Daily Archives: April 19, 2010

Air travel disruption puts teams in doubt

The volcanic ash that has brought European air travel to a complete halt this week is now putting doubt into the minds of the Formula 1 paddock, as they prepare to fly to their bases across Europe before the Spanish Grand Prix.

At the moment, most airports are closed across Europe, because the volcanic ash poses a danger to jet engines. At the moment, there is not a chance of the teams getting their cars and equipment to their team factories within the next day or so. The engines are the most important component to be flown back, as they need to be worked on before the next race.

With this in mind, the Formula 1 entourage is currently worried about getting back and prepared in time for the Spanish Grand Prix, which begins on Friday 7th May. However, Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is not worried, as he explains:

"The main concern is getting the engines back because they have
to be worked on.

I am sure everything will be all right. There is no question
of cancelling the Spanish Grand Prix. Of course it is causing
everybody problems but we will find a way to get everyone home."

While I’m not too worried either, there is a cause for concern at the same time. Presuming the teams will get their engines back to base within a week or so, it will then take a few days to work on the car at the factory. Then, the cars will have to be sent off to the Circuit de Catalunya a few days before Friday Practice. It should be done in time, as long as the airways are opened within the next week or so.

Update: One of the European airlines ran a successful test flight to Shanghai, so this is good news for the teams. There should be little worry after this.

Chinese Grand Prix in pictures

As I have already done the stats and facts, here are some photos of the Chinese GP. Analysis of the race should be up by tonight or possibly tomorrow, and a personal review in 2 days time.

I’m trying out a new feature, a slideshow of photos rather than uploading separate ones. It was incredibly hard to get working, but I blame WordPress. Anyways, leave a comment if you like it, thanks 🙂

Chinese Grand Prix facts and stats

McLaren recorded their first 1-2 finish since Italy 2007

McLaren recorded their first 1-2 finish since Italy 2007

The Chinese Grand Prix saw the seventh different winner of the Chinese GP in a row. Here are some of the other stats and facts from the weekend:

  • McLaren’s 1-2 finish was their first since the Italian Grand Prix in 2007. This was McLaren’s 45th 1-2 finish in their history. It was also the first British 1-2 finish since the 1999 Austrian GP, with Eddie Irvine leading David Coulthard.
  • Vitaly Petrov scored his first ever points in F1, and Russia’s first ever as well. It is now the 33rd country to produce a points-scoring driver.
  • The Chinese Grand Prix has not yet been won twice by the same driver. So far, it has been won by Rubens Barrichello, Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, and Jenson Button.
  • There has only been one race so far this year where a constructor has not recorded a 1-2 finish, in Australia.
  • Sebastian Vettel recorded his 8th pole position of his career. This puts him in 31st place overall, alongside Ricardo Patrese and John Surtees.
  • Jenson Button has now won 9 races in his Formula 1 career. This puts him in 31st position overall, ahead of Denny Hulme and behind James Hunt and Gerhard Berger.
  • Lewis Hamilton set only his fourth fastest lap of his career. He lies 51st overall, tied with Patrick Depallier, Jean Alesi, Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Jo Siffert. It was the 137th fastest lap for a McLaren driver.
  • So far this year, no driver has won a race from pole position. The last person to do so was Sebastian Vettel in Suzuka 2009.
  • Mercedes power locked out the entire podium, the first time that this has happened since 1955 at Aintree, when Stirling Moss lead Juan Manuel Fangio and Karl Kling to the chequered flag at the British Grand Prix.
  • Both Virgin and Sauber only have one classified finish each. Neither Kamui Kobayashi or Timo Glock have finished a race yet.

If you have any more to contribute, let me know.