9 items from 2012
An eighth different driver winning a race and this time it was the ever out spoken Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus. The Lotus team (formally Renault of course) hadn’t won a race since 2008, and it was Raikkonen’s first win since 2009 when he left to try his hand at rallying. He had mixed results in rallying so it is good to see the “Ice Man” back on top in F1.
In Other News…
The Fia have warned all the drivers about bad language during live interviews for the media. This comes about after both Raikkonen and Vettel swore in their post podium interview with David Coulthard. A spokesman for the Fia said there could be disciplinary actions in the future if another instance of bad language occurs during a live broadcast.
Caterham have a new Team Principal. Cyril Abiteboul has become the youngest team boss at just 35 years old. He’s younger than Michael Schumacher! »
- James Bale
Raikkonen had looked quick all weekend – in practice, Lotus had displayed a strong race pace and the general consensus amongst the paddock was that Lotus were going to be a dark horse this weekend.
The same story showed again on Saturday however, as Lotus were again unable to deliver that single qualifying lap to put them at the front of the grid to challenge initially for the race win.
Following a poor start by Mark Webber, Kimi was able to jump into 2nd place before challenging Hamilton’s McLaren on the 2nd lap of the race. Meanwhile Alonso jumped Button for 5th place and then passed Webber for 4th.
Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull had been disqualified from »
- Gareth Davies
The news was not a shock. Eddie Jordan on the BBC website was the first to reveal Hamilton and Mercedes were in negotiations, and with each passing interview with Martin Whitmarsh or Lewis Hamilton, I never had the feeling either British party was going all in to sign on the dotted line.
The first thought that comes to mind is money. Reports are mixed as to which team – McLaren or Mercedes – offered the largest basic salary. The Telegraph pointed to sources saying Mercedes were offering close to £60million over three years, an increase on Hamilton’s current £15million a season deal with McLaren. The Woking based team, on the other hand, were looking to make economies. Ron Dennis said his contract was signed during less austere times, indicating McLaren were looking to offer the former World Champions less money. The signing of the talented Sergio Perez, backed by Carlos Slim’s billions, »
- Alan Frost
The summer break for the Formula 1 drivers is now over. They have had their time to relax and are greeted by one of the most historic race tracks in the calendar. Spa Francorchamps. The legendary circuit has been part of F1 for well over 60 years (in one form or another) and has always pleased the crowds with great racing, great overtaking and an occasional large incident. The race at the weekend was certainly all of these.
Friday practice is one of those things that you rarely watch. If there isn’t a good news breakfast show on or an early film you wouldn’t even know it was there. Spa’s was utterly washed out. Nothing massively interesting happened bar what could only be described as the longest pad I have ever heard a commentator do. Top marks to James Allen and Jaime Alguersuari (former Toro Rosso driver from 2009 to »
- James Bale
At a wet Hockenheim, Fernando Alonso stormed to pole for Sunday’s German Grand Prix. Sebastien Vettel will join him on the front row, while a five place grid penalty means Mark Webber will start eighth, with Michael Schumacher and Niko Hulkenberg making it three Germans in the top 4.
Q1 started dry but rain came down in Q2, and teams quickly moved from dry to intermediate, and finally full wet tyres. The lap times demonstrated the unpredictability that rain brings, especially when race day is set to be dry, as the teams are locked into their set up from the end of qualifying. Do they gamble with a dry set up that will make them slow in the race, or go for grid position hoping the notoriously poor weather forecasts that accompany F1 races turn out to be wrong? »
- Alan Frost
Fernando Alonso once again enjoyed his day in the rain, mastering Hockenheim and taking pole by nearly half a second. Red Bull tried to challenge but Alonso not only held them off with his lap, he set the final lap of the day and beat his own time leaving a large gap with the conditions.
Vettel and Webber line up 2nd and 3rd respectively with good laps considering the weather conditions, a lot of drivers venturing into gravel traps and run off areas. Michael Schumacher followed them with an impressive showing considering his team mate couldn’t even get out of Q2 in the Mercedes.
The McLarens struggled to get their tyres working in the wet conditions, Button and Hamilton starting 7th and 8th but they may be set up for a dry race so should be Ok for tomorrow. Force India looked very strong considering they are a mid-pack team, »
- Jon Bentham
Sebastian Vettel has taken everyone’s breath away with a sublime one-lap stint at the end of Qualifying to start tomorrow’s race at the front. His nearest challenger was Lewis Hamilton but he was 0.3 of a second away from what could only be described as a perfect lap of Valencia. This put Vettel alongside the likes of Alain Prost and Jim Clark, and only at 24 this is shaping to be a career to match or even eclipse that of the greats.
In Q1, Red Bull’s Mark Webber struggled with a broken Drs rear wing so lost out on over a second a lap with it’s use. This left him in the clutches of the mid-pack teams but, suprisingly, Heikki Kovalainen also took advantage of it and pipped Webber and Vergne to steal 17th place on his final lap as the Chequered flag came down.
Timo Glock hasn »
- Jon Bentham
Practice reveals the teething problems in Melbourne.
The first practice session ahead of the Australian Grand Prix started in the rain on Friday morning (UK time). The teams were slow to get their cars out on the track but after some adjustments and tyre changes most of the drivers got some practice time.
The Hispania Racing Team (Hrt) barely used their car during pre-season testing and Pedro de la Rosa hadn’t even driven it before the green light at Friday’s session. His team-mate Narain Karthikeyan is joining him in putting on a smile for the cameras, but inside they both must know how difficult this season will be. The Indian had to pull his car up on the side of the road when it broke down a few minutes into their first time out on the damp track. Hrt will clearly be using Sunday’s race as a »
- Chris Deacon
The new Formula One season revs into gear this weekend, but who’s who and which team will be employing those hopeful drivers this year?
This is a quick summary of the key facts you need to know about the first six drivers for 2012.
7. Michael Schumacher (Ger)
43 years old
Former World Champion with Benetton (1994, 1995) and Ferrari (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)
He finished eighth in 2011 with 76 points.
Former F1 Employers: Jordan, Benetton, Ferrari
8. Nico Rosberg (Ger)
26 years old
Best Championship result: seventh with Williams and Mercedes
He finished seventh in 2011 with a score of 89 points.
Former F1 employers: BMW, Williams
9. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin)
32 years old
Former World Champion with Ferrari (2007)
Took a break from F1 from 2009-2011
Former F1 employers: Sauber, McLaren, Ferrari
10. Romain Grosjean (Fra)
25 years old
He has competed in seven races in his entire F1 career.
Former F1 employers: Renault
11. Paul di Resta (Gbr)
25 years old
- Chris Deacon
9 items from 2012
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