Monthly Archives: September 2011

Points standings after Singapore Grand Prix

Driver Standings

Driver Points
1 Sebastian Vettel 309
2 Jenson Button 185
3 Fernando Alonso 184
4 Mark Webber 182
5 Lewis Hamilton 168
6 Felipe Massa 84
7 Nico Rosberg 62
8 Michael Schumacher 52
9 Vitaly Petrov 34
10 Nick Heidfeld 34
11 Adrian Sutil 28
12 Kamui Kobayashi 27
13 Paul di Resta 20
14 Jaime Alguersuari 16
15 Sebastien Buemi 13
16 Sergio Perez 9
17 Rubens Barrichello 4
18 Bruno Senna 2
19 Pastor Maldonado 1
20 Vitantonio Liuzzi 0
21 Jerome D’Ambrosio 0
22 Heikki Kovalainen 0
23 Narain Karthikeyan 0
2425

26

27

28

Jarno Trulli

Pedro de la Rosa

Timo Glock

Daniel Ricciardo

Karun Chandhok

00

0

0

Constructor Standings

Team Points
1 Red Bull-Renault 491
2 McLaren-Mercedes 353
3 Ferrari 268
4 Mercedes GP 114
5 Renault 70
6 Force India-Mercedes 48
7 Sauber-Ferrari 36
8 Toro Rosso-Ferrari 29
9 Williams-Cosworth 5
10 Lotus-Cosworth 0
11 HRT-Cosworth 0
12 Virgin-Cosworth 0

Massa: Hamilton “not learning” and “can’t use his mind”

A furious Felipe Massa has struck out at Lewis Hamilton for their collision in today’s Singapore Grand Prix.

Lewis hit the back of Felipe’s car during Turn 7, leaving Hamilton with a broken wing and drive-through penalty, and Massa with a puncture.

Massa was livid, particularly after them nearly colliding in qualifying:

"My thoughts is that again, I told you yesterday, he cannot use his mind. Even in 
qualifying, so you can imagine in the race."

And after having his race ruined by the McLaren driver, Felipe didn’t mince his words on their collision:

"I was on the straight and he touched me, not even when he was on my side. He 
touched me when he was behind me.

Then, when I got to the end of the braking, my tyre was already punctured. For 
sure it was a big, big problem for my race. And he paid for that as well, so 
what can I say?

How many races this year he did this? He went in the wrong direction and he paid 
and he never learned. The FIA is looking for sure for that, because he is doing 
that so many times.

I think he is not learning. I tried to speak to him after we wait, but he didn't 
listen to me. I called him two times, but he didn't listen to me, he [walked] past 
me. He didn't even look to me.

I called him to speak, but when I show him, I said, 'very good job, well done'. 
Like that you will win many championships!"

Regarding the last paragraph of that quote, when Felipe went to speak to Lewis in the driver’s pen, Hamilton responded “Don’t touch me again” after Felipe grabbed his arm.

While Martin Whitmarsh defended his driver’s actions, I feel that Lewis must calm down on the racetrack if he is ever to win another world championship. Countless crashes and mistakes in 2011 have possibly resulted in the worst year of Lewis’ F1 career.

Lewis has been racing at the highest level for 5 years now, and silly rookie mistakes should be well ironed out by now.

Vettel survives Button’s assault to win in Singapore

Sebastian Vettel once again had the luck of the gods, as he won the Singapore Grand Prix. The Red Bull was being caught massively by Jenson Button in the closing stages, but slow backmarkers ruined the McLaren’s charge. Mark Webber completed the podium, while Lewis Hamilton clashed with Felipe Massa – and the stewards. Here is the full report:

Vettel leads, while Button and Alonso tear past Webber

Vettel leads, while Button and Alonso tear past Webber

At the start, Webber bogged down as expected, dropping to 4th behind Vettel, Button and Alonso. Lewis Hamilton had a torrid start, falling to 8th behind Michael Schumacher.

Vettel started to pull out a massive lead after Lap 3, while Lewis tried to get past Schumacher. A poor exit from Turn 5 allowed the McLaren to get past, with the help of DRS. In a similar move, Hamilton quickly found a way past Rosberg 2 laps later.

Soon Felipe Massa found himself being chased by Hamilton. Nico Rosberg was the first driver to pit, on Lap 10, indicating a 3-stop strategy. Mark Webber sliced his way past Fernando Alonso, with the Ferrari pitting on that lap for a set of prime tyres.

Timo Glock became the first retirement from the race, the Virgin car pulling off the field just 11 laps in. Replays showed Glock spinning and hitting the wall at Turn 18, before soon retiring.

Hamilton makes a foolish move on Massa, with disastrous results

Hamilton makes a foolish move on Massa, with disastrous results

The battling Hamilton and Massa pitted the next lap, with no change of position. When the McLaren tried a move on the Ferrari at Turn 7, Lewis clipped the back of Massa, breaking his front wing and giving Felipe a puncture.

Both cars, as well as Webber, pitted for repairs. Vettel and Button stopped on Lap 15 for primes. Paul di Resta bravely dived down the inside of Sergio perez to take 3rd position – effectively 10th after the pit stops.

A drive-through penalty was swiftly served to Hamilton for his collision. A struggling Vitaly Petrov in 13th was swamped by both Williams cars, losing two places in 3 laps.

After staying out on the primes and moving up to 3rd place, Paul di Resta was the last of the frontrunners to stop, taking on the super-softs. Alonso began to lose his second set of tyres, as Webber honed in on his 3rd place.

Both Ferraris pitted on Lap 26, indicating 3-stoppers for both Massa and Alonso. Further back the field, Adrian Sutil willingly allowed teammate Paul di Resta past for 5th place.

However, the strategy aspect of the race was soon turned on its head, as the safety car was deployed. Michael Schumacher was challenging Sergio Perez for position, but clipped the back of the Sauber, launching the Mercedes into the barriers.

The top 3 drivers all pitted under the safety car. Once the safety car peeled off, Mark Webber launched another move on Fernando Alonso to retake 3rd place.

Incredibly, Vettel managed to pull out a 10-second lead over Button within a few laps, mostly due to backmarkers holding up the McLaren. The other silver car was scything through the field, taking Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta to move into 6th, after previously falling to 16th.

Two slow Williams drivers held up Button and ruined a possible last-gasp charge

Two slow Williams drivers held up Button and ruined a possible last-gasp charge

With both Vettel and Button measuring the life left on their tyres, Webber pitted on Lap 48, taking on the option compound. Both Button and Hamilton pitted a lap later, leaving Sebastian in complete control of the race.

Vettel and Alonso stopped from 1st and 2nd with 11 laps to go, the Red Bull nearly colliding with a Lotus at pit exit. Soon after, Jarno Trulli pulled over due to a gearbox problem.

After yet another fightback, Hamilton worked his way back up to 5th after his pit stop. Meanwhile, Button decided to pile on the pressure to Vettel in the final few laps, reducing his 12-second lead to 7 in only 5 laps.

Vettel is within one point of the championship

Vettel is within one point of the championship

In fact, for a while it appeared as if Jenson was going to take the lead, being almost 2 seconds per lap faster. However, backmarkers soon ruined Button’s party, as both slow Williams cars destroyed whatever advantage the chasing McLaren had.

After Jaime Alguersuari binned his Toro Rosso into the wall at Turn 18, Vettel’s victory was secured. He crossed the line 1.7 seconds ahead of Button, who ensured the title fight would continue to Suzuka. Mark Webber was 3rd, with Fernando Alonso 4th, and Lewis Hamilton fighting back to 5th. Paul di Resta took an excellent 6th place, after a risky strategy paid off.

Vettel leads Webber in Singapore qualifying

Sebastian Vettel will start from pole position, ahead of teammate Mark Webber, for the Singapore Grand Prix.

Vettel only set 1 lap in Q3, and a slow final sector meant Webber failed to beat his teammate. Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton were 3rd and 4th, with Fernando Alonso 5th.

Q1

Renault were well off the pace in Q1

Renault were well off the pace in Q1

Sebastian Vettel’s early benchmark for his rivals was a 1:47.137 on the prime tyres. Lewis Hamilton pipped the Red Bull by 0.1 second, with Button a further 0.02 seconds ahead.

Sebastian quickly improved on the McLarens by half a second. With a Ferrari struggling for control, Fernando Alonso went 4th. Replays showed Lewis Hamilton locking up and sliding wide at Turn 7. His teammate complained to his team about chronic understeer on his car.

Several drivers, including Sergio Perez and Paul di Resta, were the first to go onto the super-soft tyres. Perez went 7th, with Di Resta 9th.

Vitaly Petrov pulled himself out of the drop zone on his final lap, but only just. His teammate Bruno Senna promptly moved into 15th, pushing Vitaly back into 18th position.

Heikki Kovalainen once again beat Jarno Trulli, while at HRT, Ricciardo beat Liuzzi, whose 5-place grid penalty from Monza proved completely ineffective.

Drivers knocked out in Q1:

18) Vitaly Petrov – 1:49.835

19) Heikki Kovalainen – 1:50.948

20) Jarno Trulli – 1:51.012

21) Timo Glock – 1:52.154

22) Jerome D’Ambrosio – 1:52.363

23) Daniel Ricciardo – 1:52.404

24) Vitantonio Liuzzi – 1:52.810

Q2

Kobayashi failed to set a time

Kobayashi failed to set a time

Mark Webber was the first out on super-softs, but suffered slight understeer, setting a 1:45.651. This allowed Button and Vettel to better Mark on their first runs.

However, the session was abruptly halted, as Kamui Kobayashi crashed at the triple chicane. The Sauber made a mistake at the first kerb, then the second launched Kobayashi into the barriers.

After a 5 minute delay, the session resumed. Felipe Massa went 5th, with Nico Rosberg just behind the Ferrari in 6th. Lewis Hamilton suffered a puncture on his final run, but his previous times were enough to let him into Q3.

Bruno Senna improved to 11th, but decided not to make a final run. Sergio Perez and Paul di Resta diced for 10th, with the Force India making it through to Q3. Barrichello and Maldonado were 12th and 13th, with the Toro Rossos 14th and 16th.

Drivers knocked out of Q2:

11) Sergio Perez – 1:47.616

12) Rubens Barrichello – 1:48.082

13) Pastor Maldonado – 1:48.270

14) Sebastien Buemi – 1:48.634

15) Bruno Senna – 1:48.662

16) Jaime Alguersuari – 1:49.862

17) Kamui Kobayashi – No time set

Q3

A massive queue emerged as the frontrunners battled for position on their first flying laps, with Lewis Hamilton nearly clashing with Felipe Massa. The McLarens went 1st and 2nd, with Webber 3rd. Vettel was up next, blasting the rest of the field away by 4 tenths of a second.

As most cars went out for their final run, Hamilton, Michael Schumacher and both Force Indias opted to stay in the pits.

Nico Rosberg was nowhere near the top teams, 1.6 seconds off the pace. Felipe Massa took 6th place, with Mark Webber taking 2nd. Jenson Button snatched 3rd off Hamilton, and Alonso could only manage 5th.

A poor final sector was the deciding factor between the Red Bulls, and Webber once again will start behind Vettel on the grid.

Vettel takes control of second practice

Sebastian Vettel assumed top spot for second practice for the Singapore Grand Prix.

Unlike first practice, the troublesome damaged kerbs were removed in between the two sessions, and will be replaced overnight.

While on the soft tyres, Vettel was in complete control of the running order, leading by up to an entire second. After most drivers switched to the super-softs, Fernando Alonso challenged the Red Bull.

Lewis Hamilton aborted several runs before finally taking 3rd place. Felipe Massa was 4th, with Mark Webber 5th. The rest of the field were over 2 seconds behind Sebastian.

Jenson Button’s session was prematurely ended, after the McLaren made a mistake at Turn 14, and was unable to engage reverse gear to return to the track. The Briton finished the session 10th.

Sebastian Buemi was the only driver to make major contact with the wall, taking off his front right suspension and wheel.

Times from FP2:

 1.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault        1:46.374           33
 2.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                 1:46.575   0.201   28
 3.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes        1:47.115   0.741   22
 4.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                 1:47.120   0.746   23
 5.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault        1:47.265   0.891   28
 6.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes                1:48.418   2.044   27
 7.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes    1:48.866   2.492   32
 8.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari          1:49.578   3.204   27
 9.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari          1:49.730   3.356   29
10.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes        1:49.751   3.377   10
11.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1:49.792   3.418   14
12.  Bruno Senna           Renault                 1:50.241   3.867   31
13.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes    1:50.345   3.971    8
14.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault                 1:50.399   4.025   29
15.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                1:50.790   4.416   28
16.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth       1:50.897   4.523   24
17.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth       1:50.937   4.563   30
18.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault           1:51.950   5.576   26
19.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1:52.257   5.883   15
20.  Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault           1:52.489   6.115   25
21.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth         1:53.579   7.205   25
22.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth         1:54.649   8.275   25
23.  Daniel Ricciardo      HRT-Cosworth            1:54.754   8.380   29
24.  Tonio Liuzzi          HRT-Cosworth            1:55.198   8.824   26

Damaged kerbs disrupt Singapore first practice

Kerbs are repaired, delaying first practice

Kerbs are repaired, delaying first practice

Lewis Hamilton was fastest in a reduced first practice session in Singapore.

The session was suspended for half an hour at the beginning, as plastic sections of the kerbs were peeling away from the track. Once the track was repaired, the time limit was reduced to 60 minutes instead of the usual 90.

An extremely dusty track then slowed the cars down for much of the hour, before Lewis Hamilton set a 1:48.599 to take first place.

Mark Webber made contact with Timo Glock, the Red Bull failing to pass the Virgin at the final corner, and damaging the front wing. Mark pitted for repairs, while Timo was left with a puncture.

A bolt breaks off a kerb halfway through the session

A bolt breaks off a kerb halfway through the session

At the halfway point of the session, Heikki Kovalainen had a spot of deja vu, as his Lotus caught fire for the second year in a row in Singapore, this time due to an overheating front left brake.

After a red flag to remove the Lotus car, the stewards were forced to stop the session again with 8 minutes to go, as a bolt broke off another kerb. A green flag allowed the cars to attempt one last run, but Lewis’ previous time was left unbeaten.

Sebastian Vettel was second, with teammate Webber a further second behind. Jenson Button split the Ferraris, who went 4th and 6th. Renault abandoned their bodywork and sidepod adjustments due to overheating problems, leaving Senna and Petrov 16th and 18th.

Narain Karthikeyan drove Vitantonio Liuzzi’s HRT for readjusting to the car before he drives at the Indian GP, and was just pipped by Daniel Ricciardo in the final few moments. Both HRTs were 10 seconds off the pace of Hamilton by the end of the session.

Times from FP1:

 1. Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1:48.599          10
 2. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1:49.005  0.406   15
 3. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1:50.066  1.467   16
 4. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1:50.596  1.997   11
 5. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1:50.952  2.353   12
 6. Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1:52.043  3.444   14
 7. Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes  1:52.251  3.652   13
 8. Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1:52.416  3.817   12
 9. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes  1:52.435  3.836   13
10. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1:52.815  4.216   13
11. Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth     1:52.991  4.392   17
12. Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:53.050  4.451   17
13. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth     1:53.399  4.800   18
14. Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1:53.703  5.104   19
15. Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1:53.749  5.150   12
16. Bruno Senna            Renault              1:53.765  5.166   17
17. Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:53.785  5.186   16
18. Vitaly Petrov         Renault               1:54.736  6.137    8
19. Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault         1:54.821  6.222    9
20. Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault         1:56.198  7.599    8
21. Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth       1:57.798  9.199   13
22. Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth       1:58.792  10.193   6
23. Daniel Ricciardo      HRT-Cosworth          1:59.169  10.570  17
24. Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth          1:59.214  10.615  18

Sam Michael to leave for McLaren after Singapore

Sam Michael will depart from Williams after Singapore

Sam Michael will depart from Williams after Singapore

Williams technical director Sam Michael is to leave the team after next weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.

The Grove-based team have endured a horrendous season, possibly their worst in their Formula 1 history, with only 5 points to their name. After much pressure over the last few months, Michael has now stepped down.

He won’t be missing from the paddock for long though. It has also been announced that he will be joining the McLaren team. A team statement has explained that he “will join the senior management team in addition to taking specific responsibility for the development and management of the team’s trackside operations.”

Michael has stated:

"I already know and respect many of the team’s senior technical management figures, 
and becoming a member of that excellent working unit was one of the prime 
attractions of this new position.

Equally, for some time I’ve closely observed and greatly admired both Lewis 
[Hamilton] and Jenson [Button] as grade-one drivers, and therefore regard it as an 
enormous privilege to be able to work with both of them.

Sam had spent 8 years in Formula 1 before joining Williams in 2001. He has been technical director there since 2004.

Vettel rivals concede 2011 title

All of Sebastian Vettel’s title rivals have all but given up hopes on challenging for the 2011 championship crown.

This comes after a crushing victory for the German, slicing past Fernando Alonso in the early stages and dominating the race from there.

Teammate Mark Webber, who has barely led a lap this year, never mind win a race, was the first to concede the title:

"I think we're all battling for second now. Seb needs to have a very, very 
incredibly disappointing finish to the season for anyone to take the 
championship off him at this point.

He's in a great position. He's done a great job. And clearly the car was good 
today, so it was a missed opportunity for me."

Fernando Alonso was next up, stating that the title was well out of reach:

"Sure, it would have been fantastic to do the double after 2010, but we must 
stay cool and concentrate and try to reach targets that are within our reach: 
today we did just that. It’s true the title has gone now, but there is still 
great motivation: we want to win races and try to defend the position I have 
just reached in the drivers’ championship."

Lewis Hamilton was more blunt with his statement, saying:  “I doubt it’s still possible to beat Sebastian for the title, but we’ll keep pushing.”

Vettel has a 112-point lead over Fernando Alonso, and a 117-point lead over Button and Webber, with Hamilton a further 9 points adrift. There are 150 points up for grabs in the final 6 races of the season.

In order to win the championship at the next round in Singapore, Vettel must win the race, with Fernando Alonso 4th or lower.

In-season testing to return to Formula 1 in 2012

Ferrari's own circuit will play host for in-season testing next year

Ferrari's own circuit will play host for in-season testing next year

All Formula 1 team bosses have officially signed off plans for next year’s testing schedule, which is confirmed to have a single in-season test in Mugello.

Many teams, as well as FIA president Jean Todt, have been pushing to return a limited amount of testing to the sport, after 2 years of only pre-season tests.

With this agreement, the teams will be obliged to three tests in Jerez (Feb 7-9) and Barcelona (Feb 21-24, Mar 1-4).

Then, a new test session will take place in Mugello on May 1st, which takes place after the first 4 flyaway races of the 2012 season. This will mean that teams will be able to re-evaluate and develop their cars before the Spanish Grand Prix two weeks later.

Mugello last played host to an F1 car in January 2009, when Felipe Massa unveiled the Ferrari F60.

5-place grid penalty for Liuzzi in Singapore

Vitantonio Liuzzi will take a 5-place grid drop for the Singapore Grand Prix after causing carnage on the first lap in today’s Italian GP.

Liuzzi took to the grass (not out of necessity) on the approach to the first chicane, but on returning to the track he moved to avoid a slower car, and spun. His HRT then slammed into Nico Rosberg and Vitaly Petrov further up the field.

The stewards have concluded that the accident was avoidable, and Liuzzi will almost certainly start from the back of the grid in two weeks time.

Here is a video of the accident (sorry for the awful music):

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