Tag Archives: Pastor Maldonado

Rosberg complete hat-trick on streets of Monaco

26 May

3 winners and losers of qualifying, Monaco 13.

Winners:

  • Nico Rosberg – Q1 – Three poles in a row for Rosberg. So far he’s dominated this weekend, going fastest in all of the practice sessions as well as qualifying, if it weren’t for his car’s poor race performances he’d look by far the favourite to win the race.
  • Giedo van der Garde – Q15 – After a slow start for VDG he really put in a strong performance yesterday to make it through to Q2. This is Caterham’s best ever qualifying position (not including grid penalties for other drivers), of course, if this is a high attrition race he could potentially pick up Caterham’s first ever points.
  • Sergio Perez – Q7 – Two races in a row now he’s out-qualified his more experienced team mate. Perez has struggled this season in a dreadful McLaren but he now appears to have found his form and is taking the inter-team battle to Button.

Losers:

  • Felipe Massa – Q22 – Massa suffered a huge crash in FP3 which meant that he couldn’t take part in qualifying, and with grid position so vital in Monaco this could cost him. Despite this it could also have it’s advantages, he should be able to overtake the slower drivers early on and will miss any turn 1 crashes that could occur. Also Massa will have extra tyres available which could potentially help him receive points.
  • Jules Bianchi – Q21 – Bianchi suffered a mechanical failure on his first lap of qualifying meaning that he, along with Massa props up the grid. But since Bianchi is with one of the newer teams he’s easily within reach of beating team mate and Caterhams.
  • Pastor Maldonado – Q16 – Monaco specialist, fastest in Q1 and then slowest in Q2, it was a tale of ups and downs for Pastor in qualifying. After setting the fastest time in Q1 he was ill advised in Q2 and couldn’t make the most of the drying conditions. Despite that don’t rule him out for points, this is the track that he’s best at and anything can happen in Monaco.

Prediction:

It will all come down to how the tyres are, if they are degrading quickly then Mercedes can kiss their chances of victory goodbye and I’d expect a Red Bull 1-2, with Raikkonen completing the podium. But if the tyres last a long time then Mercedes are the likely victors, if this is the case I’d predict Rosberg 1st, Vettel 2nd, and Webber 3rd.

Yesterday we saw rain, and if this occurs again then it’s anyone’s guess as to who will win. If it does rain then my top 3 would be Webber 1st, Vettel 2nd and Alonso 3rd.

It’s 4 from 4 as Vettel increases title lead to 13

28 Oct

Good day, Bad day. India 2012.

Good day for:

Sebastian Vettel: 10/10 Started 1st  Finished 1st – Vettel is far and away my driver of the day, he was pole, won the race and led every lap and was close to setting the fastest lap of the race, this means that Vettel has won every race in India and won 4 races consecutively in the calendar. It looks like  Vettel already has 1 hand on the drivers championship despite the lead being only 13 points.

Fernando Alonso: 9/10 Started 5th  Finished 2nd – Despite losing more ground to Vettel in the championship battle it was an optimistic performance in the race for the Ferrari driver. Despite struggling in qualifying yesterday leaving him 5th on the grid Alonso showed that his Ferrari has fantastic race pace beating both of the McLarens and one Red Bull. If Ferrari can bring some new developments to next weeks Abu Dhabi GP we could see this championship go to the wire.

Nico Hulkenburg: 8/10 Started 12th  Finished 8th – Hulkenburg has been the dominant Force India driver in recent weeks and showed his class today he overtook 3 drivers on the first lap before overtaking an ailing Perez to put him 8th. Hulkenburg did very well near the end of the race to hold off the faster Romain Grosjean who had the gap at under 1 second for many of the final laps.

Bruno Senna: 8/10 Started 13th  Finished 10th –  Senna struggled yesterday in qualifying despite performing strongly in FP3 but today Senna was vastly improved. He had a solid start before using a fantastic strategy to put him 11th near the end of the race. Senna then showed his class by overtaking Rosberg to pick up the final point.

Charles Pic: 8/10 Started 24th  Finished 19th – Charles has looked very strong this season and has more than deserved a second season in F1. Today he showed his skill again by overturning a weak performance in qualifying to not only beat Glock but to finish a lap ahead of him.

Bad day for:

Kamui Kobayashi: 4/10 Started 17th  Finished 14th – It’s been a disaster of a weekend for Kamui and it couldn’t happen at a worse time with his F1 career hanging in the balance. Kobayashi couldn’t get to grips with the car in qualifying yesterday to leave him 17th on the grid before an unagressive strategy left him fighting with the back end of the midfield.

Pastor Maldonado: 6/10 Started 9th  Finished 16th – Maldonado put in a good performance in qualifying to put him 9th but it was the opposite in the race, he lost 2 places on the first lap alone before being overtaken by him team mate. After changing his tyres Maldonado returned to the pits 3 laps later after receiving a puncture whilst trying to overtake Kobayashi a sags that ruined his race.

Sergio Perez: 5/10 Started 8th  Finished ret. – Sergio’s retirement today means he’s now retired from 2 of the last 3 races. Perez wasn’t having a good race before the retirement, he’d worn his first set of tyres out way too quickly (very uncharacteristic for Sergio) before almost immediately picking up a puncture when he tried to overtake Ricciardo, leaving Perez to pull out.

 

Vettel dominates practice, but it’s Lewis on pole

22 Sep

3 winners and losers of qualifying, Singapore 12

Winners:

McLaren: Since a disappointing start to the season McLaren have turned their season round amazingly, and with Hamilton putting in a blistering time for pole today McLaren have now had 4 poles in a row. This turnaround is vitally important, not only in keeping Hamilton for 2013 but also to make a final challenge for the championship. Button will start from 4th.

Pastor Maldonado: Despite winning in Valencia there hasn’t been a lot of good news relating to Maldonado, but it was a fantastic result for the Venezuelan to claim a front row spot for the start tomorrow and with his consistency this will throw the cat among the pigeons for any predictions relating to tomorrow’s race.

Paul Di Resta: Paul was strong in Singapore last year finishing 6th and has done very well again qualifying 6th. With Singapore having a high attrition rate I wouldn’t rule out a top 4, or maybe even a podium finish.

Losers:

Sebastian Vettel: After setting the fastest times in every practice session Vettel was widely regarded as the most likely driver to take pole position, but Vettel seemed to struggle today only managing 3rd.

Felipe Massa: With Alonso leading the championship you’d expect Massa to be competing for top 3 places in qualifying, but the reality is Massa is struggling as shown by his 13th place today. Although you’d expect him to still pick up points tomorrow he needs to up his game and pray if he’s to stay at Ferrari next year.

Sauber: To be fair to the team Sauber’s can isn’t suited to the Singapore circuit so I wasn’t expecting anything amazing, but I didn’t imagine they’d have a driver out in Q1 and not have a driver in the top 12. Sauber will need Kobayashi to show off his overtaking skills and Perez to put in one of his phenomenal performances tomorrow to pick up some points. I expect Sauber to be much stronger in the next race at Japan.

Button breaks duck (and it only took 50 attempts).

1 Sep

3 winners and losers of qualifying, Belgium 12

Winners:

Jenson Button: It’s been 50 races for Button in a McLaren and at last the 2009 world champion has picked up a pole position. Jenson won’t have it all his own way tomorrow though, all of the top 9 were within a second of him and if McLaren bring out one of their world famous inconsistent pit stops anything could happen.

Sauber: For a midfield team who have never won a race under their own name Sauber are doing a grand job at giant killing. Kamui will start from 2nd on the grid after qualifying only 0.3 seconds behind Button, and with Kamui’s reputation as a master overtaker he could very easily win the race, Perez meanwhile will start from 5th and if he does his usual trick of not wearing out tyres Perez could very easily get a podium or even win.

Pastor Maldonado: Maldonado may be famous for his loose understanding for the rules but it was a fantastic lap by Maldonado to start 3rd tomorrow, and if the stewards don’t catch up with him there could be another podium on the cards.

Losers:

Red Bull: On the negative side Vettel failed to make it out of Q2 and qualified 11th and Webber could only qualify 7th not including his 5 place grid penalty. On the positive side the penalty means Vettel has already got 1 place closer to leading and will start 10th. Maybe if they’re very lucky they could finish in the top 3.

Nico Rosberg: After winning in China big things were expected of Rosberg. Sadly he hasn’t fulfilled this potential and today he performed insanely badly to go out in Q1 in 18th, and to add insult to injury he picked up a 5 place grid penalty in FP3 for a gear box change meaning he’ll start 23rd.

Felipe Massa: When your career is on tenterhooks you don’t want to be knocked out in Q2. Sadly Massa did just this and will have to hope he can find time in the race and pick up big points.

 

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

 

Williams’ gearbox troubles

13 Jun

We may only be 7 races into the season but already Pastor Maldonado one of the Williams drivers has already had three unscheduled pit stops, including two in two races at Monaco and Montreal. Strangely whilst Pastor has lost 15 grid places because of these unscheduled pit stops team mate Bruno Senna hasn’t needed a single unscheduled gearbox change. Here I’ll look at the reason why this is:

To be fair to the team the change in Montreal was probably just due to Maldonado’s big incident in Q2 at the wall of champions, and there’s every chance the change in Monaco was because of the incident in FP3 the day before, but this is still bad for Williams because Pastor Maldonado is a driver who does put in the regular crash during practice, and if this is so likely to damage the gearbox then it will cost the team a lot of grid positions. This explanation would explain why Bruno Senna – who’s had less accidents this year- hasn’t needed an unscheduled gearbox change.

Another explanation for these problems is that Williams have for the past few years ran the car with a very small gearbox that is much smaller than the other teams’. Whilst last year it wasn’t a problem for the team, there is a chance that that’s the problem this year, maybe it isn’t working so well with the other components. But this explanation doesn’t account for why Bruno has been unaffected by this, though this could just be down to luck.