 1:34:565.

Raikkonen starts his final lap and it a personal best in Sector 1. Hamilton is also quick in Sector 1. Raikkonen sets another personal best in Sector 2 while behind, Hamilton is also going very quickly. Raikkonen runs wide at the final corner but is still on pole. Vettel goes quickest on a 1:33:194 to grab pole. What can Bottas or Hamilton do? Bottas goes 3rd with Hamilton 4th. It’s a Ferrari front-row for the first time since 2008. It is also Ferrari’s first pole position since Singapore 2015.

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

Qualifying Result

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

Sainz* was given a 3 place-grid penalty after a collision with Lance Stroll in Bahrain.

Vandoorne* was given a 15 place-grid penalty after a new engine fitted ahead of this weekend.

 

 

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Russian GP Preview

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has the momentum heading into this weekend’s race in Russia but Championship rival, Lewis Hamilton has the better track record here. What will be the final result comes Sunday?

29/04/17

Track facts

  • Lap record: 1:40:071, Sebastian Vettel, 2015
  • Laps: 53
  • Circuit length: 5.848km
  • Race distance: 309.245km
  • Corners: 18
  • Tyre Compounds: Ultrasoft, Supersoft and Soft

History of the Russian GP

Russia first held it’s first grand prix in 2014 in the same year the country hosted the Winter Olympics. The Hermann Tilke track is integrated into the Olympic Park infrastructure.

Stats

  • Vitaly Petrov became Russia’s first Formula One World Championship driver in 2010 and since then Torro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, has been in the sport since 2014. Kvyat has yet to finish higher than fifth at his home GP
  • The Sochi Autodrom is the 4th longest circuit in F1 behind Spa-Francorchamps, Baku and Silverstone.
  • Lewis Hamilton has 2 victories round here winning back in 2014 and 2015. 2016 World Champion, Nico Rosberg is the only other driver to win this race.
  • Due to Hamilton and Rosberg driving for Mercedes, they are the only team to win with 3 victories since 2014. Due to this as well, Mercedes have led 100% of all laps during the race since 2014.

Hamilton fastest as McLaren suffer problems in Bahrain

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton clocked the fastest time on Tuesday as the teams commenced a two-day, post-race test at Bahrain. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was assisting the tyre supplier with 2018 development work. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was third, despite Renault power unit issues halting his programme early.

  1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:31:358 – 97 laps
  2. Antonio Giovinazzi – Ferrari – 1:31:948 – 93 laps
  3. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:32:349 – 45 laps
  4. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:32:452 – 87 laps
  5. Felipe Massa – Williams – 1:32:509 – 56 laps

Bottas fastest on final day in Bahrain

Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas finished at top of the time-sheets as testing concluded in Bahrain on Wednesday. Bottas completed 143 laps for Mercedes, clocking a best time of 1m 31.280s. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel’s session which included mechanical issues in the morning, had further issues in the afternoon which limited his running.

  1. Valterri Bottas – Mercedes – 1:31:280 – 143 laps
  2. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:31:574 – 64 laps
  3. Carlos Sainz – Torro Rosso – 1:31:884 – 68 laps
  4. Stoffel Vandoorne – McLaren – 1:32:108 – 81 laps
  5. Kevin Magnussen – Haas – 1:32:120 – 88 laps

Red Bull promises major chassis ‘revamp’ for Spanish GP

The Red Bull F1 team is planning a massive chassis update for the Spanish GP. Max Verstappen’s third place in China is its only podium from the opening three grands prix. The Bahrain GP was the most competitive of Red Bull’s season so far, with both Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo running with the leaders early on.

Sainz given 3 place grid penalty after Stroll collision

After the Bahrain GP, Torro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz was given a 3 place grid penalty by the stewards for the collision with Williams’s Lance Stroll during the race. The incident occurred on lap 13 where Sainz was exiting the pit lane and dive-bombed Stroll into turn 1. Both made contact and both retired due to the accident and it was Sainz that the Stewards decided that he was at fault.

My Predictions – Qualifying

  1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
  2. Valterri Bottas – Mercedes
  3. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari

Race

  1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
  2. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari
  3. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari

 

 

 

 

 

F1 Car Collection

The Formula One Car Collection by Panini promises detailed 1:43 scale die-cast metal models of famous cars along with a companion magazine detailing technical specs and information about the driver and their season. I have been collecting issues over the past couple of months.

22/04/17

Background

Comprising of 60 issues, each issue will come with a 1:43 scale model in die-cast metal sharing all the details from the original single-seater cars. Subscribing to the set comes with a number of gifts including ‘The World’s Greatest F1 Cars DVD’, the Senna movie and 3 extra cars including: Ferrari F2001 “Twin Towers” driven by Michael Schumacher in 2001; Tyrrell P34 driven by Jody Scheckter in 1976 and the Brabham BT46 driven by Niki Lauda in 1978.

My Collection

I saw the collection advertise on the TV first and I was staggered by the price per issue. The first issue was on offer at £2.99 which I though was pretty good. From then on the price per issue would be £9.99, a bit far fetched if you ask me. Although, overall the course, I have found that £10 pounds is reasonable. Despite that I have bought 8 so far. They include:

  • Issue 9: Renault R25 Fernando Alonso (2005)
  • Issue 10: Red Bull RB9 Sebastian Vettel (2013)
  • Issue 12: McLaren MP4/23 Lewis Hamilton (2008)
  • Issue 17: Ferrari F2007 Kimi Raikkonen (2007)
  • Issue 21: Mercedes W196 Juan Manuel Fangio (1955)
  • Issue 24: McLaren MP 4/8 Ayrton Senna (1993)
  • Issue 27: Sauber C23 Felipe Massa (2004)
  • Issue 29: McLaren MP4/15 Mika Hakkinen (1999)
  • Issue 30: Brabham BT52B Nelson Piquet (1983)
Car Collection - Alonso #2

Issue 9 featured Fernando Alonso’s 2005 Renault R25. After 5 years of Michael Schumacher and Ferrari’s dominance, Alonso took 7 wins en route to his first world championship with Renault becoming world champions. Sealing the world championship at the Brazilian GP, Alonso became, at that time, the youngest driver to win the title at only 24 years, 2 months and 17 days old.

Car Collection - Vettel

Issue 10 featured Sebastian Vettel’s 2013 Red Bull RB9. Vettel took 13 out of a possible 19 race victories en route to his 4th consecutive world championship. Vettel would win the final race of the 2.4 litre V8 engines era before the regulation change in 2014 to 1.6 litre V6 Turbo engines.

Car Collection - Senna

Issue 24 featured Ayrton Senna’s 1993 McLaren MP4/8. Senna took 5 out of a possible 16 victories to 2nd place in the world championship. Senna won the European GP in spectacular fashion in the rain producing one of the best opening laps in F1. His final victory of the season and his career would be at the Australian GP before his death in 1994 at the San Marino GP.

Vettel beats Hamilton in Bahrain thriller

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel beats the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas to win for the second time in three races as Nico Hulkenberg scores his and Renault’s first points of the season.

16/04/17

Vandoorne fails to start

McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne will not start the Bahrain GP due to power unit issues. Vandoorne, who had been due to start 17th but due to reportedly having the same MGU-H issues that affected him earlier in the weekend.

Tyre choice

Every driver will start on either old or new Supersoft tyres except from Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson who will start on the Soft compound tyre.

Race

The lights go out and away Valterri Bottas goes, leading as Lewis Hamilton has some wheelspin off the start and gets jumped by Sebastian Vettel round the outside into turn 1. Kimi Raikkonen loses places to Max Verstappen and Felipe Massa of the start and the first lap. The biggest gainers off the start are Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez as both have made up 5 places into 11th and 13th. Lap 7, Raikkonen is still behind Massa in 6th and 7th places. Raikkonen finally overtakes the Brazilian into turn 1 on lap 8 and now up into 6th place.

Lap 9, Kevin Magnussen pulls over at turn 8 near a marshal post. His race is over. Lap 10, Sebastian Vettel pits from 2nd place and switches over onto the Supersoft tyre. He drops to 12th but in clear air. A brave move by Ferrari to pit Vettel. Lap 12, Max Verstappen pits. He was right up behind Lewis Hamilton and being held up. He goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins in 11th. The yellow flags are out and it’s Verstappen! He is in the gravel trap at turn 4. The replay shows brake failure could be the suspect. Lap 13, Kimi Raikkonen pits and goes onto the Supersoft tyre. Lap 13, Lance Stroll has stopped at the exit of turn 1. There is debris scattered across the track as Stroll says on team radio “I was hit from the side.”

The replay shows Carlos Sainz Jr coming out of the pits and trying to make an audacious move on the inside of Stroll. Stroll was on the outside and turned in for turn 1 with Sainz hitting the right side of the Williams car. Sainz has pulled over and both their races are over, the Safety Car has been deployed. Valterri Bottas now leading the race pits on lap 14 along with Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo. Bottas pits and switches onto the Supersoft tyre along with Hamilton and Ricciardo going onto the Soft tyre. In all of this, Sebastian Vettel now leads the race.

So Sebastian Vettel leads ahead of Valterri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa. A replay shows Hamilton and Ricciardo coming into the pits. Hamilton looks to be going slower than normal under the SC. A valid reason for this could be as Mercedes had to pit Bottas and Hamilton, a gap would have to be built to allow Bottas to make his pit-stop  and Hamilton to follow without delay. Lap 17, the Safety Car comes in with Hamilton overtaking Ricciardo before turn 1. Massa follows, overtaking Ricciardo with Raikkonen doing the same into turn 12. Ricciardo is struggling to get heat into his Soft tyres.

The Stewards have given Lewis Hamilton a 5 second time penalty for driving unnecessarily slow in the pit entry. He can take that at his pit-stop or at the end of the race. The incident between Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz will be investigated after the race. Sebastian Vettel and Valterri Bottas need to pit again as the Supersoft tyres will not go to the end. Lap 24, Kimi Raikkonen overtakes Felipe Massa again into turn 1 and up into 4th place. Lap 27, Hamilton is right behind Bottas who is now nearly 5 seconds behind Vettel. Bottas lets Hamilton past before turn 1 as he obeys the Mercedes orders. So the gap from Vettel to Hamilton is 6 seconds with Bottas 1.2 seconds behind his team-mate. Lap 29, Ricciardo overtakes Massa into turn 1 and up into 5th place. Lap 31, Bottas pits onto the Soft tyre. He rejoins in 7th after pitting from 3rd.

Lap 32, Romain Grosjean pits. In a bid to undercut Nico Hulkenberg, Grosjean has pitted early onto the Soft tyre. Lap 32, Valterri Bottas overtakes Sergio Perez into turn 14 and up into 6th place. Lap 33, Sebastian Vettel pits, the gap between Hamilton and Vettel was reducing. Vettel goes onto a set of Supersoft tyre and rejoins in 3rd. Lap 34, Bottas overtakes Felipe Massa for 5th place into turn 1. Lap 36, Vettel overtakes Kimi Raikkonen before turn 1 and is now up into 2nd place. Lap 37, Bottas now overtakes Ricciardo and is now up into 4th place. Sergio Perez pits along with Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso with Perez and Alonso switching to the Soft tyre with Hulkenberg onto the Supersoft tyre.

Lap 38, Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa pit with both drivers switching to the Soft compound tyre. Lap 40, Daniel Ricciardo pits switching to the Supersoft tyre. Lap 42, Lewis Hamilton pits from the lead and takes his 5 second time penalty. He drops to 3rd place but on the Soft tyre. Sebastian Vettel leads ahead of Valterri Bottas by 10 seconds with Hamilton 4 and a half seconds behind Bottas. Lap 47, Bottas moves aside and lets Hamilton passed into 2nd place. Lap 50, Vettel is now lapping Jolyon Palmer and Marcus Ericsson with Hamilton rapidly closing in behind. Lap 52, Ericsson has a problem as he slows and comes to halt before turn 4. Lap 54, Vettel leads with a 6.7 second gap to Hamilton. Fernando Alonso’s race is over as he reports a issue with his engine. Vettel wins after 57 laps ahead of Hamilton and Bottas.

Race Results

1.Vettel  2.Hamilton  3.Bottas  4.Raikkonen  5.Ricciardo  6.Massa  7.Perez  8.Grosjean  9.Hulkenberg  10.Ocon  11.Wehrlein  12.Kvyat  13.Palmer  DNF Alonso, Ericsson, Sainz, Stroll, Magnussen  DNS Vandoorne.

Race stats

  • Sebastian Vettel’s victory was his third in Bahrain, and the 44th win of his career.
  • Valterri Bottas finished 3rd after securing his first ever pole position. He becomes the 5th Finnish driver to do so. He also scored his 11th podium finish.
  • Sergio Perez recovered from a unfortunate qualifying session which left him 18th. He finished 7th and with teammate Esteban Ocon in 10th, it was a double points finish for Force India.
  • Romain Grosjean and Nico Hulkenberg scored their first points of the year in 8th and 9th.
  • Lance Stroll has now failed to finish any of the 3 races this year. Out of all the racing laps, Stroll has only completed 52 laps.

Drivers Championship

  1. Sebastian Vettel 68pts
  2. Lewis Hamilton 61pts
  3. Valterri Bottas 38pts
  4. Kimi Raikkonen 34pts
  5. Max Verstappen 25pts
  6. Daniel Ricciardo 22pts
  7. Felipe Massa 16pts
  8. Sergio Perez 14pts
  9. Carlos Sainz Jr 10pts
  10. Romain Grosjean 4pts

Constructors Championship

  1. Ferrari 102pts
  2. Mercedes 99pts
  3. Red Bull 47pts
  4. Force India 17pts
  5. Williams 16pts
  6. Torro Rosso 12pts
  7. Haas 8pts
  8. Renault 2pts
  9. Sauber 0pts
  10. McLaren 0pts

 

 

 

Bottas takes maiden pole position in Bahrain

Mercedes Valterri Bottas takes his first ever pole position ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel as both Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer make it into Q3 for the first time for Renault.

15/04/17

Qualifying

Q1

Pascal Wehrlein is the first driver out on the track and is the first to complete a lap time of a 1:33:502. Valterri Bottas is next for Mercedes and completes a lap of a 1:31:041 on the Soft tyre. Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen are next with Verstappen getting the better of Ricciardo. Lewis Hamilton goes quickest with a 1:30:814 on the Soft tyre with Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel also setting their lap times on the Soft tyre. With 4 minutes to go, Lance Stroll, Kevin Magnussen, Marcus Ericsson, Esteban Ocon and Romain Grosjean are in the drop-zone.

Kimi Raikkonen heads back out on the track with a set of the Supersoft tyres. He improves to a 1:30:988. The chequered flag falls with Jolyon Palmer, Fernando Alonso, Daniil Kvyat, Esteban Ocon are all safe as Stoffel Vandoorne fails to beat the target time. Pascal Wehrlein make it through as Carlos Sainz stops on track. He stops and Sergio Perez doesn’t make it through. Huge shock for Perez and huge disappointment for Sainz. Lewis Hamilton ends the first session quickest ahead of Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen.

Out: Sainz – 16th, Vandoorne – 17th, Perez – 18th, Ericsson – 19th and Magnussen – 20th.

Q2

Valterri Bottas is the first driver out on the track and is the first to complete a lap time of a 1:29:555. Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo follows with a 1:29:535 and a 1:30:497. Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen follow with a 1:30:307, 1:29:596 and a 1:29:843. Right now, Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer are sitting 9th and 10th. With 4 minutes to go, Fernando Alonso gets out of his McLaren car and is not going out again. His Qualifying is over with a power unit failure looking to be the cause.

Romain Grosjean, Jolyon Palmer make it through with Esteban Ocon and Pascal Wehrlein not making the target time. Nico Hulkenberg puts in a great lap and gets through to Q3. Lewis Hamilton ends the session quickest ahead of Valterri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel.

Out: Kvyat – 11th, Stroll – 12th, Wehrlein – 13th, Ocon – 14th and Alonso – 15th (No time).

Q3

Daniel Ricciardo is the first driver out on the track and is the first to complete a lap time of a 1:30:007. Valterri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton smash that time with a 1:28:844 and a 1:28:792. Sebastian Vettel ends up 3rd after his first lap on a 1:29:247. Hamilton leads from Bottas, Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen, Ricciardo and Felipe Massa. Romain Grosjean, Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer are yet to set a timed lap.

Grosjean heads out onto the track with 6 minutes to go. He sets a 1:30:763 which puts him in 8th place. The drivers head out for their final runs with Bottas ahead of Hamilton. Bottas is quick in Sector 1 with Hamilton matching the Finn. Bottas is still going very quick in Sector 2. He crossed the line and goes on Provisional Pole Position with a 1:28:769. Hamilton has a poor Sector 2, dropping two tenths down on his best time. He comes across the line on a 1:29:012 and doesn’t beat Bottas. Bottas becomes the 98th driver to take pole position in Formula One. Ricciardo manages to split the Ferrari drivers in 4th while Hulkenberg finishes 7th after a brilliant lap.

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

Qualifying Result

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

 

 

Bahrain GP Preview

With Lewis Hamilton winning the Chinese GP, both himself and Sebastian Vettel are now level on points heading into this race weekend. Who will lead the the championship after Sunday’s race?

14/04/17

Track facts

  • Lap record: 1:31:447, Pedro de la Rosa, 2005
  • Laps: 57
  • Circuit length: 3.362 miles
  • Race distance: 191.53 miles
  • Corners: 15

History of the Bahrain GP

Bahrain first held it’s first grand prix in 2004 and made history as the first race held in the Middle East. Fernando Alonso won on his first race with Ferrari back in 2010 and that was his 3rd race win round the desert circuit. In 2014, it changed to a to a night race which witnessed the race long battle with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Sergio Perez finished in 3rd place for Force India and it marked the team’s 1st podium since the 2009 Belgian GP.

Stats

  • Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher won the inaugural race back in 2004.
  • Romain Grosjean scored his first ever podium with 3rd place back in 2012. It also marked the first time that a Frenchman had been on the podium since 1998.
  • 2016 World champion Nico Rosberg made his F1 debut back in 2006 with Williams. Rosberg, set the fastest lap of the race and finished in 7th claiming 2 points.
  • Fernando Alonso is the most successful driver round here with 3 victories. He last win was back in 2010.
  • Ferrari are the most successful Constructor round here with 4 victories Ferrari’s last win was back in 2010 while Mercedes have won every race round here since 2014.

Red Bull boss Horner wants grid clarity after Vettel ploy

Red Bull boss Christian Horner wants clarity from the FIA over F1 grid positioning rules after Sebastian Vettel lined up outside his box for the start of the Chinese GP. Vettel, who started 2nd, positioned his car slightly to the left of his front row grid slot at Shanghai in order to get his wheels away from the slippery white painted lines. Vettel was investigated by the Stewards during the race but no action was taken.

Wehrlein is back for Sauber

Pascal Wehrlein will return to action in the Bahrain GP after missing the first two races of the season. Wehrlein’s pre-season build-up was disrupted by a violent accident in January’s Race of Champions in which he sustained back injuries. He was replaced at Sauber by Ferrari junior Antonio Giovinazzi.

Alonso to miss Monaco GP to race in Indy

Fernando Alonso will miss the Monaco GP to race at the Indianapolis 500. Alonso said he had long held an ambition to win the so-called ‘triple crown’ of Monaco, the Indy 500 and Le Mans.

Button to return with for Monaco GP

Jenson Button will make a one-off return to Formula 1 for GP in Monaco as a stand-in for former team mate Fernando Alonso at McLaren. The 2009 World Champion will stand in for his former teammate Fernando Alonso, who announced earlier in the week that he would race at the Indy 500. Button said: “I’m thrilled to be making a one-off return to Formula 1 racing – and I couldn’t think of a better place to make that return!

Hamilton wins as Verstappen shines in China

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton wins the Chinese GP ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen as Kevin Magnussen scores Haas’s first points of the season.

09/04/17

Tyre choice

As the track is damp, most of the drivers are starting on the Intermediate tyre. All except one. That driver is Torro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz who is starting on the Supersoft tyre.

Race

At the end of the Formation lap, Jolyon Palmer pulls into the pits, swapping the Inters for a set of slicks. Sebastian Vettel is half a car length to the left of his grid spot. The lights go out and away we go. Lewis Hamilton has kept the lead with Vettel holding off Valtteri Bottas for 2nd. Daniel Ricciardo manages to get past Kimi Raikkonen into 3rd place. The onboard camera cuts to Lance Stroll who goes through turn 9 with a problem and then. Bang. Entering turn 10, Stroll is hit on the left rear tyre. He half spins and ends up beached in the gravel and becomes the first retirement of the race. The replay shows that Sergio Perez hit Stroll. The VSC is called out.

The Stewards declare that Sebastian Vettel is under investigation for being out of his grid position. Nico Hulkenberg pits at the end of lap 1. The race has been neutralised with Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso being the biggest gainers off the start. Verstappen is now 7th with Alonso behind in 8th. Lap 3, Vettel, Daniil Kvyat, Alonso, Felipe Massa and a couple more drivers pit. Crucially, Vettel goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 6th. Jolyon Palmer spins at turn 1. He rejoins the track.

Lap 4, Antonio Giovinazzi has crashed on the start/finish straight. The replay shows that Giovinazzi lost the car on the damp patch. The car pulled to the right and there was nothing for Giovinazzi to stop it. Due to this, the Safety Car has been called out. The SC leads the cars through the pit-lane as there a substantial amount of debris on the track. Hamilton, Bottas, Raikkonen and Verstappen pit. Hamilton, Bottas and Raikkonen go onto the Soft tyre while Verstappen goes onto the Supersoft tyre. Ricciardo pits as the SC leads the cars back through the pits on the next lap. He doesn’t lose any places and remains 2nd now on the Supersoft tyre.

Lewis Hamilton leads ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen, Valterri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel. The Stewards are not taking any action against Vettel being out of place at the start of the race. But the Stewards are looking into the incident between Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll. Bottas has now dropped to 5th place after the round of pit-stops. Why, well he was held up by teammate Lewis Hamilton, changing tyres first.  Bottas’s day goes from bad to worse as he spins between turn 10 and 11. He drops to 12th. A lot of work to do if he wants to be near the top 5. Lap 8, the SC comes in.

Max Verstappen is on a charge as he overtakes Kimi Raikkonen round the outside of turn 7. Verstappen is now 3rd and is chasing teammate Daniel Ricciardo. The Stewards confirm that there will be no further action between Sergio Perez or Lance Stroll. Lap 11, Verstappen overtakes Ricciardo going into turn 6. A late lunge by the Dutchman moves himself up into 2nd place. Lap 16, Nico Hulkenberg has received a 5 second time penalty combined with a 10 second time penalty for overtaking under the VSC and the SC. Lap 19, Stoffel Vandoorne’s race is over as McLaren report a fuel issue.

Lap 20, Sebastian Vettel has now overtaken teammate Kimi Raikkonen who has been held up by Daniel Ricciardo for a number of laps now. Vettel lunged down the inside of turn 6 and is now chasing Ricciardo. Lap 21, Sergio Perez pits and goes onto the Supersoft tyre. Lap 22, Vettel is right up behind Ricciardo and goes round the outside of Ricciardo into turn 6. Despite locking up, Vettel gets a good exit and is alongside Ricciardo. The pair rub wheels and Vettel gets ahead going into turn 7 and is now up into 3rd place. Just before, Vettel overtook Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat pulled over due to a suspected hydraulic issue.

Lap 26, Valterri Bottas overtakes Fernando Alonso for 7th place just before turn 14. Lap 28, Max Verstappen has Sebastian Vettel right behind him and the pressure gets to the Red Bull driver as he has a massive lock-up into turn 14. He goes off the track and Vettel gets past into 2nd place. The lock-up allows Daniel Ricciardo to catch up to the back of Verstappen. Lap 30, Carlos Sainz pits for the first time this race. He started on the Supersoft tyre and was the only driver to gamble between the Slicks or the Intermediate tyre. He goes onto the Soft tyre. Verstappen pits and he goes onto another set of the Supersoft tyres. Lap 33, Verstappen now overtakes Bottas for 5th place into turn 6.

Lap 34, Daniel Ricciardo pits, going onto another set of the Supersoft tyre. Fernando Alonso’s amazing race so far has come to a close as the McLaren Honda slows. Lap 35, Sebastian Vettel pits going onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in 3rd. Lap 36, Valterri Bottas pits also going onto the Soft tyre. At the end of lap 36, race leader, Lewis Hamilton pits. He goes onto the Softy tyre and rejoins in 2nd for now. Lap 39, having just made a pit-stop, Romain Grosjean overtakes Nico Hulkenberg into turn 6. The Frenchman dives to the inside and moves up into 12th place. Lap 40, Kimi Raikkonen pits from the lead. He goes onto the Supersoft tyre and rejoins in 6th. His job now is to catch the Red Bull drivers ahead of him.

Lewis Hamilton leads ahead of Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz, Kimi Raikkonen and Valterri Bottas. Lap 41, Raikkonen overtakes Sainz into turn 14 with Bottas overtaking Sainz on lap 44, also at turn 14. Lap 49, Kevin Magnussen overtakes Sergio Perez into turn 14. The Dane is now in 8th place and is on course to score good points for Haas. Lap 56, Ricciardo has been behind teammate Verstappen for a few laps now and his last attempt into turn 14 doesn’t pay off as he locks-up into the heavy breaking zone. Hamilton wins ahead of Vettel and Verstappen.

Race Results

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

Race Stats

  • Lewis Hamilton’s win was his fifth in China. Mercedes meanwhile have now won five of the last six races in Shanghai.
  • Sebastian Vettel scored his fifth Chinese podium and with Hamilton is now level pegging with the Brit at the top of the drivers’ standings.
  • Max Verstappen scored his 8th career podium with 3rd place. It was also Red Bull’s 100th GP.
  • Kevin Magnussen achieved his best finish since last year’s race in Russia as he picked up his first points for new team Haas in 8th.

Drivers Championship

  1. Sebastian Vettel 43pts
  2. Lewis Hamilton 43pts
  3. Max Verstappen 25pts
  4. Valterri Bottas 23pts
  5. Kimi Raikkonen 22pts
  6. Daniel Ricciardo 12pts
  7. Carlos Sainz 10pts
  8. Felipe Massa 8pts
  9. Sergio Perez 8pts
  10. Kevin Magnussen 4pts

Constructors Championship

  1. Ferrari 37pts
  2. Mercedes 33pts
  3. Red Bull 37pts
  4. Torro Rosso 12pts
  5. Force India 10pts
  6. Williams 8pts
  7. Haas 4pts
  8. Renault 0pts
  9. Sauber 0pts
  10. McLaren 0pts