Tag Archives: Monaco

Maurice Trintignant: A sticker not a quitter

27 Jun

Today is day three of the Formula 1 Formula week of legends (25th June – 1st July). These legends are drivers who have been unsung but have completed achievements that deserve merit. Todays driver is Maurice Trintignant, a driver who competed in 15 consecutive seasons in Formula 1 from 1950 to 1964.

In recent years drivers like Rubens Barrichello and Jarno Trulli have become well known and built a reputation on being in F1 for what seems like forever, but in the 50s and 60s that role was taken by French driver Maurice Trintignant who competed in fifteen consecutive seasons.

Now this achievement may seem unimportant in comparison to Rubens Barrichello’s 19 consecutive seasons but Maurice’s achievement is especially impressive due to the dangers in the sport during his time and during his time 24 F1 drivers died due to race related incidents.

Maurice started his F1 career in 1950, the inaugural year with Equipe Gordini but it wasn’t a success he retired from both races he started. He stayed with Gordini for 1951 but it was much the same as Maurice started four races and retired from four. Maurice started 1952 with Ecurie Rosier a team ran by Louis Rosier which for 1952 bought the Ferrari 500 chassis. Maurice was entered for one race with the team but he didn’t start the race. After that Maurice went back to Equipe Gordini and at France he picked up his first ever points (and his first ever finish). For finishing 5th he picked up 2 points. Overall of the five races with Gordini that season he finished two (the other finish was 6th at the Netherlands). In 1953 Maurice stayed with Gordini, he started 8 races, finishing 4 picking up 4 points.

For 1954 Trintignant went back to Ecurie Rosier for the first race and he finished 4th in Argentina. But after the first race Maurice moved to another new team, Scuderia Ferrari and he started with a bang, finishing 2nd in Belgium and then 3rd in Germany in his fourth race for Ferrari. In 1954 Maurice started 8 races, finished 6 (his highest so far) finished on the podium twice and picked up 17 points which gave him fourth in the championship. The next year was 1955 and Maurice stayed with Ferrari, he finished the first race of the season (Argentina) in both 2nd and 3rd positions (due to car sharing) picking up 3.333 etc. points. The second race of the season saw the return of Monaco for the first time since 1950 and it was a great success for Maurice as he won his first ever GP by 20.2 seconds. Overall in 1955 Maurice started 6 races, finished four of them picked up 2 (or 3 podiums depending on how you see it) and one victory, overall Maurice finished on 11.33333 etc. points and finished 4th in the championship.

In 1956 Maurice drove for two teams: Vandervell Products Ltd. (4 races) and Automobiles Bugatti (1 race). Of the five races he started he retired from all five of them. In 1957 he returned to Ferrari for three races, finishing two races where he picked up points. He finished 5th in Monaco and 4th in Great Britain (another shared drive) to finish the season on 5 points.

1958 saw Maurice drive for three teams:  Owen Racing Organisation (1 race), Scuderia Centro Sud (1 race) and Rob Walker Racing team (7 races). At the Rob Walker team Maurice won his second -and last- GP again at Monaco yet again by 20.2 seconds and he also finished 3rd at Germany. Maurice finished 1958 with 9 starts, 6 finishes and 12 points. 1959 was an abnormal year for Maurice in that he finished all 8 of the races that he started including two podiums at Monaco and in the USA. He stayed with Rob Walker Racing Team for the entire year and he finished 5th in the drivers standings with 19 points.

In 1960 Trintignant drove for three teams: David Brown Corporation (1 race), Rob Walker Racing Team (1 race, in Argentina where despite finishing 3rd he was ineligible  due to a shared drive with Stirling Moss) and Scuderia Centro Sud (4 races). 1961 and 1962 was an equally uneventful years,in 1961 he drove for Scuderia Serenissima where he finished three of the five races he started but he did surpass the previous record for most Grand Prix entries, and in 1962 he returned to Rob Walker Racing Team where he finished two of the 6 races he started. In 1963 Trintignant drove for both Reg Parnell Racing (2 races) and Scuderia Centro Sud (1 race).

Maurice’s final year was 1964 and for that season he privately entered his own team, he finished two of the five races he entered and picked up his final championship points at Germany where he finished 5th.

During Maurice’s career which spanned 15 seasons: he reset the record for the most Grand Prix entries (84) of which he started 82 and finished 43, 19 of these in points positions. Over the years he drove for 12 teams, he picked up 72.3333 points, set 1 fastest lap, picked up 10 podiums (if you include both 2nd and 3rd place at Argentina 1955) and won two races. Outside of F1 he won the Le Mans 24 hours in 1954 with Jose Frolian Gonzalez, and was elected to be mayor of Vergeze, France.

In 2005 Maurice Trintignant died aged 87.

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My favourite corners of the 2011 tracks.

6 Aug

Sakhir (Bahrain):

Turn 14, the braking point is very important as if you get your foot on the accelerator too late and you won’t have the speed on the longest straight of the track. Not many other interesting corners except for turn 1 where the line is important as it will affect your speed between corners 3 and 4.

Melbourne (Australia):

It’s between two. Turn 3, the car comes into it at 275KM/H and has to be brought down perfectly to 105KM/H, otherwise the car will go off and probably end up skipping turn 4, which will not only get you an inquiry from the stewards, but also ruin your floor as the speed bumps there have done in the past. Also, Turn 12, not a normal choice I know but as the tracks so wide it’s very easy to not brake enough, also it’s important  to hit the kerb as otherwise you’ll lose a lot of time.

Sepang (Malaysia):

The turn 1/2 complex, it’s an amazing curving line that goes 180 degrees right then almost 180 degrees left, it’s a very important corner on all laps as varying from the racing line could leave you in the wall. On the lap 1 the corner is especially important as it’s after quite a long run up and then having to get through a tight corner so it’s where drivers are fighting for position and risking going wide to get a better line thought turn 2.

Shanghai (China):

Has a very similar start to Malaysia but has 4 corners in it rather than 2. My favourite corner though is turn 14 as it’s where the overtaking usually happens especially with DRS, the corner is quite wide as well so it’s possible to overtake on the inside or the outside or equally likely you can brake too late and run wide off the track.

Istanbul (Turkey):

Only 1 corner is worthy of the title, the legendary triple apex turn 8, even Sebastian Vettel crashed there in practise this year. The corner is especially tricky as if you miss an apex or the racing line then you lose a lot of time, the corner is also -after the first apex- taken without braking again which means the driver will suffer a huge amount of G-Force which increases the drivers likelihood  of making a mistake.

Barcelona (Spain):

Again it’s between two corners, turn 1 and turn 10. Turn 1, a place where overtaking happened this year, mainly due to the DRS and tyres but also chosen for the way the track then starts to go uphill, also it is amazing on the first lap due to the massive run up to the corner which is how Alonso managed such a good start at the race this year. Turn 10, it’s after another long straight and yet again is going uphill, the corner is also a place that if you risk it enough you can gain time.

Monaco (Monaco):

Turn 6, such an iconic corner that is the slowest corner in the season and requires it’s own special gear ratios, not usually a point for overtaking although this year Schumacher overtook Hamilton at it.

Montreal (Canada):

Turn 11, it’s the make or break corner it’s between the two longest straights on the track and the wrong line means a slower speed on the longest straight which will let drivers past especially if they use DRS.

Valencia (Europe):

Not many great corners at this track but turn 8 is a picturesque corner with the bridge coming into view, isn’t so important from a race point of view but offers a great oppertunity for the cameramen. Did you know that during the race weekend the bridge is opened every evening to allow boats in and out.

Silverstone (Great Britain):

Turn 1 (Abbey), A great first corner which can produce an amazing spectacle with the drivers all fighting to overtake and get the better line through turn 2. Having said this almost any corner could be chosen as all have such a history and provide excitement as the high speeds needed to put in a good lap you’d think are mad with between corners 9 and 15 the car doesn’t go below 200KM/H.

Nurburgring (Germany):

My favourite track this season with some amazing corners, my favourite of which is the turn 8/9 complex as it is two followthroughs going left then right where taking your foot off the pedal would be useless the corner is also great for the way that the car has just come out of the slow hairpin and then hits the high speeds as the driver has to get over the feeling of expecting to hit the walls.

Hungaroring (Hungary):

Turn 5, I know it’s an unconventional choice but in the build up to the recent grand prix I did some laps of it on F1 2009 for Wii and when I went in tutorial mode on the track it was the only corner where the guy who speaks said I did amazing at and didn’t say that I was too slow or needed to stay on the track. If it weren’t for that it would be turn two as it was so devastating to the drivers in the rain with both Ferrari’s and Vettel as well as a few others going off there.

Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium):

The corner to watch this year will be turn 5 as I’m expecting (just a guess) that the DRS will be on the straight going up to it, this could make overtaking interesting as turns 5 and 6 are quite narrow and are likely just going to be the drivers confirming their overtaking as the straights long enough for the driver to fully overtake. Favorite normally though would have to be Eau Rouge as despite being made easier in recent years is still a corner that would make your heart thud.

Monza (Italy):

Lesmo 1 mainly because of the Wii again as it’s a corner where I am surprisingly quick. Favorite non-Wii corner though would be Parabolica it’s the best named corner ever as the name parabolica just conjures up an amazing image, as well as that it’s important as it leads up to the longest straight on the track and I suspect that straight will be the DRS one.

Singapore (Singapore):

The chicane of turn 10, it’s a corner which if done well looks amazing and if done badly makes you look an idiot and badly damages the underside of the car as Jaime Aguersuari will testify (I think it was him who came off last year in one of the practices) it’s also a very tight chicane which makes it harder.

Suzuka (Japan):

So many great corners, turns 3,4,5 and 6 are an amazing spectacle with the even numbered ones being the ones you brake into, Degner 2 or crossover (turn 9) an amazingly important corner where braking point is vital, as Hamilton proved last year, turn 11 now making the grade after Kobayashi’s antics their last year overtaking almost everyone there, turns 13 or 14 or the legendary  Spoon corner which tests both car and driver as the exit it vital to a good run along the longest straight (most likely a double DRS with both straights at the entry and exit to turn 15 -or 130R-). Turn 15 is also a great corner in it’s own right as if you turn the steering wheel as either just the wrong time or at the wrong angle can see you seeing wall rapidly advancing on you and finally the title deciding 16,17,18 or Casio Triangle where Prost won the 1989 championship by taking both himself and Senna off the track just for Senna to carry on and get disqualified.

Yeongam (South Korea):

This year it’s going to have to be turn 3 already a very tricky corner that I expect will have a DRS zone going into it and maybe another going out of it, so it’s going to be an important corner for every driver as drivers will take their battles for position to it.

Jaypee Group Circuit (India):

Having had no race previously I’m just going to go on where I expect overtaking to take place and envisage it being turn 4 as it comes after the longest straight (likely DRS zone) and before another straight so line through the corner will be vital as well as a bad run off it could see a driver losing the place he’s just taken from the DRS on the next straight .

Yas Marina (Abu Dhabi):

Turn 1 (from a pitlane point of view), when the Abu Dhabi track was constructed many people commented on the way the pitlane went under the track, it’s a stupid idea really as there would be nothing wrong with ending the pitlane on the outside of turn 1, instead we end up with a difficult corner which is too narrow in a place where no one should crash and if someone did the race would have to be black flagged.

Interlagos (Brazil):

Turn 1, there’s something majestic about the way the corner just goes downhill and the overtaking opportunities there will be on lap 1 as it’s a place where you can overtake. Also, it’s named after the great Ayrton Senna which has to make the corner better.

Monaco GP driver rankings.

29 May

Sebastian Vettel 9/10

A good performance by Seb which deserved the victory. Many will say that he got the most luck, with his pit stop strategy being an accident and Petrov’s crash which let the team change his tyre – which would have cost him the race and he may have finished 3rd if it hadn’t happened. But it was still a good performance to come back from a messed up pit stop and Button getting a huge lead on him. He also put on a great performance at the Red Bull swimming pool dunking Eddie Jordan (numerous times) and David Coulthard.

Mark Webber 6/10

Finished 4th with the fastest lap, but seeing as the gap was closed when the race was red flagged and there were only 5 laps left the gap to the lead of 23 seconds was too big for a driver of his caliber. The Aussie put up a fight earlier, but had a problem from the start once Alonso overtook him and a awful pit stop where the team didn’t even have the tyres. A good overtaking maneuver on Kobayashi helped him gain an extra 2 points and to get back to the top 4 was not easy.

Lewis Hamilton 3/10

Awful. His strategy held him back in qualifying where he could have got pole if he’d gone out earlier and this cost him at the start especially when Schue hit his rear right and then did an amazing overtaking move on him at the hairpin. Things then went from bad to worse as he tried his own move on Massa at the hairpin which resulted in him getting a drive through for causing an avoidable collision, things then went to even lower when he forced Maldonado into a accident which gave Hamilton a 20 second penalty for another avoidable collision. Sadly Hamilton made an awful interview later saying that the stewards picked on him “Because he was black” and then went on to say that the drivers were no good and was shifting the blame for all his problems, mainly on Massa. Mark Brundell later said that Hamilton is going to have to change his mindset to a less “it’s not my fault approach” if he’s going to succeed again.

Jenson Button 9/10

A great race which was also ruined by a bad strategy as he was pitted too early for his second spot, but at least the pits went smoothly. He was driving very well at the end and may have got 2nd or 1st if it weren’t for Petrov’s crash which let the cars in front change tyres, a place where Button had an advantage. I am not Button’s biggest fan and I think he too often messes up, but when you see a drive like he had today you have to think that he is quite simply amazing.

Fernando Alonso 10/10

His strategy was spot on, and if it weren’t for the red flag I think he’d have gone on to win. His score is not just for him but also to the whole Ferrari team who have changed the car enough to start a comeback. Fernando had the best P2 and P3 time and I and many others were expecting him to dominate qualifying, but he didn’t and had to settle for 4th, not a great position to start at in Monaco, but yet again an amazing start let him overtake Vettel, and he may have got Button if it weren’t for the fact that Monaco is so narrow. Was consistent all the way through the race and attacked Vettel very well.

Felipe Massa 7/10

Yet again out shone by his team mate, but I’m starting to think this is Felipe’s come back after that horrendous accident 2 years ago. He was pushing for 4th/5th when Hamilton pretty much ruined his race by driving into him at the hairpin and Hamilton also has part of the blame for his retirement as he pushed him onto the marbles which sent him into the wall of the tunnel. Massa was on for qualifying 5th before Schue just beat him and if Massa can keep this up I can see him picking up his first win in two years this season.

Nico Rosberg 7/10

After a big crash in P3 his mechanics did a great job to fix the car up and let him out for qualifying and Rosberg -after missing most of P3- shone in qualifying and deserved to qualify higher than he actually did. There wasn’t much of him shown during the race as his fight was more with cars in the midfield rather than those at the top, and sadly finished 11th, a position he didn’t deserve.

Michael Schumacher 7/10

Yet again a great race in his come back tour. Schue provided us with a overtaking manouver that took away both of the BBC commentators breath and would have made him proud when he was in his hey day, as Schue overtook Hamilton on the first lap at the hairpin. Schue had another strong qualifying where he picked up 5th, a position he’s later lose at the start when the anti stall kicked in and he lost numerous places. Sadly for Schue today wasn’t his day and a problem occurred in his engine which forced him to retire in a very awkward stop, on the corner before the pit lane which hampered other drivers.

Vitaly Petrov 5/10

Not Vitaly’s best performance as he had a poor qualifying , picking up 11th before a race where he performed well for most of the race before piling into the wall and required an ambulance which cause the race to be red flagged. It’s been announced that Vitaly is coping well and almost certainly won’t miss Montreal.

Nick Heidfeld 6/10

4 more points made his record of most points in F1 without a win even harder to break, Nick qualified badly getting 16th on the grid, but came back in the race to finish 8th, which was helped by 5 of the drivers in front of him retiring.

Adrian Sutil 4/10

Picked up 6 points finishing 7th, but his eratic driving caused the pileup which cause Alguersuari and Petrov to crash. Adrian added to his bad qualifying by being beat by Paul Di Resta again, and managed to gain 8 places during the race. Adrian was called in front of the stewards post race but as of yet nothing has been said about it, this incident adds to Adrian’s recent problems with a charge of assault in a club a few weeks ago.

Paul Di Resta 5/10

His tendency to crash at the hairpin earned him the name Paul Di Crasha and let him use 3 frint wings for the whole race. But first the positives, it was Paul’s first visit to Monaco, and yet again he out qualified his team mate, not a easy thing, another positive is that Paul finished the race, something Force India reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg failed at last year crashing in the tunnel on the first lap. Sadly the negatives, he earned himself a drive through for and a new wing as he cut the cause an avoidable collision for trying to overtake Buemi at the hairpin, he then drove into the back of another driver later on at the same place, which required another front wing. Luckily for Paul Force India are making upgrades before Montreal so those wings wouldn’t have been needed anyway.

Rubens Barrichello 8/10

Put a smile to my face when finished in the points for Williams picking the team up 2 points. There were signs that the car was improving last time out at Turkey but had a problem in qualifying. This time thought there were no problems and Rubens started 12th, he kept this good performance on in the race with the car being competitive and he overtook his old team mate Michale Schumacher with a great move.

Pastor Maldonado 10/10

Amazing, outstanding, inspirational, do you need any more words. For the second time in a row Pastor got through to Q3, and this time he picked up 8th as Hamilton got punished for cutting  chicane and Perez didn’t set a time because of his crash. Pastor was driving well early on, although he was holding a few guys back, and before the red flag Pastor was 6th in his debut season at Monaco. Sadly his luck didn’t hold, Hamilton tried a risky overtake at the first corner and pushed Pastor into the wall forcing him to retire.

Kamui Kobayashi 9/10

5th. For a driver who’s only completed one complete season is pretty good. Had to start 13th but proved that Kamui can finish high up from starting anywhere, and he would have got 4th if he hadn’t been overtaken by Webber late on.

Sergio Perez 7/10

Sadly Sergio had a huge crash. but he’s ok and should be able to drive at Montreal. Before the crash though Sergio was great and you can see why Sergio is being followed by Ferrari and is in their young driver program. Perez not only out qualified hit team mate but he also got through to Q3, no easy achievement.

Sebastian Buemi 7/10

Another points finish for the Swiss, who’s asserting his dominance over the Toro Rosso seat and over Jaime Alguersuari, but this time he had to rely on lots of retirements to make it 10th. There isn’t much to say about Buemi as he kept out of trouble in the race and only really was shown by the BBC when Di Resta drove into him.

Jaime Algursuari 5/10

Not good. Not good one bit. Qualifying was his first problem as he picked up a disappointing 20th, and in the race only made headlines for the wrong things as it was he who knocked hamiltons rear wing out of place and then crashed into the wall making him partly responsible for the crash.

Heikki Kovalainen 7/10

First of all it was a great weekend for Team Lotus not only having both drivers finishing but also beating the other of the ‘new’ teams again. Heikki yet again beat Trulli in qualifying making it 6-0 to him and making him not only the only team mate of Trullis to out perform him in qualifying at Monaco but also to be the only one who’s done it twice. Sadly Heikki didn’t keep this up during the race as he finished behind Jarno.

Jarno Trulli 6/10

Losing his dominance at Monaco, but there is still life in him and by finishing ahead of Heikki he’s proving that qualifying isn’t the only time of improtance this year.

Timo Glock 6/10

Wasn’t doing badly before his suspension let him down at swimming pool. But it was good that he qualified ahead of Jerome, something that isn’t happening as much as it should. The same for Virgin as it was for Lotus, good performance by the team to have one car finishing, which is an improvement on  last year.

Jerome d’Ambrosio 6/10

A good drive by the young Belgian to complete the Monaco street circuit on his first attempt and even better didn’t crash or hit the barrier once. Nothing amazing though as he was only ever on the cameras when he was being lapped.

Vitantonio Liuzzi 5/10

The best thing that happened was that the stewards let him race after not taking part in Q1, apart from that only did good by being a good back marker when letting drivers through and by finishing the race. Sadly that’s about it with nothing bad either except his crash in P3 which meant the car had to be rebuilt.

Narain Karthikeyan 5/10

Basically the same as Liuzzi except he missed Q1 with a suspension problem, nothing good, nothing bad.