Archive | August, 2011

Spa driver ratings: Red Bull, Renault and Sauber. Pt. 3

31 Aug

Sebastian Vettel 7/10:

Despite winning was only the second best German behind the old master Schue but out on track dominated as always never looking out of it despite problems with the tyre strategies. An astonishing qualifying with a whole second advantage although most of that was being on the track at the right time started his race off and despite going behind Rosberg at the start never really looked worried.

Mark Webber 7/10:

A good qualifying lap left him 3rd but when the car’s anti stall kicked in at the start it looked like it might all go wrong, despite this he got the car in check and with the faster tyres started trying to attack Vettel.

Vitaly Petrov 6/10:

Was completely shown up by his inexperienced team mate in qualifying but managed to make Q3 will probably relive the pain. His race was probably average seeing as the car isn’t entirely competitive except for the lower points.

Bruno Senna 7/10:

Senna-sational in qualifying somehow taking the car to 7th after almost a year off but an incident at the start gave him a drive thru which ruined his race. With Renault’s problems with drivers I’d recommend they keep Senna for the rest of the year as I think with a bit of experience he may be able to pick up a few points.

Kamui Kobayashi 5/10:

The Sauber is starting to lose its way and Kamui seems to be dropping off too but was at best average all weekend. How he managed to keep up with Hamilton before the incident no one knows.

Sergio Perez 6/10:

Another strong qualifying performance managed to take him to another Q3 but his speed wasn’t as visible in the race  despite only making it to 27 laps.

Spa driver ratings: Lotus, McLaren and Mercedes. Pt. 2

30 Aug

Heikki Kovalainen 7/10:

A brilliant tyre call took him into Q2 and a strong race beating the Willians of Rubens Barrichello and only just managing to be lapped late on. There was even a time when pundits were considering him for points if there had been a few more retirements but that wasn’t to be, the only thing Heikki won’t be 100% happy with is that he Jarno Trulli finished ahead of him.

Jarno Trulli 6/10:

A good qualifying but really showed what he was up to in the race managing to jump his team mate and attacked the drivers of the more experienced teams, this lead to him not having his usual winge about power steering which was a saviour for us all.

Lewis Hamilton 7/10:

Was driving well up to lap 12 when a mistake he later owned up to saw him flying through two Allianz ad boards -something I imagine his sponsors Santander will be happy with, this was all after a very strong qualifying where he was beaten by Vettel who came out at the right time.

Jenson Button 9/10:

An incredible drive and the track wasn’t even wet. After the disappointing qualifying many were ruling him out -me included- but despite losing a front wing everything just seemed to click for Jenson moving up to 3rd with all the right tyre choices.

Nico Rosberg 8/10:

Qualifying 5th was as good as the car could manage if not better and after an amazing start he was leading on lap 1 and I was hoping it could be his first ever podium, sadly this just didn’t happen as the lack of pace his Mercedes had was shown when he was overtaken by Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari cars.

Michael Schumacher 10/10:

After a disasterous qualifying -not managing a lap- it was expected that this wouldn’t be the dream anniversary, but he found his old speed and somehow managed to find himself 5th at the end gaining an astonishing 19 places giving him something to seriously celebrate.

Spa driver ratings: Ferrari, Force India and Hispania. Pt. 1

29 Aug

Fernando Alonso 7/10:

After a poor qualifying (8th) Alonso had another of his inspirational starts and found himself 5th early on, was challenging for the lead all the way to his last pit stop and with the car struggling on mediums he got overtaken by both Webber and Button who’d come a long way since the start.

Felipe Massa 6/10:

Deserves credit for out qualifying team mate for the second time in a row but this was because Alonso’s qualifying was poor, started well staying 4th and was 3rd when he found himself ahead of Hamilton who promptly took the position back, probably would have finished 5th or 6th had it not been for a puncture the lap after putting the tyres on.

Adrian Sutil 7/10:

A poor qualifying was thought of as what we would be expecting in the race but after some good driving and a strong strategy he managed to bring the car up to 7th -with some help from Massa’s puncture.

Paul Di Resta 5/10:

After a dismal qualifying effort it took a good drive from the young Scot to haul himself up to 11th and challenge for points.

Vitantonio Liuzzi 4/10:

Managed to out qualify his younger and dare I say it more talented team mate but the HRT just wasn’t up to competing when it came to the race and didn’t seem to ever threaten Timo Glock who finished ahead of him.

Daniel Ricciardo 3/10:

Forgot the only rule of driving for HRT, just finish after crashing out with a mechanical fault on lap 13 whilst the safety car was out.

3 winners and losers of Qualifying.

27 Aug

Winners:

Jaime Alguersuari: 6th place is gold dust to the guy as he regularly struggles in qualifying and is staking his claim on those elusive Toro Rosso seats for next year, the only way it wouldn’t be so amazing is if he was on a wet set up but even so it’s till a great feat for the youngest driver on the grid.

Bruno Senna: After a lacklustre year last year Bruno has moved to a quicker car and boy he’s become fast getting 7th and beating his team mate, surely this means that it will be Bruno who drives for Renault for the rest of the season as Heidfeld hasn’t been anything special so far.

Heikki Kovalainen: A great call by someone as that call gave Heikki a place in Q2 and 16th place.

Losers:

Jenson Button: A communication mistake has ruined it for him otherwise it would be a place in the top 5 for him. On the positive side it gives me bragging rights over my Uncle who’s a JB fan.

Michael Schumacher: Not the dream anniversary for Schue not even managing one lap as a rear wheel fell off causing him to crash and start at the back.

Pastor Maldonado: His move on Hamilton was just plain stupid as the session was already over, if he wanted to make a point he should have squared up to the guy in the paddock and then at the very least it would make some good TV. The news will be what penalty he gets as I can’t imagine he’ll be found innocent.

Senna’s 1993 McLaren.

27 Aug

Senna's 1993 McLaren at Rybrook garage.

Whilst travelling to my Uncle’s we took a diversion around Warwick and stumbled across Rybrook garage where we spotted this McLaren car. We went in and  asked if we could go in to look, the people were friendly but we were told that the salesman wasn’t in so we’d just have to look through the window (that’s why the picture isn’t very good). We saw that it had a Ford engine and had Ayrton Senna’s name on it, when I checked on the internet (Wikipedia) I found out it was Senna’s 1993 McLaren, the car was his last McLaren and took him to second in the drivers’ championship with 5 victories and 7 podiums. If you too find yourself around Warwick it’s well worth a look and if you’re allowed inside there’s an information board. If you’re interested the address is 2635 Stratford Road, Hockley Heath, Solihull, B94 5NH.

Weight

27 Aug

With the mechanics constantly worrying about the extra grams they have on the car and trying to lose grams to improve times I can’t believe Mercedes have let Michael Schumacher have a whole 2g of gold on his helmet to celebrate 20 years in F1 (or 5 too many). This gold could mean the difference between winning and losing (although as far as Schue’s concerned a good result is 5th). You can see a picture of the helmet here.

Another piece of Paddock news is that Mark Webber’s been given a contract extension until the end of 2012, as it conincides with his birthday so I imagine that’s his present for this year. On a more serious note though this is going to make Toro Rosso’s driver selection even harder than it originally was as they  now have 3 talented drivers competing for two places, I imagine Daniel Ricciardo will take one seat but then it will current Toro Rosso drivers Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastian Buemi fighting for the other seat.

Driver News.

24 Aug

As the holidays come to the end and the race at Spa is emerging on the horizon the drivers have just enough time to have a Gin and Tonic catch a plane and make sure that they haven’t eaten too much to not fit in the car.

It turns out Rubens Barrichello is talented at more than one sport as he’s just won the last golf competition he can enter in this holiday. Barrichello on Twitter.

GP2 racer Roman Grosjean is off to Spa to try and secure the GP2 title. Grosjean on Twitter.

Whilst in the meantime McLaren reserve Pedro De La Rosa is of to the McLaren factory at Woking in anticipation for the teams mass migration to Spa, luckily Pedro hasn’t managed to lose his sense of humour as he says “British friends, let me tell you, you have a big issue with the weather here!!”. De La Rosa on Twitter.