Tag Archives: Adrian Sutil

Alonso wins in China by a country mile

14 Apr

Good Day, Bad Day, China 13.

Good Day:

Fernando Alonso: S3 F1 10/10 – Alonso was far and away the best driver on track today, he overtook, managed the tyres and set blistering pace to ultimately win the race by a fantastic 10 seconds. It started well for Alonso overtaking Raikkonen off the line and it just got better, his corner of choice for overtaking was T1 where he overtook: Hamilton, Vettel (twice) and Button. Alonso only just missed out on the championship last season but he’s back with a vengeance this season.

Sebastian Vettel: S9 F4 9/10 – Vettel was killed by his strategy this weekend otherwise he could have challenged Vettel to the victory. Vettel didn’t set a lap in Q3 yesterday (this is because Red Bull didn’t have the 1 lap pace to challenge Ferrari/Lotus/Mercedes for pole) and after being overtaken by Hulkenburg early on he had to spend multiple laps being held up by around 0.5 seconds a lap. But when Vettel did his stint on the soft tyres he set the timing boards alight and missed out on a podium place by less than a second.

Jenson Button: S8 F5 8/10 – McLaren’s problems aren’t solved yet but Button showed today that the team are on their way to getting themselves on par with the competition. Button did a successful 2 stop strategy showing the McLaren is at least light on it’s tyres. Yesterday  Button admitted that McLaren are still around 0.7s off the pace but if they carry on improving and bringing upgrades to the car they could (potentially) be on the pace by Spain.

Daniel Ricciardo: S7 F7 8/10 – Daniel hadn’t finished a race this season prior to today and immediately started his points tally with 6 points. Ricciardo had a uneventful race, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t drive very well, his lap times were always strong and unlike the last time he started in the top 10 he didn’t botch up the start.

Nico Hulkenburg: S10 F10 7/10 – Many (me included) see it as a travesty that Hulkenburg isn’t driving for one of the top 5 teams this season, but Nico isn’t letting that stop him, he was great today, he overtook Vettel early on in the race and then he led the race for a few laps and put in a good performance holding up Vettel who had a fastest car and the use of DRS.

Jules Bianchi: S18 F15 8/10 – What a driver Bianchi is, so far he has impressed in all of his 3 races and looks like he is capable of taking the Marussia far and beyond it’s potential, fighting with Williams during the race. Bianchi will be looking for a seat with a big team at the end of this season, and if he carries this on he could have a long line of teams desperate to sign up the young Frenchman.

Bad Day:

Caterham: 5/10 – This must be the nail in the coffin for Caterham, three times in a row they’ve been outperformed by Marussia and every weekend the gaps been getting bigger. Will Caterham ever catch up to the midfield?

Max Chilton: S19 F17 5/10 – Chilton hasn’t fulfilled the hype set out for him by the British press before his F1 debut and to be honest I doubt he ever will, for the third race in  a row he’s been thoroughly out performed by team mate Bianchi and although many will sight the difference as being due to Bianchi’s previous experience in Formula 1, it is down to more than that. The main difference being that Bianchi has genuine talent and potential.

Mark Webber: S24 F ret. 3/10 – There are some days where nothing goes right for you, today was one of those days for Webber. After the disaster yesterday where the car stopped due to a fuel pressure problem in Q2 Mark will have thought it couldn’t get much worse, it did. Webber started strongly, his pit stop on lap 1 looked an inspired decision when he was setting the early pace and he was competing with the guys who started at the front, until, he hit Vergne (an incident that has got him a 3 place grid penalty for Bahrain). This was followed by a pit stop to change the front nose, during which the rear right tyre was attached properly, it came loose on his lap out and when he made it to the hairpin at the end of the long straight the tyre and the car left each other. To sum up his day in 1 word, disaster.

Adrian Sutil: S13 F ret. 6/10 – After starting his reborn career well today was a day for Sutil to forget, he made contact with his team mate on the first lap 1 but his race ended on lap 5 when Gutierrez hit his back.

Esteban Gutierrez: S17 F ret. 5/10 – Esteban hasn’t started the season as well as I expected him too, he’s had a disaster so far this season and it didn’t help him when he takes out another driver on lap 5 because he didn’t know where to break.

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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.

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.

New kid on the block: Adrian Sutil

28 Feb

I’m sure that name rings a bell, are you sure he’s new?

You’re right, Sutil was a Formula 1 driver back in 2011 with Force India but was dropped back in 2011 but he’s now back with Force India for the 2013 season and at just 30 years old he could be back for a while.

What was his previous F1 career like?

Sutil started out in F1 with Spyker, first as a reserve in 2006 and then  in the race team for 2007, although his rookie season was spectacular it was solid even picking up points in Japan. In 2008 Spyker were bought out and renamed Force India, the new team kept Sutil for the 2008 season but reliability problems ruined the season. In 2009 Sutil stayed with Force India and in a much more reliable car finished 4th in the Italian GP. Sutil remained at Force India for both the 2010 and 2011 season regularly picking up, and although not phenomenally quick he definitely was consistent.

So why was he dropped?

Well as I just mentioned he wasn’t the fastest driver out there and although he did score points the majority were for finishing between 8 and 10 so it’s likely Force India wanted to see if they could find someone who would challenge for more points, but it didn’t help that he was involved in a court case were he was found guilty of grievous bodily harm and given a 18 month suspended sentence and a €200,000 fine.

That’s not good, so what did he spend last season doing?

Not much really, he didn’t compete in any racing series.

What was his racing career like before he joined the F1 scene?

Impressive, he’d won the Swiss Formula Ford 1800 and the All-Japan Formula 3 finished second in the Formula 3 Euro Series and the Masters of Formula 3 and had finished 3rd in the Macau Grand Prix.

How do you think he’ll do this season?

Sutil will be expecting to put in a strong season but I wouldn’t be surprised if he quickly found himself losing out to Di Resta, having said this if the car’s good I expect Sutil to score regularly near the end of the season.

How do you rate his chances?

7/10 There are definitely worse people Force India could have chosen and he’s already popular with the team, he just needs to prove he can return to his old form quickly.

What happened to those who left: 2011

7 Feb

With the 2013 F1 season soon to start lets look at what happened to the drivers who left F1 at the end of the 2011 season:

  • Adrian Sutil (90 F1 races / 95 F1 points) – last season Adrian did not compete in any major racing category.
  • Nick Heidfeld (185 races / 259 points / 13 F1 podiums) – over the 2012 season Heidfeld competed in the World Endurance Championship (3 WEC races / 42.5 WEC points / 1 WEC podium).
  • Jaime Alguersuari (46 races / 31 points) – Jaime spent last season commentating for BBC radio 5 on the Formula 1 season.
  • Sebastian Buemi (55 races / 29 points) – Spent last season as Red Bull’s test drive and also competed in the Le Mans 24 hours (the car didn’t make it to the end of the race).
  • Rubens Barrichello (326 races / 658 points / 68 podiums / 11 F1 wins) – After leaving Formula 1 Barrichello started competing in Indy Car (15 Indy Car races / 289 points) he finished 12th in the championship. Barrichello also raced as a guest in three races of Brazilian Stock Car.
  • Jarno Trulli (256 races / 246.5 points / 11 podiums / 1 win) – Jarno did not compete last season, but did you know that Trulli’s a co-owner of a vineyard.
  • Vitantonio Liuzzi (81 races / 26 points) – Liuzzi has been busy competing in the International Superstars Series (16 races / 181 points / 9 podiums / 2 wins) finishing 2nd in the championship, the Campionato Italiano Superstars (10 races / 92 points / 3 podiums / 1 win) finishing 3rd in the championship and he competed in the World Endurance Championship (3 races / 4 points).
  • Jerome D’Ambrosio (20 races / 0 points) – Jerome was Lotus’ test driver over last season and competed in the Italian GP after Grosjean was banned.
  • Karun Chandhok (11 races / 0 points) – Karun spent 2012 driving in the World Endurance Championship (8 races / 50.5 points)

Valencia driver ratings.

21 Jun

Sebastian Vettel 5/10

Starting to get a bit dull with Vettel constantly winning, this is reducing his scores as he’s only achieving what’s expected.

Webber 6/10

Qualified 2nd to prove the Red Bull can be drove quickly by him but couldn’t match Alonso in the race. Sadly for Mark it’s going to take a huge push to turn around the standings and finish 1st.

Hamilton 7/10

Well he finished the race but didn’t really perform to the expected expectations. In the race Lewis finished half a minute behind the top 3. Seems like race pace is the problem for McLaren as Hamilton was swamped by both the Ferraris at the start.

Button 6/10

Not at the same level as he was in Montreal and qualifying 6th ruined his chances of winning, Jenson almost lost 6th to Rosberg in the race but he quickly got it back again. The big problem JB had was finishing a whole minute behind Vettel.

Alonso 8/10

Provided the excitement  in the race by attacking the Red Bulls but still couldn’t match Vettel, qualifying 4th wasn’t as good as he may have been expecting but took Hamilton early to set up an attack on Webber.

Massa 8/10

Another good performance by Massa will help Maranello to regain confidence in him. Biggest problem was using too many sets of softs in qualifying and this held him back in the race. Took Hamilton at the first corner and could have gone up to second at the second corner if he hadn’t held back.

Rosberg 6/10

Another good performance by Rosberg, if he keeps this up he may pick up his first win in the next few seasons.

Schumacher 4/10

The only reason he was so far back was due to hitting Petrov and losing the front wing – something he admitted was his fault later. But Schumacher  wasn’t as good as he has been.

Petrov 3/10

Not good is all I can say, Vitaly failed to qualify for Q3 and then manages to finish 15th! The only excuse Vitaly can have for his performance is that Schumacher’s conflict with him fazed him.

Heidfeld 6/10

Showed Vitaly Petrov that the car was worth of doing well at Valencia by out qualifying his team mate to make it to Q3 (qualifying has been one of Nicks weak points this year) and then holding on to a point for the finish. After Renaults great start to the campaign I think their car is starting to lag behind the leaders.

Adrian Sutil 7/10

Showing signs of closing the gap in qualifying to his teammate Paul Di Resta by out qualifying him and making it to Q3 (although not going out to set a time is disappointing for him) and then a good race clawing up 1 place to finish with 2 points.

Paul Di Resta 5/10

Not Di Resta’s best race as he failed to outperform his team mate in qualifying before managing to lose two places in the race to allow this to not go down in his all time best races.

Kamui Kobayashi 4/10

You know a race isn’t going to have overtaking when Kobayashi doesn’t manages to lose places in the race and isn’t making headlines for amazing manoeuvres. Kamui would have got a 5 if it hadn’t been for the way you just expect him to liven up a race.

Sergio Perez 7/10

Another good race by the Ferrari prospect (he’s part of their driver training program and is a serious contender to replace Massa at the Scud) saw him rise from 16th to 11th and made up for his teammates lack of excitement.

Rubens Barrichello 5/10

Average at best qualified 13th and finished 12th in a rather uneventful day at the office.

Pastor Maldonado 4/10

Another Williams driver who did next to nothing to liven up a dull race although his stalling at a corner bringing out a red flag was the most exciting thing to happen in qualifying. Managed to lose 3 places during the race, all to drivers who shot up the race timings.

Sebastian Buemi 8/10

A good rise from 17th to 13th ensured that the fight for the Toro Rosso seat is becoming even more tense and exciting, apart from that he was very much like the race: dull and uneventful.

Jaime Alguersuari 10/10

Can I give higher than 10. In a otherwise dull race Jaime set Spanish hearts racing by rising, wait for it, 10 spots to finish 8th. I’m a fan of Jaime and this race proved the potential he has, I can only hope he carries on like this to secure the Toro Rosso seat.

Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli, Timo Glock, Jerome D’Ambrosio, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Narain Karthikeyan 6/10

Sadly none of them were taking any headlines or really overtaking. The main reason for this is probably that there wasn’t a safety car which would have gave them a chance of taking a risk which may pull off.

The race as a whole 1/10

In one word dull. In 5 dull dull dull dull dull. I’m enjoying the new Pirellis but they just couldn’t liven it up. I think that with this race losing it’s pull factor that we need two races in Germany (Hockenheim  and Nurburgring) both are great tracks and deserve the GP and Germany has the highest number of drivers in the championship and the two of the current biggest icons: Schue and Vettel.

Driver Ratings, Brazil. Pt. 1 Ferrari, Force India and Hispania

29 Nov

Fernando Alonso Q5 F4 8/10

With a better car and more luck he could have kept the podium position he lost late on in the race. The start -as usual- was better than most others and had it not been for a decision to go outside not inside he could have overtaken both McLarens not just Hamilton.

Felipe Massa Q7 F5 5/10

Another disappointing race in another disappointing season for Felipe as he finished 31 seconds behind Alonso who had the same car as Felipe finished in his trademark 5th position (his 6th this season). Felipe livened up the end of the race though as he performed doughnuts all over the track.

Adrian Sutil Q8 F6 8/10

Force India are going from strength to strength and this race proved it as Adrian beat both cars from Mercedes and Renault it’s a shame Adrian may be leaving Force India next season as he’s an integral part of their progression.

Paul Di Resta Q11 F8 8/10

Paul was disappointing in FP1 as he was slower than reserve driver Nico Hulkenburg, again. Despite this Paul had a good race  and by coming in a few laps earlier for his first stop he had a better strategy than most others and finished up 8th.

Vitantonio Liuzzi Q21 F ret. 6/10

It was an amazing feat in qualifying to beat both of the Virgins and he kept that form till the point where he retired.

Daniel Ricciardo Q22 F20 5/10

Drove well to help HRT take 11th in the championship and has performed well up in his brief stint with HRT although we’ll need to see him in a competitive car if we are to be able to evaluate him properly.