Tag Archives: Daniel Ricciardo

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.

It’s magic for Mercedes as Hamilton is on pole

13 Apr

3 winners and losers of qualifying, China 13.

Winners:

Lewis Hamilton 10/10 Q1 – Before this season many said that Hamilton would struggle with Mercedes and how wrong we’ve all be proved. Hamilton set blistering pace throughout all of qualifying going fastest in all 3 sessions and ultimately going fastest in Q3 by 0.3 seconds.

Marussia 9/10 Q19 and Q20 – Marussia have created a fantastic car for this season and with Bianchi at the wheel should make it into Q2 by the end of the season and may pick up points. Today both cars out-qualified the two Caterhams showing just how far Marussia have come since last season.

Daniel Ricciardo 9/10 Q7 – This is Daniel’s first time into Q3 since Bahrain last year and over the last 3 races has improved his qualifying position every time, showing just how much form he’s on at the moment. Despite this he does have two problems, first he hasn’t finished a race so far this season and second last time he started in the top 10 he had a dreadful start. Lets hope it works this time.

Losers:

Mark Webber 6/10 Q14 – Webber was unlucky today suffering a fuel pressure problem which left him stuck on an exit road watching others beat his time. Webber will need a good start tomorrow (a rarity for Webber) if he’s to finish in the good points. Since writing this Webber has been relegated to the back of the grid for failing to provide a 1l fuel sample leaving his chances of a good finish almost impossible.

Esteban Gutierrez 5/10 Q18 – Whilst team mate Hulkenburg made it to Q3 Gutierrez was out in Q1. Esteban hasn’t started this season as well as I expected him to, but since his race pace is better than his 1 lap pace he could prove to be a worthy driver by the end of the season.

Sebastian Vettel 7/10 Q9 – Red Bull haven’t had the one lap pace to challenge Mercedes/Lotus/Ferrari to the pole all weekend so they have opted for a different strategy where they start on the harder tyre which will be the preferred tyre in tomorrow’s race, this explains why he’s so far back, but with Button on the same strategy and 1 place ahead on the grid he could have his work cut out if he wants to win tomorrow.

Prediction:

I envisage the top 6 will all have to pit early on (within the first 10 laps) tomorrow so the key question is wether they’ll be able to pull far enough ahead. They will come out behind Vettel and JB, but if the top 6 can get themselves on Button and Vettel’s tails they should win easily. Of the top 6 I’d say it’s a contest between Hamilton, Alonso and Raikkonen for first place with Massa, Rosberg and Grosjean looking to pick up a podium. So I’ll go out on a limb and say it will finish: 1 Hamilton 2 Alonso 3 Raikkonen.

Pastor Maldonado crashes out, again.

9 Jul

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

Kamui Kobayashi: 7/10 Q12 S17 F11

Kamui has been under the radar so far this season, but he been one of the strongest drivers of the year, despite having less points than his younger team mate. Kamui started his race spectacularly  and was running 12th after just 3 laps (which made up for his 5 place grid penalty he was given after causing a collision in Valencia. During the second stint Kobayashi was running up in 9th, but he came out of the second pit session worse off in 12th and if Hulkenburg hadn’t spun on the final lap he wouldn’t have finished 11th. If Kobayashi hadn’t had the penalty and had started 12th he’d have definitely have finished in the points.

Sergio Perez: 8/10 Q17 S15 F ret.

In my opinion there is no doubt that Sergio would have finished in the points had his race not ended prematurely when Maldonado hit him. Sergio was unlucky on saturday in qualifying, a big error saw him not go out after the red flags and Sergio dramatically drop from 1st to 17th. But this singled Sergio out as the F1F man to watch. It was an astonishing start for Sergio, in the first lap alone he flew to 9th place and then overtook Senna for 8th position, but Pastor Maldonado then struck, colliding with Perez to end Sergio’s race. Full marks for Sergio to speaking his mind after the race as apposed to preaching the PR.

Daniel Ricciardo: 6/10 Q14 S12 F13

Daniel has fallen back since his early season successes, but in recent weeks the Toro Rosso has fallen to the back of the midfield. Ricciardo had a very slow start, falling from 12th to 17th on the first lap alone but he stuck at it and he finished off his race by overtaking team mate Vergne in the final laps.

Jean-Eric Vergne: 6/10 Q16 S23 F14

This year’s Toro Rosso line up is widely regarded to decide who will replace Mark Webber when he leaves, and if the first nine race of this season are anything to go by it will be Daniel not Jean-Eric joining Red Bull. Despite qualifying in 16th Jean-Eric had to start from 23rd after a 10 place grid penalty for causing a collision at the European GP but he didn’t stay there long, ,moving back up to 16th on the first lap. It was the timing of the second pit stop that let Vergne finish 14th, his pit stop was earlier than most which helped him to 13th before a he was overtaken by Ricciardo late on.

Pastor Maldonado: 2/10 Q7 S7 F16

Maldonado received the hatred of the public again this weekend for colliding with Sergio Perez, this is one of many collisions Pastor has caused this year with many fans calling for him to have his license recalled.

Bruno Senna: 7/10 Q15 S13 F9

Bruno has struggled in the Williams car so far this season and it was a disappointing qualifying for the young Brazilian, but Senna threw himself into points contention at the start of the race, running 9th early on. But he didn’t have a good first pit stop session coming out back in 11th, but by going for a short second stint Senna was able to move back to 10th and in the points and it was because of the pressure Bruno applied that Nico Hulkenburg span out of the points on the last lap.

Bruno Senna was down, but not out.

25 Jun

Picture courtesy of formulaone.com

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

Kamui Kobayashi: 7/10 Q7 F ret.

It was a promising weekend for Kobayashi, reaching Q3 and starting 7th, and Kamui performed well from the start to run in 4th. But unlucky timing saw Kamui having to pit twice before the safety car car came out, despite this Kobayashi looked like he could still pick up a good points finish before Kobayashi collided with Massa forcing Kobayashi to retire and meaning Kamui has a 5 place grid penalty for the British GP.

Sergio Perez: 7/10 Q15 F9

Couldn’t match Kobayashi’s pace in qualifying starting four rows further back on the grid, and things didn’t go well from the start. Sergio was running on the same strategy as Kamui Kobayashi with two pit stops before the safety car came out, but unlike Kamui Perez managed to finish the race, finishing in 9th after a late charge.

Daniel Ricciardo: 6/10 Q17 F11

Ricciardo was one of the more aggressive drivers  of the race, colliding with Petrov, and although Ricciardo was largely unaffected Petrov really struggled. Most impressively about Ricciardo was that he was running 4th when the safety car came out. Ricciardo was set for 12th until Maldonado received a 20 second penalty to promote Daniel to 11th.

Jean-Eric Vergne: 6/10 Q18 F ret.

It was a short lived race for Jean-Eric, before a collision with Heikki Kovalainen forced Vergne to retire and brought out the safety car. Vergne was later punished with a 10 place grid penalty for the British GP for this collision.

Pastor Maldonado: 4/10 Q3 F12

I was amazed when Maldonado went 3rd fastest in Q3, but Maldonado struggled at the start of the race he lost two places early on, and it looked like he’d struggle. But he charged forwards near the end before hitting Hamilton whilst rejoining the track. Pastor was given a 20 second penalty for this, demoting him from 10th to 12th.

Bruno Senna: 7/10 Q14 F10

Again Senna was disappointing in qualifying, and started the race extremely unlucky, first he collided with Kobayashi forcing him to pit for a new front wing, and then the stewards – wrongly (in my opinion) – found him guilty for the accident and gave him a drive thru penalty, this left Senna a distant last. But once the safety car returned to the pits Bruno drove exceptionally to rise to 11th, this was promoted to 10th when Maldonado was given a 20 second penalty.

Picture courtesy of formulaone.com

 

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.

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

13 May

Kamui Kobayashi: 8/10 Q10 S9 F5

We had a return of the old overtaking Kobayashi today as he put in some textbook overtaking manoeuvres, especially over Nico Rosberg. Kobayashi did a great job today, profiting on the mistakes of the teams around him to keep Sauber in the hunt for a top 4 finish this year.

Sergio Perez: 7/10 Q6 S5 ret.

Sergio set a new record for his highest grid place today as he gets closer and closer to joining a big team. Sadly the race didn’t go well, he suffered a puncture on the first lap and was soon setting fastest laps on his new tyres, but sadly during the pit stops the rear right mechanic seemed to be putting more concentration into not falling over as apposed to tightening the wheel nut and this meant that he had to retire.

Daniel Ricciardo: 7/10 Q16 S15 F13

Ricciardo put another good race in today and he put in a no-nonesence performance to make the best of a car that is moving backwards. The Toro Rosso car has started the season strongly but in this weekend it hasn’t been a good week for them as they’ve performed poorly this weekend.

Jean-Eric Vergne: 7/10 Q15 S14 F12

Managed to out qualify team mate for the first time this season and put in a very strong race having tussles with both Massa and Hamilton. All the french drivers did well today and could be in for a great season.

Pastor Maldonado: 10/10 Q2 S1 F1 #DriverOfTheDay

What a weekend for Pastor to claim his first pole and win and to get Williams’ first victory since 2004. Pastor has at last managed to through away the veil of him being just a pay driver.

Bruno Senna: 6/10 Q18 S17 ret.

Bruno didn’t do well in qualifying but he was performing well in the race before he was taken out of the race by Schumacher.

After the race there was a big fire in the Williams garage rumoured to be caused by a KERS explosion injuring up to 7 mechanics. My thoughts are with the teams and their families at the moment.

Driver Ratings Bahrain Pt.4, Sauber, Toro Rosso and Williams

22 Apr

Kamui Kobayashi: 7/10 Q12 F13

Took a risky strategy starting on the medium tyres and sadly on this occasion it didn’t pay off his first stint wasn’t any longer than drivers who started on softs and after that point he was always on the back foot. In Kamui’s defence though the last 8 laps were by far his best, he rose from 17th to 13th to save some dignity today.

Sergio Perez: 6/10 Q8 F11

Yet again the young Mexican made it to Q3 and out-qualified his slightly more experienced team mate. But the race wasn’t up to the same scratch he fell to 11th before the first pit stop and although he did move up the order before having to pit again he wasn’t good enough to pick up any points.

Daniel Ricciardo: 6/10 Q6 F15

A-Ma-Zing in qualifying and to take a Toro Rosso to 6th on the grid is a super human effort. Sadly points aren’t given for qualifying and he started the race particularly poorly, after colliding with Kovalainen he was running 17th after only 1 lap. I believe that Daniel should have seriously considered pitting for a new wing at this point because he was never on the pace afterwards and it was probably the damage from that incident that caused that loss of speed.

Jean-Eric Vergne: 7/10 Q19 (S17) F14

Jean-Eric has come out of the weekend again looking better than Daniel but really Jean-Eric was just lucky for Daniel to have had his problems at the start. More importantly for J.E. he’s going to have to seriously improve on his qualifying pace as this was the second weekend in a row where he was knocked out in Q1.

Pastor Maldonado: 7/10 Q17 (S21) DNF

Pastor was unlucky not to finish but can I just say his spin that cause his retirement showed fantastic skill. To do a spin that is exactly 360 degrees with a wheel that’s punctured is an amazing feet of driver ability, and although it was the resultant puncture that caused his retirement the execution of the spin was equal to Torville and Dean. Pastor had had an amazing race up to that point he rose 6 places on the first lap and was probably a serious contender for points before the retirement.

Bruno Senna: 6/10 Q15 DNF

Not a good weekend for Williams, neither car was good enough to make Q3 and neither car made it to the end of the race. Bruno had a very strong start rising from 15th to 11th on the first lap but things didn’t carry on that well and before the retirement he was only expected to finish 14th.