Tag Archives: Monza

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.

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Driver Ratings Monza Pt.4 Toro Rosso, Virgin and Williams.

14 Sep

Sebastian Buemi 7/10

Another weekend and yet more points for the speed Swiss who is in a 3 man fight for the 2 Toro Rosso seats next year, he may be someone you never see on TV but he definitely has potential.

Jaime Alguersuar 10/10 DRIVER OF THE DAY

Stunning race to go from 17th to 7th (his joint best finish) even if he did get a little help by the 8 retirees. Most amazing thing is that despite people not putting a foot wrong he still overtook them  and has surely got to be still with Toro Rosso next year after yet another strong finish to solve the problem of his disappointing start to the season.

Timo Glock 6/10

15th was all the car could finish but don’t be fooled if Virgin can get a car that can get points Timo will get those points.

Jerome D’Ambrosio 5/10

Almost vanished from TV screens when he retired but damage from the crash at the start ruled out his finish.

Rubens Barrichello 7/10

After being heavily hit in the crash it took a good performance to carry on and finish 12, only just behind team mate Maldonado.

Pastor Maldonado 7/10

Said he’d get points this weekend and very nearly did but nearly is not good enough in F1 and 11th is a position which will make a driver scrutinise his performances looking for where it went wrong.

Driver Ratings Monza Pt.3 Red Bull, Renault and Sauber

13 Sep

Sebastian Vettel 10/10

The track where he was his first GP let him win one of his easiest, once he overtook Alonso he was off and never to be seen again and by winning he’s pretty much tied up this championship.

Mark Webber 5/10

Not great in qualifying and then was the only person to blame for his retirement being responsible for hitting Massa and then locking the tyres which meant he couldn’t stay on the track.

Vitaly Petrov 6/10

Did well in qualifying to grab 7th but he too was caught up in the turn 1 crash.

Bruno Senna 7/10

The first points for a Senna since 1993 Adelaide. A great race for Bruno who’s starting to look every inch the racing driver overtaking with style and qualifying highly.

Kamui Kobayashi 5/10

If it hadn’t been for the gearbox problem would probably have picked up points but disappointing in qualifying to only manage 17th.

Sergio Perez 6/10

Was on an amazing one stop strategy which shows just how amazing soft he is on his tyres and as with Kamui would probably have gone on to get points if it weren’t for the gearbox problem.

Driver Ratings Monza Pt.2 Lotus, McLaren and Mercedes

12 Sep

Heikki Kovalainen 6/10

A fantastic race by him to pretty much cement 10th place for Lotus this year and he helped prove the point of “to finish first first you must finish” which many drivers seemed to forget.

Jarno Trulli 6/10

With a new contract to stay with Lotus Jarno stepped straight up to the plate finishing 14th.

Lewis Hamilton 5/10

Disappointing to stay behind Schumacher for so long but put a spurt on at the end to reign Alonso in, Lewis will be able to sleep tonight though as he actually managed to finish a race.

Jenson Button 7/10

After a disappointing start  to the race it was a impeccable overtaking manoeuvre that defined his race and gave him the 2nd place.

Michael Schumacher 8/10

The real Schue was back today ducking and weaving all over the show and pushing the rules to the letter but it’s races like these that remind you of his talent and make you think coming back wasn’t a bad idea.

Nico Rosberg 6/10

Took a major risk in his qualifying and if it hadn’t been for the first corner accident we’d have seen if it was a good idea or not.

Driver ratings Monza, Pt. 1, Ferrari, Force India and Hispania

11 Sep

Fernando Alonso 9/10

A fantastic start to lead the first 6 laps before the tyres started to drop, a lack of pace at the end let Hamilton have a go for 3rd but an quality drive to take 3rd none the less, no one will be happier than the Tifosi this evening.

Felipe Massa 7/10

Looked on to get a good finish before the curse struck again this time in the form of Mark Webber. Everytime he’s looked good someone makes a mistake which ruins his race (occasionally himself) but he should get a podium before the end of the year.

Adrian Sutil 6/10

Only had 9 laps to impress before he had to retire but there was nothing special in those laps and qualifying 12th was below his ability.

Paul Di Resta 7/10

8th was maybe a but higher than deserved but then again if you can finish that is half the job done then and there. Unlucky to miss out on a Q3 spot but 11th is still good for a rookie.

Vitantonio Liuzzi 1/10

Not only a bad qualifying but then went out with a bang for his 75th GP taking a few out with him.

Daniel Ricciardo 4/10

It’s hard to tell how fast Daniel is when he’s driving in such a slow car but it still wasn’t good and despite retiring in the early laps he returned to the track to finish 14 laps back.

3 winners and loser of qualifying, Monza

10 Sep

Winners:

Sebastian Vettel: Another race another pole. On a track where Red Bull have never qualified on pole before it took an amazing effort to take it by half a second making him the only person since Ayrton Senna to pick up 10 poles in a season in two consecutive seasons.

Vitaly Petrov: After a dismal season of qualifying 7th must seem to heaven for Petrov who for this weekend is wearing a black helmet in memory of the Russian Ice Hockey players who died in a plane crash a few weeks ago.

Lewis Hamilton: After a mistake ridden Spa Hamilton has turned up the gas to perform here taking the fastest lap in Q1 and managing to finish 2nd.

Losers:

Vitantonio Liuzzi: In a remarkably slow car it must have been a disappointment to end up behind his much younger (and less experienced) team mate.

Jaime Alguersuari: With many expecting it to be Maldonado who dropped out after Q1 it took a huge lack of pace fir Jaime to end up there, afterwards he said simply, “The pace wasn’t there”.

Mark Webber: There was a massive lack of people who failed to perform and so for ending up 4 places (the most of any set of team mates) and 0.7 seconds (the second largest gap between any set of team mates) behind his team mate Mark gets relegated to this spot.

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.