Tag Archives: Marussia

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.

New kid on the block: Jules Bianchi

1 Mar

So give us the basics.

Jules is a 23 year old French driver born in Nice and nephew of Lucien Bianchi a Formula 1 driver between the years of 1959 and 1968.

So what categories has he won in so far?

It’s a very impressive list, after starting racing single seaters at the start of 2007 he won the 2007 French Formula Renault 2.0, in 2008 he was 3rd in the Formula 3 Euro Series and 1st in the Masters of Formula 3, in 2009 he won the Formula 3 Euro Series (again), 2010 saw him finish 3rd in GP2 and in 2011 he finished 3rd in GP2 again as well as finishing 2nd in the GP2 Asia Series and in 2012 he was second in the Formula Renault 3.5 series.

Wow, that’s very impressive, has he had much F1 experience?

Despite being only 23 he’s very experienced in the world of Formula 1, he’s been a member of the Ferrari young drivers program for many years and over time has been test driver for Ferrari in 2011 and Force India in 2012 (he got 9 friday practice sessions with Force India), he’s also drove for Ferrari in the young drivers tests in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and for Force India also in 2012, as well as this he’s also done testing for Ferrari as part of his young drivers program.

That is a lot of experience, what’s expected from him?

Lots, he’s clearly talented and he’s well regarded, but he’s going to need to show he can fulfil his potential. I expect Marussia have found themselves a gem of a driver in Bianchi he easily has the potential to blow Chilton out of the water and if the cars are similar wipe the floor with Caterham.

How do you rate his chances?

8/10 Ferrari will be following his closely and if he shows his talent this year then France could have found it’s next world champion.

‘Classic’ GP ends 2012 season as Vettel makes it 3 in a row

25 Nov

Good Day Bad Day, Brazil 12.

Good Day:

  • Sebastian Vettel – S4 F6 8/10 – it comes to something when you can afford to have an incident on the first lap, have a poor pit stop and complete 71 laps with a big chunk of bodywork missing and still manage to finish 6th and win a world championship. Vettel did what he needed to do today, and on the basis of today’s performance he deserves this 3rd championship.
  • Nico Hulkenburg – S6 F5 10/10 – The Hulk has found his form at this track and came close to his maiden victory. Hulk had a great time on the slick tyres in the wet moving all the way to 1st before a safety car and a hot on his heels Hamilton could overtake, sadly Nico’s race was marred by an incident at turn 1 where he collided with Lewis which despite it’s innocent appearance gave Nico a drive through penalty.
  • Felipe Massa – S5 F3 8/10 – There’s nothing more special than finishing on the podium at your home GP especially after you’ve had a proper good race overtaking the new world champion and defending like mad to make sure your team mate can pull away. Today Massa showed why he’s such a valuable commodity for Ferrari, he’s fast but equally importantly he’s loyal.
  • Michael Schumacher – S13 F7 8/10 – Despite yesterdays poor qualifying performance Michael has finished his career on a high after battling his way through the field to finish with 6 points. Michael even had a part to play in the championship waving Vettel through to promote the new German legend from 7th to 6th securing him his 3rd title.
  • Jenson Button – S2 F1 7/10 – Jenson may have only won this race because Hamilton and Hulkenburg collided but his ability in the wet was second to none today and it was only when the track became dry that he couldn’t keep up. Timing of Jenson’s win couldn’t be better with McLaren no.1 Lewis leaving and McLaren needing a new man to promote to lead driver.
  • Caterham – 8/10 – Not only were they only 1 place off their inaugural points but most importantly, by Vitaly Petrov finishing 11th Caterham returned to 10th in the constructors championship netting the team millions of pounds more for next season to see them carry on their improvements.

Bad Day:

  • Fernando Alonso – S7 F2 8/10 – You couldn’t have asked for Alonso to do more today he fought valiantly and dug deep but sadly that just wasn’t enough for the Ferrari star to claim his 3rd title. Alonso needs to hope that Ferrari produce a car that is competitive from the off next season if he wants next year to be the year.
  • Marussia – 7/10 – Marussia were unlucky today, despite fighting for places way above what they should have been fighting for a few spins demoted their cars nearer the back of the pack and left them 11th in the constructors championship. Despite this bad news for the team they should be proud of what they’ve achieved this year and they’ve moved further forward, next years needs to be onwards and upwards.
  • Lewis Hamilton – S1 F ret. 7/10 – Lewis will have been dreaming of a victory today so that he could leave McLaren on a high, how wrong he was. Lewis put in a great race but despite fighting his way back up to 1st position after making a mistake with the tyre strategy, but after an incident with Hulkenburg at turn 1 Lewis had to retire.
  • Paul Di Resta – S10 F ret 6/10 – It was a comedy of errors for Paul today, regularly spinning and just struggling to control the car in the slippery conditions, and the final incident added insult to injury. With only a couple of laps left Paul had another slip and ran along the wall for a few seconds ruining the car and leaving the race to finish behind a safety car.

Vettel wins to put himself back in the championship hunt

23 Sep

Good day Bad day, Singapore 12.

Good Day:

Paul Di Resta: 9/10 S6 F4 #DriverOfTheDay

Paul lit up the race today, he wasn’t the most exciting driver to watch, but he picked up the big 12 points to show yet again why he should be on the wanted lists of the big teams.

Sebastian Vettel: 8/10 S3 F1 (S = started from, F = finished)

After a disappointing performance in qualifying yesterday the pressure was on for Vettel to pick up big points and he did just that, overtaking Maldonado at turn 2 before inheriting 1st from Hamilton due to Lewis retiring. Vettel is now 2nd in the championship and it would be a mistake to rule him out of a 3rd championship.

Felipe Massa: 9/10 S13 F8

After a disappointing qualifying session for Massa yesterday and a puncture on lap 1 it took some phenomenal driving skill to pick up 4 points. Massa gave a tutorial in overtaking today pulling a fantastic move on Senna despite being given little room to manoeuvre in. One thing that’s for certain we can’t rule Felipe out of driving for Ferrari next season.

Marussia: 8/10

With Timo Glock putting in a fantastic performance to finish 12th Marussia have moved into the very important 10th place in the constructors standings. If they can stay there then they will pick up a lot more money at the end of the year which will put them in a better position for next season.

Bad Day:

Lewis Hamilton: 7/10 S1 F ret.

Lewis hasn’t had a very lucky season and today’s incident may be the final problem in terms of the world championship. Lewis is now 52 points behind with 6 races left. Lewis had started the race brightly and was regarded by many as the favourite to win until the car lost drive and retired on lap 22.

Michael Schumacher: 3/10 S9 F ret.

Michael was on for a points finish when he lost concentration and just piled into the back of Vergne. In his defence he has had brake problems all weekend but I’d be very surprised if he isn’t disciplined after the race.

Williams: 6/10

Williams started today after getting a driver to the front row of the grid but the good form didn’t last. Senna had problems with his gearbox early on (despite taking a 5 place grid penalty for a gearbox change) before Maldonado retired with hydraulics problems. Senna then almost received a penalty for an incident with Massa before hitting the barriers once too often to retire with 2 laps remaining.

Sauber: 7/10

Sauber were never expected to be strong in Singapore but I’m very surprised that none of their drivers managed to pick up any points in a weekend where rivals Mercedes and Force India picked up big points. Luckily Sauber are expected to be a lot stronger at Suzuka and we could maybe see another Sauber podium there.

 

 

Lotus impress but still no victory

8 Jul

Driver ratings, GB 12, pt.2, HRT Lotus and Maussia

Pedro De La Rosa: 5/10 Q22 S21 F20

For 1 lap Pedro appeared to actually impress as Pedro capitalised on mistakes and accident to move up 2 places on lap 1. Sadly HRT bounced him back to reality, and all he could finish was 22nd.

Narain Karthikeyan: 4/10 Q23 S22 F21

If it weren’t for the money Narain wouldn’t be allowed near the racing seat of the HRT but F1 moves in mysterious ways and Karthikeyan is allowed to drive. Not that it means much though as he finished at the back.

Kimi Raikkonen: 8/10 Q6 S6 F5

Many expected his return to be like Schumacher’s and fail to deliver but Kimi has stormed back into F1 and added to his points tally at Silverstone. It was a really strong performance by Kimi to take home another 10 points and put himself in a great position for the championship, even better still he set the fastest lap..

Romain Grosjean: 10/10 Q10 S9 F6 #DriverOfTheDay

Romain drove fantastically all weekend, although a mistake at the end of Q2 saw the Lotus beached and left Romain unable to contest Q3, if he had we could easily have expected him to be around 6th. In the race though Romain made up for that spin, the first lap was marred by a slight touch with Paul Di Resta which saw Grosjean have to pit for a new wing, but Grosjean was a man possessed and he set fastest lap after fastest lap to storm his way up the field, if he hadn’t had that front wing pitstop I think he would have finished on the podium.

Timo Glock: 5/10 Q21 S20 F18

It was good to see Timo back after missing the Valencia GP with a stomach bug, but it was your typical ‘new team’ performance with Timo only coming home above team-mate Pic and the HRTs.

Charles Pic: 4/10 Q24 S24 F19

Charles started the season looking strong, but in recent weeks he’s tailed off and yet again Charles qualified behind the HRTs. Luckily Pic managed to make the car work in the race which helped him to finish above the HRTs in an uneventful race.

Romain Grosjean was so near but so far

24 Jun

Picture courtest of formulaone.com

Driver Ratings Europe 12, Pt.2, HRT, Lotus and Marusia

Pedro De La Rosa: 7/10 Q21 F17

HRT are at last managing to find some much needed speed , both HRTs qualified ahead of the sole Marussia and De La Rosa put in a strong performance to finish only 1 lap behind Alonso (although he was helped by the new safety car rules).

Narain Karthikeyan: 7/10 Q22 F18

A miracle saw Narain Karthikeyan set a lap faster than fellow back marker Charles Pic, and he was regularly not the last man on track due to other drivers suffering accident damage.

Kimi Raikkonen: 9/10 Q5 F2

Kimi had been looking promising all weekend, but his race started off rather drab. It was only after the safety car returned to the pits that Kimi really started to charge, profiting from the retirements of Vettel, Grosjean and Hamilton to finish 2nd and pick up his first podium since Monza 2009.

Romain Grosjean: 10/10 Q4 F ret.

Romain has really landed on his feet this season and yet again he was impressive in qualifying, but it was the race where he made hearts race. Romain overtook Maldonado in a hectic first lap but he took too long to pass the ailing Lewis Hamilton to start charging after Vettel. Romain would probably have been delighted with the safety car as it let him close the gap to Vettel, but the restart wasn’t good as Alonso overtook him at turn 2. Maybe Grosjean could have still won the race but we will never know as an alternator ended his race on lap 40.

Charles Pic: 7/10 Q23 F15

May have been outperformed by both HRTs in qualifying but Charles showed them that HRT still have a thing to learn from Marussia’s in the race. Maybe most amazingly Pic even finished ahead of Felipe Massa.

Timo Glock: – DNQ DNS

Timo Glock pulled out of qualifying and the race with a stomach bug.

Picture courtesy of formulaone.com

 

Driver Ratings, Monaco 12, Pt.2 HRT, Lotus and Marussia

27 May

Pedro De La Rosa: 5/10 Q21 S20 ret.

Pedro did quite well in qualifying even managing to qualify ahead of a Marussia but his race was short lived, he had to retire on the first lap due to an accident.

Narain Karthikeyan: 4/10 Q23 S22 F15

On paper it was a good result to finish 15th, but in reality it was dire. He was the only driver to be lapped twice and it was only that he was being lapped that he deserved to be on TV as he made a nuisance of himself.

Kimi Raikkonen: 6/10 Q8 F9

To be fair to Kimi he was definitely on a wet weather strategy and when that rain failed to come he was never going to repeat his podiums of previous races, but he failed to perform in qualifying as the increasingly quick Ferraris demoted him down the order.

Romain Grosjean: 7/10 Q5 S4 F ret

Romain’s race was over before it had begun as he was forced to retire on the first lap after a collision at turn 1. But it was a good weekend for Romain up to then, he qualified fantastically in 4th and maybe could have picked up a podium if he’s stayed in.

Timo Glock: 6/10 Q20 S19 F14

It was a good qualifying performance as he out qualified team mate Charles Pic, something he hasn’t managed as much as he’d have liked recently. Timo’s race was distinctly average despite rising 4 places on the first lap. Sadly the race couldn’t continue that momentum and he profited from a few late retirements to move up to 14th.

Charles Pic: 6/10 Q22 S21 F ret.

It was a shame that Charles couldn’t complete the race due to electric problem on lap 64, up to then he’d drove well, he gained 5 places on the first lap and running in a fantastic 16th place before retirement, and he’d have finished 14th if he hadn’t retired.