Archive | September, 2013

Vettel makes it a hat-trick in the night of Singapore

22 Sep

Welcome to the new look race review, I hope you like it!

So who won the 2013 Singapore GP?

Sebastian Vettel won his 7th race of the season and his third Singapore GP win in three years. It was a dominant victory for Vettel taking pole, fastest lap and leading every lap of the race.

Was there much competition?

Not really, after 3 laps Vettel was well ahead and despite a safety car on lap 25 which let the rest catch up he went on to win the race by 32.6 seconds. On the first lap Rosberg came close to stealing the lead and led through the first corner but he ran slightly wide at the second and that was it Vettel went on to win.

How did Rosberg do after that?

Rosberg ended up finishing 4th, being overtaken by Alonso before being undercut by Mark Webber during their second stops. Rosberg was then overtaken by Raikkonen before Webber’s engine problems let Rosberg back up to 4th.

So Alonso and Raikkonen completed the podium? I thought they started way down the grid.

Yes and yes, Alonso started 7th before finishing second whilst Raikkonen started 13th and finished 3rd, showing that it is possible to gain places on a street circuit. Alonso had a blistering start overtaking 4 drivers before the first corner before eventually overtaking Rosberg, but his best moment came when he managed to finish the race on 36 lap old tyres. Whilst Raikkonen showed his strength by racing with an injured back – which destroyed his qualifying – and still finished 3rd.

You mentioned a safety car earlier, what was that for?

Soon to be Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo crashed at turn 18 leading to a safety car which ensured Singapore’s 100% safety car rate. Turn 18 was always me undoing when I raced Singapore on F1 2009 so I can sympathise with Daniel for crashing there, what I can’t sympathise with is the FIA’s rule for letting lapped cars unlap themselves in a safety car, it wastes time and means the safety car has to be out for a couple more laps. If you end up behind a lapped car during a safety car period, bad luck hopefully it will be someone else next time.

So how did the Brits do?

Hamilton finished 5th after a dubious strategy, whilst Button looked like a good bet for a podium before his tyres became destroyed and ending up 7th. Paul di Resta had a very strong race and looked set for a very strong points finish before an accident on lap 54 ended his race. Rookie, Max Chilton finished ahead of team mate Bianchi and Pic but he’ll be lucky to race in F1 next year.

Any post race steward decisions?

Yes, lots. As previously mentioned Webber had a engine problem that meant he had to retire from 4th place on the final lap when his car set on fire, but luckily he got a lift back to the pits with Alonso who was on his slowing down lap at the time, in doing so both drivers broke article 30.9 (b) of the regulations and were both issued with reprimands and since this was Webber’s third reprimand he’s been given a 10 place grid penalty for the next race. Lotus were also issued a reprimand after a mechanic wasn’t wearing a helmet during a pit stop.

So who was the best driver and how good was the race?

Personally my driver of the day was Alonso for his fantastic start and his tyre management in the later stages of the race, but Vettel and Raikkonen are up there. Sadly the race was pretty dull and so I’ll rate it a 3/10, if you want to watch the best bits I recommend the first lap and the last 10 laps , the others aren’t worth watching.

So how does the championship stand now?

Ferrari gained 1 point in the constructors championship over Red Bull, but they’re still 103 points behind. Ferrari also extended their small lead over Mercedes by 4 points to take their lead to 7 points. In the driver’s championship Vettel added an additional 7 points to his now 60 point lead over Alonso. Alonso now has 187 points with Hamilton third on 151 points and Raikkonen 4th on 149 points. Which means that all the top 4 drivers drive for different teams.

Korea is the next race on the calendar and it’s a Red Bull stronghold so expect to see them on the podium again in two weeks time.

For full race results go here.

Back at Last

22 Sep

I haven’t blogged in a while, mainly due to exams, holiday and now UCAS applications but exams and holidays have happened and the UCAS form will be finished (at last) shortly. 

Despite this it’s likely that there will be times when I don’t post as often as you and I would want me to and I will apologise now for when this happens and try and catch up whenever possible.

Almost finally you will notice that the style of my posts will change to a more question and answer style, I got this idea from the i newspaper’s page 3 profile and tried it out last winter. I prefer this way of writing and I hope you’ll prefer reading it.

And so with nothing else to procrastinate about here is Michael’s review of the Italian GP (it’s very late but that’s my fault not his)

ALONSO RELIES ON LADY LUCK FOLLOWING SIXTH VETTEL VICTORY

AS Sebastian Vettel took his sixth chequered flag of the 2013 season yesterday, a dejected Tifosi were left wondering what their hero Fernando Alonso could do to achieve a World Championship title for Ferrari. He admitted after the race that he will need luck on his side if he is to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, as although he was strong, he couldn’t come near the reigning World Champion at Monza.

Vettel’s race began perfectly for him- he led from the front and raced off into the distance in classic Vettel form. He managed to create a large enough gap so he could pit and re-take the lead of the Grand Prix. The German driver won very comfortably and faced little difficulty in cruising around the Monza circuit. With seven races left this season, another twenty-five points to his tally will mean that it would take complete and utter disaster in several of the upcoming races to steal the 2013 crown.

Alonso and Vettel’s team-mate Mark Webber accompanied Sebastian atop the podium, amidst the roars and boos, and earned eighteen and fifteen points respectively. Felipe Massa finished in an impressive fourth place and earned himself twelve points. Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg finished in fifth place which was his best finish so far this year. Although he was unable to prevent being overtook twice during the race, Hulkenberg has proved himself a capable driver, and one that would be worthy of a place next year in a better car. The F1 world is awash with rumours about driver transfers, and Nico has been tipped for a place in Ferrari or possibly Lotus. It would certainly be a shame if he was to lose a drive prior to next year’s season.

Nico Rosberg finished sixth for Mercedes and earned himself eight points, and Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo finished seventh, with six points. Lotus’ Romain Grosjean earned four points in eighth and Lewis Hamilton overcame a slow puncture to finish ninth and earned himself two points. Jenson Button finished tenth and gained a point for McLaren in its 50th year in Formula One.

OFFICIAL STANDINGS UPDATE

Vettel currently leads the Drivers’ Championships, with 222 points. Alonso is in second place, 53 points adrift with 169. Lewis Hamilton, who wrote in his BBC column that his Championship contention is over, is third with 141. He is 7 points ahead of Kimi Raikkönen, who has 134, who is 4 points ahead of Mark Webber’s total of 130.

Nico Rosberg is sixth with 104 points and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa has 79 points and lies in seventh. Romain Grosjean is eighth with 57 points, 9 points ahead of Jenson Button in ninth. Paul Di Resta is tenth with 36 points, and his team-mate Adrian Sutil is eleventh with 25. Sergio Perez is twelfth and Nico Hulkenberg is thirteenth, each with 18 points. Daniel Ricciardo is in fourteenth place with 17 points. Team-mate Jean Eric Vergne is fifteenth with 13, and Williams’ Pastor Maldonado is sixteenth with 1 point. Valtteri Bottas has no points, but due to previous results, is ahead of Esteban Guttierez, Jules Bianchi, Charles Pic, Giedo Van Der Garde and Max Chilton.

For the Constructors, Red Bull are first with 352 points, nearly 100 ahead of their nearest rivals, Ferrari, who have 248. Mercedes are third with 245, and Lotus are fourth with 191 points. McLaren are fifth with 66 points, 5 ahead of Force India with 61. Toro Rosso lie seventh with 31 points and Sauber are eighth with 17. Williams are ninth with a solitary point, and Marussia lead Caterham, despite not scoring yet.

The European Grands Prix are over for another year, and the final fly-away phase of the season will begin in a fortnight. It looks as if Sebastian Vettel is increasing his tightening grip around a fourth World Championship title, and it will be indeed Lady Luck who will have her say, should he be unfortunate enough to loosen his grip.

Michael

Sorry it’s so late.