Archive | March, 2013

Vettel wins in Malaysia but not through fair play

24 Mar

Good Day, Bad Day, Malaysia 13.

Good Day:

Nico Hulkenburg: Q12 F8 8/10 – In a race full of errors Hulkenburg stood as a driver who – apart from the pit stop incident – refused to put a foot wrong, he showed he can start well, overtake and hold off guys in stronger cars. Hulkenburg is a fan of races where the surface is changing – as we saw in Brazil last year – and although the Sauber isn’t the most competitive car on track Hulkenburg’s talented enough to take it beyond it’s potential.

McLaren: 7/10 – This weekend signified a improvement for McLaren with Button fighting for 5th before the retirement and both cars making it into Q3. Having said this McLaren aren’t back yet, rain is good at evening out the field – if you want proof look at last season’s Malaysian GP won by Alonso – and both Button and Perez are better than average in the wet so the hard work isn’t over yet.

Jules Bianchi: Q19 F13 8/10 – Bianchi performed well on his debut and he’s continued in Malaysia yet again showing why he’s part of Ferrari’s development scheme, whilst the cameras were on the leaders Bianchi was working hard yet again, he was strong in qualifying (only a few tenths off the Williams in front) and maintained that today consistently setting fast lap times, with Bianchi Marussia should have a promising year.

Bad Day:

Red Bull: 7/10 – It’s going to take one hell of a diplomat to sort out this mess, if you missed the incident I’ll quickly paraphrase it for you: both cars had pitter for the last time and Webber was ahead of Vettel in a Red Bull 1-2, Horner told them to not race and to continue in those positions to the end of the race, Vettel then overtook. This led to the frostiest podium since Hockenheim 2010 and whilst in post race interviews Vettel did say he was sorry and didn’t mean too you’d have to be a Red Bull employer to swallow that, if he was sorry why didn’t he just give the place back? Apart from that though they did have a good race and looked strong throughout.

Nico Rosberg: Q6 F4 7/10 – Rosberg drove well today he was always on (or setting) the pace and showed Mercedes that he’s as good as Hamilton, despite this Mercedes also tried some team strategy today, this time telling the faster Rosberg to stay behind the fuel conserving Hamilton. Rosberg will fell aggrieved at that but his ability to follow team orders has brought him a lot respect from F1 fans (Vettel take note).

Fernando Alonso: Q3 F n/a 3/10 – It looked promising for Alonso this morning, he had a quick car, he’s a good starter and Malaysia has a long run to turn 1 but then it all went wrong, problems started at turn 2 when his tyres locked up and he gave Vettel a little shunt, this broke one of the columns supporting the front wing leaving him lacking downforce, but then the decision was taken by Ferrari not to being him in for a change of front wing (reason for this is probably that they wanted him to come in once it was time for slicks) and Alonso pretty much immediately ran over his front-wing (which lost him all control of the car) and beached it.

Kimi Raikkonen: Q10 F7 5/10 – After his phenomenal performance last week in Australia this race was a bit of a disaster he was penalised for blocking in Q3 yesterday and was pretty lack lustre today, if Raikkonen is to become a double world champion this year he needs more of what he did in Australia and less of what he did today.

Force India: 4/10: To say Force India were awful at pit stops today would be putting under-egging it they had a disaster every time one of their cars stopped, first they double stacked (where both cars come in at the same time) and sadly the rear left of Sutil (the first car in) refused to budge which meant the stop took an extra 16 seconds than normal, this also delayed Di Resta the 2nd car in the stack. Then when Di Resta came in for his second it took 2 minutes to remove the front left, and the for Sutil’s second stop they couldn’t remove the front left. Needless to say neither of them made it to the end.

Max Chilton: Q21 F16 6/10 – Whilst team mate Bianchi stars in the Marussia looks average at best, this is the second race where Chilton has been thoroughly out shone by Bianchi and if this is how he continues he could find himself back in GP2 next season, Daddy’s millions may have got him to the grid but remaining there is a problem that rests on Max’s shoulders.

VETTEL VICTORIOUS IN THE BULL FIGHT BUT “HAS EXPLAINING TO DO”

24 Mar

The Michael Report- 2013 FORMULA ONE PETRONAS MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX

A GOOD old scrap isn’t a bad way of summing up today’s action packed Malaysian Grand Prix. We witnessed team principals arguing with their drivers, disastrous pit stops, crashes, lots of near-misses and a spot of rain at the start of the race that fired up the tyre strategy battle between the cars in Sepang today.

To the victor goes the spoils, but unfortunately today, second placed Mark Webber felt that the podium was cruelly taken away from him by his eager team-mate Vettel. As the rainwater evaporated from the circuit and the track dried up, Vettel was the first to pit to change on to the dry tyres, and struggled in the parts of the track that still held moisture, whilst Mark Webber held on for longer, pitted later and looked after his tyres superbly in the race, leading for much of the Grand Prix. However, towards the end of the race, Vettel and Webber were scrapping for the lead, and came very close- it could have all ended in tears, but somehow both men remained unscathed. However, Christian Horner and Adrian Newey from Red Bull were unhappy that drivers were racing each other- isn’t that the idea of a motor race? Vettel was clearly ordered to maintain position, but didn’t listen and overtook a fuming Webber. He expressed his concerns and his disappointment clearly during the podium interviews, stating he was “disappointed at the outcome of the race”. Red Bull would argue that they were trying to prevent an accident, but Vettel will be talking with his team for a very long time indeed. He formally apologised in the formal press conference immediately after the race, but will that be sufficient enough to settle the dispute?

Team friction was also felt within the Mercedes team- principal Ross Brawn ordered a desperate Nico Rosberg- who finished in fourth place with twelve points- to stay in fourth place, despite having more fuel in which to push forward and an evidently faster car- but the team weren’t having it, and Lewis Hamilton denied his team-mate a podium, something he was remorseful about atop the podium; the new Mercedes recruit had to nurse the car home, or risk running out of fuel. Nevertheless, it was fifteen points for third place and his maiden podium race for his new team, but again, will the in-team battling affect the drivers’ performance? We will have to wait and see.

Outside the top four, Ferrari suffered a disastrous misfortune in the opening laps of the race- Fernando Alonso was a little too keen when the lights went out at the start of the race, and nearly overtook Vettel. Unfortunately, he touched Vettel’s car and this front wing broke, dangling by a thread. He had the opportunity to come into the pits to have it changed, but either Alonso didn’t notice the damage, or Ferrari were gambling to keep him out until they could change to dry tyres, but Alonso left the Formula One casino in dramatic style, as on the pit straight, the front wing came off, and went under the Car sending debris everywhere, and the car cruised straight into the barriers. Thankfully, no other car was involved, and Alonso was free from injury, but it cost Ferrari dearly, as Felipe Massa scored just ten points in fifth place- we may have seen a Ferrari driver on the podium today, but a crash and a satisfactory performance denied them this opportunity.

The Lotus cars of Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkönen may have dominated last week’s maiden Grand Prix of 2013, but today they were average at best. Grosjean was sixth and takes home eight points; Raikkönen managed to take a trip on the grass, lose some front wing, and somehow finished seventh, taking home six points for the team.

Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg finished eighth today, and scored four points in his first race this year, managing to fend off McLaren’s Sergio Perez, who finished ninth with two points. The final championship point was awarded to Jean Eric-Vergne from Toro Rosso in tenth, but one can’t help but feel that technical gremlins denied some key contenders a good result from today’s race. Beginning with Jenson Button, he managed- at one point- to lead the Grand Prix in a resurgent McLaren car, managing to even match the pace of the Red Bulls- he took care of his tyres, and managed to remain around fifth place, until we saw the return for the embarrassing McLaren pit stop. The front right tyre wasn’t attached properly, due to a slightly faulty nut, and the car left the pit stop box, and jutted to a stop- the mechanics had to push Button back to the pit stop, attach the tyre correctly, and the Brit rejoined the race in fourteenth, and looked as if he might be able to claw back to the points positions, but the team decided to retire the car, just in case further damage ensued. However, McLaren can take back the positives, and slow gains were clearly made today, and they will be hoping that they will continue to slowly make improvements, and keep building and progressing as the season continues.

Force India were once again a dominant force, but pit stop woes prevented points finishes for Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta- the wheel nuts and tyre guns weren’t working properly, and Di Resta had to remain in the pit lane for at least a minute, meaning his components were overheating as the mechanics tried everything they could to get the tyres attached, even resorting to hammers! In case the tyre wasn’t properly attached, they retired Paul Di Resta, and had to retire Sutil when he had to pit- otherwise a serious incident may have occurred. One final pit stop error occurred when Lewis Hamilton accidentally stopped in the McLaren pit stop, before being guided by the mechanics into his new box- does he still miss his old team? Does he want to come back?

In a race filled with excitement, despair and controversy, the Marussia of Jules Bianchi may have been slow, but he managed to keep it on the track, finishing in thirteenth and ensured that his team remains in front of the Caterhams in this early part of the 2013 season. Vettel may have won, but you can’t help but feel the victory was tainted somewhat by the bitter battle between the two world class Red Bull drivers.

OFFICIAL STANDINGS UPDATE

A controversial victory for Sebastian Vettel nonetheless meant that he received 25 points and propelled him into first place in the Drivers Championships, with 40 points. Kimi Raikkönen has lost his first place the German, and now has 31 points in second place. Mark Webber has jumped up the leader board to third place, and now has 26 points, with Lewis Hamilton a solitary point behind in fourth. In fifth place, Felipe Massa holds strong with 22 points; Alonso’s pointless finish today means that he has fallen from second to sixth, still retaining 18 points.

In seventh place, we have Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg with 12 points, and Romain Grosjean is eighth with 9 points. Force India’s Adrian Sutil has 6 points in ninth place; both Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg have 4 points in tenth and eleventh respectively. We see the two McLaren’s next- Sergio Perez is twelfth, Jenson Button in thirteenth, both holding just 2 points each. Toro Rosso’s Jean Eric- Vergne is fourteenth with a single point.

In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull have taken first place from Ferrari and now have an impressive 66 points- Lotus and Ferrari are second and third respectively, each  with 40 points. We have Mercedes close behind in fourth place with 37 points, and Force India are fifth with 10 points. Even Sauber have overtaken McLaren into sixth place with 4 points; McLaren have the same points tally, but the DNF for Jenson Button today has pushed them down the standings further. Toro Rosso are off the Mark in eighth place with 1 point. Williams are ninth, followed by Marussia in tenth and Caterham in eleventh, though none of them are yet to score.

I will be back in a three weeks time as Formula One heads to China for the third race of the season. Hopefully, the Bull fighting will have ceased, if the Toreadors Horner and Newey spend a long time having a talk with their drivers. It was a good old scrap today, with exciting racing, but this unsportsmanlike demonstration has showed some uncomfortable conflict within F1 teams, which can hopefully be resolved before too long.

Michael

Vettel on pole but only after near miss Q1 exit

23 Mar

3 winners and losers of qualifying, Malaysia 2013

Winners:

Sebastian Vettel: Q1 – 2 races this season and 2 pole positions as Vettel cruised to pole position by a whole 0.9 seconds, but it wasn’t as simple as it appears with Vettel almost leaving qualifying in Q1 after the strategy  taken by Red Bull went wrong and it was only through doing a second timed lap that he made it through to Q2 even so it left the Red Bull management shaken.

Felipe Massa: Q2 – This time last year Massa was a laughing stock and yet here he is now starting on the front row ahead of Alonso and having out qualified him for the 4th time in a row, can we now say the pre 2009 Massa is back with a vengeance and if so what’s to stop him making amends for the title miss in 2008, only time will tell.

McLaren: Q8 and Q10 – There’s definitely still a long way to go for McLaren but the team must see it as a step in the right direction to have 2 drivers into Q3 even if it was obvious that they would never take pole. With conditions set to be wet tomorrow I can see McLaren challenging for 5th place since both drivers are very accomplished in the wet and rain does seem to even out the cars.

Losers:

Paul Di Resta: Q15 – Probably should have made it into Q3 had a disastrous Q2 strategy left him out. Di Resta came in at the end of his banker lap (a lap set on tyres from the previous session so that the driver has a time even if something goes wrong) meaning he hadn’t set a time when rain came out and left him completely out of qualifying.

Romain Grosjean: Q11 – Grosjean suffered the same as Di Resta with problem of rain stopping him improving on his lap time leaving him just out of Q3. 2013 hasn’t gone well for Grosjean so far with a bad race last weekend and now this but he’s got talent and should return to the top of his game soon.

Valtteri Bottas: Q18 – It’s been a bad start for Williams so far with Maldonado out in Q1 last week and Bottas suffering the same fate this weekend the car just isn’t working like the team will have hoped and this could be a direct consequence of being the only team to miss the Jerez test.

BREAKING: Raikkonen given a 3 place grid penalty for impeding Rosberg in Q3, this means Raikkonen is now 10th whilst Button Sutil and Perez move up one place each to 7th, 8th and 9th respectively.

KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN TAKES THE FIRST CHEQUERED FLAG OF THE YEAR

17 Mar

The Michael Report- 2013 FORMULA ONE ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

IN THIS sport a year makes quite a lot of difference. In Melbourne last year, everyone was singing McLaren’s praises as Jenson Button pulled off a stunning victory to kick start 2012, and Ferrari looked glum after a slow, poor season opening race. You may also remember Grosjean in his stunning qualifying performance, and being denied points by his crash.

The 2013 Australian Grand Prix witnessed a role reversal to a considerable extent from last year, as today we witnessed a resurgence of the Ferrari drivers, a stronger opening race from Vettel, and a superb victory by Lotus’ Kimi Räikkönen, coupled with dire straits for the team from Woking.

Red Bull did excellently in their first 2013 qualifying session to produce the hallowed front row lock out that we have become accustomed to seeing in recent grands prix, but unfortunately for Mark Webber, the curse of the home race loomed as he staggered forward as the lights went out and fell back off the front row, being overtaken by at least five or six cars, including Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes, who we honestly didn’t think could pull off a third place in qualifying following his defection from McLaren.

Felipe Massa was stunningly quick off the grid and regained places very efficiently indeed, and just- along with team mate Alonso- showed the superb pace and durability of the new Ferrari car for 2013. It was, however, a disappointing start for Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg, for he was forced to withdraw from the race following a fuel system fault that ruled his car out of the race. Joining him on the side lines today included Nico Rosberg from Mercedes, who retired due to a gearbox problem, Daniel Ricciardo from Toro Rosso with a broken exhaust and Pastor Maldonado from Williams who went out of the race with a spin, beaching his car in the process.

Tyre strategy seemed to be the main determining factor as to who took the first chequered flag of the year, and with a faster two stop strategy, that privilege fell to Kimi Räikkönen, with a stirling effort that saw impressive overtaking, careful tyre management and impressive driving to fend off the challenges of Vettel and Alonso, to score the first twenty five points of the season. Alonso and Vettel joined the Ice Man on the podium down under, with their superb performance hampered by the changing weather conditions, forcing them to pit three times, a move that may have cost them a win. Nevertheless, it was a good, solid first result for Ferrari and for Red Bull, winning eighteen and fifteen points respectively.

Alas, tyre degradation meant that Force India’s Adrian Sutil- who’s astonishing return saw him lead the grand prix twice today- had to settle for seventh place and six points, but they will be obviously pleased that they have a competitive pair of drivers and cars that could throw a spanner in the works for the higher teams. Might we see a Force India podium? It remains a good possibility after a promising start. Paul Di Resta finished behind his team-mate with four points in eighth. Lewis Hamilton was also one of the seven leaders of the Australian race, but he dropped back slightly to finish fifth, earning ten points in his Mercedes debut. Ahead of Hamilton was the Ferrari of Felipe Massa, who finished fourth with twelve points to add to Ferrari’s tally. Mark Webber finished sixth and earned eight points.

Last year’s victor Jenson Button had to fight to retain two points in ninth place, which was a rather underwhelming performance by McLaren, whose other driver Sergio Perez finished six tenths of a second outside of the points. Keeping his car in one piece, Romain Grosjean brought home another point for Lotus in tenth place. Nonetheless, Martin Whitmarsh will be scratching his head as to why McLaren under performed today, and they will have to find form fairly soon, if he wants to see his drivers atop the Formula One podium this year, for it seems to be dominated by Lotus, Red Bull and Ferrari at present. But, there are stll eighteen races to go, and anything could still happen.

A final congratulations should go to the superb Jules Bianchi, who managed to finish in fifteenth place for his first F1 race, in the Marussia. To be challenging some of the mid- field drivers like Williams’ Valtteri Bottas shows that the back markers could still claw a few points from some of the other teams at some point this year.

OFFICIAL STANDINGS UPDATE

Kimi Räikkönen claimed his victory was an easy one, but it sees him as the early leader in the Driver’s Championships, with 25 points. Two World Champions follow close behind with Fernando Alonso in second place with 18 points and Sebastian Vettel third with 15 points. Felipe Massa’s first race this year has seen him jump straight to fourth place with 12 points- he was never fourth in 2012- and Lewis Hamilton is fifth with 10 points. Mark Webber’s home race may have been disappointing, but he is sixth with 8 points, and the two Force India drivers Sutil and Di Resta (6 and 4 points respectively) eclipse Jenson Button, who is in ninth with 2 points, and Romain Grosjean is tenth with a point to his name.

Concerning Constructors, Ferrari’s impressive results mean they are the early leaders with 30 points, 4 adrift of Lotus who have 26 points. Red Bull are currently third with 23 points, followed by Mercedes in fourth place with 10 points. The Force India team are currently in fifth place with 10 points as well, but since race position determines ranking if the scores are level, this is why they are behind Mercedes. McLaren are in a lowly sixth place with 2 points. Toro Rosso lead Sauber and Williams in the teams with no points, and Marussia are currently ahead of Caterham, who are in last place.

I will be back next week as Formula One returns to Malaysia for the second race of 2013, and hopefully we won’t have a postponed qualifying session due to rain, but, it should be said that Malaysia is one of the notorious circuits renowned for its hot, humid, but often wet conditions.

Michael

Lotus claim first blood but rest aren’t far behind!

17 Mar

Good Day, Bad Day: Australia 2013.

Good Day:

  • Kimi Raikkonen: Q7 F1 10/10 – What a way for Raikkonen to start 2013, not only winning but winning in style in Australia with his closest challenger Fernando Alonso 12 seconds down the road, Lotus took a big gamble opting for the 2 stop strategy but it paid off with Raikkonen now the man to beat. 
  • Fernando Alonso: Q5 F2 8/10 – Fernando has a right to feel aggrieved for not winning the race he started the race well moving into 3rd on the first lap alone and the timing of his second stop was arguably the decision of the race undercutting both Vettel and Sutil after running behind both of them in 3rd. But if Alonso is disappointed with how his race today he needs only to look at his result here 12 months ago to be cheered up.
  • Sebastian Vettel: Q1 F3 7/10 – Vettel was out played by both Raikkonen and Alonso today on the strategy front, the 3 pit strategy was definitely the slower of the two and losing out to Alonso’s undercut was just unlucky, but Vettel will not be disappointed he’s only 10 points behind Raikkonen and the year isn’t over yet.
  • Felipe Massa: Q4 F4 8/10 – The pre 2009 Massa appears to be back for good, after some impressive races this year Massa started this season as he means to go on, racing for victories, he qualified ahead of Alonso which isn’t common and you never know he could be in championship contention this season.
  • Mercedes: 8/10 – When Hamilton moved to Mercedes many – I included – wrote him out of contention due to Mercedes’ not building good enough cars but they’ve changed that for this year, both cars were competitive in qualifying (Rosberg fastest in Q1 and Q2) and Hamilton qualifying 3rd and they were competitive today until they’re luck soured, Hamilton was ‘only’ 5th because of a massive lock up that moved him from his 2 stop strategy to a 3 stop and Rosberg was unlucky to suffer an electronic problem, Mercedes are definitely contenders this season.
  • Adrian Sutil: Q12 F7 9/10 – You wouldn’t believe that Sutil had missed 2012 looking at his performance today, he made a big call starting on the mediums but it payed off moving him up to 1st before his first pit stop and with his second pair of mediums he returned to the front, sadly he changed too early onto the ‘option’ tyres which cost him a lot of time and left him trying to hold drivers off.
  • Jules Bianchi: Q19 F15 10/10 – WOW! I knew Bianchi would be good in Formula 1 but I never thought he’d be this good, his times were stunningly fast he won the class B race and he was challenging midfield drivers during the race, Marussia have produced a fantastic car this season and I don’t think it would be going to far to say Bianchi could pick up points this season.

Bad Day:

  • Mark Webber: Q2 F6 6/10 – It was the dreadful start to the race that left Webber all but out of it but Webber definitely hates this track (even if it is his home GP) because it’s never worked out for him before here and if he wants to ever become F1 champion he’s going to need to do much better than that.
  • McLaren 5/10 – McLaren have a lot of work to do since their car does not look good in any way at the moment, only Button made it into Q3 and he didn’t even set a lap and in the race both drivers were fighting for the lower points, if this is going to be a good year for McLaren they need to up their game pronto.
  • Romain Grosjean: Q8 F10 5/10 – Whilst Raikkonen was winning the race Grosjean was struggling, yes he managed to avoid hitting anyone at the start but he finished a massive 84 seconds behind Kimi, Grosjean is seen as a quick driver but it all went wrong today and if he wants to fight for big points this season he needs to regain the speed he had last season.
  • Nico Hulkenburg: Q11 F- 6/10 – Hulkenburg’s race was over before it even began with him retiring before the race started due to problems with the fuel system, this is a real shame as Nico is one of the most talented drivers on the grid and maybe could have picked up some points today.

F1 2013 Commences as Raikkonen blows away competition

17 Mar

The tweet review, Australia 2013. All times are GMT)

Time to get on with it. At last, after weeks of waiting, we have an #AustralianGP (@easonF1) 6:01

Great start for the Ferrari’s, terrible start for Webber! Vettel leads ahead of Massa and Alonso! (@RichlandF1) 6:05

RIC reports a “massive” issue with his tyres (@F1PitRadio) 6:06

Raikkonen passes Hamilton for fourth place. The Lotus is mega in a straight line! (@Formula1_com) 6:07

Ricciardo complaining about his tires over the radio, he has dropped to last place behind Charles Pic. Trouble for Toro Rosso (@F1onNBCSports) 6:09

Vettel leads by just 1.4 seconds from a flying Massa, with team-mate Alonso right on his tail. (@autosportlive)

Jenson Button has become the first driver to pit for McLaren!! (@RichlandF1) 6:11

Lap 6 WEB into the pits, he rejoins the race in 19th (@F1_Fans_Updates) 6.13

Felipe Massa is flying! So pleased to see his. He’s reduced to gap to Vettel from 2+ seconds to 0.7s (@LiteralF1) 6.13

Sebastian Vettel has pitted from the lead as the Ferrari’s stay out! Felipe Massa leads! (@RichlandF1) 6:16

Ferrari appear to be splitting their strategy, Massa covering Vettel whilst Alonso stays out (@Formula1Formula) 6:17

The leading duo of Alonso and Raikkonen both pit! (@RichlandF1) 6:19

Hamilton pits from the lead of the race (@Formula1_com) 6:24

“Jules you were 0.4 quicker than MAL that lap great job” (@Marussia_F1Team) 6:27

Hamilton, now sixth on the road, is told his current pace is “good enough” (@autosportlive) 6:29

Webber pits for a second time on lap 17 (@ESPNF1) 6:31

Must say well done to Marussia – 1/3rd distance and within 5 seconds of @danielricciardo (@karunchandhok) 6:34

Interesting time for Alonso to stop there… That’s stop number 2 for him now… (@IrvineF1) 6:36

Sutil to box now (@F1PitRadio) 6:38

Vettel also pits – the medium compound tyres are obviously not as durable as we all thought…! (@IrvineF1) 6:38

Fantastic move by Ferrari! He has taken Sutil and Vettel in the pits. Great tactics for the undercut (@Formula1_com) 6:39

Smedley to Massa: “Let’s see what you can do.” Leads the race now. (@F1Grid) 6:40

Vettel finds a way past Sutil using DRS (@ESPNF1) 6:40

LAP 24 Massa pits from P1 and rejoins in P4 behind Ferrari teammate Alonso. Raikkonen leads in the Lotus. (@F1racing) 6:41

Rain is expected in around 8-10 minutes. (@TomWilkinsonF1) 6:42

MAL is beached in the gravel! HE IS OUT – Yellow Flags (@F1_Fans_Updates) 6:43

The DRS has been disabled whilst the marshals retrieve Maldonado’s stricken car! (@RichlandF1) 6:44

Rosberg stops on lap 26 with a technical issue (@ESPNF1) 6:45

In case anyone hasn’t spotted it, Perez is currently behind Bianchi on normal pace. Wow that’s bad. (@johnny_mcc) 6:48

Rain falling!! (@TomWilkinsonF1) 6:48

Lap 29/58 – Raikkonen leads Hamilton by 13s from Alonso, Vettel, Sutil, Massa. Out – Rosberg, Maldonado, Hulkenberg (@F1) 6:49

Alonso using DRS on Hamilton now, this is heating up in Melbourne! (@Formula1_com) 6:52

31/58 RAI HAM ALO VET SUT MAS DIR WEB RIC BUT GRO VER PER BOT GUT PIC BIA VDG CHI. Out: ROS MAL HUL. (@ausgrandprix) 6:52

Great driving by Fernando Alonso who passes Hamilton nicely; Hamilton flees to the pits. (@IrvineF1) 6:53

Hamilton has to go 27 laps on these tyres, he managed 18 on the previous set. Will he make it? (@Formula1_com) 6:55

Kimi Raikkonen has pitted from the lead, as Fernando Alonso takes the lead! (@RichlandF1) 6:58

Hamilton tells his team that his tires “aren’t gonna last 27 laps at this pace”… and he then sets the fastest S1 time of the race (@F1onNBCSports) 6:59

Here’s the key now – Alonso needs to make up 14 seconds to Raikkonen. Currently 13 seconds ahead, pit loss is 27s (@LiteralF1) 7:01

That stop for Vettel sees him resume fifth for the moment, with Raikkonen now up to third place on the road. (@autosportlive) 7:04

L39 Alonso pits from the lead. Sutil back in first, he’s been told not to use his tyres up defending from Raikkonen. (@F1Fanaticlive) 7:05

Button is 69s behind Alonso having made the same number of stops. That fortuitous first day in Jerez seems an age ago now. (@ScottMitchell89) 7:07

Massa also passes Hamilton. The Mercedes is a sitting duck on race pace (@Formula1_com) 7:07

Rosberg confirms electronic problems ended his race. (@TomWilkinsonF1) 7:08

It’s all over for Daniel Ricciardo in his home event. The Toro Rosso is wheeled into the garage and the Australian retires. (@autosportlive) 7:09

Well that strategy didn’t work for Mercedes. Hamilton forced to pit; rejoins the race in P6 with 15 laps to go… (@IrvineF1) 7:11

Raikkonen catches and passes temporary leader Sutil and the Lotus is now the car to beat. (@autosportlive) 7:12

Fernando Alonso is flying. Like, literally flying. He is lighting up the sector times like a big purple Christmas tree. (@IrvineF1) 7:15

Alonso is now 7.7s off Raikkonen. He had traffic in that last lap but has dropped off the pace (@ESPNF1) 7:18

L51 Hamilton passes Sutil and Webber is on the Force India now. (@f1fanaticlive) 7:24

54/58 RAI ALO VET MAS HAM WEB SUT DIR BUT GRO VER PER GUT BOT BIA PIC CHI VDG. Five laps to go! (@ausgrandprix) 7:27

Kimi has just set the fastest lap of the race. He’s putting the pedal to the metal as he closes in on the first GP win of 2013. Nice. (@sarahholtf1) 7:32

Kimi Raikkonen wins the Australian Grand Prix! (@f1fanatic_co_uk) 7:34

Australian GP top ten: RAI, ALO, VET, MAS, HAM, WEB, SUT, DIR, BUT, GRO. (@Jamesallenonf1) 7:35

Changes to The Formula 1 Formula for F1 2013

13 Mar

With F1 2013 just about to start we at The Formula 1 Formula thought it would be nice to provide you with an update of what to expect from us in 2013.

As you may have already seen from the articles about drivers joining/leaving Formula 1 this year we are pioneering a new style of F1 writing that is more informal and should make it more enjoyable to read.

 Also we are now on the look for new writing talent, if you want to apply to write for The Formula 1 Formula please send an email to tjrupton@yahoo.com and please give: a little information about yourself; why you like F1; who your favourite teams/drivers are (there is no wrong answer to this); how often you’d like to write and what aspect of Formula 1 you’d like to write about, e.g. politics, race reviews, history etc.

As with last year F1F will be publishing the tweet review of each race, this report aims to describe the ins and outs of every GP using people’s tweets, last year we had tweets from teams, drivers, journalists and fans contributing to the reports and every tweet is credited to it’s writer.

This year it will also be possible to hear us talk about F1 since our editor (Tom) will be a regular on the Hard Tyres F1 podcast (this can be found at http://www.loudyspeak.com/podcasts/hardtyres/ and you can follow it on twitter (@hardtyres)).

2013 also marks the start of F1F looking for people who’ve been to a Grand Prix to write about their experience, it doesn’t matter whether you went to a Grand Prix decades ago or one last week all you need to do is write a little on how you found the experience, if interested please email tjrupton@yahoo.com.

If you were interested in the Fake F1 Championships from last season [out link to site] then we have some exciting news for you too, from now on full up to date leader boards will be posted on our Facebook account [put link] and of course the final results of the testing championship are already up!

Of course this site is designed for you and advice (good or bad) is always welcomed as is any ideas you have for features and ideas, if you want to have your say either comment on the blog or if you don’t want it to be made public email us at tjrupton@yahoo.com .

A final thing, although we at F1F will try our hardest to ensure this blog is up to date and reporting on every GP this year this year is a big year for the team as many are currently in year 12 and as such will be sitting our AS exams at the end of the year, which will mean that sometimes we may have to abandon blogging to concentrate on our studies, if this s going to happen we plan on mentioning it to you before hand and hope you understand. The bulk of these lapse periods will be around May/June when the final AS exams and University open days are.

That just leaves me to wish you a fantastic 2013 and I hope the F1 can deliver what is to be expected in this the final year of V8 engines and we can provide you with the F1 coverage you want.

The F1F team.