Archive | May, 2012

The Qualifying Championship post Monaco 12

31 May

Like last year qualifying wasn’t Sergio Perez’s strong point at Monaco. Yet again he crashed out. The JKEA Qualifying Championship takes place at every race in Q3, the driver who goes fastest gets 10 points 2nd 9 points down to 10th that gets 1 point. As well as this 3 bonus points are available for the driver who sets the fastest lap come the race. Here are the driver standings:

  1. Lewis Hamilton                    McLaren            45       (previously standing: 1st)
  2. Nico Rosberg                         Mercedes            36      (3rd)
  3. Michael Schumacher          Mercedes            36      (6th)
  4. Jenson Button                       McLaren            34       (2nd)
  5. Romain Grosjean                 Lotus                   34       (4th)
  6. Mark Webber                         Red Bull             34       (7th)
  7. Sebastian Vettel                    Red Bull             28       (5th)
  8. Kimi Raikkonen                   Lotus                   25       (8th)
  9. Fernando Alonso                 Ferrari                20       (9th)
  10. Sergio Perez                           Sauber                 16       (10th)
  11. Pastor Maldonado               Williams            15       (11th)
  12. Kamui Kobayashi                 Sauber                12       (12th)
  13. Daniel Ricciardo                  Toro Rosso        6         (13th)
  14. Felipe Massa                         Ferrari                 4         (-)
  15. Nico Hulkenburg                 Force India        2          (14th)
  16. Paul Di Resta                        Force India         1         (15th)

Force India’s Nico Hulkenburg went close to picking up more points last weekend, he was 0.1 seconds off making it to Q3 and went fastest in Q2. But Ferrari’s performance was the biggest surprise, Massa picked up his first points and Alonso started to reign in the drivers in front of him. At the top Lewis Hamilton has been top since China and it looks like he’ll still be leading when we leave Montreal.

Constructors standings:

  1. McLaren                  79           (1st)
  2. Mercedes                 72           (2nd)
  3. Lotus                        50           (3rd)
  4. Red Bull                   49           (4th)
  5. Sauber                      28          (5th)
  6. Ferrari                     24           (6th)
  7. Williams                15            (7th)
  8. Toro Rosso             6             (8th)
  9. Force India             3             (9th)

There was no shuffling of places at all in the constructors standings! Mercedes were the most impressive team though, they picked up 18 to really take the fight back to McLaren. Sauber are still leading Ferrari whilst Lotus and Red Bull are tying on points for 3rd.



Mistakes galore as F1 rolled into Monaco

30 May

It wasn’t a good week for the perfectionists last week. Mistakes were made by everyone, here are the three I spotted:

1. Red Bull

Red Bull have recently launched an app for the iPhone/iPad and on this app they give you facts and stats about the racetrack. Last week one of their stats was about how long it takes to build the Monaco circuit (which is 6 weeks if you didn’t know). The mistake was, the background was the image of the Brazilian GP and not Monaco.

Here’s the Red Bull mistake.

2. David Coultard

David’s mistake was in his column in the telegraph. It had a map of Monaco and had arrows onto the map showing some of the key corners. One of the corners it was talking about was the Lowes Hairpin, just a shame the arrow pointed to La Rascasse a corner at the other end of the circuit.

DC’s mistake. (Look in the bottom left)

3. Sky F1

Not only are their viewing figures lower than expected but they’ve now taken to putting cheap and offensive jokes in the program to attract viewers. Whilst saying how dangerous the track is one of the presenters commented how to show how dangerous the track is just ask Princess Grace.


Fastest Sector Championship post Monaco 12

30 May

Round 6 of the F1 world championship was at Monaco, the home of …… well, the Monagasque people, and for one week only F1 and the Fastest Sector Championship. This one takes times from FP3 split into their relevant sectors. The 6 fastest sector one times get points 6-5-4-3-2-1 the same happens for S2 and then for S3. Here are the drivers standings:

  1. Lewis Hamilton               McLaren              53           (previous standing: 1st)
  2. Sebastian Vettel               Red Bull                53          (2nd)
  3. Nico Rosberg                    Mercedes              49          (4rd)
  4. Mark Webber                    Red Bull                40         (3rd)
  5. Jenson Button                  McLaren               37         (5th)
  6. Michael Schumacher     Mercedes               30        (6th)
  7. Romain Grosjean           Lotus                       29        (7th)
  8. Pastor Maldonado          Williams               18         (8th)
  9. Fernando Alonso            Ferrari                   17          (13th)
  10. Sergio Perez                      Sauber                   16          (9th)
  11. Felipe Massa                    Ferrari                   12          (-)
  12. Kamui Kobayashi           Sauber                     9           (10th)
  13. Kimi Raikkonen              Lotus                       6           (11th)
  14. Daniel Ricciardo             Toro Rosso            4           (12th)
  15. Nico Hulkenburg            Force India            3           (14th)
  16. Jean-Eric Vergne            Toro Rosso            2           (15th)

The Ferrari pairing of Alonso and Massa have performed the strongest last weekend, between them picking up 25 points. Before this weekend they’d only picked up 4.

Constructors standings:

  1. Red Bull                    93          (1st)
  2. McLaren                  90          (2nd)
  3. Mercedes                  79          (3rd)
  4. Lotus                         35          (4th)
  5. Ferrari                      29          (8th)
  6. Sauber                      25          (5th)
  7. Williams                 18          (6th)
  8. Toro Rosso              6            (7th)
  9. Force India              3            (9th)

It appears to be a two horse race between Red Bull and McLaren, but Mercedes aren’t far behind, and if Ferrari can continue their current rate of points accumulation then they could be contenders too.

Speed Trap Standings, post Monaco 12

29 May

Top speed isn’t something that makes you win in Monaco but it was still possible for the drivers to get points in the speed trap standings. It takes place in FP3 and quite simply you get points for being the fastest through the speed trap. Fastest takes home 15 points, 2nd gets 12, 3rd 9, 4th 6 and 5th gets 3. Here are the drivers standings:

  1. Sergio Perez                 Sauber                 42              (previous standing 1st)
  2. Kimi Raikkonen         Lotus                   42              (2nd)
  3. Lewis Hamilton         McLaren             27              (5th)
  4. Romain Grosjean      Lotus                    27              (3rd)
  5. Kamui Kobayashi      Sauber                 21               (4th)
  6. Heikki Kovalainen    Caterham           21               (9th)
  7. Daniel Ricciardo        Toro Rosso        15              (6th)
  8. Jean-Eric Vergne       Toro Rosso        15              (7th)
  9. Nico Rosberg               Mercedes           12              (8th)
  10. Jenson Button             McLaren           12               (-)
  11. Michael Schumacher Mercedes           9                (10th)
  12. Nico Hulkenburg        Force India       9                (11th)
  13. Paul Di Resta               Force India       6                (12th)
  14. Vitaly Petrov                 Caterham          6                (-)
  15. Sebastian Vettel           Red Bull            3                (-)

Despite neither of them picking up points Sergio Perez and Kimi Raikkonen are still equal at the top. Heikki Kovalainen did a great job in the Caterham picking up 9 points to move up to 6th.

Constructors standings:

  1. Lotus                       69            (1st)
  2. Sauber                     63            (2nd)
  3. McLaren                 39            (6th)
  4. Toro Rosso            30             (3rd)
  5. Caterham               27             (7th)
  6. Mercedes                21             (4th)
  7. Force India            15             (5th)
  8. Red Bull                   3              (-)

Current world champions Red Bull picked up their first points this weekend, whilst for Ferrari points are still elusive. This is surprising as last year Ferrari were one of the better teams in the speed trap. Caterham are the big surprise , they currently stand 5th which is a very strong score for such a small team.


Practice Championship post Monaco 12

28 May

As the F1 circus moved to the Jewel in the F1 crown the practice championship continued to get more exciting. It takes place in every practice session of the weekend and in each session the fastest driver picks up 8 points down to 1 point for the 8th fastest. Here are the drivers standings:

  1. Lewis Hamilton               McLaren               85             (previously standing 1st)
  2. Nico Rosberg                    Mercedes               81             (2nd)
  3. Sebastian Vettel               Red Bull                 72             (3rd)
  4. Jenson Button                  McLaren               69              (5th)
  5. Michael Schumacher     Mercedes               64              (4th)
  6. Mark Webber                   Red Bull                 56              (6th)
  7. Fernando Alonso           Ferrari                    43              (7th)
  8. Romain Grosjean           Lotus                      38              (9th)
  9. Kamui Kobayashi          Sauber                    28              (8th)
  10. Sergio Perez                     Sauber                    23              (10th)
  11. Pastor Maldonado         Williams               22              (11th)
  12. Felipe Massa                   Ferrari                   18              (18th)
  13. Kimi Raikkonen             Lotus                      13              (12th)
  14. Paul Di Resta                  Force India           11              (13th)
  15. Nico Hulkenburg           Force India           10             (14th)
  16. Daniel Ricciardo            Toro Rosso             7             (15th)
  17. Valtteri Bottas                 Williams                 4             (16th)
  18. Jean-Eric Vergne           Toro Rosso             3             (17th)
  19. Heikki Kovalainen        Caterham                1              (19th)

The stand out performance of the weekend has to be Felipe Massa, he was in the top 8 for all sessions and picked up 16 points to rise from 18th to 12th. Romain Grosjean also had a good weekend picking up 18 points.

Constructors standings:

  1. McLaren               155           (1st)
  2. Mercedes              145           (2nd)
  3. Red Bull                128           (3rd)
  4. Ferrari                     61           (6th)
  5. Sauber                     51            (4th)
  6. Lotus                       51            (5th)
  7. Williams                26            (8th)
  8. Force India           21             (7th)
  9. Toro Rosso           10             (9th)
  10. Caterham                1              (10th)

Congratulations are in order for Ferrari who’ve really upped their game to perform and now stand 4th in the standings even if they are less than half the points of Red Bull in third.


28 May


THE MONACO Grand Prix is a truly magnificent showcase of celebrities, millionaires, splendour, glamour and motor racing. It remains to this day the most challenging test for any F1 driver- the ultimate test of skill, courage and endurance. The tight, twisting, narrow streets provide very little space for manoeuvres and overtaking, leading to the debate about whether the race has passed its sell- by date. Absolutely not. Almost any driver will defend this wonderful, exciting spectacle steeped in history.

Of all the races in the F1 calendar, all the drivers aspire to take the Monegasque chequered flag, and to follow in the paths of legends like William Grover Williams, who won the first ever “Grand Prix” of any sort in 1929; Graham Hill (aka Mr. Monaco- five victories); Ayrton Senna (King Of Monaco- six wins) and other legends including Alain Prost, Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jackie Stewart, and today, Mark Webber drove his Red Bull around La Rascasse to win one of the closest Grands Prix for a long time- closely followed by Nico Rosberg, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton; this concertina formed in the closing stages of the race, providing a nail-biting, thrilling finale to what had- unfortunately- begun to become a procession.

Despite Red Bull’s controversial hole in the car floor which some teams have appealed against Webber took the victory and can celebrate being the first ever Australian to win a Monaco Grand Prix twice, and what an ideal place to celebrate!!! He remained calm and collected throughout the race, and managed to break another record in being the sixth different driver to win an F1 race in the first six races of a season.

Romain Grosjean, tipped to do well, saw his Monaco Grand Prix dream thwarted at the Saint- Devote corner on the first lap- contact with other drivers caused him to crash and spin; the safety car then led the race until his car  was cleared off the track.

Grosjean wasn’t the only retirement- Maldonado, who so famously won his first ever race a fortnight ago in Spain, failed to make it to the end of the first lap after suffering damage; De La Rosa also retired before lap two with accident damage. Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi went airborne before retiring on lap 5 with accident damage and Petrov suffered an electrical failure, retiring on lap fifteen.

Mercedes had a mixed weekend- Michael Schumacher, whose amazing first pole position since returning to F1 – was meaningless after his 5 place grid penalty – retired with mechanical problems. Whilst Nico Rosberg managed to look after his precious tyres in Monaco today and never lost sight of Webber, and his reward was a well-deserved eighteen points and a second place spot on the Royal Box (No podium in Monaco). Charles Pic was another Monaco retirement, as was Daniel Ricciardo of Toro Rosso. Toro Rosso also lost 6 points after putting Vergne on wet tyres for the final few laps only for it to not rain.

McLaren were off form today in a worrying trend that has begun to emerge over the last two races- Jenson Button was trying to make something out of his appalling twelfth place qualifying position, but succumbed to a battle with Kovalainen, who fought him off, and Button made contact, spun off, punctured a tyre and returned to the pits, another disappointing result. Lewis Hamilton had a chance, but just simply wasn’t on top form with tyre strategy, or pit stop times, and finished fifth- ten points for his efforts.

Ferrari are the team of the week-end: Felipe Massa looking like he’d found pace he’s lost for so long- congratulations go to him for achieving the feat of Q3, and sixth place in Monaco- not an easy task; Alonso provided consistency under the challenge of the street circuit and received fifteen points and third place. Vettel chose an excellent tyre strategy from soft to super-soft and this was acknowledged with fourth place and twelve points.

Paul Di Resta received sixth points by finishing seventh; Nico Hulkenburg had his eighth  place rewarded with four points, Ice Man Raikkönen came ninth with two points, and Bruno Senna received one point for finishing tenth.

Red Bull have extended their lead in the constructors championship, with 146 points against McLaren’s 108; Ferrari and Lotus are now tied with 86; Fernando Alonso now leads the driver’s championships with 76 points, but Webber and Vettel are only three points behind; whilst Lewis Hamilton and Button are slipping behind- Hamilton is now 13 points off Alonso; Nico Rosberg (59) and Kimi Raikkönen (51) now overtake Jenson Button in the standings, who has 45 points, but going into the Canadian Grand Prix, it is a tight battle, and there are still many races to go- it is still well and truly anyone’s game.

Driver Ratings, Monaco 12, Pt.4 Sauber, Toro Rosso and Williams

27 May

Sergio Perez: 6/10 Q24 S23 F11

He was unlucky in qualifying to not manage a lap after a broken steering system gave him a close encounter with the wall. But he did Sauber proud in the race to finish only 1 place off the points. He moved up 8 places in his first stint and then another 7 in the second stint. A good performance by Checo.

Kamui Kobayashi: 5/10 Q12 S11 F ret.

It was a good performance in qualifying but his race was a disaster, would you believe it he pitted twice in the 5 laps he was competing before retiring with damage from an accident at the first corner which saw the Sauber almost entering space.

Daniel Ricciardo: 5/10 Q16 S15 F ret.

Toro Rosso have fallen a long way since they’re competitive streak at the start of the season. He started the race well and was 7th before his pit stop. But Daniel had fallen after that and was only 14th when disaster struck and the steering failed on lap 65.

Jean-Eric Vergne: 7/10 Q17 S16 F12

Jean-Eric should have picked up 6 points today, but a disastrous decision to bring him in for wet tyres put an end to that and ruined what was set to be Vergne’s best weekend.

Pastor Maldonado: 3/10 Q9 S24 F ret.

It’s very easy to forget how Pastor won in Spain when he puts in performances like he did this weekend. He was way too aggressive in FP3 and was luck not to get more than his 10 place grid penalty, and then he got another 5 place grid penalty for a gearbox change. If he thought the race was going to be a better story he was wrong, retiring on lap 1 due to an accident.

Bruno Senna: 7/10 Q14 S13 F10

Maybe not the 7th Senna victory in Monaco but it was a good effort by Bruno to pick up another point. Bruno will no doubt be delighted that Toro Rosso ruined Vergne’s race as his pit stop was the act that moved Senna from 11th to a points position.