Monthly Archives: August 2014

Classic #jonesonF1: 2000 German Grand Prix

The most iconic picture of the 2000 German Grand Prix

The most iconic picture of the 2000 German Grand Prix

The German Grand Prix: Round 11 of 17 in the 2000 Formula One World Championship. Heading into the race, Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher lead the Drivers’ Championship with 56 points, ahead of McLaren driver David Coulthard on Rubens Barrichello in fourth on 36 points and Giancarlo Fisichella was fifth on 18 points.

When qualifying began, there were black clouds around the track and with the threat of rain in the air; everyone went rushing out to try to get a time in the bag. It was not the moment to have a mechanical problem or a spin. And so there was some consternation in the BAR, Benetton and Ferrari pits when one of each of their drivers did not return from their first runs.

Jacques Villeneuve and Giancarlo Fisichella had overcooked it and spun while Rubens Barrichello had suffered a mechanical problem. There were also troubles down in the Arrows pit  where Jos Verstappen’s car refused to start and while the spannermen flexed their wrists everyone else ran around signing “Rain, Rain, go away, come again another day”. It worked.

In those frantic opening minutes Heinz-Harald Frenzten, Jacques Villeneuve, Jaron Trulli and Michael Schumacher  were all briefly in the number one spot but then David Coulthard put all their efforts into perspective as he sailed round to record a lap time which was 1.4secs faster than that of his McLaren  team mate Mika Hakkinen.

The McLaren 1-2 looked to be pretty solid as a sprinkle of rain came along but as it was happening Fisichella in his spare car was out on a desperate mission to make the grid. It probably helped that Fisichella knew that he had very little to lose and so pushed harder than he might have done otherwise. The result was that he popped up to second on the timesheets, and then the rain ended dreams of others doing any better.

In fact at the end of the session the track had dried enough to allow Michael Schumacher to sneak a time which was six-hundreths head of Fisichella but he was still a very long way behind Coulthard. Schumacher’s second place was good news for him and came after a difficult Saturday morning when he crashed his own car. This meant that he went into qualifying with the spare car. Schumacher said after the session that it made little difference but it did mean that he did not have the confidence to push to the absolute limit on his first flying lap.

Down at the back of the grid, there was some excitement as both Barrichello and Frentzen just managed to get into the field with their final efforts. Benetton was happy to have Fisichella third and Wurz seventh (although the Austrian was nine-tenths of a second slower than the Italian). While it is nice to see the cars going well, there was a large element of luck in Fisichella’s position. If he had not spun off he would not have been out on the track at exactly the moment he needed to be there without anyone else to get in his way.

The nature of the qualifying meant that there were quite a few surprises, notably fifth place for Pedro de la Rosa, using the Arrows spare car because of an engine problem in his own at the end of the morning practice session. Verstappen was less happy but 11th on the grid was not bad given that he might have failed to qualify if the rains had come a few minutes earlier.

The Jordan team was pretty disappointed with sixth and 17th positions on the grid with the revised EJ10 and the latest Mugen-Honda  engine. Trulli was happy enough with fifth given the fact that he had problems on Saturday morning but Frentzen was not pleased. He had been right up there in the early minutes of the session but his best time was taken away because he had gone through a chicane and ended up 17th.

The top 10 heading into the German Grand Prix was David Coulthard taking Pole Position ahead of Michael Schumacher, Giancarlo Fisichella, Mika Hakkinen, Pedro de la Rosa, Jarno Trulli, Alexander Wurz, Johnny Herbert, Jacques Villeneuve, Eddie Irvine and Jos Verstappen.

The first lap incident between Michael Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella at the 2000 German Grand Prix

The first lap incident between Michael Schumacher and Giancarlo Fisichella at the 2000 German Grand Prix

On race day, Jenson Button was left sitting on the grid as his BMW engine had refused to fire up and would have to start from the back of the grid. At the start, neither Coulthard , Schumacher or Fisichella had a good start but Häkkinen had a blinder. Häkkinen was quickly ahead but behind him Coulthard moved across to block Schumacher.

Michael Schumacher after his collusion with Giancarlo Fisichella

Michael Schumacher after his collusion with Giancarlo Fisichella at the start of the 2000 German Grand Prix


Fisichella did not guess that happening and hit Schumacher who had switched sides to make another attack on Coulthard. Both spun off, hit the wall and retired with the two blaming each other. The order at the end of lap 1 was: Häkkinen, Coulthard, Trulli, de la Rosa, Herbert, de la Rosa, Irvine, Verstappen, Villeneuve, Zonta and Barrichello.  

Häkkinen and Coulthard were pulling away from the rest but there were changes behind them as Barrichello and Frentzen (both on two-stops) were charging through the field. Barrichello dealt with Villeneuve and Zonta on Lap 2 and Frentzen was up to 11th on the same lap. Irvine was under attack from Verstappen and was forced to defend. Verstappen attacked him on Lap 4 and pushed him wide.

Barrichello got past both of them and soon Frentzen began to attack them. By now, at the front, Häkkinen was a second ahead of Coulthard and 4 seconds ahead of Trulli. But the action was behind them as Barrichello passed Herbert on Lap 8 and behind them Frentzen got ahead of Irvine and Verstappen in 3 corners. On the next lap, with the McLarens 7.2 seconds ahead, Barrichello set a lap matching the McLarens.

Pedro de la Rosa in the early stages of the 2000 German Grand Prix in fourth place

Pedro de la Rosa in the early stages of the 2000 German Grand Prix in fourth place

On Lap 10, Frentzen passed Herbert to take sixth. On the next lap, Barrichello started to attack de la Rosa for fourth, 8.5 seconds behind Häkkinen.

Verstappen passed Herbert for fifth on lap 12 and soon afterwards Barrichello edged past de la Rosa with Frentzen started to close in on de la Rosa as well. Herbert retired on Lap 13 with gearbox problems. Barrichello went after Trulli and was right behind him by Lap 14. He sneaked ahead of him on the next lap. Häkkinen was 1.1 seconds ahead of Coulthard and 14.3 seconds ahead of Barrichello. Barrichello started to close in on the two up front before pitting on Lap 17 and rejoined sixth.

Frentzen pitted on the next lap immediately after passing de la Rosa. Häkkinen and Coulthard were now 18 seconds ahead of Trulli and 32 seconds ahead of Barrichello. Barrichello passed de la Rosa for fourth but he was 8 seconds behind Trulli and was 31 seconds behind the McLarens. He closed the gap to Trulli to 4 seconds and the McLarens to 30 seconds but there were dark clouds looming.

The Mercedes employee that got onto the track in the 2000 German Grand Prix

The Mercedes employee that got onto the track in the 2000 German Grand Prix on Lap 20.

Then suddenly a disgruntled former Mercedes employee appeared beside the track with a banner on which was written, “Mercedes Benz, who knew about my health problems, offered me a job I could not do and then sacked me for physical ineptitude after 20 years service”.  He crossed the track as marshals chased him and so the safety car was sent out until the man was caught.

But the sign only came after the McLarens had started the next lap and so others like Trulli, Barrichello, de la Rosa and others went into the stops. There was confusion in the McLaren garage as they could not handle both cars at the same time. Thus Häkkinen went into the pits first. On the next lap, Coulthard went to the stop but rejoined at the back because of the extra lap. The order was: Häkkinen, Trulli, Barrichello, de la Rosa, Frentzen, Villeneuve, Zonta,  Salo, Button and Heidfeld. 

Riccardo Zonta pressurising Jacques Villeneuve before their incident in the 2000 German GP

Riccardo Zonta pressurising Jacques Villeneuve before their incident in the 2000 German GP

When the safety car went back into the pits, Alesi and Pedro Diniz collided taking them both out, bringing out the safety car again. In between, Coulthard was able to pass Heidfeld and Button and gained 4 places. There was more drama because after the safety car went on Lap 34, Villeneuve and Zonta collided, tipping Villeneuve into a spin. Later in the lap, Coulthard passed Salo to take sixth and then the rains began to fall down.

Jenson Button in the latter stages of the 2000 German Grand Prix

Jenson Button in the latter stages of the 2000 German Grand Prix

Trulli was given a 10-sec stop and go penalty for overtaking under yellow flags. Häkkinen pitted for wets and so did many others. The ones who did not pit now occupied the top four positions – Barrichello, Frentzen, Coulthard and Zonta with Häkkinen fifth, Salo sixth, Button seventh having passed de la Rosa.

Zonta was given a 10-sec stop go penalty for the same reason as Trulli and thus he lost concentration and spun out on Lap 38. Coulthard pitted soon after for wets and rejoined fourth, just ahead of Salo and Button. On Lap 40, Frentzen had an electrical failure and retired from second. As Hockenheim is one of the longest tracks of the year, different parts of the circuit had different levels of wetness.

Rubens Barrichello wins the 2000 German Grand Prix ahead of Mika Hakkinen in second place and David Coulthard in third place

Rubens Barrichello wins the 2000 German Grand Prix and the first of his career ahead of Mika Hakkinen in second place and David Coulthard in third place

Häkkinen was 7.5 seconds behind Barrichello and gained significantly on the wetter parts of the circuit before losing most of the time he had gained on the dryer parts. On Lap 42, Button passed Salo for fourth and Salo could do nothing as Button pulled away from him. It did not rain until the end of the race and so Barrichello won his first Grand Prix of his career from Häkkinen, Coulthard, Button, Salo and de la Rosa.

The 2000 German Grand Prix will also be remembered as the race where Barrichello’s win was the first victory by a Brazilian driver since three-time world champion Ayrton Senna seven years previously at the 1993 Australian Grand Prix. Barrichello’s win is still considered to be the most universally popular throughout those involved in the sport and is still one of the most liked people in F1.

Let us not forget that Barrichello went on to take his first Grand Prix win at the event. As he stood on the podium listening to the Brazilian national anthem, he was overcome with emotion and started sobbing with the sheer relief and joy of it all. Alongside him, Hakkinen and his McLaren team-mate Coulthard, hoisted Barrichello onto their shoulders in celebration. In the media centre, Barrichello got a standing ovation and, once the interviews were over, he was cheered back to the Ferrari motorhome in the paddock as well.

Starting from 18th on the grid after problems in qualifying, Barrichello showed throughout the race with some determination and great driving to gain the lead of the race when the opportunity arose and he was rewarded with a cracking race win for his hard work. He fought his way through the field by overtaking car after car every lap. The rain started light but began to get heavy towards the end of the race. Barrichello gambled staying on dries and it paid off magnificently. And what a Grand Prix victory to have won and it’s a Grand Prix that many fans still enjoy watching and reliving today.

And as the 2000 World Championship leaded towards the next round in Austria at the A1 Ring in Spielberg, Schumacher was still leading the Driver’s Championship by 56 points ahead of Hakkinen two points behind with 54 points and Coulthard in third with 54 points.

Boullier: We are backing Magnussen’s driving


In an interview with Autosport F1 today, McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier has backed Kevin Magnussen over his aggressive racecraft in the Belgian Grand Prix, despite the Dane getting a penalty and losing his points.

Magnussen was relegated from sixth position to 12th overall after being handed a 20 second penalty for pushing Fernando Alonso off track as they fought over fifth position late on.

Despite the controversy, in his interview with Autosport F1 today, Boullier defended Magnussen’s actions, saying that F1 should be embracing such exciting battles at a time when some are complaining the sport is boring. Boullier stated the following:-

‘I love it. This is racing. It is all what we are talking about, and I think we had an incident-packed race, so it was a great race.’

As Boullier says that is what we want to see, the best drivers in the world battling each other safely for the best possible result that they can achieved. Even though all eyes are on the sport and the aspect of the ‘show’ it provides its audience who watch it on television, it is clear that yesterday we saw another great race with lots of action and controversy.

Further on in his interview today, Boullier believes Magnussen has shown good progress over the course of the campaign, having bounced back from some early-year troubles. Boullier added the following:-

‘Obviously it is part of the experience he is gaining over the season. He is very motivated. He is new to the category and it is nice to see the big boys a pushing a little bit to show him ‘stay behind, kid’. It is part of the learning process, so it is good.

‘I think it is not easy to step into F1, especially with a top team. There is a lot of pressure in delivering when there is no more testing. It is not easy.’

As Boullier says, Magnussen over the course of the season is getting more experience and is using what he has learnt so far in order to get the best possible result on the track. It is clear that Boullier is happy with the progress that Magnussen is making and that he is not afraid to challenge drivers such as Alonso for position.

Boullier does make a valid point and the experience that Magnussen is gaining especially yesterday battling with Alonso will only help him develop his driving and also his racecraft. Even if Boullier believes that Magnussen did the correct thing yesterday and personally I think he did too, he will only improve and learn from this.

Overall, I think Boullier makes a valid point. It is not easy for young drivers such as Magnussen and also fellow rookie Danill Kvyat to enter into Formula One where there is limited opportunities to gain experience in the sport and also driving an F1 car.

But this season we have seen Kvyat and Magnussen show quite quickly that they are more than capable of delivering in the car when the opportunity comes their way and are able to show that they are definitely potential talents of the future. And the great thing is if they continue to improve like they are, then their future in the sport is looking very bright indeed.

In regards to Magnussen, I think Boullier is right to defend him. Even though Magnussen has been punished for the incident with Alonso, it is clear that Magnussen is a driver that is improving, is learning all the time and is also one driver to watch for in the future.

He may have lost his points, gained a 20 second penalty and two penalty points on his license for the incident with Alonso yesterday, but what is clear is that Magnussen has the potential ahead of him to be a future star of Formula One and has demonstrated that he can challenge and keep behind established drivers such as Alonso behind him and that is something that cannot be overlooked.


Bottas: I’m happy with third place


In an interview with ESPN F1 yesterday, Williams driver Valtteri Bottas is happy with third place at Spa even if he was surprised with the pace Red Bull showed as Daniel Ricciardo won the Belgian Grand Prix.

Over the summer break Williams targeted Spa and Monza as its best chances to win a race this year due to the team’s low downforce configuration. But Williams struggled in Saturday’s wet qualifying session and Bottas started sixth, before struggling to get past Sebastian Vettel at mid-distance after Red Bull’s low downforce set up saw it matching Williams for pace in a straight line.

Despite being happy with his fourth podium of the season, in his interview ESPN F1 yesterday, Bottas thinks the race showed Williams how big a job it needs to do to beat Mercedes and Red Bull in Italy. Bottas said the following:-

‘It was, again, a really nice race, nice to be in. Obviously yesterday the weather played a role in the qualifying and we knew that in the dry we would have better pace than in the wet, so we were really hopeful for today. I have to say that we are little bit surprised by the pace of Red Bull and Mercedes. They were quite a bit far away.

‘Of course our race was a bit compromised after the poor start. I was quite a long time stuck behind some other cars and couldn’t really go at the pace we had. But yeah, had some good overtakes. We had good pitstops and good strategy by the team and that allowed us to come up a few places and again to the podium.’

Once again, Bottas has shown just how talented he is and that he was in a position to score yet another podium for the Williams team. As Bottas says, the weather played a part in qualifying and he knows that his car performs better in the dry rather than the wet conditions and is glad that it was dry.

I think just like Bottas was, many were surprised with the performance of Ricciardo and Red Bull yesterday and have improved over the summer break. Even though Bottas had a bit of a bad start to the race, got held up by cars during the race, he still managed to fight his way through the grid and also his strategy helped him achieve his podium yesterday and it is a great result for him again.

Further on in his interview, Bottas thinks the team might have to re-assess its chances at Monza. Bottas added the following:-

‘We are still chasing for the highest step but for now, for this season, if we keep like this, it’s OK because it’s the future that matters. I think this season it’s going to be difficult. We definitely need to be lucky to achieve that. Mercedes is really strong and even on a track like this Red Bull was really, really quick, we couldn’t really challenge Ricciardo, so we have still work to do but we are on the right way.’

As Bottas says himself, even though Williams and himself want to be winning races as soon as possible, he is realistic that it could not happen this season but the prospect of winning in the near future is great and that it can be achieved. It is crucial that Williams want to achieve this, but they are in the right direction too. But Bottas is right, it will be difficult for them to achieve a win this season, especially with the performances of the Mercedes team and its drivers as well as Ricciardo but if the opportunity is there, he will grab it if he can.

Bottas managed to get past fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen at the end of the race for third place, and in the latter stages of his interview, he says the battle with the 2007 world champion was a highlight of his race. Bottas said the following:-

‘I think it was a nice and fair fight. First I nearly had a go into Turn Five but wasn’t really quite as close, so then I just had to wait for a couple of laps to really prepare for it, then went for it and it was nice, clean racing with him. So, yeah, really enjoyed it.’

As Bottas says it was a nice and clear fight between himself and Raikkonen. Both drivers defended well and were careful and respectful towards each other too. It was great to watch on TV and even though Bottas got the upper hand in the battle, he had to work for it.

But overall, Bottas should be happy with third place yesterday. He has shown again that he can extract the pace and performance from the car and get himself into a position to fight and claim podiums. Bottas for me this season has shown that he is a very talented and gifted racing driver and it will only be a matter of time before his first victory in Formula One is achieved.

It might happen to Bottas this season if he gets the chance, it might not. But at the end of the day, if Williams keep on improving and stay on the level of direction they are on now, the chances of Bottas winning his first race is greatly increased. And I am sure that many would be happy if Bottas wins his first race in the sport as soon as he can and it would be a victory that would be well received with the fans too.

Question is; when Bottas win his first race in Formula One? Will it be this year or will it next year? Whenever it is, it will only highlight just how talented Bottas really is and that his future in Formula One is growing ever brighter and very quickly too.

Alonso: My penalty prevented me from getting a podium


In an interview with ESPN F1 yesterday, Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso believes his hopes of a podium at the Belgian Grand Prix ended after the penalty incurred for the problems he experienced on the grid.

Ahead of the race Alonso looked well-placed in fourth but, as the cars departed for the formation lap, the Spaniard was still raised on the jacks, with the Ferrari mechanics returning to his car as others pulled away around him. The Ferrari eventually got going before the last car had crossed the line, meaning Alonso could start from fourth, but he was given a five-second penalty for his first pit stop.

In his interview with ESPN F1 yesterday, Alonso says the problems related to the F14 T’s battery. Alonso stated the following:-

‘At the start we had problems with the electricity of the car, the power of the car. I think we had to replace some kind of battery in the last minute as we could not fire the car on, as it was stopped with everything off – no power.

‘We put in the extra battery, the portable they have on the grid, and everything was OK, but the battery inside the car was empty, I think. We managed anyway to start the car and do the normal start and the five-second penalty was the lesser problem at that moment.’

It would seem that Alonso had issues with his battery while he sat on his grid slot which meant that his mechanics had to fix it in order for him to start the race. But as Alonso says, he would rather take the penalty and race his way back through the grid rather than not start the race at all.

Further on in his interview, Alonso thinks it meant he dropped away from the likes of Valtteri Bottas, who finished third at a crucial point in the race through a relatively lenient penalty given to him. Alonso added the following:-

‘Without that I was in front of Bottas when I stopped, Bottas finished third and I could have been around those positions. At least we could finish and help the team with the maximum points that today I could make. I think the car was more or less competitive this weekend.

‘We thought we would be quite a long way from Williams and we were a little bit competitive than we thought. In my case the power was the biggest concern. We had all weekend a bit of a deficit on the power unit so this extra horsepower that we could have we were missing in the race probably. Over one race it was OK but it could not change the race from day and night. The battery at the start was the biggest price we paid.’

With the penalty Alonso received, it is hard to say if he could have finished ahead of Bottas but it would seem that Alonso feels that he would have been able to. But the main thing is that Alonso got the best result he could of achieved after taking his penalty and brought home some points for the team, even if they paid the price with the penalty.

Even though Ferrari are a long way ahead of Williams at the moment, but it would seem that Ferrari have made steps forward this weekend with their car and was rewarded with the results from Raikkonen and also Alonso too. As Raikkonen has stated in his interview, Alonso believes also that the engine that Ferrari have is not where it should and could be and it is affecting their chances of challenging at the front of the grid.

On the final lap Alonso lost his front wing after hitting Sebastian Vettel, which followed an entertaining duel with Kevin Magnussen which at one point saw him on the grass at Kemmel which gave Magnussen a 20 second penalty after the race yesterday. In the latter stages of interview, Alonso believes the frantic finish only made it more difficult to score a more competitive result. Alonso said the following:-

‘[Magnussen] was lapping one Caterham and we were all in the slipstream, and when he moved to pass I had the extra speed and tried to overtake and he closed a little bit too much maybe – I had half the car on the grass.

‘In the last lap I broke the front wing in the first corner touching with Sebastian. I lost around 10 seconds in one lap and luckily it was the last lap. All this action meant it was always an uphill race for us today.’

From what Alonso stated yesterday, it is clear that he feels that Magnussen while trying to lap the Caterham was only concentrating on getting past in order to keep Alonso behind him and you would expect that from him. And the stewards feel that Magnussen did not comply to the regulations and has been punished for him.

In regards to Vettel, it would appear that Alonso lost a lot of time as a result but is more than happy that it happened on the last lap and not earlier in the race where he could have lost even more positions and could have brought no points home from the race at all yesterday.

I would agree with Alonso that the penalty he received in the race did affect his progress. But as he says himself, if his mechanics couldn’t get his car to run, then he wouldn’t have scored any points yesterday and given Ferrari a encouraging weekend for them to build on for the rest of the season ahead. And that is all that matters.

With Ferrari battling Williams for third place in the Constructors championship, it is imperative that Alonso achieves the best result possible for the rest of the season and bring home the points to keep Williams behind them. And yesterday was a prime example of this and this should be Ferrari’s aim for the rest of the season while looking to improve the car as much as they possibly can.

Raikkonen: I needed a clean race


In an interview with ESPN F1 yesterday, Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen thinks that fourth place at the Belgian Grand Prix is proof of what he could have achieved with Ferrari this year if he had more clean races in 2014.

Fourth in Belgium was not only Raikkonen’s best result of his frustrating season but also the first time he has beaten Alonso in 12 races. In recent races Raikkonen has felt more comfortable with his car and said his issue-free race meant he was able to put this to good use.

In his interview with ESPN F1 yesterday, Raikkonen said the following:-

‘The race was clean, there weren’t any issues in the race like in the past, we always had something happen and this was probably the first race this year [we didn’t]. Obviously it helps and meant we could do our own race and the result was a bit better, but it was still disappointing not to fight further up but we knew this race and the next race will be difficult for us.

‘I think it’s the first race this year that was clean, where we don’t have damage in the car or any other issues and we can do our own race. The speed wasn’t too bad but this is still not good enough. I don’t think we deserve any better. If we deserve it we get it. Today we didn’t get it and they were a bit too fast for us.’

Yesterday Raikkonen had a brilliant race to achieve fourth place and shows that if he can put everything together, he can deliver well. Even though Raikkonen had difficulties during the weekend, it is great to see that he was rewarded with his best result of the season so far.

But Raikkonen is realistic and he knows that there is still a lot of work needed to do by Ferrari in order to get to the position where they want and need to be; which is at the front of the grid fighting for race wins. But I believe that Ferrari and Raikkonen extracted as much pace and performance from the car as they could and they was rewarded with the best result they could have achieved.

At one stage a podium looked like a possibility but Raikkonen does not believe he had any chance against the superior power of Valtteri Bottas’ Williams, which passed him in the final laps. Further on in his interview, Raikkonen said that the Williams were faster than him and he couldn’t really fight for a podium. Raikkonen added the following:-

‘It was not much of a fight really, I mean in a straight line they are much faster. On one lap he almost caught me and I could keep him behind but the next lap there was no chance. For me it doesn’t count as a fight. This is what happens [when you are slower].

‘I think we ran the proper downforce we should have to do our maximum speed over the lap and in qualifying conditions, over one lap, it isn’t too bad. But over the race we are suffering more against those cars, they can charge more and have a bigger advantage than over one lap. We don’t have the horsepower in the engine they have but what they can recover compared to us is probably the bigger problem right now.’

I would have to agree with Raikkonen here. It is clear that Ferrari could not put up as much as a fight with the Williams team as they would have liked. Williams are just too far ahead of the Ferrari but Raikkonen did the best he could to try and fight them for a podium finish but sadly it wasn’t meant to be.

As for Raikkonen yesterday, it would appear that Raikkonen achieved the best possible set up for his car that he could even though it is clear that they haven’t got the pace to challenge their rivals. It would seem that Raikkonen believes that the Ferrari engine lacks the power over their rivals and it doesn’t help them while trying to fight on the track for the best result possible.

Overall, we saw yesterday that if Raikkonen has the car underneath him and manages to put everything together, he can deliver on the circuit just as well as his team mate Fernando Alonso. When Raikkonen is on form, he demonstrated yesterday that he hasn’t lost any of his talent and can still be fast.

But Raikkonen will no doubt take fourth place from yesterday and use it as a platform to improve for the rest of the season and will do everything he can to do this with what he has at his disposal. And Raikkonen needs to, in order to show what he can do and also help him prepare for the 2015 in the best possible way.

But even though Raikkonen will be happy to take away fourth after a difficult first half to the season, it is clear that the passion, desire and motivation is still there to be the fastest driver on the grid and win races. And Raikkonen and the Ferrari team need to work together to improve the car as much as possible and show that they will do whatever it takes to get back to the front of the grid again.

Question is; will see Raikkonen and Ferrari challenging at the front of the grid before the end of the season? I think not. But in 2015? Who knows.


Wolff: Nico “felt he needed to make a point”


In an interview with the media yesterday, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff says Nico Rosberg “felt he needed to make a point” during his battle with Lewis Hamilton at Spa, but says he didn’t deliberately crash into his team-mate.

The tension at Mercedes went up another few notches at Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix when Rosberg made contact with Hamilton’s left-rear wheel while he was trying to regain first place. Hamilton was forced to pit for a puncture and he eventually retired while Rosberg fought back to finish P2 behind Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull.

The Mercedes bosses called a team meeting after the race and Hamilton was left furious after Rosberg apparently admitted he did it on purpose. Hamilton in the media stated to that Rosberg did it on purpose and did it to “prove a point” and to ask Wolff and Lowe to confirm the comments.

In his interview with the media yesterday, Wolff says Rosberg’s comments were misinterpreted and he simply didn’t want to give his team-mate space. Wolff said the following:-

‘Nico felt he needed to hold his line. He needed to make a point, and for Lewis, it was clearly not him who needed to be aware of Nico. He (Rosberg) didn’t give in. He thought it was for Lewis to leave him space, and that Lewis didn’t leave him space.

‘So they agreed to disagree in a very heated discussion amongst ourselves, but it wasn’t deliberately crashing. That is nonsense. It was deliberately taking into account that if Lewis moves or would open then it could end up in a crash.’

From what Wolff has stated, he believes that Rosberg held onto the line and to “make the point” to Hamilton and make him aware that he was in a position to pass. I can understand that, but Rosberg still for me should have taken more care and if he knew he wasn’t going to pass Hamilton, back off and find another way somewhere else on the circuit.

But it would seem that the incident has not only sparked a debate with the fans, it has also with the team too. And now Wolff and the Mercedes team have to work through what happened, find a viable solution for all involved and move on as quickly as possible to the next race in Monza in two weeks time.

Wolff admits further on in his interview that Rosberg should have avoided such an incident so early in the race. Wolff added the following:-

‘We had a collision that could have been avoided, a second-lap collision, it was Nico who attacked and he shouldn’t have done it. It was also to show he was not prepared to give in. With hindsight, if he could turn back time, Nico would probably not do it again in the way he did.

‘It doesn’t change the scenario at all because the incident, as I see it, is not acceptable for us. What we saw there was that Nico was not prepared to take the exit, and that caused the collision. That is not something we want to happen.’

I would agree with Wolff and the situation yesterday could have been avoided and Rosberg shouldn’t have done it in the manner in which he did. I think when Rosberg like Wolff says looks back at the incident, he may regret the manner in which it happened but will not regret trying to get past his team mate.

But in regards to my views overall, Wolff sums it up for me nicely. The accident is quite rightly not acceptable for everyone in the Mercedes team. Of course they want to see their two drivers race fairly and with respect for themselves and also for the team too. And it is clear that did not happen yesterday and Mercedes overall could have extended their lead in the Constructors further and could have had a better race than they did.

If Rosberg did it to prove a point, what point was that? Was it to tell Hamilton that he will not back down and is not afraid to overtake him? Or was it to show that he will take no prisoners to claim the championship? That is up to yourselves to decide this fact.

But the Mercedes team now to have resolve the issue at hand as quickly as they can, learn from it, put measures in place to ensure that it doesn’t happen and then prepare themselves for the next Grand Prix in Monza. Question is; will we see anymore incidents like this for the rest of the season remaining?

Let’s hope not, but the Mercedes team are now in a predicament that could easily get out of hand if they don’t get a handle on this asap and for me, they must get a handle on it now before it is too late.

Rosberg: Only British fans booed me on the podium


In an interview with Sky Sports F1 yesterday, an unrepentant Nico Rosberg refused to publicly apologise to Hamilton after the race and claimed that only “British fans” booed him on the Spa podium.

Mercedes bosses Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda immediately and quite righly condemned Rosberg’s driving after the race. In his interview with Sky Sports F1 yesterday, Rosberg reckoned he was only heckled by British spectators on the podium after the race. Rosberg stated the following:-

‘They are British fans so I understand. It wasn’t a nice feeling. All I ask is that they really prepare themselves well before having such opinions. For example, by reading the regulations and really understanding what is the code of conduct for us drivers – that is what I would ask.

‘But anyway, it was a small minority, the British fans here, and all the other people were excited by a great race.’

Even though many pundits and fans have every right to question the way the incident happened between Rosberg and Hamilton yesterday, I have to say that booing Rosberg on the podium is completely unacceptable. I understand why people did it, but that is not the correct way to behave. And if you want to discuss the incident, do it in a manner that is respectful and is a better way to get your point across.

I’m not disputing that the manner in which Rosberg drove into Hamilton wasn’t fair and everyone has a right to question it, but to be booed on a podium wouldn’t have been nice for Rosberg to hear, but he does understand why he received this action. But it still doesn’t make it right and I believe that Rosberg shouldn’t have been booed like he did yesterday as it is completely disrespectful in every way.

Sky F1 pundit Martin Brundle after the race described Rosberg’s move as ‘clumsy’, with Rosberg nearly an entire car’s length behind his team-mate when he struck the sister W05. However, further on in his interview, Rosberg believes that his attempted overtake was legitimate. Rosberg added the following:-

‘In terms of an apology, I need to see it to go into any such detail. I was quicker, I wanted to overtake and I went for it. Unfortunately we touched. I definitely tried [to overtake] and I was alongside.’

From what Rosberg has stated here, it is clear that he feels he did nothing wrong yesterday and believes he was in his right to overtake Hamilton. I do understand why Rosberg would think he is right. But for me, I believe Rosberg should have backed out of the move if he knew he wasn’t going to get past Hamilton and waited for another chance to get by.

Of course, Rosberg is a racing driver and will be looking for the gap in order to get past his team mate as he is a racer at heart, but I felt he went the wrong way about it and his comments to the media are not the correct way to behave and will only fuel the fire that is surrounding it.

As I have stated in my article about Hamilton today, it is open to interpretation on who you feel was responsible for the incident yesterday. But it is clear that the incident shouldn’t have happened and whichever driver you feel is responsible did not respect their team mate or the team’s desire for the drivers to race each other fairly.

The debate surrounding the incident between Hamilton and Rosberg will only continue as Formula One heads to Monza in two weeks time and this incident could be the start of things changing at the Mercedes team for the rest of the season. But it is clear that the battle between the Mercedes drivers for the title has now moved to another level, a level that Hamilton, Rosberg and the Mercedes team have never dealt with before.

Hamilton: Rosberg deliberately failed to avoid crashing into me


In an interview with Sky Sports F1 yesterday, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has alleged that Nico Rosberg has admitted he deliberately failed to avoid crashing into the Englishman’s Mercedes at the start of the Belgian GP.

According to Hamilton, Rosberg confessed he refused to back down “on purpose” in a post-race briefing inside the Mercedes motorhome as the championship-leading team sought to deal with the fallout from the pair’s controversial and costly clash at Spa yesterday.

The collision resulted in Hamilton eventually retiring from the race while Rosberg finished second, behind the victorious Daniel Ricciardo, to extend his World Championship lead to 29 points. Although race stewards declined to investigate the clash, Hamilton claimed that, in a post-race hearing convened by the Mercedes management, Rosberg admitted he could have avoided crashing into the sister W05 and didn’t back off ‘to make a point’.

At the previous race in Hungary, both of the drivers were embroiled in a team orders controversy after Hamilton didn’t let his team-mate through when on different strategies, an incident which is thought to have angered the championship leader. In his interview with Sky Sports F1 yesterday, Hamilton stated the following on the subject:-

‘We just had a meeting about it and he basically said he did it on purpose. He said he did it on purpose. He said he could have avoided it. He basically said ‘I did it to prove a point’. You don’t have to just rely on me, go and ask Toto [Wolff] or Paddy [Lowe] who are not happy with him as well.’

From what Hamilton has said yesterday, it is clear that he feels that Rosberg knew exactly what he was doing, understood the risks involved with the incident and decided to go along with what he thought was right. It would also seem that it is not just Hamilton who is upset with him, but also his team as well who trust both of their drivers to race each other fairly but also respecting the wishes of the team which didn’t happen yesterday.

According to Wolff, claims that Rosberg admitted crashed deliberately are “nonsense”. However, the Mercedes boss has reputedly confirmed Rosberg acknowledged ‘he could have avoided crashing but didn’t [in order to ] make a point.’ A Mercedes spokesperson also confirmed that Hamilton’s explosive account of the meeting was ‘broadly accurate’.

Further on in his interview yesterday, Hamilton stated that he doesn’t know where to go from here as F1 heads into Monza in two weeks time. Hamilton added the following:-

‘He just came in there and said it was all my fault. When you’re out there you have to trust the people with their heads and [that they] don’t do things deliberately. After that meeting I don’t really know how to approach the next race.’

The incident between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the Belgian GP yesterday

The incident between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the Belgian GP yesterday

The pair clashed on the second lap of the Belgian GP when Hamilton defended the inside line at the conclusion of the Kemmel Straight. As the two Mercedes cars moved through the chicane, Rosberg suddenly veered right, clipping the back of his team-mate’s vehicle, wrecking the floor of the W05 and puncturing his left-rear wheel.

Hamilton admitted he was “gobsmacked” by Rosberg’s alleged admission in the team’s post-race summit and revealed he thought a stewards investigation into his team-mate’s driving would have been forthcoming during the race. Hamilton said the following in his interview:-

‘This year the team have allowed us to race and we’ve been good at racing wheel-to-wheel closely. I heard someone say it was inevitable that we were going to crash one day – I don’t feel today was that inevitability, at the moment. I took the inside line into the corner, I had the corner. We braked very deep into the corner because if I braked early he would have come down the outside, which would have meant that he was alongside me through that section.

‘But I still made the corner [on] the same normal line that I would do normally. Then I just got a big thud. I knew that he was behind and so then I continued my line. I thought for sure there would be an investigation or something about it.’

As Hamilton says himself, it is clear that the Mercedes team have allowed both of their drivers to race during the season so far and personally, I have stated that I felt there could be trouble ahead with both of them as the title fight progressed and that is what we have seen yesterday at Spa.

It is clear that Hamilton believes that he had the corner and the racing line and there was nothing else he could have done to prevent the incident. And I would have to agree with Hamilton and I was very surprised that the incident was not investigated by the stewards especially after Hamilton suffered significant damage as a result of it.

It is clear that Hamilton feels that other drivers such as Alonso and Vettel who also had an action packed race yesterday understand when it is best to overtake someone and to overtake them sensibly. So with Hamilton hearing what Rosberg had to say of course is not going to be pleasant and would seem would want a better answer than he has given to him and to the team currently.

With Mercedes losing a likely one-two finish as a result of the collision, Hamilton said he was upset for the team given they had reaffirmed their desire for their drivers to race freely after the events of Hungary. Hamilton said the following:-

Of course Hamilton will be disappointed for himself and the Mercedes team. This does make his championship fight a lot tougher but if anyone can fight back, it is Hamilton. You cannot discount him just yet for the championship and anything can happen in the remaining races. As for the Mercedes team, they could have extended their lead in the Constructors yesterday and could have achieved a better result than what they did.

A dejected Hamilton retired with five laps of the race remaining after trundling around at the back of the field following his emergency pit-stop. Hamilton said the following about the subject:-

‘While I was driving I didn’t really understand what had happened. I felt a big thud at the rear. I’ve watched it on the replay just now and I gave him space. I don’t understand it. It’s gutting. We’ve had such a tough year on my side of the garage and this is not good for the team because we could have easily had a one-two.’

From what Hamilton has said, he feels that he has complied with the racing regulations and did everything by the book. There is no question he is not happy with what happened yesterday and it has only added to the bad luck he has suffered this season so far and also disappointing for the team who could have had a better Grand Prix than they did.

During the race, Hamilton was overheard repeatedly calling on his Mercedes team to pull him out of the race as he limped around the Spa circuit out of the points and was adamant afterwards that his request was a rational rather than emotional reaction to his latest costly misfortune. Hamilton added the following:-

‘It wasn’t a ‘give up thing’, my car had lost fifty or forty points of downforce, I could do nothing. The car was all over the place and I couldn’t catch the Lotus. It didn’t matter if the Safety Car came out, I wouldn’t have been able to pass the cars in front of me – Sutil was pulling away from me.

‘My thinking was that engine had already burnt up in the last race and I had already lost one engine and had one engine less than Nico which puts me on the backfoot to the next few races. So my thought was ‘let’s save it’.’

I think Hamilton was right to ask to retire the car yesterday in the race, even though he wouldn’t have wanted to. He lost a significant amount of downforce, he couldn’t drive the car to the best that it can be and he couldn’t catch anyone to overtake them in order to get further up the grid. Then added to the mix that he has one less engine than his team-mate, I believe that Hamilton had a fair and valid point and I believe he should have been retired a lot earlier in the race than he did.

In regards overall to what Hamilton stated yesterday, you can understand why he feels the way he did. Hamilton believes that he did everything the regulations permitted him to give and suffered damage as a result from his team mate trying to overtake him. I am surprised this wasn’t investigated by the stewards as it is clear that Hamilton’s race was massively affected as a result of this accident.

Personally, I feel that Hamilton did everything by the book and Rosberg should have backed out of the move and waited until he had another opportunity to pass his team mate in order to respect the team’s wishes. But it is open to interpretation.

Many pundits and fans on Twitter yesterday and also today are still arguing the many ways that the accident should and could of been avoided, question is; what is your point of view? Was it Hamilton or was it Rosberg that is to blame for the accident…


2014 Belgian Grand Prix Race Review


Yesterday, we saw Nico Rosberg take Pole Position ahead of Lewis Hamilton for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Before the start of the race, the stewards announce that they will be investigating Fernando Alonso who it is believed had team personnel on the track after the 15 second signal.

The F1 world is watching and waiting to see if the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix will live up to expectations and who will be the winner? Here we go… 22 drivers are lined up on their grid positions, five red lights and its GO!!!!!!!!

The start of the Belgian GP

The start of the Belgian GP. All rights reserved to Octane Photos.

Rosberg leads the field as he heads into Turn 1.Hamilton has had a very good start and is able to pass his team mate for the lead of the Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel is then able to pass Rosberg too for second place. Rosberg tries to repass Vettel but cannot do so.

Sebastian Vettel trying to pass Lewis Hamilton before outbreaking himself at the Belgian GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Sebastian Vettel trying to pass Lewis Hamilton before outbreaking himself at the Belgian GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

As we head into Turn 2, there is contact between Jules Bianchi and Romain Grosjean which leaves Bianchi suffering damage to his right rear tyre and has to limp back to the pits. Nico Hulkenberg has a blistering start and is up to 12th place. A few corners later, Vettel outbrakes himself and runs off the circuit and loses another place on the track after trying to get past Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton defending himself from Nico Rosberg before they touched on Lap 2. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lewis Hamilton defending himself from Nico Rosberg before they touched on Lap 2. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Lap 2 sees Hamilton leading Rosberg by 0.5 seconds. In the first third of the lap, Hamilton and Rosberg are battling each other on the track and both of them touch. Hamilton comes off worse and gains a puncture where as Rosberg suffers damage to his front wing. But this leaves Hamilton limping back to the pit lane. At the end of the lap, Hamilton pits.

The battle between Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo in the early stages of the Grand Prix. All Rights Reserved to Sutton Images

The battle between Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo in the early stages of the Grand Prix. All Rights Reserved to Sutton Images

The next lap sees Andre Lotterer officially retiring from the race after stopping on the entrance of the pit lane. Lap 4 sees Ricciardo passing Alonso for third place on the track. By Lap 6, Rosberg leads Ricciardo by a second exactly. Vettel and Alonso are battling each other on the track for third place.

Two laps later, Bottas passes Alonso for fourth place. At the end of the lap, Rosberg pits and rejoins the race in 15th place. Also, Raikkonen pits and rejoins the race in 14th place. Lap 9 sees Ricciardo leading Vettel by 1.9 seconds. At the end of the lap, Massa pits and rejoins the race in 17th place.

The next lap sees Rosberg pick up the debris off Hamilton’s wheel from the second lap. Rosberg tries to get rid of it but cannot do so. At the end of the lap, Vettel, Hulkenberg and Kvyat pit. On Lap 11, Ricciardo leads Bottas. Vettel passes Vergne for 7th place. The stewards announce that Alonso will receive a 5 second stop and go penalty for his team not leaving the grid on the 15 second signal before the start of the race. At the end of the lap, Ricciardo pits.

Valtteri Bottas leading the Belgian GP on Lap__. All rights reserved to LAT

Valtteri Bottas leading the Belgian GP on Lap 12. All rights reserved to LAT

On Lap 12, Bottas leads Alonso. Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Vettel, Rosberg and Vergne are battling for fourth place. At the end of the lap, Alonso and Bottas pits. The next lap sees Button leads Ricciardo. On track, Perez passes Alonso. Alonso then tries to pass Perez but cannot do so. Magnussen is then able to take 7th place ahead of Vergne. At the end of the lap, Button pits.

Lap 14, Ricciardo leads Raikkonen. Vettel, Rosberg and Bottas are battling each other for 3rd place. Two laps later, Rosberg tries to pass Vettel but cannot do so. The next lap sees Bottas passing Rosberg for third place. At the end of the lap, Hamilton pits.

Daniel Ricciardo leading the Belgian GP ahead of his team mate Sebastian Vettel on Lap 22. All rights reserved to XPB

Daniel Ricciardo leading the Belgian GP ahead of his team mate Sebastian Vettel on Lap 22. All rights reserved to XPB


By Lap 21, Ricciardo leads the race by 7.6 seconds. Magnussen passes Alonso for 5th place. At the end of the lap, Raikkonen pits with a stop time of 2.7 seconds and rejoins the race in eighth place. The next lap sees Alonso trying to repass Magnussen but cannot do so. At the end of the lap, Vettel pits.

Lap 23 sees Ricciardo leading Bottas. Button passes Rosberg on the track. At the end of the lap, Magnussen pits. The next lap sees Rosberg trying to pass Button, but cannot do so. A few corners later, Rosberg passes Button and then Raikkonen is then able to pass Button also.

Fernando Alonso coming out of his pitstop ahead of

Fernando Alonso coming out of his pitstop ahead of the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat on Lap 26. All rights reserved to XPB.

Lap 25 sees Ricciardo leading by 14.4 seconds. Vettel is then able to pass Button. At the end of the lap, Alonso pits and rejoins the race in 9th place. Two laps later sees Hulkenberg and Magnussen battling for 7th place. Magnussen is able to pass Hulkenberg. At the end of the lap, Ricciardo pits and rejoins the race in 2nd place.

Lap 28 sees Bottas leading the race ahead of Ricciardo, but that doesn’t last long as he pits at the end of the lap and hands the lead back to Ricciardo. At the end of the next lap, Button pits. Two laps later, Bottas passes Vettel for fourth place. At the end of the lap, Hamilton pits. Lap 32 sees Ricciardo leading by 3 seconds. On track, Button passes Perez for position.  Lap 34 sees Grosjean officially retire his car from the race.

Three laps later sees Ricciardo having a 21.1 second lead to Raikkonen in second place. Raikkonen and Bottas are battling each other for third place. Bottas is then able to pass Rosberg for fourth place. Then Rosberg is able to pass Bottas for fourth place. The next lap sees Rosberg passing Raikkonen on track.

The two McLaren's of Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button battling each other in the latter stages of the GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images

The two McLaren’s of Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button battling each other in the latter stages of the GP. All rights reserved to Sutton Images

Lap 41 and Ricciardo leads the race by 10.8 seconds. Bianchi retires his Marussia officially from the race. The next lap sees plenty of action with the positions of the drivers involved changing all the time between Magnussen, Alonso, Button and Vettel. Button tries Alonso and passes him. Alonso then tries Button but Button defends well. Button is now gaining on Magnussen. Vettel is then able to pass Button for position.

Kevin Magnussen and Sebastian Vettel battling each other at the final stages of the Belgian GP. All rights reserved to XPB

Kevin Magnussen and Sebastian Vettel battling each other at the final stages of the Belgian GP. All rights reserved to XPB

The next lap sees Vettel able to pass Alonso. Meanwhile, Magnussen and Alonso are battling each other wheel to wheel. The final lap of the race sees Ricciardo leading Rosberg by 4.3 seconds. Vettel is then able to pass Magnussen, but Magnussen is able to gain the position. Vettel once again passes Magnussen while Button is able to pass Alonso. The stewards will investigate the incident between Alonso and Magnussen after the race.

Daniel Ricciardo wins the Belgian GP ahead of Nico Rosberg in second and Valtteri Bottas in third. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Daniel Ricciardo wins the Belgian GP ahead of Nico Rosberg in second and Valtteri Bottas in third. All rights reserved to Sutton Images.

Ricciardo completes the final lap of the race and he wins the Belgian Grand Prix for the first time in his career and takes his third win in Formula One. This is Ricciardo’s first back to back victories in the sport.

Rosberg is second 3.3 seconds behind Ricciardo, Bottas finishes a brilliant third 28 seconds behind Ricciardo, Raikkonen is a credible fourth 36.8 seconds behind Ricciardo, Vettel finished a credible fifth 52.1 seconds behind Ricciardo, Magnussen was sixth 54.2 seconds behind Ricciardo, Button finishes seventh 54.5 seconds behind Ricciardo, Alonso was eighth 1.01.1 seconds behind Ricciardo, Perez finished 1.04.2 seconds behind Ricciardo and Kvyat picked up the final point in tenth 1.05.347 seconds behind Ricciardo.

Nico Rosberg leads the Driver’s championship with 220 points, Hamilton is second with 191 points, Ricciardo is third with 156 points, Alonso is fourth with 119 points, Bottas is fifth with 110 points, Vettel is sixth with 98 points, Hulkenberg is seventh with 70 points, Button is eighth with 66 points, Magnussen is ninth with 45 points and Massa is tenth with 40 points.

Mercedes leads the Constructor’s championship with 411 points, Red Bull is second with 254 points, Ferrari is third with 158 points, Williams is fourth with 150 points, McLaren is fifth with 111 points, Force India is sixth with 101 points, Toro Rosso are seventh with 18 points, Lotus are eighth with 8 points and Marussia are ninth with 2 points.


However, it was announced after the race that due to the incident between Magnussen and Alonso on the final few laps, Magnussen has been handed a 20 second time penalty and two penalty points on his licence which now promotes the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg to tenth place and finishes the race in twelfth place.

I feel that McLaren have had a good race today after showing a small improvement in their performance throughout the weekend. Even though Button had a mixed qualifying yesterday with tenth place, throughout the race tried to show what little pace the car had, he did a great job to get seventh after battling with team mate, Alonso and Vettel. Button should be happy to gain some points and this result will only help him to try and secure his future with the McLaren team for next season.

Also, Magnussen had a good weekend. He has shown yet again that he is without question a potential talent of the future and had a reasonable weekend that saw him outperform his team mate and brought home some much needed points for the McLaren team, which sees them move up a place in the Constructors Championship.

This weekend has shown that McLaren have had a small step with their performance and pace with the car but the McLaren team have a lot of work to do in order to try and extract performance from their car that they need in order to get back to competitive ways once again. They need to bring updates to the car as quickly as possible in order to try and get back to fighting for strong points finishes as Formula One continues into the European leg of the season.

The biggest surprise this weekend for me was Bottas claiming his fourth podium in Formula One in 2014 with third place today. I do feel that Bottas drove a superb race to gain third today and it is very well deserved. He did a brilliant and strong job yesterday and has shown that despite not achieving as much as he would have liked in the first 11 races of the season so far, he has shown that if he has the opportunity and the car underneath him, he can deliver and deliver well.

Alonso, Raikkonen, Vettel and Kvyat do deserve mentions. Alonso has all weekend with the car been able to extract a little bit more pace and performance. As I have already stated before, I believe that Alonso managed to extract some performance from the car and was rewarded with points for his efforts. But I believe that Ferrari was very lucky to secure with the good points they have scored this weekend even though they need to work on their race pace throughout the season. But all credit to Alonso for a superb performance today.

Also Raikkonen did extremely well to gain fourth place today. Raikkonen this weekend has managed to extract pace and performance from the car, has looked comfortable despite all the problems he suffered in practice on Friday especially. And I feel that the results that Alonso achieved today will only spur on Ferrari, Alonso and even Raikkonen (who finished in fourth place) to try and keep this momentum going further into the season.

Vettel did a credible job to finish fifth today. But I do feel that he did struggle with aspects of the car and was only able to finish in that position. Throughout the race, Vettel showed that he can race and race well if provided with the opportunity to do so but I am sure that he will only use this to push himself further to perform throughout the season ahead.

This weekend has saw Kvyat picking up some points once again but has not had a strong weekend as many thought that he would do. He didn’t perform very well in Qualifying but he drove a strong race to bring home some much needed point for the team despite struggling with the car today. I believe that Kvyat this year has been amazing these past few races and is working harder than ever to keep the form he has showed so far going and trying to get some much needed points for Toro Rosso in 2014. I really believe that Kvyat is a high quality driver and very talented and I was happy to him get some points today after a great drive.

Also Perez did extremely well to gain ninth place today. Force India appeared to struggle all weekend to extract pace from the car but were able to extract enough when it mattered today to gain two points for the team. But it is clear that Force India have a lot of work to do in order to try and regain the position they have lost to McLaren today.

Rosberg despite starting from Pole Position had a good race to get second place. Even though there will be controversy surrounding the incident between himself and Hamilton, the main thing is that he scored points and extended his lead for the Championship today. And as for the booing on the podium, I understand many people would be angry with him but it is disrespectful to boo someone like that and if you have an opinion on the matter, discuss it civilly and with respect.

All that is left to say about this race is that Ricciardo deserved to win today. His driving was brilliant and controlled throughout the race. Red Bull has built on the results that they have gained so far this season with Ricciardo. Ricciardo for me now needs to make sure that he keeps being consistent and reliable, while it seems he has once again proven this.

There is no denying that Rosberg has done a great job this weekend and has been rewarded for his efforts with the win. He has shown once again that he cannot be discounted for battling for the win if Mercedes cannot do so.

We are left wondering what will happen within the world of Formula One leading up to the next race in Italy in two weeks time? Will the rivalry between Hamilton and Rosberg die down within the media? Will Red Bull, Williams, McLaren, Ferrari and Force India build upon a solid foundation achieved from today? Can McLaren and Ferrari extract more pace from their cars?

But the most important question; will Mercedes be able to keep their advantage and their performance in Italy in a few weeks time? We wait with anticipation, bring on Monza!

Also, please listen and join in to my #JonesonF1 Promotional Partner Pit Stop Radio tomorrow at 8pm BST for their Belgian Grand Prix Race Review. You can join in the chat by visiting If you need any further information, you can follow Pit Stop Radio on Twitter @PitStopRadio.



Jones on F1 reaches 500th blog post


When I started #JonesonF1 in October 2012, I never thought I would reach 100 blog posts, never mind reaching 500 blog posts and I cannot believe that it has happened especially after seven months after achieving 100 blog posts with #JonesonF1.

On achieving 500 posts with #JonesonF1, I have to thank everyone who has made it possible for me to achieve this milestone. I have to thank firstly every member of the #F1Family and every #F1 fan that have followed and shared links to the blog from its early days as McLaren F1 Messiah on Twitter. You guys really are the best and welcoming family on Twitter!

A big massive thank you goes out to my #JonesonF1 Promotional Partners who are my #F1Extra partner Duurt (You can follow Duurt on Twitter @Formula1Extra), my #F1LiveStream partner Etienne (You can follow Etienne on Twitter @Etienne_Dokkum), my amazing and truly awesome and the best partner-in-crime ever Sarah (who runs #F1POTD with @F1_Fans_Updates and also runs the best podcast on F1 @PitStopRadio), the awesome one that is Paul (You can follow Paul on Twitter @Paul11F1), my favourite Mancunian Ben (You can follow Ben on Twitter @BenIssatt) and also to my PSR panel buddy Jon (You can follow Jon on Twitter @jonharber).

From the bottom of my heart, I cannot thank you each of you enough for your personal support and also I am so honoured for #JonesonF1 to be one of your promotional partners. I would like to thank you all for believing in me, helping me settle into the #F1extra, #F1LiveStream, PSR and F1 Family and also supporting #JonesonF1 for giving me with fantastic opportunity to become a partner with each of you and also for becoming very close friends along the way.

I would also like to thank the following people:-

  • The PSR Family who are Lois, Sam, Stefan (aka Sarah 3), Kate and Aaron. Thank you so much for welcoming into PSR and making me feel part of the family since I joined. May the laughs continue about Narain, Karthikeynan, Portugal, Voldermort, Bernie and what ever else we think of along the way. Thanks for being an epic second family!
  • The Pure F1 Family who are Alex, Kieran, Tim, Jack, Avi, Elie, Rob, Thomas, Jack and Banu. Thank you for all the laughs and conspiracy theories that we have each week, even if sometimes they are bit extreme, yet hilarious.
  • The F1 Update team who are Adam, Connor, Sean, Johnny, Stefan, Aaron and Jason. I haven’t worked with you for long but I thank you so much for your support and also special thanks to Adam for giving me the opportunity to write for this fabulous website which has the brightest future ahead of it.
  • Thank you to Phil from Driving for Pleasure for giving me the opportunity to write Formula One coverage for their website. We haven’t been working together long but I thank you so much for your support and giving me the chance to write for your amazing website.

And finally, I cannot thank my amazing family and friends enough for all their support since starting the blog. A special thanks especially to Ste who has lent me his laptop whenever I need it in exchange for being fed steak (Yes Ste, I said steak!). Without their support and encouragement I receive from them, I would not be where I am with the blog today and I am forever indebted to each and every one of you for supporting and believing in me and the blog.

Without further ado, I proudly unveil my 500th post on #JonesonF1….


I have a copy of David Coulthard’s autobiography It Is What It Is to give away to one lucky person as part of #JonesonF1 reaching 500 blog posts. In order for your chance to win this copy, you need to answer the following question:-

Q: David Coulthard won his last Grand Prix in Formula One in 2003, but which track was it at?

A: Malaysia

B: Japan

C: Australia

Please use the contact form above to answer the question by stating your name, your email, your Twitter username (if you have Twitter) and your answer to the question in the comment box by Wednesday 27th August at midday. The winner will be picked on the evening on Wednesday 27th August during my #F1Twitcam (more details will be announced about the #F1Twitcam soon!) and the winner will be notified via email and also on Twitter.

Sadly, only people who live in the UK can take part in this competition. But good luck to everyone who will be entering the competition and thanks again for supporting #JonesonF1.