Monthly Archives: July 2013

2013 Hungarian Grand Prix Race Weekend Review

Sebastian Vettel wins in Germany, Kimi Raikkonen with a good drive to second place and Romain Grosjean claims the final place on the podium after a good drive. McLaren yet again have made small improvements to their car in order to gain their way back to the front and score some much needed points. And people are still wishing that Sebastian Vettel and the Mercedes’ drivers still do not have the pace with their cars in qualifying…

Also, the tyre debate [I called it tyre-gate] that is ongoing with Pirelli from the Spanish Grand Prix does not look like being stopped. As I mentioned in my F1 News piece two month ago on the blog, many pundits, fans, teams, drivers or anyone associated in the sport has spoken out about the situation. This is itself has been debated heavily by everyone within the sport and we have now saw Pirelli changing the construction of the tyres for the rest of the season. Pirelli has now used the 2012 construction but with the 2013 compounds with strict orders placed by the FIA in relation to areas for example such as camber. Will this benefit some teams more than others? We shall see.

In terms of the circuit, The Hungarian Grand Prix is a circuit that most drivers and teams look forward to visiting every year. The circuit is literally demanding due to a lot of slow and medium speed corners and traction will be extremely important. Overtaking is very difficult but DRS has helped the drivers for the last few years. Sector 2 will be important for the drivers to get consistently get right due to the bumpiness of the track. Usually the weather in Hungary is very hot, but rain can sometimes come!

This Grand Prix will be one full of questions of who again can go longer on their tyres, who can save the most tyres for the race on Sunday, which car has got their car set up the most competitive and race ready? Have McLaren and Williams made a significant step forward with their upgrades in their fight to get back to the front?

Alongside these questions, questions if Red Bull, Lotus or Mercedes will be able this weekend to help their own fight in the championships, can McLaren small improvements on their cars help them this weekend before Hungary where more upgrades are planned to take place on the car, who will be competitive from the off, who has the quickest car and who will win this race on Sunday?

The race weekend begins now….

Strap yourselves in. The new season begins now…

Practices 1, 2 and 3

The main headline from the Practice sessions is Red Bull look to have the driver-car package to beat this weekend as weather conditions and tyre management test the drivers, teams and the cars throughout Friday and Saturday practice sessions.

Practice 1 saw Sebastian Vettel top the timesheets with a time of 1.22.723 followed closely by Webber with a gap of 0.259 seconds, Raikkonen in third with a gap of 0.287 seconds, Alonso in fourth with a gap of 0.376 seconds and Grosjean in fifth with a gap of 0.388 seconds. Jenson Button impressed the paddock by topping the timesheets in 6th place with a gap of 0.647 seconds behind Vettel. The biggest surprise of the session was Lewis Hamilton only managing to top the timesheets in 13th place.

Within Practice 1, the main talking point was Jean-Eric Vergne early on into the session experiencing an off in his Toro Rosso car at Turn 4. Vergne was able to continue on with the session after this.

Practice 2 saw Sebastian Vettel top the timesheets with a time of 1.21.264 followed by Webber with a gap of 0.044 seconds, Grosjean in third with a gap of 0.153 seconds, Alonso in fourth with a gap of 0.162 seconds behind and Massa in fifth with a gap of 0.280 seconds behind Vettel. Adrian Sutil managed to achieve a top 10 finish with an 10th place for him with a gap of 1.040 seconds behind Vettel showing that Force India may have the pace to get some good championship points this weekend. Hamilton managed to get seventh place in the session. Di Resta and Perez could only manage 11th and 12th places in the session. Button managed a strong 9th place indicating that both maybe do not have the pace needed to have a strong weekend in order to win, but could be in the hunt for some much needed points for the team and to carry on working through their upgrade programme.

Practice 3 saw Romain Grosjean top the timesheet with a time of 1.20.730 followed by Alonso with a time of gap of 0.168 seconds behind, Perez in third with a gap of 0.322 seconds behind, Vettel in fourth with a gap of 0.395 seconds behind and Massa in a fifth with a gap of 0.421 seconds behind. Again, the surprise of the session is Adrian Sutil managing to grab 10th place showing that they have good pace within the Force India car. Button looks to be having a good weekend so far with claiming 9th place which show that McLaren may have a fight on their hands to get into Q3 and to gain some championship points today.

Within Practice 3, Sergio Perez at Turn 11 experienced an off on the track by dipping a left rear wheel on the white line. Judging by Perez’s response to the accident, it would seem that he was to blame for this fault and this leaves his team trying to fix the car before qualifying.

You would be stupid not to bet against the Mercedes drivers of Hamilton and Rosberg and also Vettel to gain pole position again this weekend. As all three drivers seem to be excelling in qualifying at the moment and the momentum is with them from claiming Pole Positions in four rounds of the championship so far. Alonso, Massa, Webber and Raikkonen also cannot be discounted for the pole also as they are consistently within the top five places at the moment.

Button and Perez even with upgrade programme and making good and solid progress with points finishes in previous races, seem to have made an improvement.  It seems from looking at their performances that the pace is coming slowly and steadily and both drivers I will admit will struggle to even make Qualifying 2 or maybe even the points in the race and it will take a lot of skill and talent to do that in a car that is not capable, unless a bit of unexpected rain happens (which is very unlikely). However, I think that Force India have shown that they could throw themselves into the mix and could qualify well here to be in the hunt for some decent points this weekend. We all look forward to the qualifying session of the Grand Prix with excitement…

Qualifying

It looks like Mercedes and the Red Bull’s  are looking like the teams to beat heading into the session look set to challenge Ferrari, Mercedes or Lotus for pole position today due to current form that they have shown. But Force India may spring a surprise and throw a spanner into the works based on their early pace and promise within the Practice sessions. And it is looking likely that it will be a challenge for the Williams drivers of Bottas and Maldonado to clear Q1 and also the McLaren drivers of Button and Perez to clear Q2 as both teams do not have the pace within their cars to challenge the top teams this weekend.

Let the battle for Pole Position begin…

In Q1, Rosberg tops the timesheets with a time of 1.20.350, Hamilton was second with a gap of 0.013 seconds, Grosjean was third with a gap of 0.097 seconds, Vettel was fourth with a gap of 0.296 seconds and Alonso was fifth with a gap of 0.302 seconds.  Maldonado, Raikkonen, Massa, Hulkenberg and Button managed to get 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th places for their teams. At the end of Q1, we lose Guiterrez, Di Resta, Pic, Van Der Garde, Bianchi, and Chilton.

In Q2, Rosberg again tops the timesheets with a time of 1.19.778, Hamilton is second with a gap of 0.084 seconds behind, Vettel is third with a gap of 0.214 seconds behind, Grosjean is fourth with a gap of 0.323 seconds behind and Alonso is a credible fifth with a gap of 0.405 seconds behind. The big surprise of the session was Riccardo finished the session in 9th place. At the end of Q2, we lose Sutil, Hulkenberg, Button, Vergne, Maldonado and Bottas. The battle for pole position is on…

In Q3, Hamilton tops the timesheet and gets pole with a amazingly fast lap time of 1.19.388 , Vettel was second fastest with a gap of 0.038 seconds behind, Grosjean was third fastest with a gap of 0.207 seconds behind, Rosberg was fourth fastest with a gap of 0.332 seconds behind, Alonso was fifth fastest with a gap of 0.403 seconds behind, Raikkonen was sixth fastest with a gap of 0.463 seconds behind, Massa was seventh fastest with a gap of 0.541 seconds behind, Riccardo was a credible eighth fastest with a gap of 1.253 seconds behind, Perez was ninth fastest and Webber was tenth fastest.

It would seem that Red Bull genuinely has the pace to challenge for the race win again this weekend which I am absolutely not thrilled about. However, both sets of drivers seem to have the cars underneath them to do this. You cannot discount Hamilton, Webber or Rosberg to be challenging also for the race win in order to keep their seasons off to a flying start. Alonso or Raikkonen could also be the dark horses to take the win away from Mercedes and Red Bull and Ferrari and Lotus to gain some points on his rivals for the championship.

Button, Sutil, Di Resta and Riccardo could also have a decent race tomorrow and pick up some much needed points for Force India and Toro Rosso before heading to the next race in Germany. Will it rain tomorrow? Maybe. Who will win the Grand Prix tomorrow? I really don’t know (hoping for a Button win!). Who will lead the championship after this race? Will it be Vettel, Alonso, Raikkonen, Alonso or Hamilton? I don’t know.  The Grand Prix has been set up nicely, just like the last race. Let’s see what happens…

Race

The F1 world is watching and waiting to see if the 2013 German Grand Prix will live up to expectations and who will be the winner? Here we go…

All 22 drivers are lined up on their grid positions, five red lights and its GO!!!!!!!!

Hamilton gets off the line and has a good start and leads into the first corner. Rosberg also gets a good start and is putting pressure on Vettel. Vettel has had a bad start and seems to have been bogged down. Massa has also had a good start even though he is still behind Alonso. Meanwhile, Grosjean manages to get on the outside of Vettel and Rosberg is also looking for a way past. Jenson has a cracker of a start from 13th place.

Alonso manages to pass Rosberg. A few corners later, Rosberg after being tapped by Massa is off the track and looks like to be suffering with right rear damage. Further on down the track, Di Resta passes his team mate Sutil.

Lap 2 and Hamilton leads by 1.1 seconds. Webber is up to 11th place. Di Resta is up to 13th place and Maldonado is up to 11th place. On track Hulkenberg passes Sutil. Lap 5 sees the battle for 5th place hot up between Massa and Raikkonen. The next lap sees Grosjean applying pressure to Vettel for second place at this stage in the race.

At the end of Lap 9, Hamilton pits for new tyres with a stop time of 3 seconds and rejoins the race in 8th place handing the head to Vettel. At the end of Lap 10, Riccardo and Rosberg pit for tyres. Lap 11 sees Vettel leading by 0.7 seconds. The battle for 4th between Massa and Raikkonen heats up. On track, Hamilton passes Jenson with a good move. At the end of the lap, Vettel pits for new tyres with a stop time of 2.6 seconds and rejoins the race in 7th place.

Lap 12 sees Grosjean leading the race ahead of Alonso by 4.9 seconds. The battle between Button and Vettel for 6th place is grabbing our attention. At the end of the lap, Alonso pits with a stop time of 2.6 seconds and rejoins the race in 7th place. At the end of Lap 13, both Grosjean and Raikkonen pit for tyres and rejoin the race back in 4th and 9th places.

Lap 15 sees Mark Webber leading the race ahead of Hamilton by 5.4 seconds. The battle for the final place on the podium between Button, Vettel and Grosjean is ongoing. The two laps sees Vettel trying to get past Jenson but cannot do so. Also, Grosjean is starting to get even closer into this battle and looks like he could try Vettel very soon.

Lap 18 sees Webber lead by 5.2 seconds. Grosjean in the battle with Vettel for 4th place tries to make a move on the German but cannot do so. While this is ongoing, Alonso seems to be gaining on this battle between Grosjean and Vettel. On track, Raikkonen passes Massa for 8th place. Lap 20 sees Webber lead by 4.7 seconds. Sutil retires from the Grand Prix due to a hydraulic leak on his Force India. At the end of 23, Webber pits for new tyres with a stop time of 2.9 seconds and rejoins the race in 6th place.

Lap 24 sees Hamilton leading the Grand Prix from Button by 12.1 seconds. On track, Vettel passes Jenson on track at Turn 4. Grosjean behind is eyeing up Button himself and while passing him, both drivers touch. Alonso is then able to pass Jenson. At the end of the lap, Jenson pits for tyres with a stop time of 3.3 seconds and rejoins the race in 7th place. The next lap sees Grosjean pit for new tyres.

Lap 27 sees Lewis extend his lead by 13.3 seconds. The stewards are now looking at the incident between Grosjean and Button a few laps ago. The battle for 3rd between Alonso and Webber is ongoing. The next lap sees Grosjean passing Massa on track for position.

Lap 31 sees Lewis lead by 11.9 seconds. On track, Button is not able to pass Massa on track but a few corners later Jenson is able to make the move stick. At the end of the lap, Hamilton pits with a stop time of 2.7 seconds and rejoins the race in 4th place. Also, Massa pits with a stop time of 2.9 seconds and rejoins the race in 10th place.

Lap 34 sees Vettel leading the race ahead of Alonso by 7.5 seconds. Webber and Hamilton are battling for third place. Hamilton is then able to pass Webber for third place. At the end of the lap, Alonso pits with a stop time of 2.7 seconds and rejoins the race in 7th place. Also, Vettel pits with a stop time of 3.2 seconds and rejoins the race by 5th place.

Lap 36 and Lewis retakes the lead of the race and leads Webber by 1.2 seconds. Grosjean has a drive through penalty from the stewards as a result of the second incident he has encountered during the race. The next lap sees the stewards announcing that the incident between Grosjean and Button will be investigated after the race. On track, Vettel passes Jenson for position.

Lap 39 sees Lewis leading by 1.7 seconds. Nico Hulkenberg has a drive through penalty for speeding in the pitlane. The battle for 5th between Alonso and Grosjean is ongoing. By Lap 42, Hamilton leads by 2.6 seconds. At the end of Lap 42, Raikkonen pits for tyres with a stop time of 2.8 seconds and rejoins the race in 6th place. The next lap sees Webber pit for new tyres and rejoining the race in 3rd place. Lap 45 sees Bottas retire from the race.

Lap 46 sees Hamilton leading the race by 15.3 seconds. Alonso and Grosjean are still battling for fourth place. The next lap sees Grosjean pit with a stop time of 3.6 seconds and rejoining the race in 7th place. At the end of Lap 48 sees Alonso, Massa and Rosberg pitting.

Lap 49 sees Lewis leading by 15.9 seconds. The battle for fifth place between Alonso, Button and Grosjean is still ongoing. Grosjean tries to make another move on Button at Turn 4 but is unable to get past him. The next lap sees Grosjean making his move stick on Button for 6th place in the race. At the end of the lap, Hamilton pits for tyres with a time of 3.2 seconds and rejoins the race in third place.

Lap 51 sees Vettel leading Webber. However, a few corners later Webber loses second place by going off the track. By Lap 55, Vettel has a 7.3 second lead before pitting at the end of the lap for new rubber and rejoining the race back in fourth place.

Lap 56 sees Hamilton retaking the lead of the race again and has a 2.3 second lead to Webber. By Lap 57, Raikkonen and Vettel on track are battling for the final place on the podium. At the end of Lap 59, Webber pits for new tyres. Lap 60 and Lewis leads Raikkonen by 10.6 seconds. The battle for second place between Raikkonen and Vettel is grabbing our attention.

Lap 64 still sees Hamilton leading Raikkonen by 11.1 seconds. Vettel and Webber are still battling on track for third place in the Grand Prix. The next lap sees Nico Rosberg retire from the race with the engine deciding that it has had enough. Lap 66 sees the battle for fifth between Alonso and Grosjean and the battle for second between Raikkonen and Vettel grabbing our attention.

Lap 68 and Lewis extends his lead by 11.5 seconds. On track, Vettel tries to pass Raikkonen but Raikkonen is doing a stunning job considering the little grip the tyres have left to keep Vettel at bay. Lap 70 is completed and Lewis Hamilton wins the Hungarian Grand Prix with a stunning drive, Raikkonen is second by 10.9 seconds behind, Vettel claims the final place on the podium 12.4 seconds behind, Webber is fourth after a brilliant drive 18 seconds behind, Alonso is a credible fifth 31.4 seconds behind, Grosjean is sixth 32.2 seconds behind, Button is a credible seventh place 53.8 seconds behind, Massa is eighth 56.4 seconds behind, Perez is ninth a lap down from Hamilton and Maldonado claims the final point in tenth a lap down from Hamilton.

Sebastian Vettel leads the Driver’s championship with 172 points, Raikkonen is second with 134 points, Alonso is third with 133 points, Hamilton is fourth with 124 points, Webber is fifth with 105 points, Rosberg is sixth with 84 points, Massa is seventh with 61 points, Grosjean is eighth with 49, Button is ninth with 39 points and Di Resta is tenth with 36 points.

Red Bull lead the Constructor’s championship with 277 points, Mercedes is second with 208 points, Ferrari is third with 194 points, Lotus is fourth with 183 points, Force India is fifth with 59 points, McLaren in sixth with 57 points, Toro Rosso in seventh with 24 points, Sauber are eighth with 7 points and Williams are ninth with 1 point.

Conclusion

The Grand Prix tested the drivers throughout the race with the high level of tyre degradation, just like the many races we have had this season. However, I am glad that the small changes that Pirelli made to the tyres has worked this weekend and they have not compromised safety or the racing.

I was happy that Jenson and Sergio did have some pace to challenge today and did score some points for the team. Jenson had a cracking start and keeping Vettel at bay for a long period shows that he is a racer, no matter what is happening in the team at the moment.

This just shows how much they are making improvements at the moment. But it shows that McLaren are taking slow and steady progress to try and get to the front of the field once again. But I am happy that Jenson and Sergio managed to do his best this weekend for the team and they were rewarded with some good points. But they need to try and make the car competitive and understand the issues surrounding their problems or cut their losses, learn the lessons from this year’s car and focus on 2014.

The team this weekend I believe have made small steps into looking at solutions to help and cure this problem before the championships, race wins, podiums and even point finishes are no longer within their reach. As I said last race, I know McLaren will bounce back to the performance they and their fans crave and when that happens, it will make it all the more special. Bring on Spa where the team are bringing on more of their upgrade programme for the car and where Jenson excels!

Lotus this weekend may not have gained another victory this weekend but they have scored some good points from Kimi and Romain this weekend that will help their fight in the Constructors Championship. I was impressed with Grosjean this weekend. He has been on the pace all weekend and drove to my mind a good race, even though he hit Jenson. However, Romain now needs to build on this result and remain consistent for the rest of the season.

I was a bit surprised that Lotus was not able to challenge for the win this weekend, but consistency and points scoring keeps you in the hunt for the title, as Alonso proved last season. Despite the problems of this weekend, the Lotus team have managed to get again score some points, even though they are now fourth in the Constructor’s Championship.

Perez, Rosberg and Webber all again have had solid weekends. First all of them showing top 10 form in the Practice sessions and then battling throughout the field to gain some solid points. I think that all of them are driving solidly this year and are improving their form from last year. I still cannot believe how Mark did the drive he did today, absolutely going to miss him next year.

The biggest surprises this weekend for me was the 10th place of Pastor Maldonado. Firstly, Maldonado has had an impressive weekend but he has impressed me a lot this weekend yet again. He drove a fantastic lap in qualifying and drove a cracking race to bring home some much needed point for the team. I believe that Pastor this year has learnt his lessons from his last and this season from the sport and is working harder than ever to impress with his performances in the sport this year and trying to get some much needed points for Williams. I really believe that Pastor when is good is a high quality driver that he is and I was happy to him get a point today after a great drive.

Alonso also drove solidly this weekend to claim fifth place. Even though he only managed to qualify in fifth place on Saturday, I believe that he did not the potential to challenge Vettel, Webber or both of the Mercedes drivers for the win even if he qualified further up the grid. Alonso and Ferrari need to keep working on their qualifying pace as they have a really good car this year (especially in the race) and could challenge Vettel if this problem was rectified.

Rosberg does deserve a mention. Rosberg was on form all weekend and seemed to be able to match the pace of the Red Bull team and its drivers this weekend. However, due to the off encountered from Massa on the first lap, he could had to battle for the points today, who knows what would have happened?

Vettel does deserve a mention. Red Bull seem to have a car that is undoubtedly better than their car last year. They seem to be able to make sure that their qualifying performance is also consistent and reliable, while it seems they have improved their race pace today. And yet again Vettel extends his and his team’s lead into the championships today and people are now starting to believe that unless Vettel and Red Bull are challenged, the title is theirs for the taking.

All that is left to say about this race is that Lewis deserved to win today. His driving was brilliant and controlled throughout the race even behind Button, Vettel, Raikkonen and Grosjean. Ever since leaving for McLaren, not only has he been able to out-qualify his team mate but he has been able to also consistently gain some good points for the Mercedes team. I believe that Lewis is carrying on the form he has shown from the latter half of the 2012 season and is driving solidly at the moment. Mercedes seem to have a car that is undoubtedly better than their car last year. And I think that Lewis drove solidly despite battling the front runners after his pit stops in front of him deserved to win today despite of the troubles with tyre wear today prevalent in the background.

Will Lewis be able to win at Spa? Can Vettel, Webber, Raikkonen, Grosjean or Alonso be able to challenge?  We shall see in a month’s time!

My next post will be a brand new feature for the blog and also the F1 News of the week on Sunday!

New feature Announcement!

Hey guys! I know most of you have been dying to know what this new feature will be about. Well, I can happily announce that the new feature is…..

A weekly column that is based on my views surrounding the sport called ‘MF1M’s Take of Formula One’.

The new feature will be officially launched on the site on the 4th August alongside the F1 News of the week

Hope you can join us for the launch. And I hope you enjoy the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend.

MF1M x

Track Preview: Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest

All rights reserved to http://www.newsandscore.com

All rights reserved to http://www.newsandscore.com

Sebastian Vettel wins in Germany, Kimi Raikkonen drives to second place and Romain Grosjean claims the final place on the podium after a good drive. McLaren yet again have made small improvements to their car in order to gain their way back to the front and gain some points. And Mercedes and Sauber also picked up some much needed points for their teams. And people are still wishing that the Mercedes or Vettel still do not have the pace in qualifying…

The Hungarian Grand Prix is a circuit that most drivers and teams look forward to visiting every year. The circuit is literally demanding due to a lot of slow and medium speed corners and traction will be extremely important. Overtaking is very difficult but DRS has helped for the last few years. Sector 2 will be important for the drivers to get consistently get right due to the bumpiness of the track. Usually the weather in Hungary is very hot, but rain can sometimes come!

And here we go guys with tenth race of the Formula One season, the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest…

Facts and Figures

  • Hungary has hosted the Grand Prix at Budapest since 1986.
  • Michael Schumacher is the most successful driver at the track with four wins.
  • Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver currently to win the Grand Prix with three wins.
  • McLaren is the most successful constructor to win the Grand Prix with eleven wins.
  • Race distance: 306.63km (190.53miles)
  • Number of turns:14
  • Top speed: 305kph
  • Lap record: Michael Schumacher- Ferrari (2004)- 1.19.071
  • Winners from pole 12/27 (44%)
  • Winners from last 5 Hungarian Grand Prix: 2008-Heiki Kovalainen, 2009- Lewis Hamilton, 2010-Mark Webber 2011-Jenson Button, 2012-Lewis Hamilton

My top 5 Hungarian Grand Prix

Here are my top five Hungarian Grand Prix races and in no particular order:-

  1. 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix- Mark Webber wins ahead of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel. Brilliant drive from Mark. [No video avaliable]
  2. 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix- Lewis Hamilton wins the race ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean. A brilliant drive from Lewis to win his third Hungarian Grand Prix.
  3. 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix- Jenson Button wins the race for Honda ahead of Pedro De La Rosa and Nick Heidfeld. Just a brilliant drive from Jenson to take his first Grand Prix victory. It was also the weekend of the first British driver to win a Grand Prix for Britain after David Coulthard since 2003. Brilliant drive from JB! [No video avaliable]
  4. 1999 Hungarian Grand Prix- Mika Hakkinen wins the race ahead of Coulthard and Irvine. What a race. This race is one of the most dominant race.  I have ever seen Mika win. I was so happy for him. As this was one of his wins in the sport that made him world champion that year. I had tears in my eyes. Just epic. [No video avaliable]
  5. 2011 Hungarian Grand Prix- Jenson Button wins the race ahead of Vettel and Alonso. Brilliant drive from Jenson at his 200th Grand Prix and was master of the weather conditions that day. This race holds the record for the most pitstops done in a race. Was so happy when Jenson won! [No video avaliable]

If the Hungarian Grand Prix from last year is anything to go by from last year, we look set to witness a great race next weekend. Will Fernando be able to challenge Red Bull and Lotus to win again and gain the championship lead? Will Red Bull be able to achieve pole position and try to win the race Will Rosberg, Raikkonen, Massa, Button, Perez, Hamilton or be able to challenge them?

Sky Sports F1 are showing uninterrupted coverage of every practice session, the qualifying and race for the Grand Prix (and every race of the season) and the BBC are also showing coverage, details for both are below:-

  • Sky Sports F1:- Friday (Practice 1 and 2) 8.45pm and 12.45pm [Replays throughout Friday], Saturday (Practice 3 and Qualifying) 9.45pm and 12.00pm [Replays throughout Saturday], Sunday (Race) 11.30pm
  • BBC- Saturday (Qualifying Highlights) 5.15pm, Sunday (Highlights) 5.05pm

My next blog post will be a full Race Report on the Hungarian Grand Prix. Loving the start of the weekend of Formula One, Hope you will be enjoying every single moment of the weekend as much as me!

2013 German Grand Prix Race Weekend Review

Nico Rosberg wins in Britain, Mark Webber with a good drive to second place and Fernando Alonso claims the final place on the podium after a good drive. McLaren yet again have made small improvements to their car in order to gain their way back to the front. And Force India and Toro Rosso also picked up some much needed points for their teams. And people are still wishing that Sebastian Vettel and the Mercedes’ drivers still do not have the pace with their cars in qualifying…

Also, the tyre debate [I called it tyre-gate] that is ongoing with Pirelli from the Spanish Grand Prix does not look like being stopped. As I mentioned in my F1 News piece a month ago on the blog, many pundits, fans, teams, drivers or anyone associated in the sport has spoken out about the situation. This is itself has been debated heavily by everyone within the sport and we’ll see how this situation develops throughout the coming weeks.

Also, it has been announced that there could be a potential boycott from the drivers this weekend in terms of safety if Pirelli who have changed the tyres for this weekend in a 72 hour turn around, are not up to scratch. A statement from the GPDA (Grand Prix Drivers Association) was issued before Practice 1 on Friday:-

‘Should similar problems should manifest themselves during the German GP, we shall immediately withdraw from the event as this avoidable problem with the tyres endangers again the lives of drivers, marshals and fans.’

Even though drivers such as Jenson and Lewis after Silverstone expressed their thoughts, I believe the drivers need to express their opinion on this matter strongly heading into the Grand Prix. The last boycott within the sport was at Indianapolis in 2005 with the tyre manufacturer in question was Michelin who had safety issues with their tyres. Do I believe there will be a boycott? I don’t know. I think if Pirelli do not stick to their side of the bargain, this could cause massive repercussions for the teams and drivers who all have contractual and commercial obligations to the sport and to each other, alongside their own personal opinions on the event. But we shall see what happens this weekend. I really do hope that Pirelli have managed to make a small step forward to making the tyres safer before Hungary in a few weeks time.

In terms of the circuit, The German Grand Prix is a circuit that is a very interesting circuit for the teams and the drivers. The circuit is used a lot over the year and has a pretty standard track evolution over the weekend. The circuit has a lot of low to medium speed corners and is a medium rate circuit for brakes. The weather is very well known to change at any given moment.

This Grand Prix will be one full of questions of who again can go longer on their tyres, who can save the most tyres for the race on Sunday, which car has got their car set up the most competitive and race ready? Have McLaren and Williams made a significant step forward with their upgrades in their fight to get back to the front?

Alongside these questions, questions if Red Bull, Lotus or Mercedes will be able this weekend to help their own fight in the championships, can McLaren small improvements on their cars help them this weekend before Hungary where more upgrades are planned to take place on the car, who will be competitive from the off, who has the quickest car and who will win this race on Sunday?

The race weekend begins now….

Strap yourselves in. The new season begins now…

Practices 1, 2 and 3

The main headline from the Practice sessions is Red Bull look to have the driver-car package to beat this weekend as weather conditions and tyre management test the drivers, teams and the cars throughout Friday and Saturday practice sessions.

Practice 1 saw Lewis Hamilton top the timesheets with a time of 1.31.754 followed closely by Rosberg with a gap of 0.219 seconds, Maldonado in third with a gap of 1.035 seconds, Sutil in fourth with a gap of 1.068 seconds and Raikkonen in fifth with a gap of 1.202 seconds. Jenson Button impressed the paddock by topping the timesheets in 7th place with a gap of 1.385 seconds behind Hamilton.

Within Practice 1, the main talking point was Fernando Alonso early on into the session parking his Ferrari on the track with ECU problems. Alonso fans are hoping for a better weekend for him this weekend and are hoping Ferrari can cure these problems.

Practice 2 saw Sebastian Vettel top the timesheets with a time of 1.30.416 followed by Rosberg with a gap of 0.235 seconds, Webber in third with a gap of 0.267 seconds, Grosjean in a brilliant fourth with a gap of 0.427 seconds behind and Raikkonen in fifth with a gap of 0.432 seconds behind Vettel. Paul Di Resta managed to achieve a top 10 finish with an 10th place for him with a gap of 1.381 seconds behind Vettel showing that Force India may have the pace to get some good championship points this weekend. Massa managed to get seventh place in the session. Sutil and Perez could only manage 11th and 13th places in the session. Button managed a strong 9th place indicating that both maybe do not have the pace needed to have a strong weekend in order to win, but could be in the hunt for some much needed points for the team and to carry on working through their upgrade programme.

Practice 3 saw Sebastian Vettel again top the timesheet with a time of 1.29.517 followed by Rosberg with a time of 1.30.193, Webber in third with a time of 1.30.211, Alonso in fourth with a time of 1.30.621 and Massa in a fifth with a time of 1.30.639. Nico Hulkenberg impressed the paddock with 9th place with a time of 1.30.966. Again, the surprise of the session is Adrian Sutil managing to grab 10th place showing that they have good pace within the Force India car. Button could only make 12th and Perez only 15th place which show that McLaren may have a fight on their hands to get into Q3 and to gain some championship points today. The biggest shock was that Di Resta only got 13th place in the session.

The session before it began saw Williams working on their KERS system which has been providing the drivers (especially Pastor) with trouble and hope to have it working before the start of qualifying.

You would be stupid not to bet against the Mercedes drivers of Hamilton and Rosberg to gain pole position again this weekend. As both drivers seem to be excelling in qualifying at the moment and the momentum is with them from claiming Pole Positions in four rounds of the championship so far. Alonso, Massa, Vettel, Webber and Raikkonen also cannot be discounted for the pole also as they are consistently within the top five places at the moment.

Button and Perez even with upgrade programme and making good and solid progress with points finishes in previous races, seem to be struggling.  It seems from looking at their performances that the pace is coming slowly and steadily and both drivers I will admit will struggle to even make Qualifying 2 or maybe even the points in the race and it will take a lot of skill and talent to do that in a car that is not capable, unless a bit of unexpected rain happens (which is very unlikely). However, I think that Force India have shown that they could throw themselves into the mix and could qualify well here to be in the hunt for some decent points this weekend. We all look forward to the qualifying session of the Grand Prix with excitement…

Qualifying

It looks like Mercedes is looking like the team to beat heading into the session look set to challenge Ferrari, Mercedes, Lotus or Red Bull for pole position today due to current form that they have shown. But Force India or Toro Rosso may spring a surprise and throw a spanner into the works based on their early pace and promise within the Practice sessions. And it is looking likely that it will be a challenge for the Williams drivers of Bottas and Maldonado to clear Q1 and also the McLaren drivers of Button and Perez to clear Q2 as both teams do not have the pace within their cars to challenge the top teams this weekend.

Let the battle for Pole Position begin…

In Q1, Massa tops the timesheets with a time of 1.30.547, Raikkonen was second with a gap of 0.129 seconds, Alonso was third with a gap of 0.162 seconds, Riccardo was fourth with a gap of 0.534 seconds and Hamilton was fifth with a gap of 0.584 seconds.  Hulkenberg, Button, Grosjean, Vettel and Sutil managed to get 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th places for their teams. Rosberg and Webber could only manage 11th and 13th places.  At the end of Q1, we lose Bottas, Maldonado, Pic, Bianchi, Van Der Garde, and Chilton.

In Q2, Massa again tops the timesheets with a time of 1.29.825, Raikkonen is second with a gap of 0.027 seconds behind, Alonso is third with a gap of 0.137 seconds behind, Vettel is fourth with a gap of 0.167 seconds behind and Grosjean is a credible fifth with a gap of 0.180 seconds behind. The big surprise of the session was Riccardo finished the session in 8th place. At the end of Q2, we lose Rosberg, Di Resta, Perez, Guiterrez, Sutil and Vergne. The battle for pole position is on…

In Q3, Hamilton tops the timesheet and gets pole with a amazingly fast lap time of 1.29.398 , Vettel was second fastest with a gap of 0.103 seconds behind, Webber was third fastest with a gap of 0.210 seconds behind, Raikkonen was fourth fastest with a gap of 0.494 seconds behind, Grosjean was a brilliant fifth fastest with a gap of 0.561 seconds behind, Riccardo did a brilliant lap to claim sixth fastest with a gap of 1.130 seconds behind, Massa was seventh fastest with a gap of 1.728 seconds behind, Alonso was eighth fastest with a gap of 1.728 seconds behind, Button was ninth fastest and Hulkenberg was tenth fastest.

It would seem that Red Bull genuinely has the pace to challenge for the race win again this weekend which I am absolutely not thrilled about. However, both sets of drivers seem to have the cars underneath them to do this. You cannot discount Hamilton, Webber or Rosberg to be challenging also for the race win in order to keep their seasons off to a flying start. Alonso or Raikkonen could also be the dark horses to take the win away from Mercedes and Red Bull and Ferrari and Lotus to gain some points on his rivals for the championship.

Button, Sutil, Di Resta and Riccardo could also have a decent race tomorrow and pick up some much needed points for Force India and Toro Rosso before heading to the next race in Germany. Will it rain tomorrow? Maybe. Who will win the Grand Prix tomorrow? I really don’t know (hoping for a Button win!). Who will lead the championship after this race? Will it be Vettel, Alonso, Raikkonen, Alonso or Hamilton? I don’t know.  The Grand Prix has been set up nicely, just like the last race. Let’s see what happens…

Race

Prior to the race, Lewis Hamilton’s fuel pump is being fixed. Think every Lewis fan at the moment is hoping that it will be fixed and that nothing will happen at this race to stop trying to convert Pole Position into his first victory for the Mercedes team.

The F1 world is watching and waiting to see if the 2013 German Grand Prix will live up to expectations and who will be the winner? Here we go…

All 22 drivers are lined up on their grid positions, five red lights and its GO!!!!!!!!

Hamilton gets off the line and has a good start and leads into the first corner. Hamilton then find Vettel alongside him and are side by side. Webber has a fantastic start and manages to take Hamilton on the outside. And now it’s Vettel and Webber in first and second places into the first corner. Massa has also had a brilliant start. Perez has managed to get himself up to 10th place and also Rosberg is now in 12th place.

Lap 2 sees Vettel leading Webber by 0.7 seconds. Perez passes JB into turn 1 for position. Perez is now engaged into battle with Alonso for 8th place. The next lap sees Massa spinning his Ferrari out of the race. At the end of the lap, Di Resta pits for fresh rubber with a stop time of 3.6 seconds and rejoins the race in 19th place.

Lap 6 and Vettel leads by 0.9 seconds. Force India will be under investigation by the stewards for an unsafe release at Di Resta’s pit stop after the race. Grosjean on Team Radio announcing that ‘he is faster than Kimi’ and would like permission to pass him. At the end of the lap, Hamilton pits for new tyres with a stop time of 3.0 seconds and rejoins the race in 10th place. At the end of Lap 7, Vettel pits with a stop time of 2.6 seconds and rejoins the race in sixth place.

Lap 8 sees Webber leading the race by Raikkonen by 2.3 seconds. At the end of the lap, Webber pits for new tyres. However, the right rear tyre was not pitted properly by the team and as Webber left the box, the tyre came off the car striking a cameraman working in the pit lane on the head and everybody in the pit lane coming to his aid.

Lap 9 sees Grosjean leading Raikkonen by 8.4 seconds. A battle for 4th place between Hulkenberg and Vettel is ongoing on track. At the end of the lap, Raikkonen pits. On Lap 10, Webber is able to rejoin the race after the incident at his pit stop two laps earlier, albeit a lap down on the leaders.

Lap 11 sees Grosjean leading Alonso by 10.1 seconds. A battle for 6th place between Rosberg, Hamilton and Raikkonen. It is announced by the stewards that Webber’s pit stop will be under investigation after the race. On track, Vettel passes Jenson for position. The next lap sees Nico being told by his team to let Lewis go ahead of him as they are both on different strategies. At the end of the lap, Alonso pits for new tyres with a time of 3.5 seconds and rejoins the race in 8th place.

Lap 13 sees Grosjean leading Vettel by 13.3 seconds. Lewis is then able to pass Nico on track to make his strategy work. Kimi is then able to pass Nico for position. At the end of the lap, Grosjean pits for new tyres with a stop of 3.4 seconds and rejoins the race in 3rd place. Lap 14 sees Vettel retake the lead of the race ahead of Button by 4 seconds. Grosjean is able to pass Jenson for second place.

Lap 17 sees Vettel leading by 3.2 seconds. The battle for fourth place hots up between Hulkenberg, Hamilton and Raikkonen. At the end of the lap, Hulkenberg pits for new tyres with a stop of 4.6 seconds and rejoins the race in 12th place. The next lap sees Hamilton and Raikkonen battling for fourth place. Raikkonen is able to pass Lewis by the first chicane at the end of the third sector. At the end of the lap, Riccardo pits.

Lap 20 sees Vettel leading by 2.4 seconds. In the battle for fourth between Raikkonen, Alonso and Hamilton, Alonso tries to get past Hamilton but cannot do so. The next lap sees Alonso again at turn 1 trying to get past Lewis, but is unsuccessful. At the end of the lap, Button pits with a stop of 4.3 seconds and rejoins the race in 6th place. Again, on the next lap, Alonso tries again to get past Hamilton but cannot do so. At the end of Lap 22, Hamilton pits with a stop of 2.7 seconds and rejoins the race in 8th place.

Lap 23 sees Vettel leading by 1.9 seconds. Perez and Hulkenberg are battling for 6th place. Jules Bianchi retires his Marussia on track with the engine going on fire. The next lap sees Bianchi’s Marussia rolling down the track of its own accord and the Safety Car has to come out before any driver is injured. Vettel, Grosjean, Sutil, Di Resta, Webber, Pic, Rosberg, Perez, Alonso and Raikkonen all pit for new tyres as the Safety Car comes out. On Lap 26 under the Safety Car, we lose Jean-Eric Vergne in his Toro Rosso who was suffering with major hydraulic problems.

Lap 30 and we are RACING again. Vettel leads Grosjean by 0.8 seconds. On track, Perez tries to pass Maldonado and cannot do so. Webber is able to pass Chilton and Pic on track while braking for Turn 1. By Lap 31, Webber is up to 15th place and is trying to get past Guiterrez’s Sauber.

Lap 33 sees Vettel leading by 1.1 seconds. Raikkonen is now gaining on his team mate. The battle between Hulkenberg and Hamilton for 6th place is gaining momentum. The next lap sees Lewis feeling able to try and get past Nico, but cannot do so.

Lap 36 sees the gap Vettel is leading by drop to 0.5 seconds. Perez is able to finally get past Maldonado after a few laps of battling with a great move. The next lap sees Lewis again trying to get past Hulkenberg but cannot do so. But the end of the lap sees Hulkenberg pitting with a stop of 3.5 seconds and rejoins the race in 16th place. Lap 38 sees the battle for the lead of the race between Vettel, Grosjean and Raikkonen building up nicely. At the end of the lap, Webber pits for new tyres with a stop of 3.2 seconds and rejoins the race in 16th place.

Lap 40 sees Vettel leading by 1.1 seconds. Alonso in fourth seems to be gaining on the top 3. At the end of the lap, Grosjean pits with a stop of 3.0 seconds and rejoins the race in 6th place. At the end of Lap 41, Vettel pits with a stop of 3 seconds and rejoins the race in 5th place.

Lap 44 sees Raikkonen lead by 3.6 seconds. The battle for fourth between Hamilton, Vettel and Grosjean is ongoing. The next lap sees Vettel passing Hamilton, Lewis retaking the place back again and Vettel retaking it yet again and making it stick. Also, Grosjean is able to pass Hamilton. At the end of the lap, Hamilton pits.

Lap 49 sees Kimi leading by 4.6 seconds. On track, Webber passes Bottas for track position. At the end of the lap, Raikkonen pits with a stop of 3 seconds and rejoins the race in third. Alonso also pits with a stop of 3 seconds and rejoins the race in fourth place.

Lap 50 sees Vettel yet again retaking the lead of the Grand Prix ahead of Grosjean. A battle between Di Resta, Hamilton and Maldonado comes to a head in Turn 1 with all 3 into Turn 1 and leaves Hamilton moves into 8th place. Lap 51 sees Hamilton passing Maldonado for 7th place. Jenson is able to pass his team mate for 5th place. The battle for the lead between Vettel, Grosjean and Raikkonen is ongoing. However, Alonso is present in the background in fourth place and gaining quickly on third place Raikkonen.

Lap 51 sees Vettel leading by 1.9 seconds. The top 4 drivers of the race are covered by 8 seconds and the top 3 drivers of the race are covered by 3.4 seconds. At the end of the lap, Maldonado pits but has that cost him points? By Lap 55, Vettel leads by 1.9 seconds. Alonso is still gaining on the top 3 slowly and steadily. On track, Kimi is able to pass his team mate for position.

Lap 58 sees Vettel leading Raikkonen by 1.6 seconds. Alonso is gaining on Grosjean for third place and the top 3 are now covered by less than 5 seconds. Lap 59 sees Vettel’s gap decrease to 1.2 seconds and Hamilton is gaining on Button.

Lap 60 and Vettel has a 1 second lead. Hamilton then tries to pass Button for position and is able to make the move stick. And Vettel finally is able to win his first German Grand Prix, Raikkonen takes second place 1 second behind Vettel, Grosjean takes the final podium spot after a faultless drive 5.8 seconds behind Vettel, Alonso takes fourth after a good driver 7.7 seconds behind Vettel, Hamilton takes fifth 26.9 seconds behind Vettel, Button takes a credible sixth place 27.9 seconds behind Vettel, Webber after everything takes seventh 37.5 seconds behind Vettel, Perez is eighth 38.3 seconds behind Vettel, Rosberg takes ninth place 46.8 seconds behind Vettel and Hulkenberg takes the final point in tenth 49.8 seconds behind Vettel.

Sebastian Vettel leads the Driver’s championship with 157 points, Alonso is second with 123 points, Raikkonen is third with 116 points, Hamilton is fourth with 99 points, Webber is fifth with 93 points, Rosberg is sixth with 84 points, Massa is seventh with 57 points, Grosjean is eighth with 41, Di Resta is ninth with 36 points and Button is tenth with 33 points.

Red Bull lead the Constructor’s championship with 250 points, Mercedes is second with 183 points, Ferrari is third with 180 points, Lotus is fourth with 157 points, Force India is fifth with 59 points, McLaren in sixth with 49 points, Toro Rosso in seventh with 24 points and Sauber are eighth with 7 points.

Conclusion

The Grand Prix tested the drivers throughout the race with the high level of tyre degradation, just like the many races we have had this season. However, I am glad that the small changes that Pirelli made to the tyres has worked this weekend and they need to use this to make the much needed changes before Hungary.

I was happy that Jenson and Sergio did have some pace to challenge today and did score some points for the team. This just shows how much they are making improvements at the moment. But it shows that McLaren are taking slow and steady progress to try and get to the front of the field once again. But I am happy that Jenson and Sergio managed to do his best this weekend for the team and they was rewarded with some good points. But they need to either try and make the car competitive and understand the issues surrounding their problems or cut their losses, learn the lessons from this year’s car and focus on 2014.

The team this weekend I believe have made small steps into looking at solutions to help and cure this problem before the championships, race wins, podiums and even point finishes are no longer within their reach. As I said last race, I know McLaren will bounce back to the performance they and their fans crave and when that happens, it will make it all the more special. Bring on Hungary where the team are bringing on more of their upgrade programme for the car!

Lotus this weekend may not have gained another victory this weekend but they have scored some a point from Kimi and Romain this weekend that will help their fight in the Constructors Championship.  I was impressed with Grosjean this weekend. He has been on the pace all weekend and drove to my mind was a faultless race. However, Romain now needs to build on this result and remain consistent for the rest of the season.

I was a bit surprised that Lotus was not able to challenge for the win this weekend, but consistency and points scoring keeps you in the hunt for the title, as Alonso proved last season. Despite the problems of this weekend, the Lotus team have managed to get again score some points, even though they are now fourth in the Constructor’s Championship.

Perez, Rosberg and Webber all again have had solid weekends. First all of them showing top 10 form in the Practice sessions and then battling throughout the field to gain some solid points. I think that all of them are driving solidly this year and are improving their form from last year. I still cannot believe how Mark did the drive he did today, absolutely going to miss him next year.

The biggest surprises this weekend for me was the 10th place of Nico Hulkenberg. Firstly, Hulkenberg has had an impressive weekend but he has impressed me a lot this weekend yet again. He drove a fantastic lap in qualifying and drove a cracking race to bring home some much needed points for the team. I believe that Nico this year has learnt his lessons from his last and this season from the sport and is working harder than ever to impress with his performances in the sport this year and trying to get some much needed points for Sauber. I really believe that Nico is a talent for the future and is a high quality driver that he is and I was happy to him get a point today after a great drive.

And surely, people will have noticed his performance this weekend.  He deserved to get into the points today, he really did. He is a great driver with a lot of talent and he has shown his team has shown this weekend that their performance is good, they have a car that can be competitive and fight for good points in the race and I think they have the potential to improve throughout the season if they can bring upgrades as soon as possible.

Lewis again has impressed me (even though I am a massive Jenson fan!). Ever since leaving for McLaren, not only has he been able to out-qualify his team mate but he has been able to also consistently gain some good points for the Mercedes team. I believe that Lewis is carrying on the form he has shown from the latter half of the 2012 season and is driving solidly at the moment. And I think that Lewis drove solidly despite not being able to challenge the front runners in front of him deserved to get some decent points today despite of the troubles with tyre wear today.

Alonso also drove solidly this weekend to claim fourth place. Even though he only managed to qualify in eighth place on Saturday, I believe that he did not the potential to challenge Vettel, Webber or both of the Mercedes drivers for the win even if he qualified further up the grid. Alonso and Ferrari need to keep working on their qualifying pace as they have a really good car this year (especially in the race) and could challenge Vettel if this problem was rectified.

Rosberg does deserve a mention. Rosberg was on form all weekend and seemed to be able to match the pace of the Red Bull team and its drivers this weekend. However, due to the error the team made in qualifying, he has had to battle for the points today, who knows what would have happened?

All that is left to say about this race is that Vettel deserved to win today. His driving was brilliant and controlled throughout the race even behind his team-mate,  Raikkonen and Grosjean. Red Bull seem to have a car that is undoubtedly better than their car last year. They seem to be able to make sure that their qualifying performance is also consistent and reliable, while it seems they have improved their race pace today. And yet again Vettel extends his and his team’s lead into the  championships today and people are now starting to believe that unless Vettel and Red Bull are challenged, the title is theirs for the taking.

Will Vettel be able to win at Hungary? We shall see…

My next post will be a brand new feature for the blog and also the Hungarian Grand Prix Track Preview. All will be announced about the new feature on Thursday…

Track Preview: German Grand Prix, Nurburgring

All Rights Reserved to http://www.fia.com

All Rights Reserved to http://www.fia.com

Nico Rosberg wins in Britain, Mark Webber drives to second place and Fernando Alonso claims the final place on the podium after a good drive. McLaren yet again have made small improvements to their car in order to gain their way back to the front. And Force India and Toro Rosso also picked up some much needed points for their teams. And people are still wishing that the Mercedes or Vettel still do not have the pace in qualifying…

The German Grand Prix is a circuit that is a very interesting circuit for the teams and the drivers. The circuit is used a lot over the year and has a pretty standard track evolution over the weekend. The circuit has a lot of low to medium speed corners and is a medium rate circuit for brakes. The weather is very well known to change at any given moment.

And here we go guys with ninth race of the Formula One season, the German Grand Prix in Nurburgring…

Facts and Figures

  • Germany has hosted the Grand Prix at Nurburgring since 1951, even though the first Formula One race at Hockenheim at 1984.
  • Rudolf Caracciola is the most successful driver at the track with six wins.
  • Fernando Alonso is the most successful driver currently to win the Grand Prix with three wins.
  • Ferrari is the most successful constructors to win the Grand Prix with twenty two wins.
  • Race distance: 308.62km (191.8 miles)
  • Number of turns:15
  • Top speed: 300kph
  • Lap record: Michael Schumacher- Ferrari (2004)- 1.29.468
  • Winners from pole 15/39 (38%)
  • Winners from last 5 German Grand Prix: 2008-Lewis Hamilton, 2009- Mark Webber, 2010-Fernando Alonso, 2011-Lewis Hamilton, 2012-Fernando Alonso

My top 5 German Grand Prix

Here are my top five German Grand Prix races and in no particular order:-

  1. 2008 German Grand Prix- Lewis Hamilton wins ahead of Nelson Piquet Jr and Felipe Massa. Just a great drive from Lewis 🙂 
  2. 2011 German Grand Prix- Lewis Hamilton wins the race ahead of Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber. A brilliant drive from Lewis to win his second German Grand Prix. [No Video avaliable]
  3. 2012 German Grand Prix- Fernando Alonso wins the race ahead of Jenson Button and Kimi Raikkonen. Just a brilliant drive from Fernando to take away victory. It was also the weekend of Lewis Hamilton’s 100th GP. 
  4. 2001 German Grand Prix- Ralf Schumacher wins the race ahead of Barrichello and Villeneuve. Montoya was on form all weekend and sadly was forced to retire his car after the first pitstop. [No Video was avaliable]
  5. 1998 German Grand Prix- Mika Hakkinen wins the race ahead of Coulthard and Villeneuve. What a race. This race is one of the most dominant race.  I have ever seen Mika win. I was so happy for him. As this was one of his wins in the sport that made him world champion that year. I had tears in my eyes. Just epic. [No video was avaliable]

If the German Grand Prix from last year is anything to go by from last year, we look set to witness a great race next weekend. Will Fernando be able to challenge Red Bull and Lotus to win again and gain the championship lead? Will Red Bull be able to achieve pole position and try to win the race Will Rosberg, Raikkonen, Massa, Button, Perez, Hamilton or be able to challenge them?

Sky Sports F1 are showing uninterrupted coverage of every practice session, the qualifying and race for the Grand Prix (and every race of the season) and the BBC are also showing coverage, details for both are below:-

  • Sky Sports F1:- Friday (Practice 1 and 2) 8.45pm and 12.45pm [Replays throughout Friday], Saturday (Practice 3 and Qualifying) 9.45pm and 12.00pm [Replays throughout Saturday], Sunday (Race) 11.30pm
  • BBC- Saturday (Qualifying Highlights) 5.55pm, Sunday (Highlights) 6.00pm

My next blog post will be a full Race Report on the German Grand Prix. Loving the start of the weekend of Formula One, Hope you will be enjoying every single moment of the weekend as much as me!

2013 British Grand Prix Race Weekend Review

Sebastian Vettel wins in Canada, Fernando Alonso with a good drive to second place and Lewis Hamilton claims the final place on the podium after a good drive. McLaren yet again have made small improvements to their car in order to gain their way back to the front and picked up some much needed points for the team. And people are still wishing that Sebastian Vettel and the Mercedes’ drivers still do not have the pace with their cars in qualifying…

Also, the tyre debate [I called it tyre-gate] that is ongoing with Pirelli from the Spanish Grand Prix does not look like being stopped. As I mentioned in my F1 News piece a month ago on the blog, many pundits, fans, teams, drivers or anyone associated in the sport has spoken out about the situation. This is itself has been debated heavily by everyone within the sport and we’ll see how this situation develops throughout the coming weeks.

Also, it has been announced that Mercedes after doing a 1,000km test with Pirelli for three days after the Spanish Grand Prix will have had to explain themselves to an international sporting tribunal on the 20th June (one day before my birthday!).  The result of this being that Mercedes will miss the Young Driver’s Test later on in the year and also a fine.  Personally, I think the fine was not the right fine to give the team as this may or may not encourage other teams that were against this to try their luck and see if they can gain anything from doing this. But we shall see what happens.

As I have mentioned in my last F1 News report on my blog, it is extremely sad to announce that Mark Webber is sadly retiring from the sport at the end of the season. Mark next year will be racing for Porsche and also trying his hand to win Le Mans. Christian Horner has announced that Mark had an option to remain with the team for next year but sadly did not take it. Mark has stated that his decision was not made by the events that happened in Malaysia with Sebastian Vettel. I for one am very sorry to hear that Mark is retiring as he is well respected in the paddock and by the fans and is also a great racing driver. The Formula One world will miss him greatly next season.

In terms of the circuit, The British Grand Prix is a very interesting circuit for the teams and the drivers. Not only is it a home race for most of the teams who are based closely by the track but the support for the race from the British public is at its best. It is a high fuel effect circuit which means the weight of the car is crucial for a good weekend here. The circuit is also very good on brakes, even though the circuit is very bumpy which could make the car bottom out.

This Grand Prix will be one full of questions of who again can go longer on their tyres, who can save the most tyres for the race on Sunday, which car has got their car set up the most competitive and race ready? Have McLaren and Williams made a significant step forward with their upgrades in their fight to get back to the front?

Alongside these questions, questions if Red Bull, Lotus or Mercedes will be able this weekend to help their own fight in the championships, can McLaren small improvements on their cars help them this weekend before Silverstone where more upgrades are planned to take place on the car, who will be competitive from the off, who has the quickest car and who will win this race on Sunday?

The race weekend begins now….

Strap yourselves in. The new season begins now…

Practices 1, 2 and 3

The main headline from the Practice sessions is Mercedes look to have the driver-car package to beat this weekend as weather conditions and tyre management test the drivers, teams and the cars throughout Friday and Saturday practice sessions.

Practice 1 saw Daniel Riccardo top the timesheets with a time of 1.54.249 followed closely by Hulkenberg with a gap of 0.784 seconds, Maldonado in a fantastic third with a gap of 1.105 seconds, Hamilton in fourth with a gap of 1.209 seconds and Guiterrez with a gap of 1.576 seconds. Max Chilton impressed the paddock by topping the timesheets in 9th place with a gap of 5.470 seconds behind Riccardo. Due to the weather conditions, we only have ten drivers set a time in this session .

Within Practice 1, the drivers were pushing the limits of the circuit. Hulkenberg, Vergne, Guiterrez, Bottas and Maldonado experienced lock ups while pushing the limit. Meanwhile, Pic managed to hit the barriers while pushing for the limit on the main straight and managed his front wing massively.

Practice 2 saw Nico Rosberg top the timesheets with a time of 1.32.248 followed by Webber with a gap of 0.299 seconds, Vettel in third with a gap of 0.432 seconds, Di Resta in a brilliant fourth with a gap of 0.584 seconds and Hamilton in fifth with a gap of 0.663 seconds. Adrian Sutil managed to achieve a top 10 finish with an 8th place for Adrian with a gap of 1.065 seconds behind Rosberg showing that Force India may have the pace to get some good championship points this weekend. Riccardo managed to get sixth place in the session. Raikkonen could only manage 13th place in the session. Button and Perez could only manage 12th and 14th places indicating that both maybe do not have the pace needed to have a strong weekend, but could be in the hunt for some much needed points for the team and to carry on working through their upgrade programme.

Practice 2 sees more incidents and spinning throughout the session. Felipe Massa for the third consecutive race weekend in a row managed to crash his Ferrari caused by a driving error leaving Ferrari again a lot of work to do overnight.

At the end of the Practice 2, The FIA and the World Motorsport Council announced ratified rule changes for 2014. Here are the main changes that will happen within the sport next year:-

  • Engine suppliers limited to four teams maximum
  • Penalty points for infringements. There is a maximum of 12 allowed in a season. If the driver goes over the limit allowed, there will be a ban and points placed on their super licence and could be 0-3 points for every time this happens
  • There will be four 2 day tests in the European season
  • 2014 power units will be available from January 2014 onwards to test
  • First test of 2014 will be held in Spain
  • Extra tyres will be available in Practice 1 on a Friday. [This is tackling the problem we fans have been experiencing this year where no cars are running for up to an hour. This is will also allow young talent to come through the sport]
  • Young Drivers Test and Promo days are no more

I think that these new changes will be good and bad for the sport. Firstly, I believe that the return of in-season testing shouldn’t be back. As there has been a huge outcry over the years regarding the well funded teams spending more and more to get an edge over their rivals, leaving the less well-funded teams to struggle to become competitive.

But I am very happy that extra tyres in Practice 1 sessions are in force as this may encourage the drivers and the teams to get more data for the weekend and let the paying and watching fans see some action on the track. However, I do feel that more should be done to encourage drivers on the track during the session and extra tyres may not be enough of encouragement.

In terms of penalty points for infringements, this is maybe a good idea. As we have seen over the years, stewards have not been consistent in terms of punishing drivers who have made some bad decisions which could put one, two or more drivers in danger and this may help them think twice about making moves like this. What do you guys think? Let me know through commentating on the post!

Practice 3 saw Nico Rosberg top the timesheet with a time of 1.31.487 followed by Hamilton with a time of 1.31.633, Vettel in third with a time of 1.32.037, Webber in fourth with a time of 1.32.078 and Grosjean in a fifth with a time of 1.32.391. Daniel Riccardo impressed the paddock with 6th place with a time of 1.32.440. Again, the surprises of the session is Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta managing to grab 9th and 10th places showing that they have good pace within the Force India car. Button could only make 12th and Perez only 18th place which show that McLaren may have a fight on their hands to get into Q3 and to gain some championship points today. The biggest shock was that Massa only got 15th place in the session.

The session was red flagged due to Sergio Perez suffering a left rear tyre explosion on his McLaren. Yet again, this has thrown safety issues regarding the Pirelli tyres up into the air again since incidents in Bahrain and Spain. Perez has suffered a lot of damage onto his car such as the floor, rear wing and the brakes and gives McLaren a lot of work to do to get Perez ready for qualifying.

You would be stupid not to bet against the Mercedes drivers of Hamilton and Rosberg to gain pole position again this weekend. As both drivers seem to be excelling in qualifying at the moment and the momentum is with them from claiming Pole Positions in four rounds of the championship so far. Alonso, Massa, Vettel, Webber and Raikkonen also cannot be discounted for the pole also as they are consistently within the top five places at the moment.

Button and Perez even with upgrade programme and making good and solid progress with points finishes in previous races, seem to be struggling.  It seems from looking at their performances that the pace is coming slowly and steadily and both drivers I will admit will struggle to even make Qualifying 2 or maybe even the points in the race and it will take a lot of skill and talent to do that in a car that is not capable, unless a bit of unexpected rain happens (which is very unlikely). However, I think that Force India have shown that they could throw themselves into the mix and could qualify well here to be in the hunt for some decent points this weekend. We all look forward to the qualifying session of the Grand Prix with excitement…

Qualifying

It looks like Mercedes is looking like the team to beat heading into the session look set to challenge Ferrari, Mercedes, Lotus or Red Bull for pole position today due to current form that they have shown. But Force India or Toro Rosso may spring a surprise and throw a spanner into the works based on their early pace and promise within the Practice sessions. And it is looking likely that it will be a challenge for the Williams drivers of Bottas and Maldonado to clear Q1 and also the McLaren drivers of Button and Perez to clear Q2 as both teams do not have the pace within their cars to challenge the top teams this weekend.

Let the battle for Pole Position begin…

In Q1, Hamilton tops the timesheets with a time of 1.30.995, Rosberg was second with a gap of 0.360 seconds, Raikkonen was third with a gap of 0.405 seconds, Grosjean was fourth with a gap of 0.471 seconds and Vettel was fifth with a gap of 0.564 seconds.  Webber, Perez, Button, Sutil and Di Resta managed to get 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th places for their teams. The Ferrari’s could only manage to get 14th and 15th places. At the end of Q1, we lose Bottas, Guiterrez, Pic, Bianchi, Van Der Garde, and Chilton.

In Q2, Sebastian Vettel tops the timesheets with a time of 1.30.990, Webber is second with a gap of 0.012 seconds behind, Rosberg is third with a gap of 0.038 seconds behind, Sutil is an impressive fourth with a gap of 0.107 seconds behind and Riccardo is a credible fifth with a gap of 0.192 seconds. The big surprise of the session was Di Resta finished the session in 7th place. At the end of Q2, we lose Button, Massa, Vergne, Perez, Hulkenberg and Maldonado. The battle for pole position is on…

In Q3, Hamilton tops the timesheet and gets pole with a amazingly fast lap time of 1.29.607 , Rosberg was second fastest with a gap of 0.452 seconds behind, Vettel was third fastest with a gap of 0.604 seconds behind, Webber was fourth fastest with a gap of 0.613 seconds behind, Di Resta was a brilliant fifth fastest with a gap of 1.129 seconds behind, Riccardo did a brilliant lap to claim sixth fastest with a gap of 1.150 seconds behind, Sutil was seventh fastest with a gap of 1.301 seconds behind, Grosjean was eighth fastest with a gap of 1.348 seconds behind, Raikkonen was ninth fastest with a gap of 1.355 seconds behind  and Alonso was tenth fastest.

It would seem that Red Bull genuinely has the pace to challenge for the race win again this weekend which I am absolutely not thrilled about. However, both sets of drivers seem to have the cars underneath them to do this. You cannot discount Hamilton, Webber or Rosberg to be challenging also for the race win in order to keep their seasons off to a flying start. Alonso or Raikkonen could also be the dark horses to take the win away from Mercedes and Red Bull and Ferrari and Lotus to gain some points on his rivals for the championship.

Sutil, Di Resta and Riccardo could also have a decent race tomorrow and pick up some much needed points for Force India and Toro Rosso before heading to the next race in Germany. Will it rain tomorrow? Maybe. Who will win the Grand Prix tomorrow? I really don’t know (hoping for a Button win!). Who will lead the championship after this race? Will it be Vettel, Alonso, Raikkonen, Alonso or Hamilton? I don’t know.  The Grand Prix has been set up nicely, just like the last race. Let’s see what happens…

Race

Prior to the race, Paul Di Resta has been disqualified from qualifying due to the car being underweight by 2 kilograms in scruinity. The team and Paul are very gutted and upset that this has happened and cannot offer an explanation for this. I and the rest of their fans are gutted also as Paul has had a brilliant weekend so far and deserved it. Sadly, Paul will have to start from the back of the grid. Can Paul be able to do what he did in Canada and try to get some points? We shall see.

The F1 world is watching and waiting to see if the 2013 Canadian Grand Prix will live up to expectations and who will be the winner? Here we go…

All 22 drivers are lined up on their grid positions, five red lights and its GO!!!!!!!!

Hamilton gets off the line and has a good start and leads into the first corner. Vettel has also had a brilliant start and has managed to pass Rosberg for second place already. Sutil has had a speedy start and finds himself in fourth place. Also, Massa has had a fast start and finds himself in 5th place.  A battle between the Lotus’ of Raikkonen and Grosjean is taking place. Meanwhile down the field, Webber has had a poor start and has had contact with Grosjean. A battle between Button and Alonso is ongoing, Alonso tries to pass Button, JB gives him room and Alonso is able to pass him.

Lap 2 and Hamilton leads Vettel by 0.8 seconds. On track, Vergne is able to pass Grosjean. Grosjean is also under attack by Alonso but Alonso cannot get past. Maldonado is able to pass Vergne for position. By Lap 3, Webber is in 12th place after making contact with Grosjean. Di Resta is climbing his way up the field and passes Maldonado for 16th place.

Lap 5 and the lead is 2 seconds exactly. The battle between Riccardo and Alonso hots up. Lap 7 sees Lewis leading Vettel by 2.1 seconds. Webber is finally able to pass Jenson on track. Lap 8 sees disaster for Lewis. Lewis has experienced a puncture! I am sure every British F1 fan or Lewis fan hearts sink while watching Hamilton pit at the end of the lap.

Lap 9 sees Vettel take over the lead from Hamilton and leads by 2.5 seconds from Rosberg. Sutil now finds himself under pressure in third place with a queue of cars behind him trying to get past. At the end of the lap Grosjean pits for new tyres with a stop time of 2.8 seconds and rejoins the race in 14th place. Lap 10 sees Felipe Massa suffer a left rear puncture on track. This cannot be happening 2 laps after Lewis’s! At the end of the lap both Alonso and Webber pit for new tyres and rejoin in 11th and 14th places.

Lap 11 and Vettel leads by 3.1 seconds. At the end of the lap Riccardo, Button, Massa and Raikkonen pit for new tyres. The next lap sees Grosjean passing Raikkonen cleanly. Alonso behind Grosjean is able to pass Raikkonen and then is able to make the same move on Grosjean. At the end of the lap, Rosberg pits. Lap 13 sees Vettel leading by 18.3 seconds to Nico. Alonso is then able to pass Vergne for position, Alonso is flying at the moment. At the end of the lap, Vettel pits for new tyres with a stop time of 2.5 seconds and regains the lead of the Grand Prix.

Lap 14 and the lead is 3.2 seconds ahead of Rosberg. A battle for 5th place between Vergne, Grosjean and Raikkonen is ongoing on the track. Raikkonen is then able to pass his team mate Grosjean for position. Vergne then down the straight suffers a left rear puncture on his tyres at 190mph with the trend nearly hitting Kimi on the head who was behind him. This is the third failure in this race. Again, the Pirelli tyres and safety concerns are ever present! Kimi could have been seriously hurt, but thankfully was not.

Lap 16 to Lap 20 are behind the Safety Car for safety reasons while the brave marshals are recovering the debris from the three tyres failures that have gathered up on the track. Lap 22 and we are RACING again. Vettel has a 1 second lead ahead of Rosberg. Perez now moves up to eighth ahead of Webber in ninth. Down the field, Massa is able to pass Chilton. Alonso and Raikkonen are trying hard to get past Sutil and they cannot do so.

Lap 23 sees Vettel lead by 1.4 seconds. The battle for third between Sutil, Alonso, Raikkonen and Grosjean is heating up nicely on track. The battle for 11th place between Di Resta, Hulkenberg, Guiterrez and Hamilton heats up. Hamilton tries to take Guiterrez and cannot do so. The next lap sees Riccardo and Webber battling for 8th place and Hamilton finally able to pass Guiterrez.

Lap 25 sees Massa and Bottas battling on track for position. Bottas and Massa are able to pass Vergne. The next lap sees the battle for 4th place intensify between Alonso, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Riccardo and Webber. By Lap 28, Vettel extends his lead to 3.6 seconds. Riccardo passes Grosjean for 6th place and the battle between Sutil and Alonso for 3rd intensifies.

Lap 29 sees Vettel have a lead of 4 seconds to Rosberg. Webber passes Grosjean on track. At the end of the lap, Raikkonen pits for new tyres with a stop time of 2.8 seconds and rejoins the race in 12th place. Lap 30 and the battle for 7th place between Grosjean and Perez is ongoing. At the end of the lap Alonso and Grosjean pit for fresh rubber and rejoin the race in 10th and 14th places.

Lap 32 and Vettel has a lead of 3.5 seconds. Hamilton and Di Resta are battling on track for position. At the end of the lap, Jenson pits for new rubber. The next lap sees the battle for 5th place going on between Di Resta, Hamilton, Raikkonen and Alonso on track. Raikkonen is able to pass Hamilton and then Alonso is able to pass Hamilton not only after and tries to pass Hamilton. At the end of the lap, Sutil and Di Resta pit for new tyres.

Lap 34 and Webber is able to pass Hamilton for position. Hamilton then tries to gain the place back and tries to fight back to Webber but cannot do so. At the end of the lap, Rosberg makes his pit stop with a time of 3.2 seconds and keeps second place in the race. By Lap 35, Vettel has an 18.3 advantage over Rosberg. Sutil and Hulkenberg are fighting each other on track. Perez is able to pass Massa for position. Alonso and Webber are battling each other for fourth place and Webber is able to pass later on in the lap. At the end of the lap, Vettel makes his pit stop with a time of 2.6 seconds and keeps the lead of the race.

Lap 36 sees Jenson able to pass Felipe for 11th place on the track. Vergne is sadly retiring his Toro Rosso and Hamilton at the end of the lap pits for new tyres and rejoins the race in 11th place after his stop. The next lap sees an epic battle between Di Resta and Hamilton on track. First, Di Resta takes Hamilton in a clean move, Hamilton is then able to pass Di Resta back and then Di Resta is able to regain the place back off Hamilton. This battle continues onto the next lap with both drivers passing and retaking each other and leaves Hamilton staying in front of Di Resta. What great racing!

Lap 39 and Vettel leads Rosberg by 2.2 seconds. Raikkonen and Webber are battling for the final podium position on track. Jenson passes Grosjean on track for position. The next lap sees Sutil and Riccardo in a really good battle for 6th place on track. By Lap 41, Hamilton finds himself in the hunt for the last point and is able to pass Grosjean for 10th place. At the end of the lap, Webber pits for fresh tyres.

On Lap 42, while leading the race, Vettel is forced to retire after losing drive. [I will admit that I cheered my head off and even laughed, sorry if this offends any Vettel fans!]. The Safety Car is deployed to try and get rid of Vettel’s car as soon as possible. Rosberg then leads the race ahead of Mark Webber.

Lap 46 and we are RACING again. Rosberg leads Kimi by 0.8 seconds. Adrian Sutil is still in third despite all the trauma’s in today’s race. Alonso has also dropped 3 places after the Safety Car. Hamilton is able to pass Grosjean. Webber is flying and passes Riccardo to take fourth place. Alonso is able to pass Jenson for 7th place. Perez has a tyre problem and is limping back to the pit lane. Massa then tries to take Button’s position on track but sadly cannot.

Lap 47 sees Mark Webber who is absolutely flying taking third place away from Sutil. Perez has to retire his McLaren after suffering a problem with his tyres and the team believe it is unsafe for him to continue. Riccardo is down under pressure from Alonso and Alonso is able to pass him. While this is going on, Lewis is able himself to get past Riccardo with a good move.

Lap 48, Rosberg leads by 1.8 seconds. But the man on the move is Webber and is gaining all the time on Raikkonen. Webber then gains enough to try and pass Kimi, cannot do so. Later on in the lap, Webber makes a cracking move on Kimi and takes the place away. Alonso is then able to pass Sutil. The next lap sees Hamilton pass Sutil for 5th place on track. The battle for third between Raikkonen  and Alonso is heating up all the time. Sutil now finds himself under pressure from Massa.

Lap 50 sees Nico have a 1.3 gap between himself and Mark. Alonso is then able to pass Kimi for the final position on the podium. By Lap 51, Hamilton finds himself gaining on Kimi and is able to pass Kimi to claim fourth place. Also, Massa is able to pass Sutil for 6th place.

52 laps are completed and Nico Rosberg wins the race ahead of Mark Webber who drove brilliantly to claim second place 0.7 seconds behind him, Fernando Alonso after a good drive through the field takes the final place on the podium in third 7.1 seconds behind Rosberg, Hamilton after everything thrown at him today managed to get a solid fourth 7.7 seconds behind Rosberg, Raikkonen managed to get fifth place today and breaking Michael Schumacher’s consecutive points record 11.2 seconds behind Rosberg, Massa after everything this weekend was sixth 14.5 seconds behind Rosberg, Sutil managed to get seventh 16.3 seconds behind Rosberg, Riccardo after a solid weekend was eighth 16.5 seconds behind Rosberg, Di Resta again managed a great drive to claim ninth 17.9 seconds behind Rosberg and Hulkenberg claimed the final point in tenth 19.7 seconds behind Rosberg.

Sebastian Vettel leads the Driver’s championship with 132 points, Alonso is second with 111 points, Raikkonen is third with 98 points, Hamilton is fourth with 89 points, Webber is fifth with 87 points, Rosberg is sixth with 82 points, Massa is seventh with 57 points, Di Resta is eighth with 36 points, Grosjean is ninth with 26 points and Button is tenth with 25 points.

Red Bull lead the Constructor’s championship with 219 points, Mercedes is second with 171 points, Ferrari is third with 168 points, Lotus is fourth with 124 points, Force India is fifth with 59 points, McLaren in sixth with 37 points, Toro Rosso in seventh with 24 points and Sauber are eighth with 6 points.

Conclusion

The Grand Prix tested the drivers throughout the race with the high level of tyre degradation, just like the many races we have had this season. And now it is leaving the fans questioning the Pirelli tyres again. I believe that the three tyres failures we had this weekend need to be addressed and quickly. At the end of the race, Jenson Button while interviewed by Sky Sports F1 said ‘…The FIA need to address this problem quickly and it should have been done sooner.’

And Jenson is right. Today should have never happened. The FIA should have been in the last few months enforcing that Pirelli changed the tyres and looked into making sure that they was made safer. Today, we could have seen Kimi hurt or injured from the flying piece of tread from Vergne’s puncture at 190 mph. We as fans and also the paddock at the sport do not want to see another fatality in the sport due to something that could be fixed and should have been fixed in the first place. Pirelli have NO excuses now. They need to look into the tyres and its safety now before something happens. Should Pirelli be fined after the race? I don’t know. My view is either Pirelli fix the issues or revert back to the 2011 tyres. We shall see what happens.

I was not happy that Jenson did not have some pace to challenge today and did not score some points for the team. This just shows how much they are struggling at the moment. But it shows that McLaren are taking slow and steady progress to try and get to the front of the field once again. But I am happy that Jenson managed to do his best this weekend for the team and the British fans who came out in full support of the him and the team. But they need to either try and make the car competitive and understand the issues surrounding their problems or cut their losses, learn the lessons from this year’s car and focus on 2014.

The team this weekend I believe have made small steps into looking at solutions to help and cure this problem before the championships, race wins, podiums and even point finishes are no longer within their reach. As I said last race, I know McLaren will bounce back to the performance they and their fans crave and when that happens, it will make it all the more special. Bring on Germany where the team are bringing on more of their upgrade programme for the car!

Lotus this weekend may not have gained another victory this weekend but they have scored some a point from Kimi this weekend that will help their fight in the Constructors Championship. I was a bit surprised that Lotus, especially Raikkonen was not able to challenge for the win this weekend, but consistency and points scoring keeps you in the hunt for the title, as Alonso proved last season. Despite the problems of this weekend, the Lotus team have managed to get again score some points, even though they are now fourth in the Constructor’s Championship.

Di Resta, Sutil and Massa all again have had solid weekends. First all of them showing top 10 form in the Practice sessions and then battling throughout the field to gain some solid points. I think that all of them are driving solidly this year and are improving their form from last year. I still cannot believe how Di Resta and Massa battled through the field!

The biggest surprises this weekend for me was the 2th place of Mark Webber. Firstly, Webber has had an impressive weekend but he has impressed me a lot this weekend yet again. He drove a fantastic lap in qualifying and drove a cracking race to bring home some much needed points for the team. I believe that Mark this year has learnt his lessons from his last and this season from the sport and is working harder than ever to impress with his performances in the sport this year and leaving the sport on a high. I really believe that the sport will miss Webber, the man that he is and the high quality driver that he is and I was happy to him get second place today after a great drive.

And surely, people will have noticed his performance this weekend.  He deserved to get into the points today, he really did. He is a great driver with a lot of talent and he has shown his team has shown this weekend that their performance is good, they have a car that is able to be competitive and fight for good points in the race and I think they have the potential to improve throughout the season.  And I think Mark could be the dark horse of the midfield teams this team and could surprise us all in the up and coming races with maybe some finals wins to see his career out.

Lewis again has impressed me (even though I am a massive Jenson fan!). Ever since leaving for McLaren, not only has he been able to out-qualify his team mate but he has been able to also consistently gain some good points for the Mercedes team. I believe that Lewis is carrying on the form he has shown from the latter half of the 2012 season and is driving solidly at the moment. And I think that Lewis drove solidly despite not being able to challenge Alonso in front of him deserved to get some decent points today despite of what happened to him while leading the race.

Alonso also drove solidly this weekend to claim third place. Even though he only managed to qualify in ninth place on Saturday, I believe that he did not the potential to challenge Vettel, Webber or both of the Mercedes drivers for the win even if he qualified further up the grid. Alonso and Ferrari need to keep working on their qualifying pace as they have a really good car this year (especially in the race) and could challenge Vettel if this problem was rectified.

Vettel does deserve a mention. Vettel was on form all weekend and seemed to be able to match the pace of the Mercedes team and its drivers this weekend. However, Vettel retiring did make me happy [sorry to any Vettel fans again!], he has now lost some ground in his battle to claim his fourth consecutive title. Will this race impact on his hopes?

All that is left to say about this race is that Nico deserved to win today. His driving was brilliant and controlled throughout the race even behind his team-mate and Vettel. Mercedes seem to have a car that is undoubtedly better than their car last year. They seem to be able to make sure that their qualifying performance is also consistent and reliable, while it seems they have improved their race pace today. And yet again Rosberg extends his team’s lead into the constructor’s championship today and people are now starting to take Mercedes seriously.

Will Vettel be able to win at Germany? We shall see…

My next post will be my Track Preview on the German Grand Prix which will be on the blog by the end of Friday.