Formula E Season 4: Drivers to look out for

With Pre-Season Testing completed, the teams and drivers prepare for the start of the season with a double-header in Hong Kong to kick off the season. I have picked out a couple of drivers and a few teams to look out for in Season 4.

20/11/17

Felix Rosenqvist (Mahindra Racing)

The Swedish driver made a huge impact during his rookie season by finishing 3rd in the Drivers Championship. Taking 3 Pole Positions and his first win, the first for Mahindra as well, at Round 7 in Berlin. Claiming 5 podiums and 4 Fastest Laps, Rosenqvist amassed 127 points to finish 3rd overall. The Swede is an all-round great street racer and it is understood that he has signed a deal with Mahindra longer for just this season.

My Prediction: Top 5 in Drivers Championship and 2 wins.

Mitch Evans (Panasonic Jaguar Racing)

A protégé of Mark Webber, Evans comfortably out-performed Adam Carroll in his rookie season. Grabbing his first points and his highest finish of 4th in Mexico, Evans went onto score 22 out of 27 of Jaguar’s total points. Finishing in 14th with 22 points, Evans impressed in Qualifying despite the Jaguar I-Type 1 lacking outright pace and energy efficiency. The the reward for the New Zealander, a second season with the Indian-owned British team.

My Prediction: Top 10 in Drivers Championship and a regular points scorer.

Jean-Eric Vergne (Techeetah)

The Frenchman has been around since Season 1 and is the only driver to race with 3 different teams. Vergne, took an emotional first win in Montreal last season on the road to 5th in the Drivers Championship with 117 points. 9 podiums and 1 Fastest Lap over the course of past 3 seasons along with 4 Pole Positions shows how quick Vergne is. His consistency in Qualifying allows him to fight at the sharp end.

My Prediction: Top 7 in Drivers Championship and 2 wins.

Alex Lynn (DS Virgin Racing)

The British driver had a massive impact on the series where he took his first pole position in only his first Qualifying. Lynn, stepped in to replace Jose Maria Lopez in New York as he had prior motorsport commitments. Over the 2 races, Lynn claimed 3 points for his pole potion and finished 22nd overall. This doesn’t give us an accurate representation of what he can do. Lynn replaces Lopez for Season 4 and has a bright future.

My Prediction: Top 10 in Drivers Championship and podium finishes.

Others to look out for:

  • Sebastian Buemi: Season 2 champion, 12 overall wins, 17 podiums and 8 Pole Positions. Buemi races for Renault e.Dams.
  • Lucas di Grassi: Season 3 champion, 6 overall wins, 20 podiums and 3 Pole Positions. Di Grassi races for Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler.
  • Neel Jani: Debuting for Season 4 with Dragon Racing after winning the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours with Porsche.
  • Andre Lotterer: Also debuting for Season 4, Lotterer has won The Le Mans 24 Hours 3 times, who also won the WEC title with Audi before switching to Porsche.

Panasonic Jaguar Racing

It was a tough first year for Jaguar who entered Formula E to showcase its future range of electric cars. Jaguar have technical assistance in the running of the car which comes from Williams. Jaguar’s target for this year is to score points on a regular basis with the I-TYPE 2. Jaguar keep Evans and have signed Season 1 champion Nelson Piquet for their season 4 assault.

My Prediction: Top 6 in Constructors Championship and a podium finishes.

Dragon Racing

Dragon arguably had one of the strongest line-ups last year but the team struggled to get the best out of the car and drivers. Although providing great intra-team battles on race day, Dragon finished 8th with only 33 points. A couple of fastest laps over the course of last season suggest there is pace to be unlocked. Neel Jani replaces Loic Duval and he wouldn’t have signed if he didn’t think there wasn’t potential.

My Prediction: Top 7 in Constructors Championship and regular point scorers.

 

 

 

 

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Vettel wins as Hamilton fights back

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel wins the Brazilian GP ahead of pole-sitter Valterri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen as Lewis Hamilton fights back through the field after starting from the pit-lane.

12/11/17

Tyre Choice

Daniel Ricciardo, Marcus Ericsson, Pierre Gasly and Lewis Hamilton will start on the Soft tyre. Everyone else will start on the Supersoft tyre.

Race

The lights go out and both Valterri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel get a good start. Vettel is able to squeeze down the inside of turn 1 to lead. Bottas follows in 2nd with Kimi Raikkonen in 3rd. Max Verstappen holds off Fernando Alonso for 4th.

Daniel Ricciardo goes round the outside of Stoffel Vandoorne and Kevin Magnussen of turn 2. The Australian spins and ends up on the grass. Was there contact? Up ahead, on the approach to turn 6, Esteban Ocon and Romain Grosjean go side-by-side. Contact is made and both spin. The Safety Car is deployed for Vandoorne’s stricken McLaren.

The replay shows that Kevin Magnussen hit Stoffel Vandoorne who was then forced to hit Daniel Ricciardo. Another replay shows that Romain Grosjean lost the rear of the car, sliding into Ocon. The Safety Car leads the cars through the pits as Ricciardo and Grosjean pit for the Soft tyre. Ocon, Magnussen and Vandoorne are out of the race. The Safety Car comes in and we’re racing on lap 5.

Felipe Massa overtakes Fernando Alonso for 5th into turn 1. Lap 7, Lewis Hamilton overtakes Lance Stroll for 12th into turn 1. Lap 10, Hamilton now overtakes Carlos Sainz for 9th into turn 1. Lap 11, Daniel Ricciardo comes from a long way back to overtake Stroll for 13th into turn 1. Ricciardo is on fire and overtakes Marcus Ericsson for 12th into turn 4.

Lap 20, Lewis Hamilton has caught up to Fernando Alonso and overtakes the McLaren driver into turn 1 for 6th. Lap 21, Hamilton now overtakes Felipe Massa for 5th into turn 4. Romain Grosjean is given a 10 second time penalty for causing a collision. Lap 24, Pascal Wehrlein reports back to his Sauber team that he is experiencing a loss of power. Lap 28, Valterri Bottas pits. The Finn rejoins in 5th on the Soft tyre.

Lap 29, Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen pit. Both go onto the Soft tyre. Vettel rejoins on the track just ahead of Valterri Bottas. Kimi Raikkonen also pits going onto the Soft tyre. Lap 31, Lewis Hamilton now leads without making his first stop ahead of Vettel, Bottas and Raikkonen. After the round of pit-stops, Fernando Alonso still finds himself behind Felipe Massa. Lap 42, Toro Rosso tell Brendon Hartley to retire the car. It’s a shame for Hartley as he was hoping for a points finish.

Lap 44, the number 44 car comes in for his first pit-stop. Lewis Hamilton rejoins on the Supersoft tyre in 5th while Daniel Ricciardo rejoins in 8th on the Supersoft tyre as well. Hamilton is told a podium finish is within his grasp and he responds by setting the fastest lap of the race. Lap 47, Ricciardo overtakes Felipe Massa for 6th place into turn 1. Lap 52, Hamilton is rapidly catching Max Verstappen and is only 14 seconds behind race leader Sebastian Vettel.

Lap 59, Lewis Hamilton overtakes Max Verstappen for 4th into turn 4. Lap 62, Sergio Perez is keeping within close distance to Massa/Alonso battle with Nico Hulkenberg 12 seconds behind Perez in 10th. Carlos Sainz is currently in 11th with Pierre Gasly and Pascal Wehrlein in 12th and 13th. Having lost the position to Hamilton, Verstappen pits on lap 63 going onto the Supersoft tyre.

Lap 66, Lewis Hamilton has caught up to the back of 3rd place Kimi Raikkonen. Lap 69, Lance Stroll is going very slowly with a left front puncture. Sebastian Vettel comes round to win ahead of Valterri Bottas. But who will get the final podium spot? Raikkonen holds onto his 3rd consecutive podium finish ahead of Hamilton. Felipe Massa holds onto 7th just ahead of Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez. Hamilton gets the fans “Driver of the Day.”

Race Result

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

Drivers Championship

  1. Lewis Hamilton 345pts
  2. Sebastian Vettel 302pts
  3. Valterri Bottas 280pts
  4. Daniel Ricciardo 200pts
  5. Kimi Raikkonen 193pts
  6. Max Verstappen158pts
  7. Sergio Perez 94pts
  8. Esteban Ocon 83pts
  9. Carlos Sainz 54pts
  10. Felipe Massa 42pts

Constructors Championship

  1. Mercedes 625pts
  2. Ferrari 495pts
  3. Red Bull 358pts
  4. Force India 177pts
  5. Williams 82pts
  6. Toro Rosso 53pts
  7. Renault 49pts
  8. Haas 47pts
  9. McLaren 28pts
  10. Sauber 5pts

 

Bottas pips Vettel to Brazil Pole

Mercedes Valterri Bottas takes pole position ahead of both Ferrari’s of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen in close qualifying session as Lewis Hamilton crashes out of Q1.

11/11/17

Qualifying

Q1

The first part of Qualifying begins with Pascal Wehrlein appearing on track along with Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas. Hamilton starts his first lap with a quick first sector and then the car catches him out. Hamilton loses the rear of the car, slides and ends up in the barrier just before turn 7.  It’s a big impact resulting with the 4th time champ out of Q1. The Red Flag is called out with 15 minutes and 52 seconds to go.

The session restarts with Nico Hulkenberg first on track. His first time of a 1:10:947 is quickly beaten by Valterri Bottas with a 1:10:053. Interesting to note that both Ferrari’s are on the Soft compound tyre. Kimi Raikkonen goes quickest on a 1:09:045. Lance Stroll missed most of FP3 due to a gearbox failure is currently in the drop-zone.

The drivers head out for their final laps. Felipe Massa improves to 4th and Brendon Hartley to 15th. The rest can’t improve with Raikkonen quickest ahead of Bottas and Sebastian Vettel.

Out: Hamilton – no time, Ericsson – 19th, Stroll – 18th, Gasly – 17th and Wehrlein – 16th.

Q2

Q2 starts with Valterri Bottas out on track. There are reports of drizzles of light rain in the pit-lane. His first lap is a 1:08:901 as Daniel Ricciardo momentary appears 2nd on 1:09:791 on the Soft tyre. Fernando Alonso goes 7th on a 1:09:961, 3 tenths behind Felipe Massa but ahead of both Renault’s and Force India’s.

With 6 minutes to go, Brendon Harley is the only driver not to set a lap time. Both Haas’s, Stoffel Vandoorne and Nico Hulkenberg are in the drop-zone. The clock ticks down with Valterri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel improving. The biggest surprise is Esteban Ocon who just misses out in 11th. Vettel ends the session quickest ahead of Bottas and Max Verstappen.

Out: Hartley – no time, Magnussen – 14th, Vandoorne – 13th, Grosjean – 12th and Ocon – 11th.

Q3

Q3 starts with Valterri Bottas appearing quite early on the track. His first lap is an 1:08:442, a couple of tenths better than his fastest Q2 time. Sebastian Vettel response? He goes quickest on a 1:08:360. Kimi Raikkonen slots into 3rd with Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo behind. Felipe Massa has a scary moment as he lost the rear of the car for only a couple of seconds. Unlike Hamilton, he is able to catch it and continue.

The drivers head out for their second runs. Vettel is slightly down on his sector 1 time with Raikkonen going quicker. Bottas’s first sector is also very good as Vettel is 1 tenth down in sector 2. Vettel completes the lap and doesn’t improve on a 1:08:418. Raikkonen improves but it’s not enough for the front-row. Bottas crosses the line to take pole position on a 1:08:322.

Bottas takes his 3rd career pole and his first since Austria. Behind, Verstappen beats Ricciardo to 4th with Sergio Perez “best of the rest” in 6th. Fernando Alonso ends up a decent 7th in which he is very happy about ahead of both Renault’s and Felipe Massa.

Qualifying Result

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

Ricciardo, Stroll, Hartley and Gasly will all take engine penalties ( 10,5,10,25 places) Hamilton will start from the pit-lane.

Classic Brazilian GPs

The Autódromo José Carlos Pace circuit in São Paulo, Brazil has hosted many memorable moments in Formula One history. The weather has often played a part in one or two championship decider races. Take a look back at some classic races.

10/11/17

1993

Williams-Renault drive Alain Prost led a 1-2 in Qualifying ahead of teammate Damon Hill followed by the McLaren-Ford of Ayrton Senna. Benetton-Ford driver Michael Schumacher started in 4th.

Prost led from the start as Senna overtook Hill for 2nd. On lap 25, Senna was issued with a 10 second stop-go penalty for overtaking a backmarker under yellow flags and dropped behind Schumacher. Rain started to pour with Hill and Senna pitting to the wet tyre. Prost stayed out and lost control, hitting Christian Fittipaldi’s car. The Safety Car came out with Hill ahead of Senna and Schumacher.

The rain stopped and the drivers pitted to switch to the dry tyres. Senna passed Hill for the lead. Behind Schumacher and Jean Alesi served their stop-go penalties. Schumacher overtook Mark Blundell and Johnny Herbert for the last podium position.

Senna celebrated his first win of the season and the 100th win for McLaren. 5 time champion, Juan Manuel Fangio was also present congratulating Senna. Senna took a 6 point lead in the championship over Prost.

2001

Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher qualified on pole position ahead Williams driver Ralf Schumacher. McLaren’s Mika Hakkinen, Williams Juan Pablo Montoya and the other McLaren of David Coulthard rounded out the top 5.

Schumacher led from pole as Hakkinen stalled on the grid. The Safety Car came out and racing resumed on lap 3 where Montoya overtook Schumacher for the lead into turn 1. Behind Rubens Barrichello hit the rear of Ralf Schumacher. Lap 39, Montoya lapped Jos Verstappen until the Dutchman rammed the Williams driver out of the race.

The race began to fall. Schumacher pitted with Coulthard staying out. The race looked to be lost for Coulthard until Schumacher spun. Coulthard caught up and overtook the Ferrari driver into turn 1. Coulthard won with Schumacher a distant 2nd after spinning again. Nick Heidfeld took 3rd in Sauber’s first podium since 1998.

2008

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa qualified on pole position ahead of Toyota’s Jarno Trulli and the other Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen. Championship leader, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton qualified in 4th with teammate Heikki Kovalainen in 5th.

Before the start, rain fell, delaying the start and insuring drivers switched to the wet tyre. Massa started well as Nico Rosberg and David Coulthard tangled. Coulthard retired in his 246 race after 15 years in F1. Conditions improved with most pitting to the dry tyre. Hamilton dropped down the order but continued to fight on, overtaking Trulli and Giancarlo Fisichella to move back up into 5th.

Rain returned with Hamilton diving into the pits with race leader Massa a lap later onto the wet tyre. Crucially, Trulli and team-mate Timo Glock stayed out on dry tyres. Sebastian Vettel overtook Hamilton and put him outside of the position he needed to win the championship.

Meanwhile, Massa went onto win with Fernando Alonso and Raikkonen rounding out the podium. The rain fell harder and Hamilton overtook Glock for 5th place on the last corner on the last lap. Hamilton won the first of his now 4 championships by a single point over Massa.

F1 News Round-up #8

The 8th instalment of the F1 News segment with stories including Max Verstappen committing to Red Bull Racing and Fernando Alonso decision to race at the 2018 Daytona 24 Hours.

05/11/17

Verstappen extends Red Bull deal

Max Verstappen will continue to drive at Red Bull for the next 3 years. The extended 3 years will see Verstappen drive with Red Bull through to 2020. Verstappen won his first GP in his first race with Red Bull in Spain in 2016.

“Red Bull has always shown their faith and belief in me with actions; inviting me in to the young driver programme as a 16-year-old, then giving me my start in Formula One when I was just 17, and then the opportunity to race with Red Bull Racing where I had such a dream start with this team,” said Verstappen, who won his second GP in Malaysia earlier this month.

Alonso to race at Daytona in 2018

Double World Champion, Fernando Alonso will race in the 2018 Daytona 24 Hours for United Autosports sportscar team, which is owned by Zak Brown, McLaren’s executive director.  Alonso will race alongside Phil Hanson and Lando Norris in the event, which will be held on January 26-27. Alonso has previously revealed his ambition to complete F1’s Triple Crown – the Indy 500, Le Mans and the Monaco GP.

Kvyat’s Toro Rosso career over

Former Red Bull driver, Daniil Kvyat will not race for Toro Rosso again and he is free to find a new team, sources have confirmed. Kvyat’s last GP appearance was at the American GP where he finished in 10th place. It is also confirmed that Toro Rosso will run Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley for the rest of the season. For 2018, there is a slim chance for Kvyat could sign with Williams, the only team not to have confirmed their second driver.

FIA and F1 set out clear direction for 2021 power units

Formula 1 and governing body the FIA have laid out proposals for the next generation of F1 power units, with improved noise, reduced cost, and a more level playing field among the key objectives.

“The new F1 has the target to be the world’s leading global sports competition married to state of the art technology. To excite, engage, and awe fans of all ages but to do so in a sustainable manner. We believe that the future power unit will achieve this.” Said Ross Brawn.

 

 

 

 

Hamilton seals 4th Title as Verstappen wins in Mexico

Red Bulls Max Verstappen wins the Mexican GP ahead of Mercedes Valterri Bottas and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen as Lewis Hamilton becomes the most successful British driver by winning his 4th Drivers Championship.

29/10/17

Qualifying Result

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

Ricciardo, Harley, Alonso and Gasly will serve engine penalties of 20 places each. Vandoorne will get a 35 place grid penalty.

Tyre Choice

Romain Grosjean and Fernando Alonso will start the race on the Supersoft tyre. Everyone else will start on the Ultrasoft tyre.

Race

The lights go out and It’s Sebastian Vettel who leads with Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton tucking in behind. Vettel goes to the inside of turn 1 with Verstappen in the middle and Hamilton on the out-side. Hamilton hangs back as Vettel and Verstappen touch tyres. Verstappen hangs round turn 1 and 2 to lead with Hamilton following behind. Vettel takes to the inside of turn 3 and taps Hamilton’s right-rear tyre. Hamilton slows with a puncture and Vettel has front wing damage.

At the end of the lap, Sebastian Vettel pits, changes his front wing and takes on the Soft tyre. Seconds later, Lewis Hamilton limps back and it’s a slow stop as Mercedes assess the damage. Hamilton goes onto the Soft tyre and rejoins in last. So Max Verstappen leads ahead of Valterri Bottas, Esteban Ocon, Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez and Felipe Massa. Daniel Ricciardo is now 8th after starting 16th with Vettel 18th and Hamilton still last.

Lap 6, Daniel Ricciardo pulls into the pits and it’s a second retirement in a row for the Australian. Lap 8, Max Verstappen now leads by 3.9 seconds ahead of Valterri Bottas. Lap 16, Sebastian Vettel overtakes Pierre Gasly into turn 1 and up into 14th place. Vettel repeats the same move on Romain Grosjean on lap 18 and is now in 13th. Lap 19, Sergio Perez pits going onto the Soft tyre.

Lap 20, Nico Hulkenberg pits, also going onto the Soft tyre. Lap 21, Esteban Ocon pits, also going onto the Soft tyre. Lap 22, race leader Max Verstappen laps Lewis Hamilton who is struggling to make progress. Lap 26, Hulkenberg pulls over at the side of the track as Renault tell him urgently to do. Lap 30, Sergio Perez overtakes Kevin Magnussen into turn 1 and up into 6th place to the crowd’s delight. Behind, Sebastian Vettel overtakes Fernando Alonso into turn 1 and up into 8th place.

Lap 32, Brendon Hartley pulls up at the side of the track between turns 6 and 7 with the back of the car on fire. The Virtual Safety Car is called out with most drivers diving into the pits. Max Verstappen, Valterri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton and Lance Stroll go onto the Soft tyre. Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel goes onto the Ultrasoft tyre. The VSC ends with Verstappen regaining the lead. Lap 38, Vettel overtakes Kevin Magnussen into turn 1 and up into 7th place.

Lap 42, Max Verstappen leads by 13 seconds ahead of Valterri Bottas who is ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll. Lap 51, Sebastian Vettel continues his charge by overtaking Sergio Perez into turn 4 and up into 6th place. Lap 52, Lewis Hamilton overtakes Stoffel Vandoorne into turn 1 and up into 11th place, just one place of the points and the championship. Lap 54, Vettel overtakes Stroll for 5th place into turn 1. Lap 57, Hamilton overtakes Felipe Massa for 10th place into turn 2 as Vettel overtakes Ocon for 4th.

Marcus Ericsson’s great race for Sauber comes to an end with an engine failure. The Swede pulls into the pits on fire. His mechanics quickly extinguishes the fire. Lap 60, by overtaking Esteban Ocon, Sebastian Vettel is told by Ferrari team radio that the gap to team-mate Kimi Raikkonen is 23 seconds. Vettel replies with “Mama Mia, that’s a little bit too much.” As it stands, Lewis Hamilton will clinch the Championship if Vettel cannot progress further.

Lap 62, Carlos Sainz pulls into the pits and retires the car. Lap 68, after defending heavily from Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton manages to overtake his former team-mate into turn 5. Hamilton now sits in 9th place with Kevin Magnussen only a couple of seconds up the road in 8th.

Max Verstappen has been pushing all race, breaking the lap record numerous times and held off Valterri Bottas to win the Mexican GP. Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen cross the line in 2nd and 3rd with Sebastian Vettel coming home in 4th. A valiant effort by the German but 9th place is enough for Lewis Hamilton to secure the 2017 Drivers World Championship!

Lewis Hamilton becomes the most successful British driver by securing his 4th Drivers Championship. He joins an elite group of driver to win 4 titles which includes rival Sebastian Vettel and Alain Prost. Only Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher have more. 

Race Result

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

Drivers Championship

  1. Lewis Hamilton (World Champion) 333pts
  2. Sebastian Vettel 277pts
  3. Valterri Bottas 262pts
  4. Daniel Ricciardo 192pts
  5. Kimi Raikkonen 178pts
  6. Max Verstappen 148pts
  7. Sergio Perez 92pts
  8. Esteban Ocon 83pts
  9. Carlos Sainz 54pts
  10. Lance Stroll 40pts

Constructors Championship

  1. Mercedes 595pts
  2. Ferrari 455pts
  3. Red Bull 340pts
  4. Force India 175pts
  5. Williams 76pts
  6. Toro Rosso 53pts
  7. Renault 48pts
  8. Haas 47pts
  9. McLaren 24pts
  10. Sauber 5pts

 

 

 

Hamilton edges closer to 4th title with Austin win

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton wins the American GP ahead of Championship rival Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is given a time penalty which demotes him off the podium.

22/10/17

Qualifying Result

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

Stroll and Magnussen received 3 place grid penalties each for their separate incident in Qualifying impeding Grosjean and Perez. Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Hartley and Vandoorne received engine penalties.

Tyre Choice

Felipe Massa, Marcus Ericsson, Lance Stroll, Max Verstappen, Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne will start on the Supersoft tyre with Pascal Wehrlein starting on the Soft tyre. Everyone else will start on the Ultrasoft tyre.

Race

The lights go out and Sebastian Vettel gets a better start than Lewis Hamilton to take the lead into turn 1. Valterri Bottas follows behind ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon, who has overtaken Kimi Raikkonen. Lap 2, Vettel and Hamilton are sprinting away with Bottas now having to defend from Ricciardo into turn 2, 3 and 4. Meanwhile, Max Verstappen has made progress and is now 11th after starting 16th. Raikkonen overtakes Ocon at turn 15 and up into 5th place.

Lap 4, Nico Hulkenberg retires from the race. Lap 6, the gap has been closing between the top 2 and Lewis Hamilton is now within DRS range. Hamilton closes and overtakes Sebastian Vettel into turn 12. Lap 8, Max Verstappen is now 7th and only 16 seconds behind race leader Hamilton. Lap 10, Verstappen overtakes Esteban Ocon for 6th into turn 12. Lap 12, Daniel Ricciardo pits for the Supersoft tyre and rejoins in 9th.

Lap 15, Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso pit. Both rejoin on the Soft tyre. Lap 16, Daniel Ricciardo is out. The Australian pulls up at turn 15 with engine issues. Lap 17, Sebastian Vettel pits and rejoins on the Soft tyre. Lap 19, Valterri Bottas pits and rejoins on the Soft tyre. Lap 20, Lewis Hamilton pits and rejoins on the Soft tyre with Kimi Raikkonen also switching to the Soft tyre. Lap 24, Hamilton rejoins behind Max Verstappen, who is still yet to pit and overtakes the Red Bull driver into turn 16. Verstappen then pits at the end of lap 24, going onto the Soft tyre.

Fernando Alonso is out. The Spaniard was having a good race until engine troubles ended his race at turn 12. Lap 30, Felipe Massa pits and goes onto the Ultrasoft tyre. Lap 33, Carlos Sainz overtakes Sergio Perez at turn 19 and up into 7th place. Lap 38, Max Verstappen pits. Converting to a 2-stop, Verstappen switches to the Supersoft tyre. Lap 39, Ferrari are in the pit-lane with Sebastian Vettel diving in. Reacting to Verstappen, Vettel goes onto the Supersoft tyre.

Lap 42, Kimi Raikkonen overtakes a struggling Valterri Bottas into turn 12 and up into 2nd for now. Lap 47, Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen are catching the top 3, but are navigating lapped cars at the moment. Vettel overtakes Marcus Ericsson before turn 12. Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen then make contact. Lap 50, Ericsson is subsequently given a 5 second time penalty for the incident. Lap 51, Vettel overtakes Bottas outside of turn 1 and up into 3rd.

Sebastian Vettel then is “let through” by teammate Kimi Raikkonen for 2nd place into turn 1 on lap 52. Further in the lap, Max Verstappen now overtakes Valterri Bottas for 4th place into turn 16. Bottas pits on lap 53 and rejoins in 5th. Lap 56, Lewis Hamilton wins ahead of Vettel but the final podium position is still up for grabs with Verstappen taking 3rd. A tremendous effort but the Dutchman is under investigation.

Hamilton, Vettel and Verstappen are getting ready to go onto the podium as the Stewards reveal their decision. It’s a 5 second penalty which would put Raikkonen 3rd, demoting Verstappen to 4th! The replay shows Verstappen with all four wheels off the track when overtaking Raikkonen. Verstappen is taken off the podium although winning the Fans “Driver of the Day”.

Race Result

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

My View

With his 9th win of the season in the bag, Lewis Hamilton seems to have his 4th world title also in his bag. It’ll be a final, desperate push for Sebastian Vettel next weekend in Mexico to stop Hamilton from clinching the title. Just to show how poor the second half of the season has been for Vettel, 2nd today was his first podium since Italian GP. The last-lap penalty given to Verstappen was fair in my opinion. Although, I think the Stewards will have to clamp down on all “off track” incidents. My driver of the day was undoubtedly Carlos Sainz in his first race for Renault. Daniil Kvyat did well in his return to Toro Rosso, but will he be there for the rest of the season or even next year? F1 newcomer, Brendon Hartley had a solid debut race with promising pace finished in 13th

Drivers Championship

  1. Lewis Hamilton 331pts
  2. Sebastian Vettel 265pts
  3. Valterri Bottas 244pts
  4. Daniel Ricciardo 192pts
  5. Kimi Raikkonen 163pts
  6. Max Verstappen 123pts
  7. Sergio Perez 86pts
  8. Esteban Ocon 73pts
  9. Carlos Sainz 54pts
  10. Felipe Massa 36pts

Constructors Championship

  1. Mercedes 575pts
  2. Ferrari 428pts
  3. Red Bull Racing 315pts
  4. Force India 159pts
  5. Williams 68pts
  6. Toro Rosso 53pts
  7. Renault 48pts
  8. Haas 43pts
  9. McLaren 23pts
  10. Sauber 5pts